For the past several weeks I’ve been visiting a physical therapist at the UCLA Rehab Center in Westwood. I woke up one morning to discover my shoulder had quit working. PAINFUL!!!! The therapy seems to be helping me v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y. I think it had to do with switching from a track ball to a mouse earlier in the year. Mouses and me have never gotten along. On my last corporate job I suffered with carpal tunnel syndrome.
Anyway, whatever the cause, the result was the same. Carrying my heavy Canon DSLR and assorted lenses around has not been helping I am sure. So I decided for times when I’m not specifically going out to shoot photos, and I just want to throw a camera in my bag, I would buy a point & shoot.
My old Olympus SP-350 that traveled with me all over Europe, just doesn’t cut it anymore. It was never the fastest camera in the universe and now it seems to have slowed down even more. As pain is to my shoulder, slow is to that camera! By the time the shutter actually clicks, the snail has moved on…
I read all the reviews and decided on a Canon PowerShot G16. It has a good hand grip which I need, a view finder that I can’t live without it, and it shoots RAW/hi-res JPG. And it is fast enough to capture those snail races should I feel the need.
So on my last trip to physical therapy I packed the G16. The UCLA Hammer Museum is across the street from where I catch the bus so I decided on this particular day to pay a visit.
From the website: The Hammer Museum champions the art and artists who challenge us to see the world in a new light, to experience the unexpected, to ignite our imaginations, and inspire change.
Best of all, it is FREE!
Photography is allowed without a flash, yippee! The reviews state the G16 doesn’t do well in low light, I bought the camera knowing that as I figured I’d be using it mostly outdoors. So I was anxious to see how it would hold up inside the museum.
The first exhibit I saw was The Afghan Carpet Project featuring six carpets designed by L.A.-based contemporary artists then handmade by weavers in Afghanistan. The photo at the top of the post is of the carpet exhibit.
I particularly liked the Unswept Rug. This is reminiscent of Roman mosaics that represent an unswept floor. I happen to be an admirer of Roman mosaics so this caught my attention.
Next up I sauntered into Mark Bradford’s Scorched Earth exhibit. From the website: the work …refers to formative moments in his life and ruminations on the body in crisis. As an artist who has long been interested in strategies of mapping and the psychogeography of the city he calls home, Bradford uses his characteristic painting style to excavate the terrain— emotional, political and actual—that he inhabits.
I was hooked from the first second I set eyes on the artwork. The way I approach art either it resonates with me or it doesn’t. There isn’t much in between. As I have said many times, I even like art I don’t like. But when it has an emotional appeal for me there is nothing more satisfying.
I enjoy abstract art and I particularly like collage. These pieces fulfilled both of those elements for me.
There is no intellectual explanation for me. It is wholly visceral. I was completely stunned by this work. I stood there and stood there and stood there gawking and sucking it all in.
This is a close-up detail of one of the pieces. I hope you can see the texture in this. There are layers of materials cut out to show other layers below. I wanted to run my hands over the collage and experience its 3D nature, but fortunately I was able to restrain myself!
I walked around the gallery for quite a while, inspecting, staring, discovering, exploring, admiring… taking it all in.
I finally had to leave the gallery and move on or the security guards would probably have had to escort me out…
I headed for the photography exhibit Perfect Likeness: Photography and Composition. From the website: When we say of a portrait that it is a perfect likeness, we mean not just that it accurately delineates its subject. … We are glutted with images. What single picture might separate itself from this flood? Any such attempt to make such a work will lead inevitably to the question of composition.
That being the case I attempted to look at each image from the point of view of composition. But I have always thought of “good” photography, just like any kind of “good” art, as being innately well composed or it just doesn’t work. I suppose, without thinking about it, I am always conscious of the composition.
I’ve seen a good many photography exhibits at a good many prestigious museums. I have to say, this was one of the best I have ever seen in terms of quality and diversity. I also liked the way the photos were given their own space rather than being lined up side by side on crowded walls.
There were a couple of other exhibits which I am sure were wonderful in their own way. But they didn’t appeal to me personally as strongly as these three exhibits.
I came away inspired and motivated. I’ve had some ideas for a while about a project. I think and I hope viewing these exhibits has given me a shove in the right direction.
All three are on view through various dates in September. Check the website for availability!
When i opened the photos on my computer they were certainly underexposed. But Adobe Lightroom bumped the images up to a respectable level. I’m happy with the camera.
All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins. Artwork copyright the various artists. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!