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Photos: Joe Pugliese
Exquisite L.A. is a blueprint of a collective shape. Drawing on the history of the Surrealist Exquisite Corpse, we wish to create a communal portrait of the current Los Angeles art world.
Consisting of photographic portraits, and spanning a year of consecutive Carla issues, each artist photographed introduces the next with a short text accompanying their portrait, outlining their connection or interest in the artist that will follow them in the series. This is an ongoing story of Los Angeles—its twists and turns, side streets, and freeways.
Rooted in classical portraiture, the photographs presented capture the artists in a neutral space, isolated from their work or studio. Their individual gazes, poses, or gestures become continuous visual markers for the exquisite corpse that is Los Angeles.
Featuring Anna Sew Hoy, Guadalupe Rosales, & Shizu Saldamando…
Sandra de la Loza, gloria galvez, Steve Wong…
Steve Wong on Patrick Martinez
I first met Patrick Martinez through fellow artist Ray Reynoso, and I met Ray through Tim Jieh, who was co-curating an exhibit on immigration reform that we were all involved with: a show that was inspired by the life and tragic death of leader, activist, and dreamer Tam Tran. I trace these connections because our passion for art and social justice is the thread that initially brought us together in 2010. As Patrick becomes increasingly visible in the art world, he has continued to address these issues within his work, and this is why I have circled back to him.
Patrick Martinez on Ramiro Gomez
Ramiro’s work is tender and transcendent, gentle but striking. The space it occupies is very necessary right now. I appreciate seeing it wherever it chooses to live. People that were once invisible are now seen. Pure magic.
Ramiro Gomez on John Valadez
The figures in John’s paintings are very recognizable to me. They remind me of my cousins, my aunts, my uncles, my friends growing up in San Bernardino, CA. I always think about a painting like Pool Party (1987), the woman casually holding a hose amidst a background of a raging wildfire. The juxtaposition has always informed how I approach my own paintings. I equate John with the big California painters like John Baldessari, Ed Ruscha, and David Hockney. I like to think that I would not see David Hockney’s A Bigger Splash (1967) the same way if I had first seen John’s Pool Party or vice versa. Seeing John’s Pool Party while I worked as a nanny made me think about the pool beyond just the leisure, but also as a place of work, a place of threat, a place of something intangible that I am living but didn’t know how to place in context. He’s always inspired me, and I’m really grateful to be able to recommend him for this project as well.
Claressinka Anderson has worked as an art dealer, adviser and curator and is the owner of Marine Projects. She is also a writer of poetry and fiction, some of which can be found at Autre Magazine, The Los Angeles Press, Artillery Magazine, and The Chiron Review.
Joe Pugliese, a California native, specializes in portraiture and shoots for a mixture of editorial and advertising clients. He has recently completed projects for such titles as Wired, Vanity Fair, Men’s Journal, and Billboard magazines, as well as advertising campaigns for Netflix, Sony, and AMC.
This essay was originally published in Carla issue 15.