Archive: Los Angeles
Pumpkins & Tulips – Yayoi Kusama’s most outstanding public sculptures

Pumpkins & Tulips – Yayoi Kusama’s most outstanding public sculptures

Yayoi Kusama - Pumpkin, 1994, Benesse Art Site, Naoshima, Japan
Yayoi KusamaPumpkin, 1994, Benesse Art Site, Naoshima, Japan

Celebrating her 90th birthday in 2019, Yayoi Kusama is a leading Japanese artist and legend as far as art is concerned. While she deliberately makes unique pieces that can withstand the wear and tear of the outdoors, she is renowned for reproducing her art in monumental scale when need be. Her career spans over 6 decades and during this time her works have managed to enter the collection of museums such as the New York MoMA, LACMA, Tate Modern and others.

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At 78 years old, Ed Ruscha has perfected his artistic skills

At 78 years old, Ed Ruscha has perfected his artistic skills

Ed Ruscha - Fifty Years Of Painting, installation view, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden, photo Åsa Lundén
Ed RuschaFifty Years Of Painting exhibition, installation view, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden
Photo: Åsa Lundén

At 78 years old, Ed Ruscha has perfected his artistic skills to the extent that he can express the noises of everyday life on a canvas. When he began his art in 1961, no one would have thought that the works that had words written over them would translate into such epic levels of fame. You too have probably come across his works and never stopped for a moment to think about the creativity that goes into making them. Some of these word paintings have published in not one, not two or three volumes but a record 20 and counting.

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Still life painting covers facade of museum in LA

Still life painting covers facade of museum in LA

Jonas Wood - Still Life with Two Owls, 2016, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles 1
Jonas WoodStill Life with Two Owls, 2016, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Photo: Elon Schoenholz

The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles may feel hidden because of its downtown location. For a long time since it was designed by Japanese architect Arata Isozaki, it has been associated with its less conspicuous qualities. Since L.A. painter Jonas Wood covered the museum building facade with a reproduction of his Still Life With Two Owls painting of 2014, the vinyl production has not only revitalized the downtown street but the museum’s interior as well.

There is no shortage of dazzling architecture in the modern era and for a museum to stay quiet in a vibrant city like Los Angeles feels odd. Thanks to Wood, the 500m2 facade has covered the museum’s exterior with a mural that depicts plants in a variety of decorated ceramic vessels. There is no doubt that the flowers and splash of color that has been used in the vinyl gives the temperature outside the museum a complete makeover.

The choice of color that Wood uses is peculiar to him as he has for a long time taken pride in creating brightly hued portraits and still life drawings with generous amounts of color combinations. This current project has taken him since 2014 and the final touches were being made in 2017. For an artist of his caliber to sit back and describe his work as exuberant, it is because he too believes in the effect it is going to create. This is the reaction Wood has as he sees the rendering team working to set the paint on the wall. There is no doubt that the colors will come to life just like the artist intended.

Such effort in lightening up an outdoor space is worth it even if the light only lasts a while. The decision to use vinyl is deliberate because not only does it adhere to the wall, but it keeps the facade intact. While Wood’s mural is currently vibrant, in time it will need to pave way for another artist to showcase their ideas. As the face of the museum takes a transformational curve, it will give art lovers new hope and desire to see what is on display.

As its run comes to a close, Wood’s vinyl mural will have to peel off the wall but its magnificence does not come down with it. In this technological era, his work will be immortalized on smartphones and social media pages.

Jonas Wood - Still Life with Two Owls, 2016, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles 2
Jonas WoodStill Life with Two Owls, 2016, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Photo: Elon Schoenholz

Jonas Wood - Still Life with Two Owls, 2016, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles 3
Jonas WoodStill Life with Two Owls, 2016, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Photo: Elon Schoenholz

Jonas Wood - Still Life with Two Owls, 2016, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles 4
Jonas WoodStill Life with Two Owls, 2016, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Photo: Elon Schoenholz

Jonas Wood - Still Life with Two Owls, 2016, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Photo Christina House : For The Times 2
Jonas WoodStill Life with Two Owls, 2016, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Photo: Christina House / For The Times

Jonas Wood - Still Life with Two Owls, 2016, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles 5
Jonas WoodStill Life with Two Owls, 2016, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Photo: Christina House / For The Times

Jonas Wood - Still Life with Two Owls, 2016, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Photo Christina House : For The Times 3
Jonas WoodStill Life with Two Owls, 2016, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Photo: Elon Schoenholz

Jonas Wood - Still Life with Two Owls, 2016, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Photo Christina House : For The Times 1
Jonas WoodStill Life with Two Owls, 2016, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Photo: Christina House / For The Times


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Termites are behind these surprising house wraps

Termites are behind these surprising house wraps

Randi Malkin Steinberger - No Circus, Pier Av_

Randi Malkin Steinberger - No Circus, Pier Av_
Randi Malkin SteinbergerNo Circus, Pier Av_

A growing number of houses in many neighborhoods in Los Angeles are experiencing a termite problem. Fumigators shroud these houses with vinyl tarps that are brightly colored. These shrouded houses had caught the eyes of Randi Malkin Steinberger who started seeing these houses in Southern California when he settled there in the early 1990s.

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This was intended to be Andy Warhol’s retirement from painting

This was intended to be Andy Warhol’s retirement from painting

Andy Warhol blowing up Silver Cloud Pillow, Los Angeles, 1966

Andy Warhol blowing up Silver Cloud Pillow, Los Angeles, 1966
Andy Warhol blowing up Silver Clouds, Los Angeles, 1966

Andy Warhol is no stranger to critical acclaim; his various works introduced thousands of audiences to contemporary art which helped to put American artists on the map, and it waged a war against abstract expressionism. Warhol effectively managed, time and time again, to shatter distinctions in art and he helped to reshape the aesthetic criteria that many people used to categorize art. In true fashion, Warhol inspired an artistic revolution of epic proportions that was felt not just in America, but in other parts of the world as well.

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The birth of brutalism – Rick Owen’s weird furniture

The birth of brutalism – Rick Owen’s weird furniture

Rick Owens - Black Marble 2 Prong Bench, 2012, black marble, Edition of 8, 80x300 or 380x90cm

Installation view of Rick Owens- Furniture, December 17, 2016–April 2, 2017 at MOCA Pacific Design Center, courtesy of The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, photo by Brian Forrest
Installation view of Rick Owens: Furniture at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, 2016-2017
Photo: Brian Forrest

When asked to speak about his art, Rick Owens appreciates designers who make hand beads or ball gowns but he loves his style more. By making use of rare materials and working with highly skilled artisans, he is able to create unique items. With an emphasis on art as opposed to lifestyle, Owens creates massive monuments with little assembly work compared to the carving involved.

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Would you pay $58m for this shiny dog?

Would you pay $58m for this shiny dog?

Jeff Koons - Balloon Dog (Orange), executed in 1994-2000

Jeff Koons - Balloon Dog (Orange), executed in 1994-2000
Jeff KoonsBalloon Dog (Orange), executed in 1994-2000, mirror-polished stainless steel with transparent color coating, 307 x 363 x 114cm, one of five unique versions (Blue, Magenta, Orange, Red, Yellow)
Sold at Christie’s in 2013 for US$ 58,405,000

The Balloon Dog by Jeff Koons is a work of art that is about celebration for different purposes and times; A simple artwork which in its elegance would evoke a cheery scream from children if showcased at a children’s party. The Balloon Dog sculpture is made from very simple materials – stainless steel and covered with different colours: blue, magenta, orange, red and yellow. There was nothing left out of the creation even though it stands ten feet and weighs a ton. The artwork looks like a balloon twisted to shape to form a dog.

The Balloon Dog was a part of Jeff Koon’s well-known Celebration series from the early 1990s. It has been exhibited all around the world and these sculptures have been sold at huge amounts of money at different auctions. Koons said he only wanted to create a piece that showed the joys of having a celebration when he created the sculpture. As much as his own ideals were different, his work, the Balloon Dog has gone on to make him the creator of the most expensive artwork sold at auction by a living artist. Each edition of the series has sold for a different price at different times but the one that sold at the highest amount of money remains the Balloon Dog (Orange) which sold for $58,405,000 in November 2013, the highest ever paid for a piece of art by a living artist at auction anywhere in the world.

The Balloon Dog (Orange) has a very beautiful colour on a giant swollen body that has a reflective surface. This sculpture depicts weightlessness despite its huge size and heavy weight of one ton. The balloon form was made while paying utmost attention to precise details. There is a knot which serves as the nose, the twists and crimps that show the limbs are well placed and the dog’s tail which is erect and yet looks like rubber. The artist is known for making use of exact standards in his work and the Balloon Dog (Orange) is not an exception. This faultless and flawless creation is admired and loved by the audience. As much work was put into this work of art, the result is an extraordinarily beautiful sculpture which is pleasing to the eyes and makes it an enjoyable sight to behold.

Jeff Koons - Balloon Dog (Orange), 1994-2000 mirror-polished stainless steel with transparent color coating, Christie’s, NYC
Jeff KoonsBalloon Dog (Orange), executed in 1994-2000, mirror-polished stainless steel with transparent color coating, 307 x 363 x 114cm, one of five unique versions (Blue, Magenta, Orange, Red, Yellow), Christie’s, NYC, USA
Sold at Christie’s in 2013 for US$ 58,405,000

Jeff Koons - Balloon Dog (Orange), 1994-2000 mirror-polished stainless steel with transparent color coating, The Brant Foundation Art Study Center, Greenwich, Connecticut
Jeff KoonsBalloon Dog (Orange), executed in 1994-2000, mirror-polished stainless steel with transparent color coating, 307 x 363 x 114cm, one of five unique versions (Blue, Magenta, Orange, Red, Yellow), The Brant Foundation Art Study Center, Greenwich, Connecticut, USA
Photo: Tom Powel Imaging

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