Arts & Entertainment

2018 L.A. Art Fair Preview – Monthly Art Column

By Jeff Davis

Once again the Art Show season is starting in LA and around the world. Art Basel Miami will have already opened and closed by the time you read this, but fear not, LA’s art shows won’t open until January and the guide below will help you pick and choose from the diverse and far flung options.

The LA Art Show will once again occupy over 260,000 square feet of the Los Angeles Convention Center in downtown from January 10th – 14th, 2018. An estimated 70,000 people will pass through its gates over a four-day period. The show will feature art from more than 100 galleries (20,000 works of art!) and 18 countries; enough for everyone’s taste to be satisfied (modern, contemporary, masters, sculpture, photography, mixed media etc.)     In addition to the physical art, the show has been working with all of LA’s leading museums to create a broad array of discussion panels, installations and performances. This year will also feature Design LA Art featuring 10 – 12 exhibitors focused on modern furniture, décor and architectural objects. The downtown location also puts you in close proximity to The Broad, MOCA, Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, Grammy Museum, Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising Museum, Natural History Museum, dozen of restaurants and many more art galleries. So, put on an extremely comfortable pair of shoes because you are going to be doing a lot of walking; plan to spend a full day here.

Antuan Rodriguez’ “Left or Right” punching bags installation. – Photo courtesy of The LA Art Show

Antuan Rodriguez’ “Left or Right” punching bags will welcome visitors to the fair. The interactive installation depicts world leaders and tyrants, and will allow the spectator to release tension, anger, hatred and anxiety by hitting the bags. With 70,000+ visitors this year it’s likely they are going to need a lot of replacement bags given the severe beating these bags will take.  I can’t wait to take my turn.

StARTup Art Fair will run from January 26-28, 2018 and is moving its location to The Kinney Hotel in Venice Beach this year. The location is just a mile from Venice Beach and close enough to Art Los Angeles Contemporary to visit both the same day. The fair will take over 40+ rooms at the new boutique hotel and feature over 50 artists. The fair provides direct access to independent artists with no galleries or museums creating barriers. You are free to discuss art and ideas with the artists directly. Sales last year exceeded $200,000 with 100% of the proceeds going to the artist who pay an upfront fee of $2,600 to $4,400 to participate. Rooms can be shared to lower upfront costs to the artists.

The location is a definite step up from last year’s Hollywood location. Abbot Kinney restaurants and shops are just a stone’s throw away and there are a number of surrounding art galleries as well. The hotel also has it’s own parking lot with valet available. This was my favorite fair last year – high quality work at affordable prices.  Below are some of the artists that will be exhibiting and links to their websites.

Philippe Jestin, Strip Pose #19, 2017, Resin, paint on wood, 20” x 24” x 1.5.” – Photo courtesy of Philippe Jestin

Philippe Jestin, Strip Pose #19, 2017, Resin, paint on wood, 20” x 24” x 1.5”

Paul Westacott, With Every Beat, Giclee print, limited & open editions in varying sizes. – Photo courtesy of

Paul Westacott, With Every Beat, Giclee print, limited & open editions in varying sizes

Nikki Vismara, “So Busy”, 12” x 12”, Gold leaf, epoxy resin and mirror. – Photo courtesy of Nikki Vismara

Nikki Vismara, “So Busy”, 12” x 12”, Gold leaf, epoxy resin and mirror,

The Other Art Fair  March 15-18, 2018 will make its LA debut by showcasing works by 110 emerging artists and is sponsored by Saatchi Art at The Majestic Downtown. Like the startup fair, the Other Art Fair is direct to the buyer platform designed for individual artist without gallery representation. The fair is still accepting applications for participants on their website. Note the cost to an artist for a booth starts at $1,680 plus sale tax; additional information on their website.

Focus photo l.a. is another platform designed to help emerging and mid-career photographers/artists to promote their work and broaden their exposure. The application fee is $60 which is considerably more affordable than some of the other “self-promotion” opportunities. The 20 finalists will have their works professionally printed and framed for the March 15th -18th pop up exhibition. The application deadline is January 15, 2018.

Art Los Angeles Contemporary  once again returns to the Barker Hanger from January 25-28, 2018. This is a more conceptual art fair – very few serene landscapes, old world masters or run of the mill still lives. Look for more cutting edge, thought provoking works that at times may challenge your concept of contemporary art.

When you are over on the West Side of LA, don’t forget to swing buy some of the art districts and Museums on the way. Bergamot Station offers over 20+ galleries in one location and Culver City has a similar amount strung out along La Cienega and Washington Boulevards.

December 26, 2017

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Jeff Davis


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