February 2, 2015

Daytripping LA: the good, the bad, the ugly @LACMA

Something to know about the Kellers:  in the almost 12 years that we’ve lived here in SoCal, we’ve been to Disneyland exactly once. Why, you may ask?  Because we – all of us – hate lines. And crowds. Nevermind the whole claustrophobic thing (tho, I’ve got that in spades), the real maddening thing is crowds of people ploddingly walking S L O W L Y right in front of us.  We Kellers don’t like to walk slow.   So, all that just to say, we blew off that superduperlongline at the Tar Pits and headed over to LACMA…

Behold the crowds of people here.  And behold that neato Urban Light sculpture.  I quite liked that.

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There was a line here also.  But, though it was long, it moved quickly, and Little Dude and I messed around in the lights while we approached the ticket counter.  Question: why does one need to get tickets (or in this case, stickers) when it’s a free day?

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Be not afraid to take the narrow path …
We hit up the contemporary “art” building first.  Honestly, and just my humble not-academic-art-smart-opinion, I wasn’t terribly impressed or moved by much of this stuff.  Some of the pieces I liked just because they were uber big and colorful.

Like this one below.
But a lot of them, I just found to be stupid/silly, like the three painted-red urinals mounted on the wall.  Or below, this incredibly simplistic black rectangle.  I know “art” is subjective.  But, really?  If the creation lacks creativity or uniqueness or skilled complexity or deceptive simplicity or aesthetic beauty or intentional ugliness or lacks a responding emotion or can be easily replicated by ANYBODY, do you call it art?  About the time we passed this particular piece, Big Dude muttered, “If you can’t identify the sucker at the poker table, it’s You.”

But, enough of what I didn’t like.  Here are some of the pieces I did like.  This one below was my favorite.  It’s part of an exhibit by Archibald Motley Jr.  All of his pictures were filled with bold color.  This one, titled Another Mexican Baby, was oil painted on a woven petate (potato) mat…

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I was also mesmerized by this somewhat creepy and very intense Picasso piece.  From his “blue” years, his depressed years.  When I got home I read some of the internet-accessible info on the background of this painting and discovered that LACMA leant it out for a year to be a part of a traveling exhibit tracing the influence of the Impressionist Edgar Degas on the modernist Pablo Picasso.  The exhibit gathered pairs of Degas-Picasso paintings to show the remarkable influence (of Degas on Picasso) and resemblances between the two artists' works.  Totally fascinating.  This particular article includes photos of four such pairings

This gigantic elevator was pretty intense, too.  (Not pictured, but another exhibit I quite enjoyed in a nostalgic-70s-iconic-Brady-Bunch-suburbia-Charlies-Angels-style sort of way was the “Pictures from Home” photography exhibit of Larry Sultan’s images. )

lacma-14 While installing Larry Smith’s Smoke wasn’t quite as big a deal as installing Levitated Mass (the big rock we walked under), it was kinda a big deal.  Here’s the timelapse installation.

Exiting.  We took the cool stairs instead of the cool elevator.
And we left the crazy morass of LA’s Miracle Mile of museums and headed for Malibu to take the College Kid and a couple buddies out for a not-cafeteria dinner.  I thought the sunset was some of the best art we saw that day.



Life with Kaishon said...

What a beautiful day! I love that you go on so many adventures. I love the big sign! I was not too impressed with the red painting : ).

You would hate walking with me because I am slow. Very, very slow. I want to take the kids to Harry Potter World or Land or whatever it is called, but I am afraid that I am too slow and people like you will hate being behind me. : (

Tracy P. said...

This is your second trip to LA in like 3 or 4 months. Are you sure you're ok? :-) I totally would have gotten sucked in by the light sculpture, though.