Experience 19: TOUCH October 11 until January 31, 2016


The magic of the LA art scene over the last four decades: portraits of artists in their studios by photographer Jim McHugh and a selection of original artworks by these artists. The exhibition is curated by Edward Goldman, Host of KCRW’s “Art Talk”.

Experience 19: TOUCH explores our ways to feel authenticity. It takes the rare opportunity to juxtaposition the artistic portrait and artistic works of LA artists from four decades. It will challenge our perceptions of reality, imagination, rumor, expectation and evaluation. Furthermore the experience TOUCH will embrace a seldom phenomena taking place in the United States for more than forty years. The phenomena of artists wandering west. TOUCH will engage the visitor to find out for himself whether this phenomena becomes part of authentic artworks or adds to the authenticity of the portraits involved?

What is a portrait? An objective reflection of light banned on film and printed on paper? A subjective composition of the photographer? An intimate agreement between two artists? What makes the portrait of artists so special? Who is the person behind the artist? What does his work look like? Did the work play a role in the photographer’s composition? Is his work authentic? Does the artist look like his works? Does it really matter, what the artist looks like? Can you see traces of work in his face? What made artists come to Los Angeles? Do they have something in common? Do artist in general have something in common? Or is it all about Diversity?

Are artists the strongest resistance against corporate conformity? Do artists look different than other people? Can you see it in their face, eyes, their clothes, and their posture? Does it really matter? Is it the moment that counts? Or does time matter? If the artist changes over time, what does it mean for his artwork? Does it look old? Or forever young? Does the artist look more interesting, when he ages? Does artistic success change our perception of his portrait? Are there any hints in early pictures, that reveal his later fame? Do you see sensitivity or self-esteem? Do younger artist today look similar to their experienced colleges decades ago?

What about the forgotten faces and their works? Do they reveal something about us? Some say, there are only two kinds of people: open minded and closed minded. The City of Angels seems to be one of those rare places around the globe, where open minds accumulate. True Freedom-Seekers have always been attracted to go West. To the land were old rules did not apply. Where there was zero-gravity. Where new things need to be found. From pre-war Artist Capitals Paris and London to post-war Art Metropolis New York. Now to the Pacific.

Since Los Angeles is at the End of the western horizon it comes as no surprise to find them here. What makes the agglomeration even more interesting is the fact that Los Angeles is at the northern edge to the Latin American world. And by leaving an ocean behind becomes the greeting harbor to the eastern world. Even more it became the center of a dream and virtual world. In short: It seems to be the perfect place, where control and rules get lost, where conventions and perceptions are constantly challenged, where hard work seldom connects with stress. A place, where even seriousness seems to become easy. And it became place of an almost scientific study of typology.

For the last 40 years Jim McHugh has opened many doors to portray this sovereign easiness. With incredible openness and elegant persistency he collected private moments at work. Some of them became world known, some still need to be discovered.

TOUCH will be happy to give visitors a fascinating sneak preview into this world. In order to compare these insights with rare sometimes not shown original artworks of the artists portrayed. There are many people, that have worked their way through kingdoms of portrait photography and often we are mistaken to look only at the superficial currents of their contents, like resemblance or fame. TOUCH will find out whether there is a deeper story to tell.