Friday, December 24, 2010

Tis The Season

Oh yes, tis the season of the sensual world and to prove it I bring you cell phone photos and text from my visit to the Resnick Pavillion at LACMA.

The latest building addition to LACMA has been reviewed elsewhere and so I'm not going to do that here. Nor am I going to give a complete run down of the installation which is a whirlwind mix of cultures and art forms. I went through the brilliant and fascinating costume collection and came out of that space to see this wonderful mural fragment. It was only then that I wished I'd brought a camera. Oh but that's what cell phones are for, right?

      The mural on the west wall of Structure 1 depicts the ceremonies associated with the coronation of an early Maya king at San Bartolo. Originally painted on the room's upper register, the mural measures about 33 inches high and it was partially destroyed when the Maya built over it. According to the team led by William Saturno, Karl Taube, and David Stuart, and the documention by Heather Hurst, this sequence records the birth, death, and resurrection of the Maya maize god. A Maya figure, carrying an Olmec-style baby representing the infant maize god god, strides toward a profile turtle head attached to a lobed body that contains threee dieties. One sits on a throne; the other is seated on a jaguar-pelt cushion. Their arms extend toward the adult maize god, who is shown dancing and beating on a turtle shell drum with an antler.
      The Olmec-style baby in this narrative indicates the familiarity of the early Maya with these ancestral traditions.

Thank you Heather Hurst!  Heather is the scientist/artist responsible for this mural fragment and much more documentation of Mayan culture. It's so brilliant I can hardly stand it. Here again I present proof of the dynamic enlightening and enigmatic qualities of the painted wall. I need it, you need, we have to have it. Now excuse my laziness but I thought the description provided was succinct and interesting as is so I give it to you thusly.

Mexico, Guerrero, Oxtotitlan Cave, c. 900-700 BC
Mineral pigments
Replica painted by John M.D. Pohl, Wendy Phillips, and Isabel Ramirez

Yes, there's more: another mural, also bizarre and beautiful. And you've got the Resnicks' dodads and whatnots. I've only incuded one object in the Eye for the Sensual exhibit, a fine grisaille rondel. Apparently given the choice I'm more drawn to the primitive. On the other hand the painting subject is a celebration of the primitive so there you have it,  I am consistent. Please enjoy and prosper in the new year with my best regards.

Yours truly,

Scott Waterman


  1. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you too Scott!

    Enjoy the season......


  2. Wishing you the best in the coming year, Scott.

  3. Thanks you so much L. R. and P.S.!

    Wishing you both the same.

  4. rad murals and bits! thanks for posting these.
    happy christmas to you scott and i hope to see you in the new year

  5. ps the kate bush reference was especially welcome

  6. Thanks Lynn!

    I meant to comment on your shoes and stockings so I'll do it here: glorious!


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