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Monday, October 29, 2012


What a night!  Since moving to Los Angeles, I've become accustomed to seeing celebrities here and there.  But Saturday night at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) was something else.

The LACMA  Art + Film gala is now in its second year running.  Started by the incredible duo of Leonardo DiCaprio and Eva Chow, this event is causing quite a buzz around Los Angeles that makes the museum stand out in the eyes of all.  This year, the honorees were artist Ed Ruscha and film-maker Stanley Kubrick. And what another outstanding duo they made (though Kubrick wasn't there in body, he most surely was in spirit).

The party started off with red carpet entry and cocktails.  I waited in line for the red carpet moment while Tom Hanks stood patiently behind me.  During the cocktail hour, after squeezing past Sean Penn to grab a glass of champagne, I had a great spot close to the New Orleans jazz band where Evan Rachel Wood took the stage to sing.  She has a great voice and a sultry persona on stage.  It was a nice segue to exiting and heading to dinner.


We packed into the large space for dinner for 550 guests, with long rectangular tables filling the space.  I rather liked that the decor was to a minimum.  All glassed in, the space gave views of the incredible campus that is LACMA - and I always like when guests are almost forced to remember why they are there.  Raising money for a County museum that provides programming to countless visitors and students each year. The table decor was very simple, with small floral arrangements mimicking the stage background of flowers, a la Christian Dior's wall of flowers at the SS 2013 Couture show in Paris.
Ruscha's "The Back of the Hollywood Sign" 1977
"The Standard" 1966
After a short film showcasing the works of Ed Ruscha, the artist came and gave thanks to the audience. I felt at home with his Oklahoma accent explaining how he came to be and some of the inspirations for his most well-known works.  Transforming what some may think as the mundane, he creates interesting, thought-provoking pieces that have become more than pop art.

Tom Hanks took the stage next, introducing the great Steven Spielberg.  Hanks was funny and comfortable, and he was able to relax the audience even more.  And of course Spielberg was just exquisite as he spoke about the great Stanley Kubrick, telling stories of their early days together as directors.  I felt as if I had entered the secret Hollywood club that I should never be allowed into.  Spielberg's admiration for Kubrick was apparent, and he seemed to really glow while talking about his relationship with Kubrick.  The night just got even more powerful when Kubrick's widow, Christiane Kubrick, spoke about his process of film and its simplistic genius.  To be within twenty feet of all of these artists was an honor and something not to be forgotten.

Florence, on stage with the Dior-esque back drop
Florence + The Machine.  Florence came out from nowhere like a Greek Goddess coming down to visit.  Her voice was beyond haunting, and she embodied pop artistry at its best.

With Monique Lhullier and hubby Tom Bugbee, both of us in Lhullier
Can't forget our Feathered Friend, Cameron Silver: best looking table there!
Steps to the courtyard
Dessert, champagne, scotch and cognac outside in the courtyard
Seeing the exhibition was the main attraction.  Walking through the courtyard and into the main building, I made my way to see film clips, costumes from films, set designs, Kubrick's personal chess set, cameras and more.  Beautifully displayed in a modern way, LACMA married the concept of 'film is art', which is what the evening was really about as the museum is adding a film wing to the museum.  The show has been traveling around the globe, so if you get a chance to see it, I highly recommend that you do.  What a special experience I had, to hear stories from Kubrick's friends and actors, including Jack Nicholson, before eyeballing the final piece de resistance.  What a night.

I left with the DVD Collection of Kubrick.  First on the list: Barry Lyndon that I've never seen...
Ruscha, "The End" acrylic on canvas 1991

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