Night Gallery, Nocturnal Art Space – When you think of Los Angeles, you mostly think of the sun. But a lot in L.A. goes down at night. In honor of those late creative hours—or perhaps simply to find an excuse to get together in them—29-year-old artist and Canadian transplant Davida Nemeroff opened Night Gallery last February in a space in a run-down Lincoln Heights strip mall surrounded by taco stalls. L.A. has always been a bastion of unorthodox spaces, from the notorious Ferus Gallery of the 1960s to a recent one, unrelated to the iconic artist Dan Graham, called the Dan Graham gallery. Night Gallery is open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from the hours of 10 P.M. to 2 A.M. and is located in a three-room black-walled space that used to be a party-supply store. It may still be something of a party-supply store for Nemeroff and her friends, who can be found hanging out during gallery hours. “It’s about smoking, drinking, and art,” explains Nemeroff, who makes her own art by day and took a number of odd jobs to afford the $850 a month rent to keep the gallery operating. “My own rent money went into this place,” she says. “So I stayed with friends. But I didn’t ever want to live here, because I needed it to operate as a legitimate space.” Just because lots of alcohol and smoke gets consumed doesn’t mean Night Gallery’s program, which usually changes monthly, is any less serious. One recent work by artist Justin Beal consists of a black-garbage-bagwrapped sculptural barricade bisecting the main room, which makes moving through the space at night that much more complicated. “We’ve had some pretty sketchy people visit,” Nemeroff admits. “One night a man came in thinking it was some kind of brothel.” Whether risky or risqué, Night Gallery is definitely about community building.
Paul Heyer and Davida Nemeroff at Night Gallery in Lincoln Heights, Los Angeles, October 2010. Not Pictured: Annie Wharton, Peter Harkawik, Mark A. Rodriguez, Parker Davis, and Joshua Callaghan. On Paul (all clothing): Subject’s Own. On Davida: Cardigan: D&G. Leggings: Dolce & Gabbana. Ring: Marni. Shoes: Subject’s Own.
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