Wednesday was my day of total freedom to wander around and explore. My first stop was the museum at FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, the school I wanted to go to after I graduated high school). On display was a exhibition of motion picture costumes including Alice in Wonderland, Shutter Island, Chronicles of Narnia, and True Grit. It was really quite special to see all of these beautiful costumes up close and personal, the details that go into them. They were all so intricate and fabulously constructed. The institute is located right in Downtown LA and has a beautiful park right in the courtyard that is a perfect example of public space being utilized in an urban landscape.
My next stop was a farmer’s market on Hollywood Blvd. Farmer’s market’s exist in Arizona too, but mostly take place during ungodly early hours on the weekends, when I am either at work, or just getting to sleep after being at work. This one was located on a hillside which made for some spectacular views. I got some jalapeno hummus and a strawberry banana muffin and went on my merry way.
My next stop was the Gallery 825 on La Cienega Blvd. On display was the work of Susan Arena with her “Imaginary Homelands” Collection. The first piece that caught my eye was “Time of the Stars.” This piece features a woman with a long braid and a mournful look on her face with closed blue eyelids. She has little twinkles surrounding her. I like this piece because it has a certain feeling of home to it, like the collection says. It shows a woman in her homeland where she can be free to be mournful without the world seeing. “Mother of Sorrows” (2008, acrylic, fabric on found frame) was the next one, and actually the featured image that I had seen online while searching for a show to see. The image is haunting. It’s actually not something that I would want in my home, because it is downright depressing. But even so it has this intrigue about it. A veiled face of a woman with tears streaming down her face on top of a floral fabric background, this picture draws in the viewer just using the white eyes. This picture could be of any woman who feels enslaved or dominated by society and its demands on women. I like it, but I just wouldn’t want to look at it everyday. The third piece that is interesting to me is the “Girl with Tiara” (2010, acrylic, collage on canvas). The piggy nosed girl with a blank stare and a sorrowful gaze wearing her tiara with pride is something that makes me think of childhood, putting on princess outfits and prancing around as if the world is a perfect place. However her face shows the distinct feeling in the back of her head that this is the only time she will feel this way, before the world tears down all that hope of beauty queen stardom. This might be a depressing view on this piece, but that is what I see.
After the gallery, I continued in my journey to Santa Monica and Venice to take pictures. I stopped in 212 Pier, for an americano and use of the free wifi while I contemplated my next move and relaxed after driving for so long. This cafe is a fabulous little spot filled with books and an old Bohemia vibe. Off again to find a new parking space before my 2 hour limit was up, I drove down to Venice and parked just off the boardwalk in between some beautiful beach houses that I am consumed by jealously over. To one day be able to have a beach house in Venice, is my dream. I walked along the beach path all the way down to the infamous Venice Boardwalk, where food, cheap goods, and “Kush Doctors” line the sidewalk. People try to sell you their demos, dance and perform for tips, and the occasional hippie just wandering around. There are few places in this world where freedom of expression is welcomed with open arms, and Venice in one of the best to look at. The graffiti everywhere, the murals on nearly every building, wherever you turn there is something interesting to look at.