January Downtown L.A. Art Walk

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Starting last year, as proclaimed by our mayor Tony V, January is Art Month here in L.A. and it’s all about the arts. This is the second year of bringing attention to the plight that the arts are facing, which I’m sure a lot of people are already aware of because when things get tight, the arts go out the window. So, the whole point of Art month is to get people out and about into museums, galleries and events all month long to check out what L.A. has to offer and stimulate the local economy. Well I did some stimulating of my own on Wednesday at Corazon del Pueblo by listening to amazing poets put themselves out there. They even inspired me to get up there and read. Aside from that, I knew I had to hit up the Art Walk because not only is it Art’s Month, but it’s the first one of the year.  The cities website states, “we are urging Angelenos to enjoy the best the art world has to offer without leaving Los Angeles.  And we hope they will make it an adventure by discovering a new museum or performing arts venue!”Adventure ? I’m game.

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The first stop me and my friend Kris made was at the MOCA to check out their collection of the first 30 years. It was aight I guess. I mean, contemporary art gives me a head ache after five minutes. I can’t take too much of it at once because it involves too much thinking for my art taste. I saw some interesting things of course and since it was free, it’s worth checking out.

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Hey, it’s those cats everyone is talking about. Honestly, in L.A., you don’t need to go further than down the street to find art. It’s everywhere if you know how to look for it and appreciate it. I for one prefer kitty cats over art instillation that need to be explained to understand them. I’m not hating you know, I respect people that are able to make it through art school and still be sane, although some of their art is insane, but yeah.

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Hey, it’s Jay Lopez !! Newly appointed Executive Director for the DTLA Art Walk. Straight outta East Los and what !? Jay’s been a teacher at ELAC, produced a ton of events and is gonna bring in new ideas that will bring in more people to the walk. My first suggestion was to get someone selling hot dogs wrapped in bacon down here. The art walk crowd would go insane over them, except the ones that can’t handle their beef and puke in a gallery. Looking forward to see what you have in store for the next art walk Jay.

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The art walk is a spectacle of sorts and if you hate crowds, second hand smoke everywhere and valley girl lingo then save yourself the trouble. I take it all with a grain of salt because I remember 2 years ago when the art walk was just random people walking around. Now you have people getting their hair cut to bring in customers. The special that night was 50% off, which meant that you get a $30 hair cut for $15. No thank you.

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We made our way to Crewest to see the one and only Miss Periwinkle and the Unification Theory do some live art. As always Miss P. got down like no ones business and we caught up over some free jarritos. What the fruit indeed. Soon afterward the search for a bathroom began.

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At Upper Playground they had the opening for “Paper Dolls.” You know, those dolls that had inter changeable outfits. This is one of the less provocative pieces that I also happen to like.

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At every art walk, you are bound to run into a group of hipsters or in this case, wanna be hipsters congratulating in a large group, hogging up all the side walk and producing more second hand smoke than a tow truck all the while saying “Ohhh my GOD Janice!!” Get outta my way, I’m trying to get my art on before I develop lung cancer mutha truckers !!

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I wanted to take my friend to Gallery 727 because he’s majoring in urban studies and I know Adrian had a bad ass show about the L.A. River, but it turned out that he took the night off. Dude, que onda ? Next time, I guess.

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One of the two pet sitting places had a great idea, why not get people being lookie lou’s into adopting a cute puppy. I’d like to think it would work, but more people are content just looking at the dogs from outside the window making all sorts of high pitched sounds and how cute they are. Of course they’re cute, they’re cachorros.

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Aww, I will never understand why El Chavo hates dogs. Don’t hate, hug and kiss and snuggle and then hug them some more. Screw cats.

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I over heard the guy carrying the dog say, “if you don’t behave, this is where you are going to end up fifi.” But seriously, the dog had on a sweater and the couple look after it like it was their only child. That’s TOO much, even for me. I love my dog, but come one, dogs need to be dogs just like people need to be people. Loving your dog is grand, but don’t substitute it for something else lacking in your life. Still cute as a button though.

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This was actually pretty cool. A lot of people were selling clothes, which trendy ass people couldn’t get enough of because it’s so “vintage.” Please. There were a few artist and some live music. Also there was pie, but I’m not a big fan of those, specially when you can’t enjoy it with a nice cup of coffee.

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This is the first time I saw them set this up, considering I haven’t been to the art walk in about two months now, but hopefully it’ll continue to flourish and grow with more artist getting their stuff out there and sold.

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Cheap ? Far from it. Out of all the art I saw during the walk, this is one of the pieces that spoke to me on soo many levels. My love for comics and my estranged relationships with women. Only a fictional woman can really understand me because, well let’s face it, I’m not exactly a prized catch. Anyway …..

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Here’s a shot of the crowd and the show going on. Check it out next month.

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Pedestrian traffic and regular car traffic, it’s a pain in the ass during the art walk. You have people rolling out of bars and galleries all buzzed and they’re not paying attention to traffic because they’re trying to take a pic of something dumb with their Iphone, guilty. What the art walk needs is some crossing guards. For reals yo !! With a stop sign and everything guiding traffic on all corners. God forbid someone get runned over because they’re not paying attention because the driver was to busy looking for parking to notice them.

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Hey, would you look at that, it’s Pachuco 3000 celebrating his birthday. How old are you now P ? 30 ? 40 ? You don’t have to answer, because in my eyes you’ll always be old 😉

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Apparently there was a twitter scavenger hunt going on this night with the LATC. I didn’t know until I got there and that was only because I wanted to see who was the band playing.

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Turns out it was BEAT-MO. They’re a great band and the singer has some vocals on her that’ll get you shaking your booty. They’re at Eastside Love if you wanna check’em out.

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And I know that if BEAT-MO is playing, the Fresh Prince of Boyle Heights can’t be too far off.

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Here’s worth the google.

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They were giving away some drink from the trunk of a car. I never did drink it. Eh. This is a snapshot I got of two women posing with the drinks for the people handing them out. Apparently they’re going to end up online somewhere.

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But I thought tamales were already organic to begin with ? I guess what people don’t know won’t hurt them when they over pay for some random tamal from a woman who calls herself “La Guera Tamalera.” I’ve actually mentioned her to my mom, who’s an o.g. in the tamal world and told her that she needs to take her down. I’m helping her refine her skills and add some variety, of the non-kraft cheese kind, to bring in new customers. I’ll let you guys know when I get her a twitter account.

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Wow, I wouldn’t mind being carted around like royalty, getting in people’s way and just generally being a pain in the butt. But, it’s all for the sake of art.

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One great addition to the art walk is the Citizen L.A. Art park. It’s basically local artist selling their works and their is a TON of great stuff to find.

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Like a cheese steak. Mmm that and the fries hit the spot. It was a great snack that held me over the whole night.And the gals working there are soo nice.

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It’s the eastside writer himself with his camera ready shoot. He’s always at every art walk having a great time, which is why I always make it a point to find him. You never know what might happen next with him around.

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For instance, you might find yourself in line at a store buying a six-pack of beer.

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Or you can end up at another bar that is also having an art show. You just don’t know.

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As you can tell, it was pretty packed and stuffy inside.

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And no offense to anyone and with all due respect, but the place stak of puke. Everywhere. I was happier outside with all the smokers than being inside where it just smelled bad. Why, I have no idea.

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There was some bad ass art in the mens bathroom. I don’t know if it’s the same for women. I hope not. With so many bright colors everywhere, I almost couldn’t pee, but since I was holding it in for a good while the art didn’t stop me. It just gave me something to look at.

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And to take pics of too.

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Making our way through little tokyo, I found this sad hello kitty. Poor kitty. It’s ok, it’s not your fault your a cat and not a dog. Hello doggy.

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From there we headed over to the New Downtown Youth Art Center that just opened up. It’s a great spot that is going to be creating a lot of opportunities for youth and artist.

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But the night belonged to La Timoi, who was having a retrospective. To see her progress as an artist over the years was truly made my night because she is one of the most bad ass artist out there who can not only hold her own, but she is always giving back whenever she can and working with kids.

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After saying bye and congratulating Timoi on her fine accomplishments, we made our way to bar 107 to have some more fun. In truth, I didn’t have that much fun in there. Not my cup of tee.

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After the bar closed at 2 a.m. we decided that we needed to chill for a while and sat our asses down at denny’s. Thank god because at that point my feet were killing me.

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It’s quite the reality check when you’re out and about having fun and then you see how much better you have it than others.

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After that, the fun was over and it was pretty late. I ended up showing up to work two hours early because I forgot what time I went in hahaha. So that’s what L.A. has to offer in terms of the arts, at least just a small glimpse anyway. Not every art walk ends up like this, but that it sure is one hell of a way to set the pace for the rest of the year.

8 thoughts on “January Downtown L.A. Art Walk

  1. Thanks Random! That was a really awesome post, loved your play by play commentary.
    I do take issue with your hatred of cats, those comments were totally unnecessary. Who do you expect to kill mice? If it wasn’t for cats, our ancestors might not have ever been able to store grain and food for the off seasons. It was our feline friends that protected our grain supplies from the mice hoards in ancient times! 😉

  2. i heard it was madness in the streets and via your photos i can see it. oh and you must have missed it, the bacon wrapped hot dog cart was right in front of Crewest maybe towards the end of the night.

  3. I guess cats are ok, for now 🙂 I didn’t try her tamales. They didn’t look appetizing and while she had some variety to the regular, pork, cheese and chicken. I wrote this post pretty last so excuse all typos. I would fix them but I’m just lazy like that.

  4. You should already know that corns, the main ingredient in tamale, are mostly non-organic as it is one of the most genetically-modified plant and heavily sprayed with pesticide.

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