Entries in Press (58)


ARTE: Citizens of Culture writes about BLACK WHITE THREAD

Citizens of Culture came to the opening of BLACK WHITE THREAD click the photo below for the full story.


ARTE: Samuel Levi Jones awarded Wein Prize

Samuel Levi Jones recieved the Joyce Alexander Wein Artist prize from the Studio Museum in Harlem a few weeks ago.  This is a big deal, as the award has never been given to an emerging artist before.  Congratualations to Sam!



Kenturah's radio interview about her solo exhibit Narratives and Meditations


ARTE: Diversity in the Art world

An interview with Diversity Executive about the art world and our unique place in it.

The art world might seem colorful and forward-thinking, but it’s just as behind in diversity as some of the more conservative industries. Like all other businesses, however, it does have its standout stars that break the white-male mold. Michelle Joan Papillion is one of them.

Papillion opened her second Los Angeles art gallery in February and also runs an art advisory business under the umbrella of her company, Papillion Art. At 32, her five-year-old business allows her to pursue the same passions she had growing up: to create and surround herself with similarly artistic people.

“I always joke and say that I’m a lazy worker because working for someone else, it was never a hundred percent,” Papillion said. To realize her dream of being her own boss, she decided to start her own company when she was in her 20s. “As time went by I started realizing I would spend what people call ‘the best years of your life’ working for myself and building my own art empire.”

Full interview HERE.


ARTE: Narratives and Meditations Review

Wonderful review of Kenturah's show at the Daily Serving.

As an artist playing with the limits of realism, Kenturah Davis points to the construction and materiality of the portrait, while also emphasizing the internal and social nature of language in her solo show Narratives and Meditations at Papillion in Los Angeles.

Through an impressive mastery of her subjects’ image, Davis creates portraits of brown-skinned, kinky-haired, vocal subjects. Installed in a grid-like pattern on the wall, the series Narratives comprises two graphite murals, each formed by numerous sheets of archival paper. Within these two murals, four portraits anoint the gallery lounge. The faces emerge from lines of Davis’ poetry, scrawled in densely layered cursive script that reads: “There’s something about dignity/And something about shame/There’s something about honesty/And something about blame…” Covering each sheet, the text creates a wide range of value gradation, punctuated with highlights of negative space. In the next room,nine framed portraits (graphite, 42 x 38 in. each) from the series Meditations command the viewer’s gaze. Similar to those in the Narrativeseries, these images are also constructed from layers of text; however, they read as mantras, or vocalizations of the self. Whether it’s Davis’ own writing, scripture, song lyrics, or a quote from Audre Lorde, a sentiment of personal resilience is conveyed. The text constitutes each subject, but it also activates a dialogue between subjects, as well as the subjects and viewers, that works to intercept culturally constructed notions of otherness made apparent by their deftly captured features.

While Davis does not make portraits only of black women, black women are her primary focus of study. Her reverence for black women, and the legacies of black feminism (the privileging of self-definition, the articulation of a visual beauty that is inherently coupled with blackness, the assertion of a powerful femininity), are apparent in the number of women she draws and her decision to situate them equally within the context of Audre Lorde and the Bible. Even though the texts convey sentiments of prideful endurance, and though the absence of color renders the faces as almost iconic, Davis’ treatment of her subjects also reveals an interest in vulnerability. From the soft lines and dark contours of their faces, to the unruly kinks of their hair, her portraits are full of complexity. Davis maintains an attention to detail that simultaneously complicates the images’ minimal arrangement and the internal strength conveyed through the text. There is no lack of confidence in Narratives and Meditations, but these beautiful people are more than prideful. Their gazes reveal reflexivity, timidity, joy, and exhaustion, and in this way, the portraits reflect what it means to be utterly human.

By Anna Martine Whitehead



Super stoked to be listed on LA WEEKLY's Best of LA 2014 list!!!! Check us out as the Best Art Gallery Off The Beaten Path :-) the write up sums up very accuartely what we are all about!



ARTE: Kenturah's Radio Interview

Kenturah has a great interview on OFF RAMP with John Rabe.  Click the photo to read/listen!



Thank you Women's Wear Daily for profiling us! And for writing about the arts revolution we are hoping to spark in Leimert Park.  It has been an incredible 6 months being open in our new neighborhood and we couldn't be more happy to be adding to Leimert's rich legacy and creating new history.

On a recent August afternoon in Los Angeles, Michelle Joan Papillion was taking a break inside her sprawling, whitewashed gallery in Leimert Park. She was a few days away from finishing preparations for a new exhibit and was enjoying a rare moment of peace before an upcoming opening. 

Papillion, in a loose-fitting tank and skirt, hasn’t had many of those moments lately. 

Since she opened her first gallery four years ago, the 32-year-old has emerged as one of L.A.’s gallerists to watch, thanks to her hit shows and prominent supporters, like Jeffrey Deitch and Franklin Sirmans, chief curator at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. 

“I wanted to be stimulated by many different things and different types of people in one space,” she says casually by way of explaining her rise in the art world. “And I know how to do that through art.”

Papillion grew up in Oakland with a deep interest in the arts, though she wasn’t quite sure what form that interest would take. After high school, she pursued an art history degree at Howard University in Washington, D.C., but her real education came from the people she encountered socially on trips to gallery openings in Manhattan in the early Aughts.

Read the rest of the article online here


ARTE: Town & Country

Happy to be included in the LA issue of Town & Country Magazine. We're in great company as one of the "34 genuises turning it into America's capital of cool!" In over its 100 years of exsistence T&C has never had a guest editor, Liz Goldwyn was the first and its an honor.  Its on newsstands now but you can read the online interview about "the LA galleriests who are remaking the art scene in their own image" HERE

Michelle Joan Papillion


Papillion moved from New York in 2008, opening her first gallery four years ago.

HOW HAS THE ART SCENE CHANGED SINCE YOU MOVED TO L.A.?  "Back in 2008, the art community seemed very insular. It was not so inviting for an outsider. But all of that has changed. It's now the hippest place for an artist to be, and the scene feels very open and expansive."

WHAT'S RESPONSIBLE FOR THAT CHANGE? "I don't think there's one thing, though technology is definitely a key ingredient in facilitating the growth of the scene. Social media has been a big game changer—here and everywhere."

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A NEW YORK AND AN L.A. COLLECTOR?  "There is a greater passion for and commitment to supporting local artists here."

HOW WOULD YOU RATE L.A.'S MUSEUMS? "They are world class. I travel a great deal for work, to view exhibitions around the globe. Your Bright Future at LACMA and Art in the Streets at MOCA are in my top ten exhibitions ever. And I always look forward to MADE IN LA, the biennial at the Hammer."

IS IT EASIER TO BE A FEMALE ARTIST IN L.A.? "No. Women have to work harder and smarter to be recognized in the same circles as their male contemporaries. Diversity in the contemporary art world is not as progressive as many would think. The work of some of my favorite L.A. artists—like Miranda July and Kenturah Davis—are adding important things to this conversation."

WHAT'S THE MOST EXCITING GALLERY NEIGHBORHOOD?  "Regen Projects, LACE, and HVW8—all in Hollywood. But Leimert Park, where I opened my second gallery this year, is becoming the next great art destination."

IS THERE A SONG THAT SUMS UP L.A. FOR YOU? "Kendrick Lamar's album Good Kid M.A.A.D City."




Numa Perrier's Florida Water has a great write up on Shadow and Act. Numa is our week 3 artist in the Video Art Residency this summer.


ARTE: LA Times Datebook!!

You read it! The LA Times has put us on their datebook...so we should be seeing you this week! Numa's Florida Water is playing now!


ARTE: Salon Magazine

We're happy to be in the fall ART issue of Salon Magazine and included in their Art Radar 2014.  If you're in Europe pick up a copy!!

"Papillion, located in the up and coming area of Leimert Park, has a strong programme for emerging artists and a stylish woman at its helm."


ARTE: Fabrik Mag

Kenturah is featured in the latest issue of art magazine FABRIK as one of eight emerging artist in LA to watch!



Thrilled, excited and surprised to be in such great company in the July issue of Vogue Magazine, with Lupita Nyong'o on the cover.  Elizabeth von Thurn und Taxis came to visit us on a recent west coast trip and wrote about it in her TNT coloumn of the magazine.  

Here's a snippet:

"What I found most inspiring about L.A.;s art scene was the unexpected young female force it bears.  I met a series of passionate and very noteworthy women - gallerists and artists alike.  What a relief from art-world machismo! Take Michelle Joan Papillion, who, with a great eye for emerging talent, recently set up shop in Leimert Park, an area with few galleries. "I think of Leimert Park as a flower waiting to bloom," she told me. "Three years from now, this place will be the talk of the art-and-culture scene."



ARTE: SOCAL Connected

This originally aired last night.  But you can watch it again on channel 28 KCET tomorrow night at 8pm and again over the weekend.  Check us out in the segment about the future of Leimert Park.

ARTE: LA Times Feature!!!

Thank you Los Angeles Times for the prominent feature in today's Business section!  The story speaks about our perspective and vision on Leimert Park and how we think art can transform the community. Peep the Noah Davis "Temptations" painting and the Lisa C Soto sculpture, the photo was taken in our private upstairs gallery :-) Click the CONTACT tab to inquire about these available works.


ARTE: Creating A Scene


Pick up a copy of this week's LA Weekly.  Its a wonderful, informed article about us and our position in the LA Artworld.  It also goes into the history of the neighborhood and our vision for what we'd like to contribute to it. A snippet below.

Leimert Park Village is a stretch of storefronts that looks like a small town square tucked into a big city. That's where Michelle Papillion has a new gallery, and she titled its debut show "Open."

"It's really sort of an inside joke," she says. "Even the day before we had our grand opening, people were like, 'Are you sure you're going to be open?' Because there was still stuff on the floors, a big construction mess."

The space, like a lot of storefronts in the village that's just east of Crenshaw Boulevard, had been vacant for three years before Papillion arrived. "Mother Nature had taken over," she says. She had to patch up walls and tile the floors before installing the show.

But on the evening of Feb. 15, as scheduled, she had a pink neon sign saying "Papillion" above the entrance and work by eight emerging artists installed inside, including David Sigmund's wood-laminate sculptures in the window; colorful keyboards by Nzuji de Magalhaes against the sidewall of the first room; and Raksha Parekh's sugarcane-paper tendons hanging from the ceiling in the second room.

About 500 people came through that night, among them London dealer Jay Jopling; former MOCA director Jeffrey Deitch; neighborhood residents; and artists' parents and siblings. Papillion planned to close by 9 p.m. Instead, she was locking up a little after midnight.

Danielle Dean, a London-born L.A. artist whose work is elegantly populistic and who has a video in "Open," went for post-opening drinks with friends. She recalls one of those friends announcing, "I just want to propose a toast to what I think is an emerging scene."



We had a crazy successful opening last month when we finally debuted in Leimert Park!!!  And word has gotten around town, check out our re-cap and press from a recent newsletter:

"We opened our doors February 15th in Leimert Park and nearly 500 people showed up to make it a complete success!  The group exhibition titled OPEN features work by 8 emerging artist who should be taken note of: Painter, Hugo McCloud; Designer/Drawer, Kenturah Davis; Sculptor, Raksha Parkeh; Video & Installation artist, Danielle Dean; Painter & Sculptor, Nzuji de Magalhaes; Sculptor/Drawer, David Sigmund; Painter, Derek Fordjour and Abstract artist Samuel Levi Jones represent the burst of great talent the emerging art scene has to offer.  Its an exciting time for Los Angeles and the artist community and I feel OPEN represents a little of this excitement.

There were some great write ups about the show.  KCET ArtboundIntersections South LA and Morningside Park Chronicle all covered our opening while LA WEEKLY just named us as one of the "5 Artsy Things to do in LA".  There are some great quotes from Mark Bradford, Eileen Harris Norton and Jeffrey Deitch who attended the opening and had beautiful things to share.

OPEN will run until April 13, 2014.  Hours of operation are Wednesday - Sunday 12 - 6pm and by appointment. Closed Monday & Tuesday."

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