Monday, August 22, 2011

Art In the Streets...finally made it.

Keith Haring's painted '63 Buick.
For four months MOCA downtown LA had the Art In the Streets show...and I left it to the VERY last minute to check it out. It was overwhelming how large the show was - I could have easily taken it all in over two trips, but my procrastination prevented such planning. So, it was crowded, hot and stuffy, but well worth it. 
The list of exhibiting artists was so huge I can't even contemplate compiling a list, but it was a fantastic living document on the history of an art most of us urban dwellers either engage with or ignore on a daily basis. It was a great opportunity to see Swoon's paper work upclose, Spike Jonze's skate videos, Ed Templeton's photographs, and Banksy's working stencils. I have posted photos of some of my favourites (click on them to see larger), but I highly recommend anyone who couldn't be there to track down the show catalogue for "Art In The Streets".

Graffiti Mandala by Chaz, 1999.

Graffiti Dialogue In The Ivory Tower, Chaz, 1996
Walls and walls of Stecyk posters, from the 1960's to today.
Mr Cartoon's ice cream truck, air brushed to the hilt.
Estevan Oriol and one of his famous photos of a working Mr Cartoon, back in the late '90's.

Snippets of Margaret Kilgallen's last major work, a huge installation titled "Main Drag", 2001.
Display of vintage markers and supplies.
And matching vintage spray can collection...
View of the show from the mezzanine.

Some old Thrasher covers with old-school "Black Flag" flyers.

ORIGINAL marker on trace logo design for "you know who" Haze. Amazing to see in the flesh, and that it was as simple as this..

"Street Market" installation by Todd James, Barry McGee and Steve Powers.

Mini replicas of painted freight trains.

Keith Haring, painted leather. Remember the jacket he made for Madonna in this colorway?

Said lady....Probably my favourite piece of the show, Lee Quinones' "Send in the Clowns", 2009.
What a thrill to see Jamie Reid's cut-and-paste work. The "God Save the Queen" cover was there, but I loved this piece.

Tseng Kwong Chi, "Art In Transit", 1984, featuring photos of Haring doing his subway chalk drawings.

More shots from the "Street Market"

Interactive installation by ROA.

Shepard Fairey's corner was hard to photograph, so I selected his portrait of one of my favourite dudes, Mr Rollins.

The Basquiat hanging in the Fun Gallery recreation.

The fun continued outside....with Space Invader.......

Friday, August 12, 2011

Bay of Pigs (London is burning)

This isn't a post on US military history nor is it a tribute to Machine Head. It's a post about a dessert.
A big one.

We were treated very kindly to dinner at Asia De Cuba early this week by a visiting buddy. This a nice food establishment at the base of the Mondrian Hotel on Sunset Blvd. The menu is a blend of Asian and Latin influences, dominated by big plates of food meant to share. The interior of the restaurant has Phillipe Starck written all over it, and his oversized terracotta flower pots on the patio lovingly mimic the generous food portions - hence the size of this dessert. I admit it was good, all whipped cream, glazed banana, ice cream and thin biscuits, drowning a huge block of chocolate brownie. But you need friends to share it with, so bring your sumo wrestler mate with you to help you eat it.

I did make a little joke/war pun with the blonde waitress when she asked how we were enjoying the dish. When I said "nearly defeated" she looked at me blankly. Oh well, can't charm them all.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Lughnasadh in LA

It was sunflowers and blueberry pancakes this morning to welcome the 1st of August. Lughnasadh honours the arrival of harvest time, but that sun is still strong. Today's summer day was full of vigor and some drawing time was needed....