The Museum of Contemporary Art is proud to present Blues for Smoke, a major interdisciplinary exhibition exploring a wide range of contemporary art, music, literature, and film through the lens of the blues and “blues aesthetics.” Turning to the blues not simply as a musical category, but as a web of artistic sensibilities and cultural idioms, the exhibition features works by more than 50 artists from the 1950s to the present, including many commissioned specifically for this occasion and others never before shown in Los Angeles, as well as a range of musical, filmic, and cultural materials.
I decided that I needed to get out of my head for a few hours, get away from some of the things that have been troubling me of late and expose myself to some creativity and beauty. The Blues for Smoke exhibit ends on January 7th so I thought I would check it out before it went away. It didn't disappoint--the idea seemed a little bit of a stretch on some levels, but the art was fantastic anyway, so it worked for me. I was particularly struck by the work of LA-based painter Henry Taylor and Romare Bearden's fantastic collages. There were familiar faces--Basquiat feautured---there was music, photogrpahy, installations (which I am realIsing impacts me more than I thought).
After that exhibit, I nipped next door to the Japanese American National Museum and checked out ther Giant Robot Biennale 3---I love Giant Robot, and Asian pop culture in general--so it was a treat--cools dolls/robots/figures, some interesting art pieces-both figuative and graffiti style.
Then it was Olvera Street, the cradle of Los Angeles to look at wrestling masks,baby Jesus' in every size imaginable, day of the dead skulls and cheesy tourist souvenirs--all in all, a delightful way to spend the day.