Poetic Energies and
Radical Celebrations:
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Simone Krug
Interior States of the Art Travis Diehl
Perennial Bloom:
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and Across L.A.
Angella d'Avignon
The Mess We're In Catherine Wagley
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Ashton Cooper
Object Project
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Chris Kraus
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Ben Sanders
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iris yirei hsu
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Object Project Lindsay Preston Zappas, Jeff McLane
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Adrián Villas Rojas
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Nevine Mahmoud
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Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960- 1985
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Hannah Greely and William T. Wiley
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David Hockney
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Eli Diner
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Tactility of Line
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Women on the Plinth Catherine Wagley
Us & Them, Now & Then:
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Travis Diehl
The Offerings of EJ Hill
Ikechukwu Casmir Onyewuenyi
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Letter to the Editor Lady Parts, Lady Arts
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Broken Language
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Artists of Color
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Anthony Lepore & Michael Henry Hayden
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Home
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Analia Saban at
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Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Kanye Westworld Travis Diehl
@richardhawkins01 Thomas Duncan
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Eliza Swann
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Young Chung
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Parallel City
at Ms. Barbers

Jason Rhodes
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Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Generous
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Catherine Wagley
Put on a Happy Face:
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Travis Diehl
The Limits of Animality:
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Ikechukwu Casmir Onyewuenyi
More Wound Than Ruin:
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Jessica Simmons
Launch Party February 18, 2017
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Exquisite L.A.
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Rafa Esparza
Intro by Claressinka Anderson
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Sam Pulitzer & Peter Wachtler
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Karl Haendel
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Wolfgang Tillmans
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Ma
at Chateau Shatto

The Rat Bastard Protective Association
at the Landing
Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Kenneth Tam
's Basement
Travis Diehl
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The Rise
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Art Witch
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Agnes Martin
at LACMA
Jessica Simmons
Launch Party Carla Issue 6
Exquisite L.A.
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Ry Rocklen
Sarah Cain
Intro by Claressinka Anderson
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Made in L.A. 2016
at The Hammer Museum

Doug Aitken
at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA

Mertzbau
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Jean-Pascal Flavian and Mika Tajima
at Kayne Griffin Corcoran

Mark A. Rodruigez
at Park View

The Weeping Line
Organized by Alter Space
at Four Six One Nine
(S.F. in L.A.)
Letter form the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Non-Fiction
at The Underground Museum
Catherine Wagley
The Art of Birth Carmen Winant
Escape from Bunker Hill
John Knight
at REDCAT
Travis Diehl
Ed Boreal Speaks Benjamin Lord
Art Advice (from Men) Sarah Weber
Routine Pleasures
at the MAK Center
Jonathan Griffin
Launch Party Carla Issue 5
Exquisite L.A.
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Fay Ray
John Baldessari
Claire Kennedy
Intro by Claressinka Anderson
Portraits by Joe Pugliese
Reviews Revolution in the Making
at Hauser Wirth & Schimmel

Carl Cheng
at Cherry and Martin

Joan Snyder
at Parrasch Heijnen Gallery

Elanor Antin
at Diane Rosenstein

Performing the Grid
at Ben Maltz Gallery
at Otis College of Art & Design

Laura Owens
at The Wattis Institute
(L.A. in S.F.)
Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Moon, laub, and Love Catherine Wagley
Walk Artisanal Jonathan Griffin
Reconsidering
Marva Marrow's
Inside the L.A. Artist
Anthony Pearson
Mystery Science Thater:
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at LACMA
Aaron Horst
Informal Feminisms Federica Bueti and Jan Verwoert
Marva Marrow Photographs
Lita Albuquerque
Launch Party Carla Issue 4
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Char Jansen
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Material Art Fair, Mexico City

Rain Room
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Evan Holloway
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Histories of a Vanishing Present: A Prologue
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Carter Mull
at fused space
(L.A. in S.F.)

Awol Erizku
at FLAG Art Foundation
(L.A. in N.Y.)
Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Le Louvre, Las Vegas Evan Moffitt
iPhones, Flesh,
and the Word:
F.B.I.
at Arturo Bandini
Lindsay Preston Zappas
Women Talking About Barney Catherine Wagley
Lingua Ignota:
Faith Wilding
at The Armory Center
for the Arts
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Benjamin Lord
A Conversation
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Char Jansen
How We Practice Carmen Winant
Launch Party Carla Issue 3
Share Your Piece
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Federica Bueti
Amanda Ross-Ho Photographs
Erik Frydenborg
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Fred Tomaselli
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Trisha Donnelly
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Bradford Kessler
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Hot Tears Carmen Winant
Slow View:
Molly Larkey
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Americanicity's Paintings:
Orion Martin
at Favorite Goods
Tracy Jeanne Rosenthal
Layers of Leimert Park Catherine Wagley
Junkspace Junk Food:
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Melrose Hustle Keith Vaughn
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Tongues Untied
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No Joke
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Body Parts I-V at ASHES ASHES
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Monica Majoli
at the Tom of Finland Foundation
White Lee, Black Lee:
William Pope.L’s "Reenactor"
Travis Diehl
Dora Budor Interview Char Jensen
Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
MEAT PHYSICS/
Metaphysical L.A.
Travis Diehl
Art for Art’s Sake:
L.A. in the 1990s
Anthony Pearson
A Dialogue in Two
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Erik Morse
with Alexandra Grant
SOGTFO
at François Ghebaly
Jonathan Griffin
#studio #visit
with #devin #kenny
@barnettcohen
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Launch Party Carla Issue 1
Slow View:
Discussion on One Work
Anna Breininger
with Julian Rogers
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Mernet Larsen
at Various Small Fires

John Currin
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Pat O'Niell
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A New Rhythm
at Park View

Unwatchable Scenes and
Other Unreliable Images...
at Public Fiction

Charles Gaines
at The Hammer Museum

Henry Taylor
at Blum & Poe/ Untitled
(L.A. in N.Y.)
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Alessandro Pessoli
at Marc Foxx

Alessandro Pessoli, City of God (2017) (detail). White ceramic, wood with glitter, artist’s altered clothing, synthetic hair, plaster, pine and handmade metal chain on welded steel frame, dimensions variable. Image courtesy of the artist and Marc Foxx, Los Angeles. Photo: Robert Wedemeyer.

It’s just the most meaningless title for a radio show. And don’t even get me started on Jason Bentley, the dreariest voice on KCRW and the presenter of the morning music program, Morning Becomes Eclectic. (Fine, I admit, I listen to it most days and, yes, I sometimes enjoy his music selections.)

Alessandro Pessoli has taken Morning Becomes Eclectic as the title for his exhibition at Marc Foxx, which mercifully has none of the middle-of-the-road radio show’s milquetoast inclusivity. In four sculptures (two of them mobiles), four paintings, and two groups of drawings, Pessoli materializes a singularly piquant vision of his inner life.

Eclecticism enters via the cast of questionably related signs and signifiers that Pessoli uses to assemble his impression of selfhood. He appears in the most domineering work in the show, a painting more than eight feet tall titled A-P backyard (2017), in which he sits looking down at us through a thick black mane of hair, smoking a thin-stemmed pipe and kicking a cowboy-booted leg up against a tree stump. Beverage cans and Colt revolvers—silk-screened over a brushed and spray-painted ground— contribute to the painting’s noncontiguous, collagistic effect.

The exhibition’s press release, which comes in the form of the artist’s first-person explanation of the show, reveals that the hirsute figure in the picture is in fact “a wigged self.” Whether consciously or not, Pessoli’s acknowledgement here that the guy in the wig is just one of many selves (rather than himself disguised as someone else) is what delivers the exhibition—which he describes in the press release as “a big self-portrait”—from straight solipsism. Instead, it becomes a more general reflection on the fluid and subjective nature of selfhood, a quality that is not unique to, but is especially prevalent, in the self-realizing/self-inventing social milieu of Los Angeles.

In 2017, artists can anyway no longer assume that the world is necessarily interested in art based in autobiography, especially if the artist is male, white, heterosexual, or otherwise speaking from a position of privilege. Jason Rhoades’ concurrent exhibition, across town at Hauser & Wirth, makes this painfully clear. (Rhoades was born two years after Pessoli, although in very different parts of the world.)

Alessandro Pessoli, City of God (2017). White ceramic, wood with glitter, artist’s altered clothing, synthetic hair, plaster, pine and handmade metal chain on welded steel frame, dimensions variable. Image courtesy of the artist and Marc Foxx, Los Angeles. Photo: Robert Wedemeyer.

Some would maintain that the self is all an artist has. Pessoli seems to disagree. He goes further and reveals and depicts a menu of possible selfhoods: repressed selves, compartmentalized selves, private selves, public selves, past selves and future, aspirational selves. Fantasy becomes an alternative form of self-revelation. Me Myself & I (2017) is a sculpture of a life-sized chopper, a customized motorbike with a ludicrously long front fork which, in Pessoli’s rendering, is made from welded-together BMX frames. The fuel tank is made from papier maché, the engine is terracotta, and the wheels are stitched felt. Above the seat, stuck on a welded pole, is that wig—a totem of one of the artist’s alternate selves.

As a European expatriate living in California, the Italian-born Pessoli has been subject to the profoundly destabilizing experience of having to recalibrate his native proclivities to a foreign culture that is at once strange and deeply familiar. Easy Rider was released as Libertà e Paura in Italy while Pessoli was still a kid; the Captain America chopper in that film is recognized the world over as an archetype of a certain conception of American freedom. (The BMX tubes in Me Myself & I have Stars and Stripes stickers on them.) Endearingly, Pessoli admits to listening to Morning Becomes Eclectic in his car after he drops off his daughter at school, on his way to the studio. Talk about compartmentalized selves.

In two hanging mobile sculptures, objects including a carved wooden head, more bike tubes, and several plaster penises hang in equilibrium. I’m not so sure that most of us ever achieve such a balance. More realistic, perhaps, is City of God (2017), in which static steel frames suspend elements individually, including a sweater well-worn by the artist and embroidered with patches, and “1963”—the the year Pessoli was born—spelled out in dangling ceramic numbers.

What makes Pessoli’s work so enjoyable is not so much his reflections on his own psychology but his facility as a painter, both on canvas and on paper. His luminous pictures swim fluidly between media and styles of application, typically comprising sprayed sections (both stenciled and freeform), coarsely brushed abstraction, silk-screened motifs, and areas that are nearly photorealistic. Despite their technical eclecticism, they always feel so right, so coherent and whole: hopeful metaphors for the fractured self.

Alessandro Pessoli, Lonely Hours Working for Me (2017). Customized, welded, and painted steel parts, painted ceramic, glazed ceramic, bronze, handmade chain, fabric and glitter, dimensions variable. Image courtesy of the artist and Marc Foxx, Los Angeles. Photo: Robert Wedemeyer.

Alessandro Pessoli, A-P backyard (2017). Oil, acrylic, spray paint and soft pastels on canvas, 98 x 75 inches. Image courtesy of the artist and Marc Foxx, Los Angeles. Photo: Robert Wedemeyer.

Alessandro Pessoli, Morning Becomes Eclectic (2017) (installation view). Image courtesy of the artist and Marc Foxx, Los Angeles. Photo: Robert Wedemeyer.

Originally published in Carla Issue 8