October 25, 2009

Gone Gettying

Los Angeles from the Getty. The closest tall buildings are the Wilshire District and far away is the main downtown of Los Angeles. Oct 2009.

Himself: Still fuzzy but better at last. State is reissuing form and issuing a double check. Progress.

Herself: Fuzzier but vastly better. Wrote this. Ate an avocado sandwich because I dropped the avocado. Reality always leads one on.

Reading: Delighted in Liz Carpenter’s ”Ruffles and Flourishes,” tho now we know much more that went on behind the fa├žade of the LBJ years and can read more into the book

Balance: Watching ”Top Chef’s” two newest episodes on Saturday afternoon. We do like top chef but always are a week behind.

The Getty Museum sits high on a hillside in Los Angeles viewing the many cities below only if there isn’t smog. We were lucky this day. Tho we were terribly fuzzy from our colds, the world was clear.

Two old friends at the Getty, Oct 2009.

We picked Bee up at her place, and drove down through the mazes of freeways that I used to take for granted. One enters the Getty torturously below the hill, up the canyon, under the freeway, only arriving to discover that parking has now gone up to fifteen bucks. The museum is free, mind you.

It took more than Twelve years to construct the museum, , (video works only in Internet Explorer), then the massive quantities of stored art were installed to an enthralled public.

Bee and G. Oct 2009.

Where I once was in love with the Malibu Getty, which is now open again, here I found the art mediocre, the building a massively repititive white stone series of boxes, and only the gardens innovative but rigid in their design. Oh, opinionated me.

Not on opposite sides. Oct 2009.

This visit I loudly cheered that the museum had acquired Irving Penn’s Small Trade’s series. The Geeee-zers initial opinion, tinged by his virus, was that the show was boring, and perhaps many others will feel the poses repetitious. As he walked through the galleries he gained enthusiasm and perspective on the works. Smiling when he left.

I love Penn’s work. His were some of the first photographs I saw that moved me deeply. I felt these works were clean and simple offering a backdrop to the portrait within, and the portraits were powerful and moving pieces that captured real people.

In this series, Penn had set out to photograph some of the vanishing trades, and he photographed the workers with their tools. Many of these small crafts are now gone.

“What’s a Tinker?” One European gentleman asked me as we stood before a print.

I did my best to explain that the traveling tinker we were looking at perhaps mended pots and pans. He worked with metal, and often carried small metal tools for the housewife such as needles and pins. I don’t think the gentleman fully understood what I was saying. He did understand that there were no more tinkers.

RGB Photo. Oct 2009.

We had done a quick viewing of the show, a run through, while waiting for Michael to get off work. When he joined us, we toured the galleries slowly taking time to see that often Penn made both silver and platinum prints of each photograph. I was much moved by many of the people Penn portrayed, their pride, their uniqueness, their special realities captured by his lens.

Later we ate an excellent burger overlooking the city, and talked of whatever old friends will talk about. These are special, creative, and flexible friends….I just don’t like to drive with them. Did I say that.

The Getty seen from the 405 freeway on our way home. Oct 2009.


  1. Mage, sounds as if you had a wonderful time; with good conversation, good companionship, new input, and stimulating, if somewhat spartan environment. Must have been fun.

  2. You have a critical eye when going to a museum. I often just take it for what it is, but your input was helful. I have never been to the Getty, but have been close a few times.


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Peter in front of a wall sculpture. We were invited up to Peter Knego’s home to see the latest installation.   Abstract flat ...