Twice during recent trips to Los Angeles to visit family, we took an afternoon to visit several of LA’s cutting edge contemporary galleries. Admittedly, it’s always seemed a bit daunting to walk into an unfamiliar gallery, complete with gleaming white walls, potentially chilly staff and steep prices. So our solution was to book an art tour with LA native and artist, Bill Kleiman.
On our tour this February, we met up with Kleiman over espresso at the ultra hip Nomad Hotel in downtown LA before venturing out to visit several downtown and Boyle Heights galleries. Kleiman has been a fixture on the LA art scene for many years, and the warm welcome he receives from gallery managers extended to us as we entered galleries that might have been too intimidating had we been on our own. With Kleiman’s narration at each gallery stop, we developed a better understanding of each artist’s work and a new appreciation for art that sometimes ventured into challenging realms.
Due to the special level of excitement created by the opening of the first LA edition of the Frieze Art Fair this February, artists were on hand to personally meet visitors in several galleries. We especially enjoyed conversations with internationally known artists Derek Fordjour and Mark Dean Veca.
While we may never be actual art buyers at these splashy LA galleries, we predict that we will continue to enjoy visiting them whenever we find ourselves down south.