Friday, January 4, 2008

Museum Day

My family always does an LA museum trip whenever I'm home. It's one of our main themes as a clan. And we camp. Usually, we go to these things expecting to be entertained and enlightened and leave feeling elated, successful and hungry. Yesterday, though we were getting hungry (no help from the Griddle House where we ate breakfast, the french toast was amazing and huge), we left the Murakami exhibit at the MOCA feeling dirty and cheated. Max (my big little brother) was into it, but I think that's mostly due to the fact that he is into anime, can speak Japanese and may be more familiar with manga (possibly). Anyway, unlike the rest of us, he saw value in Murakami's work and the commercialism that is his backbone. Sarah (little sister), saw more of what I saw, an artist with "no artistic heart." Basically, the exhibit consisted of flat, repetitive imagery which had virtually no deeper meaning. His large scale works were assembled by some unknown team of workers who had to cut and paste thousands of the same smiling flowers and simple vines. Another main figure he focused on was the mushroom. In his early college life this is supposedly all the could or would draw. This idea of the mushroom as a Japanese symbol could have been really cool, had he taken the extra time to meaningfully connect the mushrooms to the mushroom cloud (atomic bomb) that his mother experienced in Japan. But, for reasons far beyond me, he made no such correlation. After seeing photos of the guy and hearing him speak about his work it is truly laughable that he likened himself to a Japanese Andy Warhol. Where Warhol took commercialism and transcended it into fine art, Murakami simply exploits his simple pieces and characters for commercial purposes. The characters his wor revolves around consist of Dob (a version of Mickey Mouse), Kai Kai (a teletubby rip-off), and Ki Ki ( a semi-cute three-eyed poop-obsessed monster). The animation was impressive, but who knows how much of this he actually participated on or simply oversaw and directed. The real kicker was the full fledged Louis Vuitton store inside the museum exhibit. I think that thats what we all saw in the show, a perverted man sitting on an empire of crap. The image that I sadly cannot shake is this: a life-size sculpture of a naked anime male holding his rock hard wang as the jizz is forming almost a crown around his head. Truly disturbing. I think Murakami tried to justify this sculpture as a call-out to the absurdity of sexuality in anime and manga, but really it just showed me his interest and appreciation for gratuitous graphic content.

Thankfully, Sarah spotted a banner for the Dali exhibit at the LACMA and that show made our trek worthwhile. That man's body of work is extensive and astonishing. Not only is his technique amazing (his patience for oils was noteworthy), but his content and understanding of light and perception were really quite a feat. Film was also a big part of the show. My only regret about attending was that I became too overwhelmed with the swarms of people at the museum that I couldn't have my own time with any of the works. However, it was pretty amazing to see his strokes and to appreciate an artist who had a heart. It also made me feel justified in my review of Murakami's work and it was interesting to compare two artists, both who had commercial work, and see that just because they each have their work on display, I can discern from a real artist with heart and a mushroom-obsessed fraud.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


I'd like to use this blog as a channel through which I can discuss my growing obsession for conspiracy theories (911, Christianity, Corn, and the like). But today I'm just warming up. Hell, I've barely left my bed to pee, so this is great. I leave for Australia on the 14th and Brittany is arriving on the ninth so I've really got to get my shit together. Shit=portfolio+packing+mental preparation. This is also a good way to avoid my depressive tendencies, which mostly consists of excessive bed lying. Not necessarily sleeping-in fact, minimal restorative sleep-just rolling, comforter flailing, horrid dreaming half-sleep. It's truly retched. These dreams last all night and follow the theme of instabiltiy. Whether I have just remembered the fifth class I added to my schedule only hours before my final papers are due for it; I am leaving the state and haven't gotten any of my affairs in order, let alone packed; I am being stalked by an annoying, persistent old flame, my boyfriend is sharing intimate details with everyone and informing them it's over before letting me know; or last night's chimera: My front tooth has finally fallen out. Now this is a delusion that pesters me more often than not. Anyway I really don't feel like getting into this whole carnie-faced nightmare although I know if I don't document it now, I'll lose the details until I have a similar shitty dream.

I need to start filling my daily bagel quota. But let's talk about corn soon.