MOCA Grand Ave: The Artist’s Museum

Liana Hofer

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Los Angelenos who have a special place in their hearts for local artists can find an array of work at the “Artist’s Museum” showing at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA).

The temporary exhibit, which runs until Jan. 31, features artwork from 146 artists around Los Angeles. The more than 250 pieces are an amalgam of old and new creations.

Both the Grand Avenue and the Geffen Contemporary locations are featuring the exhibit. This review only pertains to the Grand Avenue museum.

Besides sharing a common city of inception, the artists’ work lacked much of a consistent theme. Yet the varied collection of photos, sculptures, paintings, and video installations were visually fascinating, featuring a taste of the city many artists call home.

As could be expected, the works featured were decidedly contemporary, many of them giving off the aura of an elementary school project. Richard Hawkins’ “City Underground” featured an imagined city hanging from the underside of a card table in which the buildings were made of cereal boxes, cigarette cartons, and cut-out photos.

One of the more arresting works was Doug Aitken’s 8-DVD video installation called, “Electric Earth.” The videographer followed a lone man as he dances and pops his way through the abandoned streets of L.A. at night. The viewer is surrounded by different images of the man as music plays and sound clips of his voice play loudly in the dark room of eight projections.

MOCA’s annual international gala was hosted on Saturday, Nov. 13 which celebrated the museum’s 31st year. The gala was attended by more than 900 guests and raised over $3.2 million for the museum. Featured musical guests included Devendra Banhart and Beck.