Vegan Food and Audrey Kawasaki

Categories: Art Review

UPDATE: Photos from the Ephemera show are up.

There has to be a good reason for me to travel to Huntington Beach. . .especially on a Saturday when all the hot, toned bodies are walking around half-naked, and I'm walking around doughy, sweaty, and out of breath. I guess it's a jealousy thing, but I just tell people it's the traffic. However, I will make the exception when I get invited to go to the Vegan cafe, Bodhi Tree, right off of Main Street.

I always over-order, which makes me overeat, which then in turn makes me even more depressed walking around those toned, trim, bodies. But another scoop of Vegan ice cream always seems to make me feel better and forget that I don't like Huntington Beach all that much.

Over dinner, I get a text from my friend Jeni asking if I'm game to go to an art gallery opening in Alhambra. I oblige, and order some deep friend bananas. I needed to fuel my body before I made that 45 minute journey off the 5 freeway. . . though I must admit I wasn't the designated driver. Just another excuse to order more.

After traveling through some of the more colorful parts of LA and passing 15 taco trucks, we ended up at the Nucleus Gallery, where the Ephemera exhibit was in full swing. The two-story gallery was small, but packed. Like most galleries- the air conditioning was non-existent, and filled with hipsters wearing scarfs, long sleeved shirts, beanies, and some sort of jacket.

I don't think they got the memo that we were coming off of a heat wave. But then I forget that fashion comes before comfort. And what the fuck... why do people wear sunglasses inside... inside of an art gallery none-the-less?!?!?

The artwork on the walls was shared by 2 artists- Audrey Kawasaki- whom I'd heard of, and Fuco Ueda, whom I hadn't.

At first - I know, a product of my own stupidity - I didn't know that this was a shared gallery (even though it was on a HUGE poster when you entered the gallery).

I thought it was all Kawasaki, and that she was displaying pieces from 2 different exhibitions. I also didn't know she was standing next to me talking a few times, or passing me in the gallery until my friend Bray said, "Oh look, there she is!"

Of course I said "Who?" hoping to see Kathy Griffin, or someone funny. I think I was suffering from a food coma at this point, or just heat exhaustion.

The artwork from both artists was great. So great that I endured the heat to walk around a second time for a look. The first time around, there were some assholes sitting in front of some of the pieces criticizing them, and commenting on how the galleries in New York tend to be so much better. They didn't get the hint that I was trying to look at the piece they were standing in front of...and continued to NOT get it when I stood in the middle of their circle, in the middle of their conversation.

But they won, and continued to talk around my head while I was towered over by a 6-foot-man who could have easily ended my life for the intrusion - but didn't because he didn't want to spill the $10 watered-down Vodka Cranberry he was holding.

Leaving the gallery is harder than getting in. You have to first go through a huge gift shop that offers everything you could want from artists like Camille Rose Garcia, Gary Baseman, Mark Ryden, and hundreds more.

I personally prefer shopping for this stuff at OTTO in Fullerton- because there you're at least not packed in like sardines, and the air doesn't reek of Patchouli. However, this gallery was worth the discomfort.

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