Inside Look at Hypeart's 'Love Letters to LA' Charity Exhibition

This past weekend, Hypeart curated its first exhibition dedicated to the proud immigrant communities that constitute the City of Angels. Entitled Love Letters to LA, the group show was a heartfelt reflection of each artist’s personal journeys, their unique approach to materials, as well as the storytelling and societal messages they seek to impart through their respective practices.

Housed at SIZED STUDIO in East Hollywood, the expansive space played host to sculptures by Taylor Lee and Edmund Arevalo, paintings by Alfonso Gonzalez Jr., Jacob Rochester, Mike Reesé, and Daniela Garcia Hamilton, along with multi-media works by Patrick Martinez and Nikkolos Mohammed.

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Standout pieces include Alfonso Gonzalez Jr.’s Figeroa Beauty (2020), a painting that appears like a carved out facade of a beauty salon — a weathered allusion to the city’s diverse communities along with its changing landscape. Emblazoned on the bottom is a callout to Figueroa Street, which runs from Downtown’s Financial District all the way through Northeastern LA. “To encapsulate this diversity, I chose to portray five women of various ethnicities, symbolizing the people who call Figueroa Street home,” Gonzalez Jr. tells us. “This painting captures not only the beauty salon itself but also the cultures and communities that intersect along Figueroa Street, making it a dynamic representation of this iconic Los Angeles thoroughfare.”

Illuminating just next to the piece are two separate series of works by multi-media artist, Patrick Martinez. Paying nod to LA’s lineage of neon signage, “the text based neon works and the stucco paintings operate as landscapes of LA,” says Martinez. “They are from the land and they describe certain areas of the city but they are familiar to all.”

Standing robustly in the middle of the show are three sculptures by Korean-American ceramicist, Taylor Lee. Inspired by Japanese action dramas of superhuman characters, robot figures, and monsters, Lee creates miniature to large-scale reinterpretations of some of her favorites, such as Ghidora, Godzilla and Gundam. Each clay artwork is hand-sculpted in her DTLA studio and undergoes a Raku firing process to complete the form. She also has her own unique set of characters dubbed Strong Women, which “embodies female strength and resilience, showcasing the power of overcoming challenges,” Lee tells us.

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Supported by the team at French distillery, Bisquit & Dubouché, Love Letters to LA looked to promote Hypeart’s mission in spotlighting innovative and diverse artists, giving them a platform to showcase their cultural contributions that have shaped Los Angeles and its communities. A portion of the sales of each artwork from the show benefitted local charities like Dreamhaus LA, LA Food Bank, and Direct Relief, including a special collaborative T-shirt created by DREAMHAUS for the event, which ran from October 12 to 16.

Love Letters to LA exhibiting artists:

Alfonso Gonzalez Jr.
Taylor Lee
Nikkolos Mohammed
Jacob Rochester
Patrick Martinez
Edmund Arevalo
Mike Reesé
Daniela Garcia Hamilton

526 N Western Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90004
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