Issue 36 May 2024

Defying Narrative
Containment, for
E.L. and Others
–Maya Gurantz
Does it Move You? How to Look at Art,
According to
the Late Robert Irwin
–Janelle Zara
From Earthwork
to Test Plot
Transdisciplinary Approaches
to Ecological Reparation
–Emma Kemp
Interview with
Paulina Lara
–Joseph Daniel Valencia
Works in Progress Featuring: Soo Kim
Photos: Leah Rom
Reviews Teddy Sandoval and
the Butch Gardens
School of Art

at the Vincent Price
Art Museum
–Philip Anderson

Lex Brown
at Bel Ami
–Isabella Miller

Hugh Hayden
at Lisson Gallery
–Alexander Schneider

Diana Yesenia Alvarado
at Jeffrey Deitch
–Eva Recinos

(L.A. in N.Y.)
Cauleen Smith
at 52 Walker
–Shameekia Shantel

(L.A. in São Paulo)
Candice Lin
at Almeida & Dale
–Mateus Nunes
Carla en Español

Issue 35 February 2024

Issue 34 November 2023

Issue 33 August 2023

Issue 32 June 2023

Issue 31 February 2023

Issue 30 November 2022

Issue 29 August 2022

Issue 28 May 2022

Issue 27 February 2022

Issue 26 November 2021

Issue 25 August 2021

Issue 24 May 2021

Issue 23 February 2021

Issue 22 November 2020

Issue 21 August 2020

Issue 20 May 2020

Issue 19 February 2020

Letter from the Editor –Lindsay Preston Zappas
Parasites in Love –Travis Diehl
To Crush Absolute On Patrick Staff and
Destroying the Institution
–Jonathan Griffin
Victoria Fu:
Camera Obscured
–Cat Kron
Resurgence of Resistance How Pattern & Decoration's Popularity
Can Help Reshape the Canon
–Catherine Wagley
Trace, Place, Politics Julie Mehretu's Coded Abstractions
–Jessica Simmons
Exquisite L.A.: Featuring: Friedrich Kunath,
Tristan Unrau, and Nevine Mahmoud
–Claressinka Anderson & Joe Pugliese
Reviews April Street
at Vielmetter Los Angeles
–Aaron Horst

Chiraag Bhakta
at Human Resources
–Julie Weitz

Don’t Think: Tom, Joe
and Rick Potts

–Matt Stromberg

Sarah McMenimen
at Garden
–Michael Wright

The Medea Insurrection
at the Wende Museum
–Jennifer Remenchik

(L.A. in N.Y.)
Mike Kelley
at Hauser & Wirth
–Angella d’Avignon
Buy the Issue In our Online Shop

Issue 18 November 2019

Letter from the Editor –Lindsay Preston Zappas
The Briar and the Tar Nayland Blake at the ICA LA
and Matthew Marks Gallery
–Travis Diehl
Putting Aesthetics
to Hope
Tracking Photography’s Role
in Feminist Communities
– Catherine Wagley
Instagram STARtists
and Bad Painting
– Anna Elise Johnson
Interview with Jamillah James – Lindsay Preston Zappas
Working Artists Featuring Catherine Fairbanks,
Paul Pescador, and Rachel Mason
Text: Lindsay Preston Zappas
Photos: Jeff McLane
Reviews Children of the Sun
– Jessica Simmons

Derek Paul Jack Boyle
–Aaron Horst

Karl Holmqvist
at House of Gaga, Los Angeles
–Lee Purvey

Katja Seib
at Château Shatto
–Ashton Cooper

Jeanette Mundt
at Overduin & Co.
–Matt Stromberg
Buy the Issue In Our Online Shop

Issue 17 August 2019

Letter From the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Green Chip David Hammons
at Hauser & Wirth
–Travis Diehl
Whatever Gets You
Through the Night
The Artists of Dilexi
and Wartime Trauma
–Jonathan Griffin
Generous Collectors How the Grinsteins
Supported Artists
–Catherine Wagley
Interview with
Donna Huanca
–Lindsy Preston Zappas
Working Artist Featuring Ragen Moss, Justen LeRoy,
and Bari Ziperstein
Text: Lindsay Preston Zappas
Photos: Jeff McLane
Reviews Sarah Lucas
at the Hammer Museum
–Yxta Maya Murray

George Herms and Terence Koh
at Morán Morán
–Matt Stromberg

Hannah Hur
at Bel Ami
–Michael Wright

Sebastian Hernandez
–Julie Weitz

(L.A. in N.Y.)
Alex Israel
at Greene Naftali
–Rosa Tyhurst

Buy the Issue In Our Online Shop

Issue 16 May 2019

Trulee Hall's Untamed Magic Catherine Wagley
Ingredients for a Braver Art Scene Ceci Moss
I Shit on Your Graves Travis Diehl
Interview with Ruby Neri Jonathan Griffin
Carolee Schneemann and the Art of Saying Yes! Chelsea Beck
Exquisite L.A. Claressinka Anderson
Joe Pugliese
Reviews Ry Rocklen
at Honor Fraser
–Cat Kron

Rob Thom
at M+B
–Lindsay Preston Zappas

Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age
of Black Power, 1963-1983
at The Broad
–Matt Stromberg

Anna Sew Hoy & Diedrick Brackens
at Various Small Fires
–Aaron Horst

Julia Haft-Candell & Suzan Frecon
at Parrasch Heijnen
–Jessica Simmons

(L.A. in N.Y.)
Shahryar Nashat
at Swiss Institute
–Christie Hayden
Buy the Issue In Our Online Shop

Issue 15 February 2019

Letter From the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Letter to the Editor
Men on Women
Geena Brown
Eyes Without a Voice
Julian Rosefeldt's Manifesto
Christina Catherine Martinez
Seven Minute Dream Machine
Jordan Wolfson's (Female figure)
Travis Diehl
Laughing in Private
Vanessa Place's Rape Jokes
Catherine Wagley
Interview with
Rosha Yaghmai
Laura Brown
Exquisite L.A.
Featuring: Patrick Martinez,
Ramiro Gomez, and John Valadez
Claressinka Anderson
Joe Pugliese
Reviews Outliers and American
Vanguard Art at LACMA
–Jonathan Griffin

Sperm Cult
–Matt Stromberg

Kahlil Joseph
–Jessica Simmons

Ingrid Luche
at Ghebaly Gallery
–Lindsay Preston Zappas

Matt Paweski
at Park View / Paul Soto
–John Zane Zappas

Trenton Doyle Hancock
at Shulamit Nazarian
–Colony Little

(L.A. in N.Y.)
Catherine Opie
at Lehmann Maupin
–Angella d'Avignon
Buy the Issue In our Online Shop

Issue 14 November 2018

Letter From the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Celeste Dupuy-Spencer and Figurative Religion Catherine Wagley
Lynch in Traffic Travis Diehl
The Remixed Symbology of Nina Chanel Abney Lindsay Preston Zappas
Interview with Kulapat Yantrasast Christie Hayden
Exquisite L.A.
Featuring: Sandra de la Loza, Gloria Galvez, and Steve Wong
Claressinka Anderson
Photos: Joe Pugliese
Reviews Raúl de Nieves
at Freedman Fitzpatrick
-Aaron Horst

Gertrud Parker
at Parker Gallery
-Ashton Cooper

Robert Yarber
at Nicodim Gallery
-Jonathan Griffin

Nikita Gale
at Commonwealth & Council
-Simone Krug

Lari Pittman
at Regen Projects
-Matt Stromberg

(L.A. in N.Y.)
Eckhaus Latta
at the Whitney Museum
of American Art
-Angella d'Avignon
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Issue 13 August 2018

Letter From the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Letter to the Editor Julie Weitz with Angella d'Avignon
Don't Make
Everything Boring
Catherine Wagley
The Collaborative Art
World of Norm Laich
Matt Stromberg
Oddly Satisfying Art Travis Diehl
Made in L.A. 2018 Reviews Claire de Dobay Rifelj
Jennifer Remenchik
Aaron Horst
Exquisite L.A.
Featuring: Anna Sew Hoy, Guadalupe Rosales, and Shizu Saldamando
Claressinka Anderson
Photos: Joe Pugliese
Reviews It's Snowing in LA
at AA|LA
–Matthew Lax

Fiona Conner
at the MAK Center
–Thomas Duncan

Show 2
at The Gallery @ Michael's
–Simone Krug

Deborah Roberts
at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles
–Ikechukwu Casmir Onyewuenyi

Mimi Lauter
at Blum & Poe
–Jessica Simmons

(L.A. in N.Y.)
Math Bass
at Mary Boone
–Ashton Cooper

(L.A. in N.Y.)
Condo New York
–Laura Brown
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Issue 12 May 2018

Poetic Energies and
Radical Celebrations:
Senga Nengudi and Maren Hassinger
Simone Krug
Interior States of the Art Travis Diehl
Perennial Bloom:
Florals in Feminism
and Across L.A.
Angella d'Avignon
The Mess We're In Catherine Wagley
Interview with Christina Quarles Ashton Cooper
Object Project
Featuring Suné Woods, Michelle Dizon,
and Yong Soon Min
Lindsay Preston Zappas
Photos: Jeff McLane
Reviews Meleko Mokgosi
at The Fowler Museum at UCLA
-Jessica Simmons

Chris Kraus
at Chateau Shatto
- Aaron Horst

Ben Sanders
at Ochi Projects
- Matt Stromberg

iris yirei hsu
at the Women's Center
for Creative Work
- Hana Cohn

Harald Szeemann
at the Getty Research Institute
- Olivian Cha

Ali Prosch
at Bed and Breakfast
- Jennifer Remenchik

Reena Spaulings
at Matthew Marks
- Thomas Duncan
Buy the Issue In Our Online Shop

Issue 11 February 2018

Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Museum as Selfie Station Matt Stromberg
Accessible as Humanly as Possible Catherine Wagley
On Laura Owens on Laura Owens Travis Diehl
Interview with Puppies Puppies Jonathan Griffin
Object Project Lindsay Preston Zappas, Jeff McLane
Reviews Dulce Dientes
at Rainbow in Spanish
- Aaron Horst

Adrián Villas Rojas
at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA
- Lindsay Preston Zappas

Nevine Mahmoud
at M+B
- Angella D'Avignon

Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960- 1985
at the Hammer Museum
- Thomas Duncan

Hannah Greely and William T. Wiley
at Parker Gallery
- Keith J. Varadi

David Hockney
at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (L.A. in N.Y.)
- Ashton Cooper

Edgar Arceneaux
at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (L.A. in S.F.)
- Hana Cohn
Buy the Issue In Our Online Shop

Issue 10 November 2017

Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Barely Living with Art:
The Labor of Domestic
Spaces in Los Angeles
Eli Diner
She Wanted Adventure:
Dwan, Butler, Mizuno, Copley
Catherine Wagley
The Languages of
All-Women Exhibitions
Lindsay Preston Zappas
L.A. Povera Travis Diehl
On Eclipses:
When Language
and Photography Fail
Jessica Simmons
Interview with
Hamza Walker
Julie Wietz
Object Project
Featuring: Rosha Yaghmai,
Dianna Molzan, and Patrick Jackson
Lindsay Preston Zappas
Photos by Jeff McLane
Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA
Regen Projects
Ibid Gallery
One National Gay & Lesbian Archives and MOCA PDC
The Mistake Room
Luis De Jesus Gallery
the University Art Gallery at CSULB
the Autry Museum
Reviews Cheyenne Julien
at Smart Objects

Paul Mpagi Sepuya
at team bungalow

Ravi Jackson
at Richard Telles

Tactility of Line
at Elevator Mondays

Trigger: Gender as a Tool as a Weapon
at the New Museum
(L.A. in N.Y.)
Buy the Issue In Our Online Shop

Issue 9 August 2017

Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Women on the Plinth Catherine Wagley
Us & Them, Now & Then:
Reconstituting Group Material
Travis Diehl
The Offerings of EJ Hill
Ikechukwu Casmir Onyewuenyi
Interview with Jenni Sorkin Carmen Winant
Object Project
Featuring: Rebecca Morris,
Linda Stark, Alex Olson
Lindsay Preston Zappas
Photos by Jeff McClane
Reviews Mark Bradford
at the Venice Biennale

Broken Language
at Shulamit Nazarian

Artists of Color
at the Underground Museum

Anthony Lepore & Michael Henry Hayden
at Del Vaz Projects


Analia Saban at
Sprueth Magers
Letter to the Editor Lady Parts, Lady Arts
Buy the Issue In Our Online Shop

Issue 8 May 2017

Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Kanye Westworld Travis Diehl
@richardhawkins01 Thomas Duncan
Support Structures:
Alice Könitz and LAMOA
Catherine Wagley
Interview with
Penny Slinger
Eliza Swann
Exquisite L.A.
taisha paggett
Ashley Hunt
Young Chung
Intro by Claressinka Anderson
Portraits by Joe Pugliese
Reviews Alessandro Pessoli
at Marc Foxx

Jennie Jieun Lee
at The Pit

Trisha Baga
at 356 Mission

Jimmie Durham
at The Hammer

Parallel City
at Ms. Barbers

Jason Rhodes
at Hauser & Wirth
Letter to the Editor
Buy the Issue In Our Online Shop

Issue 7 February 2017

Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Catherine Wagley
Put on a Happy Face:
On Dynasty Handbag
Travis Diehl
The Limits of Animality:
Simone Forti at ISCP
(L.A. in N.Y.)
Ikechukwu Casmir Onyewuenyi
More Wound Than Ruin:
Evaluating the
"Human Condition"
Jessica Simmons
Exquisite L.A.
Brenna Youngblood
Todd Gray
Rafa Esparza
Intro by Claressinka Anderson
Portraits by Joe Pugliese
Reviews Creature
at The Broad

Sam Pulitzer & Peter Wachtler
at House of Gaga // Reena Spaulings Fine Art

Karl Haendel
at Susanne Vielmetter

Wolfgang Tillmans
at Regen Projects

at Chateau Shatto

The Rat Bastard Protective Association
at the Landing
Buy the Issue In Our Online Shop

Issue 6 November 2016

Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Kenneth Tam
's Basement
Travis Diehl
The Female
Cool School
Catherine Wagley
The Rise
of the L.A.
Art Witch
Amanda Yates Garcia
Interview with
Mernet Larsen
Julie Weitz
Agnes Martin
Jessica Simmons
Exquisite L.A.
Analia Saban
Ry Rocklen
Sarah Cain
Intro by Claressinka Anderson
Portraits by Joe Pugliese
Made in L.A. 2016
at The Hammer Museum

Doug Aitken
at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA

at Tif Sigfrids

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.)
Buy the Issue In Our Online Shop

Issue 5 August 2016

Letter form the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
at The Underground Museum
Catherine Wagley
The Art of Birth Carmen Winant
Escape from Bunker Hill
John Knight
Travis Diehl
Ed Boreal Speaks Benjamin Lord
Art Advice (from Men) Sarah Weber
Routine Pleasures
at the MAK Center
Jonathan Griffin
Exquisite L.A.
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.)
Buy the Issue In Our Online Shop

Issue 4 May 2016

Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Moon, laub, and Love Catherine Wagley
Walk Artisanal Jonathan Griffin
Marva Marrow's
Inside the L.A. Artist
Anthony Pearson
Mystery Science Thater:
Diana Thater
Aaron Horst
Informal Feminisms Federica Bueti and Jan Verwoert
Marva Marrow Photographs
Lita Albuquerque
Interiors and Interiority:
Njideka Akunyili Crosby
Char Jansen
Reviews L.A. Art Fairs

Material Art Fair, Mexico City

Rain Room

Evan Holloway
at David Kordansky Gallery

Histories of a Vanishing Present: A Prologue
at The Mistake Room

Carter Mull
at fused space
(L.A. in S.F.)

Awol Erizku
at FLAG Art Foundation
(L.A. in N.Y.)
Buy the Issue In Our Online Shop

Issue 3 February 2016

Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Le Louvre, Las Vegas Evan Moffitt
iPhones, Flesh,
and the Word:
at Arturo Bandini
Lindsay Preston Zappas
Women Talking About Barney Catherine Wagley
Lingua Ignota:
Faith Wilding
at The Armory Center
for the Arts
Benjamin Lord
A Conversation
with Amalia Ulman
Char Jansen
How We Practice Carmen Winant
Share Your Piece
of the Puzzle
Federica Bueti
Amanda Ross-Ho Photographs
Erik Frydenborg
Reviews Honeydew
at Michael Thibault

Fred Tomaselli
at California State University, Fullerton

Trisha Donnelly
at Matthew Marks Gallery

Bradford Kessler
Buy the Issue In Our Online Shop

Issue 2 November 2015

Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Hot Tears Carmen Winant
Slow View:
Molly Larkey
Anna Breininger and Kate Whitlock
Americanicity's Paintings:
Orion Martin
at Favorite Goods
Tracy Jeanne Rosenthal
Layers of Leimert Park Catherine Wagley
Junkspace Junk Food:
Parker Ito
at Kaldi, Smart Objects,
White Cube, and
Château Shatto
Evan Moffitt
Melrose Hustle Keith Vaughn
Max Maslansky Photographs
Monica Majoli
at the Tom of Finland Foundation
White Lee, Black Lee:
William Pope.L’s "Reenactor"
Travis Diehl
Dora Budor Interview Char Jensen
Reviews Mary Ried Kelley
at The Hammer Museum

Tongues Untied
at MOCA Pacific Design Center

No Joke
at Tanya Leighton
(L.A. in Berlin)
Snap Reviews Martin Basher at Anat Ebgi
Body Parts I-V at ASHES ASHES
Eve Fowler at Mier Gallery
Matt Siegle at Park View
Buy the Issue In Our Online Shop

Issue 1 August 2015

Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Metaphysical L.A.
Travis Diehl
Art for Art’s Sake:
L.A. in the 1990s
Anthony Pearson
A Dialogue in Two
Synchronous Atmospheres
Erik Morse
with Alexandra Grant
at François Ghebaly
Jonathan Griffin
#studio #visit
with #devin #kenny
Mateo Tannatt
Jibade-Khalil Huffman
Slow View:
Discussion on One Work
Anna Breininger
with Julian Rogers
Reviews Pierre Huyghe

Mernet Larsen
at Various Small Fires

John Currin
at Gagosian, Beverly Hills

Pat O'Niell
at Cherry and Martin

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.)
Buy the Issue In Our Online Shop
1301 PE
Anat Ebgi (La Cienega)
Anat Ebgi (Wilshire)
Arcana Books
Artbook @ Hauser & Wirth
Babst Gallery
Baert Gallery
Bel Ami
Canary Test
Carlye Packer
Charlie James Gallery
Château Shatto
Chris Sharp Gallery
Cirrus Gallery
Clay ca
Commonwealth & Council
Craft Contemporary
D2 Art (Inglewood)
D2 Art (Westwood)
David Kordansky Gallery
David Zwirner
Diane Rosenstein
François Ghebaly
Gana Art Los Angeles
George Billis Gallery
Giovanni's Room
Hamzianpour & Kia
Hannah Hoffman Gallery
Harper's Gallery
Hashimoto Contemporary
Heavy Manners Library
Helen J Gallery
Human Resources
Hunter Shaw Fine Art
in lieu
LaPau Gallery
Lisson Gallery
Lowell Ryan Projects
Luis De Jesus Los Angeles
MAK Center for Art and Architecture
Make Room Los Angeles
Matter Studio Gallery
Matthew Brown Los Angeles
MOCA Grand Avenue
Monte Vista Projects
Morán Morán
Moskowitz Bayse
Nazarian / Curcio
Night Gallery
Nino Mier Gallery
NOON Projects
O-Town House
One Trick Pony
Paradise Framing
Park View / Paul Soto
Patricia Sweetow Gallery
Regen Projects
Reparations Club
r d f a
REDCAT (Roy and Edna Disney CalArts Theater)
Roberts Projects
Royale Projects
Sean Kelly
Sebastian Gladstone
Shoshana Wayne Gallery
Smart Objects
Steve Turner
Stroll Garden
Tanya Bonakdar Gallery
The Box
The Fulcrum
The Hole
The Landing
The Poetic Research Bureau
The Wende Museum
Thinkspace Projects
Tierra del Sol Gallery
Tiger Strikes Astroid
Tomorrow Today
Track 16
Tyler Park Presents
USC Fisher Museum of Art
UTA Artist Space
Various Small Fires
Village Well Books & Coffee
Outside L.A.
Libraries/ Collections
Baltimore Museum of Art (Baltimore, MD)
Bard College, CCS Library (Annandale-on-Hudson, NY)
Charlotte Street Foundation (Kansas City, MO)
Cranbrook Academy of Art (Bloomfield Hills, MI)
Getty Research Institute (Los Angeles, CA)
Los Angeles Contemporary Archive (Los Angeles, CA)
Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Los Angeles, CA)
Maryland Institute College of Art (Baltimore, MD)
Midway Contemporary Art (Minneapolis, MN)
Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles, CA)
NYS College of Ceramics at Alfred University (Alfred, NY)
Pepperdine University (Malibu, CA)
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (San Francisco, CA)
School of the Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago, IL)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY)
University of California Irvine, Langston IMCA (Irvine, CA)
University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA)
Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, MN)
Whitney Museum of American Art (New York, NY)
Yale University Library (New Haven, CT)

Art in Isolation with Emma Gray

Anabel Juarez, XOCHITLA (installation view) (2020). Image courtesy of the artist and Five Car Garage.

In the coming weeks, Carla founder and editor-in-chief Lindsay Preston Zappas will be hosting chats with members of the L.A. art community via Instagram live on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. 

The following was edited for web from an Instagram Live conversation on March 31, 2020 at 5:30 PST.

Lindsay Preston Zappas: Cheers! So tell me how you’ve been, and how has your routine shifted over the last week or two of this quarantine time?

Emma Gray: Drastic. First of all, I want to thank you because I’m wearing actual clothes! [Laughs]

LPZ: Me too! These help me, you know, take a shower, brush my hair… !

EG: I’m out of the pajamas sweat-look, which I had resistance to because it’s so comfortable. Yeah, everything’s changed. In some ways, for me a lot of things haven’t changed, because I spend so much time on my own in my own space, you know? I have the gallery underneath—which, sadly, we installed just days before everything kind of shut down and we couldn’t do the opening. I also got a little bit sick. I didn’t know what it was necessarily because I couldn’t get tested, but it was just absolutely clear that there was no way we’d show anybody anything. 

It’s such a beautiful show for spring, it’s by Anabel Juarez. It’s so lovely for right now—it’s just so inspiring and joyful, and I’m sad that people can’t see it in person. Maybe we’ll extend the show; we’ll see what’s happening. And then I have this space up here, which is a meditation studio I built in 2016. I’ve been doing energy work and healing work and meditation for a long time—really since I was 21. I kind of kept it all on the down low and quiet and then when I built the studio I started doing groups and I started getting much more deeply into it and accepting that this is really a part of who I am. It’s in tandem with the gallery.

I’ve been leading breathwork groups, and meditations, and artists who work with energy. I’m a Reiki master, which I love to do. For the community, I’m doing three free Reiki sessions a week to somebody who is in need: that means that they’re physically suffering and they’re in financial dire straits. I’ve already done five or six people who have the virus. Listen, it’s not like I’m necessarily healing them, I’m not going to say that, but sending energy and being with someone is very, very calming, and Reiki is extraordinarily powerful. I think it takes a couple of sessions to really move things, but anyway, that’s been really amazing.

LPZ: So for people that haven’t done Reiki before, how does that work over the computer, because you’re doing these digitally? 

EG: I get a photograph of the person, and then I get their name and date of birth. In the process of meditation, one of the things that happens is you really kind of tune into yourself, and it’s almost like I tune into someone’s energy, like it’s a radio. Like a kind of dial, a frequency. I use their photograph, the connection I have with them, and their name and date of birth, and it’s amazing. 

I was recently working with somebody in a hospital—this was about three or four months ago. We had never met before, and even what I was sending was picked up by the client’s relative, who was sitting with my client. I don’t know how it works, it’s kind of magic! It’s universal energy—and it just does work, is all I know. 

And Reiki, the Japanese they call blocked energy “byosen,” which is just blocked energy in the body. The Reiki energy that you send is hopefully unblocking the energy so that the person can heal themselves—unblocking your own system so that you can heal yourself.

LPZ: I love that.

EG: Yes, so I’ve been offering that and some meditation, some free and some by donation.

LPZ: How do people tune into that if they want to get involved in your meditations or some of the different kinds of Zoom meetings that you’re offering?

EG: This space on Instagram is called The Energetic Residency. I have a whole separate website called Emma Gray Healing, which details everything that I do and have done and all the people I’ve trained with. 

There’s a concentration practice on Wednesday morning, which is live. It’s just basic mindful breathing. Then every Sunday, I’m a meta or love and kindness practice. This weekend, we just did forgiveness practice, and the other Sunday we did love and kindness. The heart practices are about building the muscle of compassion and empathy. The concentration practice is really just deep concentration meditation. They’re the two pillars of a Buddhist practice, and you can use those everyday. So those are nice to drop into.

LPZ: I want to go back to something you were saying about how you used to keep your energy practice and your work in the gallery really separate. I’m curious because I’ve battled those kinds of things myself, as someone that’s an artist and also publishes a magazine—just the idea that in the art world sometimes we feel like we have to be one thing in order to be taken seriously as someone who’s producing things for the art world. I wonder if you could just speak on that a little bit; if those were kind of some of the thoughts you were having; that decision to build a studio above your gallery, now they really are ameshed in the same space.

EG: [Building the studio] made a lot of sense for different reasons. Potentially, I could rent it out if I needed the income, but I primarily built it because I wanted to keep practicing and I knew that if I built a studio I’d have to do things. So it kind of forced me to keep going and build. I paint and I’m a mom, and I have the gallery, and the studio; I kept everything separate because there were stories in my head that it was I was being “too much.” I think a lot of women maybe can relate to that—maybe just a lot of human beings—like, “oh, it’s too much. I can’t be doing all of those things.” And I realized that this is just who I am. My stepmother was a healer; I’ve been doing it since I was 21. This is who I am and this is what I’m going to do. 

Then, a lot of artists started coming to my breathwork groups and things and so many synchronicities happened.

LPZ: Do you feel like [opening the meditation studio] shifted the type of art that you’re showing? Are you more interested in that type of artist, or no?

EG: I mean, perhaps. I feel like the quality of the work—some of these artists are brilliant artists. They happen to do this as well. I would say there hasn’t been a lapse in quality, just maybe as I focused more on what I’m doing I’ve attracted that back.

LPZ: Right, right. And artists flock to galleries that show work that they align themselves with as well, so I’m sure it’s sort of influenced the type of people that come to the gallery and it kind of grows naturally that way.

EG: Exactly. And that’s why I called it The Energetic Residency: I believe in energy, and I think we’re all atoms and frequencies, and what we put out we get back, and so it’s kind of fun thinking of it like that. 

[Emma leads a few minutes of breathwork. To learn more or drop in on a session with Emma, visit her on Instagram @theenergeticresidency.]

LPZ: I’ve meditated a little before, but especially in the last couple weeks I’ve been all in. I think a lot of people are looking for tools to kind of cope with anxiety. Tell us how the practices you do are so effective right now, why we need them right now.

EG:  We’re sort of programmed, I think, unfortunately, to go to kind of chaos and anxiety. And when you can start seeing the kind of computer chip of your brain and how it’s like [digital computer noise], then you can do little practices to slow it down. You can see that your brain is kind of autonomous and just doing his own thing—you actually get power and control. It’s the one thing you can actually control: how you think. 

You can actually guide your thoughts. They are not necessarily running you. And I think when you start doing practices with breath and mindfulness and counting, you get that power back. It calms down. 

[When I was learning] every day I did a concentration practice and then on the second day I would do a heart practice, and those pretty much I still do now, one every other day. And [my teacher, George Haas said after six months, I want to talk to you about how much happiness you have. And it’s true: I had a lot more happiness because I just had more peace and calm, and I could recognize when my mind was going nuts.

LPZ: Right.

EG: And pull it back. 

LPZ: The thing I’ve learned from meditation is to have no judgement: our minds do that. Like you’re saying, it’s going to do that. But how do you kind of create that space?

EG: Just bear in mind that we all have so much resistance and the ego does not want to change. I had resistance to putting really nice clothes on today! [Laughs] Well, not really nice, but not sweatpants, you know. And a little bit of lipstick.

The resistance is the part of us that doesn’t want to change, but it’s also the part of us that stays small. And we want to try to expand—especially while we’re in this weird, confined moment. That’s why we did the forgiveness practice the other day. Forgiveness practice is for yourself. Okay, maybe other people have done you wrong, but it’s the fact that you’re holding onto a grudge that’s keeping you small and not expanded. And we want to expand, especially while we’re feeling contracted.

LPZ: That’s beautiful, Emma. I wanted to ask you briefly: with the gallery and the art world and some of the financial struggles we’re all experiencing— I know you did a fire sale for some of your artists last week—I wondered if you could speak to the challenges that we’re all in, and if you’ve been thinking about ideas of how we can all come together to support each other. Or, maybe even the kind of things that you feel like you’re struggling with the most during this time in terms of the gallery and supporting your artists.

EG: In a funny kind of way, I maybe saw the writing on the wall about a different source of income. Not that I necessarily think of this as another source of income, but it provides me with a little bit of emotional and financial security. I think it’s smart—some of the really big galleries have restaurants and things! I think it’s wise to think about other potential sources of income; I mean, sometimes the meditation studio pays for the gallery, and sometimes the gallery pays for the meditation studio. 

LPZ: That’s so cool.

EG: And with Jesse Fleming, we taught meditation to UCLA students to help raise money for his video. So, I think being open to other sources of income is smart. And I am not worrying too much about it. 

I’ve been in deep scarcity before, and once you get into that mode, shit just gets worse and worse. I also think: it’s the weirdest thing, the minute you start helping other people, money starts coming to you. It really is a magic thing. Help people; it expands you, it helps you, and good things come to you. My teachers taught me that and it’s true. I don’t know why it’s true, but it does work. I think if you add a bit of service into what you’re doing, it will help.

LPZ: That’s so beautiful.

EG: Financially as well; on all levels.

LPZ: With that idea of doing something generous for your community or for others, I’ve heard that those are the types of jobs that are most fulfilling for people: people working in service or doing things for others. It’s actually this human need, I think, that we all have, and it’s very difficult in our society, that’s—like you said, computer chip brain, one thing to the next— to prioritize that sometimes.

EG: Yeah. I think I do a lot of the meditation work out of a need to help heal myself as much as I do to help other people. So in a weird way, following selfish ideas that have service attached to them is really smart as well.

Anabel Juarez, XOCHITLA (installation view) (2020). Image courtesy of the artist and Five Car Garage. Photo: Matthew Farrar.
Emma Gray’s meditation studio.
Emma Gray’s meditation studio.

Lindsay Preston Zappas is an L.A.-based artist, writer, and founder and editor-in-chief of Carla. She is an arts correspondent for KCRW. She received her MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art and attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2013.

More by Lindsay Preston Zappas