A look at influences becomes a post at KCET Writing on the Wall. Alfredo Ramos Martínez is called the father of Mexican modernism. A new exhibition in at Pasadena Museum of California Art explains why.
Joseph Gatto study by Kent Twitchell I Courtesy Kent Twitchell
One early A.M. I had ten short mural items ready for a year-end list, but wasn't sure how to approach thoughts on the November passing of arts educator Joseph Gatto. I looked around and saw muralist Kent Twitchell -- who is as good a photographer as anyone I know -- posted some shots of Gatto. I asked him for permission to use them. He e-mailed me high-res images within the hour. Then I read the warm friendly banter by Gatto that lives on Facebook posts around the Los Angeles art community. It seemed right to have that week’s story just focused on him. “Joseph Gatto: A Moumental Life ‘Reporting for Service” was up early the next morning. [view]
It's been a very special year that has me still playing catch-up, but changes will make this blog a gatekeeper for writing and projects. For now, here's a batch of items from "Writing On The Wall" at KCET.
With the announcement that murals will be allowed on private homes in some neighborhoods, this Guadalupe mural in Boyle Heights guides this month's monthly wrap into a holiday season that brings muralists tidings of joy.
The Music Center Fountain lit for the holiday, as captured by Sterling Davis, who tweets "Seasons Greetings."
As all Angelenos know, The Music Center is home to the Holiday Celebration, and this is the 54th year of regional performances on the stages of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on Christmas Eve. I attended rehearsals in previous years and saw choirs and dancers get focused as they prep for the big night. The adults were just as giddy.
I wrote in 2009: "The event began in 1960 as "The Christmas Program," taking place at the Sports Arena in Exposition Park. It moved to the Music Center when the facility opened in 1964. In fact,County Supervisor Kenneth Hahn, who represented the 2nd District from 1952 to 1992, led fundraising for the facility only on the condition that it be open to the public, for free, at least one day each year."
Winston toward Main Street in Downtown Los Angeles.
In front of 118 Winston, at Werdin Place / Indian Alley, is the Navajo Chief statue by sculptor Erma Yazzie near the "We Are Still Here" mural by Shepard Fairey. It made a debut during the November 2013 Downtown Art Walk. Details at my column Writing on the Wall at KCET's Departures.
"Erosion of Native American Culture Subject of Protest and Art" [view]
For the record, here's my monthly preview for Downtown Art Walk held November 14 [view]
Since Monday, Allison "Hueman" Torneros has been painting a new mural at East Third and Main. The wall was arranged by LA Freewalls and timed for the mural ordinance that is being presented in city council August 20. Hueman is one of the woman artists recently featured in the LA Times.
It's a wall that has been whitewashed after artists were granted permission to paint by the property owner.
Also ready to speak out are Los Angeles muralists and institutions. In a pact of unity, letters to council members and council president Herb Wesson to "PASS THE MURAL ORDINANCE NOW" have been sent. “After 10 years of a legislated ban on murals on private property, our organizations and the artists have waited long enough,” says the letter dated August 14, 2013.
For those council districts that want a mural free zone, we believe an overlay zone would be appropriate. The majority of communities that have supported murals in their districts for decades should not be penalized for those few districts that oppose murals. The mural ordinance has been held in PLUM with a last minute lobby from neighborhood councils in districts that have no mural tradition, a response more to street art than the ethnic neighborhood murals that gave Los Angeles its mural tradition.
The letter is signed by the Social Public Art and Resource Center,
Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles, Venice Arts Council, Self-Help
Graphics and Art, United Painters and Public Artists, Mobile Mural Lab,
Mictlan Murals, LA Freewalls, and Art Share LA.
"L.A. Liber Amicorum: Book of Friends" at the Getty Rare Book Library is the subject of my latest post at KCET's Artbound. "It's a dignified entry into the Getty, and the academic and aesthetic
exercise challenges how graffiti has been interpreted in galleries and
other museums in the past." [Graffiti Scrolls Enter the Getty's Canon]