Sparking a multicultural dialogue is what drives gallerist Shula Nazarian. After hosting a series of pop-up exhibitions in temporary venues, Nazarian opened her namesake Venice gallery, Shulamit Nazarian in 2012. Since then, she’s been putting together groundbreaking shows exploring cultural and political themes while highlighting the distinct cultural landscape of Los Angeles—a city built by waves of immigration and an endless capacity to absorb influences, ideas, attitudes, and movements. As she is always on the hunt for new talent and fully plugged into the contemporary art world, we asked Nazarian, the big sis of sbe Founder and CEO Sam Nazarian, to tell us more about six artists we are excited about at sbe in the gallery roster. Below are our picks, including Genevieve Gaignard whose first solo show at Shulamit Nazarian opened on November 12th and runs through January.
Using self-portraiture as her starting point, Gaignard takes on different characters to explore identity, sexuality, and body image among other themes. In her new exhibition “Us Only,” Gaignard will exhibit three new personas, all of which represent a fragment of her true self: a young, biracial, East Coast transplant.
Egyptian-born Guirguis creates painstakingly detailed sculpture and works on paper with Islamic motifs throughout. Her brightly hued two-dimensional works are joyously kaleidoscopic while her three-dimensional pieces, exhibited at the gallery recently and inspired by traditional Egyptian water vessels, explore the loss of homeland and the artist’s experience as an emigre.
Los Angeles native Gary Baseman is a bit of a local legend. As well as being an incredibly imaginative painter, he’s also the creator of the Emmy-winning ABC/Disney cartoon Teacher’s Pet, and the artistic designer of Cranium—remember that game? His pop/cartoon figures have appeared in paintings, toys, video, clothing, and just about every other medium imaginable.
Amir H Fallah
We first learned of Amir H Fallah from his work as the founder of online art journal Beautiful Decay. When he’s not championing other creatives online, he’s in the studio making highly detailed autobiographical paintings and collages about memory, early life experiences, love, and everything in between.
A graduate of Tel Aviv’s revered Bezalel Academy, Rokni isn’t afraid to cover her mixed-media works in a vast range of color that take on striking patterns; in contrast her video pieces are more narrative and explore her childhood neighborhood in Tehran.
Israel’s glossy, minimal, and layered sculptures call to mind everyday objects tricked out to their most lavish level. His delicate objects impart different relationships between shape, texture, and color. While they look like they could have come from an assembly line, his objects are meticulously crafted from wood, paint, and other organic and manufactured materials.