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

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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
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)

July Editors’ Picks

⋆。˚ ⋆。˚ As we break from Snap Reviews for the summer, enjoy monthly picks from Carla’s editors across art exhibitions, books, food, and more. ⋆。˚ ⋆。˚

Martine Syms, Loser Back Home (installation view) (2023). Image courtesy of the artist and Sprüth Magers, Los Angeles. Photo: Robert Wedemeyer.

⋆。˚ ⋆。˚ Martine Syms at Sprüth Magers ⋆。˚ ⋆。˚

Martine Syms has described her video work as a place “where humor kisses pain.” This juxtaposition can be felt in a new video on view in Loser Back Home, her solo exhibition at Sprüth Magers. Titled i am wise enough to die things go (2023), the video is loosely based on an animation in which Daffy Duck is being edged out of the scene by the animator himself. The protagonist in Syms’ iteration is a Black actor who becomes increasingly frustrated by abrupt editing shifts and having to push away imposing backdrops that attempt to crowd her offstage. The palpable frustration on her face is matched by her T-shirt, which reads “TO HELL WITH MY SUFFERING.”

Syms cultivates an urgent mix of personal and political, presenting a broad array of visual information underscored by her blunt and cheeky wit. Throughout the show, the artist’s archive of paper ephemera—ranging from ticket stubs and food receipts to fentanyl test strips and various handwritten notes—has been scanned and made into stickers pasted across shopping bags and boxes. In the upstairs gallery, wall-sized vinyl images create an ad hoc landscape from the mundane: Syms’ grocery shopping haul, her stickered laptop on a bed, a SpongeBob keychain, a parked car on fire.

Installed amongst this tangle of personal relics, Syms’ videos remain ciphers for deeper truths about day-to-day reality. In This Is A Studio (2023), security camera footage from outside the artist’s studio recounts an interaction with a police officer who rings the door in the middle of the night, asking questions about who and what is inside. The artist offers blunt replies—her voice sleepy, confused, and frustrated. Deposited within the vast ephemera of Syms life, the strained interaction reflects on the inequitable systems of power that proliferate our lives: the kiss of pain juxtaposed against the more quotidian realities of American life.

Loser Back Home runs through August 26, 2023.

⋆。˚ ⋆。˚ Reading ⋆。˚ ⋆。˚

While reading Brit Bennett’s The Mothers (2018), I often pondered the book’s matter-of-fact title—in the novel, mothers are not featured explicitly, but instead linger in the background as subtext. The mother of the main character, Nadia, has tragically taken her own life. Another mother, the pastor’s wife, is strict with her high school-aged son—who subsequently gets Nadia pregnant. As Nadia decides to terminate the pregnancy, her own prospect of motherhood wanes. Despite the book largely reading as a high-school coming-of-age story, motherhood looms as a specter throughout, and the book ultimately asks us to consider the familial ties that bind us, whether chosen or biological. 

⋆。˚ ⋆。˚ Eating ⋆。˚ ⋆。˚

I recently moderated an artist talk with the fabulous Sarah Rosalena at the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara. After, she recommended that we grab food at Bibi Ji, an Indian restaurant that recently made it into The Michelin Guide. The food was sublime. The shareable plates were elevated but not overly fussy—the crispy cauliflower, which somehow retained a crunch after being slathered in chili garlic sauce, was a standout.

⋆。˚ ⋆。˚ Around Town ⋆。˚ ⋆。˚

Now that the June gloom has faded, on most Sundays, you can find me at the beach. This summer, our big gear upgrade is a Neso shade structure, which lends itself nicely to a day spent shoreside. The other key to committing to a full day on the sand is a quick sandwich pick-up en route. Bay Cities is our go-to stop if we’re Santa Monica or Malibu-bound—Nick & Sons if we’re headed toward Manhattan Beach.

Jackie Castillo, Turning No°2 (installation view) (2023). Laser print, reclaimed brick, polyvinyl, and acetate adhesive, 5 x 7 inches (height variable). Edition 2/2 and 1 AP. Image courtesy of the artist and

⋆。˚ ⋆。˚ Jackie Castillo at  ⋆。˚ ⋆。˚

Jackie Castillo’s Turning is a testament to the notion that the proximity between where photographs are made and exhibited matters, particularly because photography is extractive at its core. Castillo compresses this distance, taking the Pico-Union neighborhood surrounding the gallery as her subject.

Three large floor-based sculptures made of photographs cut into grids and adhered to bricks, cinder blocks, and tiles depict nearby domestic dwellings in flux. Turning No°3 (2022) features a black-and-white photograph of a still-intact slab of foundation sitting atop a high pile of debris—the remnants of a home that has otherwise been leveled to the ground. In the background, a mess of draping telephone wires caresses a row of rickety scaffolding surrounding the shell of a new build, and at least three (!) kinds of fencing are hodgepodged together, demarcating the land. This photograph is pasted onto cinder blocks that are piled upon one another so that the image is lifted from the floor as if on low concrete stilts. As such, it recalls the precarity of not only L.A’s housing crisis but of much of the city’s infrastructure, which demands constant maintenance. Everything in the image feels haphazard, and with Southern California’s unceasing pace of development, it is. But Castillo reconstructs these chaotic scenes as careful sculptural compositions, assembling the heavy blocks one at a time. I think about the Victorian art critic John Ruskin, who so loved J.M.W. Turner’s paintings that he once asserted that “every square inch of canvas is a perfect composition.”1 But since Castillo’s sculptures are not finished with mortar or the like, the images that they form are malleable, impermanent.

The bricks that form Turning No°2 (2022) are stacked at varying heights like a kind of topography, and some are positioned a little off-kilter, so the image appears as if it is crumbling away. It feels exciting and subversive to get to see around and beneath these photographs, to watch them break down dimensionally. And the longer I look at Castillo’s sculptures, the less certain I am that the puzzle pieces of the photographs have indeed been reassembled in order. Looking at them provokes a visual sorting. We are all experienced, rapid consumers of images, but these slow me down. I have to dig.

Castillo’s works are not subtle in their politics, and for this I am glad. They press on their subject. They ask what it means to have fidelity to a place, to watch it turn over. Castillo turns her lens to things that are already almost gone, but these photographs do more than memorialize the places they depict. She is not bearing witness, she is building. In taking apart images and putting them together again (the same, but differently), Castillo makes photography into something that is in progress, rather than the static image of a moment to which we cannot return.

Turning runs through August 5, 2023.

⋆。˚ ⋆。˚ Reading ⋆。˚ ⋆。˚

On the recommendation of a fellow photo nerd, I recently read Angella d’Avignon’s essayFree Dirt,” published last September in The Paris Review. D’Avignon moves with ease from Craigslist photos advertising “free dirt” to a particular black-and-white geological photograph taken in Riverside in 1939 in which the shadow of the photographer’s body and tripod-mounted camera are visible, outstretched before the Cajalco Reservoir. These kinds of photographs, largely created by U.S. Geological Survey teams tasked with cataloging “public land,” built a global understanding of the mythic American West in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, d’Avignon explains. In the Craigslist pictures, this classic vista and shadow combo is replaced by the more contemporary silhouette of a rectangular smartphone. As I finished reading, I got to thinking about the fleet of cars mounted with 360-degree cameras now responsible for imaging some 10 million miles of our planet. They sometimes capture their own shadows, too.

⋆。˚ ⋆。˚ Eating ⋆。˚ ⋆。˚

Equal parts Campari and Dopo Teatro Vermouth Amaro, splash of soda water, ice. 

⋆。˚ ⋆。˚ Around Town ⋆。˚ ⋆。˚

I can’t quite overlook the fact that Rancho Palos Verdes Beach is only accessible via the Trump Golf Club. But the short trail to the shore is gorgeous, and several hours can easily be spent combing the pebble beach and peering into the tide pools.

Yu Ji, A Guest, A Host, A Ghost (installation view) (2023). Image courtesy of the artist and Orange County Museum of Art. Photo: Yubo Dong, ofstudio.

⋆。˚ ⋆。˚ Yu Ji at Orange County Museum of Art ⋆。˚ ⋆。˚

At the Orange County Museum of Art (OCMA), the gallery where Shanghai-born artist Yu Ji’s show, A Guest, A Host, A Ghost is installed feels distinctly colder than the rest of the museum. Despite its location on the second floor, the darkened space and overall greyish tone of the room give the illusion that you’re somewhere else, like a dilapidated basement or the belly of a cosmic ship. This eerie displacement can be felt across the exhibition’s sculptures, lithographs, and video installations, which consider the ways that our bodies are tethered to the built environments that surround us.

Jutting out from the walls of the gallery, cement bodies—some with torsos and limbs, some without—are supported by iron armatures. Flesh in Stone #1 (2012), the first piece in Yu’s ongoing series Flesh in Stone (2012–present) features a headless, armless body with a single thigh. The rusted, multi-textured iron supports that cradle the body contrast with the cool smoothness of the cement, conjuring a sense of intimacy between our bodies and the human-made structures we engage with daily. Breaking from the figurative, Yu furthers her inquiry into the interrelatedness of bodies and environments through the installation Half Peel Half Pulp III (2022), which features a heavy lead carpet upon which pieces of wood, copper, and barnacles are arranged. The carpet’s rippled texture picks up the gallery’s minimal lighting, creating the illusion of glossy waves crashing beneath the moonlight. While the installation evokes the shoreline a few miles west of OCMA, it is not only in dialogue with Southern California’s environment. It also alludes to the curved architecture of OCMA’s mezzanine, a structure our bodies are in dialogue with every time we visit the museum.

Meandering through the space, my mind wandered to the ceramic figurines made by the Olmec. They too sculpted strange bodily forms that ooze an eerie and supernatural vibe. In the 1930s, when excavation of the Olmec zone began, many of the figurines were found in fragmented pieces. Later reassembled, conserved, and dispersed to museum, university, and private collections, they are now relics from another time. Through this lens, Yu’s cement bodies can perhaps also function as relics, but from a future with a distinctly Cronenbergian twist.

A Guest, A Host, A Ghost runs through October 22, 2023.

⋆。˚ ⋆。˚ Reading ⋆。˚ ⋆。˚

I was gutted when Cormac McCarthy passed away last month, and have since been combing used bookstores and libraries in an effort to read all of his published works. I recently finished Child of God (1973), a terrifying, nearly 200-page read about a disturbed 27-year-old who stalks the caves and hillsides of rural Tennessee. The story starts slow, but soon takes off at full speed, hurling the reader into the main character’s violent spiral. On my second read, I finished the book in just under four hours.

⋆。˚ ⋆。˚ Eating ⋆。˚ ⋆。˚

Despite investing in a Nespresso last fall, I still spend way too much money and time at Steelhead Coffee in Long Beach.

⋆。˚ ⋆。˚ Around Town ⋆。˚ ⋆。˚

At the base of the Verdugo Mountains, the Brand Library & Art Center is an ivory marvel.  The Moorish-inspired structure—complete with scalloped arches and minarets—is a lovely site for a slow morning at the park with a coffee and a good book.

  1. John Ruskin, The Lamp of Beauty: Writings on Art (London: Phaidon, 1995), 17.

Alitzah Oros is an art historian currently based in Los Angeles.

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Erin F. O’Leary is a writer, editor, and photographer from the Midwest and raised in Maine. A graduate of Bard College, she has lived in Los Angeles since 2018, where she writes about photography and image culture.

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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.

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