Los Angeles gallery of the moment: Khastoo

June Wayne paintings at Khastoo gallery, Los Angeles

Sunset boulevard is the newest hot gallery street of Los Angeles. It is where Ltd. Los Angeles, Overduin & Kite, 8th Veil, Michael Benevento (NYC and LA) and Khastoo are located. One of my friends in New York thinks of Hollywood as LA’s East Village, because of the concentration of bars, nightclubs and restaurants, and of course people walking on the streets until late in the night. He said this to me about five years ago. Neither of us could have envisioned that part of Hollywood could actually become even more like the East Village, with the founding of several gallery and project spaces in the last few years.

Twenty seven-year old Leila Khastoo worked at Gagosian and Mary Goldman galleries before opening her own space on Sunset boulevard. The gallery is getting the level of press that but a few of the small but international level spaces in LA have ever received. This includes the opening of China Art Objects a decade ago, and the launch of LAXART into Los Angeles just over 5 years ago. There is certainly more attention being paid to the happenings and events inside the LA Artworld than at any other time in the city’s history. Khastoo gallery has already been featured in BlackBook and the NYTimes T magazine. Not since the opening of LAXART 5 years ago has a project space – not an artist run space – got so much New York City attention. The gallery was featured in Wallpaper magazine’s US Top 40 in 2009. That the gallery is here in LA speaks of the desire to expand the local into the international discourse.

Lelia Khastoo, second from left, in her Sunset boulevard art gallery

photo by Stephanie Diani for the New York Times

From Khastoo gallery’s website:

“Khastoo Gallery was founded in November of 2008 by Leila Khastoo, a Los Angeles native interested in bringing an international academic perspective to the artistic landscape of the city.  Shows at Khastoo emphasize the critical content of art and art making, integrating current global viewpoints with an art historical approach to programming.www.khastoo.com

The Dubai-based arts and lifestyle magazine Brownbook featured a story on Lelia Khastoo and her gallery in Los Angeles.

Khastoo gallery was features in Wallpaper magazine's U.S. Top 40 for 2009

“los angeles gallery KHASTOO
is number 11 of wallpaper* magazine’s 40 reasons to be in the USA.

khastoo just so happens to be where smithshop made its preview presentation 1 year ago.


From the Art Newspaper, London:

“Leila Khastoo, owner of the Los Angeles-based Khastoo gallery which represents several Iran-based artists including Vahid Sharifian, said she, too, faced obstacles after opening her space in 2008. “It’s perfectly legal and fine to bring art work from Iran,” said Khastoo. “But customs brokers don’t know that and are frightened to go near it. Several said it was impossible and couldn’t be done.”

Vincent Johnson is an artist and writer in Los Angeles

Cold War photomontage: Watching Television 2009. Vincent Johnson

Vincent Johnson is an artist and writer in Los Angeles. He has recently been named a 2010 United States Artists Project artist.

The USA site went live on December 7, 2010

My initial project is to fabricate a 3 foot tall doll house sized sculpture of the collapsed William Livingstone House in Detroit. The project description and a video presentation of the project are at the links provided here:
Please feel free to review the site and to contact others who would be interesting in supporting the program and my project.
thanks so much
Vincent Johnson
Los Angeles, California
cell: 818:430.1604



Biography July 2010
Vincent Johnson lives and works in Los Angeles. His work has been exhibited at Las Cienegas Projects, LAXART, the P.S. 1. Museum, the SK Stiftung, Cologne, the Santa Monica Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Adamski Gallery of Contemporary Art, Aachen, the Sacramento Center for Contemporary Art, 18th Street Arts, Santa Monica and the Boston University Art Gallery. His photographic works engage both significant and neglected historical and contemporary cultural artifacts and is based on intensive research of his subjects. Upcoming is a group show at the Kellogg Museum of Cal Poly Pomona.

Johnson received his MFA from Art Center College of Design in 1997. He is a 2005 Creative Capital Grantee, and was nominated for the Baum: An Emerging American Photographer’s Award in 2004 and for the New Museum of Contemporary Arts Aldrich Art Award in 2007 and for the Art Matters grant in 2008, and in 2009 nominated for Foundation for Contemporary Art Fellowship, Los Angeles. His work has been reviewed in ArtForum, The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times.


Vincent  Johnson Artist Statement

Vincent Johnson’s work is a form of sustained cultural mining that explores the depths of his subjects. His photographic works created from 2001-2007 delved into architecture as fantasy, from the vernacular architecture of Los Angeles to that found throughout the American West. He has documented several of the no longer extant commercial vernacular structures in both South Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley that came into existence during the birth of long distance family travel by car. In 2007 he presented a fully fabricated work of sculpture – a 12 foot long six-foot high replica of a 1956 Chrysler Air Raid Siren. This project developed as he was both researching and documenting a former military corridor in the San Fernando Valley that included a retired military airfield. His newest photographic works, all created in 2008 and 2009, are large-scale photographic montages, each of which confront significant cultural figures and several dramatic signal events of Cold War era Western cultural history, including Television, the launch of Sputnik, the Soviet Space program, American home-based bomb shelter  program, and Vietnam. He is working on large-scale photomontages of the several major American political figures of 1960’s, including Martin Luther King, the Kennedy family, and Malcolm X, as well the representations of both Communism and Capitalism, Hollywood and Los Angeles and many related Cold War era subjects. Johnson’s photomontages can take several months to create as he captures hundreds of images from online sources, before selecting those which most well index a particular historical moment, personage or event. The creative juxtapositions and scale shifts of the found images is what he most relies on to develop his potent and illuminating photographic works.


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