|Tracy Jeanne Rosenthal with hunky bartenders / canvases for artist Alex Chavez, Dave McCreary and Zak Stone at CLOSE at Concord Art Space.|
*25 Alternative L.A. Art Spaces to Check Out Now
Tracy Jeanne Rosenthal believes art should be about having fun. But when it comes to her belief that words have the power to connect people, she is not messing around.
CLOSE, her event last Friday at Concord Art Space (one of our 25 Alternative L.A. Art Spaces to Check Out Now) was part book release, part gallery installation, part performance art and part plain good old-fashioned party.
Featuring works by Brandon Andrew, Daniel M. Savage, Alex Chavez, Jesse Malmed and James Roehl, the show did in fact feature a fully-functional The Princess and the Frog bouncy castle, an unconventional clown creating adult-themed ballon sculptures (I was lucky enough to get an orange vulva) and some strapping, half-naked bartenders, as well as an additional gallery with several engaging multi-media pieces for visitors to experiment and play with.
More and more, the art scene is morphing to include fleeting, interactive works. Following in the footsteps of pioneers from the 1960s and 70s such as John Baldessari, Marina Ambramovic and Michael Asher, many emerging contemporary artists are now focusing part or all of their practice on gaining active participation from their audiences. Mainstream galleries and museums are becoming increasingly open to this kind of work, which is called relational aesthetics.
Rosenthal, although petite, is a powerhouse when performing live. A graduate of Vassar and the CalArts writing MFA program, her poems were recently featured in PANK magazine. At the CLOSE event I met up with her to discuss the finer points of this expanding vision of experienced-based art centered in the growing number of artist-run and alternative spaces in and around L.A., and to try and figure out what exactly this all has to do with adults jumping around in bouncy castles...More »