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The “Art” of Larry David and “Curb Your Enthusiasm”

In celebration of the newest season of “Curb,” a Pacific Palisades art gallery is hosting a David-themed art show throughout the week of the season premiere (until October 31)
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October 26, 2021
An acrylic painting of Larry David by Rick Lynch at the “Big Bald Art Show” in Pacific Palisades. Photos by Brian Fishbach

The eleventh season of HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm” began this week to much anticipation from fans. “Curb” continues to offer slice-of-LA-life comedy surrounding the show’s curmudgeon-in-chief, Larry David. 

In celebration of the newest season of “Curb,” a Pacific Palisades art gallery is hosting a David-themed art show throughout the week of the season premiere (until October 31).

Titled “The Big Bald Art Show” and showcased at The Bruce Lurie Gallery, it features original works by artists from all over the world, including Australia, Costa Rica, Norway, Argentina, Ukraine, Belarus, Puerto Rico and Israel. 

The curator and producer of the art show, Steve Matoren, sourced the pieces mostly by searching Instagram and Twitter hashtags and contacting artists directly. 

“I’m a big pop culture art enthusiast,” Matoren told The Journal. “There’s a lot of Bill Murray [artwork] out there, a lot of Lebowski stuff, so any artist that I liked, even if they didn’t have a Larry [piece], I would reach out and ask if they would be interested in featuring something.”

Enthusiasm was indeed present as hundreds of “Curb” fans attended opening night.

“Every ‘Curb’ fan who has come through the art show so far has been blown away,” Matoren said, noting that a lot of “hardcore ‘Curb’ fans” showed up. It’s a very unique show, [and] people like the variety.” 

Artist Carl Lyon’s bust of Larry David

Local artist Carl Lyon created a Rodin-style bust of Larry David. Another local artist, Naz Harounian, featured several pieces in the art show, including spoof bottles of anxiety medication for David and recurring character Marty Funkhouser, played by the late Bob Einstein. There was a large crochet of David by artist London Kaye and a crochet of one of David’s catch phrases, “pretty, pretty, pretty good.” Matoren himself created early 1900’s-style baseball cards featuring “Curb” characters.

“[Larry David] has been a lifestyle brand, and the guy who says the things that people may be thinking but won’t say adds that cringe factor that ultimately becomes iconic.”
– Rick Lynch

“[Larry David] has been a lifestyle brand, and the guy who says the things that people may be thinking but won’t say adds that cringe factor that ultimately becomes iconic,” said Rick Lynch, a creative director in the entertainment advertising world. Lynch sold a painting of David standing on a diving board, which he says symbolizes the character once again walking the plank or pushing towards yet another uncomfortable situation.

After a busy weekend of visitors coming to the gallery, Matoren reflected on what draws people to love the show. He concluded that Larry David is unequivocally and unapologetically himself and very opinionated and passionate, and that is what people are drawn to. He said that he understands why some people find David’s character annoying, but he lacks any B.S. and always comes from a place of truth.

Much like David’s character on “Curb,” the best art comes from a place of raw honesty and vicious truth, even if it makes the viewers cringe.

The seven newest episodes, to be released weekly through December 5th, were filmed entirely during the COVID-19 pandemic. If the season premiere episode is any indication, the eleventh season will take place in a post-pandemic Los Angeles. 

Although the show’s first season began in 2000, there have been multiple hiatuses. And with season 10 having aired in 2020, this is the first time since the 2004 and 2005 seasons that “Curb” has had two consecutive calendar years with new seasons. 

Anyone at the opening night of the gallery who mentioned that they have met David said that he is in reality, quite a nice guy. So remember as season 11 of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” unfolds that the show is art, not a documentary.

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