By Nora Zelevansky / January 23rd, 2009



Thanks to my parents, I grew up in NYC's art world, puttering as a toddler around Soho gallery openings (avoiding the nasty wine cheddar cheese) and then meandering as a teen around MOMA black-tie events (wishing there was any food at all–even wine cheddar).  So, imagine my surprise when I went to my first LA opening (a Diego Rivera show at LACMA) and found a festive outdoor party, complete with mariachi band and burritos.  Ole.

I know outsiders often believe that LA's idea of culture involves Botox injections and a dip in The Playboy Mansion's grotto.  Just because it happens on Entourage . . . But, beyond even the deep cinematic history and UNBELIEVABLE Mexican food, LA has a huge burgeoning contemporary art scene. Last night, my mother took me to the opening of art la at Barkar Hanger in Santa Monica Airport.

First of all, I'm a huge fan of this little airport: I used to work in an office there and loved watching small planes take-off, while scarfing noodles at Typhoon (where you can order bugs, BTW) or sushi at Hump.  Secondly, I have mostly attended fashion shows (Gen Art etc.) and Barneys Warehouse Sales at Barker Hanger (so positive associations), but I have never seen the space look quite this good.

Anyway, everyone was buzzing about the great energy at the fair.  And I just thought it was really exciting to see all these established and fledgling galleries from around the world descending on LA and further legitimizing the city as an art world hub.  It was like the festive vibe you find on Chinatown's Chung King Road or at galleries on La Cienega (just below Venice)–during a slew of Saturday evening gallery openings–was transported and magnified.

Plus, they served food, which you know makes art la good with me.

xo – N.