Dome of the Bisected Hemisphere
On this, the 16th anniversary of the 9/11 that I’m sure every news report will tell us not to forget, and remind us that we haven’t forgotten… I wanted to share this picture of Abdulnasser Gharem’s sculpture, titled “Hemisphere”, which was featured in LACMA earlier this year. It represents the duality of Islam, (or frankly, all religions), between the peaceful and spiritual, (as depicted by the right half, based on the green dome of the Mosque of the Prophet in Media), and the political and violent tendencies, (as depicted by the left half, based on a Persian military helmet). The midpiece that is front and center is models on a noseguard from the helmet, which protects the face while also separating it.
And while we can list this duality in all religions, given the beauty of this work, and the darker responses to the terrorist attack 16 years ago, I wanted to post this – today – to show that beauty can come from all places, and that almost everything has two sides.
(Also, I’m really happy with how the picture came out.)
A Wild Jerusalem Sphere Appears!
In Malibu one day, I came across this objet d’art in an acquaintance’s home. At the time, I thought that it was interesting, and maybe it was a small model of Jerusalem? Apparently, I was right on both counts, as it was indeed the city of Jerusalem in the form of a sphere. Frank Meisler designed the concept inspired by Mediæval maps which depicted Jerusalem as a circular city at the centre – the navel – of the world from which all distances to other cities were measured. The sculpture depicts the spirit of the city, its ancient walls and buildings of many styles, periods and cultures. It is mounted on a marble base the sphere is revolvable, and forged of metal silver and gold plated. And you can see the Malibu coastline of the Pacific Ocean in the background…
Twilight Freedom Sculpture
Taken the morning of July 5th, this is a shot of the Freedom Sculpture installed on Independence Day, July 4th, 2017. It took 4 years for the Farhang Foundation, a non-political, non-religious, non-profit Iranian-American cultural organization, to commission, secure city authorization and raise enough money build and install the Freedom Sculpture, a permanent iconic monument celebrating religious freedom, cultural diversity and inclusiveness — the humanitarian ideals or Cyrus the Great that have been enshrined by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution of the United States.
With over a million supporters, from all across America and over 50 countries around the world, the Freedom Sculpture has become the most widely crowd-supported monumental gift in U.S. History. It now stands like a “Statue of Liberty for the West Coast”, in the heart of Los Angeles, one of the world’s most culturally diverse cities, as a permanent symbolic reminder that freedom, inclusiveness and respect for diversity are the foundational values that truly make America great.
The winning design of the Freedom Sculpture was created by renowned artist and architect Cecil Balmond. It is themed on the Cyrus Cylinder from 2,500 years ago, widely considered the first declaration of human rights, whereby Cyrus the Great Persian King originally granted individual and religious freedoms to all within his vast and culturally diverse empire. The large-scale, modern-day sculptural interpretation of the Cyrus Cylinder is made of two finely crafted 100% stainless steel cylinders, one within the other. The interior cylinder is gold, and the outer element is silver – both interacting with each other in an exchange of strength and vulnerability. The two rings are linked internally to form a strong and robust structure.
I do really enjoy this sculpture- and am sure it will make further appearances in this photoblog.
* I would have taken some photographs during the fireworks during the installation celebration, but the organizers decided real cameras were verbotten- such an annoying yet very LA thing…
Endeavour in the Barn
Shot of the Space Shuttle Endeavour in its resting position at the California Science Center.
And I feel I should pimp my other Space Shuttle Endeavour photographs, especially this one…
Alizay Tribute to Biggie Smalls
While driving to the homestead, I saw a small crowd gathered on the side of the Petersen Automotive Museum last Thursday, (9 Mar). I came back and found DJ Alizay still there, conducting an tribute performance in memory of Biggie Smalls, aka The Notorious B.I.G., who was murdered 20 years ago (9 Mar 1997) at that location. He agreed to a few snapshots (and video, which I will post and link to in the coming days). This is my favorite one I took…
Thanks for remembering and for bringing smiles to a lot of faces last Thursday, DJ Alizay.
Ribbons in Red
Shot of the westerly side of the Petersen Automotive Museum after its recent renovation; the building is certainly unique, but this view demonstrates an even more memorable scene…
Farewell to Penetrable
This Sunday, 12 Feb 2017, was the last day that the Penetrable installation was at LACMA; this photo is to commemorate the fabulous piece of art.
A little of history of Penetrable, (from the LACMA site):
In the 1950s and 1960s, several Latin American artists settled in Paris, where they became key players in the movement of kinetic and op art. One such artist was the Venezuelan Jesús Rafael Soto, whose projects directly engaged the viewers’ participation. This is the case of Penetrable, a long-term loan from the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, installed on LACMA’s plaza.
As the work’s title implies, the architecturally scaled structure is intended to be pierced both optically and physically by the viewer. This interactive aspect sets it apart from many works presented within museum settings, in which objects are not meant to be touched. The piece is made of basic industrial materials, the bulk of it comprised of yellow plastic hoses that are suspended from a simple steel grid.
When viewers walk through the dense curtain of plastic tubes, they disappear into them and become part of the work. Soto was profoundly interested in the dematerializing effect of light, which he sought to recreate through such works. In the artist’s words “[the] man is no longer here and the world there, he is inside the fullness and it’s this fullness that I want to make people feel.”
Although Soto’s work is conceived as a geometric sculpture, it lacks a solid surface or plane; its shape is easily altered by human contact, or even natural elements such as wind and rain. In other words, it is a work in constant flux. This playful and profoundly sensorial aspect of Soto’s Penetrable has made it one of the most popular works in the museum—an object that invites the viewer to become one with the work of art.