Thursday, March 31, 2016

iT'S STreeT arT THurSDay iN eaST HoLLyWooD! with Malibu morning pic - Thursday, March 31, 2016

Dear Street Art Lovers and people who may actually care about East Hollywood,

East Hollywood has this tiny theatre in the Hel-Mel area. In the past it has been the Deaf West Theatre but more recently it was the Sacred Fools Theatre, presenting various works probably for friends and relatives of the actors but I suppose the neighbors did get there too. I went to go see a couple of things. Sacred Fools moved out over more toward Weho, so we'll see if anyone else gives it a go, but right now it's empty.

Artist SBSTN DAME, Study in Textures, paint on brick.
BUT ... on the side of the theatre behind Melrose in the alley is this mural which I share today. It always has cars in front of it but I happened on it one morning when it was clear and the sun was diffused by clouds, so I snapped a few:

OK, so I'm leading with this image as clickbait. I'll let you all know if it worked when I write to you on Friday.

I figure this young lady who is so happy that she is doing handstands is graphic kin to Kim Kardashian, how can anyone not resist wanting to tune in to see her?

At least, that's the thought. The artist of this mural is definitely a man inspired by the unclothed female form as you will see young ladies of a certain type and build throughout this celebration of feminine fecundity.

There is just a whole lot of this work, so I'm going to post several details and then the whole thing from a distance. I gotta go do other things today, so I'm not going to pretend to comment.

And here's the whole she-bang...

Enjoy this one. I have a strong suspicion this work will not survive another 12 months. There is more art work all over this building, but it's pretty lousy. If you are at Heliotrope and Melrose, definitely park, get out and walk into the alley and check this out. The homeless guys won't bother you.

I named this "Study in Textures" and you see why now that I've pulled back. The people and animals are just a framing device for this collage of patterns very skillfully done.


Another clear blue sky kind of day. Some clouds sitting on the water in the horizon, but that's it. Have a great Thursday!


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Malibu morning picture of the day - Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Dear Family, Friends, and Gentle Readers,

It's Wednesday folks! And it's blue out here again.

Missed you yesterday. Had to work from home. Since it rained in Hollywood, I assume Malibu was cloudy--but ya never know, eh?

Hey, enjoy your Wednesday. We'll see you tomorrow.


Monday, March 28, 2016

Malibu morning picture of the day - Monday, March 28, 2016

Dear Family, Friends, and Gentle Readers,

It's Monday again. Wishing you a great week ahead.

It's cloudy and drizzly in Southern California today. Of my pics taken today, I liked this one because of the "little" matching trucks down below. Cute no?

Have a wonderful day.


Friday, March 25, 2016

Malibu morning picture of the day - Good Friday, March 25, 2016

Dear Family, Friends, and Gentle Readers,

It's a blue morning going into Easter Weekend here in the Southland.

Supposed to be nice and clear all weekend long with possible rain on Monday, we'll see.

A quote for Good Friday:

No pain, no palm; no thorns, no throne; no gall, no glory; no cross, no crown.

― William Penn

A blessed Easter to you all.


Thursday, March 24, 2016

iT'S STreeT arT THurSDay iN eaST HoLLyWooD! - "Memorials" March 24, 2016

Dear Street Art Lovers and all the rest of you,

Today is Maundy Thursday, tomorrow is Good Friday, the next day, Holy Saturday, and then Easter Sunday and Monday. With all of this contemplation of death that next couple of days will put us in (or at least some of us), I thought it would be appropriate to share two memorial portraits that are within 5 minutes walk of my front door here in East Holly.

Artist DAMEHARI MESNG, Rest in Paradise Cadaback Ron, paint on building.

Artist QAQAO20, Curtis, paint on building.

Rest in Paradise is on a very popular wall for murals. This is the 2nd paint-over since I've been collecting local street art these last two years. It's in an alley parallel to Melrose, off Heliotrope.

What was here before was the bespectacled cowboy riding on a dinosaur, which later got modified to the cowboy riding on word art that resembled a car. Both have been posted here before.

Now we have a memorial to a Cadaback Ron, bespectacled also, but decked in shades.

Street art often has memorial aspects to it. There are frequently RIP notices on many works. I suspect the life that many street artists lead comes into contact with people who conduct themselves in dangerous pursuits (if they are not practitioners of those pursuits themselves), and so the likelihood of death by unnatural causes probably runs higher in a street artist's circle of acquaintance.

Both portraits here are of relatively young men. They both have tattoos. While the one is more colorful than the other, We have both surrounded by flowers or the impression of a funerary bouquet. In fact, this treatment of Ron's "bouquet" is very similar to the "Black Madonna" I shared a few weeks ago, so I suspect this is the same artist.

We know the fellow in the 2nd portrait is Curtis because this memorial name went up many months ago which I had shared in an earlier blog post.

We also know it because this portrait is posted on the side of a building that houses a Buddhist meditation center which has the photo from which which this painting was made displayed in their picture window. There was also some memorial text as well. Curtis must have been quite an active member of that community.

For his part, Cadaback Ron has some dedicatory poetry accompanying his picture which appears on either side of his face:

And I don't need 2 tell yall that times is hard

And you don't need 2 tell me that I've been scarred

Times is hard

Here's a context shot:

It's nice to see people so well remembered, even if these paintings will not stick around very long. I cannot imagine anyone I know taking the time to paint a wall like this in my honor when I am gone. You boys have got me beat! Rest in peace, both of you.


Yep, it's very blue out there again today--not much else to be said.

The Last Supper   2 - Girolamo da Santacroce -

Well, it's Maundy Thursday 2016, which means there have been about 1,984 anniversaries of the Last Supper that Jesus had with his disciples. If you had been alive since then and took the Eucharist every day in remembrance, that would be about 724,700 instances. Is there anything we can relate 700,000 to in daily life? Well, your heart beats at about 115,000 times a day, so 700,000 is close to how many heartbeats you had in just under a week. If we divide 1,984 years by 35, a conservative figure for one generation of a family, we're about 56-60 generations out from Jesus and Imperial Rome.

“Last Supper, The”
My point is while it seems distant yet, it's measurable and still understandable. But does it make sense to be an adherent of a belief system of some 60 generations when the central organizing principle is a myth of the return of the king? One of the teachings of Reformed Christian thinking is that we're NOT waiting, that the Kingdom of God is now, that the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost ended the waiting period, and while the judgment of nations is yet to come, we toil here to make perfect the imperfect world. Do I buy it? Most of the time, but sometimes, I wonder.

The Last SupperHindu storytellers have a unit of time in their tellings which some learned people have equated one revolution of the Milky Way Galaxy, one Galactic Day. And everything repeats. I wonder what it's like to come out of thought system with that kind of a frame of reference. I suppose if I took it to heart, I would never cultivate a sense of self-importance, or individuality, seems like I might wind up feeling quite restrained and constrained? On the other hand, if you knew you were but a grain of sand, why not go full-bore into everything you did?

But the Universe is now thought to have a beginning and is moving, linearly, to something else. So even if you think you're living a cyclical existence, it's linear? You're moving in a spiral? And if you get far enough out, a spiral looks like a line? Someone just dropped by and reminded me it's time to pay the rent. So go to church tonight, have some bread and wine, and think about this divine interruption that God threw into the spiral, we call it's name Jesus, just to mess you up and get you out of your spiral. In cosmic time, it only just happened.


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Malibu morning picture of the day - Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Dear Family, Friends, and Gentle Readers,

The winds are blowing hard since last night, clearing away all cloud cover.

Days like this give you a real dichotomy in the blue of the sea vs. the blue of the sky. You can't see in this photo, but there are many whitecaps out on the sea. Not too much different if you look in other directions. So here's a shot from last night nearing 8 PM. The moon is almost full in this shot; it will be tonight.

Hope you've been having a productive week. That's all for today. Gotta pay the rent.


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

"Cosmic Chicken of Long Beach" and Malibu AM Pic of the Day - Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Dear Family, Friends, and Gentle Readers,

Some Tuesday street art from our Out of Bounds Gallery today! Here's a signal-box quadriptych I found whilst being a pedestrian in downtown Long Beach this last Saturday:

Artist unattributed, Cosmic Chicken of Long Beach, paint on sidewalk signal box.

This is what is good about getting on your feet and walking around. You miss stuff like this if you're in your car. I realize there are many friends of mine who would say "And that's a good thing..." but boo to them.

The chicken for us humans meant civilization, so why not revere it? For all of us on diets, it's practically the only meat we're allowed to eat, so that means it's the basic, the default, the thing from which we start doesn't it? Everything else is affectation and ornamentation and bravado--beef, pork, lamb, sheep, goat, dog, buffalo, deer, camel, antelope, wildebeest.

The artist gives us the chicken in four kinds of light, sun, moon, electric, and the green panel appears to be gas or kerosene lantern and maybe firelight or perhaps a portable TV down at the chicken's breast. The chicken's form is crude, childlike, and basic, but clearly identifiable. Distilled to the pure form, yet rendered in four ways.

Contemplate our feathered benefactor at your next meal, which, odds on, is one who gave his/her life for you.


It's a blue-on-blue day in the Bu today. Just a wisp of cloud.

Have a great Tuesday.


Monday, March 21, 2016

Malibu morning picture of the day - Monday, March 21, 2016

Dear Family, Friends, and Gentle Readers,

A grey-silver kind of morning here at the Bu.

Today in LA it's overcast and even foggy in places. This morning I was at my dentist's office in Encino on the 12th floor and all you could see out his window was cloud. Here's more of the same to the south.

Hope you all had nice weekend. I got myself a little culture, paying a visit to the Museum of Latin American Art and its sister institution the Pacific Island Ethnic Art Museum on Saturday, both in Long Beach. Then, on Sunday I went to go see a small theatre production of Gilbert and Sullivan's Yeoman of the Guard.

I will share things that I saw here and there, but I couldn't help snapping as selfie in front of this work, since I had just been pictured with it's inspiration a few days earlier.

I was reading an article recently where someone was decrying the practice of all of us banal, barbarian, clueless Americans who take pictures of ourselves in front of great art. The writer thought it cheapened her whole experience of the appreciation of art, turning august institutions into cheap sideshows. How I dare turn things like Van Gogh's Irises or Gainsborough's Blue Boy, into the equivalent of pull-down backgrounds at the budget photographer's concession in the neighborhood Sears Roebuck! The noive!

Well, I would counter that there's no point in taking a picture of a famous painting since better photographers have gotten permission and access and the ability to light it well. We barbarians want to remember that we actually saw the thing; and the best way to do that is to put ourselves there alongside the subject to prove that in that masterpiece's long, protected, curated life, our brief time on earth coincided.

Nobody gets bent out of shape when we take pictures of ourselves at the Grand Canyon. So snap away my fellow barbarians and ignore the snobs. Kinda reminds me of educated people who complain that voter apathy is so high, but how horrified they become when the great American humanity does show up at the polls and starts casting votes for Donald Trump. If you don't want us, stop inviting us.

While I was at the Pacific Island Ethnic Arts Museum, I met this beautiful island woman. I was taking a close look at her--she had the most unusual dark skin color. Her legs are even SHORTER than MINE. Soulmate material! Love at first sight.

Her first words to me: "My eyes are up here." BUSTED.

Awkward start, but we connected for a bit--I thought she could be the one, but she reminded me we come from different backgrounds and she's older than me and it would probably never work out. So as much as I wanted to take her home, we let it go at that. Shot down again!

Turns out her professional specialty is fertility. Trouble with having a girl like that in your house is that you'd be perpetually mowing the grass on weekends and finding bugs and small animals in your residence whom she would forbid you to harm, so if you're anything like a neat freak, you'd best pass. (For those of you who have bothered to read my serial novel, latter-day Qi, mother of Fei, is basically a fertility god incarnate along this line ...).

Anyway, gotta go, but have yerself a great week.


Friday, March 18, 2016

Malibu morning picture of the day - Friday, March 18, 2016

Dear Family, Friends, and Gentle Readers,

We woke up to an overcast sky this morning in So Cal.

... so we did NOT get another Blue-on-Blue day. Nice to get a surprise. Here's more consistent cloud cover over the south ocean. So, some nice diffuse light this morning (some would call it dreary).

One of the advantages of working at my employer (you know, I think I'm just gonna give it the nickname Malibu Community College or Tongva Christian University from now on ...) is that there's a museum on site and really great exhibits come through and I need only take a 10 minute walk from my office to see anything.

Have you got the Andy Warhol Campbell's Soup Cans where you work? Hah! Take that!

If you're with Bank of America, that would be you. These are from the BofA Collection. However, I somehow suspect you need to be a certain pay grade to access them at BofA (I used to work for them back before the invention of the Internet ...).

This was taken yesterday. Went home and had a can of Campbell's in solidarity.

Hope you have a great weekend in store.


Thursday, March 17, 2016

iT'S STreeT arT THurSDay! with Malibu morning picture of the day - St. Patrick's Day, March 17, 2016

Dear Street Art Lovers and Gentle Hearts,

Well, I was reminded (abruptly) that it was St. Patrick's Day today (when you don't have school-age children whose activities are calibrated to all of the observed "days" of the American calendar), you lose track of these things.

So I decided to bump my scheduled offering for today and see if I could find any art that was Irish-related. Turns out no. I guess the Irish tend not to express themselves or the American cliches of their culture [pots of gold, friendly leprechauns, shamrocks] in street art.

Artist unattributed, Pigs Rampant in Society, paint on liquor store. (detail, lower left)

Lacking anything vaguely "St.-Patrick's-Daysian," I decided to just go with green. Turns out green is also NOT a popular color with street artists. You'll find it sure, but not with the regularity yellows, reds, oranges, and blues. The recent birds mural is loaded with parrot green, but I didn't want to repeat.

BUT I did find this all-green mural in my stash. This busy beauty stands on a liquor store on Melrose near Vine. It depicts a group of pig-thugs who run around committing violence and mayhem oblivious to the societal masses who are only a backdrop to them. The people of society are individual yet the same, all possessing anxiety of the antics of the pig-thugs who circulate among them. A very cunning visual fable that this artist has created. There is also great subtlety in his treatment of "airbrushed" shadow to give the image depth.
Those of you who follow the Thursday blog will find this artist familiar. This is a paintover of one large face which the artist had done earlier on this wall. The artist is unclear. I suggest the ID might be Yumad or LUBK.

Here's another detail from the lower right.

This artist is quite active in the Hollywood area. I've seen versions of these characters on other walls. I'll show you at least one more in future weeks.

And here's almost the whole wall:

This paintover occured not even three weeks after I had photographed the earlier mural, so at least we have my picture to remember the big pink face.


Clear blue skies continue in the Southland. A blue-on-blue morning yet again.

OK kids, that'll do it for today. See you tomorrow (or skip ... it'll probably look like this again).


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Malibu morning picture of the day - Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Dear Family, Friends, and Gentle Readers,

It's A clear, blue-sky day here at the coast. A man walks his dog. A crew filming a commercial has its trailers set up on the lawn, middle-right. Just another day in Malibu.

Nothing else to see in a second look today. We've hit midweek. Hope all your projects are on target.

I met with an old acquaintance last night; got news of two more marital breakups. I suppose you're certifiably jaded when your initial response is "Well, I guess my only surprise is that it didn't happen sooner."

And yet, I work around many young adults actively pursuing mates, announcing weddings, and producing issue; so I guess it all keeps me balanced. People can certainly persist in bad situations for all the most right and best of reasons. Hope is definitely the other "strong force"; but I suspect the sex drive is a great helper in that regard. And I just gave my congrats to a couple I know who chose to wed on the Ides of March many years ago (yesterday).

So if you're working on a relationship, I'd say the work never ends and I pray for blessings, patience, and endurance for you.