Joseph Fiedler
March 2008
Mike Davis @ White Walls
White Walls Gallery and The Shooting Gallery

I caught up with the opening of Mike Davis’ exhibition Solo Flight [Charlie Christian/Benny Goodman anyone?] at White Walls Gallery in the Tenderloin this past weekend.  Art Dork Kim Scott and her posse took me. I know absolutely nothing about Mike [he was absent – at least while we were there] other than that he does live in San Francisco and he is a proponent of the burgeoning West Coast Narrative scene out here [I overheard the term Pop Surrealism used by one of the owners].  Solo Flight is like a meditation of the Northern Renaissance, especially painters like Bosch, Breugel, et al. with a slight psychedelic twist [they don’t need much!] and a nutty preoccupation with niggling, high impact rendering [not uncommon among these folks].  Mike uses some very ornate frames [some of which appear to be hand made creations that reminded me of water bed designs from several generations ago] to reinforce his historicisms.  Concurrently opening next door at The Shooting Gallery was Joshua Petker [another first time for me].  Although I’d not known either artist, there were an awful lot of red dots.  Check out the pix and links.

White Walls Gallery
835 Larkin Street
SF, CA 94109

Photos courtesy of Rachel Scott and White Walls Gallery
Home slice Shawn Barber, me and Kim Scott looking all band. Shawn has a big one coming up July 19 - August 23, 2008 @ BSFA in LA. Look out for that, it'll be big! Opening Reception: Saturday, July 19th, 7-10 pm
Hollywood Notes: Art Out the Wazoo and More!

La Luz de Jesus Gallery's
11th Annual Group Show
"Everything But The Kitschen Sync"
March 7- March 30, 2008

La Luz de Jesus Gallery
4633 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90027
323) 666-7667

See the whole show online:

Some of the many, many artists


To my mind there’s nothing like a ripping, art weekend spent in Los Angeles to get my culture on.  Make that Hollywood and you’re communing with the likes of Charlie Chaplin, Raymond Burr and Wink Martindale along with the Lowbrows, pimps, rockers and club hoochies.  First stop: Musso and Frank Grill on Hollywood Boulevard.  M&F is Hollywood’s oldest eatery, celebrating 89 years this year. They feature old fashioned martini’s [gin, vodka, lemon drop and Manhattans only PLEASE!] and have served them to just about everyone that you’ve ever heard of.  The ceiling is varnished with cigarette smoke. Luckily, I dropped by just after the Johnny Grant memorial held earlier at the Pantages Theater [Monty Hall and Bob Barker were there].  Johnny was the “honorary” mayor of Hollywood and an M&F regular.  Many spillovers came back for another round and to chat with Manny the bartender [reputed to be Johnny’s double] just about the time I got there.  Man, it was worth charging admission for but I only paid $5.00 a beer.  The martinis are only $7.50 for a 3-ounce drink and the things that I overheard were gold.  When was the last time you heard the name Mamie Van Doren in real time on Hollywood Boulevard?

Of course the real reason I was there was for the opening parties for the annual group show at La Luz de Jesus Gallery [also on Hollywood].  Thursday was a sleepy press preview, some Los Feliz street grub [Cobras and Matadors, Fred’s 62-visiting with The Chung who is currently working on Spaceballs TV and several exhibitions] and then early to bed [energy conservation off-sets carbon footprints]. 

Friday was a whole day [noon-4pm] of galleries.  We [Univ. of Kansas’ Barry Fitzgerald, Sac Town artists Kim Scott [Art Dork], John Berger-all artists in the show-] covered the entire Culver City art enclave: Mandrake Bar, Blum and Poe, Black Market, Corey Helford, Lizabeth Oliveria, and of course, Billy Shire Fine Arts.  Note:  Dave Cooper’s show BENT @ BSFA was fabulous! Next, Happy Hour at the open air Cabo Cantina on Sunset.  Man, is this ever the place to adjust your attitude! 2 for 1 margaritas [they ran out of margarita glasses so I got mine served in a pint glass!] and a customer floor show worth passing over TV for.  For a little while and $40, you’re Chet Baker in Baja. Whew! After re-grouping, we hit Another Year in LA Gallery [housed in the former Capital records pressing plant on N. San Fernando-I bet that they pressed MEET THE BEATLES there!] where an exhibition of new work by David Wetzl was opening before moving on to La Luz. 

As always, La Luz delivered the modern art party vibe in all it’s LA lowbrow tattooed glory.  Also popping in late were Nathan Ota and Daniel Lim [Illustration faculty @ Otis] Martha Rich, Freda Gossett Clayton, Esther Pearl Watson and Mark Todd [Art Center, all]. The late night Hollywood crawl included a stop by The Frolic Room [featured in LA Confidential], Big Wang’s [for a whiz-John said that there was “something*” going on in the bathroom before he got in-] and pizza slices on the street while watching the clubs disgorge at 2am. Chick Fights. Shaky, Shakin’, Shake. Thumpa-thumpa.

No visit to LA is complete without a slice of banana cream pie for breakfast at Mel’s on Sunset [the diner which served as the drive-in in George Lucas’ American Graffiti].  Yes, they have valet service and psychopaths screaming about how Tom Cruise brainwashed Katie!

A fitting ending to my trip: as I approached Oakland on the drive home, I was passed by a large posse of Hells Angels [a first for me!].  Here’s to Sonny Barger, Jack Nicholson and Hunter S. Thompson! Gonzo man!

* A drunken emo couple humping.  It was cute in a Cameron Crowe, bad white kids, The New York Dolls down the street, in-door out-door wings bar, garish lights, TV interviews and palm trees kind of way.

Share Your Hollywood Faves....

Opening party @ La Luz
Crowd @ La Luz
La Luz details.
Drawger Hal Mayforth's pieces.
Nathan Ota and Daniel Lim @ La Luz.
Scary and the Chung, Kim and Sukie @ La Luz.
The Frolic Room.
A hoodie sculpture and a Clare Rojas wall piece in Culver City.
Dave Cooper's BENT @ BSFA.
Another view of BENT.
Sukie @ BENT.
Above and below tables @ The Cabo Cantina.
Barry and John @ The Cabo Cantina.
The Hells Angels.
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