On the Shoulders of Davids

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Photo caption: Back to Black, 2008 HK Zamani

Opening September 11th is the inaugural exhibition, entitled On the Shoulders of Davids, at JAUS (pronounced “house”), a new gallery in West Los Angeles, run by artists Chris Tallon, Helen Geisler and Ichiro Irie. From the onset JAUS’ mission seems clear, albeit divergent from that of many new commercial spaces: to promote the work and so-called DIY culture of artists who have, or currently run, art spaces. In essence, JAUS seeks to celebrate the unique moment when “dealer” isn’t a singular role, but the dealer is also a working artist, showing his own work at various other spaces with artist’s vigor, and at the same time promoting the work of his art colleagues at his own space. JAUS also seems to have a hopeful streak in its mission, as it’s opening shop at a time when news of gallery closings is almost so prevalent that it isn’t really news in LA. As JAUS puts it, “Based on the assumption that art thrives in times of trouble [citing elsewhere the landmark opening and history-making of CBGB in New York City during the 1973 OPEC petroleum embargo], JAUS opens its doors to the public with an exhibition that celebrates artist run culture and the DIY ethos. The title of the show is a reference to the story of ‘David and Goliath'; that JAUS stands not on the shoulders of giants, but on the shoulders of artists who are/were willing to take on the big bad world [of art].”

The over thirty artists exhibited in On the Shoulders of Davids include: Mexico City-based Yoshua Okon, of La Panaderia; Matthew Furmanski and Monica Furmanksi, of 643 Project Space; the Los Angeles-based collective, Slanguage; Ronald Lopez, of Aden Art Center in Istanbul and many others.

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