Art Walk: Not just for artists

Babak explains the meaning of his art to a potential buyer during the Downtown L.A. Art Walk on Dec 13, 2012 in downtown, Los Angeles.

Babak explains the meaning of his art to a potential buyer during the Downtown L.A. Art Walk on Dec 13, 2012 in downtown, Los Angeles.

On a chilly night in downtown Los Angeles, with a little more commotion than usual, patrons could browse the local stores, restaurants and galleries displaying art from all over the world.

Art Walk has been a monthly staple of Los Angeles for many years, and on Thursday, with nearly 50 different galleries, there was enough to see to satisfy anyone’s inner art lover.

On display were not only traditional paintings, but creations in all types of mediums, including digital art manipulated by a printer, various illustrations and a sculpture of what Taylor Swift would look like if she were a zombie.

One of the most unique pieces was a row of inflated balloons that hung on the ceiling of the GRspace gallery. The balloons changed shape, going from flat to crescent, while also changing colors. The work is called “Rafale” by AK Airways.

“When you look at it, it’s visually stunning,” said Gennie Rim, owner of the GRspace gallery. “It’s so big and immersive that you become part of the performance sculpture.”

Rachel Kassenbrock stated that she liked having something to interact with, and touched on just how special “Rafale” was to her.

“It’s not exactly what you see every Art Walk, so it’s nice,” she said.

The Hive gallery was another sight to see, with an eclectic array of art pieces and photographs, also utilizing various techniques. Among the artists was Preston C., creator of “Twisted Teddys.” His art features teddy bears portrayed in edgy situations, including a crucifixion.

“It was a way to address social issues using the iconic image of the teddy bear, which represents childhood innocence,” the artist said about his craft. “It shows that as we grow up and are exposed to different things, that innocence can be twisted, warped or perverted in many different ways.”

Art Walk is not only a place where enthusiasts can enjoy looking at artwork without having to pay a hefty museum cover charge, but it is also a place where budding artists can showcase and sell art of their own.

Victoria Ying and her husband Mike Yamata work at Disney and Dreamworks respectively doing feature animation. Last year, they started a side business called Extracurricular Activities in an effort to create “more personal work and share it with people.”

They have been selling their artwork at conventions such as Comicon and Comikaze. Thursday was the couple’s first time selling at Art Walk.

“We’re still testing out what kind of shows we do well at,” Ying said.

Fabian Pablo, a local Los Angeles artist, hopes to have his work displayed at Art Walk in the future. In the meantime, he spent his time at Art Walk admiring the work of others.

“I’ve seen really good quality work,” Pablo said. “A lot of artists are really nice, and they explain what their artwork is about and what’s behind it.”

The next installment of Art Walk is Jan. 10. Bring a sweater, a good friend and an open mind.

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