One of the things that interests me is the border between “art” and pop culture or art and commerce. I love graffiti art and DIY music and I think House on the Rock is far more impressive than Taliesin (yes, I’ve done some time in Wisconsin). I’m no canon-defender; I’ve read my Bourdieu, and I understand the social construction of taste and how that reinforces economic class. But sometimes I think L.A. goes too far in our efforts to appear avante garde or iconoclastic and we just end up looking silly. I submit to you this description of an upcoming screening at the Hammer Museum:
Ed Hardy: Tattoo the World documents the amazing life journey of California artist Don Ed Hardy (b. 1945), who decided at age 10 to be a tattoo artist. After receiving a classical art education with Asian influences, he went on to initiate tattooing’s unprecedented global popularity. Hardy combined sophisticated work on skin with painting, printmaking, writing, publishing, and curatorial work. The film puts this in context with the Ed Hardy lifestyle brand that has saturated the world. (2009, 75 min. Dir: Emiko Omori)
And here is the description of the Hammer Museum’s mission from their website:
The Hammer Museum explores the capacity of art to impact and illuminate our lives. Through its collections, exhibitions and programs, the Hammer examines the depth and diversity of artistic expression through the centuries with a special emphasis on art of our time. At the core of the Hammer’s mission is the recognition that artists play a crucial role in all aspects of human experience. The Hammer advances UCLA’s mission by contributing to the intellectual life of the University and the world beyond.