A Slice of Pie

September 19, 2011

Beware! This post will most likely make you crave something sweet.

On Sunday, LACMA and KCRW presented the 3rd Annual Good Food Pie Contest where everyone from home-cooks to professionals submitted pies to be judged by some of LA’s best chefs and food writers. Over 200 pies were entered into one of the following five categories–cream, fruit, savory, nut, and, of course, Tim Burton-inspired.

Contestants got innovative with their pie fillings and even their pie names (especially in the Tim Burton category!)–Beetlejuice Pie with green tea slime and goo, Oogie Boogie Cherry Pie, Mushroom Forest Tart, The Apple Pie with Many Eyes, Chumpkin Pocolate, James and the Giant Bourbon Honey Peach Pie, and more.

Here’s one of the amazing Tim Burton -themed pies. View a slideshow of all of the Tim Burton entries.

Here’s a birds-eye-view of more of the gorgeous (and delicious) pies. Feast your eyes on all of the entries.

The day was full of activities–even for those who didn’t enter a pie. Bakers and eaters showed their enthusiasm for all things pie by wearing their aprons (many were homemade or vintage!) and strutting around LACMA for an apron walk-off.

Kids and families participated by making their own artful, inedible pies in our family day art activity.

Docents took visitors on dessert-themed tours of our galleries.

Pie makers served their creations to a crowd of hungry, pastry-loving attendees.

And judges presented awards to the top entrants.

Congratulations to all the winners!

Stephanie Shaiken – Classic Apple Pie

1. Stephanie Shaiken – Classic Apple Pie
2. Sam Robinson – Peach Blueberry Crumble
3. Jessica Kubel – Apple Cranberry

1. Stuart Faber – Pecan Toffee Pie
2. Kristin Anderson – Marcona Almond Pie
3. Claudia Guevara – Pecan Pie

1. Sandra Nuzzolilo – Banana Cream Pie
2. Morgan Simons – Banana Nutella Cream Pie
3. Linnea Weaver – Max’s Cheese Pie

1. Terry Sweeney – Persian Tart
2. Jennifer Wang – Tomato Pie
3. Marla Cusack – Zucchini Pecorino Pie

1. Emily Baker – “James and the Giant Peach” Pie
2. Bobbie Chi – Blueberry Pie for Tim Burton
3. Gretchen Getz – Chocolate Chess Pie


Photos by Micah Cordy

Alex Capriotti

This Weekend at LACMA: KCRW Pie Contest, Kienholz Panel, and More

September 16, 2011

Sunday is a big day at LACMA if you like pie. (And who doesn’t like pie?) LACMA is hosting the 3rd Annual KCRW Good Food Pie Contest. Kris Morningstar, executive chef at Ray’s, will join LA Weekly food writer Jonathan Gold and chefs from restaurants all over L.A. including Father’s Office, Hatfields’s, the Foundry, and others, to judge the pies baked by both amateurs and pros. There will also be free family art-making activities as part of our weekly Andell Family Sundays, and music supplied by KCRW DJ Anne Litt, among other activities. Get the full schedule for the day here (pdf).

Jo Ann Callis, Tigger and Apple Pie, 1980s, anonymous gift, Los Angeles, in honor of Robert Sobieszek

On the exhibition front, we have seven shows on view at the moment, plus eight smaller installations and the rest of our permanent collection, which fills a mere five buildings and encompasses art from every era and nearly every corner of the globe. So, yeah, there’s a lot to choose from.

On Sunday in the Art Catalogues bookstore, artists Ed Bereal and Joe Lewis join Yael Lipschutz of the Noah Purifoy Foundation and philosopher/social scientist Marcus Raskin to talk about Edward Kienholz on the occasion of the exhibition of his provocative civil rights work, Five Car Stud, on view now.

End the weekend with a free concert from pianist Mark Robson, who will perform operatic transcriptions of Franz Liszt for our Sundays Live concert in the Bing Theater.

Scott Tennent

Tim Burton: Art and Food

September 14, 2011

When I learned that Evan Kleiman of KCRW’s Good Food was hosting her annual pie contest at LACMA this year, I immediately began to think about how Tim Burton might inspire the participants. It turns out that food is an integral component in Burton’s art, and I began to wonder just what role it plays.

Halloween is one of Burton’s favorite holidays, and its currency–candy–makes an early appearance in the Tim Burton exhibition currently on view at LACMA. Trick or Treat, an unrealized project from 1980, includes a Candy Monster character drawn by Burton and sculpted by his CalArts classmate Rick Heinrichs. Colorful candy, cookies, and cakes abound in Burton’s version of Hansel and Gretel (1982), as the wicked witch attempts to fatten up a pair of innocent children with high-calorie treats. In his film Corpse Bride (2005), skeletons carry a massive white wedding cake adorned with skeleton heads.

Tim Burton's Corpse Bride, 2005, directed by Tim Burton and Mike Johnson, shown: co-director Tim Burton on the set, photo credit: Derek Frey

Tim Burton's Corpse Bride, 2005, directed by Tim Burton and Mike Johnson, shown: co-director Tim Burton on the set, photo credit: Derek Frey

Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure (1985), Burton’s first feature film, shows the eponymous hero paying a visit to the Wheel Inn in Cabazon, California, on the recommendation of Large Marge, a frightening female truck driver who turns out to be a ghost. Probably Pee-Wee felt comforted by the Wheel Inn’s classic diner food, including a range of homemade pies, even though he had to wash dishes in lieu of cash payment.

Food comes to life in a dinner-party scene in Burton’s second feature film, Beetlejuice (1988): in a hilarious reprise of gothic haunted-house scenarios, shrimp cocktails suddenly reach up to grasp the throats of poltergeist-possessed diners, who–to their own astonishment–have just completed a lively dance to the tune of Harry Belafonte’s Banana Boat Song.

Burton grew up in Burbank, and his hometown served as a source for the many send-ups of suburban life seen in his later films.  In the modern fairytale Edward Scissorhands (1990), Burton fondly and humorously depicted the rituals of family mealtimes and backyard barbecues, with their mashed potatoes and ambrosia salads.  Edward–a boy with scissors for hands–experiences some difficulties with peas and carrots, but discovers a talent for chopping and mincing.

Of course, candy plays a starring role in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), although according to Burton, the real-life chocolate river constructed for the set was none too appetizing by the end of the shoot. Even more gruesome than fermented cocoa are the pies served up by Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd (2007). As the story begins, Mrs. Lovett admits that her shop offers the “worst pies in London”; times are hard, and quality meat simply isn’t available. Then she joins forces with her murderous upstairs neighbor, Sweeney Todd (the Demon Barber of Fleet Street), and his victims become her ingredients. The menu returns from savory to sweet in Alice and Wonderland (2009), in which the Mad Hatter serves scones, jam, and other treats at a very unusual tea party.

As I thought about it, food provided an intriguing new perspective for thinking about Burton’s work. Food in film often represents the appetites and desires of the characters, and perhaps of viewers as well. Many of Burton’s most memorable characters are poised between childhood and adulthood, humor and horror, beauty and grotesquerie. Like everything else in his films, food tends to be both alluring and alarming: brightly colored, larger than life, and liable to bite back.

For the pie contest this Sunday, there is a category for Burton-inspired pies. We’ll post the sure-to-be fun entries and winners next week.

Britt Salvesen

Film Independent at LACMA kicks off October 13

September 13, 2011

Earlier this year, we announced our partnership with Film Independent—the non-profit arts organization that produces the Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival—to collaborate on a new film program, presented by The New York Times. We’re now excited to share the first programming schedule for the new series, Film Independent at LACMA, with an opening line-up that represents the broad range of the program.

Under the curatorial leadership of film critic Elvis Mitchell, Film Independent at LACMA will present classic and contemporary narrative and documentary films; artists and their influences; emerging auteurs; international showcases; and special guest-curated programs, all rounded out with conversations with artists, curators, and special guests.

The series launches on October 13 with the world premiere of The Rum Diary, the long awaited passion project produced by its star, Johnny Depp, who is scheduled to be in attendance that evening, along with director Bruce Robinson and co-stars Amber Heard and Aaron Eckhart.

The introductory line-up also includes a Live Read, conceived by award-winning director Jason Reitman who will serve as the series’ first guest artist, bringing classic screenplays to life with some of today’s best actors. For the Live Read debut, Reitman has selected the John Hughes’ classic The Breakfast Club (1985), with a surprise cast who will read the script together for the first time and allow the audience to see them shape start-to-finish performances on the fly.

The series kick-off will also include a members-only screening of Martha Marcy May Marlene, by writer-director Sean Durkin which won him the Directing Award at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival; a restored print of Modern Times (1936); and director Pier Paolo Pasolini’s first film Accattone (1961) that forever changed the definition of Italian Neorealism. The regular weekly schedule for Film Independent at LACMA will begin October 27, and complement the museum’s ongoing Tuesday matinee series and film programs presented in conjunction with special exhibitions.

Christine Choi

Installing California Design

September 12, 2011

If you’ve been inside the Resnick Pavilion recently, you have seen the major installation work happening for our upcoming exhibition California Design, 1930-1965: “Living in a Modern Way”, opening October 1. This multimedia exhibition includes furniture, ceramics, metalwork, fashion and textiles, industrial and graphic design, cars, and more. Building the structural framework to support all of these objects has been an intense process for our exhibition designers.

Building the framework for the walls of the exhibition.

An Airstream Clipper sits nearby while the crew assemble the framework for the walls of the exhibition.

Creating the walls that will house the Eames living room installation.

Recreating the living room of Charles and Ray Eames.

Putting it all together.

Putting it all together.

The show opens to the public on October 1st. Member preview days are September 29th and 30th— join now for a sneak peek.

Alex Capriotti

This Weekend at LACMA: Wayne Shorter, Asco Tour, Muse ‘til Midnight, And More

September 9, 2011

 Tonight’s free Jazz at LACMA is a truly special occasion. We’ll be presenting the third annual L.A. Jazz Treasure Award to none other than Wayne Shorter. Shorter began his career in the 1950s as a member of (and composer for) Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, followed by a stint in the 1960s with the Miles Davis Quintet and later as a founder of the fusion group Weather Report. He is inarguably one of the all-time great jazz musicians. Here’s a clip of Shorter soloing with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers in 1963:

Tonight at 6:30, curator Rita Gonzalez will lead a tour through Asco: Elite of the Obscure, which she co-organized. This is a great (free!) way to get insight into the exhibition, which just opened last week.

Asco, Cinearte 76 (detail), 1976, UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center Library

Also just opened are two more exhibitions that are part of Pacific Standard TimeMaria Nordman FILMROOM: SMOKE, 1967–Present, which got a nice write-up on Culture Monster this week, and Edward Kienholz: “Five Car Stud” 1969–1972, Revisited. The Kienholz show, as you may have heard, has strong content that is both thought-provoking and, frankly, difficult to experience. That’s why every weekend that the show is open, we have educators in the gallery who are there to answer questions and engage in conversations.

We’ve been talking up our Saturday events all week on Unframed, so here’s one more reminder. At 4 pm in the Art Catalogues bookstore, artist Mungo Thomson will be in conversation with Piero Golia, discussing Thomson’s limited-edition artist book commissioned by LACMA.

As the sun goes down, things will really start to pick up with our annual Muse ’til Midnight event. As described in yesterday’s post, the collective dublab has gathered 25 DJs and performers to create music especially for different galleries on campus, including the modern and contemporary galleries and Tim Burton and Asco. You can see the full schedule here [pdf], and you can sample “Tim Burton” by Daedelus to give you a sense of what you might expect. (PS: open beer & wine bar.) Buy your tickets here

On Sunday we launch a new theme for the weekly Andell Family Sundays: We Want Pie! Make art with your kids and tour the galleries together, for free. (Stay tuned for next week’s Sunday events, which will include KCRW’s Pie Contest!)

Sunday night, hear Mozart’s Duo in G major and Dohnanyi’s Serenade for String Trio as performed by Endre Balogh (violin), Steven Gordon (viola), and Dennis Karmazyn (cello) during our weekly free Sundays Live concert.

Scott Tennent

Listening to Art

September 8, 2011

This Saturday, LACMA’s Muse membership group will put on an innovative program in the galleries fusing art and music. We talked to Jason Gaulton, Muse Coordinator, about organizing the event, working with 25+ DJs, and how the program will augment the usual museum experience.

What was the inspiration for this program?
One of Muse’s platforms is to celebrate art in all its forms and music is a form we’ve been especially eager to explore. LACMA is such a beautiful campus that just begs for a soundtrack. I have a background in concert promotion and am someone that cannot sustain without music. I often go through the galleries with my headphones in and notice differences in how I view the art. With the right song, paintings leap out of their frames and sculptures begin to move in mysterious ways. It’s an experience everyone should have and Muse is thrilled to present that opportunity on Saturday.

How were DJs chosen for each gallery? Did they pick galleries that inspired them?
The credit for the choosing the DJs goes to the fine people at dublab. The web radio collective excels at generating creative ideas for any number of scenarios and their crew took the concept and ran with it in incredible fashion. Frosty of dublab has been a regular at the museum bringing a wide array of DJs through the galleries to find their inspiration. Some DJs were obvious fits for certain collections from the beginning while others arrived at their space during the visits.

What was the planning process for the various DJs?
The planning process was different for each DJ. From the initial meeting of the minds, most DJs became repeat visitors while others disappeared into studios and workshops and not only did beats need to be created but so did ways to convey them. For example, Daedelus was nice enough to shake hands first but his attention was immediately diverted to Tim Burton. He whisked his wife away to inhale the exhibition and exhale the musical menagerie Toil and Trouble. Meanwhile, KCHUNG Radio used their visit to digest the layout of the BP Grand Entrance to figure out a way to go “silent” so the party continues outside all the way to 12:30 am. The end result of their hi-tech tinkering utilizes radio waves to create a DJ dance party like you’ve never heard and is going to be a sight to be seen.

Since museums don’t often have music playing in the galleries, how will this change the visitors’ experience?
I am not going to say it will be more fun. That would be rude to all other days at the museum, which are pretty amazing. I will say that there will be even more than normal for visitors to enjoy. For one, the museum after hours is gorgeous. The campus takes on an incredible glow at night that is rarely experienced due to our 8 pm closing time. Also, the headphone system means people have the option to forego a set and walk the galleries as usual but, on Saturday night, they can fit a pair on and have the chance to groove around the galleries.

Listen to Art: Muse ’til Midnight takes place this Saturday at LACMA in multiple galleries including Tim Burton, the newly-opened Asco: Elite of the Obsucure, A Retrospective, 1972-1987, plus the modern, contemporary, and Art of the Pacific galleries.

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