New Manny Castro Exhibit Celebrates Sweets, Draws Attention to LA Garment District

By Keith Esparros
|  Thursday, Mar 14, 2013  |  Updated 11:53 PM PDT
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"Donuting" Art Exhibit Draws Attention to LA's Past and Potential

Keith Esparros

Artist Manny Castro and FactoryLA founder Leah Garvin pose with Castro's latest installation, "Donuting." Fifteen tires, painted to look like doughnuts, hang from chains in an empty building at 840 S. Los Angeles Street.


Tucked away in an empty space that sits in what used to be the heart of the LA garment district, artist Manny Castro's latest display hangs.

By Castro's standards, his whimsical "Donuting" is nearly a secret. Just a handful of well-wishers and passersby strolled through the exhibit.

In 2010, Castro created a "zero-to-sixty" buzz one morning when hikers making their way through Runyon Canyon came across his Gaga Christ painting, a 30-foot by 30-foot image of Lady Gaga with a crown of thorns in a near messianic pose.

The guerrilla tactic paid off, garnering coverage from several media outlets, including NBC4 and the Los Angeles Times, among others.

His latest work (pictured below) is much harder to find.

Fifteen tires, painted to look like doughnuts, hang from chains in an empty building at 840 S. Los Angeles Street.

"I want to blur the lines between art and entertainment", Castro said.

The exhibit may also blur the lines between art and promotion. Castro's work is drawing attention to the dreams of his friend Leah Garvin.

Garvin -- founder of FactoryLA, which sponsored the event -- hopes the old garment district can evolve into a new center of fashion in Los Angeles.

Where painted tires hang today, Garvin sees a future home to designers as well as manufacturers, who can produce fashion unique to LA.

But she said all of that is down the road.

Garvin said the display of Castro's homage to the sweet and sinful breakfast is "really all about having fun."

The exhibit is not expected to remain in place for long, but Castro hinted that soon the work might be hard to miss.

Speaking of his doughnut tires, Castro said, "expect to see more of them."

Then with a smile, added, "Maybe in a neighborhood near you."

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