Made in LA

Los Angeles is brimming with hidden treasures and at the Hammer Museum’s second biennial show, “Made in L.A. 2014,” some of the city’s best-kept art secrets will be revealed, as reported in the LA Times

“Consider the selections from the Los Angeles Museum of Art — not to be confused with Wilshire Boulevard’s Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

“Tucked down an alleyway, wedged

against the steel siding of an Eagle Rock garage, the LAMOA is a tiny, 9

la-la-et-made-in-la-2014-02-jpg-20140218-by-12-foot open-air wooden hut built by the artist Alice Könitz.

“Artworks from LAMOA’s permanent collection of local and international artists, including some of Könitz’s own sculptural installations, will be on display at the Hammer’s ambitious “Made in L.A. 2014.”

“The exhibition, which opens June 15, features emerging and under-recognized artists from the L.A. area. On Wednesday, the museum announced the lineup of 35 artists and collectives. Among them are emerging artists Marina Pinsky and Devin Kenny; AM radio station KCHUNG, which is also the Hammer’s public engagement artist-in-residence; and more widely known artists who include Gabriel Kuri, Wu Tsang and Judy Fiskin.

“The inaugural “Made in L.A.” show, a 2012 collaboration between the Hammer and the art space LAXART, took place in three locations: the Hammer, LAXART and the Department of Cultural Affairs’ Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery at Barnsdall Park. It featured 60 artists.  Continue reading “Made in LA”

Welcome to LA by Catherine Opie

Catherine Opie confessed she was never a fan of the posters atLAX showing the mayor welcoming air travelers to Los Angeles, reports today’s LA Timesla-et-cm-eric-garcetti-catherine-opie-lax-2013-001

“I always thought they could have been done better,” the photographer said. Starting Thursday, there will be a new series of airport posters that Opie created featuring Mayor Eric Garcetti shot against famous L.A. backdrops.

“The new photographs will show Garcetti kayaking on the L.A. River and posing alongside such cultural landmarks as the Watts Towers and Chris Burden’s “Urban Light” sculpture at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Another will show the mayor at the Hollywood Farmers Market. Speaking in a car on her way to teach a class at UCLA, Opie said Wednesday she conceived the series after helping to organize a fundraiser for Garcetti’s mayoral campaign. “I wanted to do something that had a community component. I pitched it to the mayor and his team and they liked it,” she said.

“The posters at LAX are created by the L.A. Tourism & Convention Board, though Garcetti’s office had led the effort, according to a spokeswoman for the mayor. Ideas for backdrops were solicited online and the most popular request was the L.A. River. Opie recalled she stood in the middle of the river, wearing an old pair of tennis shoes, and instructed the mayor to paddle back and forth as he sat in a kayak. In choosing Watts Towers, she said she “wanted to to celebrate what a great city this is for art. I don’t think enough people go out to Watts Towers.” The photographer is already working with Garcetti on more images in the LAX series. She recently photographed the mayor at the California Science Center, with the space shuttle Endeavor in the background. Continue reading “Welcome to LA by Catherine Opie”

Museum merger mania in Los Angeles

This has been a rough couple of years in the Los Angeles musuem world, replete wiht power struggles, board rebellions, curators euphemistically resigning, and the public wondering what the hell is going on. At least the city gained one very huge rock. From outside the LA bubble, the New York Tmes put it this way:imgres-1

“The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, which has been battered in recent months with defections of board members, criticism of its direction and precarious finances, would merge with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art under a proposal by the latter museum.

“Lacma’s director, Michael Govan, and its board’s co-chairmen, Terry Semel and Andrew Gordon, proposed the union in a letter dated Feb. 24,according to The Los Angeles Times. Were the two institutions to merge, it said, it envisioned Lacma’s keeping its two downtown locations and operating under MOCA’s name. Continue reading “Museum merger mania in Los Angeles”

Disney may be watching you

imgres-1Walt Disney Co. announced recently that it plans to unveil this spring at Walt Disney World in Florida a wristband embedded with radio frequency identification chips, reports a story in the Los Angeles Times.  A unique code in each chip lets parkgoers pay to enter the park, check into Disney hotels and buy food and souvenirs, among other things.

“Disney officials promoted the wristbands as a way to make visiting the park easier. The wristbands will let Disney use the data to customize future offerings and marketing pitches.Today a congressman from Massachusetts raised questions about how Disney will use information it collects when it gives parkgoers new wristbands embedded with computer chips. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass), who co-chairs a congressional panel on privacy, asked Walt Disney Co. Chairman and Chief Executive Robert A. Iger in a letter what information the park will collect with the so-called MagicBand and how it will be used.

“’Widespread use of MagicBand bracelets by park guests could dramatically increase the personal data Disney can collect about its guests,’ he said, adding that he is particularly concerned at the prospects of Disney collecting information about children. Disney officials say they have no plans yet to introduce the wristbands at Disneyland or Disney California Adventure Park in Anaheim.


For more, see:,0,4556564.story

The buzz in California

marijuana_plants“Marijuana is, as a practical matter, already legal in much of California,” sayd today’s New York Times. “No matter that its recreational use remains technically against the law. Marijuana has, in many parts of this state, become the equivalent of a beer in a paper bag on the streets of Greenwich Village. It is losing whatever stigma it ever had and still has in many parts of the country, including New York City, where the kind of open marijuana use that is common here would attract the attention of any passing law officer.

“’It’s shocking, from my perspective, the number of people that we all know who are recreational marijuana users,’ said Gavin Newsom, the lieutenant governor. ‘These are incredibly upstanding citizens Continue reading “The buzz in California”