image

Artist Dean Sameshima worked in MOCA’s bookstore in 1992, when he was arrested for lewd conduct. A cop had “caught” him in a public restroom, during a sting operation (some LAPD officers had heard certain restrooms were playgrounds for pleasure seekers). For his show at Gavlak Gallery, Sameshima, who now lives in Berlin, hand painted the pages of his arrest report across five canvases. He impressively approximated the type and handwriting, so the paintings look “official.” Still, reading the report is weirdly salacious, both because of the detailed descriptions of “lewdness” and because someone’s private history has been writ so large.

by Catherine Wagley