Los Angeles gallery of the moment: Khastoo

June Wayne paintings at Khastoo gallery, Los Angeles

Sunset boulevard is the newest hot gallery street of Los Angeles. It is where Ltd. Los Angeles, Overduin & Kite, 8th Veil, Michael Benevento (NYC and LA) and Khastoo are located. One of my friends in New York thinks of Hollywood as LA’s East Village, because of the concentration of bars, nightclubs and restaurants, and of course people walking on the streets until late in the night. He said this to me about five years ago. Neither of us could have envisioned that part of Hollywood could actually become even more like the East Village, with the founding of several gallery and project spaces in the last few years.

Twenty seven-year old Leila Khastoo worked at Gagosian and Mary Goldman galleries before opening her own space on Sunset boulevard. The gallery is getting the level of press that but a few of the small but international level spaces in LA have ever received. This includes the opening of China Art Objects a decade ago, and the launch of LAXART into Los Angeles just over 5 years ago. There is certainly more attention being paid to the happenings and events inside the LA Artworld than at any other time in the city’s history. Khastoo gallery has already been featured in BlackBook and the NYTimes T magazine. Not since the opening of LAXART 5 years ago has a project space – not an artist run space – got so much New York City attention. The gallery was featured in Wallpaper magazine’s US Top 40 in 2009. That the gallery is here in LA speaks of the desire to expand the local into the international discourse.

Lelia Khastoo, second from left, in her Sunset boulevard art gallery

photo by Stephanie Diani for the New York Times

From Khastoo gallery’s website:

“Khastoo Gallery was founded in November of 2008 by Leila Khastoo, a Los Angeles native interested in bringing an international academic perspective to the artistic landscape of the city.  Shows at Khastoo emphasize the critical content of art and art making, integrating current global viewpoints with an art historical approach to programming.www.khastoo.com

The Dubai-based arts and lifestyle magazine Brownbook featured a story on Lelia Khastoo and her gallery in Los Angeles.

Khastoo gallery was features in Wallpaper magazine's U.S. Top 40 for 2009

“los angeles gallery KHASTOO
is number 11 of wallpaper* magazine’s 40 reasons to be in the USA.

khastoo just so happens to be where smithshop made its preview presentation 1 year ago.

CONGRATULATIONS KHASTOO.”

From the Art Newspaper, London:

“Leila Khastoo, owner of the Los Angeles-based Khastoo gallery which represents several Iran-based artists including Vahid Sharifian, said she, too, faced obstacles after opening her space in 2008. “It’s perfectly legal and fine to bring art work from Iran,” said Khastoo. “But customs brokers don’t know that and are frightened to go near it. Several said it was impossible and couldn’t be done.”

Vincent Johnson is an artist and writer in Los Angeles

Cold War photomontage: Watching Television 2009. Vincent Johnson

Vincent Johnson is an artist and writer from Los Angeles

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