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Kith Paris

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Courtesy of Michael Smoler.
The Broad museum on Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles_ photo by Benny Chan, courtesy of The Broad and DIller Scofidio + Renfro
Kapwani Kiwanga, Flowers for Africa: Nigeria, 2014, Written protocol signed by the artist, iconographic documents, Dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Jérôme Poggi. Photo © Aurélien Mole.
Courtesy of Michael Smoler.
Art

Trois Mec, Elf, and Big Santa Anita Canyon: Michael Smoler’s Los Angeles

By Whitewall

January 26, 2018

This week, Whitewaller Los Angeles launched for Art Los Angeles Contemporary (January 25—28). To help guide you to the best spots in town—where you can eat, drink, see art, and relax at, we hear from a group of insiders. First up, Director at David Kordansky, Michael Smoler.

WHERE TO EAT AND SIP?
To be unabashedly honest, the best meals in LA are the ones that take place at the dinner table where my wife (who is the foodie in our household) and I often entertain.

Open Gallery

Courtesy of Michael Smoler.

Anything that Ludo Lefebvre, Jon Shook, and Vinny Dotolo compose is the bomb—Trois Mec, Son of a Gun, or Trois Familia, where your favorite Mexican-style dishes are remixed with classic French execution in a low-key Silverlake strip mall restaurant. Quintessential LA! Factory Kitchen, located in the DTLA Arts District—get the homemade handkerchief pasta with pesto.

Elf in Echo Park—organic California cuisine with a whisper of Morocco. I took my wife there on our first date and we have continued to dine there for over a decade. We’re both transplants to LA from NYC, so the dining experience reminds us of the Lower East Side circa the early 2000’s.

Open Gallery

The Broad museum on Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles_ photo by Benny Chan, courtesy of The Broad and DIller Scofidio + Renfro

WHERE TO SEE ART?
In my opinion there is not enough public art in Los Angeles but there are some gem-like experiences scattered throughout the sprawling landscape such as There Once Was A Forest at the corner of 7th and Figueroa. Eight granite bollards are scattered around this crossroads, featuring poetry by Robert Creeley and illustrations by the artist James Surls. If someone didn’t point these out to you, you’d probably stop to tie your shoe or eat your lunch on one and not even notice their intended brilliance.

I’m a fan of everything the Hammer Museum does. From their world-class exhibitions to their various collections. Their programming is dynamic and accessible, and offers cutting-edge experiences from dance, music, and poetry to talks, screenings, and tours.

Open Gallery

Kapwani Kiwanga, Flowers for Africa: Nigeria, 2014, Written protocol signed by the artist, iconographic documents, Dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Jérôme Poggi. Photo © Aurélien Mole.

I’m always grateful to have the presence and workings of Michael Govan in our fair city. The LA County Museum of Art continues to expand and grow as a central hub for art and culture. I love walking under Tony Smith’s Smoke.

The recent addition of The Marciano Foundation, established by Maurice and Paul Marciano, is an absolute gift to LA. Soaring exhibition spaces housed in the former Scottish Rite Masonic Temple built by Millard Sheets in 1961 makes it one of the most unique buildings to view art.

I recommend visiting BBQLA, an artist-run gallery with rotating guest-curated shows, as well as The Underground Museum, conceived by the late artist Noah Davis and his wife and fellow artist Karon Davis. There’s also South Willard on West Third Street run by Ryan Conder which offers menswear, artist catalogues, ceramics, and rotating exhibitions.

WHERE TO HAVE FUN AND RELAX?
My wife and I are avid hikers and we often hit the trails in Big Santa Anita Canyon, hiking to Mt. Wilson, or the many miles in and around Griffith Park.

We go to Descanso Gardens in La Cañada for access to serenity, quietude, and well-manicured nature.

Guilty pleasure = the Santa Monica Pier. Brave the crowds and spend the afternoon playing air hockey and Skee-ball. (Bring hand sanitizer.)

Art Los Angeles ContemporaryBBQLABig Santa Anita CanyonDavid KordanskyDescanso GardensElfFactory KitchenGriffith ParkHammer MuseumJames SurlsJon ShookKaorn DavisLALA County Museum of ArtLos AngelesLudo LefebvreMarciano Art FoundationMaurice and Paul MarcianoMichael SmolerMillard SheetsRobert CreeleyRyan ConderSouth WillardThe Marciano FoundationThe Underground MuseumVinny DotoloWhitewallWhitewaller Los AngelesWhtiewaller

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