Valentine's Day and thoughts of love and lust are everywhere including the art galleries. Especially on Chung King Road in Chinatown, where they are celebrating the Year of the Snake, and where the Tom Jancar Gallery hosts the inimitable and irrepressible Annie Sprinkle. Infamous, too, for her frank sexuality and nudity in performance art while declaring herself a hard-core feminist. She is a sex positive feminist in her own parlance, a defender of sex workers and droll analyst of the way sex is viewed and manipulated in the media. About 20 years ago I saw her legendary Public Cervix Announcement and, though I cannot describe it on the radio, I can tell you that it left a lasting impression. A survey of her work, in the form of photographs, artifacts and sculptures, is on view at the gallery and the show concludes Saturday, February 16, with a performance by Sprinkle and her partner, Elizabeth Stephens, "The Collaboration," an ecosexual engagement party from 7 to 9pm.
Annie Sprinkle, Anatomy of a Pin-up, 1984/2006
Courtesy Jancar Gallery
The same evening, just a few doors down, Coagula Curatorial presents "Lust Letters"
with an opening reception from 7 to 11pm. Mat Gleason and Joan Aarestad organized "Lust Letters," a show of four artists whose work involves an erotic relationship with literature. Tim Youd borrows from the writing of Anais Nin, especially Delta of Venus, while Gajin Fujita merges the erotic imagery of Edo period Japan with the grafitti of East L.A. Ericka Rawlings created an installation of hundreds of lace valentine hearts evoking failed relationships. Bruce Richards' highly realistic style of painting explores allegories of passion. The show continues to March 23.
Tim Youd, "Delta of Venus," 2012
Courtesy Coagula Curatorial
Photography: Eric Minh-Swenson
By the way, the Lunar New Year is being celebrated in Chinatown that night as well so you might think about taking the metro.
Stephen Antonakos, "Large Unit Neons," 1967
Museum of Contemporary Art
The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Fifty Statesa joint initiative of the Trustees of the Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection and the National Gallery of Art, with generous support of the National Endowment for the Arts and the Institute for Museum and Library Services
And for a close look at a lifetime of shared passion, this one for contemporary art, check out MOCA's show of works from the collection of Herb and Dorothy Vogel
, "Fifty Works for Fifty States." Living in a modest New York apartment, with modest income, this couple amassed an astonishing collection of work by minimalist, post-minimalist and conceptual artists from the 1960's on.
Lynda Benglis, "Little Pinch," 1978
Museum of Contemporary Art
The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Fifty States, a joint initiative of the Trustees of the Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection and the National Gallery of Art, with generous support of the National Endowment for the Arts and the Institute for Museum and Library Services
In 2005, they donated 50 works from their collection to 50 institutions in the United States, including MOCA, which received works by Carl Andre, Lynda Benglis, Dan Graham, Joan Jonas, Edda Renouf, and Richard Tuttle. Along with other work from the permanent collection, it is on view through March 18. And on February 21 at 7pm, the touching documentary about the Vogels, Herb and Dorothy will be screened at MOCA.
Banner image: Annie Sprinkle, Anatomy of a Pin-up, 1984/2006; Courtesy Jancar Gallery