As an art epicenter, Los Angeles feels freer and a bit more open to us than most major art cities. The intensity and hustle that emanates from a city like New York, where the concentration of galleries and institutions and artists can be so incredible, but also so overwhelming takes a different tone in the city of angels. One of the first things we noticed about Los Angeles when we first started traveling here to see art, was this sense of space and light, particularly in the context of studio visits and in contrast to other cities like New York where people are often creating and showing their work in very tiny, constrained spaces - a windowless basement, a shipping container, a converted loft space with no light or fresh air. Los Angeles offers something very different: palm trees, towering succulents, and sun pouring in through windows from Topanga Canyon to Skid Row.
L.A. is a much smaller and in some ways a more collaborative arts community. Despite the fact that it is an expensive city to be an artist in like New York, there are so many more places in L.A. where people can create and without the hierarchy and rules that you often find in other art cities. I think this is why you see so many non-profits and artist-run galleries and collectives. Artists, gallerists, and advisors also seem more willing to work together to create, curate, show and sell than in some of the other major art epicenters. Mohilef Studios is a great example of this community. Located in downtown Los Angeles on Maple Avenue in the Flower District, this building holds studios for nearly 50 artists, designers and makers of varying practice. The creative and collaborative juices here are free flowing and there is always something new and exciting to discover. If you’re lucky enough to get the invite, you might get the chance to see a whole exhibition before it ships off to be shown in New York City.
The gallery scene is quite different and a hard game here with the sprawl of Los Angeles neighborhoods and the traffic often involved to go from one gallery zone to another. It’s so different from New York where you can hit five galleries in Chelsea all within a few blocks and in a single afternoon. In Los Angeles, you’re looking at a lot of time in the car and a major dispersal of galleries and institutions that makes it more disparate and harder to access. Appointments are often required and hours can be uncertain, so make sure to plan ahead if you are dreaming of a gallery day. For advising support or a gallery guide, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’d be happy to help.