California Dreamin’

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California Dreamin’
From left: Images from “The Sun and Other Stars” series and the “Casting Call” portraits

California Dreamin’

Hollywood aficionados—whether they worship at the altar of Nathanael West or Perez Hilton—are sure to be tantalized by “The Sun and Other Stars,” a dual exhibition of portraits by Katy Grannan and Charlie White, opening July 22 (through October 14) at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Grannan’s subjects (above, left)—bewigged, tattooed, and wrinkled street denizens striking poses in West Hollywood and San Francisco’s Tenderloin district—represent the “sun.” The “other stars” populating White’s clinical, and controversial, “Casting Call” portraits (above, right) are the California teen girls whom he invited to audition for a Los Angeles billboard campaign. Curator Britt Salvesen first proposed the idea of a joint show to White—and then to his friend Grannan, whose work will be featured in an adjoining gallery. The lack of a “compare and contrast” element, says Grannan, is what makes their project work. “Charlie’s subjects are hopeful. Mine have sort of been through it, but there’s a shared sense of aspiration—and delusion. It’s the kind of delusion I admire, because it’s a means of self-preservation.”

  • Photo: courtesy of the artist; Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco/Salon 94,
    New York (5); Lacma, purchased with funds from Ralph M. Parsons Fund,
    copyright the artist

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