Los Angeles

Artbound 2012: Best of Los Angeles County


Since Artbound's launch in May 2012, we've published 195 articles about Los Angeles County, delving into the creative spirit that drives this sprawling megalopolis. We've met an inspiring group of creatives from all corners of this expansive city. There was Gil Scott-Herron's daughter, Gia who keeps her family's fire burning, nail artists who make fingertips into tiny sculptures, and Ken Price, whose amorphous blobs where featured at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. We listened to the mix-tape of producer Boom Bip and Charlie White, a photographer who documents the adolescent girls in "driving distance from Santa Monica"; we examined how the aeronautics industry influenced art in our region; and we contemplated the representation of Koreatown in the unwavering eye of (hyper) reality television. This year, Los Angeles became a place of conflict and civil disobedience, as the financial crisis led to artists who fought against the system, like Alex Schaefer, who paints burning banks, or Olga Koumoundouros, who occupied a foreclosed home with artwork. It's cliche to call Los Angeles a city of dreamers, but it is magnetic north for those who align their compasses to a nexus of inspiration-addicts and compulsive creators. Los Angeles is a swirling universe, with myriad cultural constellations populated with distinct worlds and microcosms, never spinning out of control, but freely moving around a singular core: imagination.

Today Artbound looks back at our year here in Los Angeles and presents some of our most read articles. Enjoy!

Street Artist RISK Transforms Skid Row with Murals

RISK's style has gone from lettering and images to abstract washes with color. | Photo: MOCA.

Artist RISK has created a vibrant mural called "Ye Sun" on a wall facing L.A.'s Skid Row to bring art to this blighted corner of downtown.

Urban Impressions: Barbara A. Thomason's 100 Not-So-Famous L.A. Views

Californian Coyotes by Barbara A. Thomason, cel vinyl on illustration board (2008)

Barbara A. Thomason spent five years depicting the freeways, rivers, restaurants, street signs, buildings, neighborhoods and landscapes that are familiar and dear to the people who call L.A. home.

Meet The New Aquarians

The Mother House. | Photo: Courtesy of Isis Aquarian.

The Source Family was led by a bearded visionary called Father Yod in Nichols Canyon alongside around 140 other family members, living by "Aquarian" principles of love, whole foods, Eastern and Western spiritual teachings, and rock 'n' roll.

Sounds in Oaxacalifornia: Gala Porras-Kim Investigates Indigenous Tones

Notes after G. M. Cowan 1, 2012. Gala Porras-Kim. Graphite on paper, post it, wood. | Photo: Courtesy of the artist.

Gala Porras-Kim's exhibition "Prospecting Notes About Sounds" researches Zapotec culture, its tonal language, and the variations of dialects contained within Oaxaca.

Frank Gehry, Closet Classicist

Vitruvian Man, by Leonardo Da Vinci, the classic exploration of proportion in the Renaissance period.

Frances Anderton suggests Frank Gehry's humanistic approach to architecture has roots in classicism. The author sits down with the renowned architect to talk about this dimension to his work.

Weekly Video Vote Winners from Los Angeles County

With your help, our editorial team reviewed and rated the most compelling weekly articles. One of these articles was passed along to our video production unit, who produced a short-format documentary based on the selected story. Every week, a new video debuted online. And every other month, we compiled the best online material to create a broadcast television episode. Check out all the 2012 head-to-head matches on our vote page.

Dig this story? Vote by hitting the Facebook like button above and tweet it out, and it could be turned into a short video documentary. Also, follow Artbound on Facebook and Twitter.

Top Image: Downtown Los Angeles | Photo: Mulling it Over/Flickr/Creative Commons

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section header: disciplines
icon, Architecture/ Design discipline

Architecture/ Design

California becomes an international export by redefining the concept of city and home.

icon, Community Arts discipline

Community Arts

Through workshops, education and placed based projects, art is the connective tissue of a community.

icon, Cultural Politics discipline

Cultural Politics

Funding bubbles, cultural deserts and the politics of access to the arts in the 21st century.

icon, Film & Media Arts discipline

Film & Media Arts

At the shadow of the entertainment industry, video artists and underground filmmakers take a stand.

icon, Literature discipline


Noir, sunshine and dystopia create a multi-ethnic narrative that is read, watched and admired around the globe.

icon, Multi-Disciplinary discipline


Multi-hyphenate works that combine disciplines, remix dogmas, and reinvent the wheel.

icon, Music discipline


A dialogue between cultures, the music of our state serves up the California dream like no other artform.

icon, Performance discipline


Staging the drama of California through dance, music and theater.

icon, Visual Arts discipline

Visual Arts

Breaking away from the European and New York vanguard, California reinvents the art world.

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