Los Angeles is the creative epicenter of the United States, some might even argue the world. Artists come from all over to pursue a path to make it big and have their work known. Here are 5 artists to spark your interest, and hopefully a little creativity of your own this week.
1. Moss & Meadows
If anyone has succeed in making their entire lifestyle into works of art, it is most definitely Melodi Meadows and Asher Moss. There are enough titles between these two to fill the entire article; painter, photographer, composer, creative director, stylist, cinematographer, designer, etc., etc. This bohemian powerhouse couple always look as if they just rolled out of bed, picture ready, with a thousand yard stare that communicates that they maybe don’t remember where their motorcycle was parked last night. Moss and Meadows are the modern day Bonnie and Clyde, but their most heinous crimes are maybe just taking a few too many Polaroids of each other…and that is hardly something to complain about. Their work as individuals is stunning, and their life together is such a picturesque embodiment of the mood of a decade not our own that you may wonder if they even know how to operate an iPhone. But they do, each of their Instagrams extend well past 100k followers. If you have a hard time believing in fairy tale romances, maybe it’s because Cinderella didn’t have enough tattoos to win you over. Order a copy of Asher Moss’ book Miss Lonely Vol. 1, a hardbound coffee table book of the most tasteful nudes you’ve ever seen, and rev up your road trip cravings with their short film “Kids on the Run.”
2. Think Tank Gallery
Obviously not an individual artist per se, but rather a collective of artists that have been supplying DTLA’s fashion district with a cheeky gallery space looming above the grimy fabric filled streets below since 2010. I was lucky enough to take in Think Tank’s immersive Break Bread installation by artists Scott Hove and Baker’s Son in March. Complete with a mirrored maze of towering wedding cake sculptures, watercolors highlighting the underlying creepiness of classic Americana, and a four post bed inexplicably placed in the center of the gallery drenched in silk flowers and pink neon light, the gallery definitely embraces a “go big or go home” approach to the shows in their space. The next event at Think Tank is the senior thesis for the undergrads of USC’s Roski School of Art and Design, and from the description of the show it sounds as if these artists have A LOT to say in regards to their time as students tasked with creating under the thumb of a less-than-facilitating administration and little access to the expensive private school’s resources. It should be a highly charged and emotional show from the new crop of young LA artists, don’t miss out on being able to say you saw their work when they were just kids.
3. Brilliant Garcia
At just 22 years old, Brilliant Garcia manages to span the entire creative spectrum and she’ll probably make you also feel like a big ol’ loser while you examine the depth of her work. Garcia is a visual artist first and foremost, she’s responsible for some pretty dope music videos and photography is where her endeavors into being an artist began. A Texas transplant, Garcia admits that her inspiration comes mostly from her surroundings, even something as simple as an LA sunset will bring on a flood of ideas. If I had to hire someone as the architect and designer for my dream life, Garcia would be at the top of my list. Throughout her various mediums of expression, Garcia facilitates a trance-like environment steeped in subtle sexuality and ethereal beauty. Listen to her hour-long track, The Art of Listening, and enter into her meditative void where I promise you won’t be ready to leave when it is over. And yes, that is her real name.
4. L.A. Witch
The ladies of L.A. Witch describe their sound as “Dirty, dark, distorted, reverb-soaked punked out rock”. They’re definitely not wrong, but they fail to communicate that their music is undeniably catchy too and not at all as creepy as that description might lead you to believe. A flanging guitar sound with gritty baselines and swirling, spooky vocals; if you needed a soundtrack for driving a stolen Mustang full speed South on the 5 to Mexico presumably on the run from the law…L.A. Witch has you covered. But on a more low-key approach, their catalog on Spotify can make even the most mundane tasks, like answering emails or sorting laundry, feel decidedly more badass. Try to catch them in LA after their tour ends in June, in the meantime enjoy their babeness even in the ruins of a post-apocalyptic nuclear wasteland as seen in the video for “Get Lost.”
While Pell may be based in Los Angeles, his soul and sound stay firmly rooted in his hometown of New Orleans. No, Pell is not a bounce artist and you will not hear a brass band on the backing of his smooth-as-butter flows. To say that Pell is a New Orleans artist means that he is reinventing and challenging the sound of his chosen genre, and doing it better than anyone else. In the year 2016 of our 6ix God, hip-hop artists are genre bending more than ever, or in Pell’s own words “cross-pollinating genres” between rap and indie pop rock. While Pell probably doesn’t mind being compared to Drake as so many people like to do, I’m here to say that Drake could learn a thing or two from this kid and should probably have LIMBO on a repetitive loop for a few weeks. Pell attacks his verses with a Kanye like fervor (he admits that Ye was one of his first major influences) and then dissolves into choruses that croon like John Legend while never deviating from the ambient atmosphere his beats create. He definitely has a finesse and style that can’t really be put to words. You’d be wise to catch feels at one of his shows in LA’s smaller venues before he starts selling out the Staples Center, because it’s bound to happen.