Artbound Season 11 primary image - Mekala and his father

Monomania L.A.: Ernest Marquez and Rancho Boca de Santa Monica

Through a series of short films and articles, Monomania L.A. profiles five L.A. as Subject collectors who have turned a monomaniacal obsession with a particular aspect of Southern California history into a public resource. These collectors have documented disparate subjects -- the California orange, sci-fi reading circles, political graphics, a Mexican rancho, African American photographers -- but their stories share one thing in common: a passion for history that has enriched our understanding of Southern California's past.

In this land of newcomers and transplants, Ernest Marquez can trace his California lineage back further than most. Born in 1924 on land that the Mexican government granted to his great-grandparents in 1839, Marquez has devoted much of his life to documenting a family history that began in 1771, when his great-great-grandfather Francisco Reyes arrived here as a soldier in the Spanish army.

"I went to the library and got history books about Santa Monica and Los Angeles and couldn't find anything about our rancho in them," Marquez told us. "The historians completely ignored our family and our rancho for some reason. If there was some mention of it, there might have been a paragraph or two."

But Marquez wanted more. So he set out on a decades-long quest to piece together his family's history. He sent away to the National Archives for the Land Commission records on Rancho Boca de Santa Monica, the 6,656-acre land grant his great-grandfathers Ysidro Reyes and Francisco Marquez received in 1839. He scoured the region's archival collections for information about his ancestors.

Eventually, he began writing a narrative history of his family. Naturally enough, he wanted to illustrate his history with photos from Southern California's rancho period.

And in the process, a new collection was born.

"I discovered there weren't any [photos from the rancho period], but along the way I found these other images of Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Redondo Beach," Marquez said.

One photo became two; two became two hundred; and ultimately Marquez amassed a trove of 4,600 rare photos of historical Southern California, with an emphasis on the Santa Monica Bay shore.

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Jeffrey Deitch's Los Angeles

The charming, unusual and at times polarizing Jeffrey Deitch left Los Angeles in 2013 after a tumultuous run as the director of MOCA ending in his resignation. He makes his return with a new gallery opening with the first LA exhibit of renowned Chinese artist and activist, Ai Weiwei. A behind-the-scenes look at the contemporary art world through the eyes of a legendary art dealer and curator.

  • 2020-09-27T10:00:00-07:00
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Light & Space

In a world filled with noise, distractions and chaos, a number of artists seek to push the boundaries of perception and experience. The Light and Space movement of the 1960s explored minimalism with a uniquely Californian spin — with a keen attention to the interaction of light and space. Crucially, the materials these artists relied on to create these perceptual experiences emerged from the postwar aerospace industry and its advances.

  • 2020-09-30T14:00:00-07:00
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  • 2020-09-30T18:00:00-07:00
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  • 2020-10-04T10:00:00-07:00
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The New West Coast Sound: An L.A. Jazz Legacy

Growing up amongst jazz legends within the deep musical traditions of Leimert Park, drummer Mekala Session and his peers grapple with how to preserve this rich legacy—striving to carry forward the tenets that took root in the work of Horace Tapscott and his Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra. This is the story of Los Angeles’ emerging generation of community-focused black musicians.

  • 2020-10-07T14:00:00-07:00
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  • 2020-10-07T18:00:00-07:00
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  • 2020-10-11T10:00:00-07:00
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CURRENT:LA FOOD

In October of 2019 the city of Los Angeles through the Department of Cultural Affairs and the Institute of Contemporary Art organized a city-wide exhibition of public art and events based around the theme of food. Each artist interpreted a different aspect or issue surrounding food or food systems in the city from climate change, to food access, civic engagement to waste and recycling. Activating public parks throughout the city, artists created works to spark conversation about what it means to live in Los Angeles and how to work together for a sustainable and hopeful future.

  • 2020-10-14T14:00:00-07:00
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  • 2020-10-14T18:00:00-07:00
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  • 2020-10-18T10:00:00-07:00
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The Watts Towers Arts Center

The Watts Towers Arts Center was founded by artists and educators in the 1960s and has been a beacon of art and culture in the community for decades. This episode features the work of artists including Noah Purifoy, John Outterbridge, Betye Saar, Charles White and Mark Steven Greenfield.

  • 2020-10-21T14:00:00-07:00
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  • 2020-10-21T18:00:00-07:00
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  • 2020-10-25T10:00:00-07:00
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