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Check Out LA's Iconic Under-the-Radar Art Gems This Frieze Week

Discover diverse artistic voices and hidden gems in the city's vibrant art scene.


Photo: Pinterest

Los Angeles boasts a thriving art scene, but amidst the renowned blue-chip galleries, a vibrant network of smaller, independent spaces flourishes. These galleries offer a platform for dynamic art forms, fostering the careers of emerging talent and established artists alike. So, skip the crowds and delve into these captivating exhibitions currently gracing the LA art scene:

1. Karla Diaz: "Wait 'til Your Mother Gets Home" at 18th Street Art Center

Step into the world of artist Karla Diaz at 18th Street Art Center. Her vibrant paintings in "Wait 'til Your Mother Gets Home" draw inspiration from everyday experiences, pulling you into swap meets, protests, and familiar domestic spaces. This introspective exploration delves into the beauty of the ordinary, reminding us how seemingly mundane moments shape our lives.


When: Through June 22

Where: Airport Campus, Propeller Gallery, 3026 Airport Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90405

Karla Diaz: Wait til Your Mother Gets Home
Karla Diaz: "Wait 'til Your Mother Gets Home" Photo: 18th Streets Art Centre

2. Shota Nakamura & Matt Copson at Clearing

Clearing presents a fascinating pairing of solo shows. Immerse yourself in the tranquility of Shota Nakamura's "light room," a meditation on nature reminiscent of Bonnard's still life paintings. In contrast, venture into the back room for Matt Copson's "Of Coming Age," a captivating and unsettling laser animation featuring a psychedelic baby singing a haunting lullaby.

When: Through March 2

Where: 530 North Western Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90004

Installations at Clearing Art Gallery.
Installations at Clearing Art Gallery. Photo: CLEARING

3. "Borrowed Recipes" at Commonwealth and Council

"Borrowed Recipes" at Commonwealth and Council explores the influence of family heritage through the diverse expressions of a multi-disciplinary artist group. Each work is a tactile experience, from the squelching clay imprints in Anna Sew Hoy's sculpture to the towering architectural installation by Carmen Argote. Patricia Fernández's meticulous wood carvings pay homage to her grandfather's legacy, inviting reflection on tradition and memory.


When: Through March 2

Where: 3006 West 7th Street, Suite 220, Los Angeles, CA 90005

Borrowed Recipe installation view at Commonwealth and Council.
'Borrowed Recipe' installation view at Commonwealth and Council. Photo: Commonwealth and Council

4. Ouattara Watts at Karma

Ouattara Watts, a veteran artist from Côte d'Ivoire, presents a unique blend of influences in his first LA solo show at Karma. His mixed-media works combine acrylics, found materials, numerology, music, and rituals, creating captivating visual narratives that blur the lines between science and art.

When: Through March 16

Where: 7351 Santa Monica Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90046

Ouattara Watts installation.
Ouattara Watts installation. Photo: Karma

5. Mercedes Dorame at Oxy Arts

Artist and photographer Mercedes Dorame uses her lens to explore cultural histories within nature at Oxy Arts. "Where Sky Touches Water" showcases the captivating landscapes of Limuw (Santa Cruz Island) and Pimugna (Catalina Island) through breathtaking photographs and sculptures. Dorame's evocative framing and hyper-saturated details invite viewers to slow down and appreciate the beauty and complexity of the natural world.

When: Through April 20

Where: 4757 York Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90042

Mercedes Dorame installations at Oxy Arts
Mercedes Dorame installations at Oxy Arts Photo: Oxy Arts