Checking out the “Desert X” installations in Palm Springs.
Museum or amuse-eum? Gwyneth Paltrow, Chris Martin, Kim and Kourtney Kardashian, Katy Perry, and Seth Rogen all made appearances this month at LA’s wildly popular extended-date pop-up installation, The Museum of Ice Cream. This kitschy hottest-ticket-going immersive experience of pastel-colored giant popsicles and suspended bananas pushes the boundaries of a museum’s very definition, and begs the question, what is art? As if an insta-worthy pool filled with candy sprinkles wasn’t enough, other similar selfie-bait projects continue to gain momentum.
This spring’s inaugural “Desert X” site-specific installation in the Coachella Valley represented one of LA’s biggest art world pilgrimages to date. Spanning more than 45 miles, the free contemporary art show and its 15-plus works by artists such as Doug Aitken, Claudia Comte, and Tavares Strachan launched two months of art-enamored social media posts. Back in LA, the “14th Factory” pop-up in a Lincoln Heights warehouse complex represents yet another overnight social media hit. British artist Simon Birch leveraged the installation for his documentary-in-the-making film with continuously evolving interlinked spaces of paintings, sculpture, video works, and live performances.
Celebrating cover star Nick Jonas’s collaboration with Creative Recreation for his sneaker line 1410.
But in this, our annual Arts Issue, the news isn’t all temporary installation in nature. The construction dust has finally settled as Guess cofounders and art collectors Paul and Maurice Marciano open their much-anticipated private museum, The Marciano Art Foundation, in the former Scottish Rite Masonic Temple. This fall, the Santa Monica Museum of Art reopens as the Institute of Contemporary Art Los Angeles in DTLA’s Arts District. George Lucas has plans for a $1 billion Museum of Narrative Art to premier in Exposition Park in 2021. And, of course, 2023 is the planned reveal for LACMA’s Peter Zumthor-designed $600 million permanent art collection complex.
Not to be outdone, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences plots a Hollywood PR boost with its own Renzo Piano-designed museum opening in 2019, which will eventually house iconic movie memorabilia such as Dorothy’s red slippers from The Wizard of Oz and the spacecraft model from 2001: A Space Odyssey. In the meantime, join Los Angeles Confidential as we sponsor this year’s exciting LA Film Festival (June 14-22), or catch a classic like Tony Bennett under the stars at The Hollywood Bowl. Happy summer, happy art-ing… and say cheese!