My neighbor, Ryan, has been painting away all fall for the big opening at the Taylor de Cordoba gallery in LA this upcoming Saturday night. Consider this your invitation.
Are You Ready to Testify
Jan. 10 – Feb 14, 2009
Opening Reception: Sat. Jan. 10, 2009 6-8pm
Taylor de Cordoba
2660 S. La Cienega Blvd
Los Angeles, CA
Tues 11.25.08 – This afternoon, my Mom and I drove down to the Laguna Art Museum to see the William Wendt exhibition, which is entitled, “In Nature’s Temple: The Life and Art of William Wendt”.
While some of Wendt’s paintings were a bit too landscape-y and verging on the academic, many of them were delightful and a few were transformational. Almost all of the paintings in the exhibition were from his California days (1901 – 1930s) and they represented a California that is now gone or at least highly developed over.
For all of the wide, open landscapes, sycamore and eucalyptus trees as figures, and canyons turned majestic, I loved his approach to color the most: greyed out greens and darks that were purple, as they were the colors of California when she is cloaked in glory. And in that glory is how Wendt portrayed her. A glory that can only now be found in glimpses, if one takes the time to go hiking in the hills or up a canyon and one diverts one’s eyes from the stuccoed McMansions on the ridgeline.
A docent overheard us talking about one of the paintings, and asked how we knew so much about painting and the California Impressionist era. I explained that I was the 5th generation of artist along my mother’s line and that my mother’s grandmother (great-grandma Rachel) dabbled in the California Impressionist style in a few of her paintings dating from 1910 – 1925 and that we still have the paintings in the family. I grew up with looking at those small paintings and we as a few others that my mom and grandmother have by other artists of the genre.
It is a genre I like and possibly love, as the California Impressionists were not painting in the vein of the American Romantics or Hudson Valley School or even the Ash Can School, but were taking queues from the innovations coming out of France and then applying the plein-air, loose marked strokes to the California that they saw.
Some of the best of the paintings we saw today could only have been painted in California, all while one could see the cues that Wendt had taken from Cezanne’s Provencal period as well as a few tips from the Les Nabis. As we stood in directly in front of Wendt’s work, most of the paintings dissolved into marks and colors, but when we backed up 15 to 20 feet, the paintings would look refined and defined, much like may Impressionist and post-Impressionist pieces.
Cues from the French or not, the true glory of the Wendt show at the Laguna Art Museum is the vibrant views of a California gone by. At times, I giggled at some of the works, “Look, Pacific Coast Highway as a one-lane dirt road.” “Hey, when did Aliso Creek ever have that much water in it?” “This painting looks like the grand view of Santiago Creek and its Sycamores” etc.
A celebration of Los Angeles and Orange Counties long before the current blight of stucco and strip malls.
Ok, so I have failed the last 3 days to write something substantial in the morning for my NaBloPoMo challenge to myself. I am writing but…
Due to the headache and the nearness to the midnight hour, you all will be getting a few tidbits out of me.
1) The new Nokia viNe update for alpha/beta testers, Nokia viNe 1.02 (11/20/08 release) is FAST! Yay! Instead of the upload time taking forever, my 5 photos of this evening’s sunset went so fast that I thought viNe was lying to me when it announced the upload was done. But it wasn’t, all my photos were up on my Sports Tracker account and up at the nseries.com Nokia viNe flash viewing thingy. Yay!
The Nokia viNe 1.0 was supposed to be released to the wild last week, but they have delayed it and I will let you know when it is out.
2) As for MOCA’s economic failure and near collapse of the institution, I have a few things to say. I bent Tammy’s ear about tonight, but it can be all summed up in the fact that I think they have been way to rock star-y high brow about the contemporary art they were showing and did not really interact with the community over the last decade.
The Hammer museum has done a *great* job of involving the community by putting on annual group best of shows (best LA MFA graduates, best of LA young artists, etc), as well as having lectures and other community events that draw folks in. I would love it if MOCA were to have a best of LA young artists or best of Downtown artists or best of east side taggers or best LA mid-career artists that haven’t had a one person show yet. Etc. etc. etc.
MOCA, I would rather drive downtown to see great local events at either your Main MOCA space or at the Geffen then drive to Westwood. Give me a reason to care about you. Give me a reason to want to participate. The Hammer does. The Getty does. So, why don’t you?
The LA Times’ art critic, Christopher Knight, has an Open Letter to MOCA.
I may have invited y’all before, but the Seal Beach art | music | writing salon meets once every two months for a night of art, music, and poetry/reading – and drinking & snacking & talking. It really is a mishmash of folk from all over SoCal and from a variety of creative disciplines. This Saturday is the 1 year anniversary and they are moving the location to Dan Callis’ new studio on Marina Dr. Come join us, it will be fun.
What: The Seal Beach Salon’s First Anniversary
When: Saturday, Nov. 15, 2008
Time: Starts at 6pm, ends at 10pm.
Where: 700 1/2 Marina Drive* at Dan Callis’ new studio (just back from the corner of Marina & PCH, in the yard behind the flower shop & plumber that are on PCH in the same building) – Google Map
Who: Filmmakers Hobo Soul will be showing their film in an RV, Dan Callis will be having an Open Studio, poet Aaron Belz will be giving a reading, and Avi Buffalo and Band will be performing.
Bring: Yourself, friends, and beverage of choice.
Come and join us in Seal Beach on Saturday evening.
Sat 10.25.08 – At the Getty for the Bernini exhibition.
Rather than torture you all with more photos of small white dogs* this evening, I am going to direct you to several great articles:
1) The ever fabulous and bright, Malcolm Gladwell has alerted his blog readers of his new New Yorker article, “Late Bloomers: Why do we equate genius with precocity?“.
This is one of the best articles I have read in a while, as Malcolm digs deep into a phenomenon that I have noticed for years: it is not the precocious or prodigies that you want to watch in life, but it is the late-bloomers who are most interesting. Malcolm weaves research into creativity and age v. output with historical references and current anecdotes into the lives of contemporary writers.
Excellent. A must read.
2) The ever fabulous Ariel Stallings Meadows, aka Electrolicious, has the best summary of the Black Mondays & Fridays of the recent Stock Market crash that I have read to date. Her analogy may shock the squeamish amongst us, but it is words to take to heart and live by. Listen to Ariel, Just don’t look down there. Really, don’t look at your stock portfolio until after the new year.
Just don’t look.
div class=”note”* Just so y’all know, I already have it worked out with Erika that if I die suddenly by accident that she will post photos of Scruffy & Belle for 365 days after my death. I am compiling a stock of photos for her. So, y’all should darned hope I don’t die suddenly, as after a year you will be darned glad I am gone. So here’s to the hope that I have the longevity of all my other elderly family members who are currently in their 80s & 90s and doing things like golfing a few times a week (great Aunt Babe, aged 94) or flying to Uruguay for his holiday (what my 86 year old grandpa did on Sunday), etc. Just sayin’.