Blogger Daniel Rolnik Tells You How to Navigate the Brewery ArtWalk
Where to Start: Whatever you do, don’t plan your route for the art walk ahead of time. Instead, make sure you have at least 4-5 hours reserved to properly experience the bi-annual event. Get lost inside of The Brewery and treat your whole time there as one giant adventure. You’re no longer an art enthusiast doing studio visits, you’re an adventurer on an urban art safari. And since a majority of the grounds look like they’re straight out of Jurassic Park, it’s not that hard to imagine.
Meat Eaters Rejoice: I’m about to give you the lowdown on my favorite spot to eat at before hitting up The Brewery. A restaurant that’s been open since 1908, back when trolley cars roared through Downtown and moviegoers wore their finest attire to the cinemas that have since been turned into pawn shops. The one, the only, The Original Phillipe’s. Order this and thank me later: a ‘double-dipped’ Beef French dip sandwich.
Burst Your Comfort Bubble: Half the fun of going to a studio vs. a gallery is that you can interact with the artists without a middleman. So, don’t be shy. Ask whatever you want and don’t worry about the consequences. Especially since, some of the artists at The Brewery have lived there for over 30 years and have some wild stories to tell – like Llyn Foulkes, who told my brother and I that rock n’ roll killed his pet raven.
Buy Buy Buy: If you have the opportunity to purchase a work directly from the artist, just do it. For you see, when an artist has work in a gallery they have to split their share of the profit by 50% – half of it going to the gallery and the other half going to themselves. So, when you buy directly from an artist, you’re actually getting a better price because they don’t have to overcompensate for their loss of profit to the gallery.
New Blood: If you’ve been avoiding The Brewery at all costs because you think it’s full of geezers – think again! There’s a whole new batch of residents that I like to call the new blood of The Brewery. They are young and on the cusp of the cutting edge, like Danielle Lange who lives life as both a model and fine artist. Sure, there are still dirty burning man folks around, but don’t fret too much about them because you can always walk out of their studios just as fast as you walked in.
ART IS SHIT: My favorite member of The Brewery’s new blood is Ryan McIntosh, who will be showcasing his personal work as well as the fine-art editions he’s created for others through his business Art Is Shit. You’ll be able to spot his studio by all of the black and white wheat-pastes he’s put up on his fence featuring vintage ads for art schools. Speaking of which, Ryan, a recent MFA grad from RISD, caused a stir when he placed small prints of all the other graduate students’ work inside of vending machines that attendees could purchase with custom tokens he fabricated that said “Ideas are a dime a dozen.”
VIVA LA: It’s part of my good luck tradition to visit Andre Miripolsky’s studio during the art walk. And in fact, there isn’t a year that’s gone by where I haven’t stopped by his place. He’s been a resident of The Brewery for at least 20 years and his vibrantly colored paintings always make me feel joyful and energized. Most people have actually seen his artwork around Los Angeles without even knowing it. Since, a majority of the electronic billboards project his VIVA LA painting throughout the day.
RAID Projects: Although not technically part of The Brewery, RAID Projects is a gallery just on the outskirts of it that will be open during the walk. And their current exhibit is a must-see-melt-your-face-off kind of show. The artists, Michelle Carla Handel and Josh Atlas, have really outdone themselves by creating an environment that anyone with a sense of play or fun will love. In fact, if you don’t love it, I don’t trust you.
Expect the Unexpected: Vannessa Bonet’s collaborative installations offer viewers insane experiences that are thoroughly entertaining. She’s one of those artists, where if someone told me she was putting together a performance at 5am in the dessert, I would jump in my car and make the drive out to watch it without hesitation. I have absolutely no clue what she’s up to for the upcoming art walk, but all I can say is that I already know it’s going to be great.
Burlesque: An art walk with some T&A gets a BIG OH-YAY from me!!! During the day, the girls of the Brazen Booties Burlesque will be putting on performances every half hour. So, I suggest walking to the top of their scary metallic building, figuring out what time they go on, and then getting back to their studio a couple minutes before show time.
Don’t Forget to Party: Here’s the big secret I shouldn’t really be telling you about, but I’m going to do it anyways. The art walk is only half the madness – the other half happens during all the after-parties that go down. However, the only way to find out about them is to ask each artist what their plans are. So again, don’t be shy, they’ll let you know what’s up.
Llyn Foulkes, Robert’s Rock – Courtesy of the artist and Kent Gallery New York