August 24, 2011

While leaving work last week, I stumbled upon the Messiah himself enjoying the sunset on LACMA’s campus.  Strategically placed (he seemed to possess a keen self-awareness) within the illuminated street lights of Chris Burden’s Urban Light installation, Jesus stood waiting, as if informed by some divine foresight that a passing photographer would soon ask, “Hey Jesus, can I take your picture?”

After snapping a shot with my camera phone [insert corporate sponsorship here], the Holy One asked to see the photo and exclaimed simply, “Sweet.”  Clearly he was impressed.

Jesus in front of Urban Light

Jesus with Urban Light

Once my feelings of “OMG, I just took a pic w/ Jesus, LOLZ ROTFL” subsided, I realized that the composition of the photo bore an uncanny resemblance to John Baldessari’s iconic work, Wrong, lauded for its “improper” positioning of a man directly beneath a towering palm tree.

John Baldessari, Wrong, 1966-1968, Painting, photoemulsion with acrylic on canvas, 59 x 45 in. Contemporary Art Council (M.71.40)

John Baldessari, Wrong, 1966-1968, Painting, photoemulsion with acrylic on canvas, 59 x 45 in. Contemporary Art Council (M.71.40)

Justin Edwards


What’s Your Sign? Installation of Ai Weiwei’s Zodiac Heads

August 18, 2011

The twelve monumental bronze sculptures from Ai Weiwei’s Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads arrived at LACMA earlier this week. LACMA’s art preparation and installation teams have been working hard to unpack and wake these sleeping giants–some of which weigh nearly a ton.

The animals arrived two by two...

Unfastening the first of the sculptures--the ram.

Four installers plus one crane slowly lift the ram.

Repeat x 12


Next step is to unwrap and place the sculptures into position.

The dragon, snake, and horse stand tall next to the Resnick Pavilion, awaiting the arrival of their zodiac counterparts.

Ai Weiwei’s Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads opens this Saturday at LACMA. A general admission ticket is not needed to see the work, so come by, take a picture in front of your zodiac sign, and enjoy the magnitude of these brilliant sculptures.

Alex Capriotti

Photos by Yosi Pozeilov

More Burton-Inspired Pics from the Public

August 1, 2011

Attendance to our Tim Burton exhibition is going strong two months into its five month run. One of the best things about the exhibition is how our visitors continue to interact with it online. We invited visitors to post their own Burton-esque images to our flickr group to see things that seem to have taken inspiration from Burton’s aesthetic. We love to see this multimedia feed grow with an assortment of beautiful, mysterious, playful, gothic, colorful, and dark images.

Steel branches from alexcap1101

Steel branches

Check out the Flickr group here.

sonicshadowlover13 submitted this image of her Jack Skellington-inspired outfit, complete with skeleton gloves and choker.

shaunsaumell submitted several images of a beautiful, surreal landscape that look right out of The Nightmare Before Christmas.

tagletwitch created an amazing sculpture  from what looks like recycled wires.

Some contributors have drawn their own dark, Burton-esque creatures like taylorwchristensen’s Stick Boy and Match Girl and mouse25’s My Pretty.

Scroll through all of the submissions for more sketches, costumes, house decor, hairstyles, tattoos, and some inspiration from nature.

Submit your Burton-esque images here.

Alex Capriotti

LACMA on Film

December 10, 2008

Much like the smog that appears in the sky each day like a collar stain, L.A. makes frequent appearances in television and film (every car ad these days seems to feature downtown’s Music Center or the Second Street Tunnel, and I can’t count the times I’ve seen the streets lined with craft service tables and bored cops sipping coffee). Our very own museum has also had her share of close-ups over the years.

In the 1990s we had probably the most visible entry in L.A. Story, where a roller skating Steve Martin glides through our galleries. (Martin was a longtime member of LACMA’s Board of Trustees when he made the film.)

LACMA is often a backdrop for parties, as seen in Robert Altman’s 1992 The Player. And speaking of players, LACMA has peeked out from behind Nancy Sinatra and Dean Martin in her 1967 TV special Moving with Nancy.

Sometimes the museum plays itself. In a 1979 episode of The Rockford Files, “Never Send a Boy King to Do a Man’s Job,” Jim Rockford parks his Firebird in front of the (then) fountain-clad LACMA and visits an Egyptian expert whose office doors are the Bing Theater lobby. BCAM has also played a small role on The Young and the Restless, with soap star curators bustling about the campus spouting off art-isms.

The indies also have found LACMA a worthy film location. Minnie and Moskowitz, a Cassavetes film, has the star poised as a curator—in one scene you can see the entrance to the Ahmanson Building, the main staircase, and a contemporary sculpture of a rack of pool balls). The film Miracle Mile uses LACMA, Johnies, and the May Company Building as backdrops.

Even Hancock Park, right behind LACMA, has had a guest spot. It can be seen in I Am Sam (the last scene, where they play ball in the Sixth Street park area). I even caught it on the Fitness Channel in the background of a show featuring Boot Camp LA.

Probably the biggest “blockbuster” appearance was in Volcano, where streams of hot lava flow down Wilshire Boulevard, right past us. My memory is a bit hazy as to whether or not the campus is incinerated, but it’s implied.

Paul Wehby, Senior Graphic Designer

The Machine Project Rehearsals

October 24, 2008

Like most people who work in museums, I have to go to a lot of less-than-scintillating meetings. The single most effective way to alleviate the daily grind is to take the extra couple of minutes en route to the next meeting to walk past some of the most exceptional demonstrations of human endeavor in LACMA’s galleries. It’s been especially pleasurable of late because of the possibility of bumping into one of the more than forty artists and performers who are rehearsing in LACMA’s galleries for our upcoming Machine Project Field Guide to LACMA.

A few weeks ago, Corey Fogel came in to try out acoustics for his combined drumming-and-putting-on-a-suit-made-of-peppercorn-cans performance. Jason Torchinsky has been getting wet in the Dorothy Collins Brown Fountain as he measures up for his hydropticonium (a made-up word for a wonderful flipbook-like contraption), that will be powered by the fountain’s water flow. There have been quite a number of LACMA staff and Machine Project collaborators helping Jessica Z. Hutchins and Dawn Kaspar refine their murder mystery trail through LACMA’s permanent galleries.

And last week, musicians, including Heather Lockie, each stood in the elevators in the Ahmanson Building playing string instruments, their music connecting, dispersing, and then tumbling out of the elevators as the doors of their respective elevators opened at different floors. Here’s one of the videos that filmmaker Jim Fetterley has been making of the rehearsals for Machine Project’s day-long Field Guide to LACMA on November 15.

Charlotte Cotton

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