Sunday, March 9, 2014

West Botani-Hammer

Despite the fact that I've lived in Los Angeles for about 14 years now, I still find that there are  plenty of new places to explore locally. Yesterday we took a trip down near UCLA and spent the afternoon in Westwood Village. The Hammer Museum recently received some money which is allowing them to have free admission for the next 4 years.We spent a few hours wandering around taking in all of the exhibits although we spent the most time in the permanent collection, a modern art type section and a special exhibit called Tea and Morphine. The permanent collection was enjoyable - it included an awesome dog painting from Toulouse-Lautrec, a surprisingly dark Van Gogh painting and a pretty Renoir among other art of all sorts. The modern art exhibit was a bit overwhelming (some areas seemed like they were trying to shove as much as possible into the space they had), but had some interesting highlights, including a 20 minute film/performance called "Total Recall" by Gretchen Bender. The viewing included 24 tvs and a few extra screens playing different videos. Although it was overwhelming at times when viewed as a whole, the fact that different screens were showing the same things at different times, it also allowed you to watch the same thing over and over again in a somewhat more relaxed fashion. It's kinda interesting to watch now especially since the video consisted of many tv sequences that were familar in the 80's and graphics that were new at the time. 25 years later and 10 years after Bender died, I'm sure it already has a much different impact in some ways. The "Tea and Morphine" exhibit focused on art about women in Paris in the last 1800's/early 1900's who were drug addicts (morphine in particular) & prostitutes  as well as high class and the art depicting the women in their lives. Some of it was a little boring, but there was plenty of interesting pieces to make the exhibit worthwhile. It reminded me of a burlesque performance we saw a few years ago at the CIA in North Hollywood.... I'm wouldn't be surprised if this time period was inspiration for the act.

After the museum, we headed over to the nearby botanical gardens.  I always enjoy walking through naturey areas, so I had a fun time wandering around and looking at the plants and animals for a little while and smelling lemon scented plants. I easily could have spent way more time there taking all sorts of pictures, but it's only open until 4pm on Saturdays. Later we headed back to the main village area where we wandered around and eventually stopped at Native Foods for some yummy vegan Sesame Kale Macro bowels for dinner.

shamrock!.. but on a stem

I really liked the non-symmetrical petals on these flowers

Overall it was a pretty enjoyable and rather cheap day considering some of the art we got to see. We had free parking, which helped, but besides that we only paid for dinner! I definitely recommend it as a whole outing if you have a free afternoon.

No comments:

Post a Comment