Pacific Standard Time, the roaringly cheerful celebration by Southern California of its own art from the late 40s through the early 80s is releasing short videos to pump everyone up for its brand of art. I should be horrified by this silly video, but I’m not. I kind of like Baldessari’s big ass head on the wall. It works all the way up until he says ‘Art should be fun.’ Yeah, really? I dunno. Sounds like the kind of thing you say to an idiot.
But whatever. I’m going to see a lot of the exhibitions that are part of this festival. Should be really great.
As I was driving yesterday, I was thinking about my latest film work and muddling through half-formed thoughts about how, whether anyone likes it or not, Los Angeles is the center of art in the United States. New York has become too much associated with the 20th century’s industrial approach to art. Los Angeles, it seemed to me inside my comfortable car, is where it’s at.
Today it was announced that the work of American photographer Robert Mapplethorpe has been given in joint trust to the J. Paul Getty Trust and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Well, there you have it.
Enjoy the gift, Los Angeles, because you’ve earned it.
If you want to learn a lot more about Mapplethorpe and an incredible drive for artistic expression, read the National Book Award winning memoir by Patti Smith, Just Kids.