A huge part of California culture, Southern California in particular, is the swap meet and flea market. There is a creativity in the exchanges, a colorful and democratic place where people meet and bring a piece of themselves. Los Angeles-based Wendy Park's excellent new body of work, SWAP MEET KID, is an ode to her childhood memories of California's outdoor markets, with nuanced details and iconography that put you directly into a time and place. 

The works aren't literal. They carry a sort of daydream memory weight. A bowl of instant ramen on a makeshift cardboard table is familiar and sort of a faded thought, effective and beautiful. The fact that the works have this dreamlike sequencing makes sense in that she says her work is about "her family’s pursuit and manifestation of the American Dream." Where Park shines is in her pursuit of painting that special story of how the Dream emerges, what it takes to fulfill it and the exchanges we make as early generation immigrants to get there. —Evan Pricco