This is my short report about last weekend's trip through the museums of LA.
In the photo, I am #6 from the left.

 On Saturday, February 11 of 2023, we started in Los Angeles with the “Art Museum of Jurassic Technology” in Culver City. The best things I could find there were, first, a miniature drawing of two bulls, fighting each other with philosophical questions in their large meditative eyes, on one of the walls without any labels, but most likely Chinese, and second, a 3D projection of a sacrificial ram onto an open bible, with an atrocious instruction on how exactly the animal should be killed. It might have been an elaboration on the text: Bulls or rams or goats are the animals that you may burn on the altar as sacrifices to please me (Num 15:3 CEV). A year earlier, I would have been happy to find Tsiolkovsky’s notebooks with rockets. In the roof garden, the doves were talking to us.

We took a Metrolink train to our next stop, the Bergamot Station Arts Center with many galleries. My highlights here were black-and-white art photography and exchanging a few comments with my mates. On the way there we waited at a stop in front of a new apartment building that reminded me of one of my last places in Germany. One girl in the yard was skating among playing children in a yellow skirt - it was beautiful.

On the next day, Sunday, we went to the Geffen Contemporary at The Museum of Contemporary Art in the Little Tokyo Historic District. It was an old warehouse renovated by the architect Frank Gehry in the 1980s. If not for the skillfully edited and extended historic footage in one transparently presented documentary film by Garrett Bradley, American Rhapsody, and a few single artworks, I would have left the building much earlier. I decided not to share my harsh opinion about the main exhibitions - Tala Madani: Biscuits and Judith F. Baca: World Wall - after witnessing an emotional reaction from one of my colleagues. From the outside, MOCA Geffen was promising and I was happy to get out again. I wrote a poem about it on Monday; my chosen art media for this trip were photography and poetry.

The MOCA Grand was better, I really enjoyed several pieces. The following fast-food joint named Grand Central Market did not recycle the tons of plastic they used, so I dragged the juice bottle with me through the streets like an idiot. Chatting there with the guy who started over 80 successful businesses in LA, including that vegan place, was inspiring. In The Last Bookstore on South Spring Street, I concentrated on photography to not get tempted to buy anything, and it was fun to see the excited faces among members of our group who made discoveries: Piper was in heaven.

The Hauser and Wirth gallery felt like home with its European design and herb garden. I found a few awesome minimalistic pieces in the second hall, and the impressions of the rest needed to wait to be released through rhyme.

I will also happily remember several conversations with artists in our group about anything from collage and film cameras to gardening and parking a van, walking almost as fast as Derek and Yoshi, the dinner in Natalie’s special Indian restaurant, and Manuel’s and mine walk around the Echo Park lake the next morning, after listening to beautiful love stories late on the previous evening, as well as liking the same Basquiat with Michael and finding and appreciating the same artwork with Maggie, who drives as a world master.

Image ©

About the Images I have chosen for the illustration:

  1. Six Crimee by Jean-Michel Basquiat at MOCA surprised me the most. The painting was made in 1982 in acrylic with crayons. It is a figurative painting usually assigned to street art or neo-expressionism. I choose the piece of art because it surprised me the most. First, even though I have seen this work before in print and online, the color of the actual piece positively charmed me. The lines had the quality of dance performance in their natural size and were glowing: warm pink on light turquoise. Seeing it reminded me of the first time I have ever seen Basquiat in my childhood, his scull from the previous year, and how many possibilities it opened in my mind. I did not realize it was an acrylic painting and was glad to see the wonder the medium can bring. I hope young artists will protect themselves from the immense pressures of society and art markets and stay alive.
  2. The large dark-red brick warehouse at 216 Alameda Street in the Art District in Downtown Los Angeles, which is over 100 years old, is now owned by Angel City Brewery but is known as John A. Roebling Sons Building. It was designed by architects Frank Dale Hudson and William A.D. Munsell and built in 1913 for a wire rope manufacturer that made steel cables for the Golden Gate Bridge and powerlines of LA. The style could be vernacular: the building is modest, specific to the region, and relies on the use of locally available materials. I have chosen it when we passed it on the side of its colorful geometric and ornamental murals that were restricted to the earth tones with the addition of some red, yellow, and cyan at the bottom. I like the idea to use old structures to create new designs, and the freshness of the painted decoration gave me a very warm feeling.
Los Angeles art trip.LA, Los Angeles, MOCA, Art Museum of Jurassic Technology, Bergamot Station Arts Center, MOCA Grand, The Last Bookstore, Hauser and Wirth


Lena Nechet, artist - Fine art, media productions, language.
San Diego, California , USA, 323-686-1771

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