Niko Solorio, "Yaweh or the Highway" Still Image, 2011

Michael-Vincent Garcia, still image

June 30 – August 29, 2012
Invoking LA. . . 
Curator: Paige Tighe
Opening Reception: Saturday, June 30, 4-6pm
Press release (pdf)

Artists: Raul Paulino Baltazar (’09 OTIS Fine Arts, ’13 MFA Public Practice), Michael-Vincent Garcia (’10 OTIS Fine Arts), Mark X Farina, Bridget Kane (’12 OTIS MFA Fine Arts), Elena Rosa (’12 OTIS MFA Fine Arts), Signify, Sanctify, Believe: Claire Cronin, Adam Overton, and Tanya Rubbak, and Niko Solorio

BMG Invoking

Can we still find spirituality in a world of pixels and sound bites?

Invoking LA..., curated by artist Paige Tighe, ( ‘10 OTIS MFA Public Practice) presents the work of seven artists who use the fast-cut editing techniques and formats of reality TV shows, commercials, and music videos in an effort to summon the divine.

Saturday, June 30, 4pm-6pm, Opening Reception
Tuesday, August 28,  12pm, Gallery Talk with Artist and Curator, Paige Tighe


Show at Custom Hotel 2/17-5/20/2012

“We no longer need old authoritarian ideologies, which demand that art be difficult, willfully inaccessible and disturbing to the audience – in some sense a contest of wills – as it was under modernism. However, any approach, even now, is still considered analgesic, conciliatory and without a critical edge, which brings me to the question of whether there can be a truly postheroic, postpatriarchal art – one that does not equate aesthetics with alienation from the social world, but embodies modes of relatedness that were difficult to achieve under modernism.”

                                                                                    -Suzi Gablik

                                                                                    The Reenchantment of Art


This Little Piggy…explores how young artists enter their concepts and art objects into the economic and social structures of culture, and how they navigate a system driven solely by capital gain.  How do they define, mediate, frustrate and challenge their expected relationship to the market? This Little Piggy… went to market features the work of five Otis artists that propose new questions and possibilities for the role these culture-creators play as they enter a shifting global economy.


Through this collection of work, the artists are asking who we are, what we desire, who distributes this desire it, how do we consume it, and who feeds it to us. They offer us thoughtful meditations on how we are more than the perpetual cycle of consumption that we participate in on a daily basis.

Jamie Crooke, performer and artist, in Health Care À La Carte, questions the economics of health care, specifically through access and distribution, by taking a cart into the streets of East LA to hand out free medical supplies. While Cake and Eat It works with the idea of a “gift economy.” They present five wall-mounted sculptural works that hold masses of colorful used clothing behind Plexiglas, though sculptural these works are presented as formal paintings. Viewers are invited to pull free clothes from holes in the boxes. The work questions the history of painting and distribution/ownership of art, while existing as seductive art objects themselves.

Also questioning methods of distribution and the creation of value, Shalini Sanjay Patel has designed a conceptual catalog for the exhibition, in an effort to question the use of catalogs as arbiters of provenance in defining the worth of art objects. Besieged by thoughts of ownership and distribution of art, her non-catalog is woven into the presentation of the exhibition and other promotional materials for the show. 

Through film and photography, Gabi Vru retells the story of being a woman. Through videos Vru creates an alternative to the myths of womanhood produced by mainstream culture. Using the myth of Adam and Eve, she counters the notion of classic beauty with slabs of meat, and sits in a chair banging herself into a corner. Her work challenges mainstream media’s wholesale marketing of prescribed, pre-packaged desire.

          Unlike Vru who uses media to question media, Hanna Kovenock questions media through painting. The work may look like a still image of a reality TV show with its middle class models and urban settings but her process is drastically different from the production of a television show. In contrast to the media frenzy of thousand of images per second Kovenock creates portraits of people she runs into in her unearthing of Los Angeles. She opens herself up to experience and people that leads to paintings. Brush stroke by brush stroke, meeting by meeting Kovenock paints her present reality of Southern California.

         Art is not separate from social needs but rather is in a special position to critique and help ignite change.  Taking the familiar physical and conceptual structures of art and putting them together in new ways in an effort to discuss economy tugs at and can tear open the structures of marketing, distribution, and consumption. A gallery can be the liminal space in which new ways of living can grow.