What happens when an artist, dependent upon head, hand and heart, loses the full use of one of them?
Local artist Bruria Finkel faced that dilemma when she was seriously injured in a car accident, losing her ability to turn her head.
For more than six months during her recovery Finkel was forced to wear a “halo,” a device screwed into her skull that prohibited any movement of her head.
Utilizing recovery as process and working around her head constraint, she decided to master the art of iPhone and iPad photography. Employing heart, hands and eyes, she used the stationary position of her head to find a new perspective on the world.
Her current exhibition, “The Past Four Years,” showcases the body of work that came out of this period. It opens June 14 through July 26 at Arena 1, the exhibition space at Santa Monica Art Studios, located in a former hangar at Santa Monica Airport.
In one series of haunting images reminiscent of Magritte’s dramatic silhouettes, she photographs herself as a shadow cast along walks and walls in her garden.
With this “medieval torture apparatus” as she described it, “my hat became my crown and I anointed it a symbol pointing toward recovery and health.”
Everything immediately in front of her face became a possible source for new work-the bark of trees and the skin on the hands of those in her presence, the three-month life cycle of a pear on her kitchen table captured in a photographic elegy to beautiful decay.
Other works continue the meditations she has practiced throughout her career, both in videos of skies and clouds and running water, and in paintings that explore relationships to symbolic language.
The opening reception is on Saturday, June 14, from 5 to 8 p.m. Bruria Finkel conducts a walk-through and gives a talk on July 14, between 2 and 3 p.m. at the gallery. Regular hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 12 noon to 6 p.m. For more information visit santamonicartstudios.com.
The language of paint
Just two years shy of his 90th birthday, world-renowned artist Ed Moses, a longtime Venice resident, has been creating works that can been seen both as a continuum and a break from his past artistic practices.
Perhaps most identifiable by a series of diagonal grid paintings, the deep layering and crackling of Moses’ latest large canvases feel like a profound meditation on aging.
Moses and Larry Poons will be paired in an exhibition at the William Turner Gallery at Bergamot Station, with an opening reception this Saturday, May 31 from 6 to 8 p.m. Find out more at www.williamturnergallery.com.
SPARC honors ‘Story of Venice’ artist
Two years after the closure of the Venice Post Office, the mural it housed, “The Story of Venice” by Edward Biberman, was removed and moved to Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
With emotions still raw over the closure of the Post Office, and controversy surrounding removal of and cleaning of the mural, the exhibition “Edward Biberman: Abbot Kinney and the Story of Venice” will be on view through November at LACMA.
SPARC, the Social and Public Art Resource Center, will showcase unrealized mural sketches and other work by Biberman at the organization’s Durón Gallery in Venice.
Biberman knew the great Mexican muralists, and befriended famed Southwest artist Georgia O’Keeffe. As part of the mid-century L.A. art scene, he was a champion of mural art and frequently highlighted themes of social injustice.
The sketches, on loan from Suzanne Zada, who represents Biberman’s estate, will be on view at the opening this Saturday from 5 to 9 p.m., continuing through July 31.
SPARC is based in the classic art deco building that formerly housed the Venice Jail at 685 N. Venice Blvd. Visit SPARCinla.org for more information on this highly-impactful arts organization and this show of works by a revered, if under-appreciated artist.
Big Broad news
For the first time ever, yearlong subscription seating will be available during the seventh season of our neighborhood world-class performing arts venue, The Broad Stage.
Why is this big news? Because it’s the first time the Broad has offered the lowest ticket prices to subscribers, guaranteeing the best and same seats all year long.
Top-flight entertainment is on the bill: jazz/pop fans will rejoice to hear Bobby McFerrin. (Don’t hold “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” against him, he’s the consummate vocal phenomenon.) Opera fans will thrill to a recital by superstar mezzo-soprano, Joyce di Donato.
Theatre lovers will once again be treated to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, this year with its outstanding “King Lear.” And for the first time, Cape Town’s Isango Ensemble performs its own version of Mozart’s “The Magic Flute,” with an African-influenced extravaganza.
Spoken word boasts the towering actress, Anna Deavere Smith who performs a reading of the “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” Dr. Martin Luther King’s landmark document, written from his prison cell in Alabama. Chris Lemmon celebrates his famous Academy Award-winning father in “Jack Lemmon Returns,” a new musical play written and directed by Hershey Felder
Broadway leading man Brian Stokes Mitchell presents a romantic Valentine’s Day recital, and the world roots and rhythm series offers L.A. salsa band Son Mayor and African pop star Zap Mama, among others.
Broad Stage audience favorite, Diavolo, the explosive L.A.-based company that pushes the boundaries of dance and theater, returns with “Fluid Infinities.” And Dorrance Dance brings “The Blues Project,” featuring tap dancer extraordinaire Michelle Dorrance, who blasts open notions of tap with every stamp, stomp, and shuffle.
And don’t forget Nat Geo Live!, the popular speaker series that showcases the world through the eyes of explorers, film makers and photographers.
Find all the details at thebroadstage.com. Your subscription helps keep this essential venue alive.
I’m off for the summer; hope to see you back here in September!
Sarah A. Spitz is a former freelance arts producer for NPR and former staff producer at public radio station KCRW-Santa Monica. She has also reviewed theatre for LAOpeningNights.com.