While I was at the LA County Museum of Art this past December to see the Stanley Kubrick retrospective, I also enjoyed the experience of stumbling upon Chris Burden’s room-sized kinetic sculpture, Metropolis II – the focal points of which are 1,100 Hot Wheels cars. Continue reading Chris Burden’s Metropolis II at LACMA
This forest of city street lights, called Urban Light, was created by artist Chris Burden. Despite initial appearances, the arrangement is not a perfect grid. Depending on where the viewer stands, the lamps arrange themselves in different angles and arrays.
These 202 cast iron lamps once lit the streets of Los Angeles. Burden bought one at the Rose Bowl flea market, and soon collecting and restoring street lights became an obsession. He painted them all the same neutral gray, in order to draw the eye to all the different varieties of cast iron decoration.
Burden says that street lamps like these were symbols of a civilized and sophisticated city; safe after dark and beautiful to behold. The lights all still work, and they are now powered by solar energy. They are switched on every night from dusk until dawn. At night, Burden says his sculpture becomes transformed into “a building with a roof of light.”