Alexis Gross is the living proof that stoners can be overachievers. A few months after moving from her native Big Apple to Los Angeles, the 24 year-old photographer, artist and curator has taken over the Gallery Next To The Burgundy Room and made it into a pop up exhibition space that will feature, for the next six months, the work of emerging & established photographers, artists, and zine makers who inspire her and her work.
Alexis greeted us on a sunny Saturday morning at her Echo Park crib wearing no pants and no makeup. Who needs it when you look like this? She gulped down a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a black coffee before giving us a tour of her home studio.
In spite of all of the misfortunes that happened to her since moving to the West Coast – we’re talking two lost computers and other stolen goods – she’s inspired and in high spirits as soon as she starts talking about the gallery.
“The entire theme of the space is people who inspire me to do what I do. The shop inside of the gallery is a small curated selection of respected artists photographers and affiliates. The inventory is constantly changing and a small selection of zines are always on view or for purchase. I am excited to be helping my friends out and collaborating. I think that’s always important,” she explains.
Working day and night on projects feels like play when it’s really a family affair. The artists she showcases are friends and people she’s been looking up to forever, “people that have helped me and people that I’d like to help. I am mostly excited to be working with Ben Rayner, Othelo Gervacio, and Nick Sethi.” We took our photo shoot to Hollywood on the same night and captured some images of a happy fish in her newfound pond.
In her signature curatorial style, the images are loaded with grime and passion – quite fitting for the neighborhood.
“I love this block. I guess the type of people going to the Gagosian aren’t walking around the area but characters are crawling left and right. For sure a good source of entertainment,” she laughs.
The exhibition opening tonight offers a touching glimpse into the dark and imperfect worlds of New York City-based Jordan Sullivan and Brian Merriam. Get there early because her last vernissage attracted over 500 bodies and you might as well forget about parking on Cahuenga unless you’re on a motorcycle.
Photos by Laura Austin