Thoroughly Thursday - the "Street Art" Edition
Welcome back to Thoroughly Thursday, the "Street Art" edition. In 1998 as a recent LA-transplant, I would ride my motorcycle through Downtown Los Angeles. DTLA wasn't sexy then, but the giant brick buildings reminded me a little bit of sunburned Chicago. Even then, the local Downtown murals, graffiti and stencils made it strangely magical. The neighborhood has changed a lot in recent years, but this weekend I took my oldest for a tour through the neighborhood and got lost a bit in the past. You can see a small sampling of our trip here.
What I'm Reading (Articles) - The Dude Has Abided These 20 Years
I never really "got" the Big Lebowski when it came out. Sure, it was amusing, everyone knew someone who sounded just like the Dude and John Goodman was fantastic as Walter. But, how could a "who-done-it" featuring a burned-out hippie and a handful of colorful characters be all that interesting? Maybe it was because it was so different from Fargo which had come out two years before (I spoke in terrible Minnesota accent whenever drinking for months after seeing Frances McDormand as Marge Gunderson). Apparently, there were a lot of people like myself who didn't realize what we were seeing. Several articles in the last couple weeks have talked with some of the reviewers that panned a movie which went on to inspire annual gatherings, its own religion (Dudeism), educational non-profits, and an unauthorized musical parody.
What I'm Watching - Let's Go Find Some Good Walls
I started watching this amazing documentary "Exit Through the Giftshop" about artist and global prankster Banksy and his relationship with French wildman Thierry Guetta. Though the film talks a lot about the various street artists of the late 90's and early aughts, the film ultimately is about how art can be both personal statement, public expression, and profit machine. The representation of Guetta is fascinating, whose compulsion to document his life on film constantly seems rooted in childhood trauma.
Driving through DTLA in 2011, I saw what I thought was a painted mural on the exterior wall of an old brick building. I didn't realize till I was nearly passed that the image was really a bas-relief, carved into the brick itself. Recently, I learned that it was done by Portuguese artist Alexandre Farto, known by his street name of Vhils. He has an installation show in Los Angeles until the beginning of April. You can see my pictures from the exhibit here. Though I enjoyed the gallery show, his outdoor work is still amazing to see IRL.
What I'm Listening to - Classical ReMix
I would love to say that I always learn about new music from underground clubs or secret internet forums. However, more often I'm learning about new musical works while watching hours of competitive dance routines in giant convention centers while waiting for my daughter to perform. About two weeks ago I watched a small, lyrical group dance to Recomposed by Max Richter: Vivaldi Four Seasons. Released in 2012, Richter looped elements of each original movement and then pulled them into a minimalist score (which is better than it sounds). This isn't your grandparents Spring Movement but it is far more accessible than Philip Glass. Oh, and the dance group was good too.
All the best, and remember, tomorrow is Friday. :)
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