April showers bring May flowers, and May itself brings more than enough to do. Cultural events are springing up all over the place this month. To help you navigate the abundance of things to do, SIXTY’s resident culture writer Scott Heins selects six top-notch happenings in New York and Los Angeles. Herewith, your guide to the best of May.
LOS ANGELES: Despite the large-scale construction happening on its grounds, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art remains open for business, and this month not one, not two, but four brilliant new gallery shows are opening to the public. Design lovers will appreciate the clean geometric work of Frank Stella, as well as Between The Lines, a new exhibition of the museum’s typographic history. Fans of more abstract and visceral art will want to run, not walk, to see the dreamy photos and videos of Isaac Julien as well as Eleanor Antin’s Time’s Arrow, which uses gripping self portraits to address mortality, beauty norms, and gendered power dynamics. Stella and Julien exhibitions open Sunday, May 5th; Typography and Antin exhibitions open Sunday, May 12th // LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles // Admission $16 and up
LOS ANGELES: What started as a hashtag has taken on a life of its own. #EEEEEATS has been used for years by fans of the The Infatuation to catalog their love of great food. It now serves as the guiding principal of a massive food festival with complete with steaming grills, steaming pots, sizzling fryers, and, of course, plenty of booze. EEEEEATS Con will also feature panels of chefs, bloggers, restauranteurs, food influencers, journalists, and more, meaning that if you fancy yourself an aspiring player in your city’s food scene, there’ll be much to learn in between mind-blowing bites. Saturday and Sunday, May 18th and 19th; 12-6 p.m. // The Barker Hangar, 3021 Airport Avenue, Santa Monica // Tickets $30
LOS ANGELES: If you’ve never walked from shipping container to shipping container in the gorgeous L.A. sun, taking in some of the best photography work on the planet, what are you doing with your life? After years of success in New York City, Photoville has finally come to the West Coast, offering scores of mini-galleries of photography and visual artwork produced by the best working photographers today. The free event is heavily focused on visual storytelling and photojournalism, so be prepared for some heart-wrenching subjects as you move throughout the outdoor galleries. Thankfully, there’s a full beer garden and plenty of food vendors on hand for when you need a break. Photo enthusiasts will want to check out the Adobe space for tips on editing images, as well as the Leica pavilion, where you can test-drive some of the best cameras on the planet. Exhibition runs May 2-5th, hours vary // The Annenberg Space for Photography, 2049, Century Park East, Los Angeles // Free Admission
NEW YORK CITY: While they may never recapture the year-long dancefloor supremacy that was 2013’s “Latch,” UK duo Disclosure has kept busy over the past five years, building a career of deftly-made electronica sprinkled with phenomenal guest performances. Whether it be Sam Smith’s dreamy melodies on “Omen,” the Weeknd’s cocky strut on “Nocturnal,” or Lorde’s breathy hooks on “Magnets,” Disclosure’s recent material is arguably their best, and has resonated far out into indie and pop music alike. There’s no better way to kick off the warm season with a night dancing to Disclosure at Brooklyn Mirage, a gorgeous open-air venue filled with palm trees in the heart of East Williamsburg. By the time “White Noise” drops you’ll know that summer’s truly here. Saturday, May 18th, 8 p.m. // Brooklyn Mirage, 140 Stewart Avenue, Brooklyn // Tickets $45
NEW YORK CITY: Art fans visiting New York City this year will have the special treat of taking in the Whitney Biennial, one of the most important shows in any museum, anywhere. Featuring paintings, installations, sculpture, photography, video works, and performance pieces from the very best artists working today, the show is a sprawling curated event that allows visitors to get a firm grasp on where art is headed in the foreseeable future. Since 1932, the show has introduced the public to the artists that have gone on to become vital forces in virtually every medium; buy yourself a ticket and get in touch with everything new and next. Show opens May 14th // Whitney Museum, 99 Gansevoort Street, Manhattan // Admission $25
NEW YORK CITY: The boom of today’s movie industry is in large part thanks to African-American luminaries like Ryan Coogler, Jordan Peele, and Ava DuVernay. But the success of films like Us and Black Panther was built on a foundation of brilliant ’90s films made by black directors—some of them blockbusters, some of them sorely overlooked. This month, Brooklyn art house cinema BAM will celebrate those films with Black 90s: A Turning Point in American Cinema, featuring 35 films. From hip-hop-tinged classics like Belly and Juice to the stylized social commentary of New Jack City, and the unvarnished indie brilliance of Just Another Girl on the I.R.T., the series has plenty that will inform and entertain any and all movie fans. Series runs May 3 through 22nd; Showtimes vary // BAM Cinemas, 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn // Tickets $15
Photo courtesy of Dillon Shook