Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Heart of Art in Los Angeles (with Pop tArt) -- Lenora Claire

When Pop tArt opened, I went.  Among the level of hipness and cool, I was definitely out of place.  But as someone who is a confirmed Social Libertarian (and someone who appreciates art), visiting Lenora Claire, curator, and PoptArt's owner, Phyllis Natividad (Phyllis, standing right, pic Left; Lenora, standing Left, pic Right) was the best thing to do. 

I asked Lenora Claire (if I could, I would spend multiple bandwidth on how beautiful she is....) questions about art, Los Angeles and future showings at the gallery.   

I first asked Lenora on how she got involved in Los Angeles' art scene:

Lenora was born in New York and moved out to Los Angeles at 6 months.  She has been a local girl since then. She is former Goth (yay!) and Valley girl.  And even though she spent her whole life in Los Angeles, she doesn't drive. 

She started first as a journalist, and then became a curator.  Because of her background in the news, she was able to get support of editors around town to promote the  different artwork she curates.

The first big art show was Golden Girls Gone Wild  (NSFW, but an interesting link), it was for Lenora, "..a chance to show that older people are still sexy,"  It was a breakthrough at her gallery World of Wonder. 

Growing up, she was a big fan of Olivia's artwork (shown in Playboy), and eventually, Lenora ended up in one Olivia's artwork too (see below)

My next question for Lenora was how the Los Angeles Art scene compares to other cities:

Lenora said, "In Los Angeles, it's cheaper to be an artist here.  You can work in the studios as a set designer during the day, and work on your art after.  Los Angeles is a city defined by artists." 

Compared to New York City, artists have a freer hand in LA.  "In NYC, artists struggle to survive," Lenora continued.

In San Francisco, the art is influenced by Silicon valley and the Venture Capitol out there.  Thus, the art scene errs more on the side of Manga and anime. 

However, in London, with the economy doing better then some cities in the States, there is more funds for artists but less of a free hand in their work.

My final question was: How does your art break through the very busy Los Angeles social scene (between the music scene, the TV and movie Industry showings that occur daily in LA)?  For my political people, read this carefully....

Lenora said "It is about bringing Art to the public," With YOUR FACE HERE (the current show at Pop tArt), she is allowing people to be photographed by Austin Young and placed on the walls of the gallery.  "With the pop culture hook, many people show up and are interested," In fact, "YOUR FACE HERE allows people to buy a place in Pop culture,"   

In short, she brings the Art to the people.  It is a lesson those of us in the Political world need to understand, get the people involved, and give them something to appreciate that they know, and even in Los Angeles, the people will enjoy.

Here are future exhibits at Pop tArt:

After YOUR FACE HERE is "RealiTease," which brings reality stars to shine on the walls of the Gallery.  Will you see Snooki and Kim Kardashian?  Keep watching this space.

After "RealiTease," is Mi Vida Local which is art done by Cholos.  They are a part of Los Angeles culture, and Lenora wants to show their influence.  Again, watch this space.

I was even honered to have this picture taken with Lenora Claire.  She is truly, "The Heart of Art in Los Angeles," 

There is much more surprises ahead, get to Pop tArt and see them all.

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