Cathy Breslaw's Installation

Cathy Breslaw's Installation
Cathy Breslaw's Installation:Dreamscape

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Lee Alexander McQueen: Mind, Mythos, Muse: Fashion Meets Art at Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Alexander McQueen, Three Woman's Ensembles from the Deliverance collection, Spring/Summer 2004
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, gift from the collection of Regina J. Drucker

Paul Cadmus, Coney Island, 1934, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, gift of  Peter A. Paanakker, 
Art c Jon F. Anderson, Estate of Paul Cadmus/Licensed by VAGA, 
New York, NY photo c Museum Associates/LACMA

Alexander McQueen, Woman's Dress and Harness from the Plato's Atlantis collection, Spring/Summer 2010,
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, gift from the Collection of Regina J. Drucker in memory of Juliana Cairone

Alexander McQueen, Woman’s Dress and Shoes from The Widows of Culloden collection, Fall/Winter 2006-07, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, gift from the Collection of Regina J. Drucker in honor of Joseph and Genevieve Venegas,

Frans Pourbus II, Portrait of Louis XIII, King of France as a Boy, c. 1616, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 
gift of Mr. and Mrs. William May Garland, photo © Museum Associates/LACMA

Manuel Cipriano Gomes Mafra, Urn, c. 1865-87, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 
                                      gift of Barbara and Marty Frenkel, photo c Museum Associates/LACMA

Alexander McQueen, Woman’s Dress (detail) from the Plato’s Atlantis collection, Spring/Summer 2010, Los Angeles      County Museum of Art, gift from the Collection of Regina J. Drucker,

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Interscope Records Pairs Up with LACMA for Exhibition - Artists Inspired by Music: Interscope Reimagined

                                                Kehinde Wiley        The Watcher          oil on canvas          82 7/8" x 70 3/4"    photo courtesy of the artist   2021

                Cecily Brown    If Teardrops Could Be Bottled      oil on linen     29" x 31"     courtesy of the artist,  photo by Genevieve Hanson  2021

                  Rashid Johnson     Good Kid         ceramic tile, mirror, red oak, oil stick, spray enamel     37" x 37" x 3"    2021   courtesy of the artist
                                   and David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles     photo by Martin Parsekian, courtesy of David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles

Partial Installation Shot of the Exhibition

                                                                                                     Partial Installation Shot of the Exhibition

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

The New Academy Museum of Motion Pictures Opens In Los Angeles

 Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, Wilshire and Fairfax, Los Angeles 

Opens to the public: September 30th 

For ticketing and programming information: 

Article by Cathy Breslaw 

                                                         Aerial shot of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures  Academy Museum Foundation

Dawn Hudson, CEO of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences notes: “The dream of building a museum dedicated to movies has been 90 years in the making for the Academy”. Since 2012 when the Academy hired Renzo Piano Building Workshop as architects to build the museum, there have been collaborations of hundreds of leaders in the area of film, culture and education, non-profit specialists, scholars, curators, programmers, community builders, archivists, and Academy members. All have worked together to create the world’s premier movie museum in Los Angeles, the global center for moviemaking.

The 300,000 square foot museum campus features two buildings, a renovation and expansion of the May Company(built 1939), and a soaring glass spherical structure added to the north, featuring a terrace with broad views of the Hollywood Hills. Included in the buildings are theaters and exhibition spaces as well as a museum store offering film-related merchandise, and Oscars memorabilia designed exclusively for the store, and Fanny’s, a two story restaurant and café, named after Fanny Brice, the legendary theater and movie, vaudeville, and radio star of the 1920’s. 

The seven-story museum includes a 30,000 square foot core exhibition space spanning three floors: Stories of Cinema offering celebratory, critical and personal perspectives on the impact of moviemaking past and present,a temporary exhibition of acclaimed filmmaker Hayao Miyazai, his first museum retrospective in North America in addition to Studio Ghibli. Other offerings are: The Path to Cinema: Highlights from the Richard Balzer Collection, which are selections from the world’s foremost holdings of pre-cinematic optical toys and devices, Backdrop: An Invisible Art a double height installation that presents the painting of Mount Rushmore used in Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest (USA 1959), and The Oscars Experience an immersive simulation that lets viewers imaginatively step onto the stage of the Dolby Theater to accept an Academy Award. The Academy Awards History Galleries are in a circular gallery of 20 historic Oscar trophies and wins, moving into an historical walk-through from 1929 to the present, displaying the origins of the Oscars and the Academy, memorable wins and infamous snubs, Oscars fashion, and wraparound screens showcasing significant acceptance speeches. There is also the Directors Inspiration Gallery currently featuring the director Spike Lee’s personal collection of objects, considering his creative process and inspirations for his most iconic titles, the Story Gallery which includes screenplays and storyboards from seminal films, also highlighting the disciplines that brings a story to life – screenwriting, casting, make-up design, costume design, production and sound design, special effects, acting, directing, producing and more. 

There are a series of galleries dedicated to components of film artistry including a Performance Gallery, Sound Gallery, and Identity Gallery. And another gallery Impact/Reflection which explores how documentary and narrative film can ignite cultural change, structured around four social impact areas: Black Lives Matter, #MeToo, labor relations and climate change. There are also the Animation, Effects and Encounters Galleries, each highlighting the history of animation, special visual effects and the artistry that brings the worlds of sci-fi, fantasy and horror to life, as well as a Composer’s Inspiration Gallery. The museum will have a roster of movie screenings (including Oscar Sundays and Family Matinees) presented in its new 1000 seat David Gefen Theater and the 288 seat Ted Mann Theater. There will also be ongoing education and family programs taking place throughout the museum in exhibition galleries, theaters and the Shirley Temple Education Studio including: teen programs, family studio activities, and school tours.

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures is destined to become one of Los Angeles’s greatest treasures and destinations for entertainment, education and inspiration. There are many grand opening festivities and offerings in October with ticket information all found on the museum webpages:

                                                Film Still, Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr, Judy Garland, Jack Haley in The Wizard of Oz (USA 1939)

                                                    Film Still,   My Neighbor Totoro (1988)    Hayao Miyazaki    1988 Studio Ghibli  

                                                       Anna May Wong and Marlene Dietrich, scene from Shanghai Express,  1932  
                                                                                  Film Still,  Shanghai Express(USA 1939)

                                    "Bruce the Shark" Installation at the Academy of Motion Pictures, Los Angeles  November 2020
                                                                Credit: Photo by Todd Wawrychuk  Academy Museum Foundation

Monday, September 20, 2021

Star Trek:Exploring New Worlds Exhibition at Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles

Star Trek: Exploring New Worlds 
Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles 
October 7 – February 20, 2022 

™ and © 2021 CBS Studios, Inc. © 2021 Paramount Pictures Corp. STAR TREK and related marks and logos are trademarks of CBS Studios, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


"To boldly go where no man has gone before." If you are a Star Trek fan no doubt you have heard these words before. Famously spoken by Captain James T. Kirk, of the U.S.S. Enterprise, his words immediately came to mind while visiting Star Trek: Exploring New Worlds opening to the public at the Skirball Cultural Center October 7th. 

 The exhibition organized by the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle, includes a dizzying array of 100’s of artifacts and props, numerous scripts, conceptual artworks, set pieces and costumes spanning over 50 years since the original series aired between 1966-1969. Though the original series was cancelled, when it went into syndication in the 1970’s it prospered, building a huge audience. During the 1980’s the show’s creator, producer and writer Gene Roddenberry launched Star Trek: The Next Generation and several motion pictures and in 2009, a re-boot of the series followed. Enthusiasm for Star Trek fueled the success of comic books, cartoons, novels, action figures and other merchandise as well as Star Trek themed conventions attended by thousands at various venues around the world. 

The exhibition highlights Star Trek themes of diversity, fellowship, friendship, forgiveness, equality and acceptance as well as portraying its’ continuing impact on culture, art and technology and how it led people to create and invent. The exhibit gives visitors the opportunity to see how the technology envisioned in the series has become real-life technology such as cellphones, tablets and virtual reality devices. Star Trek broke boundaries with its vision of cooperation and inclusion where humans and aliens work together for the common goal of exploring the galaxy.The show was set in a 23rd century world where interplanetary travel was an established fact and where divides of race, gender, and nationality didn’t exist, using alien cultures to comment on contemporary issues. And, Star Trek was one of the first American series to promote racial diversity and multiculturalism in both cast and themes. 

Whether it’s Captain Kirk’s original command chair and navigation console, Dr. Spock’s tunic worn by Leonard Nimoy, a Borg costume, Uhura ‘s dress (worn by Nichelle Nichols), or Captain Picard’s uniform(worn by Patrick Stewart) visitors will be enthralled. Spaceship filming models of the U.S.S. Enterprise, U.S.S Excelsior, U.S.S. Phoenix, and Deep Space Nine space station are also on display. 

Star Trek:Exploring New Worlds is a fun, educational, thought-provoking and captivating experience for all ages.

Friday, July 2, 2021

Chinese Artist Ai Wei Wei Celebrates Global Activism in Lego Portrait Installation at the Skirball Cultural Center


Ai Wei Wei, Artist

Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles

Ai Wei Wei, Artist

Through July 31st

Article by Cathy Breslaw

                             Trace      Ai Wei Wei             room installation           legos                                       2014

The installation Trace created by artist Ai Wei Wei includes 83 portraits of ordinary citizens imprisoned by their countries because of their outspoken social activism. Originally introduced in 2014 at Alcatraz prison in San Francisco, the portraits are completely comprised of thousands of lego bricks, set within three white lego panels placed on the floor within the Skirball gallery space.

The creation of Trace was shaped by Wei Wei’s own experiences as a prisoner of the Chinese government. Having previously been beaten and censored for his activism and outspoken criticism of totalitarian regimes, in 2011 he was arrested and secretly detained for 81 days, during which he was interrogated and kept under constant surveillance, and then prohibited from traveling abroad until 2015. He conceived and planned Trace during this period. Wei Wei was inspired by his young son’s legos, as he saw them as a playful, accessible and mass produced material that has global familiarity and connection.

Political dissidents from twenty-three countries comprise the portraits including the United States, Laos, Thailand, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Indonesia, India, Russia, North Korea, Kazakhstan, Eritrea, Gambia, Turkmenistan, Belarus, Cuba, Ethiopia, Egypt, Cameroon, Sudan, Rwanda, Azerbaijan, Vietnam, China and Myanmar. While most of the names are unrecognizable to us in the United States, most are well known in their own countries and seen as advocates for human dignity and freedom of speech. Known here in the United States are portraits of Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Edward Snowden, and Chelsea Manning.

The layout of portraits on the floor draws the viewer directly to the faces depicted. Due to the hard-edged brightly colored lego shape, these portraits look pixelated and relate to what we might see in surveillance tapes. On the walls of the gallery space is a bold wallpaper designed by Wei Wei entitled The Animal That Looks Like a Llama but Is Really an Alpaca. At first glance, the pattern looks decorative, but looking closely, we see hidden iconography like handcuffs, surveillance cameras and alpacas—a mascot for freedom of expression in Chinese internet culture.

We may not know the activists included in the portraits, we can understand the hard fought value of freedom of speech and standing up for social justice in our own communities. The exhibition together with Wei Wei’s decades long commitment to free speech, is consistent with the Skirball Cultural Center’s mission which is inspired by Jewish values to build a more humane society. Wei Wei’s thought provoking installation brings awareness and may inspire conversations about social justice issues common to all countries around the globe.

                                       Trace      Ai Wei Wei             (detail) room installation                   2014

The Animal That Looks Like a Llama But Is Really an Alpaca          Ai Wei Wei       wallpaper    2015

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Getty Center's Photo Flux: Unshuttering LA Exhibition Challenging Perspectives on Race

Photo Flux: Unshuttering LA

The Getty Center, Los Angeles

Through October 10, 2021

Article by Cathy Breslaw

                    Support Systems,    1984     Todd Gray   American   Mixed Media  81 1/2 x 89 in. © Todd Gray   EX.2020.6.13

The Getty Unshuttered is a free photo-sharing app directed toward building a positive community for teens to develop and express their own visual language. What better way to motivate budding photographers than to experience the recently opened exhibition at the Getty Center’s photography gallery Photo Flux: Unshuttering LA. Independent curator Jill Moniz who launched the show is the first black woman to have guest curated a show at the Getty which highlights 35 acclaimed artists of color. Since 2017, Moniz has also showcased the work of young photographers to engage and encourage them in ways to re-imagine their communities, to inspire one other and promote social justice advocacy.

Through the medium of photography Photo Flux: Unshuttering LA educates viewers young and old with the history of race seen through the eyes of Black, Hispanic and Asian American artists. Often noted as ‘transformative photography’ these powerful images portray both the violent and the sublime in our culture past and present in the treatment of people of color. Artist Todd Gray whose photograph Support Systems(1984) is the featured image of the show depicting a large black and white set of 2 photos taped together and spray painted. The image, a strong black boxer hitting a tall city building is interpreted as a metaphor of black men fighting capitalism, white supremacy and asserting black identity. This was one of a series of images Gray hung around Exposition Park during the 1984 LA Olympics, taking the photographs out of the context of a museum to share with greater impact to the broader community.

Photographer Tony Gleaton was known for his African influence in the American West, in documenting Native American ranch hands and in following the African Diaspora and black slave trade routes. Gleaton toured Central and South America photographing descendants of slaves. Usually observed and represented as passive objects in photographs, Gleaton’s models in contrast, look directly into the camera gaining an intimacy with the viewer, emphasizing the model as active participant in creating the photos. Gleaton’s subjects were people mainly considered invisible to society, poor and out of the mainstream. He wanted to create beautiful portraits, images captured with honor and respect.

Another work in the gallery is a large blue cyanotype of an undersea composition by mixed media conceptual artist Andrea Chung, who is of both Chinese and Jamaican dissent. Her beautiful and peaceful underwater seascape is the result of her research of the transatlantic slave trade of Africans brought to the ‘new world’ mostly to the Caribbean Island nations and paying homage to the many lives lost in the middle of the ocean journey to America.

Gordon (2016), an 8 foot tall chromogenic print by Ken Gonzales -Day, whose work has focused on racialized violence, is a portrait of a young Latino man casually posed, hands in pockets and dressed in a sleeveless white t-shirt. The large scale format together with the man’s eyes staring into the eyes of the viewer presents a complex and intense expression. This image was part of Gonzales-Day’s portrait series Memento Mori where he would tell his models about lynchings that took place in California after which he would count to three and then take their pictures. The results were emotional portrayals of young men, not the stereotypical threats to the world who are often profiled, and as are often viewed by the general public.

Two circular photos by artist Carrie Mae Weems portray young black girls wearing dresses with flowers in their hair posed reclining in the grass. Weems positioned these girls in ways reminiscent of the work of white master painters like Monet or Manet, challenging viewers to see the beauty and grace of these girls as they would have seen other subjects. Rather than presenting black people as tools of labor and property, they are portrayed just as any other white photo subjects.

Photo Flux: Unshuttering LA spotlights the importance of transformative photography – how a particular photographic visual language can influence us in meaningful ways and to build awareness of our own personal stereotypes. It also sensitizes us to think deeply about how we view people of color, class structures, our culture and how history has influenced our thinking.

                                  Gordon      2016      Ken Gonzales-Day       American       Chromogenic print Image: (96 × 59 3/4 × 1 in.) 
                                             Courtesy of the artist and Luis De Jesus Los Angeles    © Ken Gonzales-Day EX.2020.6.5

                                        Untitled        2016      April Banks        American     Chromogenic print        Image: 40.6 × 50.8 cm (16 × 20 in.)    

                                                               Framed:  (16 1/8 × 20 1/8 × 1in.)                      © April Banks    EX.2020.6.1.4