So I sauntered down the 110 to the vast industrial park that is Torrance last Saturday to see a great portrait show at Torrance Art Museum (TAM). Many fine and diverse works did I see at "The Reflected Gaze - Self Portraiture Today" show. There was painting, sculpture, electronic media, even a massive Futurism inspired machined tapestry by Chuck Close.
Perhaps the most curious object was a volcanic self portrait by Emily Counts featuring multiple detailed ceramic pieces in the likeness of the artist as well as inset lighting. The piece was very bold and enigmatic. I endeavored to interview the artist (I can do that sort of thing now that I'm a "journalist") and it turned out that I had met her years earlier at a mutual friend's wedding. Yes, I know, the world, it is small, especially the "art world".
Other thoughtful works included Dane Picard's electronic portrait that included photographs morphing together in cronological order from childhood to present. Ariel Erestingcol's Add Me made with fusion beads features a recreation of Facebook spam reminding us that many of our portraits already exist in the cloud.
Other favorites include Julie Heffernan, KAW, Gavin Nolan, Jennifer Nehrbass, and Justin Bower. But, I though the entire show was very good as a whole. So, if you find yourself touring the Caterpillar Plant, or thinking about getting into the Petrochemical or Aerospace industry, keep in mind Torrance has some culture too.
...later that night
Cal Arts sure does throw a miserable desert party. Maybe they should send reconnaissance out to Moontribe for some tips. Up above the Grape Vine The rumor was that the Cal Arts music department was organizing an event. When we drove up and walked into the ravine we heard the Lady Gaga pumping through tiny speakers in a cramped underpass featuring a mosh pit! A little later, racist skinhead locals from Valencia were roaming around looking for trouble. Jaw-droppingly pathetic.
Later, Electric Cocoon at Area 33 saved the night. So good couldn't stop dancing. Greatest of vibes. "Tall puddle" on the mezzanine, a sight to behold! 417 Wall in da house!