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
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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
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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

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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
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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
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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
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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
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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.)
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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
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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
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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
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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.)
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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.)
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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.)
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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
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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
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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)

Interview with
Rosha Yaghmai

Rosha Yaghmai, Miraclegrow (2019) (installation view at the Wattis Institute). Image courtesy of the artist and Kayne Griffin Corcoran, Los Angeles. Photo: Johnna Arnold.

Around the glass and bronze entry to the Griffith Observatory, the building’s concrete exterior is inlayed with a series of turning patterns and stripes. In 2015, Rosha Yaghmai recreated a fragment of this façade, making her own patterned doorway to the stars on a smaller, single-body scale. These portals (Gates) were finished smooth with various pigments and products, including silver oxide, copper, Miracle-Gro®, and Aztec Secret bentonite clay. She installed each flush against the wall at Kayne Griffin Corcoran gallery with a rust covered pool chair placed nearby. Together they implied the body in various postures and against architectures—traveling between realms, or reclining. Since this scene, Yaghmai’s list of hallucinatory motifs and materials has steadily grown. For her solo exhibition, Miraclegrow, at the CCA Wattis Institute (running January 15–March 30, 2019), she turns from tableau mode to full installation, fashioning a tiled room from the perspective of a spider. I was curious about this shift. We caught up over the phone in the weeks prior to the exhibition’s opening.

Laura Brown: Could you describe what you’re working on for Miraclegrow?

Rosha Yaghmai: I’m remaking a bathroom floor. Zooming into one little section of a floor, from observation. I saw a spider on my bathroom floor trying to crawl on my jumpsuit. I pulled the clothing away and watched the spider not totally understand what happened. It perceived the moment in some way I can’t comprehend. And so I wanted to zoom into its existence and think, what does the spider see? I can’t imagine.

LB: There’s a drastic shift in the entire landscape for that small animal.

RY: That must be so much a part of its daily existence. This idea of a weird, disappeared ghost landscape. And the spider is left perched next to these black tiles, so it’s seeing some kind of reflection, potentially.

For the Wattis show, I’ve created a faux floor that’s tile and grout, which acts as the pedestal for a 17-foot hair that is made from a rusty pipe. There are eight black tile panels, where the wall meets the floor. I’ve painted a very loose landscape onto the panels. It’s a backdrop for the hair but also acts as a semi-reflective surface, reflecting another indeterminate landscape of the room. There’s also a bug zapper. It reflects and follows you like a charged little spot of purple.

LB: Why Miraclegrow?

RY: I think it’s just about a very literal scale shift. Your surroundings just grew, like you’re Alice in Wonderland. Since my show Easy Journey to Other Planets (in 2015), I’ve been using Miracle-Gro®, copper, mud masks, and so on as pigments. Miracle-Gro® is a chemical (a fertilizer) that you put on a living thing to change its properties. In the back of my mind I’m always thinking of psychedelics.

LB: How were chemicals involved in the process of making this work?

RY: A lot of the time I’m drawn to a certain material and I know it’s going to provide me some limitations. Generally, I’ll work with something liquid that becomes solid. And so for the hair, with the pipe as the armature, I coated it for a couple months until it resembled sedimentary stone. It’s encrusted with patches, blue chunks of Miracle-Gro® made with copper and plasters. There’s no silicone on the sculpture, but I started with casting my body in silicone. I used rust oxide and all these dry earth pigments, putting them down with my body casts. There’s also melted plastics—shampoo bottles and laundry bottles. There’s nail polish, and Aztec Secret bentonite clay, limestone, tons of sand. At this point, the pipe is so covered, it’s not a visible part of the work anymore. It’s a sort of inner passage.

LB: Casting has been a large part of your practice.

RY: Yet I’ve never actually cast my body before. I keep returning to the resins and silicones. In The Courtyard (2017), the silicones were a facade that you couldn’t enter. Or the cast Gates (2015), they imply a portal, but you can’t enter. I seem to always be making doorways, pass-throughs, windows, screens. I think most of my work is some kind of screen. This whole show was supposed to be silicones, and then I changed it. I was actually dreaming about it last night. For me, the silicones are always a stand-in for the body. Just the weight of it, the properties of it.

Rosha Yaghmai, Miraclegrow (2019) (installation view at the Wattis Institute). Image courtesy of the artist and Kayne Griffin Corcoran, Los Angeles. Photo: Johnna Arnold.

LB: Is the relation of silicone to the body a prosthetic one?

RY: I actually don’t think of it so much as a prosthetic. I’m coming from Los Angeles, Hollywood, so it’s more about special effects or adopting another body. In The Courtyard, I really wanted to find a way to use that body on a more architectural scale, and to project the body into certain architectures. That came from observing façades around the city at night when I couldn’t sleep. And from this desire to connect to other ways of living, or other lives. So much of my work is about the pain of existing in one body, or one life.

LB: Where did the pipes originate from?

RY: A few years ago, I went to my friend’s house and she was redoing the gas lines under her house because there was a leak. There were all these pipes gnarled and stacked in the corner of her yard. I saw them and immediately I recognized them as an unearthed system of connection and communication, altered and broken. I wanted to cut into them and insert these lenses. The lenses were from my father and a lot of the men in my family, over many decades and locations. They all have bad eyes. I wanted to further fracture the line, to blend perspectives, alter sights, or layer visions. I think the lenses are a really intimate part of the body. You are looking through someone else’s corrected eyes.

With this new work, the pipe is a blown-up hair on the tiles. A hair is its own pass-through of your life, your DNA, and a record of the chemicals on your body. It’s a map or a timeline of your experiences in the stretch of however many years that hair was in your head. So for me it just made sense to use the pipe to make it.

LB: You’ve mentioned psychedelics. There’s this connection between the sense of tracing you’re describing, including with your family, and then the hallucinogenic experience— entering into a psychedelic state to reach this other, longer, sedimentary history.

RY: Yes. It’s so much about alienation or foreignness. Not so much the image of the Californian psychedelic experience, being one with nature—instead a window into how disconnected you are, how much you don’t understand. You can get into a little wormhole with one object, and then another object doesn’t appeal to you at all. For me, it’s really tapping into some weird, trapped knowledge.

For example, with the benches in The Courtyard, I was responding to a ’90s beach experience that I can remember, again just from being outside at night. When I was making that show I found a suitcase. My dad’s an architect but he owned a marble company for a long time, and I was looking through his drawings and, sure enough, there was a whole line of furniture that looked exactly like the benches I was making.

LB: All these apparently inherent connections. There seems to be a certain embeddedness to your materials.

RY: It’s a strange bleeding or seepage of information. This sort of slow drip, digging out my understanding of this world. I’m realizing my work is very personal. The process is totally entangled with me figuring out what I’m drawn to and why. And so there are motifs that come back, like windows and doors and draped fabric. A mysterious under-life or psyche.

I’m realizing how removed from my own cultures I am. My father’s from the Middle East. He’s from Iran and perhaps because it was a traumatic exit for most Iranians who came to this country, and everyone deals with it in a different way, I think through the process of assimilation, or migration, that part of my DNA, my absorbed culture, is such a mystery to me. There are so many ways I could research or look into the facts and I just don’t have any interest in that, because I feel that figuring it out in-process is really generative. I think misunderstanding is a very generative thing.

That’s the crux of the installation I made for the Hammer’s Made in L.A. 2018. I had these photos and slides that my father made. I finally talked to him about them. When he first immigrated and he was in Berkeley, he took a photo class and started making slides. He got chunks of glass from the Coca-Cola factory up there and was using the television and other light sources to make these psychedelic images. I’d been making slides too.

LB: Does this familial connection appear in Miraclegrow?

RY: There is a copper tube coming out of the wall. It’s a sound piece that consists of my brother Amir and me. It sounds very strange. We remade the Three’s Company jingle, and put it together with this Iranian song about a river. It’s not very clear; it’s very muffled. So it implies this other possible apartment or unreachable existence, just on the other side of the wall.

“Roodkhooneha” or “River Song” is originally sung by Ramesh. It’s about how she wants to become another being, like a fish, and swim in the river, then become an ocean. Reincarnation. It tracks her small existence into a greater one. It’s about her desire; it’s not about the reality.

This interview was originally published in Carla issue 15.

Rosha Yaghmai lives and works in Los Angeles, CA, and received her MFA from CalArts in 2007. Notable solo and two-person exhibitions include those at The Wattis Institute (San Francisco); Marlborough Contemporary and Cleopatra’s (New York); Kayne Griffin Corcoran and Commonwealth and Council (Los Angeles); and Weiss Berlin (Berlin). Her work has been included in many shows internationally, including at the Hammer Museum and the Marciano Art Foundation (Los Angeles); Artissima (Turin); Transmission Gallery (Glasgow); and Estación Tijuana (Tijuana).

Rosha Yaghmai, Miraclegrow (2019) (installation view at the Wattis Institute). Image courtesy of the artist and Kayne Griffin Corcoran, Los Angeles. Photo: Johnna Arnold.

Rosha Yaghmai, Made in L.A. (2018) (installation view). Image courtesy of the artist and Hammer Museum.

Rosha Yaghmai, Optometer, Charm (2017). Steel, rubber, corrective lenses, silicone, eyeshadow, 42 × 23 × 30 inches. Image courtesy of the artist and Kayne Griffin Corcoran.

Rosha Yaghmai, The Courtyard (2019) (installation view). Image courtesy of the artist and Kayne Griffin Corcoran, Los Angeles. Photo: Flying Studio.

Rosha Yaghmai, Gates (iron, aluminum, silver nickel) (2015). Wood, duoMatrix with iron, aluminum, silver nickel, 89 × 48 × 1 inches. Images courtesy of the artist and Kayne Griffin Corcoran, Los Angeles. Photo: Brian Forest.