The West Washington Boulevard art scene continues to heat up with the opening in May of another alternative art space, Big Pictures LA
Published on Saturday, 22 August 2015 10:31
Written by Renee Montgomery
Founded and operated by artist/curator Doug Crocco, Big Pictures LA is a studio and public art space located at 2424 West Washington Blvd., in a former laundry building between Arlington and Western Avenues. BPLA joins the nearby Underground Museum at 3508 W. Washington (reported by TNN in ISSUE #39 DEC 2014) and three other recent additions to the Washington corridor: the Michael Thibault Gallery (3311 W. Washington), the Martos Gallery (3315 W. Washington) and the new Ochi Projects (3301 W. Washington. Reports in upcoming issues of TNN).
Doug Crocco is known for his large scale works (hence the gallery name) which have been shown in New York City, Miami, Boston, Melbourne and Los Angeles, included in a solo exhibition at the Happy Lion gallery in Chinatown and in group shows at the Los Angeles ACME Gallery. The artist received his MFA from the Claremont Graduate School before working in New York City for several years.
Big Pictures opened in May with an exhibition of Aramis Gutierrez' works, which won a review in the Los Angeles Times. Crocco explained to TNN that he shopped all over Los Angeles for a possible studio space before selecting Mid-city/West Adams. Describing this district as one of the last feasible places in the city, the artist/gallerist was expecially attracted to it because of its proximity to the beach and more central location than Highland Park, the popular hot spot for start-up galleries of late. Originally interested in acquiring only studio space, Crocco found that the affordable West Adams' rents meant he could lease a much larger storefront – with ample room for his art practice but also for a public art space with walk-in street access. Crocco was sold on the building's handsome architectural bones, backyard and courtyard, plus the “killer” Arts and Crafts bungalows on surrounding neighborhood streets. The single artist resides in Hollywood with an easy work commute down Wilton Avenue, he explained.
Currently showing at Big Pictures from June 17th - Sept.7 (may be extended) is “The End of Pictures“ featuring Steve Gladstone, a well-known Bay Area photographer who passed away in 2007. Gladstone is most famous for his Gonzo-style images of famous rock musicians like the Rolling Stones, John Lennon, and Bob Marley, and for traveling the world photographing iconic events like The Last Waltz, Burning Man, the Psychedelics Colloquium, and the 1976 Republican Convention. To Gladstone, the advent of digital photography meant the demise of quality fine art photography, and before his untimely death at age 51, he hand-colored and marked up several of his favorite photos with poetic narration, now being shown for the first time at the Big Pictures art space.
The Big Pictures Los Angeles gallery is located at 2424 W. Washington Blvd., Los Angeles 90018, www.bigpictures.la, (323) 800-7670. Regular hours are Saturdays noon – 6 pm or by appointment, however Crocco encourages local residents to knock on the door and he'll respond.