There has been a pothole the size of a beach ball outside of our apartment for two months. It seems to have formed as a result of water runoff from the hill above it, speeding Hollywood Blvd commuters, and constantly turning Runyon Canyon visitors. We’ve learned to avoid it in our car but have seen many broken down cars camped out above it after injuring a wheel on it. How do you fix a problem like this? You can’t buy cement and patch the hole up yourself–but you can report it in via MyLA 311, a very helpful city maintenance (And more!) app every person in LA with a smart phone needs.
Over the weekend we spent some time at LACMA since we were there to see the excellent James Turrell Retrospective. We wandered into new galleries we hadn’t been to, got to check out the connection between Matisse and Los Angeles, and finally ventured into the fascinating Pavillon for Japanese Art. We also had some unfortunate coffee at C+M (Wah waaah.) and decided to go into the gift shop since we hadn’t poked by there in years. While the store carries a lot of the normal “art museum gift shop” fare, there were a handful of “I want that!” things that reflected someone at LACMA being a bit creative with their curation of the gift shop. Thus, we have eight items from the LACMA Store for you to buy for yourself or gift–and none will break the bank, either.
Sharon Needles has had a bigger influence on culture than we think. Gay and straight and queer alike, anyone with a ghoulish hint to them felt the faux-not-faux goth influence of the RuPaul’s Drag Race season four winner on their world. The performer didn’t necessarily originate this point of view in drag but she did clarify it and personify what it could be. As she said in an episode, “I am the future of drag.” and she clearly was and still is based on what we saw at Saturday’s Dragula at Faultline.
We’d heard of the event from seeing a poster for it in Los Feliz, one that featured a gangly cartoon ladyboy who was like a sexy Dr. Frank-N-Furter or even the ghost of Joan Crawford. With a clever name like “Dragula,” our interest for high camp was grabbed and we decided to try it out since good, unique drag is hard to come by in Los Angeles. We’d also been meaning to test the waters of Faultline to see if they were as dirty as we’d heard.
LACMA needs to win an art world Academy Award because they are experts at crafting delightfully dramatic presentations. They wow you without your permission and naturally build a buzz without even trying. If the Hammer is your older, with-it uncle and MOCA is your young, “I do what I want!” brother, LACMA is the unassuming, smart, helplessly hip you that you think yourself to be.
They’ve been doing these over-the-top-yet-understated presentations for years. Kubrick was their last big wow-er and Ken Price, The 2000 Sculpture, California Design,Levitated Mass, Metropolis II, Urban Light, and more have had a similar effect. James Turrell: A Retrospective is their current wow show that has the Los Angeles Light and Space artist showing his work on his terms. It’s a show full of drama and mind-altering effects whose delicacy and dreaminess are as scary as they are inspiring. This is a bewitching presentation and is one that you will want to revisit and revisit and revisit.
You know when you go to The Grove and there’s a stage setup and some sort of event happening? Do you ever stop and take a minute to see what is going on? Most of us don’t because we’re jetting to get to one specific store and get out of there–but what if you hung out and investigated the happening? We did that Friday as the pleasures of Hong Kong were brought to everyone’s favorite-and-not-favorite Mid-City shopping destination. The event was Hong Kong Live At The Grove and it brought some of the Chinese city’s neatest things to the retail destination for one weekend only. It was pretty neat as it was an example of a place exporting what they think people in our city should know about them.