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Brian Murphy

August 20, 1989

The ultra-hip pay Murphy up to $150 a square foot to make a quasi-disposable statement about the temporal nature of art. That's L.A. all right, the birthplace of the retrench-and-rethink-it-later mentality. I find it somehow fitting that the New York Times lands butter-side-up in Murphy's favor. The world-class curmudgeons of that city historically take great pleasure in declaring Los Angeles a vapid and humorless place in the throes of a terrible irony shortage, and even our own Los Angeles critics perceive Murphy as a trendoid; yet given enough ink to digest his architectural innuendoes, New York likes him and, by association, us! But does New York appreciate Murphy for his artless statement of up-and-coming L.A. style, or is it rather because someone is finally building homes that substantiate who we really are? Do our Murphy homes proclaim: "Since we are rich enough to look like we don't care, we can afford to hire someone to get the jokes he plays on us"?

One hundred and fifty dollars a square foot seems steep for a green fiberglass punch line. To be honest, I have only one hopefully ironic enough rhetorical question--can you harvest real bananas in the foyer?

Now that would be a statement.

ROBBIE FRANDSEN, Redondo Beach

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