Ed Ruscha's The Back of Hollywood, 1977
Monday, November 28, 2011
|Los Angeles County Museum of Art|
Image source: jasoninhollywood.blogspot.com
Sunday, November 27, 2011
|View from the Getty Center|
Image source: ______________________
When I first had the chance to choose LAS classes, I signed up for this class because of its name “Art and the City of Angels”. The name has a strong attraction with what I am interest in. I always want it to learn more about Los Angeles and even better if I experience arts. I been living in Los Angeles for more than three years now and every day I am falling more in this beautiful city. First, I thought this class was like other history classes, studying from books, still I was excited to learn more about the city where I live. But surprisingly this class was more about the experience and not books. Personally I learn more through experience and visually and this class was the perfect class to experience.
The lectures from the first few weeks of school prepared me to have basic background knowledge about the Pacific Standard Time. Having to post about exhibitions I attend was a great way to find my own voice. Because the post was more free writing than academic writing I think it helped a lot to find my own voice. Reading other peoples post also helped a lot and of course influenced me in many ways and leading creating my own voice.
Monday, November 21, 2011
|John Mason, Blue Wall, 1959|
Image source: http://www.getty.edu/pacificstandardtime/files/2011/07/gm_328609ex1_d.jpg
The second quote, I saw is at the Craft and Folk Museum and tied every PST exhibit together,”…. I intend to walk where I choose and not care which country I’m in.” - June Schwarcz. This quote shows that although each artist is different in so many ways, they share a sense of individuallism and freedom needed to be inspired and create unique work. In one way or another everyone walks where they want, sees the things they enjoy, and stay close to their interests. For one reason or another we are all drawn to certain things, and we need to pursue these interests.
Both of these artist’s words gave me a sense of freedom and grounded me to my surroundings. I noticed a pattern in the art that I choose to interpret, and I was intrested in throughout the semester. Different art speaks to different people and everyone can interpret it in different ways, because of their own references. Schwarez makes me realize that this is my own way of walking my own path. I choose what interests me and follow that passion. I tend look at artist who deal with nature and especially the ocean. Because of my own taste I am able to connect each of the PST exhibits I went to, and find similarities that wouldn’t normally be evident.
First of all, I have to say that this has been one of the most enjoyable classes I have taken and I am not just saying that because it was partly and online class and we did not meet in class very much. These classes made me go out and visit these museums and learn new things. All the museums I attended (except LACMA of course) were new to me. Not only did I get to learn about the L.A. art scene, but I got to go out and experience new places I would not have visited otherwise. These Pacific Standard Time exhibitions along with the lectures in class really educated me on what really is art. Before this class, I could only name a few older painters because of my past liberal arts classes. As for more modern artists, I could name a lot that I just happen to come across on the internet. I also am a little ashamed to say that I was not a fan of visiting art museums. These trips really fuelled my passion for art and now I find it enjoyable to attend art museums. The Pacific Standard Time exhibitions taught me about these artists that really shaped the L.A. art scene and the art world as well. I realized that there are a few artists whose work I really enjoyed.
I read my first post and realized that I had mentioned that when I heard the term L.A. art scene, I would think of just graffiti. Well, that is not the case anymore. Now that I know about all the art L.A. has to offer, I think of the ASCO group, Edward Kienholz, Stephen Kaltenbach, and many others. I no longer just have graffiti in my mind. I found that the recurring themes in these exhibitions were all of the problems our society faces. From politics to making a difference, a lot of these art exhibitions showed pieces that started powerful movements like the Feminist movement. Others just bluntly put it out there that we have some serious problems that most people just seem to ignore. These pieces were made available to everyone so that their messages could not be ignored. I believe that this is what made a lot of these P.S.T. exhibitions strong and memorable.
I have to say that my most favorite exhibition was Under the Big Black Sun. Out of all the shows, it had the most pieces that I thought were interesting and visually appealing to me. It also exhibited Suzanne Lacy’s Three Weeks in May, whose whole idea has interested me since I first saw the RAPE stamp at the Doin’ It in Public show at Otis. Other than this reason, I feel like it is also my most favorite because I could emotionally connect to a lot of pieces. Some made me feel disgusted of things that go on in the world, some I felt related to my life. It just brought a lot of personal feelings. Other exhibitions I enjoyed were Doin’ It in Public and ASCO: Elite of the Obscure. A retrospective.at Lacma.
The Doin’ It in Public show I liked because we had someone explaining the show to us. I learned a lot of information and I was really thankful that these women had done so much for us. I enjoyed ASCO Elite of the Obscure. A retrospective at LACMA because of the range of work they produced, the weird performances they made, and how they brought their Latino heritage into their work and still got noticed.
I am not really proud of any of the blogs I wrote because it feels like I could have added more to all of them. It felt like I could have expressed myself better in my writing because when I go back and read it, it feels like I did not get across everything I felt about the exhibitions, but at the same time it was difficult for me to write about it because this is so different to me. I am not used to putting a lot of myself into what I write. I have to say though, that I feel like my writing has improved. I guess I am proud of that part.
Much like my experience in Paris, this course has given me a real perspective on the art that I have been able to talk about. Instead of hearing someone Else's version of a story I have had the luxury of the experience, and the freedom to form my own opinions based on what I have seen, and for that I am enthusiastic. I am one step closer to figuring out where fit into this world, and I have been able to take pleasure in overloading my head with images. My writing this semester has been my story, my view of the works presented, and my experience has taught me to think critically about what I see no matter how it makes me feel. What I will hold on to is the need to be there and see things for myself and when all is said and done, my experience will remain the most important part.
"Portrait of a Younger Self", Duncan Lemmon. Ink on paper, 2011.
Reminiscent of a moment in time when the experience was all there was.
Getting closer to the end of the semester, I think back and reflect on the semester and I have come a long way. The weeks went by so fast that in a blink of an eye, I had so much work to make up. After the first couple weeks in class, I started to have a difficult time in this class. The first weeks, we actually met in class and had lectures about the history of art in La. Corresponding to the lectures, homework was a blog post to be written about a topic we chose from the lecture. After the first couple weeks, we had weekly assigned individual museum or exhibit visits. After visiting the museum or exhibit, we were to write about our experiences, the artwork, and our interpretation of the institution. In the beginning, I did pretty well and actually thought it was wonderful that I didn’t have to go to class and all I had to do was to visit the museums and write about it. After a while, I started having a hard time. I am not too certain as to why that was, despite the fact that I have a hard time with liberal classes to begin with. However, I feel like it might be because there is not class meeting to turn in a printed assignment or homework. I might just not be fit for an “online” class. Therefore, I was beginning to fall back. I was having a hard time keeping up with the visits and, because of that, my blogs were overdue. However, Karri was very understanding and supportive along the way.
During my journey in the Art and the City of Angels, I grew to enjoy various art pieces as well as the development of visually observing the artworks and critically analyzing them in more details. My experiences visiting various Pacific Standard Time exhibits were enjoyable, more than I thought. In addition to that, it was very helpful and actually made me realize that this class had more of an impact on me, helping me with my visual skills.
In the beginning of the year, I didn't have much interest nor did I have any special visual skills. During the first visits, I admit, I just browsed around and didn’t feel to interested. The way I observed the works was a bit more simple and vague. I would just stroll through and if I saw something that caught my eye, then would I go and see how they might have done something like that. But even at that level, I didn't exactly have the knowledge to truly analyze properly. I guess you can say that I may have been a bit more lost on how I should be observing and describing the pieces in order to understand the artist and their work. However, as the weeks were progressing, I noticed that the way I was observing the various artworks were a bit different. I started to analyze the little things that the artists did, as well as to question why they did certain things or even create the pieces. I began to look for a good composition, what worked and what didn't, and the overall piece’s concept. It amazed me how my visual skills were changing and improving! It was actually surprising how I can visually see all these different little details and trying to analyze every move and their meanings. It became more apparent and actually created an interest in the exhibits.
One of the most vivid memories of this new found discovery was during the Edward Keinholtz installation pieces. It's still probably my favorite pieces during this whole class experience. Also because that was one of the very first exhibits that I went into not knowing what to expect and coming out with such movement and inspiration; I would have to say that it made me realize the deeper meanings. It created the interest of wanting to see more and more! I was a bit disappointed to end it with one installation from Edward Keinholtz, but this is exactly what I mean! The change from not having ANY interest in viewing these exhibits and even while viewing, not knowing how to observe and analyze properly; it developed into being more engaged in the pieces and connecting with the artists to their work. Changing all the ways to analyze and creating some kind of meaning that would inspire me. Throughout the semester, I was always encouraging my fellow students to explore in order to broaden their creative minds and in developing their knowledge in all kinds of art; however, I failed to realize how much inspiration I have gotten from these exhibits. In addition, the development of interest in various artworks and the artists themselves, as well as, my ability to properly observe and critically analyze each and every details. This class has helped me in many ways and generated a new knowledge and technique that I will beneficial to my life in the long run.
Time for a confession! At the Getty Center, at LACMA, and at the Hammer, all of my favorite works were not part of the Pacific Standard Time exhibits. The post WWII genre is not my taste. The most exciting piece of art I saw this semester was Salome at the Hammer. I looked at it up close and then I stepped back and looked at it far away. The size and intricracy of this artwork is amazing, it grabbed my attention and I found myself transfixed, unable to look away. Unfortunately, I find a lot of modern artwork doesn’t speak to me like this. They seem shallow and narcissistic and lack the transcendent qualities that I find appealing in religious art.
Gustave Moreau Salome Dancing Before Herod
The blogging experience that was part of this class helped me understand that I look at art in terms of my enjoyment. In fact, I found the lack of appeaI the artworks had for me helped me think about it more. The shows that I enjoyed the least (Under the Big Black Sun and Doin’ it in Public) produced some of my strongest posts. I think my lack of interest in these shows forced me to explore the root of my dislike. Why was it hard for me to engage with the art? What was pushing me away? Was it the content? The Organization? The Layout? If the show had been put together differently would I have enjoyed it more? Looking at it in this way gave me a stronger desire to explore the show and really nail what was bothering me.
In contrast, it was harder for me to put my finger on what I liked about the exhibits that I enjoyed. For example, I loved the Crosscurrents show at the Getty. Reflecting on my experience there brought tears to my eyes yet there was nothing specific or singular in the show that moved me. It was a product of my total experience. The individual pieces worked together to create an overwhelming nostalgia which is so painful and sweet that I have a hard time thinking about it. It is much harder for me to think critically about things I enjoy because my emotions get in the way. I am inspired by the shapes and colors. I give myself over to them and soak up the feelings that I get, but I am not really interested in any one thing, just the overall sensation. I am not inspired to learn about the artists or what they intended, I just want to live in the moment. As much as I disliked Under the Big Black Sun, I saw my younger self reflected in all the post modernism. They represent complete self absorbency and the tendency to think that everyone is as interested in me as I am.
This class helped me understand that I want art to move me beyond my immediate world. I don’t want to think about the concrete troubles of the world, but about the intangible spiritual realm. I want art to carry me away from the mundane, not rub my face in it. In this class, I learned that I can learn about an artwork and the artist’s intention but an uninteresting piece will still remain boring. My engagement and enjoyment of art is narcissistic and that is just the way I like it. It is my own guilty pleasure.