Every so often in LA you find “artist” gems in LA, some are spaces, people, talent and sometimes it’s the overall vibe. This weekend, I was lucky enough to have found a gem with one of the best most positive overall vibes in the form of the Chocolate & Art Show in Chinatown’s KGB Gallery | Space. The Chocolate & Art Show is a multimedia event that takes place every few months. It mixes many types of mediums, never disqualifying a creation as a piece of art. With wall-to-wall artists, sculptors, photographers, painters, body painters, installation artists, musicians, DJ's, vendors and also the one woman chocolatier, Heidi Kendrick.
Alberro, a multimedia artist living in Las Vegas, originally from Miami, who’ve I’ve had the pleasure of knowing for almost twenty years came into town to display a few of his acrylic paintings and penned prints. If it weren’t for him, I probably would have never interacted with these beautifully talented people. Gabriel Alberro, who just goes by Alberro these days (all the best artist’s do) has been an artist since he could pick up a pencil and make a mark. I have, and still say he’s one of those scary prodigy types, I have literally seen him pick up watercolors for the first time and use the medium like he was an expert. His medium of choice, at least for now, is acrylic or pen. As most artists, his talent doesn’t stop in the visual arts, he has made hip-hop albums, has spent years behind the camera as filmmaker/photographer and will make a special cameo in films. Alberro encompasses the old school way of thinking of a “street artist.” He makes a living as an artist, supporting his two-twin boys as a single dad, hustling his art if he has to, but usually leaving it up to his charm and quick wit to his loyal clientele. Unintentional resemblances of Picasso & Basquiat can be found in Alberro’s work, which draws a curious viewer in allowing them to get to know him as an artist and fall in love with him as a person.
Friday night’s opening was mostly made up of locals, supporters and artists ( it didn’t really seem like the art buying crowd, that all changed Saturday the second evening) Visual Arts curator Summer Bernal and her crew moved some of the art around morphing the show into something different from the previous night. LA Weekly set up a booth to promote the their periodical and other local business. I was told that the editor called the event personally to make sure they could cover and advertise over by the few others vending. Mike Matola was transcribing the Harry Potter book using the words to form portraitures Daniel Radcliff, hanging next to his table were portraits of all four The Beatles made up of their greatest hits and the first half of The Big Lebowski script into a drawing of John Goodman, Steve Buscemi and Jeff Bridges as “The Dude.” Then there was Jason Acton who makes intricate screen-printing on canvas’s, which can be optimized for viewing purposes with 3D glasses. Very Cool! Very forward thinking! He also makes prints and patterns for upholstery items. I met Chris Toledo, a talented visual artist with a great sense of style; his paintings were as beautiful as his heart. Body painter Judith Bautista blew me away two nights in a row with two female models as her canvas painting incorporating with traditional Mexican symbolism and the right amount of glitter. Heidi Kendrick (gotta give the girl double props for the amount of work she did) makes the chocolate for this event and this event only. She ran back and forth to make sure both the white and dark chocolate deliciousness were constantly filled and placed on the table with an array of fresh fruit and different nibbles to dip.
Chocolate and Art’s director Danilo Santos and his staff have describe their show as the “best underground art show in LA.” Thus far I have to agree. When you combine the right creative energy together you create magic. It’s not about sales as much as it’s about building relationships with other creative individuals in LA’s boundless artist community. At LA’s Independent Creative’s we pride ourselves on this philosophy and give props to the entire Chocolate & Art team.