Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Art the L.A. Way
Got a kick out of this recent article — with slideshow and video — from the L.A. Times about the fabulously fun Downtown Art Walk. Until a trip to Los Angeles in November, I hadn't spent much time in Downtown, except to see a couple of plays at the Taper. But I'd heard quite a bit about the area's resurgence from office buildings and hotels to art galleries and (very!) pricey lofts and wanted to do something that was definitely off-the-beaten tourist track.
A friend had warned me that it was quite a scene, but I thought he just meant by California standards. I couldn't imagine a savvy New Yorker like me would be particularly stunned. Oh, was I wrong. You may notice that very little of the visuals involve people actually looking at art, and that was largely my experience. Not that I didn't want to, but with so much music, activity, wine and people around, I was suffering from sensory overload. When I passed a young man balancing a live black cat on his shoulders I knew it was time to go home.
Actually, my favorite part of the evening had been an earlier trip to the Museum of Contemporary Art on Grand Avenue, where I first got a look at art-viewing L.A. style. I was comfortably dressed in jeans and sensible shoes, my usual attire for an activity that requires copious amounts of walking, and I soon noticed most of the 20-somethings around me looked like they were right out of Central Casting: Women wore heels and short skirts, men had the perfect hipster hats. The whole environment was easily as photogenic as the exhibits themselves.