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Jun
20

A Visit to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art

By Pablo Helm Hernandez

 

While on vacation in L.A. with my family, My family and I went to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, also known as LACMA. It was very cool to explore a different museum with a large quantity of modern art besides the Walker. The Walker I know inside and out, but the LACMA was like exploring the Walker for the first time all over again.

We found a parking spot across the street from the museum in front of a sketchy, gated apartment community that looked more like they were trying to keep the residents in rather than keep strangers out. But across that street was a whole other world, a very beautiful world I might add. We’d parked behind the museum and entered through the back gate, where we saw a huge boulder resting on top of the narrow walls of an roofless hallway filled with tourists, and maybe a rock enthusiast or two. It’s a very interesting sculpture by artist Michael Heizer. It seems to suggest raw power, balance and fear all at the same time. We get tickets (18 and under are free! Booyah!) and begin our journey into the bowels of the museum. A huge black geometric sculpture towers over you as you enter the main lobby designed by the artist Tony Smith. Off to the left were the bathrooms. Spoiler alert: I use these later. We trot up the stairs into a gallery to the right containing the famous La Gerbe by Henri Matisse. The gallery contains many other interesting pieces, including some original Picasso’s (my favorite!). My family and I proceed to explore the winding galleries.

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Above: Tony Smith’s Smoke

After leaving the first building, there lay an amazing sculpture by Jesus Rafael Soto. The sculpture consists of hundreds of dangling yellow rubber hoses. It was as if you were walking through a never-ending bead curtain, except it was made of spaghetti. There were tons of little humans running around in the dangling spaghetti, invisible to their moms busy talking about its possible meaning. We move next into the temporary gallery which hosts works of art by the amazing cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa. Gabriel was a cinematographer in Mexico from the 1930s to the early 1980s, and boy was his work amazing. Gabriel captured light so well. He used mainly black and white film to show the many contrasts of light. He also did some really amazing visual effects. This exhibit was my favorite by far, mostly because I am very interested in film.

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Above is a still from the film La Perla. A film on which Gabriel did the cinematography.

Next we travel to the Pavillion for Japanese Art. The building itself is one of the coolest buildings I’ve ever seen. It had a very Planet of the Apes vibe, like the Ape City in the original movie with lots of stone and flowing walls along with lots of winding paths and panels covering the exterior. The inside was also very cool. There were some amazing old and new pieces from Japan. My favorite thing in this building was a small gallery filled with hundreds of these small charms called Netsuke. Netsuke are small wooden sculptures meant to be attached to traditional 17th century clothing like a Kimono. The small sculptures ranged from funny, old men to very intricate and detailed animals twisting around each other. And they were all smaller than a ping pong ball. As we make our way to the last building we walk by a life-sized model of the La Brea tar pits with some dinosaurs frozen in a screeching position, their little black beady eyes staring at all the tourists saying, “HELP ME!”

Our next stop is another main building where we’re greeted by the older cousin of Willy Wonka’s great glass elevator. While this glass elevator was huge and could easily fit around 25 people, the climb to the top floor was slower than a 500 year old turtle. Upon release from the glass doors, families scurried out into yet another priceless gallery at the top of the building. My favorite piece in this gallery was a shed made from old 35mm film strips stretched over a steel frame. This is an awesome piece by Agnes Varta. The shed itself had a blackish grey-blue hue of old film that contrasted so nicely with the flat white room which contained this masterpiece. The film stretched over the frame was art itself as well. It was fun to try and decipher the story hidden in the walls and roof of the shed. To top it off, the stools inside were made from old film canisters. We continue outside onto a huge staircase because we didn’t want to age a year by taking the slow glass elevator. As we go outside we notice that this staircase is the cream of the crop for photo opportunities, and many families make their offspring get preserved in digital image and put on display at their grandma’s and friends houses. My parents did the same and took many photos of my sister and I.

As my family continues to explore the small town that is the LACAMA, we go into yet another gallery with many cool projections and sculptures. The most bodacious piece here was by an artist named Chris Burden, called City II. It was a huge model of a metropolis made from all sorts of different materials. It looked like a genius-architect child was a millionaire and could buy all the toys he wanted just to make it. Throughout this beautiful city was a series of elevated roads that looked like the twisting urban highways in any major cities. In the middle was a big ramp filled with small model cars (probably Hotwheels). My brain exploded with excitement, I thought to myself, does this thing move?Do the cars race around the twisted highways?Let’s turn this baby on and let her rip! I asked one of the guards why the sculpture wasn’t running. She said it only ran on certain days and today was not one of them. Huge, huge bummer. I pick up my heart off the floor and we exit the building.

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Above: Chris Burden’s City II

Sadly it was time for us to go, but not until I was able to test the bathrooms and buy a cool book on Mexican pulp art. We also walked around to the front of the museum to see the famous street lamp sculpture, which is by the same dude who made City II. It was close to sundown and the setting was perfect. The lamps were on and it was like walking through a symmetrical forest of light. It was super rad.

So in reflection, the LACMA compares nicely to our own Walker. It was well worth the trip and I already want to go again. I love the LACMA and I consider it a good sibling to the Walker. I did some research and the LACMA does has teen internships and special nights where the museum is only open to teens. Hopefully the the teens of Southern California benefit from their programs as much as ours benefits teens here at home.

 

Jun
13

Reflecting on Make a Stranger Laugh

By calvinhhaff

Those of you that went to Double Take back in April certainly heard about Make A Stranger Laugh.  Maybe one of your friends participated, maybe you yourself did.  While I would definitely consider the activity a success, it kind of took on a life of its own and turned into something new that we weren’t exactly expecting. First, a little background: Make A Sranger Laugh originally started as part of our collaboration with artist Jim Hodges.  A big aspect of Jim’s work is the use of simple yet beautiful gestures that communicate very human concepts or emotions.  We wanted to […]

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Jun
3

GIVE US YOUR LAUGH

By lexiherman

Give Us Your Laugh was derived from Jim Hodges’s Give More Than You Take. We had an ongoing conversation with Jim that evolved into an exploration of universality through laughter. At our spring event, Double Take, we explored our concept both through Give Us Your Laugh and Make A Stranger Laugh. Both are exchanges between people in laughter that create a commonality. We attempted to embody Jim’s simplistic gestures with our thought provoking prompt “Give Us Your Laugh”. The materials were inspired by Jim’s A Diary of Flowers. The flowers were presented on random paper napkins using different colored inks. […]

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May
29

Separating Art from the Artist

By markarginteanu

I hold a great love for Roman Polanski’s Chinatown. It both solidifies and deconstructs and aesthetic I have long been fascinated with, film noir and the detective story. I first saw it almost four years ago when I was 14. I was mesmerized from start to finish as it was clear that the filmmaker had an absolute mastery of story and image. Another of my favorite films is Hitchcock’s Vertigo. Like Chinatown, it is at times deceptively gentle with its presentations of image, not directly telling the viewer what to think or feel, but simply letting the events play out […]

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May
15

Museum Mixtape #4

By alexismoore

Museum mixtape is back again with a piece of art paired to music. The combination this time around  is Jim hodges’ Ghost with the song Christmas Island by LAKE. Listen to it HERE. Hodges’ Ghost is a little piece of nature encased inside a glass dome.The artificial life in the dome contains carefully placed flowers, twigs,grasses and butterflies all made out of glass. Above the foliage are plants made out of glass creating a ghost-like look to the taller plants. Christmas Island by Washington state based band LAKE can be described as nostalgic lo-fi. This is also the ending credits […]

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May
8

Just Dropped: Southsiders by Atmosphere

By chloefouilloux

  Slug is at it again you guys. And this time he’s attacking it harder than ever. As a freestyle rapper, I admire him for his creative and relevant presence in the underground rap world–as a lyricist I continue to be blown away by his story-telling and immaculate flow. Titled Southsiders, us Minneapolitans can take a certain pride to understanding and relating to Slug’s tracks. Ant’s production is varied, complex, and mystic making his artistic contribution as influential and recognizable as Slug’s words. Each track has a sound for every state of mind–I would recommend taking it in doses and […]

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May
8

Apples-to-Art: Jim Hodges

By chloefouilloux

This new segment, Apples-to-Art, is a game we’ve made up to get to know the art around the galleries and share stories and some behind-the-scenes going-ons around the Walker. The rules: pull out a random Apples-to-Apples card and connect it to a work within the glorious Walker estate. Optional step two: Dress up as your favorite adventurer/conquistador to put you in the zone. This session, I pulled “Refined” re·fined [ri-fahynd] adjective 1. having or showing well-bred feeling, taste, etc.: refined people. 2. freed or free from coarseness, vulgarity, etc.: refined taste. 3. freed from impurities: refined sugar. 4. very subtle, […]

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May
5

Art or Exploitation?

By emmajohnston

Busk – verb. play music or otherwise perform for voluntary donations in the street or subways   A few weeks ago, my high school band traveled to New Orleans. On one of the days we were given to explore the French Quarter on our own, my friends and I passed a fellow band student playing his alto saxophone on a street corner. He had left his case open in front of him and, as we walked by I could see that it was filled with crumpled dollars and change. I watched as his friends walked by and noticed him.   […]

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Apr
24

3-2-1 Interview with Lexa Walsh

By Mischa Kegan

WACTAC member Owen Dennehy interviews artist Lexa Walsh. For more information on Lexa, check out her website here!

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Apr
14

Teen Takeover: Double Take is on Thursday!

By Mischa Kegan

We had such a great time at the last Teen Takeover! Check out the video and join the Facebook event. See you there?

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Mar
30

Collections: Lost and Found (A Boyhood Obsession)

By ingridtoppjohnson

This is a continuation of thematic posts about collections. Check out the other pieces here and here. My father, Trip, with the Denver Broncos bottlecap. “A new drink for athletes” Trip Johnson fancied himself a future football player. What better way to start then to collect Gatorade caps with football helmets on them? It was 1972, and Trip was in second grade. He would often accompany his mom to the store and peruse the caps of this novel new sports drink for teams he hadn’t collected yet. He was persistent, vigilant, committed: three qualities essential to a young collector’s success. […]

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Mar
27

Perspective Through Personal Practice

By calvinhhaff

Upon entering Jim Hodges retrospective show Give More Than You Take, two things are immediately obvious.  For one, his work takes a myriad of forms.  Additionally, he has a special talent for making the ordinary into something beautiful and unique. While all of his work is really beautiful, some of it, like Deformed was a bit inaccessible at first. It’s an interesting perspective on an everyday thing, but I will admit it was not something that immediately jumped out at me upon entering the show.  I am a screen printer, and as I considered it from a printmaking perspective, the […]

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Mar
27

Museum Mixtape #3

By alexismoore

Continuing the blog post series Museum Mixtape, we combine a piece of  artwork from the Walker Art Center’s collection and a song that best reflects the work. A musical, artistic peanut butter and jelly sandwich if you will. Today’s Pb&j sandwich is Yayoi Kusama’s sculpture Passing Winter with Crystal Castles’ song Celestica. Listen to it here.   Yayoi Kusama’s Passing Winter gives a sense of infinity.  The artwork is   a cube made of mirrors inside and out with circular openings carved in that reflect on each other. It creates an illusion of neverending rows of spherical lights. Source The combination […]

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Mar
20

January Teen Art Lounge: Life Along the Fjord

By chloefouilloux

A couple (okay, more than a couple) Thursdays ago, January 16th, the Walker Art Center hosted the January Teen Art Lounge: Life Along the Fjord, the brain child of local artist Chloe Fouilloux which was drastically amplified by the Walker Teens Art Council (WACTAC). The experience was framed by the science and cultural adventures she experienced during the Joint Science Education Program (JSEP) Greenlandic Expedition –  a two week trip to a small village in East Greenland (Note: Upperclassmen teens looking to go to Greenland (for free!) to participate in arctic research science, apply today! ). WACTAC seriously pulled out […]

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Jan
30

Artistic Ownership Through 9 Artists

By markarginteanu

A few weeks ago I went to the 9 Artists exhibit for the first time. A number of video pieces caught my attention, as a lover of film. I watched Yael Bartana’s And Europe Will Be Stunned all the way through, at which point the credits started rolling. It got me thinking that while there was a good 30 seconds worth of people who had helped make it, there was only person that it “belonged” to. I realized then that there is a difference between making a piece and being the artist behind it, so I began to wonder: What […]

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Jan
23

Creative CityMaking Reflection

By emmajohnston

  This summer, I and two other WACTACers were a part of an internship through Intermedia Arts and the city of Minneapolis called Creative CityMaking. The Creative CityMaking project connected various city planners and artists in order to reexamine how the neighborhoods in Minneapolis grow and change. The idea of the pairing was to get the community more involved in the discussion in new and creative ways. Our group was a small, but exciting part of this larger project. The focus of our group of nine teens, under artists Witt Siasoco and Mischa Kegan, was to look at historical architecture […]

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Jan
16

Collections: Chloe’s Memories

By Finn Roy-Nyline

The childhood memories of Chloe Fouilloux, as told second hand by Finnegan Roy-Nyline This interview takes place at the Minnesota Children’s Museum in downtown Saint Paul. Chloe’s collection of childhood memories, I thought, would fit nicely in the playground, with a nice little atmosphere of innocence. So if any of you know the Children’s Museum, we sat in the room with the giant ant hill, in that weird little cabin room up above. Photograph Six: Photograph number six showcases a young Chloe Fouilloux with her father, they certainly do look alike, don’t they? Chloe’s father bought a Nikon when Chloe […]

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Jan
8

Collections: Anonymous Now

By Lexi Herman

This blog post is a continuation of Collector’s Edition, our zine that displayed the collections of many different individuals. This is an attempt to grant a little more context to the collections and to explore peoples perceptions of them. The anonymous collection of buttons featured in the zine offered some intrigue. Where did these buttons come from? How did this collection begin? Why buttons? WACTAC member Lexi Herman probingly pursued an investigation into the anonymous collector’s buttons abyss and came out with a curiously conclusive conversation. Here are the highlights: Lexi: So, when did you start collecting buttons? Anonymous Collector: […]

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Dec
27

WACTAC makes maps with Katie Bachler

By Mischa Kegan

WACTAC made ‘feeling maps’ with artist/youth worker Katie Bachler. She is a talented human being that hails from California and had a residency in the Art lab, here at the Walker last summer. She instructed the council to map places that have been important to them in their lives and to think about the places that they feel a personal connection to. People mapped lakes, street corners and concepts of self. It was interesting to see how all of the maps differed in concept and how each finished map was a small insight into a person’s life. As a council we […]

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Aug
8

WACTAC Year In Video

By eliedlesonstein

The Walker Art Center Teen Arts Council meets with artists throughout the year. Some meetings are around creative collaborations for events and projects; some are discussions about contemporary life and art practice; and all are creative exchange between young people and established and emerging artists of the Now. Here is an audio-visual sampling of five artists that WACTAC worked with this past year:

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Jun
3

Apply For A Po$ition on The Walker Art Center Teen Art$ Council!

By eliedlesonstein

CLICK ON THIS IMAGE TO APPLY! WHO IS WACTAC > The Walker Art Center Teen Art Council, aka WACTAC, is made up of a group of high school aged young people from around the Twin Cities metro area. They represent diverse communities, interests, and skills. Applicants must be incoming high school freshmen, sophomores, juniors, or seniors. Note to incoming freshmen and sophomores: Although the application process is open to all high school students, the majority of applicants selected are juniors and seniors. WHAT IS WACTAC > WACTAC members work collaboratively with each other, Walker staff, and artists to produce and […]

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May
15

PROJECT M x WALKER TEENS

By eliedlesonstein

REGISTER HERE! WHO> Project M + Walker Teens + YOU = FUN!! Check out this video from Project M Founder John Bielenberg, who will be at the Walker on May 31 – June 2 leading a Project Blitz. John Bielenberg, Project M Founder has won more than 250 design awards in his career, and became an AIGA Fellow in 2008. The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has acquired six of his design projects, and staged a solo exhibition of his work in 2000. In 2009, John was awarded the Washington University Skandalaris Award for Design Entrepreneurship in St. Louis. He went on […]

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