June 14, 2012 |
Grand Avenue and LA Live have been the focal points for arts and entertainment projects aimed at reviving downtown Los Angeles, but more grass-roots-oriented efforts in other downtown districts got a boost Tuesday with the announcement of $1.2 million in grants from ArtPlace, a national initiative to deploy culture as a community development tool. Though overseen by federal agencies, including the National Endowment for the Arts, ArtPlace is funded privately by a consortium of major charitable foundations and banks.
August 15, 2012 |
SAN DIEGO - The term "realism" doesn't exactly fit John Valadez's exceptional work as an artist, even though his paintings and large pastel drawings are characterized by acute observation of men and women going about their business, often in public settings. His compositional framework centers on heightened or self-conscious display - on theatrical performance and human drama, whether striking or routine. The technique simultaneously calls attention to his intervention as an artist.
November 12, 2011 |
It was not your usual audition process, not even by modern dance standards. There were no age or gender restrictions. There were no particular body types sought. And instead of taking turns on a stage, the assorted dancers, actors, artists, yogis and athletes trying out for a role in performance artist Marina Abramovic's new project — taking place Saturday at the MOCA gala — were each asked to kneel under a cramped dinner table set for eight. The audition? Poke your head up through a hole in the center of the table and spin around extremely slowly on a Lazy Susan and quietly gaze with intention but no particular emotion at the seated dinner guests — a strangely zen version of Linda Blair's famous head-turning performance in " The Exorcist.
December 14, 2009 |
The words "museum" and "mausoleum" sound an awful lot alike. And according to two recent studies out of Washington, if America's museum directors and curators don't make some fundamental changes in the way they do business, their institutions might soon become tombs. Just last Thursday, the National Endowment for the Arts published the sixth in a series of surveys it has conducted since 1982 that seek to measure public participation in the arts. The news was not good. The NEA found a notable decline in theater, museum and concert attendance and other "benchmark" cultural activities between 2002 and 2008.
September 18, 2011 |
In September 1945, under a pall of ocher smog and summer heat, Los Angeles entered the postwar world. The city then was bigger, wealthier and more diverse than ever. Its established people — mostly past middle age and conservative, a few who were really rich — still had the narrowness of the Midwest towns from which many of them had come in the 1920s. The city's new people — Okies and Arkies, black Southerners, and white ethnics — had arrived with the war. Few of them had much interest in art. Of course, there was art in Los Angeles they could have seen.
May 29, 2013 |
L.A. added two new million-dollar-a-year executives to the ranks of its top-paid arts leaders during 2011, although two existing members of the seven-person club had to get by with less than they'd made in 2010. Increases for Music Center President Stephen Rountree and Los Angeles Opera music director James Conlon put them above $1 million in total wages and benefits, according to the organizations' recently filed federal tax returns for the 2011-12 fiscal year that ended last June 30, the most recent period for which figures are available.
May 25, 2012 |
James Franco's "Rebel" fills a Hollywood furniture warehouse with movie and TV-style stage sets, sculptural installations and video projections - some made by Franco, many made by other artists. Inspired by "Rebel Without a Cause," the celebrated 1955 movie, as well as by the tabloid mythology that almost instantly grew up around actor James Dean's best-known film, "Rebel" suffers a predictable fate: It withers by inevitable comparison. Art that seeks to appropriate, honor, deconstruct or otherwise make reference to an icon of earlier art faces a very high hurdle - namely, the icon itself.
June 14, 2010 |
Awards should be aspirational, validating excellence and originality even though each and every one of us knows that commercialism rules the day. But far be it from the ever-insecure Tonys — the geeky glee club representative of the major entertainment awards — to bite the hand that feeds it. For the third year in a row the best musical award went not to the work that deserved it but to the one with the greatest box-office potential on...
July 3, 2012 |
Amanda Ross-Ho makes art that engages in nonstop translation - ephemeral drawings morph into solid rooms, miniature sizes balloon into maximum magnitudes, magazine advertisements turn into gold-finished jewelry, childhood scribbles change into grown-up philosophical musings. She's the Babel fish of contemporary art. "Amanda Ross-Ho: Teeny Tiny Woman," her wry and seriously playful show at the Museum of Contemporary Art branch at the Pacific Design Center, is large in ambition and generous in rewards.