Wednesday, July 30, 2014

"Urban Light" Will Always Fascinate

ART APPRECIATION MONTH begins in LOS ANGELES with a visit to "Urban Light."

For 6 years the most iconic and phenomenally successful public artwork in L.A. continues to be Chris Burden's 2008 "Urban Light" assemblage sculpture at the Wilshire Blvd. entrance to LACMA.

"Apple Maps Flattens
Public Sculpture",
The fascination of wandering among its lighted lampposts and succumbing to the sculpture's mesmerizing sense of enclosure is so popularly enjoyed, especially at dusk-to-dark light shifts, that Angelinos and tourists are never absent, not to mention film crews, skateboarders, and friendly LACMA staff.

"Urban Light" has been featured in movies ("No Strings Attached"), commercials, music videos, and the fashion shot by Vanity Fair of the male cast of "Glee" singing in... yes, the rain.  But its iconic status went global when it became the most vivid and amusing example of Apple Maps' satellite view glitch of early 2013 (shown at right).

"Urban Light" FAQs 

from Public Art in Public Places Project staff:

When do the lights turn on?/How late do the lights stay on?
We get this Q all the time:  The lights are solar-powered and come on at dusk and turn off at dawn, so pub-crawlers looking for very late night amusement shouldn't be disappointed.

How many lampposts are there?
The official report is that there are 202 vintage street light standards in Burden's piece.  Some reports, however, put it at only 200.

Is there parking nearby?
Street parking on Wilshire Blvd. and surrounding streets is available, but parking directly in front of LACMA's plaza area is restricted.  There are also 2 LACMA parking lots (6th St. east of Fairfax, and at the corner of Wilshire Blvd. and Spaulding); $12, free after 7p.m.

Can I take photos?
Photos can be freely taken of any public art.  Photos of "Urban Light" can be publicly shared on Google Maps: Public Art "Urban Light".  

Can I write a public review of "Urban Light"?
Google Maps hosts public reviews, and you can submit your own and see previous reviews:  Google Maps: Public Art "Urban Light".  

[Search Google Maps for "Public Art" to enjoy nearby public artworks, like "Levitated Mass."


Monday, July 28, 2014

Indio's "Local Gradient" Installed in Water Authority Lobby

(photo credit:  Crystal Chatham,
 The Desert Sun)
The latest enhancement to Indio's collection of large history-themed murals and public sculptures is its first interior public artwork, an assemblage sculpture installed on Thursday in the lobby of its Corporate Yard/Water Authority building.

The large-scale wall-mounted piece, "Local Gradient" by Phillip K. Smith, III, of The Art Office, is an array of 900 felt and acoustic board panels mounted on lobby walls and ceiling.  Artist Phillip K. Smith, III chose colors reminiscent of the Indio desert landscape.  The Art Office, based in Indio, is a multi-disciplinary studio for art, architecture and design.


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Public Art of the Month: "The Cardiff Kook"


"Magic Carpet Ride" (2007)
by Matthew Antichevich
For your second or third beach trip this summer, head down the coast to a different spot and for SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT -- "The Cardiff Kook."

Lovely Cardiff, 1 1/2 hrs. from L.A. down the I-5, is that charming beach and surfing spot at Encinitas unlike any in L.A.  There you can't help but visit its local denizen "The Cardiff Kook" on PCH at the entrance to San Elijo State Beach.  And very likely, "The Cardiff Kook" will be adorned with some funky duds or otherwise "messed with" by locals who have adopted him as a kind of community mascot.

The bronze sculpture of a novice surfer about to flip off his board isn't all that old - installed in 2007 and created by local artist and surfer Matthew Antichevich, its official name is "Magic Carpet Ride."  Making fun of the surfer's stance, Cardiff locals dubbed it "The Cardiff Kook" - a popular name for a beginner surfer - and the name has stuck.

If you're impressed, share your review of the sculpture on Google Maps "The Cardiff Kook"

If you're impressed and you're a surfer, you can also check out local conditions at Surfline's Cardiff report.


Monday, July 14, 2014

Surfing Culture and Public Art: New Open Gallery Exhibit

Surfing Culture in Public Art

New Open Gallery Exhibit from Public Art in Public Places Project

Southern California and Hawaii lead the nation, and perhaps even the world, in surfing-themed public art - vibrant murals and dynamic sculptures that celebrate America's love affair with surf and sea.

Surfing history, lifestyle and lore are represented in an exhibit of public artworks published by Google Cultural Institute's Open Gallery.  "Surfing Culture in Public Art." 
"Surfer on a Wave" (2003) by Robert Pashby

Public Art in Public Places Project
Southern California and Hawaii