I was recently reminded of a whirlwind weekend trip that Missy and I took out to California in December of 2007 - a jam-packed weekend jaunt that included (among many many other things) a visit to DISNEYLAND and watching the ROLLER DERBY CHAMPIONSHIPS in Los Angeles. Our main reason for going out to California though, was to see the TAKASHI MURAKAMI exhibition at the GEFFEN CONTEMPORARY in LITTLE TOKYO, which happily coincided with the GIANT ROBOT MAGAZINE biennial at the nearby JAPANESE AMERICAN NATIONAL MUSEUM. The Murakami exhibition was awesome to say the least...unfortunately, because of the super tight security, I was only able to sneak one photo of one of his "MR. DOB" installations:
From the Geffen, we took a short walk to the shiny Japanese American National Museum. At the Giant Robot exhibit, there were actually signs posted that said that photography was prohibited...yes! We happily clicked away at all the amazing pieces and installations...
One of several original drawings from comics-guru ADRIAN TOMINE:
I think this piece was done by SEONNA HONG...been so long it's kinda hard to remember:
Missy exploring one of the galleries...the red booth in the corner had these surreal sculptures hanging inside it:
One of my favorite pieces was this PAPER CUTOUT by SAELEE OH, depicting a pair of LAND WHALES. Her framed art was surrounded by paintings she did on the walls and other paper cutouts stuck to it:
A couple of colorful paintings by the awesome SOUTHER SALAZAR:
A giant mural by artist DAVID CHOE, which was peppered with razor-sharp NINJA THROWING STARS that you didn't notice until you got up closer to the wall:
Our absolute favorite room was the one that featured an entire wall decorated with art from GRASS HUT GANG members APAK. We loved their candy-colored paintings and prints and the super cute sculptures and plush objects. It truly was the cherry on top of an amazingly inspirational art exhibition:
Later that day, we headed out to MELROSE AVENUE, on the WEST HOLLYWOOD-side of town, to visit my sister at her very "MELROSE PLACE-STYLE" apartment complex. On the way there, we encountered a growing MASS GATHERING of drunken SANTA CLAUSES hanging out on a street corner. They taunted cars as they crept along the avenue, creating one of those "only in LA" kinda moments. Driving in traffic and trying to take pictures at the same time was pretty difficult, and I nearly rear-ended the car in front of more times than I cared to...one Asian-looking Santa Claus yelled at Missy as she gawked out her passenger-side window...pointing at her, he bellowed in his best gruff and jolly imitation of St. Nick..."Santa's getting YOU a Wiiiiiiiiiii!!!"