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March 20, 2014 | By Gary Goldstein
Even the ubiquitous James Franco should have known better than to star in "Maladies," a pretentious head-scratcher involving would-be artistic expression, mental illness and shaving cream (don't ask). Franco brings a bit of his trademark charisma to the muddled role of an unstable soap-opera-actor-turned-novelist, also named James, who finds himself in a Long Island beach house living "an artistic life" with his moody, cross-dressing painter friend (Catherine Keener) and his disturbed sister (Fallon Goodson)
March 19, 2014 | By Mike Boehm and Deborah Vankin, Los Angeles Times
Capping 12 months that moved from a potential loss of independence to a chance at a fresh start under new museum director Philippe Vergne, L.A.'s Museum of Contemporary Art announced the return Tuesday of trustees John Baldessari, Barbara Kruger and Catherine Opie, prominent Los Angeles artists who had resigned from its board in 2012 as MOCA fell into upheaval, uncertainty and financial drift. Kathi Cypres and Steven F. Roth, who left the board more quietly in 2012, are also back as trustees, MOCA announced.
March 18, 2014 | By Kelly Scott
The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles announced Tuesday that three of the four artists who resigned from the museum's board in July 2012 over concerns about the direction of the institution will rejoin it. John Baldessari, Barbara Kruger and Catherine Opie will resume their positions as "artist trustees" on the MOCA board. Ed Ruscha, a former trustee who also resigned, will not return; he joined the board of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in August. Instead, Mark Grotjahn will become the fourth artist on MOCA's board.
March 15, 2014 | By Lisa Boone
"I felt a creative spirit the first time I walked in this house," says Rina Welles of the 1921 Santa Monica house that was once home to renowned German playwright Bertolt Brecht. "I liked the energy. " The foursquare house was where Brecht penned "The Caucasian Chalk Circle" and other plays during the 1940s. Today the house is one component in a multigenerational family compound for Welles, husband David Golubchik, her mother, Joanna, and their children, Leah, 10, and Alek, 6. The home, which has been renovated and complemented by a new addition by Dub Studios , also stands as a success story for preserving cultural landmarks in fresh and inviting ways.
March 13, 2014 | By David Colker
Hal Douglas was a movie star, but only until the feature film started. Douglas, who was one of the most sought-after voice artists working in film and television, did the narration for so many movie trailers that he could not recall how many he recorded even in a given week. But some of the most prominent films for which he was the voice of the trailers were "Men in Black" (1 and 2), "Philadelphia," "Lethal Weapon," "Marley & Me" and "Forrest Gump. " Comedies, dramas, sci-fi blockbusters, documentaries - he did them all, not to mention thousands of TV show promotions and commercials.
March 8, 2014 | By Reed Johnson, Los Angeles Times
Beautiful and terrifying, the painting hangs in the foyer of Cheech Marin's oceanside home. It depicts a car crash on the upper deck of an L.A. freeway, an appallingly seductive vision of maimed metal erupting into fauvist-tinted fireballs. "That's the fascination, that fear-attraction simultaneously," says Marin, best known as the more antichalf of the comic duo Cheech and Chong. Three years from now, "Sunset Crash" will be among the big draws of the most comprehensive exhibition devoted to Carlos Almaraz, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Titled "Playing With Fire," it will be part of "Pacific Standard Time: L.A./L.A.," a Getty-funded, multi-venue initiative that will explore artistic connections between Los Angeles and Latin America.
March 6, 2014 | By Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times Art Critic
SANTA BARBARA - Michelle Stuart and Alice Aycock are very different artists. Stuart is a kind of cartographer, mapping not just the land but our intimate experience of it. Aycock is more literary, transforming familiar themes like the intrusion of technology into nature and society's spiritual discontents into sculptures that are sometimes participatory. However, the juxtaposition of two sizable, retrospective exhibitions of their drawings at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art is fortuitous.
March 5, 2014 | By David Colker
Stanley Grinstein, who played a pivotal role in the art scene in Los Angeles as it was evolving in the 1960s and '70s, was an unlikely candidate for that role. He was not an artist or even, at the beginning, a collector. He was in the forklift business and had a great fondness for USC football. But in 1952, Grinstein got married and he and his wife, Elyse, went in search of a pastime they could mutually enjoy. "They were looking for something they could do together, some kind of common ground," said their daughter Ayn Grinstein.
March 4, 2014 | By Ryan Faughnder
Beats Music is bringing more tools for musicians into the fold.  The new music streaming service is acquiring Topspin Media, a company that helps artists promote and sell their music and merchandise to consumers. Ian Rogers, Beats Music's chief executive and the former CEO of Topspin, said the acquisition will help artists connect directly with fans.  PHOTOS: Behind the scenes of movies and TV "We're committed to establishing Beats Music as a conduit for the artist-fan relationship, a platform where artists have a voice, and a provider of useful data and analytics on how fans interact with artists and their music," Rogers wrote in a blog post on the Beats Music website .  "This acquisition puts our money where our mouth is. " Financial details were not disclosed.  Beats has already integrated some of Topspin's features into its service to let artists update their profiles with photos and merch offers.  Launched in January by Beats Electronics, the headphone company started by Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, Beats Music offers a variety of ways to help people discover music, including play lists created by artists and taste-maker publications.
March 3, 2014 | By David Ng
Norman Yonemoto, a Los Angeles artist who along with his younger brother, Bruce, created innovative video installations that often explored mass media, Hollywood and other forms of pop culture, has died. He was 67. Yonemoto died Friday at his home in Venice. He had been in ill health since suffering a number of strokes, the last of which was in October, said Carole Ann Klonarides, a family representative. Collaborating with his brother for nearly four decades, Yonemoto created video artwork that often appropriated the visual vernacular of Hollywood movies, television and advertising to challenge the viewer's assumptions about the media.
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