Thursday, May 13

Making Time for Art in LA

Entrance to DaVinci Exhibit
at The Getty


I just flew in from Los Angeles (and, boy, are my arms tired). I just love that old joke whether anyone else does or not.

Now seriously folks (bah-dum-dum), I did just return from LA on a trip during which I was able to get in a few art-related outings.

I was a few days early and just missed the opening of ‘Wagner's 'Der Ring Des Nibelungen' Art Exhibition- California Art Club Artists Celebrate the Ring Cycle’ at the LA Cathedral. Actually I did get to see some of it. It was just about to open and most of the paintings were already hung, but they were roped off in areas so that you couldn’t get up close and really look at them. It is art and paintings of California Art Club members inspired by Wagner’s operas, four of which are being performed nearby at the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion.

Then there were the several murals of street art along the Venice Beach boardwalk. Venice Beach is a very eclectic place, to put it mildly. The people and the various shops you see along the promenade are, how shall I say, very interesting. I’ll just leave it at that. Some artists have painted several huge murals on the sides of the old buildings. These are giant-sized, 2- and 3-story high abstract works of art, such as the four dancing horses (or whatever they were). What was interesting to me as an artist was the medium that was used—spray paint (from a can?) or maybe it was air brush. Whatever, each stroke was unique but together they formed the painting much like pointillism.

Finally, at The Getty museum perched on the hillside along the 405 in Brentwood there was a Leonardo da Vinci Exhibit. Although I had hoped to see some of his paintings, there was only one—St. Jerome something or other, and it was unfinished--why Leonardo left it unfinished is not explained. Not that I was expecting the Mona Lisa, but I did think there would be more than one.

There were, however, several rooms full of his drawings and etchings. Paper must have been expensive and hard to come by because each was no larger than 8 1/2 x 11 in, and most were smaller with several sketches and drawings crowded on each sheet. His sketches of the human form and dissections were ground-breaking medicine at the time.

There are also three huge (as in 20+ feet tall) bronze sculptures on display by Rustici who worked closely with da Vinci in his studio. It's worth the effort to visit the Leonardo Exhibit if you’re anywhere near LA. Going to The Getty is always an experience, and the tram ride up the mountain is kind of fun.

Until next blog…

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