The L.A. Art Show, Dark Progressivism: Metropolis Rising

January 20, 2015 4:46 PM

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Now in its 20th year, the Los Angeles Art Show concluded this past weekend. However, it has only been in the past few years that its international recognition has reached levels of significant importance in regards to diversity, while simultaneously recognizing the burgeoning local scene coming from the last stop on the Western frontier. Once again, Los Angeles has become the Wild West in regards to a new boom, which has tapped into its historical narrative of previous rushes like gold, health, sunshine, industry, manufacturing, film, oil, and others. Today we are experiencing a cultural revolution and although in prior rushes we had an influx of migrants that contributed to its development, this one is internal and champions the native as the major benefactor. No exhibition captured this zeitgeist better than Dark Progressivism: Metropolis Rising. Put together by Cindy Schwarzstein and Lisa Derrick of Cartwheel Art, an online magazine and far reaching media sponsor, the exhibition's monochromatic theme, (blacks, whites, greys) was a captivating experience that gave you a sense of exhilaration and familiarity. Its roots can be traced back to German Expressionism, film noir, Social Realism, and the Rupture Generation, and often at the booth people would recognize some of these connections, while also maintaining, "This is so L.A."

The Dark Progressivism: Metropolis Rising exhibition showed you a different Los Angeles though, the one that isn't associated with booster ideology like sunshine, orange groves, and Chamber of Commerce land speculation. The collection of artists represented were myth debunking artists that come from...

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