A Q&A with Caroline McRaleigh (Barrett) Gallina from LA ART – a NoHo art blog that takes you inside some of the amazing art exhibits, installations, pop-up galleries and more throughout Los Angeles.
The unofficial NoHo motto is: “NoHo is only as big as its people.” We are highlighting some of our amazing creative neighbors this spring. In honor of Women’s History Month, we present Raleigh (Barrett) Gallina from LA ART. Raleigh has been writing for the NoHo Arts District since 2015. Raleigh explores everything from large commercial exhibits to free solo exhibits showcased by amateur galleries. While her preferences are constantly evolving, her favorite exhibitions include large-scale sculpture or paint, as well as works of art that have a socio-cultural foundation. She hopes that by capturing a wide range of media and voices (including those of curators and artists themselves), readers can enjoy and voyeur out of their comfort zones.
A: The NoHo Arts District is my eternal home, and it’s incredibly inspiring to see the community evolve. No matter how kitschy society becomes, it still has its family roots and feel (people like Bianconis help contribute to this intersectionality). Writing for the NoHo Arts District inspires me to get into the surprisingly dense art environment in LA County.
Q: Where did you get your passion for art from?
A: I have always been attracted to visual arts and visual arts in particular. I think it’s from my parents. I am very fortunate that my parents raised me in a city where art was available and that they had the means to encourage me to see various exhibitions. I also deal with art on a very amateur level, which is why I think I’m more attracted to them.
Q: Your favorite shows and why?
Mark Bradford (part of a group show) at Hauser & Wirth, Walton Ford’s Calafia at Gagosian and Ruben Ochoa’s SAMPLED Y SURVEYED at Art + Practice. Each of these exhibitions contained original ideas in large format, but individually created a new impression for me of the art world. I had heard of Mark Bradford before I stumbled upon his work at Hauser and Wirth. The format and media were so smart, but more than that, his representation of LA and his relationship with the art world was fascinating. Walton Ford is possibly my favorite artist, and his notion of an amazing California before California based on historical primary sources absolutely teases me. Ruben Ochoa is such a master of his craft and speaks truthfully and creatively to the many Los Angelesers that people with different backgrounds experience the city differently.
Q: How has the art scene in Los Angeles changed since Covid?
A: As time stands today, we certainly see many galleries as ‘appointment only’, or requiring tickets (free or otherwise) where no one was typically to these galleries. We are also seeing fewer virtual exhibits as LA County continues to switch with pandemic legislation.
Q: Who would you like to see come to LA?
A: I would love to see a solo exhibition by Kehinde Wileys. Before the Obama portrait, I had been a fan, and like most of the world, I have been more attentive. I would also love to see a solo exhibition of Gioacchino Passini, mostly because I enjoy Passini’s style, format and skill in general.
Q: What would you do to make art more accessible to everyone?
A: I would love to see more large installations in more of a 14th Factory style, not a Refinery29 or Van Gogh Experience style. Aside from personally loving non-guerrilla marketing and IG-centric large-scale installations, large-scale installations help immerse the viewer. I feel that people who may have the moment they appreciate the craft or the message, they are lifelong artisans. The same with math in elementary school applies to art – an experience must remove “when will it ever be relevant?” questions.
Q: If you could bring any artist back, who would it be?
A: If I could meet them and have a chat – Salvador Dali. My late aunt met him on a plane (my family is from Spain) and they got a friendship. Dali sent her hand-drawn Christmas cards until his passing. If I am not able to meet them and they would operate in today’s art world – Artemisia Gentileschi. I would like to hear her perspective on the direction art has taken since the 17th century where it is expected to go, and her thoughts on ‘ease’ and accessibility of digital art as NFTs.