Doug Aitken: Electric Earth at MOCA Geffen

Hit up my IG to see an immense archive of art shows I’ve visited!

Doug Aitken at MOCA Geffen was an incredible and dynamic exhibit. I believe Aitken to be a true Renaissance. His talents are full spectrum. From cinema to installation to sculpture, everything was so aesthetically pleasing to the eyes. His work really touches upon your senses.

#DougAitken #ElectricEarth #MOCAgeffen #dtla #losangeles #artist #videomash #museums #payphone #illuminate

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#DougAitken #ElectricEarth #MOCAgeffen #dtla #losangeles #artist #photography #museums @buddphoto

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#DougAitken #ElectricEarth #MOCAgeffen #dtla #losangeles #artist #mirror #museums #NOW #bevelled #dimensional

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Spain. Art Spying in Madrid & Zaragoza part 1 of 3

The one thing you will learn from traveling in Madrid is that there are no modern sky scrapers within the downtown area, like Paris, it maintains it’s old european properties which makes Madrid even more attractive, at least to people visiting like myself. The public transportation is ace and you can easily navigate your way around. The system is incredibly clean and quite proper. It’s a perfect way to move and people watch. At the time I arrived in October of 2015, US and Spanish currency were about 15 cents apart, pretty much equal. This bode well for me as the cost of living is much cheaper in Spain. One can purchase a bucket of five 10 ounce bottles of beer for 4 euros or $7 at the pub or kabab joint. I’m more of a whiskey guy, but you will never find that kind of deal here in the US. I also splurged on an amazing 5 course seafood lunch with bottle of wine, $55 euro for two in central downtown Madrid. Think about it, Spain is surrounded by the Mediterranean and Atlantic oceans. You get a variety of seafood and this is a plus for Pescatereans. Food in Madrid, it’s markets and restaurants are incredibly tasty. Especially in Zaragoza, where you can eat up on a bar stool and toss your trash on the ground inside the restaurant and somebody will sweep up after you. Winning!

During my stay, I was set up by my old friend and college roommate from San Francisco, Jorge Cortes, an American from Montebello, east Los Angeles. After leaving San Francisco, Jorge moved to New York to finish graduate school at NYU, and there met his wife Rebecca who was originally from Zaragoza, Spain. After graduating and the birth of there first born, they moved to Madrid and currently reside in Barrio Del Pilar, a suburb about a half-hour train ride from downtown. Jorge and Rebe were informative guides which left me excited to go explore their new hometown. What I did notice on Madrid freeway walls exclusively were miles of graffiti name tags, big titles, but not very good styles. The fonts felt dated like some 80’s amateur threw down, as if these were places to practice. I give the city high marks for cleanliness, there are trash cans with ash trays on almost every corner. Another surprise to me was the socialist aspects of governing. Spain’s citizens seem to be the priority in this country, great social services, heavily family oriented and community based organization. Corporate marketing isn’t as loud as it is here in the states. Although unemployment is high, but falling in numbers, I personally did not see many homeless or beggars at all. I could have counted them all on one hand. There’s a lot to like about this place.

Let’s Talk Museums

Madrid seems to be an unspoken gem when it comes to the arts. I was able to infiltrate 3 of the countries most adored visual treasures, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Museo Nacional Del Prado and Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum. Museums can set you back around 7-20 Euro or $10-$25 dollars US depending on special exhibits. All three museums are located in central and is referred to as the Golden Triangle of Art.

REINA SOFIA


PRADO

The Prado Museo carries true master pieces of historic art. In this place my friends are the works of a life-time spent painting. Painting for everyone, for Kings, Politicians, mostly God figures…life throughout the ages. My favorite being Rubens and Jan Brueghel the Elder. There collaborations were seamless styles and grand-view images of space (example view Sight). A number of these paintings weren’t very large at all either. Many of the works around 20″ inches wide and 16″ inches tall with immaculate framing. You would have to see it in first person to experience the richness of color and detail through layers of paint. The internet just does not justify seeing the real thing in this case and so many others. The experience is ten fold when you face great art, trust me. During this trip I also found a great appreciation for Goya, which you can read about later when I visited the Museo De Goya in Zaragoza, Spain.

Images are NOT allowed at Museo Del Prado, but because I am cunning and persisitent regardless if I get caught I always manage to escape with some spy imagery. PRETENDING TO TEXT is a good method for sneaky pics. The other I use is “Lock-n-Load”, having the camera on and live in your back pocket. The latter is much more get it quick shots high noon style and results may vary depending on how much time you have to snap the image.

Find out more at Prado Museum

 


 

 

THYSSEN

During my visit the was the exposition, “Vogue like a painting”, 70 great art and fashion photos from Vogue magazine. This show features some of the elite of fashion photography. They were all very cinematic imagery that were inspired by paintings and mimicked fine art masters collected in the archives of Vogue. The other highlight at the Thyssen was Edvard Munch Arquetipos exhibition. A very dark and interesting walk with the artist, his quotes and his paintings depicting various events he witnessed.

 


 

EDVARD MUNCH

No imagery was allowed.


 

THYSSEN COLLECTION

Modern and Post-Modern Art. Learn More about Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum

Spain. Art Spying in Zaragoza, Museo Goya part 2 of 3

ZARAGOZA

MUSEO GOYA

In the corridors of old downtown Zaragoza is the Museo Goya, a lovely museum dedicated to the artist. It stands 3 stories high with a lower basement level. The first floor, The Red Room, held many early 16-17th century religious paintings, the top level, The White Room, is a gallery filled with artists that were inspired by Goya. There were a few rooms that featured his paintings, but The Black Room, where you were bathed in darkness was my favorite. Hundreds of small black ink prints of his sketches were backlit with summaries over each in Spanish and English. The colored rooms felt like an ascension between worlds. I’m not sure if that’s what the curator intended, but if so, it worked well. The existential quest of pre-Goya, his time on earth and the after life?

If you are unfamiliar, Francisco Goya is a celebrated Spanish painter and print maker. At the Goya Museum, images are off limits in rooms containing the artists originals. As I examined his work I became a fan. I always knew his work to be dark, but the things he has witnessed recorded and illustrated in his journal during the Spanish French War could only lead me to believe he had witnessed the brutal evil of what man can do to one another. His printed illustrations depicted human kinds worst suffering by having to live through a war where you are being invaded. I was incredibly moved by his drawings, although many were morbid, he seemed to make points of humor and make light of certain situations.


TOURING

 

Whitney Museum (New York)

While tripping to NYC, I was able to make it over to the new Whitney Museum in Chelsea. I’ve been to a few biennials in the past and am looking forward to attend future exhibits in this new structure. You can purchase tickets online and set a date.

Find out more about the new Whitney Museum.

Noah Purifoy’s Desert Museum (Joshua Tree, CA)

It was a beautiful and hot sunny day out in the desert searching for the Desert Museum. If you want to witness dedication to art, then Noah Purifoy’s (1917-2004) assemblage work is a must see. His retrospective at LACMA was a glimpse of the what he has built out in Joshua Tree. I urge everyone to visit the Desert Museum and learn more about this artist that originated from Snow Hill, Alabama who has become a Los Angeles icon.

 

Photography by Micke Tong

Art Trek February

Had a full art journey. Travelled from Hollywood to K-Town to Chinatown. Rain didn’t stop the art enthusiasts this evening. Visual overload in good way.

Barnsdall Museum, Los Angeles. First Robert Williams and Juxtapoz 20 at LAMAG. It was a joy to hear and see Williams work. I admired his charisma and there was a grand fare of fanboys and girls. I loved his distinct voice and I became well aware of his historical cult status just by glancing around. He spoke of the hardships of being an artist, a man humbled, Williams also spoke of his multiple water colors at the Whitney which he had painted in 3 days. Equally sound was the maze of rooms Juxtapoz curated with a grip of artists from the magazines archives.  It was the first time I was able to view Joram Roukes collage mixed painting. Also, glad to witness bay area artist, Brett Amory in his private room painting install. Here I captured some of Brett’s early work in 2008 at 111 Minna Gallery, San Francisco.

Stopped over at Gabba Gallery‘s “Curate This” show where I went to visit Kohl King ‘s work. Layer after layer of  these Gaf tape works are intense, I wanted to touch them or at least peel away some of these sticky strips. I am happy to report that I will be working with King and curating a show with Rebecca O’leary at Keystone Art Gallery titled “Divergence”, opening taking place March 21, 2015, 6-10 pm. Join us on FB https://www.facebook.com/events/826886064048492/ or visit us.

Chinatown, final destination. Paige Wery’s Goodluck Gallery presented, what I thought I over heard was Andrea Joyce Heimer’s first exhibit, and it was so good. Her dreamy, surreal, graphic paintings had a spirit of wonder. Charlie James hosted Amir Fallah, draped figures that reminded me of photo fashion trends of late. I was drawn to the beams, which cut time and space. See More. Coop plastered the walls at Coagula. There were drawings a plenty, do you hear that? that’s back woods art speak for scores of illustrations in pencil sketches and black ink.  Coops signature ink drawings, but my strange satisfaction was the early 1989, Spacemen 3 Poster!

LACMA in November 2014

LACMA‘s Samurai show was such a visual treat.  The armor for these historic warriors were impeccably made with fine detail, so much so I can’t understand how they fought at all, one would think they would be admiring each others talented clad tailors. These outfits blow away everything you see on Tokyo Fashion or were these just the ancestors of accessory to what has become the mecca of street wear. Wonderfully curated, general public, you must go visit.

My journey also recorded the work of Archibald Motley’s “Jazz Age Modernist”, a New Orleans painter who harnessed the life 1920’s in various African American communities, including Chicago, Harlem and Paris. These painting were so vibrant and dramatically captured a moment during that era.  As I strolled through the show I noticed a group of young men, possibly in their late teens or early 20’s laughing and screaming, “Oh, this shit is racist, this shit is hella racist!”.  I don’t think the young man bothered to find out that Mr. Motley was in fact, African American.

 

Made in LA at the Hammer Museum

My recent visit to the Made in LA exhibit. Some iPhone favorites. I will write more after I get a chance to read up on the curators and the work. I really enjoy Samara Golden’s installations as of late. Especially her musical living room at Night Gallery LA.

Art Market: Jeff Koons Paddle Ball Game

J. Koons Paddleball

Sometimes you never know what an item may or may not do. About ten years ago I purchased this Koons paddle ball game edition created by Duetsche Guggenheim in 2000. This was not the signed limited edition of 100 unfortunately, it was the unsigned edition of 900. I purchased it for $150 US dollars. I totally packed it away, never displayed it and forgot about it until today when I pulled it out of the trunk of my car. Yes, I’m the guy who stores art in his trunk, actually it’s a great place, no direct sunlight and minimal dust. Anyways, to my surprise, it is now worth two to three grand and on some auction sites up to six. I still personally wouldn’t pay more than $200, but that’s just me. There are plenty of materialistic suckers in the world who have lots of money to toss around. The value of copies are a very interesting thing in the art world. I’m going to keep quietly collecting and hoarding art, just not in the trunk of my car.

Takashi Murakami and Pico Iyer

Just picked up tickets to see Murakami in conversation. Saw John Waters and Jeff Koons and that was fun to see what they had to say.  Jeff wasn’t much of an open book, but Waters, lordy, he was hilarious.  I could have just listened his stories all night.

Internationally prolific contemporary Japanese artist Takashi Murakami, who is represented by 11 works in the Broad collections, will be in conversation with author and longtime resident of Japan Pico Iyer.

Thursday, May 29 | 8 p.m.
Orpheum Theatre
842 Broadway, downtown Los Angeles
General admission tickets: $12

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