On Friday night Sam and I set about doing our laundry after getting home from work. We left the last load in the dryer around 9 and headed to Los Feliz to see J.A.W. Cooper’s solo show at the Soap Factory. It was, in fact, at that gallery that we’d first encountered her work many years ago. I probably blogged about it then too. I still remember the piece…..(this one)
In between then and now we’ve gone to too many local shows to count that she’s participated in. Although her subject matter (nature and gaunt women) seems to remain the same she’s clearly improving her already fine technique. Her line skills and use of subtle gauche washes to produce crisp lines behind vibrant colors has been something I’ve always admired/enjoyed. More importantly she’s been able to increasingly include meaningful background material in her work. As someone who also enjoys starting off with expressive human figures I know how hard it is to “fit” your figure into a real (or unreal) space that works. In some of her newer pieces she’s solved this problem by layering foreground and background on different strips of material. Some of these new works aren’t quite just drawings and aren’t quite full blown paintings either, and the focus is brought back to the figurative focal point by creating lined mattes encircling the content with angular frames. In still other pieces (like the one above) her paint work becomes more prominent and, up close, reveals a better mastery of color mixing by proximity.
She’s on the list of artists I hope I can afford to purchase an original from one day and her work always inspires and reminds me I should pick up the pencil (or brush) more often.
24 hours later we would indulge our ears instead of our eyes. We attended one of Clint Mansell’s rare live performances at the Orpheum Theater in downtown.
I won’t attempt to put up a real review – as others have done that far better than I can. (although, I disagree about The Fountain being “folly” – I consider it a litmus test for recognizing film as an art form instead of entertainment, financial return on investment should never be a basis for determining artistic value)
Before Clint took the stage a man walked out to the mic. He introduced himself and attempted to explain what an honor it had been to have Clint score a film he did a few years ago. I’m not sure if everyone in the audience knew that he was not just the director of Moon, but David Bowie’s son. Other notable guests in the theater were director Massy Tadjedin and Clint’s parents.
After chronologically going through his major pieces; jumping forward to the wrestler and stoker, I (as I’m sure many others did too) started to worry that Clint’s finest work, The Fountain wasn’t going to be represented. We were elated to learn that he’d saved the best for last, playing the theme from The Fountain and then dedicating the last song to his parents. That song, of course, was my favorite song of his (and one of my favorite songs in general); Death is the Road to Awe. The best thing about Death is the Road to Awe is that the actual usage of the music in the film is perhaps the best pairing of visuals to audio I’ve ever seen/heard. In the climactic part of the song the three timelines in the film converge and two of the characters reach their final destinations in visually stunning fashion. Like the film, the soundtrack is left to interpretation. I wish there was an HD cut of this scene on youtube, but the best they have is 240 here. I almost want to tell you NOT to click on that link, as the low res audio and video mean you’ll have a much less “complete” experience than I had in the theater (or listening to the soundtrack alone in high quality with my eyes closed).
Unfortunately the critic in me has to complain that the sound was a bit muddled when it came to the bombastic finish of the louder songs from the Fountain. The drums were too loud in the mix and the harp/bells/whatever were barely audible. The best use of the Sonos Quartet live was Lux Aeterna, without a doubt, as the song (and the rest of the Requiem soundtrack) relies heavily on shrill strings.
On Sunday we went to a baby shower up off of the 14 freeway. On the way back I remembered that Vasquez rocks wasn’t too far, so we plugged it into Sam’s GPS and were there in a few minutes. Even in jeans I was able to convince her to climb up the smaller rock.