Rachel Berkowitz and Tara Gruchalski currently live and work in West Hollywood, California. They met studying painting under the artist Lari Pittman whilst attending UCLA.
The two discovered Los Angeles in a different way than most practicing artists: they assimilated themselves into the Hollywood scene, both living and working in the environment they wished to encapsulate.
The artists became involved in experiencing the extremities of consumerist culture, with particular focus on the benefits and privileges of heirarchy, pushing through the fine line between want and waste. The two transitioned through the Hollywood landscape from outsiders to insiders, and noticed that within this culture of desire, there is a strong element of repulsion.
Berkowitz and Gruchalski were given their artistic taste from the institutions that curate the fine art world, and soon realized that this taste was only ephemeral to the Hollywood consumerist culture. Thus, they began to create a social sculpture of the waste and byproducts they were collecting, metaphorically and physically. They started a "still life" in their own home in 2016, and unwanted items were added onto the sculpture from both the artists as well as those involved in the progressing work. The trash concept physically expanded into depositing sculptures made from items in the still life around glamorous parts of Los Angeles. A large still life was built by the artists in a music and arts festival in Hollywood, called the Friends Festival. Documentation of the performance pieces will be shown for the first time in Guest Projects. This part of the work is more akin to relational aesthetics rather than a performance piece. The artists used their experiences and connections inside the artwork, but also as a means of exposure. In early October, they had an exhibition of photographs (Berkowitz) and videos (Gruchalski) displayed in a luxurious Hollywood venue, The Argyle. This body of work, known as "Fairfax Royalty" will be shown as a solo exhibition here in London at Daniel Raphael Gallery on November 27th, 2017 from 6pm-9pm. The photography and videography for "Fairfax Royalty" served as a platform for the artists to unify the rare, genuine individuals who are atypical amongst Hollywood's vapid culture. Paralleling the construction of the trash sculptures, "Fairfax Royalty" promotes substance and value in a city so full of glamorised garbage.