In a world that can often times seem superficial and full of "weather talkers," Italian artist Piero Golia always brings me great joy with his bold statements and very direct opinions on a variety of subjects, even when we may differ. This is the man who (with assistance from the brilliant Lauri Firstenberg and her arts non-profit  LA><ART), has a huge globe erected on top of the Standard Hotel in West Hollywood which glows only when he is in town and remains extinguished when we in LA are without his presence.

Last year, like something out of a Hollywood film, an irate taxi driver intentionally smashed head-on into Piero's home in the Hollywood Hills destroying art, personal items, and furniture. Piero took broken pieces of his property and used them as material for new works in his show at Gagosian Beverly Hills, his first solo exhibition in Los Angeles.


Piero Golia. Luminous Sphere. Photo courtesy LA><ART.


PIERO GOLIA. Constellation Painting #5, 2011.Resin and debris. Photo by Joshua White.

Akin to remnants of artifacts preserved in lava, neon shards and metallic pieces of Piero's shattered personal possessions are sucked into dense, shiny black resinKnobby appendages stick out like the joysticks on 80s Pac Man arcade games, while bars protrude like a jungle gym. Incredibly tactile, you want to touch these works.

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It seems like artist Ry Rocklen, pictured at left, wants to hang from those bars. Opening photo courtesy Gagosian Gallery.

Set against the backdrop of his Constellation Paintings, Piero created more work I want to touch: 13 concrete cake sculptures made from molds the likes of which my grandmother used for her delicious bundt cakes. 

And who would believe that it was an everyday bit of social media that helped to realize his show at Gagosian? A few days after the opening of his solo show in Amsterdam at the Stedelijk Museum, Piero posted on his Facebook page: "Time for my first LA show…. I think should be on June 23rd… it is going to be paintings and sculptures."

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And there you have it. Piero Golia's show is up through Aug. 5.

Gagosian Gallery. 456 North Camden Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210. Tue-Sat 10-6


Jessica Trent

PS I was obsessed with designer Michalyn Andrews' neon & metallic Minx nails at the opening, and wanted so badly to press them against the resin paintings. Art should be fun afterall! But we didn't feel like getting attacked by the guards. Piero has promised to take us through and let us touch.