Gil Veni Vici partnered with HVW8 Gallery off of Melrose to debut his “East Side Story” artshow and installation experience on Friday (September 23). The model and muse for many of L.A.’s biggest photographers invited 12 artists to showcase portraits of Gil acting as both the creative director and the main focal point of the show. Celebrating his Mexican-American heritage, Gil placed his own pet bird in its cage in the center of the main gallery exhibition room as well as a rose-shaped “50K” display (also the name of Gil’s clothing line) next to a portrait by Castro Clifton in a corner of the room. After guests circled around the main room with portraits of Gil, an “East Side Story Puto” neon light above the doorway brought guests to a second smaller room with a Virgin Mary shrine to the right and holy candles, rose petals, and a bible encircled on the floor adjacent to a tagged wall by Spanto of BornXRaised. To the left was a live poker game installation followed by one of my favorite portraits of Gil from the evening: a shirtless leather-jacket-wearing Gil arm-in-arm with his grandmother. Outside in the parking lot was the overflow of guests with complimentary drinks in hand. Gil brought out ATVs and posed for a few photos before walking back inside, passing a row of classic low-rider cars just outside of the sectioned off patio area.
“East Side Story is a culmination of Gil’s roots and career thus far; a happening saturated with the vibrance of East L.A.’s visual culture.”
HVW8 Art + Design Gallery is located at 661 N Spaulding Ave in Los Angeles.
East Side Story will be on display until October 13.