Report from Los Angels County Museum of Art

Report from Los Angels County Museum of Art

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art is the premier visual arts museum in the Western United States. Its holdings include more than 150,000 works spanning the history of art from ancient times to the present. Moreover, the museum has seasonal exhibitions, which focus on many different types of artists every month. The variety of artwork fascinates visitors and never bores them. I am a frequent visitor of the museum, and, this time, I was enchanted by the sculpture “Lady,” which was created by Michael Lucero in 1999. The sculpture’s body simulates Roman or Greek statues, but there is no human-like head. Instead of creating the head, he randomly stacked colorful earthenware on it. “Lady” is revolutionary in these aspects: the use of contrasting the head and body is outstanding, it symbolizes the fusion of different cultures, and the mysterious appearance arouses people’s imaginations of its meaning.

By contrasting the color, texture, and the shape of the body and head, Michael Lucero has succeeded in capturing visitors’ attention since the combinations are unusual and outstanding. The color of the body is a solid off-white, and the texture of the surface is rough, resembling the statue of Virgin Mary. The shape is very complicating as well. The sculptor precisely produced the wrinkles of the cloth, and I could see the shape of the legs through it. The beauty of the body is beyond description, and it seems to be waiting for a command to step forward. Unlike the body, the colors of the head are bright, and the surface is very smooth and shiny. Lucero utilized a beauty combination of primary colors, such as red, yellow, and blue, which mingled perfectly. The use of the vivid colors reminds me of a pattern in a tie-dye shirt. It also has some pictures of insects and a digit “8:43,” which makes it mysterious. Vase-like pieces are stacked on the neck, forming the colorful head part, and making a grape-like shape. The combination of the body and head seems to be ill-matched. However, it perfectly and strongly reacts like a nuclear fusion, creating its marvelous appearance. Thus, Michael Lucero has succeeded to impress the visitors by combining the contrastive parts together.

The sculpture “Lady” symbolizes the fusion of different cultures, brought on by the development of technology, such as mass transportation and medias. Ancient Romans were not exposed to other cultures because of inability to travel to Far East or kick back on their couches and discover other cultures on television. They lived only within their own cultures and technology. Today, as a result of the development of technology, people are able to see and learn many things from different cultures, enhancing their creativity. This cultural interaction led us to experience the new phenomenon “cultural fusion,” and this also can be applied to Lucero’s artwork in his use of an ancient Mediterranean sculptural body and earthenware head. Thus, the sculpture “Lady” is the byproduct of technological development and symbolizes the fusion of different cultures.

The mysterious appearance of the sculpture arouses people’s imaginations of its meaning. The structure of the sculpture is not common: it has a Mediterranean statue style of the body and randomly stacked vase-like pots on the neck. Because of its ambiguity, many people may think it has a meaning and try to demystify it. For instance, one may question why there is no human-like head, or why only the head is so colorful. I interpreted this piece as meaning intelligence or internal beauty is more important than physical beauty. I came to this interpretation because the head part, stacked pots, is expanding outward and is the only part that is colorful. Moreover, each part of the pot is connected to each other, and it seems to be expressing a link to memories and their infinity. It is fabulous that everybody has a different interpretation of the artwork. Although people can appreciate the appearance, the process of demystification adds even more interest and fascination on this artwork.

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art is the premier visual arts museum in the Western United States. Because of the variety of artwork, the