The Art of Surprise

They (they being cranky, hateful people who have never been here) say LA has no culture, but if you’re an art lover, you should know that couldn’t be farther from the truth and it doesn’t take much effort to learn the lesson. From the sheer volume of art museums (LACMA, The Broad, MOCA and MOCA Geffen and MOCA Pacific Design Center, The Museum of Latin American Art, The Getty Villa and The Getty Center, The Norton Simon, The Hammer and The Fowler at UCLA, Craft & Folk Art Museum, The Autry Museum of the American West, Museum of Neon Art, The Huntington, to name just SOME of them–so I don’t want to hear it) to the endless new and enduring murals that paint the streets from Venice to Pasadena, LA abounds with visual stimulation and inspiration.

In fact, having recently been in a funk due to general life panic and insecurity I have felt disconnected from LA and while I am still not sure I’ll be here forever what mentally brought me back for the time being was art and its power to surprise and boost my mood. Through sheer luck on Instagram’s usually useless discover page I learned about an exhibition of art by Jimi Gleason being shown at the William Turner Gallery in Bergamot Station, which is an art center of sorts featuring art galleries and shops housed in a former railroad station. The show, called Reflected & Absorbed, is a series of paintings that either look at the reflective and distorting nature of paint combined with silver deposit or the flattening effect of rainbow colored acrylics coated in silver nitrate. These paintings spoke to me because they’re at once darkness and light, shine and matte, glittering rainbow and deadened blackness; they were basically me and how I look at the world. I also just loved the look of these pieces. They are exuberant. fullsizeoutput_13a3fullsizeoutput_13a5fullsizeoutput_13a6fullsizeoutput_13abfullsizeoutput_13aafullsizeoutput_13a7

I’ve also been making it a point to pay attention to the art around me, because there’s lots of it and it’s a reminder of how much creative energy and lust for life is to be found in this city:

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Los Feliz, by Eric Junker
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Silver Lake rainbow
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Downtown, by Jen Stark
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Pasadena, by Risk Rock
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Palms, by It’s A Living
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Skid Row, Downtown, by Wild Life
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Mar Vista, by Ruben Rojas
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Silver Lake wisdom, by Plastic Jesus

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