Thursday, February 11, 2010

Afternoon at the LACMA

There is a good reason to venture down to Wilshire Boulevard and battle all the traffic that goes along with it:

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, affectionately known as the LACMA.

It isn't very far from my apartment but distance in LA is measured with respect to time. At 12:30, it took twenty minutes to get my way down there from Studio City but at 4:30, it took over an hour. Unfortunately the LACMA opens at noon so for those of you who are living in the valley, it may be worth spending some time at the museum and then grabbing some leisurely dinner before heading back home after the rush hour.

Although fairly small, the LACMA has some great pieces of art. There are usually some visiting exhibitions (Renoir will be in town for the next couple of months) but the permanent works are definitely worth a visit.

They allow you to take pictures of the permanent exhibits. But remember, no flash or you will have a yawning security guard come over and beat you over the head with a baton.

This is Picasso's weeping woman. This was one of my faves at the gallery. It's almost like Popart before its time.

Back when I was a pretentious teenager (before I became a pretentious adult), I loved the works of Magritte and the other surrealists. Thankfully, they had a couple of Magrittes at the LACMA.

Including this one. Ceci n'est pas une pipe. Or This is not a pipe.

Of course, it isn't a pipe. It's a painting of a pipe. Magritte just liked to f&*k with people's heads.

I don't even know what to say about this one. It's just angry and I don't know whose skull that is in the dead center of the masterpiece. Art should make you feel something and this one made me feel a little disturbed.

A great portrait by Modigliani. The colors here are beautiful.

This painting was a little weird too. An orgy-like scene at Coney Island. It was a little raunchy for being done back in the 30s. And the guy is reading a magazine about Hitler. Nice touch.

This was a close-up.

Some circles. And some stripes. Call it art and you got yourself a couple million bucks. As long as you're alive when they sell it.

But remember, as an artist, you're worth more dead than alive.

I'm not a fan of the portraits. But there is a good selection of European art if that is what floats your boat.

A very distinguished guy with a very large collar.

And finally, there is a great little sculpture garden. There are quite a few Rodin sculptures which are well known for their brawny, raw and emotional appeal.

The sculpture below is not a Rodin in case I have any art students out there who want to give me a hard time. But I swear, there are Rodins at the LACMA. Go see for yourself. It's worth it.

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