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.
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.
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.