It seems like on just about every block and around every corner in Venice’s clashed-up grid of narrow streets and alleys, there’s a piece of street art by artist Jules Muck. His awesome corpus of public artwork is both literally and figuratively part of the Venice landscape, as much a part of this confused suburban costal paradise as its famous beach boardwalk. “Muck Saves” is a Christ-like portrait and play on the evangelical bumper-sticker phrase “Jesus Saves.” One could argue that Muck’s art is “saving” Venice. But from what? The tide of gentrification? That urban-renewal process inspired by association with Venice’s edgy patina and legacy of gritty charms. A process that’s simultaneously forever sanding away those gritty edges with the moneyed tastes of the arrivistes? Yes and no. Places change, evolve, grow. It can’t be “saved” any more that it can not be saved. Muck’s work is just a beautiful part of an already beautiful landscape.
The wheat-paste street art of artist “Bunny M” depicts a mysterious mythical humanoid that reads at a glance like an artifact of dark, foreboding Japanese manga comic book illustration enshrined on the brick and stone walls of lower Manhattan and Brooklyn. Pictured here is one in Nolita in downtown New York City.
On a recent visit to the sprawling, campus-like Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), we revisited one of the prized possessions of its permanent collection, a massive painting by British artist David Hockney. “Mulholland Drive: The Road to the Studio” is a quintessential L.A. painting. The image is an impressionistic depiction of the route traveled in the Hockney on the daily commute from his home in the Hollywood Hills to the space where he painted.