Saturday, October 13, 2012

America Tropical

As part of a class she is taking, Sara and I spent the day at Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles.  While we were there, a Tour Guide mentioned that a new Viewing Platform for an historic mural had opened earlier that week and suggested we take a look.  The mural was painted in 1932 by the Mexican artist David Siqueiros, and is entitled "America Tropical".

To say the mural has a controversial history would be an understatement.  In 1932, Siqueiros was commissioned to create a mural on a wall overlooking the touristy Olvera Street.  At the time, the City of Los Angeles was attempting to foster an identify as a destination for art lovers and was hopeful this new mural would further that cause.  However, instead of a tranquil Mexican scene, Siqueiros created a bold political statement against American imperialism.  The central figure serves as the mural's most striking element, with an indigenous Mexican bound to a double-cross while an eagle (American eagle?) descends poised to strike.

Within a few months, some portions of the mural were mysteriously painted over.  After a few years, the whole mural was entirely whitewashed and abandoned.

Today, the mural is being conserved as a joint effort between the City of Los Angeles and the Getty Conservation Institute.  Because of the experimental way the mural was created, a deliberate choice was made to preserve the mural rather than restore and repaint it.  As such, the mural is just a ghostly version of its previous self.  However, it is still a striking image and fascinating part of Los Angeles art and political history.

The new Visitor's Center and Mural Viewing Platform is free and open to the public.  A visit is highly recommended.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Face Forward

Today was the first day I had Clark facing forward in his car seat.  I think he got a kick out of finally being able to see me while we are driving.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Car Seat

Hi everyone!  Long time, no see.

Yeah, with Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, this Blog has basically become a Ghost Town.  But I did want to pop in and say that Clark turned 2 a week ago and Sara and I are very happy about it.

Today, we turned Clark's car seat around so that he is facing forward.  The recommendation is to keep children facing towards the rear of the car as long as possible.  However, Clark's legs are getting longer and it was becoming more and more uncomfortable for him to face backwards.  Now, he's facing the front, has plenty of legroom, and is a happy camper.  Hooray!