LOS ANGELES — The Spring/Break Art Show, a quirky cousin of the more traditional art fairs, returns to Los Angeles this week in a Culver City warehouse filled with 54 booths of ceramic sculptures, paintings, tapestries, and even a life-sized hellmouth-inspired passageway. This year’s theme, Hearsay/Heresy, allowed curators and artists to play with dissent, nonconformity, and truth versus fact.
Francisco Donoso, an Ecuadorian-American artist, is showing his 2021–2022 series Undocumentedness: An Ecology of Dancing Fences. The paintings depict deconstructed and colorful fences in movement. This playful take on a structure that’s often forbedoing, and even violent, subverts mainstream narratives of undocumented people shown in constant suffering and without joy. Donoso instead rescues a childlike imagination to allow for a scary object to take on a different life.
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Metal worker Gabrielle Shelton presents sculptures of staircases with candy paint jobs inspired by LA’s lowriders. The artist, interested in the metaphorical meanings of stairs throughout time — as, for example, symbols of growth or reaching higher levels of consciousness — positions her sculptures in nonfunctional ways that don’t lead anywhere.
Meg Lionel Murphy, an artist based in Wisconsin, created a room of medieval-inspired paintings, but instead of the Eurocentric themes, the narratives center Black women as larger-than-life heroes with swords, mythical deities, and feminist allegorical figures. At the center of the room lies an altar for these beings.
Unlike other art fairs, Spring/Break feels more immersive; visitors are on a journey into each artist’s mind as they weave in and out of booths enveloped by the eccentric visions of both artists and curators.
The Spring/Break Art Show continues at 5880 Adams Boulevard (Culver City) through Sunday, February 20.