Pleasure Garden – NoHo Arts District
This month’s LA Art feature is on the “Pleasure Garden” at the Laurie Shapiro Studio Gallery until July 30.
Stepping away from the “Boys Club” mentality and into a reclaimed and redefined space of power, “Pleasure Garden” brings us female archetypes at a time when immense pain and heaviness hang over current narratives. Hosted by Olivia Mia Orozco and featuring Ann Weber, Caitlin Fowler, Lauren Desberg, Alexandra Carter, Meg Lion Murphy, Laurie Shapiro, “Pleasure garden” transports you through an inclusive and equitable space at the Laurie Shapiro Studio Gallery from April 22 to July 30, 2022.
Laurie Shapiro opens her studio to the audience and envelops you in a kaleidoscope of warmth and friendliness. Massive works of art cover the live work studio and transport you to a haven of peace. The name Pleasure Garden refers to the historic purposes of pleasure gardens; “Pleasure Garden” will permanently host shows, conferences, meals and even events. Upon entering the studio, it was obvious – a wine and cheese table was in front of artists and gallery visitors sitting on sofas and mingling.
In aesthetics, storied depictions, and in love poetry throughout the ages, the female body is depicted as being weighed down by—or being beneath—male bodies. An interaction on weight and lightness leads the viewer to wonder if the weight (imaginary or real) on our body traps us (or attaches us) to what is fundamental to the human experience (what grounds us).
With representations and games on traditional anaphora, works of art such as the Stigmama (game on the stigmata) allow a safe space that is often inhabited by women: the interior as a place of community gathering in traditional societies . The duality of the “pleasure garden” is that pleasure gardens tend to be inhabited and dominated by all public spectators. Shapiro brings all beings into an intimate space in a cleverly orchestrated way that viewers can feel explicitly even after returning home.
Alone, Shapiro’s studio is a delight; in combination with the other exhibiting artists, it is a must-see gem in East Los Angeles.
Laurie Shapiro Studio Gallery
Ann Weber, Caitlin Fowler, Lauren Desberg, Alexandra Carter, Meg Lion Murphy, Laurie Shapiro.
April 22 – July 30, 2022