If you are strolling through Chinatown this weekend after a day’s search of bulk size amounts of fortune cookies and hole in the wall dim sum, it would be a welcomed relief to walk into the many air conditioned art spaces hidden around the freeway and metro-rail enclosed portion of the city. Galleries are popping up in the area with hoorahs and a few boos. Chinatown is in the process of redevelopment/revitalization and there are some concerns about keeping the historical and cultural heritage intact. But nevertheless, amongst the debate of gentrification, good artwork is being made and exhibited for your eyes to feast on…if they are not already full on “Wok Kok”, (I know, cultural difference but still a little alarming) off the corner of Alpine and New High St.
Katie Herzog (no relation to Werner Herzog; they have met once and conversed about the similarity of their names whereupon W. Herzog exclaimed comically that she was his estranged daughter) has well established herself here in Los Angeles and contributed to its art community through a multitude of various mediums and pieces. Recently, she opened a solo show “Informel”, at the Actual Size Los Angeles Gallery in Chinatown. Artists attempt to make their work accessible not only in their exhibition, but also in their understanding. With “Informel”, Herzog invites the viewer to look at the artwork with a sense of playfulness, and approach the abstracted images and acrylics without a fear of “not knowing”. She has expressed an interest in work that viewers can relate to on primary themes. “I was interested in non-hierarchical knowledge”, says the Downtown resident.
Herzog has been working with the concept of informal instruction or self taught knowledge and artistry for sometime. Having earned her MFA from UCSD and an MA in Library Science, this artist/librarian recognizes the benefit of information and instruments of creation placed at the disposal of the individual. In her piece “Braille Institute/Sight Center”, the artist made an “informal observation” of the Los Angeles Braille Institute Regional Sight Center, a building that she had become fascinated upon passing one day and soon became inspired. Herzog created the piece “Braille Institute and Sight Center” blindfolded, using acrylics and gold leaf layers. Actors have method acting; I suppose you could say this is method painting. The painting captures the artist’s intentions of “making work that looks raw” and engrosses the viewer in both the coherent shapes and images amongst the abstracted and layered background.
To close the exhibition, on Saturday, August 28th, Herzog has coordinated an animal assisted literacy program to take place in the gallery from 1 – 3pm, where children of all reading levels will have the opportunity to practice their reading skills to certified therapy dogs. So come on out and bring the kids.
INFORMEL New work by Katie Herzog
August 7th -August 28th
741 New High Street Los Angeles, Ca 90012