There’s a new art gallery in town, and we’re obsessed. TRANSFER Gallery, a Brooklyn transplant, opened early this summer on Hope Street, across from FIDM and just a few minutes from Hotel Figueroa. But don’t expect paintings mounted on walls or sculptures perched atop white columns inside this loft-like space. Instead of peering at printed and framed photographs or examining pieces through acrylic cubes, you’ll come face-to face with digital art that, when effective, challenges how L.A. views, collects, and critiques virtual artwork.
Behind TRANSFER is Kelani Nichole, a user experience strategist who works with startups when she’s not curating the computer-generated exhibitions featured in the gallery. Nichole opened the first TRANSFER space along Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Avenue in 2013 to support digital artists from around the world. In just five years, she produced more than 60 exhibitions there, before relocating her life and gallery to DTLA to be closer to many of her artists and entertainment clients.
The West Coast iteration of TRANSFER Gallery continues the conversation around computer-based art, which addresses the friction between digital work and physical space with each show. “Liminal Territory,” the inaugural L.A. installations by Rick Silva and Sabrina Ratté, focused on the environment, and saw the artists employ 3D animation, aerial drone footage, photogrammetry and video to examine the implications of humans interacting with the physical world. Another piece, Cassie McQuarter’s “Black Room,” reflected on the artist’s bouts with insomnia, and is an interactive video game that can be viewed at the gallery and played at home.
Technology-driven art is far from new—creators have produced video, audio, light, and graphic work for decades—but Nichole hopes TRANSFER encourages the public to engage deeper with pieces projected onto the gallery’s walls than they would if they saw the same work on a laptop or phone. Creating a physical space to view digital work also encourages the viewer to discuss the work rather than examine it in passing, and in presenting work that could often be found online, Nicole is determined to help digital artists find an audience that values their work both off and online.
TRANSFER Gallery is located at 1000 S Hope Street #420 LA, CA 90015. Check transfergallery.com for updates on gallery hours and the latest exhibitions.
We’re continually inspired by the creative energy of Downtown Los Angeles. For local recommendations—and to hear from the diverse individuals who make DTLA what it is today—head to our Meet You Downtown blog.