Beato photography reveals beauty & brutality of the East-West encounter

Visual arts
Photographs by Felice Beato (1832–1909), an Italian-born rolling stone who roamed Asia in the latter half of the 19th century, are on view in a worthwhile exhibit at the J. Paul Getty Museum. Using his cumbersome camera and his good eye, Beato delivered to the West some of the first photo images of Asia’s exotic ...

Glendale’s Don Van Vliet, aka Captain Beefheart, dies

Music · Visual arts
Fine artist represented by Michael Werner gallery, New York & Köln. Van Vliet’s irrepressible California creativity captured in New York Times obituary — must reading. photo: anton corbijn

Bloody mamas: violence against women in art and life

Dance · Film · Language & ideas · Visual arts
Monday, November 15, 2010, was a grisly night for women in Los Angeles. Both in art and in life, the blood of women flowed unnaturally and to no good purpose. Shortly after midnight, Ronni Chasen, the owner of her own public relations firm and a hard-driving career woman, was found bleeding to death, crashed in ...

ROA wrangles the rats of Los Angeles 2

Visual arts
All-Los Angeles materials — gnarly wooden boards, found rubble, discarded t.v. sets, sheet metal — form the foundation for the visiting Belgian artist ROA’s between-the-cracks, garbage-dumpster-at-night art show at the cool New Puppy Gallery. On these outsized flat surfaces, ROA paints precise portraits of critters and vermin. No, not the denizens of the L.A. art ...

The ABCs of being Eli Broad

Architecture & Design · Visual arts
Los Angeles is blessed with a surfeit of alphabet-soup acronyms for its world-class museums, famously, LACMA and MOCA. Both derive from the mother of all art-museum acronyms, MOMMY, er … MOMA. In a Huffington Post blog item, bad-boy Coagula Art Journal editor Mat Gleason posits options for Uncle Eli’s swank new warehouse of contemporary art. ...

William Eggleston straddles Wilshire Boulevard

Visual arts
Artist Ed Ruscha called him “a blessed rascal.” He influenced filmmakers David Lynch, Jim Jarmusch, and Sofia Coppola. But more than that, he totally changed the medium of photography, according to William Eggleston expert Carole Thompson in a gallery talk  at Edward Cella Art + Architecture, right across Wilshire Boulevard from LACMA. Cella, relatively new to ...

Royal couple of California modernism to be honored

Architecture & Design · Visual arts
The extraordinary — and never open to the public — Case Study House #9 designed by Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen for “Arts and Architecture” magazine publisher, John Entenza in the Pacific Palisades will be the venue for the Museum of California Design’s October 3rd Award Benefit and Auction honoring Charles and Ray Eames. Christopher ...

Happy 100th birthday, Julius Shulman 3

Architecture & Design · Visual arts
In keeping with arts·meme’s devotion to the dearly departed, we’d like to add Uncle Julius to the mix. The great Brooklyn-born, Los Angeles-reared architectural photographer left our midst last year. By most measures, his was a life well lived (1910-2009). He left behind the visual splendor of his timeless photography, which captures and defines California ...

MOCA’s Arshile Gorky show to close 20 September

Visual arts
I was entranced by a Sunday afternoon visit to MOCA, where the historic Arshile Gorky retrospective is still on. Beautiful, strange, powerful paintings. It’s slated to come down in one week — on 20 September. Recommend that you make the effort and see this show. Thursday night is free night. Gorky was the Armenian-born precursor ...

Philippe Petit, wired, even when not on wire 2

Dance · Language & ideas · Visual arts
Co-published on Huffington Post arts page “Falling is not my specialty,” quipped Philippe Petit in verbal jousting with “extreme” choreographer Elizabeth Streb during “Hammer Conversations” at the museum’s Billy Wilder Theater last week. Streb was describing how dance “must be extreme or no one will notice it as action.” In amazingly fluent English, Petit rejoined, ...