Monday, May 11, 2015

Chris Burden's Irresistible "Urban Light" Gift to Los Angeles

Public Art in Public Places ProjectLast summer we lauded the magic of L.A.'s most popular public artwork, an instant hit since 2008. With Chris Burden's early death, we honor the spirit and the genius of his engaging gift of "public art-space" to the world - the "Urban Light" creation of nostalgic form and mesmerizing context. Which is exactly what he intended:  "I've been driving by these buildings for 40 years, and it's always bugged me how this institution [LACMA] turned its back on the city."

Burden hoped his assemblage sculpture of 202 vintage lampposts would serve both as landmark and an entryway to LACMA's expanding campus (Los Angeles Times, Jan. 30, 2008).  In fact, "Urban Light" has become the most popular public artwork in Southern California - hundreds of daily visitors enjoy its daytime and twilight-changing visual effects, contributing hundreds of glowing online public reviews and images on Google Maps and at Public Art in Public Places.

Undeniably, "Urban Light" is THE Wilshire Blvd. beacon - impossible for skaters or zombies to miss, and an irresistible enticement to its mesmerizing magic.
Public Art in Public Places Project

As "front man" for LACMA's still-obscured entrance...
    "Urban Light" steals the show. 


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