BBC New York Punk Rock Documentary

Here’s an excellent BBC documentary on the origins of punk, hip hop and disco in the New York City of the 1970s. It was a hard time in the city but it held a wild energy that kept pressing up and inventing new things. What hit me about this film is how good Patti Smith really is.

New York since then, however, seems to have signed an unlimited contract with the Gap as a retail outlet. I think anyone with a streak of punkishness in them moves out to Los Angeles.

I found this via the excellent curatorial efforts of Rob Smart on Facebook.

Robert Mapplethorpe’s Life Work Given to Los Angeles Museums

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.