Made in L.A.

I was not bred in L.A. As you might already know I was made in Iraq. And while Iraq is still a big part of who I am–L.A. is and always will remain my home. Made in L.A. 2018 is the name of the exhibit at the Hammer Museum. And featured in this exhibit is my undergraduate art professor and mentor Charles Long. Because of him, I pursued my MFA. I always knew I'd get an MFA in Fine Art, but my career pushed me towards an MFA in Graphic Design instead. Which I am very happy about and I will write to that topic in another blog post. 

What I learned from Charles

One of my favorite lessons from Charles (yes we called our professors on a first name basis) was learning how to deconstruct an idea/place/thing and represent this in a more simplified form/object. In other words, learning how to see the world more conceptually and developing avant-garde thinking skills. In addition to this, I was encouraged to pursue my identity as an Iraqi-American in my fine art practice (which I no longer do as a graphic designer but thinking of exploring in the future). Here are some samples of my past undergraduate work from the sculpture class taught by Charles Long in 2005. 

Marina Murad  Heavy Metal , 2005  I was a closeted head-banger AKA a lover of heavy metal music, yet I always appeared feminine and proper on the outside. This flower was a representation of myself: soft with an edge–to be a free-thinking American with an Iraqi upbringing was a challenge, to say the least.

Marina Murad Heavy Metal, 2005

I was a closeted head-banger AKA a lover of heavy metal music, yet I always appeared feminine and proper on the outside. This flower was a representation of myself: soft with an edge–to be a free-thinking American with an Iraqi upbringing was a challenge, to say the least.

Marina Murad  Evil Eye , 2005  The evil eye is a prominent symbol in the Middle Eastern culture. It is a curse or legend believed to be cast by a malevolent glare. Many cultures believe that receiving the evil eye will cause misfortune or injury. The symbol of the evil eye was created to protect against such harm and this was my representation of it.

Marina Murad Evil Eye, 2005

The evil eye is a prominent symbol in the Middle Eastern culture. It is a curse or legend believed to be cast by a malevolent glare. Many cultures believe that receiving the evil eye will cause misfortune or injury. The symbol of the evil eye was created to protect against such harm and this was my representation of it.

Made in L.A.

Ok so back to Made in L.A. Charles Long's work can be described as a fairy tale: a mix of beauty and ugliness, horror and joy and fear and delight. What began as a sculpture of a tree stump and the cross-section of a human penis (sorry dad)–turned into a bizarre world of religious references, the violated body and the idolization of famous male artists like Salvador Dali, Alberto Giacometti, Philip Guston, and Edvard Munch. Charles was inspired by the tree stumps on Mount Baldy where he has lived for many years. And this exhibit takes us through the world of his imagination inspired by nature.  

Charles Long  a big fucking relief,  2018

Charles Long a big fucking relief, 2018

Photo curtesy Hammer Museum

Photo curtesy Hammer Museum

Charles Long  paradigm l0st,  2018

Charles Long paradigm l0st, 2018

Photo curtesy Hammer Museum

Photo curtesy Hammer Museum

Charles Long  h0lysm0kes,  2018

Charles Long h0lysm0kes, 2018

Made in L.A. 2018 features 32 artists range in age from 29 to 97 and have contributed works that are deeply engaged with vital aspects of our contemporary culture. Open June 3–September 2, 2018. Read more about other artists here

ArtMarina Murad