Exclusive: Jess Rotter’s Vintage-Inspired Moontunes at Garage Gallery


When most of us are only waking up, New York-based artist Jess Rotter has already showered, phoned a collaborator, thrown the prior night’s dance threads in the laundry, shined some Soviet-era speed skates, then penned, painted, and designed a vibrantly tranquil free-for-all. “I’m always thinking ahead,” she tells Flavorwire. “I start my days in my sleep.” Apropos, considering 2009 slates sweaty Dungen dudes, The Global Fund via GAP’s Product Red, and the Rotter and Friends Spring collection.

Despite her forward thinking, it is Rotter’s appreciation for the past that inspires her creative progressiveness. Regularly teaming with rare and out of print digital-reissue maverick, Anthology Recordings, she champions the residual glaze of movements and successes left ashore by time, mimicry, and technology. And she’s got range

Rotter has done lines for Urban Outfitters, covers for Vogue Nippon and Anthem, and shown in London and Tokyo. “It’s pretty awesome when I get an email from a fourteen year-old kid asking me about Link Wray.” Still, her work doesn’t skirt relevance. Her material tonally suggests modern alienation, obsession, or buzzword intransigence, but let’s face it, stimulation sickness is better dealt with in sundresses and huaraches.

Thus, California. Rotter will be exhibiting in Los Angeles for the first time at Garage Gallery in Los Feliz for one night only on February 28th. Her visit combines with Anthropology’s residence and monthly installation, Sunday Salon, the following evening at Palihouse in West Hollywood. Rotter and Friends will shake their makers of money with other performers, DJS, art/film/photo projections and giveaways.

Rotter’s collection of watercolor painting and ink drawings, Moontunes, which bids homage to her favorite musical heroes of the ’60s and ’70s, is particularly fitting for folks on the West Coast. “There’s a great vinyl buying market out here,” she says. “The tactile experience is really appreciated, maybe more so than New York. And there’s such an appreciation for calm, for nostalgia.”

And suitably, the Eastside venue is very unique. Ali Grossman’s Garage Gallery glows from her spacious Los Feliz backyard, and the DJs, fire pit, palm-strung lights, and orange and lemon trees, not only challenge the typical LA gallery feel, but make for year-round, kicking evenings. Grossman, a film editor, started the gallery after her growing interest in buying and exhibition conflicted with the late evening hours many in Los Angeles work. “I was always rushing, the art never felt affordable, and I didn’t really feel included. I started this with my pals and every event’s been an evolution. Most everyone can afford something. It’s awesome to experience someone buying their first piece of art.”

Rotter can dig it. She describes Garage Gallery as “very real, very genuine. Galleries and openings can be very cold. You end up paying more attention to the people around you then the art.”

Instead, pay attention to Grossman’s homemade desserts, dancing kids afoot, and wine at appropriate temperature courtesy of the evening air. Zach Cowie (aka Turquoise Wisdom) will DJ.