944 Magazine – Los Angeles – Feb 07
THE MASTERMINDS BEHIND
BY MYARA SHERWOOD
As New York City florishes with fine art, Los Angeles’ industry continues to thrive in the media arts, aka Hollywood. And while we may not be known for posh art openings or envelope-pushing exhibits, our urban artists of today have chosen to create their own reality and have developed a savvy underground art scene that has LA’s youth and ingenuity breaking the mold of cliche conformity.
The new LA art scene is now spicier than ever with a communal push from Create:Fixate (CF), a grass-roots organization that stands by the motto, “Dedicated to elevating the importance and accessibility of art and music.” Breaking the mold of the rigid past, CF focuses on a fresh generation of artists that are as varied as Angelenos themselves. Michelle Berc, CF’s program director and curator, explains, “I had this vision of creating a melting pot of different styles of art and music under one roof, giving exposure to emerging talent in a one night event.” An aspiring artist herself, Berc was sick of waiting for acceptance from the art industry and took control over her own destiny. After moving into a real downtown loft, she made her ideal a reality.
Meshing together her love for cutting-edge beats, eye for multimedia art and a rolodex of hipster connections, she built her own groundbreaking art scene. Berc says, “I’ve always been into music and very active in different scenes ranging from electronic to live alternative music. i couldn’t help but combine the two together.” and so the “art party” that is Create:Fixate was born. Providing a variety of stimuli from art to music and then some, CF guests can relax, socialize and enjoy without the social pretense of traditional art openings.
CF’s growing reputation among LA scenesters and art aficionados increases daily, and submissions are greater than ever. When accepting new art pieces, Berc says she looks for, “something that is visually pleasing, expresses a story, emotion, ideas that challenge everyday thought. Even the most abstract art can be found intelligent.” Uninterested in deveolping artists because of :who they know, ” Berc looks for pure, uninterrupted talent. She says, “When i curate the shows i look at the artwork first before the background of the artist.”
Jorge Oswaldo is one of Berc’s many success stories, where she has watched him blossom from a novice to visual scholar with just a little push from CF. “One of the major filters in my work has been shape, line and surface through the use of self-adhesive vinyl, ” says Oswaldo. “I like to think of each painting as a different set of challenges with different set of solutions.”
Residing in Los Angeles for one year now, Oswaldo attributes his success to the networking and community behind CF. He says, :”Create:Fixate works continually to promote the artists and their work well after the show is over. They do so much behind the curtains to make sure the art world gets a chance to hear about you.”
Support for LA’s art community continues to grow as CF expands. Showcasing all over the city, CF has finally found solace in a 14,000-square-foot-gallery space in Hollywood. Berc explains, :We can take a bare, raw space and make it beautiful with art, music, and people filled with character and nothing but good vibes.”