Tag Archives: local

SIZE MATTERS: EPIC 82-FOOT LONG MURAKAMI PAINTING STEALS SPACE FROM OTHER ARTISTS

This massive painting by Japan’s most successful and well-known contemporary artist Takashi Murakami is displayed in the primest spot of the Broad Museum in Los Angeles. It’s huge. It’s epic. It’s unmissable. Anyone entering the museum’s main galleries, where the core selections from the permanent collection are exhibited, will see it as they arrive from the lobby, whether they come via escalator, elevator or a stairway.

So exactly how big is this painting? And what’s it called? Continue reading

Stripes Collage Street Art … Venice, Los Angeles 

We love this type of street art, the kind that takes a mundane, boring piece of “street furniture” — in this case an  electrical utility box — and uses it as canvas for something aesthetically interesting, beautiful and evocative. This painting in Venice, in Los Angeles, uses elements of collage, illustration, graphic design and fashion, as well as a liberal use of striped patterns, to create a bold and fresh interruption of suburban visual landscape.

The Awesome Design of a Vintage Porsche 912 … Los Angeles

We’re not “into cars” nor have we aspired to possess a stylish sports car. That said, we love great design and if somebody wanted to give us a Porsche 912 like the one pictured here, we wouldn’t say “No.” In fact, we would lovingly care for it and fully appreciate its beautiful form. A variant of the iconic 911 — a vehicle dubbed the “car of the century” back in the ’90s — the 912 was manufactured from 1965 to 1969 and originally outsold the 911. From appearances and body, the 912 and 911 would appear to be the same vehicle. But subtle differences exist under the hood that translate into the car performing differently and selling at different basic prices. We don’t know much about cars, but from what we’ve been told by our friends who do is that one fundamental difference between the two models was that the 912 had a 4-cyclinder engine compared to the 6-cyclinder of the 911. What strikes us most though are the aesthetics of the car’s design, a compact, elegant and curvy, if mildly sexy shape that seems to be unburdened by any superfluous volume or form. The one pictured here is in mint condition. We spied it parked overnight in a lot adjacent to some light-industry warehouses in Los Angeles. The next day it was at the same spot and we took a moment to photograph it in the afternoon light.

“Venice Dennis” Stencil Street Art … Venice, Los Angeles

This large stencil street art mural on a fence in Venice, in Los Angeles, depicts the late actor-artist Dennis Hopper as he appeared in the film “Apocalypse Now.” Hopper was a resident of Venice Beach, his home just a few blocks away from the location of this artwork.

Street Art by Shepard Fairey on PCH …Santa Monica, Los Angeles

We spotted some new street art from artist Shepard Fairey in an unusual spot last week. Along Pacific Coast Highway, under the towering bluffs of north Santa Monica, there’s an abandoned, partially destroyed retaining wall where two new black-and-white graphic posters had been wheat-pasted. One poster is of draped triangle of the American flag. The other is a classic “Andre” Obey poster.

“Muck Saves” Street Art by Jules Muck … Venice, Los Angeles

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.

Epic “Mulholland Drive” Painting by Artist David Hockney at LACMA … Los Angeles

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.

The Binoculars Building … Venice, Los Angeles

The whimsical Binoculars Building — pictured below — on a quiet, mostly residential stretch of Main Street in Venice, in Los Angeles, was designed by architect Frank Gehry back in the 1980s.

It’s a local landmark and Gehry’s last building to be constructed in Los Angeles until the development of the Walt Disney Concert Hall two decades later.

In the interim, Gehry created the Guggenheim Bilbao and became one of the world’s foremost “starchitects” if not its greatest living architect.

The Binoculars Building was initially the home to the legendary advertising agency Chiat/Day (now TBWA/Chiat/Day), which grew too big for the space years later and vacated for much larger offices in nearby Playa Vista.

Since then, the building  complex has been home to many creative tenants including Google. The giant binoculars, by the way, are by the artists Claes Oldenberg and Coosje van Bruggen.

It’s still surprising that the building is not more widely known.

Cheeky Street Art Send-Up of Donald Trump … Miracle Mile, Los Angeles 

Real-Estate developer, New York City fixture, celebrity, reality TV show star, and politician, Donald Trump is at the center of U.S. media coverage these days while he campaigns to win the Republican nomination as its candidate for the American presidency.

A polarizing, attention-hungry personality and demagogic political figure, Trump’s controversial views and bombast has in recent months made him the target of satirists and a subject of politically-charged street art by artists like Hanksy and Teacake poking fun at the presidential candidate.

Teacake’s circular wheat-paste poster on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles (pictured below) depicts “the Donald” on a playground ride holding what appears to be a sex toy. It’s funny street art as political commentary and as a mirror of contemporary culture.

“Life” Graffiti Art … Venice, Los Angeles

The word “life” spray painted in cursive letters on the back-alley wall of the Brig, a popular bar on trendy Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice, in Los Angeles. So simple and beautiful.