Tag Archive | Southern California

Modern Art Monday Presents: Bridges By James Doolin

Bridges By James Doolin
Photo By Gail

Euro-American traditions of landscape art tend to work differently from those of Native peoples, often picturing the land from afar as a space to behold. James Doolin (19322002) carefully studied the landscape to create Bridges (1989), spending a week at the off-ramp from the 110 Freeway to Interstate 5 in Los Angeles. Using principles that originated in European painting, Doolin designed an expansive vista in which a vast space is seen from a single vantage point. The small figure in the foreground  — intended as a stand-in for the artist or viewer — also appears in many traditional landscape paintings. By applying these motifs to 20th Century Los Angeles, Doolin refers to the power of historical images in shaping our modern experience of place.

Photographed in the Autry Museum of the American West in Los Angeles. 

Happy New Year, 2019!

Red Dragon Chinese Lantern
Photo By Gail

Let’s Set Some Things to Right This Year, Shall We?

Red Dragon Chinese Lantern Photographed on Lake Baldwin at the Los Angeles Arboretum.

Pink Thing of the Day: Pink Transfer Moving & Storage Truck

Pink Transfer Truck
Photo By Gail

Photographed from a moving car on the Interstate 10 Freeway while traveling from Pasadena to Palm Springs, California over the Christmas Holidays!

Truck courtesy of Pink Transfer Moving & Storage of Monrovia, California.

GoldenBoy By Jeff Bark at Hasted Kraeutler

GoldenBoy Car
Let the Homoeroticism Begin! (All Photos By Gail)

Jeff Bark’s newest body of work, an exhibition of new photographs he calls GOLDENBOY (now at Hasted Kraeutler), instantly appealed to both Geoffrey and me, but for entirely different reasons. Geoffrey was wildly smitten by the bare-chested hottie who is the subject of half of the photos in the exhibit. But I was more intrigued by the moody, lost-weekend vibe of the yellow-hued still life scenes, and the recreation of what I correctly took to be a southern California backyard – mostly because it reminded me so much of the backyard of my own childhood home located in Orange County.

GoldenBoy Backyard Set
GoldenBoy Backyard Set

GoldenBoy Backyard Set
GoldenBoy Backyard Set Alternate View

This backyard (which was recreated for the project inside Bark’s NYC apartment!) provides the setting for many of the photos. When you couple the erotically charged images of a handsome young man with what looks like an environment of leisurely suburban decay, to say that these photos encourage imaginative extrapolation is a huge understatement.

GoldenBoy Ice Pop

As the exhibit’s Press Release details: “GOLDENBOY is sited inside and around the young man’s California abode, offering a glimpse into the spaces and routines of his seemingly idyllic daily life. But something is always awry: near-appealing symbols of his languid existence are juxtaposed with disturbing, even macabre details. As he sits in a chaise lounge eating popsicles, a dead plant studded by sharp spikes hovers ominously behind him.

GoldenBoy Roses

An elegant arrangement of yellow roses is corrupted by the remains of a keg-party, their roots flooded by empty plastic cups. It’s a disturbing clash of idyll and decay, the indulgent and the morbid. The question persists: will he live up to and embrace his own potential for greatness? Or perhaps he will turn away from it, choosing instead to pursue a darker destiny.”

GoldenBoy Bird in Cage

That passage describes a lot of guys I knew when I was living in California, especially right after college, in the 80s, which is the timeframe that Bark aims to capture in GOLDENBOY. Although the theme of GOLDENBOY seems tightly focused, I think this is an exhibit with which viewers can have a highly personal experience, depending on individual tastes and backgrounds. Highly recommended.

GoldenBoy Daisies

GoldenBoy by Jeff Bark will be on Exhibit through June 14th, 2014 at Hasted Kraeutler, Located at 537 West 24th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.

GoldenBoy Signage

The Decline of Western Civilization

Decline of Western Civilization Movie Poster
Image Source

On This Date in 1981: The Penelope Spheeris-directed Punk Rock Documentary, The Decline Of Western Civilization debuted in Southern California. Capturing the ferocity of the thriving and wildly influential LA and Orange County Punk music scene, Decline featured live performances from Black Flag, The Circle Jerks, Fear, Alice Bag Band, X, Catholic Discipline and The Germs, whose now long-deceased lead singer, Darby Crash graces the central spot of the promo poster. Many of the film’s live performance scenes were shot at The Fleetwood, a cavernous live music venue near the pier in Redondo Beach, which I believe was formerly home to a Bowling Alley or Skate Rink.