The LA Art Show, LA’s largest and longest-running art fair, returns to the Los Angeles Convention Center on February 15–19 to kick off the city’s 2023 art season. Guided by the leadership of LA Art Show producer and director Kassandra Voyagis, the 28th edition will see a larger global presence along with the return of the fair’s signature curated program DIVERSEartLA. As a cultural anchor for the LA Art Show, DIVERSEartLA will continue its curatorial focus on the global climate crisis through a variety of thought-provoking installations, immersive experiences and performances. Representing the looming impact we face if the planet continues to warm, DIVERSEartLA 2023 will encourage visitors to confront the complex challenges of our global climate crisis and imagine potential solutions.
The popular program, which began in 2015 and is curated by Marisa Caichiolo, connects important local and international art institutions to generate thoughtful dialogue through art while honoring the unique biodiversity of Los Angeles. Expanding on last year’s environmental focus, the 2023 edition will feature eight participating interdisciplinary projects from video installations and immersive experiences to augmented reality and community-oriented projects, which examine not just how the environment is represented in art but how humanity’s place in the world is depicted.
“We are excited to continue facilitating this pioneering program, which showcases the power of art to bring people together and ignite transformative conversations about what it means to be human,” says LA Art Show’s director, Kassandra Voyagis.
Eight museums, nonprofits and art institutions will present a solo project and featuring in 2023 are both first-timers and important returning museums like MOLAA Museum of Latin American Art and Art Museum of the Americas (AMA). DIVERSEartLA’s curator Marisa Caichiolo expresses: “Humans are changing the Earth’s natural systems in rapid and unprecedented ways. This has propelled our planet into a new geologic era: the Anthropocene. Contextualizing the issues through immersive experiences and installations seeks to deepen our understanding and inspire solutions.”
Two of DIVERSEartLA’s 2023 participating institutions that we are currently highlighting are:
· The Washington D.C. based Art Museum of the Americas (AMA) returns with a curatorial proposal from Fabian Goncálvez who will present an immersive experience, featuring one of Mexico’s most prominent contemporary conceptual photographers, Alfredo De Stefano. Born in the arid air of northern Mexico, De Stefano has visited deserts on five different continents, resulting in stunning expansive photographs that address the natural environment’s elemental significance and our relationship to the land. Often employing ice, fire, and light, De Stefano creates enigmatic installations with both natural and man-made objects in an ethereal desert setting. With his evocative figures wrapped in blood-red cloth, long shadows under a hot sun and scorched shrubbery, De Stefano’s work conjures prophetic visions and hallucinations associated with dehydration and the unforgiving desert terrain. In doing so, De Stefano puts a contemporary spin on the “art religion” of 18th-century Romanticism and seems to argue, through fantastic visions that foretell Earth’s transformation into a desert planet, that this is the result of man-made global warming and widespread drought.
· The Italian Cultural Institute in Los Angeles are participating for the first time and will present a collaboration between Italian artists Pietro Ruffo and Elia Pellegrini along with creative production studio Noruwei. “Il Giardino Planetario” will be an immersive experience and video installation that is an allegory of the planet as a garden. The feeling of ecological finiteness makes the limits of the biosphere appear as the closed space of what is living while also examining through DNA, the history of other species that have crossed this planet before us. The work, which will feature a large-scale drawing by Pietro, is presented as an analysis of the landscape, which highlights the changing character of what seems “naturally” present. The alternation of different climates has designed the environment as a carpet woven with dark and rough shapes along with alternating light surfaces.
Since 2015, the LA Art Show has been a strong and unwavering supporter of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® and, in 2023, the LA Art Show is donating 15% of all ticket proceeds to the charity and its life saving mission. Please visit www.LAArtShow.com to learn more and purchase tickets.