Monday, April 15, 2013

The Gold Standard

Since moving to Los Angeles a lot has happened and by that I mean there have been changes for the better in the local cultural landscape. As a matter of fact the center of the (contemporary L.A.) art world has located itself a short distance from me. When one ventures out in L.A. it's always preceded by a mental calculation: what route do I take to make it worth it? So famous is that question that it's been parodied on SNL.

Alan Kupchick's opening at Hale Arts.

This is the work of Andrea Bowers (marker on found cardboard) at  Susan Vielmetter Gallery

Fortunately Culver City is just down the street from me and this past Saturday was an opening at Blum and Poe which is always a big deal, and an even bigger deal this night because it's Takashi Murakami. His current offering is called Arhat, (sanskrit for a being who has achieved a state of enlightenment). I immediately recognized the imagery in his mural sized paintings as YĆ«rei, which are Japanese ghosts. Interesting. Of the contemporary artist who essentially head factories that churn out works I think he's definitely one of the more interesting ones. He's established his formula yet I believe he's engaged. Look at those gorgeous surfaces!

Murakami Opening at Blum and Poe.

Murkami's huge paintings of ghosts.

Closer to home I have a neighbor, Marina Moevs, whose paintings I love. Her work always seem to be about the aftermath of a major disaster but they're so serene that the association is calmness rather than violent upheaval. Marina and I worked to get the city to grant our neighborhood, ( Jefferson Park), historic preservation overlay zone status (which we achieved!), so suffice to say Marina really does care about maintaining an environment of peace and stability. To round things out I've included a weird piece by film maker, David Lynch and the obsessive beaded installations of Liza Lou

Millions of gold beads by Liza Lou at L&M Arts.

Installed view, close up, and detail of Marina's work.

Illuminated sculpture by David Lynch at Kayne Griffin Corcoran Gallery

Enjoy and please give me your thoughts, will you? I always enjoy your comments.
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