When Pop Culture Meets Pop Art

Marc Inocencio
The Hollywood Reporter


In the week leading up to the 85th Academy Awards, Oscar buzz, red carpet fashion, and after parties are not the only things being discussed by some of Hollywood’s most prestigious names. In fact, some of this year’s rising topic of discussion and coveted invitations are not about lavish parties, but in regards to some of L.A.’s most prestigious museums and galleries.

In previous years, the L.A. art scene got a taste of the cultural beat when Academy Award winning Black Swan actress, Natalie Portman was invited to a private preview of MOCA’s exhibition of clothes by Rodarte, the designer behind Portman’s Black Swan tutus. In addition to the No Strings Attached actress, the charming Oz the Great and Powerful actor and art gallery veteran James Franco hosted his very own private viewing of new art and film collaboration alongside his Milk director, Gus Van Sant at the Beverly Hills Gagosian Gallery.

This year, the art world’s unofficial Oscar week is kicking off on February 21st with a private event at the Gagosian Gallery (456 N. Camden Drive) Oscar Show called, “Richard Prince: Cowboys,” in Beverly Hills.  Prince uses evolving reprographic technologies to showcase his American cowboy inspiration between the early 1980s and the present. “At a glance, the Cowboy paintings are ironic appropriations intended to deconstruct both regressive stereotype and the truth of uninhibited artistic gesture.” Also conveniently timed with the Academy Awards, OHWOW Gallery (937 N. La Cienega Blvd.) is announcing the debut of Nick Van Woert’s solo exhibition titled No Man’s Land on February 22.  This exhibition centers on the artistic concept of an uninhabitable borough that “relays van Woert’s continued obsession with ecology, geology, and the complex history of terrain – one that is both inherent and fabricated.” On the eve of the Oscars, PRISM (8746 W. Sunset Blvd.) is opening an invite-only reception in honor of celebrated photographer Mario Testino. As a world-renowned photographer, Testino will showcase a wide spectrum of his most authoritative images with a large number of personal works over the course of his career. On the same night, Blum & Poe (2727 S. La Cienaga Blvd.) will present the late 1960’s and early 1970’s avant-garde solo exhibition of Susumu Koshimizu while Regen Projects (6750 Santa Monica Blvd.) showcases Catherine Opie’s issues within documentary photography. Also on the February 23rdLACMA celebrates the opening of Ends and Exits, a contemporary art exhibition from the collection of LACMA and Broad Art Foundation that is open to the public.