Pancakes & Booze Los Angeles

So last night, I went downtown to check out the Pancakes and Booze Art Show and Party at Lot 613 Warehouse. Tom Kirlin has been doing these shows every few months here in Los Angeles, where the parties were born as a concept and those attending this weekend’s festivities were promised art, pancakes, booze, music and a zombie fashion show. The show is running for 2 nights, and at a $5 cover charge, it’s a pretty good deal for a Friday night in LA.

Though, having attended a few of these shows and shown work in a few of the original shows back in Kirlin’s old small warehouse space on East Jefferson years ago, I think it’s come to the attention of the public that these shows aren’t all they are cracked up to be. Though a good time and a FANTASTIC idea, a few years on and I feel like they should have worked out the kinks by now. And there are a quite a few kinks…

Though it is an amazing thing to see a variety of art work from a number of new and upcoming artists on the walls, there needs to be someone to actually curate the shows¬†in order to make them more cohesive and more engaging. The fact that it seems that Kirlin just throws the art up wherever it will fit with no real design to the shows makes the amount of artwork shown a bit of a mess. It’s too much. The eye is bombarded by the sheer amount of different work all butted up against each other mixing artists and styles. It’s confusing to view artwork this way and makes the experience a bit of visual overload. Editing down the amount of artists showing and limiting the number of pieces each can show would go a long way to making this show a more visually entertaining experience for everyone.

Also, giving each of the shows a general theme would go a long way towards that goal as well. At the show this weekend there is everything from graffiti art to painting to photography and mixed media pieces but none of them had any theme or connection to each other. Again, it made viewing the artwork a bit epileptic and makes the viewer feel like they have ADD. You truly don’t know where to look. Giving each show a theme – even if it’s a general theme – I think would work better towards the greater goal of the Pancakes and Booze shows – which is to get new artists shown. But the truth is that some of the pieces shown last night were just plain bad and some were downright offensive, and though it’s a 21 plus crowd, there is no need to show pieces that are more suited to the Playboy Mansion than an art gallery. (Before you all start flaming me, I would like to state for the record, that as an artist, I agree that art is subjective and meant to raise questions and sometimes eyebrows, but the graphic nature of some works combined with the fact that they were just bad paintings are just unnecessary in my humble opinion.)

As usual, the pancakes were quite delicious, though the wait for them was 45 minutes. For ONE pancake. Let’s get on it, if you’re going to do such a big party and offer up free pancakes, maybe it’s time to add a second pancake station. I spent more time in line for my one tasty breakfast treat than I did inside the show.

Now that I’ve ranted on about the art and the pancakes, all I’ll say about the booze is that it’s not free. Once upon a time at Kirlin’s old location, the booze was free, but since the party has moved to its new location, it’s a cash bar, kids, just as an FYI. But the drinks aren’t entirely overpriced and they do offer you an ATM on the premises in case you forget to stop by the bank on your way out or if you’re like me, you just never carry cash.

Which brings me to my biggest disappointment of the evening. The flyer and advertising promised a Zombie Fashion Show. I was really looking forward to that, honestly. I mean, ZOMBIES AND A FASHION SHOW – the possibilities are awesome and my head walked into the show with visions of a runway filled with models in the latest styles from a local designer hobbling and wobbling bloodied and with brains on their mouths. What we got was a few girls in tacky unimaginative bathing suits with badly done zombie makeup walking into the room to the hoots and hollers of the men present. Only ONE of the models took the zombie theme to heart and did the zombie hobble – which I have to say must have been wickedly difficult to do in heels. The rest just did the boring “model strut” and walked in and out with no nod to the fact that they were supposed to be the undead. My friends and I all thought this part of the show could have been done a lot more creatively and successfully than it was. Even one of my friends made the comment, “I feel sorry for these girls.”

Don’t get me wrong, my friends and I had a good time last night, but most of that was down to our own interactions within the background of the event.¬†Overall, the Pancakes and Booze Shows are good and I think they’re worth the $5 cover and can be really fun. I just think that they could be SO much better and they have the potential to be GREAT. But they’re not there yet.