A Designer’s Midcentury-Mod Music-Graphics Mashups

Graham Moore creates fine-art pieces that put you in a dancing mood, just by looking into them. In fact, many of them began as vintage LP record album covers, several decades pre-mp3. Then, under his knife, texts lose their legibility, …

Bare Bodies, Mud Baths, and Beyond: Wet in Retrospect

In the late 1970s, bohemian hipsters on L.A.’s west side were getting Wet. Despite its small circulation, it became highly influential among local artists, designers, and architects. And now, “Making Wet: The Magazine of Gourmet Bathing,” provides a sampling of …

Black Dahlia Murder, Part 2: The Victim’s Makeup

Wrapping up my interview with crime historian Joan Renner, we delve deeper into an unsolved murder mystery. Joan explores her theory that the victim’s Black Dahlia persona began when she was still alive. Read part one, with more details of …

Anarchy in L.A.: The Sex Pistols' Designer, Reloaded

Never mind the Shepard Fairey criminal contempt conviction, here’s Jamie Reid. The designer who branded the Sex Pistols so indelibly by ripping across Her Majesty’s face now has his first solo West Coast exhibition at  Shepard’s Subliminal Projects Gallery. Shepard …

Pop Art, Politics, and Critiques of Contemporary Culture

  Popular culture, capitalist critique, and female empowerment are among the topics of this, the last of a three-part feature on “Pop and Politics,” one of the programs at the 100th annual College Art Association conference in Los Angeles. Part …

Finally "Seeing" Street Art

Although my eyes first began digesting what I now know to be “street art” in the mid-1990s in San Francisco, it wasn’t until a trip to Paris in the Fall of 2009 and a move to Los Angeles a couple …

The Pleasures, Politics, and Proto-Feminisms of Pop Art

In 1963, Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique drew attention to the stifling state of American womanhood, and Roy Lichtenstein painted what might be considered a visual analogue: “Drowning Girl”, who’d rather be engulfed by tidal waves than call Brad for …

Politics of Pop: Warhol’s Working Class SuperHero

  Anthony E. Grudin cares about the working class. He also cares – a lot – about Andy Warhol. Not the later Warhol, who pandered to high society celebs, but the younger man, with one foot headed for the galleries …