Think Tank Gallery is finally moving into a physical project space again, after two years of transient shows and programming stretching from the Santa Monica Pier to the Contemporary Art Museum in Raleigh, North Carolina. The new venue is called Think Tank Gallery & Showroom, and will also serve as a new headquarters and official partnership with longtime collaborators Bloody Gums Collective, who has taken over the gallery for the grand opening exhibit. The next in their series of knockdown, drag out, mega group shows, Bloody Gums will continue Think Tank’s trailblazing of the last decade as an experimental arts venue paving the way for Downtown LA’s crop of selfie palaces, ticketed immersive environments, and experimental theatre. Full of visceral street photography, illustration, painting, and art installations, the official grand opening exhibit of Think Tank Gallery & Showroom takes place on February 16th, 2019, with LA is Trying to Kill Me.
LA is Trying to Kill Me features a slew of immersive environments – a recognizable staple in the portfolio of shows that the Think Tank has featured over the years depicting different views of LA’s constant onslaught on the artistic psyche. Hospital and police station installations tie directly into the show’s visual threats on its audience, featuring various performance artworks and ubiquitous selfie opportunities complete with costumes, though admittedly much harsher in style and message than LA’s recent selfie station pop-ups.
LA is Trying to Kill Me is a show that feeds into a lifestyle of excess in Los Angeles,” says curator Andrew Barsoum. “LA is trying to kill us all, in one way or another. And it’s their own take on this excess that every artist in the show is expressing.”
The full list of artists and upcoming programming, exhibit information, a schedule of events, and a link to purchase tickets and memberships can be found at http://thinktank.gallery.
Official Grand Opening Saturday, February 16, 2019, 7–11PM Show Run February 16–March 2, 2019 RSVP HERE.
“The cone was part of Mero’s eight-piece solo exhibition presented by Art Share L.A., a nonprofit supporting emerging local artists. Mero’s public art installations, which she’s been making since she graduated from USC in 2011, typically dot the sidewalks of downtown L.A.’s Arts District, where Art Share L.A. is based. The conceptual sculptures employ humor to shed light on pressing urban issues such as gentrification, drug addiction and homelessness.”
“I just love how Sarah directs a lens onto dire societal issues,” said Art Share L.A. Executive Director Cheyanne Sauter. “But she relies so much on the accidental audience, and I wanted to make that more intentional by bringing her there.”
If you missed her show, we recommend you take a self-guided tour of S.C. Mero‘s street art, the locations are listed in the LA Times article.
If you’re at the LA Art Show today, we highly recommend you check out one of our favorite exhibits by one of our favorite artists – Art Lives Here: S.C. Mero Presented by Art Share L.A. She has her remote-controlled traffic cone with her, and if your timing is right, she might take you and the traffic cone for a spin around the convention room floor.
“Art Share L.A. has partnered with skid-row based, emerging guerrilla artistS.C. Mero to bring a taste of the streets of Downtown Los Angeles to LA Art Show. Embodying the nature of downtown, the onsite installation pieces are just a teaser to the larger site map of her work – which guides attendees into downtown to explore our community under the guise of a pseudo street art scavenger hunt. Each of her site-specific, clever creations calls attention to issues surrounding homelessness, gentrification, drug use, global warming, and more. The goal of this project is to encourage further exploration of underground art, arts activism, and social justice in the Downtown community in a way that is inviting and accessible for everyone.”
This exhibition is Ai’s first major institutional exhibition in Los Angeles and The Marciano Art Foundation will feature the new and unseen work Life Cycle (2018) – a sculptural response to the global refugee crisis. The exhibition will also present iconic installations Sunflower Seeds (2010) and Spouts (2015) within the Foundation’s Theater Gallery.
On view for the first time in the Black Box, Life Cycle (2018) references the artist’s 2017 monumental sculpture Law of the Journey, Ai’s response to the global refugee crisis, which used inflatable, black PVC rubber to depict the makeshift boats used to reach Europe. In this new iteration, Life Cycle depicts an inflatable boat through the technique used in traditional Chinese kite-making, exchanging the PVC rubber for bamboo.
This multifaceted installation is a continuation of Ai’s ongoing engagement with politics and social justice. It follows the release of his feature-length documentary, Human Flow (2017), which depicts the refugee crisis on film. In the artist’s op-ed for the Guardian in February 2018, he writes, “I was a child refugee. I know how it feels to live in a camp, robbed of my humanity. Refugees must be seen as an essential part of our shared humanity.”