Fowler’s Fabrics: African-Print Exhibition

The Fowler Museum is alive with the colors and culture of African-print textiles. African-prints are distinct yet diverse with a rich global history. This exhibition showcases the far reach these fabrics have had and continue to have. The designs we commonly see today in Africa have traveled through time and across countries before landing as an identifier of that region. Fowler points to the patterns beginning in India in the 4th century CE, then by the 11th century Indonesia picked up on it, and by the 19th century Dutch and British manufacturers began making them and very successfully marketing them to African countries (primarily West Africa). Since then several African countries-such as Ghana and Cameroon-have identified with these fabrics and the outfits they form represent an important communal collaboration between the consumer and seamstress. Though the patterns are often repeated, they represent a sense of uniqueness and sense of identity to those who wear them.

Aside from the background information and exemplifying displays, this exhibition really aims to incorporate modern shifts in the intertwining cultures. This helps showcase how the iconic designs have now reached beyond clothes the everyday person would wear and have spread to the high fashion and street wear design world. These displays point to the evolution of patterns as they continue to travel through media, advertisement, and art. Iconic to Africa, there is no denying the life these clothes have had and bring to those who view them.

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This exhibition is open until July 30, 2017.

 

The Fowler Museum is a free admission museum located on the UCLA campus at: 

308 Charles E Young Dr E, Los Angeles, CA 90024

Their hours are: Wednesday 12-8 and Thursday through Sunday 12-5.

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Kenzi Shiokava


Kenzi Shiokava won Made in LA 2016’s Mohn Award at The Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. Born in Brazil to Japanese parents, his totem works hold a very personal representation of these two contrasting cultures that form his identity. Shiokava tends to circulate around the techniques of wood carving and assemblage pieces which were both displayed in his showing for this exhibition. Through these elegantly balanced totem pieces one gets a sense of his attention to details to create unnatural forms and shapes from natural and found objects.

Chinese Caves – Replication and Education

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Cave 275-back wall

The Getty museum is a wealthy (literally) resource for art lovers of all kinds, and the museum recently has created quiet the buzz with their “Cave Temples of Dunhuang: Buddhist Art on China’s Silk Road” exhibition (on view at the Getty Center until September 4th). This exhibition consists of three main parts: a to-actual-scale replica of three caves, a virtual 3D video of another cave, and a gallery exhibition. It focuses on a selected few Buddhist caves from Dunhuang, China which are located along the Silk Road and through their imagery house extravagant displays of travel, Buddhism, and life from the 5th-8th centuries as well as gallery displays that display artworks from the 4th century to today.

There are three replicated caves which are all entombed side by side in a giant “tent” just in front of the tram drop-off. Each cave is replicated so that it is as close to the original as possible through its size, sculptures, and paintings. You’re allowed a short period of time to photograph and admire replicas of Cave 275, 285, and 320. The artists and art historians intended for the caves to look as they would if you were to walk in them today, therefore they show signs of “damage”, and appear cracked, faded, or rubbed away in certain areas. Between these realistic stylized choices and the lighting, these caves are intended to make you feel as though you are stepping into a time capsule in the outskirts of the Gobi desert in China. They display several Buddhist scenes, symbols, and characters such as Buddha and his faithful Bodhisattvas. The artists were able to create these replications in the original caves using the actual frescos as well as photos to create their paintings and sculptures which were then brought over from China and installed t the Getty center. This is an amazing opportunity for people to experience these rare treasures, even if the original cave in China is no longer open to the public.

The “virtual immersive experience” is located in the Research Library and consists of a short 3D film (3D glasses provided) which showcases Cave 45, which is from the 8th century. It guides you along the back wall’s sculptural figures and then through the flanking wall’s stories and iconography. This is a fun way to learn about, and appreciate, the art of this cave!

Lastly, next door to the 3D experience is a more standard-style gallery. This gallery displays several sutra copies, Bodhisattva images, and various imagery that represents the Silk Road and the caves. This is a rare opportunity for the West Coast of America to experience the rich heritage of these Chinese Caves!

 

Cave 320

All photographs are my own, for more information please visit the Getty’s website at: http://www.getty.edu/research/exhibitions_events/exhibitions/cave_temples_dunhuang/index.html

Hammer Time! Summer 2016 at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles.

Angelinos and those in all the surrounding areas are all geared up for the Hammer Museum’s latest and greatest Made in L.A. show! This display of local artists’ works have taken over the entire museum for the summer! Be sure to come by and experience it for yourself and cast your vote for your favorite artist to help the winner receive a grand prize of $1,000. From paintings and sculptures to videos and live performances this collective exhibition is no disappointment. There are several FREE events throughout the summer and yes, the museum is ALWAYS FREE. Parking is $6 with validation for three hours, but there are several buses that drop off right by the museum as well. Swing by and if you’re lucky you may be able to brush elbows with some of the artists and their friends as several continually pop in and out of the galleries. Be sure to take a few moments to test drive the circular spinning chairs in the courtyard! The Hammer Museum is located in Westwood just down the street from UCLA. For more information and to check dates and times of various events please check out their website at:  https://hammer.ucla.edu/

The Getty Center-Come Getty Your Art Fix


The Getty Center is one of Los Angeles’ finest art museums and an incredible destination point for people all over the world. Not only is it famous for the art inside, but the architectural design of the building and the gardens surrounding it are each their own work of art. Not to mention the breathtaking panoramic view of the City of Angels! The museum is free, ALWAYS FREE, although if you happen to drive there you do have to pay for parking ($15 a car/$10 after 4pm). Or you can take the Metro bus there ($1.75 for adults, $0.75 for senior, and $1 students K-12) and it drops you off right at the bottom of the road where you catch the tram. Yes, a tram! Hop on in for a smooth ride with an amazing view as you glide above freeways and houses to the top of the hill where the museum sits awaiting your arrival. Take your time weaving through the four wings of this two story museum and be sure to step outside and enjoy the balcony views. From Italian Renaissance to Impressionist masterpieces this museum has some of my absolute favorite pieces! It is beautiful to stand among people of all ages from all over the world and enjoy a framed piece of history together. They have several paintings from big names such as Degas, Van Gogh, Picasso, Bouguereau (pictured above is his piece “A Young Girl Defending Herself against Eros”) Masaccio (AKA Tommaso di Giovanni), and Rembrandt! There is plenty to see and lots of fun activities for the whole family. Pick up a brochure on your way in and try to catch a tour! They have a museum cafe (it does close earlier than the museum so watch out for that) and a cute little gift shop where, true to my tradition, I always pick up a post card of my favorite artwork. Between the art, architecture, tram ride, and view of the city, this museum is worth the trip, and need I remind you IT’S FREE TO GET IN. Take a day to expand your knowledge, get inspired, and enjoy one of our city’s finest treasures!


For more information on the museum (address, events, current exhibitions etc.) please visit their website at: http://www.getty.edu/

For more information on Metro bus lines (routes, pick up times etc.) please visit their website at: http://www.metro.net/riding/maps/

Santa Barbara Museum of Art

As an art lover and now Angelino, I am constantly trying to explore local art scenes. Last week I took advantage of my day off to escape the heat and day trip it to Santa Barbara. Located in their adorable downtown area, the SBMA (Santa Barbara Museum of Art) was a fun solo trip. Their museum is rather small in comparison to my neighborhood museum LACMA (Los Angeles County Miseum of Art), but it still has several little treasures of time. I think I was most impressed by their top floor, the Asian art collection. Asian Art, and the religious beliefs behind it, always seem to be a favorite of mine. They have a number of Chinese, Japanese and Indian pieces. From pottery and painting to textiles and stone sculptures, this floor was by far my favorite (not to undermine the beauty of the other sections). One of my favorite pieces was this incredible Tibeten bronze sculpture.

  Titled “Yamantaka ‘Terminator of Death’ Embracing Concort” this incredibly detailed piece depicts just that. At first glance you probably thought it was just one well-ornamented figure, but look closely and you can see the passionate “embrace” (I’ll keep it G rated and lead you to make your own conclusions) of two lovers. The larger and more prominent figure is Yamantaka, a sixteen legged, twenty-four armed, and nine-faced  Bodhisattva of Wisdom. Yes, he has a buffalo head, who wouldn’t fall in love with that? At their feet lie smaller details of figures and he is adorned with layers of skulls and jewelry. According to the museum’s description, “The embracing deities personify the path to enlightenment-a state that is only achieved when the duality of ‘wisdom’  (female) and ‘method’ (male) unite.” The story behind this piece adds to the beautiful imagery. Standing at what appeared to be less than a foot tall, I still can not believe how intricate this 15th century masterpiece is.

Overall the SBMA was a great experience. They have a great collection with a variety of styles of art and with easy parking (only cost me $1.50) and a student discount ($6 with a student ID) plus tons of amazing shops/cafes/beaches close by what art lover wouldn’t want to visit?