Through September 22 the lake at MacArthur Park is covered in painted balls. Since first hearing about this project several months ago (while eating lunch at Langer’s across the street) I’ve been looking forward to this event.
From the Portraits of Hope website: The Spheres at MacArthur Park is the largest public art and civic project in the U.S. More than 10,000 children and adults throughout Los Angeles have participated in visually transforming and revitalizing MacArthur Park as part of Portraits of Hope’s latest project.
Click on an image to start slideshow.
Everybody knows the lyrics to Jimmy Webb’s MacArthur Park made famous by Richard Harris and many others. As it happens, there was a very heavy rainstorm Monday night so when I visited yesterday I wondered if there would be any damage to the spheres. But I didn’t notice too much.
However, it did seem like life imitating art for here were all these brightly colored “cakes” floating around in MacArthur Park after the rains.
Besides the colorful “cakes” there was plenty of wildlife to captivate my lens.
I couldn’t decide if this little guy was admiring his own fine feathers or fascinated, as I was, by the reflection of the ball.
This seagull was obviously more interested in posing for his portrait than viewing the artwork. Seagulls are very hard to impress.
I took so many photos of the “cakes” that I had a hard time deciding which ones to use for the blog. I wanted to pick the photos that were most representative of my experience rather than necessarily the most artsy ones. So I hope I struck a balance between the two ways to go.
Over the decades MacArthur Park has seen many ups and downs, to say the least. I was a little apprehensive about visiting on my own. The park is known for drug deals, the sale of false IDs, shootings, gang violence and other nefarious activities. I believe part of the reason for this installation was to bring the citizens of Los Angeles to the park and to create some interest in its revitalization.
Evidently the birds don’t care about any of that and consider it a haven in the middle of the big city.
Above are images of the artists floating on the water.
I watched these two birds for quite a while as they chased each other all over the lake and held each other in death grips, keeping the opponent’s wings pinned under the water. Several times I was sure one of them would drown. But after a while one or the other got tired or decided the lesson had been learned and it was all over
If you are interested in seeing this spectacle, do not delay. I took the Expo Line from Culver City to the Purple Line to MacArthur Park. The park is just across the street from the station. The Red Line stops there too.
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