March 18, 2013

Julio Panisello Has Art Show In Shoebox

ShoeboxLA, an art gallery roughly the size of two Ugg shoeboxes, popped up in the gardens behind the Velaslavasay Panorama in the historic West Adams district of Los Angeles this past weekend.  On view in the tiny gallery were four new triptych paintings by Los Angeles based artist Julio Panisello.  The show lasted a brief three hours.  If you blinked, you missed it.

The Velaslavasay Panorama in the West Adams Historic District of Los Angeles

Entrance to the gardens behind the Velaslavasay Panorama.

Now in it's second season, ShoeboxLA invites artists to create work that can be shown within the confines of a portable 18 x 24 inch "gallery" that travels around to different locations throughout Los Angeles staging "one-day, site-specific exhibitions outside the traditional gallery setting."  It's a peculiar and possibly risky concept (Can you effectively display art in a shoebox-sized gallery? Will people come to see it? Will they take it seriously?) but that risk is a big part of what makes the project so fun and intriguing.

Installation view, Miracles of the Dough by Julio Panisello via ShoeboxLA

Installation view, Miracles of the Dough by Julio Panisello via ShoeboxLA

Installation view, Miracles of the Dough by Julio Panisello via Shoebox Gallery

For this particular show, titled Miracles of the Dough, all the elements worked together nicely to create a cohesive and engaging experience.  Panisello's paintings used traditional materials including egg tempera, charcoal, and gold leaf on a nontraditional support made of sundried conspersam farinam - a salt dough with nostalgic ties to Panisello's childhood.  The resulting works, which resembled Russian icon paintings and were named after the 12 Apostles, effectively transformed the small gallery box into a reliquary.  The show's setting, a beautiful garden oasis located behind the Union Theatre building, also added to the reverential tone.

Luckily, Panisello's lighthearted imagery kept things from getting overly serious.  The panels depicted grinning self-portraits of the artist sporting various hairstyles, clothing, and accessories.  And for what it's worth, the paintings were also completely edible.

Work by Julio Panisello via ShoeboxLA

Work by Julio Panisello via ShoeboxLA

Work by Julio Panisello via ShoeboxLA

Work by Julio Panisello via ShoeboxLA

Gold leaf on the back of one of the triptychs. 

The artist standing behind his work.

If you didn't make it to the Velaslavasay Panorama for Miracles of the Dough, it's still worth heading over to the venue to check out Effulgence of the North, a 90 foot panorama installation that uses images, sculpture, light, and sound to transport viewers deep into the Arctic.  You have to travel down a creepy hallway and up a dark winding staircase to get to it, which is half the fun.

Creepy hallway leading to Effulgence of the North at the Velaslavasay Panorama

Installation view, Effulgence of the North at the Velaslavasay Panorama

The Velaslavasay Panorama is located at 1122 West 24th Street, Los Angeles, CA.  The exhibits and gardens are open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, from 12pm to 6pm.

1 comment:

Julie D. said...

A brilliant show in a "why didn't I know this was here in LA" location. Congratulations to Julio and the Shoebox visionaries, Paul Evans and Sophia Boo Allison...another great one!