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Artforum Critic's Pick: Kenzi Shiokava

Most of Kenzi Shiokava’s sculptures consist of organic matter, like bark and dragon-tree fronds, combined with found materials, such as chicken wire or brooms. In Untitled (Urban Totem Series), 2000, an upright railroad tie narrows into two sharp prongs at the top. Of a similar shape, Untitled (Urban Totem Series), 2005, was carved from a discarded telephone pole. Each sculpture resembles a statuesque humanoid form.

Artforum: All Hands on Deck, Critics' Pick

In her 1994 book The Body in Pieces: The Fragment as a Metaphor of Modernity, the late art historian Linda Nochlin analogized representations of the disintegrated figure to tumultuous moments in the modern period’s political and metaphysical flux. While she linked some examples to the era’s chaotic break from antique notions of unification and permanence, Nochlin argued that others gestured to literal experiences of violence by communities under assault.

Art in America: Learning from LA/LA: Critical Pedagogy at Pacific Standard Time

“Here, in this troubled time, what concrete action would you take to reach this utopia?” The question confronts viewers at the entrance to “Below the Underground: Renegade Art and Action in 1990s Mexico.” Posed by Pinto Mi Raya in the project Justice and Democracy (1995/2016/2017), the query hovers above a golden-hued seating area on a platform. This spatial context codes the question as an incisive provocation: what physical acts are you willing to undertake in order to access possible alternative futures?

KCET: Corn Man, A Mexican-Inspired Animistic Sculpture Arrives in Santa Ana and Los Angeles

Performance art in Latin America was prolific from the 1960s to 80s — at a time of aggressive authoritarianism. As the political climate evolved there in the 1990s, this interdisciplinary art genre advanced with a new generation of artists exploring its possibilities.

KCET: Linking Metropolises, Linguistic and Geographic Connections in Los Angeles and Mexico City

"Los Angeles and Mexico City are both sprawling metropolises that are the center for arts, culture and business but they are linked in more ways than this. For example, there is an ongoing cultural exchange between the two cities, collaboration between universities, and, with migration, an on-going Mexican influence on LA culture.

KCET: Indigenous Mexicans Unpack Their Migratory Experience Using Piñatas


"If you stroll through Downtown Los Angeles’ Piñata District, you’ll likely be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of prismatic, papier-mâchéd structures that run the gamut of every Disney princess imaginable to fire-breathing dragons.

KCET: Latinx Community Activism and Social Art Practices Get A Rare Spotlight in New Exhibit


"It’s not often that artworks that emerge out of community activism and social practices get center stage in art galleries, which makes the latest exhibit at Otis College of Art and Design a particularly unique and poignant one.

Opening Reception and Curator Walk-Through: Talking to Action

Image: BijaRi, On the rooftops of Santa Domingo-Savio neighborhood as part of the project Contando con Nosotros, 2011

Opening Reception 3-5pm / Walk-through with curator Bill Kelley, Jr. 3:30pm

Los Angeles Magazine: 50 Museums Are Opening Their Doors for Free

Reprinted from Los Angeles Magazine August 23, 2017

"Starting in September, Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA is bringing together art institutions from across Southern California for a large-scale project that explores Latin-American and Latino art. Local museums and cultural centers will host a thematically-linked series of art exhibitions and public events—including performances, lectures, discussions, workshops, and family activities—that run through January 2018.

Art and Activism in the Americas

The Ben Maltz Gallery at Otis College of Art and Design will present Talking to Action: Art, Pedagogy, and Activism in the Americas, an exhibition and publication that investigates contemporary, community-based social art practices in the Americas curated by Bill Kelley, Jr., with Karen Moss as consulting curator. Talking to Action, on view September 17 through December 10, 2017, is part of the Getty’s initiative Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, a far-reaching and ambitious exploration of Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles.