LAB ART owners, siblings Iskander Lemseffer and Rachel Joelson. LAB ART features 6500 square feet dedicated exclusively to street art. Gallery Shots from Birdman Photos.

Find LAB ART here.


Interview with LAB ART’s
Rachel Joelson

Shortly after debuting in May 2011, LAB ART showed up on our radar last summer with the all-female “Miss Danger on the Loose” group show — the line-up and the art = WOW. It was exciting to finally put names to some of the art we had seen plastered around the city (yep, Lydia Emily was a favorite). Since then, LAB ART has continued to put on stellar exhibits, with pieces from well-known names while also exposing us to artists we should know. And we have to mention the actual space and atmosphere, which just add to the gallery’s appeal. Plus Luna Park (happy hour?) is just down the street. Need more? Head over to their online gallery where you can pick up a few pieces for your space. 

Lucky for Fling Girl L.A., LAB ART is bringing their expertise to the site with a monthly contribution to our upcoming From The Gallery section. We did a quick Q&A with Rachel Joelson, gallery co-owner, about the gallery, her background and art in Los Angeles. Look for LAB ART’s first post at the beginning of October.

FG: LAB ART is described as a “street art” gallery, we just see “Art.” What’s the distinction?

RJ: All of the artists that we carry have displayed their art creations on the street. Whether they have taken over a billboard, defaced an electrical box or created beautiful murals, each of our artists have participated in the street art movement. They all create art and we bring it into the gallery. The street art aspect of it is more about the story of the artist and their use of the city as a canvas.

FG: Why did you open the gallery? Is your background in art?

RJ: My brother Iskander came up with the idea of having our gallery dedicated to street art. We saw an explosion of art in the last few years on the streets as well as the rise in popularity of what was an underground art world. It just felt right to have our gallery centered around such a dynamic movement. Ever since I was little I have always loved art. I studied Art History in college and started collecting when I first started college.

FG: Are there any headaches associated with running a gallery?

RJ: There are headaches in any business. Iskander and I have found a good way of allocating our responsibilities which has helped alleviate a lot of headaches. 

FG: You just finished a stint at the Mondrian, what’s the appeal of the pop-up galleries?

RJ: Working at the Mondrian allowed us to branch out to a new group of people who had never heard of us before. Pop-ups have become popular because of the high impact a space can have in a short amount of time. It allows a company, brand or gallery to inhabit a space for a short duration of time in a different location while still operating their homebase.

FG: Is there anything specific that makes certain artists, pieces or collectives “L.A.”?

RJ: I don’t think so. Art really is in the eye of the beholder. It either speaks to you or it does not. There are certain times in your life that you are attracted to specific art pieces and then when you have gone through that phase in your life you don’t feel connected to it anymore. It really is an individual experience.

FG: Anything you want to recommend for people to check out?

RJ: The Wiseman Foundation is one of the most amazing art experiences I have had here in Los Angeles. To see how a true art collector lived with his art on a day to day basis is truly breathtaking. It is like stepping in to a Contemporary Art History text book but in front of your eyes. I highly recommend checking it out.

Thanks Rachel!

Rachel will be contributing monthly to FLING GIRL LA’s FROM THE GALLERY section as one of the featured galleries. For LAB ART’s latest thoughts, check out their blog SLAB ART.

Love Fling Girl 

TUES–SAT: 10am–5pm
217 S. La Brea Ave, Los Angeles CA 90036
(323) 933-1021

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