Astral Oracles
August 5 - September 16, 2018

     Collector Stefan Simchowitz is announcing The Newsstand Project, a collaborative, semi-permanent pop-up exhibition space which repurposes the structure of the now defunct newsstand adjoining Kings Road Café in West Hollywood, California. The project is experimental in nature and aims to bolster public access to fine art by retaining and capitalizing upon the accessibility of the street-side newsstand model.
     For the inaugural installation within this space, gallerist Michael Thibault will exhibit sculptures by the Los Angeles-based artist and alchemist Lazaros, who has devised a temporary spell shop titled Astral Oracles. An informal brunch commemorating the opening will be held at the café on Sunday, August 5th, 2018 from 10:00AM-1:00PM, and all are invited.

     On the corner of Beverly Boulevard and Kings Road, you will find three garage doors coated in thick layers of silver paint, as the restaurant owner of the café is in the midst of an extended war with the local graffiti artist. These cover what used to be a neighborhood staple, the go-to newsstand of the community, one which fell victim to the recent decline in print media consumption.
     After the stand folded in 2016, art collector and dealer Stefan Simchowitz reclaimed its three bays and now hopes to use them as more than just another distribution point. The Newsstand Project fundamentally aims to function as an arts community-building space and as a ready point of accessibility for the fine arts. Simchowitz hopes to keep this a flexible space, available for artists and galleries willing to program it in unique and experimental ways that still retain mass public appeal. That way, partnering entities can expand their audience, experiment programmatically, and ultimately bolster the economic and cultural strength of the large community of small-to-medium galleries which are finding their viability increasingly under duress.
     For the first iteration of The Newsstand Project, Los Angeles-based artist Lazaros will transform it into a pop-up spell shop and art installation titled Astral Oracles. The project has metamorphosed throughout his prior exhibitions, i.e. at STL LA and the Conscious Life Expo in Los Angeles, and the latest iteration has the artist stocking the bays of the stand with spell-casting potions that explore the joint intersection of art and folklore. The self-described alchemist takes glass bottles of various sizes and suspends a well-considered plethora of objects in a liquid medium within. He claims that these spells “have a metaphysical effect on the owner’s wholeness of being,” casting charms of love, visibility, exactitude, multiplicity, and so forth.
     Lazaros first began constructing his jars in 2016 after interested clients sought him out for spiritual guidance. In a contemporary cultural environment where truth is increasingly perceived as a relative construct, his potions seem particularly relevant, and in the context of the newsstand, Lazaros transforms print into potion and media into medium.
     The newsstand, located on 8361 Beverly Boulevard, will be open every Friday through Sunday, 10:00AM-2:00PM beginning on Sunday, August 5th and closing on Sunday, September 16th, 2018. TNP