Meet the Un-Galleries

L.A.'s Art Market Goes off the Grid

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L.A.’s thriving art scene has spilled out of Gallery Row and into Main Street. Boutiques, restaurants, and even salons are getting into the curatorial spirit, lining their walls with works that pull double duty as decor and merchandise.

Here, we round up the best un-galleries to score your masterpiece. Snooty gallerina (thankfully) not included.

Galvin Benjamin Salon
Not your average crop-and-bob operation, West Hollywood’s posh salon stands out with star stylists (James Galvin and Benjamin Mohapi), a loft-like interior, and a rotating collection curated by local consultant Sonja Teri. Graffiti street art predominates, with original works by Swoon and Anthony Lister and mixed-media pieces by Shepard Fairey and Nicholas Bowers. 8910 Melrose Avenue, between Doheny Drive and Robertson Boulevard, West Hollywood (424-249-3296).

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In addition to collectible figures and Japanese home decor items, Santa Monica’s outpost of the Giant Robot franchise features monthly installations ranging from Kozyndan’s digital dystopia to David Choe’s figure paintings. Japanese sculptor Yukinori Dehara is slated for a July solo show. 2062 Sawtelle Boulevard, at Mississippi Avenue, Santa Monica (310-445-9276).

ArcLight Cinemas Hollywood
In a bid to support the local art community, the theater sponsors six-week-long exhibits spotlighting homegrown talents like Clifford Bailey and Kaii Aaron. Next up? Jonas Mohr’s Ruin to Redemption show, a series of the photographer’s latest black-and-white portraits. 6360 West Sunset Boulevard, between Vine Street and Ivar Avenue, Hollywood (323-464-1478).

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Michael’s Santa Monica
The granddaddy of the un-galleries has been showcasing original artwork (with a side of New American cuisine) since 1979. Kim McCarty, wife of owner Michael McCarty, organizes roving exhibits on the restaurant’s second floor (past participants have included David Mamet and Ed Ruscha). June’s installation will feature Don Barchardy’s drawings from the 1960s. 1147 Third Street, at Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica (310-451-0843).

An exercise in great taste, this Los Feliz boutique sends you home with a Julian Schnabel etching to match your Proenza Schouler blazer. Next month’s group photography show casts a wide net with Melinda Dahl’s monochromatic lyricism and Alex Prager’s cinematic camp. 4661 Hollywood Boulevard, between North Vermont and Hillhurst Avenues, Los Feliz (323-913-3041).

Photos: Courtesy of GalvinBenjamin Salon; Courtesy of Giant Robot; Courtesy of Michael’s Santa Monica

Michael's Santa Monica
1147 3rd St
@ Wilshire Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90403
Salon Benjamin
8910 Melrose Ave
bt N La Peer & N Almont Drs
West Hollywood, CA 90069
2062 Sawtelle Blvd
@ Mississippi Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90025
ArcLight Cinemas Hollywood
6360 W Sunset Blvd
bt Vine St & Ivar Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90028
4661 Hollywood Blvd
@ N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027