What is a boy scout in 2013? Does anyone care? Outside of the antiquated machismo related to insecurity toward gender and sexuality, the boy scout is less of a cultural force and more of a symbol of classic American boyhood. This image of scouts is largely attributed to artist Normal Rockwell‘s visualizing of them and his work with by-boy-scouts-for-boy-scouts publication Boy’s Life. But what do boy scouts look now? That’s what curators Andrew Pogany and Ben Lee Ritchie Handler wanted to know. They tasked twenty-one local artists to examine Rockwell’s work to create a new visual vocabulary–perhaps even an idealized vocabulary–for viewing boy scouts in 2013. The resulting body of work is Good Intentions, a group show at Subliminal Projects in Echo Park.
Design studio Dorothy is not based in Los Angeles. In fact, they aren’t even in America: they’re in London. They do have some attraction to Los Angeles though as they have created a series of printed works dedicated to films, movie culture, and the city we live in. They’re part tech-y, fake sciency art projects and visual cinephile meditations on beloved films, presented in clever ways. You Los Angeles movie hounds will want to snatch some of these up and toss them up in your home or office.
Laura Owens is an LA artist. Having graduated from Cal Arts in 1994, she quickly went from being a local talent to a herald of the re-emergence of painting on the international art scene. For the last two decades, she has been a vital part of the LA landscape, even as she has maintained her distinctive voice in painting – as inclusive of different styles and subject matter as it is serious in its examination of the problems of image making. Throughout it all, she has been a pre-eminent practitioner of LA cool: seemingly laid back, but also intelligent, rigorous, and quietly badass.
This past month has been a doozy for me, which may explain why LAIY has been a bit barebones for late May through June. I was working on two Style Network shows, one of which was recently launched pop culture and fashion mashing Style Pop. Being in that world for over a month and reading and writing about everything from North West Kardashian to testicular beautification, there seemed like there would not be any opportunities for overlap in the projects. Well, surprise, just before being wrapped on the show a little local something popped up that we had to share: some light, Southern California slanted jewelry was talked about on the show. The work comes from Maya Brenner and they are some very luxurious local wears.
Kids in university these days are far better at being adults than we ever were. Maybe it’s just me, maybe, but we keep sharing project after project after project from local students in schools who are blowing the pants off of anything my peers and I were doing in school five years ago. It’s super impressive and, while Baby Boomers are concerned that twenty and thirysomethings are going to steal their jobs, we twenty and thirtysomethings should be concerned these even younger people who haven’t even finished school are going to steal our work from us. It’s a keep creating, keep connecting kind of world and students are really taking it to the next level.
The most recent, “Damn, kid!” moment for us was from a little journal we got from UCLA students. It’s called GRAPHITE and is a yearly interdisciplinary arts journal produced by the students to detail what interests them and what they see as the connections between all sorts of different expressive forms. With the help of the Hammer Student Association, GRAPHITE has released their 2012 – 2013 publication under the theme of Movement, a topic intended to investigate “the dynamics within and beyond political, cultural, architectural, and conceptual concerns.”