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."