May 28th, 2007

laszlo moholy-nagy_chx

Why and how the time flies

Here's a small digital version of Barse Miller's Apparition Over Los Angeles, an oil painting from 1932. It depicts three figures floating in the sky above Aimee Semple McPherson's Angelus Temple: Sister Aimee herself in the center, her chubby mother on the left, and on the right Aimee's lover wearing a straw hat. The image is one of the illustrations in an article by Margarita Nieto about art in Los Angeles during the 1930s. It's rather sketchy and frequently uses the irritating (and as far as I'm concerned almost invariably inexcusable) "historical present" tense, but is one of the few pieces I've ever found on-line about art in that strangest of cities during that strange period. I've lately become fascinated by those California painters who were almost always a bit (or way) outside the mainstream of American art, but whose reputations have survived (however minimally) nonetheless. Lately they've been sometimes leading me around the Interwebs by my virtual nose (they're in my Intarwebz, eatin' my time!) Several of them show up in Nieto's piece. It's a good thing I don't go wandering about in reality the way I do virtually or I'd end up hopelessly lost.