Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sunshine Muse

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art from W on Los Angeles Art

Los Angeles, the vain and joyous land of American dreams! It would seem that there is no place more surface oriented and appropriate for fashion and art than L.A. But somehow, despite fashion week efforts, designers have been unable to make their work equal in attention to celebrities and sunshine, or more importantly New York. While Rodarte have brought West Coast admiration, they are not originally from L.A.

Peter Marino's Chanel, Robertson Blvd. Beverly Hills

Rodeo Drive and Fred Segal represent L.A. fashion, which is a focus on consumption rather than production. But the places, the structures, from the Beverly Hills Hotel to high modernism homes hidden in the hills, are exactly what gives Los Angeles global aesthetic respect. There is almost no place on earth more arid and glistening than Hollywood where the modern utopian white boxes still thrive. The Case Study Houses are a prime example, concentrated in L.A. and extending to Palm Springs and beyond.

Alice Friedman's American Glamour and the Evolution of Modern Architecture celebrates Neutra's Kaufmann House in Palm Springs, photo Slim Aarons

Film obviously holds the anchor of arts in L.A. Peter Plagens suggested in Sunshine Muse, that it was Ferus Gallery that finally gave the city its relevancy in the art world, followed more recently by Regen Projects. Artforum magazine also spent 2 years based in L.A. before moving to New York and it still covers the LA scene.

Glenn Ligon, Regen Projects, 2005

When I read this entertaining quote by the distinguished Brody Jenner about the end of the Hills, I thought perhaps we will all soon realize there is no better backdrop for fashion and art than Los Angeles: “I think the show has always battled with what's real and what's fake, and this ending was perfect because you still don't know what was real, what was fake and it's kind of like L.A. in a sense. ... There were a lot of moments that were real and a lot of moments that were not so real.”

Los Angeles based Jeremy Scott on the Young & the Restless

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