Yesterday, I went to the LACMA with my boyfriend, Stanley. We got there pretty late, a little after 3pm, so we didn’t have that much time to cover much of the museum (which is actually pretty huge, split up into a few separate buildings) but the first building we stepped into was the one I was probably the most interested in – the Broad Contemporary Art Museum at LACMA. In the last few years, I’ve met people who misunderstand, abhor and even despise the concept of modern art, but I am definitely not one of them. For me, the intensity of representation is one of the most defining things about art, and whether abstract, direct, simple or complex (often a mixture of all), I feel as if it’s often all about the ideas formed as well as the expressions evoked and expressed, no matter the form. Long story short, I noticed a few artists at the BCAM at LACMA: Inaugural Installations exhibition (and the rest of the museum) that I decided to do more research on.

John Baldessari
The piece that caught my attention was the wall mural, Buildings = Guns = People: Desire, Knowledge, and Hope (with Smog). I noticed that the word “Hope” in the title corresponded to a giant print of a blue rose. After checking out the mural for awhile, I moved on to the other sections of the exhibit which included other paintings of Baldessari. He had a handful of really conceptual paintings, as well as some that were purely text against blank canvas. I found humor in his cynicism and view on modern art, and as an influential contemporary artist, I think he’d be good a good choice to look up.

Helen Frankenthaler
Frankenthaler’s work reminded me vaguely of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s, so of course I had to do more research after seeing her work at the LACMA. Her abstract works had a certain graffiti style to them (akin to Twombly’s and Basquiat’s, in some ways), and it’s interesting to see how that they compare to her earlier more color-field style. I feel as if her style is easier to read and understand than Baldessari’s work, maybe because of the easy juxtaposition of the elements in her paintings. Either way, I definitely found her work to be interesting to observe.

Overall, I definitely found the Broad Contemporary Art Museum at the LACMA to be worth going to. It’s not overwhelmingly large, nor is it too extensive (it mostly focuses on a few influential artists) but still, it’s been awhile since I’ve museum hopped, so it was nicely portioned cut of my day.

ben’s jenn’s 3

I spent the last few days decorating a “3” for my friend Ben. We were at Santana Row the other day with a few other Bruinlife 2008-ers (Christine, Erica, and Steven) and were wandering the stationary stores (because really, that’s all we can afford at Santana Row). Ben ended up purchasing 4 numbers to spell 1337, and offered me a 3 to decorate for him. I definitely made it my own, as it’s very stylistically me. It was a lot of fun to design it and then execute my ideas. It’s really messily done, but I really like the way it turned out anyway. It’s me, in a 3.

I still have all the color scraps of cloth from my Making Amends and Connections pieces from high school, so I used grey and blue coth to cover the letter after painting it blue (it was the only paint I had in my room, from summer school). I cut leaves and shapes from red and green cloth to make a miniature rose-bush of sorts to put in the bucket of the 3. So here’s a blurb about my concept and idea –

Definitely I wanted to incorporate the idea of the importance of nature and environment into my 3, because I mean, seriously? Nature is always amazing, though people forget it often. The shapes and curves of the 3 made it really ideal to keep something inside, so easily enough I decided to “plant” the flowers inside. It kept it all together well composed, and so for awhile, I had the plant-part done but not the rest of it, which I hadn’t decided on. I really wanted to continue working with my fabric, because of how messy and hands-on it looks (I like it like that) so I cut out the 3 shape twice in dark blue, for the front and back. A few days ago, I found these miniature brad-buttons at Target, so just playing with them I put them into the cloth, gradienting light blue on the top to nothing on the bottom. After setting that up, I realized it looked like stars against a night sky, so of course I had to keep it that way! I did the same on the back with the light grey button-brads. And voila, pretty much it. Oh, lastly, I found these really old earrings that my sister was about to toss – they had little lock/key charms on the end, so I cut them off and hung them from the serifs of the 3. They hang on the side, so from the front & back you can’t see it. I knew I wanted the lock somewhere easily visible, but I wanted to hide the key somewhere within the “garden.” Thinking about it, though, it didn’t seem to fit well, so I kept it on the side, underneath the lock across the jump of the 3. Separate but together, as a lock and key should always be.

I had problems with the super glue – I didn’t experiment and forgot that the glue would darken and stiffen the fabric. I should have put the plants through the cloth more neatly, and stuck with double sided tape instead of super glue. Oh well, though, the grey cloth = dirt will just be like that. Yeah, honestly, I should have experimented and sketched more ideas, but I was so into decorating and getting started that I couldn’t help just jumping in. Next time, I’ll hold myself back so I can think things through more clearly.

I uploaded a few other old and new sketches onto my portfolio site, mint. I plan on updating that more often, and hope to change the layout sometime soon (ish) as well.

a refreshment

This is where I want to be in 2009.

I want to find myself somewhere where I am comfortable with myself. Where I’m not afraid of making mistakes, because I’m confident that the only mistakes I’ll make are in ignorance and not due to stupidity. I plan on being somewhere, with people I am constantly learning from and with. I want to be in a constant state of education, because that means I’ll be growing. Even if I don’t have a clear destination in mind, I hope I continue moving, because only in motion and action can I experience the live I’m living.

I’ve realized that one of the most necessary things I need to find happiness and contentedness is balance. I hope that in the coming year I learn to have confidence with room for modesty, to be selfish selflessly, that I offer help only if it doesn’t lead to sacrificing my own well-being, that I’ll avoid excessive honesty and treachery (in which case any amount would be excessive) and that I do my best to share my happiness with those around me.

New Year’s Resolutions:
1. Produce at least one piece of (serious) artwork/concept a month
2. Spend less money on “fun things”, because there are better things to spend money on/save money for
3. Disregard fear, because most of the time it’s irrational
4. Study, so I can do better in school
5. Learn to love again, because it’s important

This year has been a painful one for me. I unexpectedly lost both friends and loves, and although the experience shaped me, I often regret the steps I chose to take that led to where I am. I made big mistakes that led to an emotional crash, and it took me months to pick myself up again. But here I am. I’m not refurbished, in no way am I as-good-as-new, but I am beaten up and have been taught. I’ll remember, because the cognizance of pain is permanent. And now I’m more ready than ever, to accept what life has in store for me.

I put this together a few days ago as a representation of my 2008. I spent a few hours looking through my digital photo album and took two pictures from each month. I tried to pick pictures that I never liked enough to make part of my portfolio, just so I could learn to appreciate them more. It helped, actually, because as the time between a photo is taken and when I view it gets longer, the less I remember why I didn’t like it as much to begin with. One of my more lax resolutions is to take more photos this year, and to try to bring my DSLR (a Nikon D40) around more often. This way I’ll always have the choice to capture a moment on (digital) film. I guess at the same time I want to learn how to utilize my camera more efficiently rather than give in to my shutter-happy tendencies, too.

It’s time to take things more seriously.