by Elizabeth Manson
On August 7th, Downtown L.A.’s The Hive Gallery threw another shindig, and I, as a patron of the arts, made it my absolute duty to attend. This time, it was their third-annual “Bee-Rotica” show with “Erotrospective: The Best of Bluegirl.” Sounds pretty titillating, right?
As with all Hive events, there was a cover charge, but if you dressed in an erotic costume, admission was discounted. Like many events that require forethought and outfit-planning, I decided to just lazily ditch the idea, but there were plenty of people donning “erotic” outfits, or at least dressing according to what I assume was their particular definition of erotic. Who knows? Maybe for them it was just another Saturday.
The art certainly did not take a back seat to the colorful patrons. As always, The Hive has so many artists with new work that trying to explain it all would be exhausting for everybody, but I thought all of the featured artists were particularly intriguing this time around. The middle room, also known as “the room with the band,” featured “Erotrospective: The Best of Bluegirl” in which Heidi Calvert, the curator of Erotrospective, displayed her favorite erotic artwork and artists through different media. The front room showcased the Hive’s featured artists, like Cate Rangel, whose work, like the piece “Annie Come Home,” which depicts a girl in a wet tee-shirt walking down a lonely city street, fell more on the sensual side of erotic. Melody Duenas also showed off her work (and distributed free mini cupcakes) in the front room, and I was taken with the exquisitely detailed portrait “The Sight of the Deaf Boy.” I was most captivated, however, by featured artist Janet Kim, whose art nouveau-meets-pop art style in pieces like “The Rabbit’s Snare” and “Cornered” was highlighted by her unique method of painting with oils on antique mirrors.
The live entertainment more or less followed the theme this time as well. I caught glimpses of the interpretive burlesque show by La Fille, which involved the dancer smearing fake blood on herself in what I assume was part of some narrative I could not glean through my nonconsecutive peaks. I did get a good spot to view the band piEL, whose lead singer was completely naked except for intricate body paint. That alone would be an interesting show, but their music turned out to be pretty badass as well. Bonus.
Luckily, when the heat of so many bodies crammed into one place proves too much to handle, you can seek refuge in the cool, tobacco smoke-filled night air where there is always a small mob of smokers and loiterers bumming cigarettes and lights as they wax poetic about art. It’s all part of a wonderful artistic experience, really.
Make sure to check out Bee-Rotica while it’s around (until August 28th). You don’t have to wear an erotic costume this time, but I’m sure it wouldn’t hurt.
WHAT: The Hive Gallery: Bee-Rotica and Erotrospective: The Best of Bluegirl
WHERE: The Hive Gallery, 729 S. Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90014
WHEN: August 7, 8 PM-12:30 AM
EXHIBITION DATES: August 7-28, 2010