Last weekend I saw Made in L.A. at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. Curated by Diana Nawi and Pablo Jose Ramirez, this remarkable exhibition brings together 39 artists and collectives now living and working in Los Angeles.
This sixth version of the biennial is subtitled “Acts of Living,” from a statement by the artist Noah Purifoy: “One does not have to be a visual artist to utilize creative potential. Creativity can be an act of living, a way of life, and a formula for doing the right thing.”
This expansive view of what constitutes art is echoed in the diversity of the artists presented. Not only are all genders and many ethnicities included, but for the first time the selected artists range in age from 26 to 83, with five artists over the age of 70.
While you can read about the artists’ intentions through curators’ statements on the wall or in the catalog, their works speak to you directly, viscerally, making you smile or frown, or just stand in wonder at such unique and surprising ways of seeing the world.
What does this exhibition say about what it means to be an artist? That your art can be embedded in your life, in your values and commitments and community. The exhibition showcases artists whose art grows out of their everyday lives. For example, Esteban Ramón Peréz, whose work in leather is highlighted above, learned the trade of upholstery in his father’s shop, and used his skills to combine textiles, sculpture, and abstract painting.
Acts of Living honors 39 artists who have never given up, who have put all of themselves and all of their values into their art practice. That’s a powerful inspiration for all of us.
Mary Edwards, Ph.D
Career & Life Coach for Artists
“Left Brain Skills for Right Brained People”
As an artist coach, I bring a unique combination of business knowledge, art world experience, and professional coaching skill to my practice.