Two weeks ago I took a break from my blog to do a weeklong performance project with Turning the Wheel in Los Angeles, CA. I had never been to California before the trip and I was eager to see what all the hubbub was about.
When I arrived in LA I found myself to be staying in a beautiful home filled with books on art. Wonderful! I spent my first morning perusing Milk & Honey: Contemporary Art in California by Justin Van Hoy.
The book covered a variety of different artists working and living in California at the time the book was written. The main themes I found California artists to be working with are the quality of light, the variety of landscapes found near Los Angeles, and traffic. I liked the cover a lot, with all the butterflies, but apart from that most of the art within failed the capture my attention.
Monday night we visited a fantastically fun restaurant – Cafe Gratitude. The food at the restaurant is deliciously prepared and you can feel good about eating it because its all vegan. My favorite part about the food was ordering it. All the meals are given uplifting names and when you order them you become them. I was humble, elevated, and irresistible. Along with the uplifting atmosphere was some great art. My favorite work was a stunning mural found in the ladies bathroom. I wish I had ventured into the men’s to see if it was as wonderfully decorated.
I liked the level of detail as well as many of the motif’s. When went to learn more about the artist Jon Marro I found some interesting things. His bio states that his work“Currently is inspired by the teachings within Pneuma System, a path of synthesis, which brings together the inner wisdom of the major traditions of the world. This knowledge illuminates a path of Solar Art – giving form to light and providing a sanctuary for the eyes…which I am now remembering.”
He calls his style shown above, Solar Art. Each line he draws gives form to his vision, like the sun – hence the name for his art style. Marro’s spiritual art is a great fit for the bathroom of a restaurant called Cafe Gratitude. Part of why the mural caught my attention so much was because it pulled together a lot of themes that I like to play with in my own art; whales, frog princes, butterflies, mandalas, intricate lines. It also made me wonder why I like those motifs. Is it because I see them all the time in popular culture, or is it because they resonate with the world today… or possibly a bit of both. It also made me consider branching out from common themes and discovering something fresher.
Barely into my week I had already seen a lot of great art, and as the week continued I got to play with bringing my own art to California. Check back soon for Part 2.