Group exhibition, Charlie James Gallery, Downtown LA
Curator: Sagi Refael
Charlie James Gallery is pleased to present “Dreamin’ of a…”, a group exhibition conceived by Los Angeles-based art historian and curator Sagi Refael, featuring work by Adar Aviam, Mara De Luca, Rafa Esparza, Robert Ginder, Renée Lotenero, John Knuth, Marisa Mandler, David O’Brien, Rotem Reshef, Glen Wilson, Nathan Zeidman and Barak Zemer.
The show originated as a tribute to LA’s landscape, as seen and experienced by walking the streets and using public transportation, and as an antithesis to the glamorous cinematic and televised images of the “City of Angels”, marketed by Hollywood’s studios.
LA is a place where iconic legacy is confronted on a daily basis with reality. It might be enough to think of the contradiction between the ‘Hollywood’ Sign, adorning the sprawling hills in which the rich and famous reside, looking from above at the urban jungle of survival, and the homeless people who are thrown within a gaze from that ultimate status symbol and tourist destination, marking the two polars most of us are hustling in-between.
Dreamin’ of a… takes its title from John Knuth’s piece from 2018, a myler sewn landscape composed on a sign bought from a homeless person the artist has encountered. It encapsulates LA as a microcosmos of the American dream and its pursuers, a clash between capitalism, consumerism and poverty, and symbolizes the role of creativity and inspiration as means to obtain a further step up the hierarchical ladder of class.
This specific gathering of artworks in various media obtains some elements of a “Gesamtkunstwerk”, aiming to present a multifaceted idea of what Los Angeles Landscape is. By putting an emphasis on the city’s fragmented and evolving nature, its becoming and collapsing, constantly confronting romantic perceptions with the true nature of things, Dreamin’ of a… looks at the act of dreaming while realizing the challenges of completion, emphasizing the importance of progression, awareness and taking a personal stand, contributing altogether to the ever-shifting and open-ended fabric of locality.