Right now at the Getty Center there is an all-new exhibit titled “The Renaissance Nude”. It is no surprise that the word “nude” captures people’s attention, but the Los Angeles Times called it, “One of the 10 most engaging exhibitions of the year.”

Apollo and Daphnis, about 1495, Perugino (Pietro Vannucci), oil on poplar. Musée du Louvre, Paris, Département des Peintures. Image © RMN-Grand Palais / Art Resource, NY. Photo: Gérard Blot

The exhibit highlights the pivotal moments in which the Renaissance artists transformed the course of western art history by making the nude a central figure in their art. By drawing inspiration from classical sculpture and the study of the live model, these artists created lifelike, vibrant, and sensual representations of the human body.

Saint Jerome, 1460–70, Donatello, polychrome wood. Pinacoteca Comunale, Faenza. Image: Scala / Art Resource, NY

One of the major themes of the exhibit is the link between Christianity and the Nude. Between the periods of 1400-1530 C.E., art played a key role in Catholic worship and instruction. Religious images could be seen on church walls and facades, on altars, and in liturgical and devotional books. The central figure, Jesus Christ, the son of God and redeemer of humankind according to Christian belief, was depicted mostly unclothed with revealing signs of his physical persecution and crucifixion. At the turn of the Renaissance however, artists began to take interest in the close study of nature, from plants and animals to human bodies, by looking back into Greek and Roman art. This made the representation of Christian subjects more immediate and accessible, but also more palpable and sensual (and potentially discomfiting). But despite the rise of these kinds of depictions of secular subjects, Christian subjects continued to dominate artistic production throughout the Renaissance.

The Temptation of Adam and Eve, about 1510, Lucas Cranach the Elder, oil on panel. National Museum, Warsaw. Image courtesy of the Muzeum Narodowego w Warszawie

This exhibit features more than 100 works by Renaissance artists like Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo, Dürer, and others.

The Renaissance Nude is exhibiting at the Getty Center now through January 27th, 2019. The Getty Center is free and open to the public.

As 2018 comes to a close in a few days, I think it is best that we have a look back at some of the most important art historical discoveries this year has given us.  Out of 15 of the major discoveries that we have seen so far, these are the top three that I have decided to highlight:

1. A stolen Degas turns up in a bus

In 2009, a pastel painting by Edgar Degas, Les Choristes (1877) that was on loan to the Cantini Museum in Marseille, France by the Musée d’Orsay, was stolen. French police had no clue how it was done, so they assumed that it was an inside job. Fast forward to February of 2018, customs officials conduct a random search of a bus stopped at a gas station near Paris and find the painting that had been missing for almost 10 years inside a suitcase. Unsurprisingly, none of the passengers on board claimed the luggage as their own, nor the painting for that matter. It was quickly taken back into the collection of the Musée d’Orsay and estimated to now be worth over $1,000,000. In 2019, the museum will feature the painting in the exhibition “Degas at the Opera,” which will travel to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. the following year.

2. New Michelangelo bronzes were identified by their 10-pack abs

Two bronze statues named “Bacchants Riding On Panthers” displayed at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge on February 2, 2015.

Yes, you read that sentence right. Anyone who has ever studied a painting or sculpture by Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni will know that he has the tendency to elaborate on the human anatomy. This year, an international team lead by the University of Cambridge finally confirmed after four years of research that the two bronzes sold at Sotheby’s in 2002 for £1,821,650, are in fact Michelangelo’s bronzes that he cast. As the BBC now puts it, these bronzes could now be worth “hundreds of millions.”

3. A professor in Italy claims to have discovered one of Leonardo da Vinci’s earliest works

A handout photo made available by the Press Office shows the work that portrays the Archangel Gabriel, considered the oldest of Leonardo Da Vinci, built on a square glazed terracotta tile.

Is it just me, or does it seem like every year there is always someone claiming that they found a new da Vinci painting? After the painstaking, record breaking sale in 2017 of his Salvator Mundi (which sold for $450.3 million AND people are still skeptic of its authenticity), we have another piece that has surfaced, but this time it is an eight-inch by eight-inch terracotta tile featuring a profile figure of the Archangel Gabriel. Italian professor Ernesto Solari held a press conference in Rome back in June where he claimed that the figure is Leonardo himself at the age of eighteen. Solari said that he used thermoluminescence testing to date the tile to the artist’s lifetime. He also worked with handwriting expert Ivana Bonfantin to verify a mirrored signature in the corner of the tile which Solari said read: “I, Leonardo da Vinci, born in 1452, represented myself as the Archangel Gabriel in 1471.” Leading scholars quickly jumped in to attack it as inauthentic, and claim that there is no way in h-e-double-hockey-sticks that it is a da Vinci original. “One rule of thumb is that if a work is signed by Leonardo it’s not by him,” one scholar said when speaking to the Times of London. “The chance of its being by Leonardo is less than zero,” he continued. I guess only time will tell.

Personally I cannot wait to see what new discoveries 2019 will bring. Especially when a new painting resurfaces and is claimed a da Vinci once again, or when we find a long lost stolen painting inside of a super market.

From all of us here at LAAFA, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

Meet Harmonia Rosales, the Afro-Cuban American artist based in Chicago who is causing a buzz in the art world with her re-imagined classical works of art with Black Femininity.

“Replacing the white male figures — the most represented— with people I believe have been the least represented can begin to recondition our minds to accept new concepts of human value. … If I can touch even a small group of people and empower them through the power of art, then I’ve succeeded in helping to change the way we see the world. … And when you consider that all human life came out of Africa, the Garden of Eden and all, then it only makes sense to paint God as a black woman, sparking life in her own image.”

“The Creation of God” by Harmonia Rosales. Image via Instagram.

These are just some of her thoughts when she talks about her now viral piece, The Creation of God. As you can see from the image above, it is an interpretation based on Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam (c. 1508–1512) from the Sistine Chapel in Rome (below).

“The Creation of Adam” by Michelangelo, ca. 1512

Rosales told BuzzFeed that she wanted to take widely recognized paintings showing white men as the central figures of authority, and “flip the script,” adding, “White figures are a staple in classic art featured in major museums. They are the ‘masters’ of the masterpieces. Why should that continue?”

In a recent video that Buzzfeed also featured her in, she mentions that the reasoning behind her artwork was for her daughter. “I wanted her to accept herself, her fro, everything,” Rosales says.

“When I create my work, I create it for her so she sees the beautiful Venus as a black woman with natural hair.”

The Birth of Oshun

With her daughter’s self-acceptance as her guide, Rosales aims to give all black women and women of color artworks that reflect their beauty that has been ignored for so long.

It’s no secret that a lot of the artworks in art history were created within the Western world view, where you have the main characters represented in a fair, light-skinned race. The art history books even go into detail about how a Madonna is represented with “milky white” and “porcelain” skin. People of color in classical paintings are always represented as the lower, poor working class, usually maids or slaves. What Harmonia is doing with her paintings is not copying the sacrilegious scenes, but deconstructing and establishing a counter narrative as to who and what we consider powerful and authoritative. For example, in The Birth of Oshun, Harmonia offers the benevolent and venerated Yoruba, goddess of fertility, sensuality, and prosperity. In the mid 1480s, Sandro Botticelli gave us The Birth of Venus where the Roman goddess of love, beauty, and fertility is represented as Western European.

Of course, with the powerful representational artworks that Harmonia is creating, it’s obvious that she inevitably receives backlash from conservative religious folks. But Harmonia is not giving up:

“Although it hurt me, it also encouraged me that I need to keep going. This is what art should be about, it should bring change; you should use your talent to empower and I am so glad that my work is doing that.”

Meet Amaro, a Swiss-born conceptual designer, illustrator, 3D artist, and recent graduate from LAAFA with a BFA in Entertainment Art. He moved to Los Angeles in 2015 after spending much of his childhood years dreaming about becoming an artist in the entertainment world.

On the event of our 2018 LAAFA Graduation and Exhibition, I asked Amaro to share his experience during his time with us at LAAFA. Below is a set of questions to help get to know him:

Q: Tell me about your experience at LAAFA, what was it like? What were some challenges that you faced?

A: Coming from Switzerland, what stands out about my experience at LAAFA is the “LA” part as much as the “AFA” part. This urban jungle took a while to get used to. Initially, the downsides of this city were a bit daunting; it was built for cars rather than for pedestrians, getting anywhere of note takes up large chunks of one’s day. The blatant display of vain consumerism and material distraction plastered across every inch that isn’t devoted to something more substantial was pretty off putting, only in the US have I seen advertisements and logos hung up in bars and restaurants as if they were there to create a desirable aesthetic. It took me a while to fall in love with the unique things only this city has to offer; an incredible diversity of cultures and cuisines, an unending variety of services, products, experiences and communities and a distinctly amicable attitude from even the most casual of acquaintances. LA is the world’s megaphone, blasting out ideas and culture with a force that no other city can rival. Also, California has some of the most breathtaking natural landscapes I have ever seen.

The AFA part was also challenging of course. We all start out doing art because we enjoy doing it and once one commits to doing art systematically, including external pressure to perform and meet deadlines, the enjoyment can drain out of the activity fairly easily. This was especially true during the first half of the education, which is solely focused on practicing the fundamentals of figurative art. Don’t get me wrong, I learned a lot and improved tremendously. I really do enjoy the craft, but drawing a dozen naked people a month can be daunting. In the end though, the practice has paid off greatly. My grasp of traditional draftsmanship has made my digital art all the better!

“Nausicaä” by Amaro Köberle. Fanart of the movie Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind by Studio Ghibli, depicting the movie’s namesake and protagonist.

Q: How does it feel for you to have finally graduated?

A: It feels great! After having spent as much of my life in school as I can remember with any accuracy, I finally have full control over my time. Of course, this is soon to change if I am to find a job, but it feels like a breath of fresh air for now. I am currently just working on improving my portfolio and applying for jobs, the former of the two activities makes me look forward to every day spent working on it.

Q: Tell me a bit the artwork that you submitted to the exhibition. What are they about and what made you include them?

A: Some of the work is simply the product of practicing the craft and is not representative of some deeply personal motivation for self expression. Some pieces are part of a personal project, the Edge Inn, which is something I intend to keep working on in the coming years. I hope to make it a full fledged VR experience.

“Welcome to the Edge Inn” by Amaro Köberle.

Q: What is next for you? What are your plans for the future?

A: Finding a job and working for the 12 months that I am allowed to stay in this country. Apart from needing to put food on the table, I have plenty to learn and there is no better way to learn than by working in the industry. What I ultimately want to do is apply all the skills I learn to my own personal projects and try to make a living off of those.

“Tribal Vampire Kid” by Amaro Köberle.

Q: What advice do you have for current and future students of LAAFA?

A: If you are in the entertainment art track, do yourself a favor and decide the following three things as early as possible, even while you are still learning the basics of the craft during the first 18 months:

  1. What kind of job do you want to apply for when you get out of school? Be specific, acquaint yourself with the positions that make up a movie or game production pipeline, pick one or two, don’t dilute your focus too much and get good at doing the things that people working in your chosen position need to be good at. Companies hire artists that can solve a specific problem that they need solved (character design, story-boarding, environment design, etc.), they don’t just hire “talent” and hope for the best. You have to show that you can do exactly what they need you to do. That also means that you need to prioritize classes and perhaps under-perform in some so that you can focus on what you actually care about.
  2. Find successful portfolios that have gotten high profile jobs that you want to do. Marty [Director of Academic Affairs] can help you get your hands on some if you ask him. Use those portfolios as a reference. Write out a list of pieces that you want in your portfolio by the end of school  (i.e. 3 character designs, 2 environment designs, 5 key-frame illustrations, etc.) Try to be specific, know how many pages a character design constitutes and what part of the design process you want to display on each page and then start working on them. Your first attempts are inevitably going to be mediocre at best, which is why you want more than one attempt at whatever you want to put into your final portfolio.
  3. Right from the start, decide on one or two projects that you want to develop for your portfolio. Those can either be a truly personal narrative/world or an adaptation of an existing fictional universe that you love. Stick to your projects as much as possible so that you have a cohesive body of work by the end of school. Also, consider that the more time you spend working and thinking about a particular fictional universe, the easier good ideas and fitting designs will come to you. If you keep switching between 15 different themes each and every one of them is inevitably going to be half baked and shallow. Basically, don’t wait until a month before Graduation to start putting your portfolio together…Bad idea!

“Encounter” by Amaro Köberle.



The holidays have officially begun! We hope everyone’s Thanksgiving weekend was relaxing and filled with acceptable proportions of food. This week, I am here to tell you about a new artwork that Mr. Broad, aka the pimp of the contemporary art world, has acquired for this ever growing collection – Jordan Wolfson’s (Female figure), 2014.

Close up of (Female figure), 2014 by Jordan Wolfson.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this artwork is a life-sized, animatronic sculpture equipped with facial recognition technology that enables it to see and respond to viewers.

Below is a short clip of what it looks like. This is also the clip that I show to people before I try to explain what this artwork is:

I know what’s going through your mind right now and yes, it’s weird AND scary. The artwork itself is situated in front of a mirror with a rod that sticks out and connects to its torso. It stands alone in one of four white walls with speakers blasting loud music on each side of it.

Jordan Wolfson explains himself:

“I was mostly just interested in the physicality of what I’d seen in the animatronic field, and I was also interested in making a sculpture that had the potential to be chronological or structural in the same way a video is. My hope is that the work dips in and out of spectacle.”

Below is a description of the artwork itself:

(Female figure), 2014, is an immersive environment that features a robotic sculpture. For seven minutes, the robot gives monologues and dances to pop songs. Startling and unnerving, the work raises the specter of misogyny and exposes fissures in pop culture. It challenges the ways women are represented, and the ways images of women are consumed.

The sculpture resembles a hypersexualized female, but it also complicates such a reading and evades easy consumption. In a brightly lit room that is more sterile than sensual, the robot wears a witch mask and is covered in black smudges. The figure faces a mirrored wall to which it is attached by a rod piercing its torso. Traditionally, art is a one-directional experience: you alone observe the artwork. Here, however, the robot uses facial recognition software to “look at” the viewer, returning your stare. This may feel like the sculpture is objectifying you, treating you like an object.

(Female figure) challenges assumptions about gender, sexuality and even our status as human subjects.

I was fortunate enough to see this installation in person, not only once, but twice (and a third time already lined up for mid-December). I have been wanting to see this artwork in person ever since its appearance at Wolfson’s first solo show at the David Zwirner Gallery in New York in 2014.  It caused such confusion in social media, and now four years later it finally found its home at the Broad. But being in the room with it and finally getting to see it in person was something I had never experienced before. It locked eyes with me every once in a while and made me feel uncomfortable. At one point it locked eyes with me for about three minutes, and I suddenly felt deprived of all senses, but I could not stop staring at it. I had to look around the room and find my partner’s gaze to remember where I was!

In all honesty, I recommend people to see this artwork at least once in their lifetime. You will most definitely NOT be disappointed.

(Female figure), 2014 is currently on view at The Broad Museum at 221 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012 and requires a timed ticket, which must be reserved in advance.  It is on view Thursday through Saturday from 12 p.m. to closing (8 p.m.), and on Sunday from 10:15 a.m. to closing (6 p.m.), October 11, 2018, through January 20, 2019, with a break from November 29 through December 2 due to scheduled maintenance. Timed tickets will be released on The Broad’s website every Monday at noon PT for the current week. For example, tickets will be available at noon on October 8 for October 11-14. Availability is subject to change. Due to the nature of the installation, tickets are extremely limited.


On November 10th, LAAFA hosted its 2018 Graduation & Exhibition at the Rebecca Molayem Gallery! The exhibition featured artworks by not only the graduates, but alumni and instructors as well.


Below is the full list of all the 2018 Commencement Graduates from our programs:

Some of the 2018 Commencement Graduates: (Starting from top left, clock-wise) Nikita Budkov, Kevin SK Simon, Matt Jordan, Nattanapat Tanatitiyotin, and Amaro Koeberle.

Over 80 artworks were displayed in the gallery, making it the largest exhibition of artworks LAAFA has ever hosted!

Can Tanatitiyotin

Matt Jordan

Nikita Budkov

SK Simon

Below are some of the featured instructor artworks that were on display at the exhibition:

Ryan Wurmser

Ron Lemen

Leon Okun

Rohini Sen

Chris Soohoo

Christina Ramos

On behalf of LAAFA, we want to thank everyone who participated in this 2018 Graduation & Exhibition! It was a such a fun and commemorating event. See you guys next year for the 2019 Graduation and Exhibition!


On the evening of September 29th, 2018, our LAAFA alumnus Nikita Budkov had his first solo show with us here at LAAFA! His show was titled “Nikita: The Song Book”, and it exhibited collections of current portraits and landscapes named for songs that fill Nikita’s life. Below are some images of the event and a Q&A with Nikita, detailing his experience of the show.

Q: Overall, how did you feel about your solo show?

A: I felt wonderful about my solo show! We had more than 70 people show up and I think it was a great success. That night was full of smiles, positive spirit, and laughs. We had some serious art discussions happening too. I enjoyed the space LAAFA provided me, it was a one of a kind experience. I could not ask for a better solo exhibition.

Q: What did you learn about having your first solo show and what would you tell others who want to do the same?

A: I learned that the day after the solo exhibition one feels very exhausted, but accomplished too. I would recommend artists to brace themselves and to have answers for all the countless questions awaiting during the show! Other than that, I felt like we did an excellent job on organizing the space, so there were no flaws.

Q: What is next for you now? What are your plans for the future?

A: I am in the process of applying for my so-called artist visa to stay in US longer because I am going to have exhibitions almost every upcoming month and I cannot miss them! Then there is also a major next Gold Medal show somewhere in the Summer. Contests, grants, I will try to do all of them!



“Nikita Budkov: The Song Book” was on display at the LAAFA Gallery space on September 29th, 2018 from 7pm-9pm.



For this blog post I have decided to feature an amazing portrait artist that has worked with LAAFA for many years now, Christina Ramos. Christina specializes in figurative realism and her work has been shown in places like the Santa Paula Museum of Art, San Diego Museum of the Living Artist, and many more galleries and museums throughout the United States. This fall quarter, Christina will be teaching a Still Life and Portraiture Painting class in acrylics. Normally these types of classes are done with oil paints, but it wasn’t until I was having a conversation with one of Christina’s former students who was looking to sign up for her class that I realized how much of a big deal it was that Christina was using acrylics for the class. Even though the main reason may be because of its affordability, the manipulation of textures that are created in her artworks with a fast-drying type of paint is what fascinates us the most.

“The Critic,” 2017,.

Below is a set of interview questions that I have asked Christina so that we can dive deeper into her creative mind and techniques:

Tell us a bit about yourself, when did you first know you wanted to become an artist?

When I was five, and painted in my kindergarten class. They only allowed us to use only one color, mine was yellow. I painted a sun. I was horribly disappointed in my lack of color selection. I always wanted to be an artist, however, I always compared my skill, or perceived lack thereof, to everyone around me. When I was young I was I felt I was pretty good but by the time I reached High School, I felt inferior to those around me, and began to concentrate on drafting instead.

What is your preferred method or medium?

I never picked up a paint brush until I was 30 years old and at home raising my four children. In high school and college, I only drew. Once I started painting, I knew I had found my passion. Drawing was always so tedious for me. Using such a small tool was so time consuming and results were slow. With painting I could cover so much ground in such a short period of time and quickly see if my concept was going to work.

“Chingona,” 2016, acrylic on canvas.

You will be teaching a class with us this Fall Quarter titled, “Still Life and Portraiture Painting in Acrylics.” Why did you choose acrylics as opposed to oil paints?

In the beginning, it was a matter of convenience and affordability. It is much less of a financial commitment to just buy paint and not have to invest in the mediums and solvents that oil painting required. It was also a lot less intimidating to just use paint and water. But now, I choose them because I have become so accustomed to their fast-drying time and have learned to manipulate the medium to look and feel like oil without long drying times. I can literally finish a painting and have it varnished and framed two days later. I always tell my students the thing you either love or hate about acrylics is the fast-drying time. Now however, companies like Golden have created slower drying acrylics that can give you up to a four-hour working time instead of the usually three or four minutes. It’s a great alternative for people transitioning from oil to acrylic.

What role does imagination and creativity play when you approach a new figurative art project?

Although I paint what I see when it comes to my models, I usually like to transform the environment using my imagination, or inspiration from other sources. Although there is no comparison to working from life, my models rarely have time for more than a session or two so I use photography in conjunction with life, to bring my paintings to their completed stage. I like to use natural light, so often my model is sitting on the air conditioning unit in my backyard, where the lighting is best. I have transformed that unit to everything from shipping containers in train stations, to peaks in the High Sierras. New costumes options also play a big role in creating the perfect look, as well as inspiration for the painting itself.

“The Lookout,” 2017.

What are some projects that you are currently working on?

For the last twenty years I have always utilized my kids as my models. As they are now getting older and are less available to model for me, I have recently started painting my 84 year old mother. I became my Moms caregiver three years ago after a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. I think it’s important to “bloom where you are planted” and as my life and circumstances have changed, I have had to learn to adapt. I want to portray her in fun and whimsical ways. She gets bored during the day, and after we started dressing her up for her modeling session, she has found a new sense of purpose and joy. The first in this series is currently on my easel. I am also working on a series of paintings of my youngest son. Sidelined from a promising career in football after a concussion, I recently submitted the portrait I did of him to the Outwin Boochever Prize addressing “Post Concussion Syndrome”. I think it’s important for us as artists to use our art to not only create beauty, but to reflect our own reality. Inspiration is all around us, we just need a way to express it.

Has there ever been any challenges for you in the figurative art world?

Every day is a challenge. You cannot be in this business for any other reason but that you absolutely love art, love creating, and would do it even if you never made a single dollar. There are so many obstacles in this profession. It is not a straight path.   Discouragement and self-doubt are the constant companion of the artist, yet with each small success you continue to move forward. You could wallpaper my house with the rejection letters I have received over the years but I think it’s important for our failures to motivate us to dust ourselves off and try again. It’s important to not take rejection personally. Art is subjective, and what one person may dislike, another person may love. Many people think that you have to be talented to be an artist. On the contrary, I think what you need is to be a hard worker, and to not give up. In my class I always say that my favorite art book is Malcolm Gladwell’s “The Outliers”. In fact, this book has nothing to do with art, but it does have to do with various paths to success. There is a chapter called the 10,000 hour rule. It says that anything you put 10,000 hours into, you will be good at. I think that is the key, as artists we need to put in the hours.

What advice do you have for current or future students of LAAFA looking to make it into the art world?

Art is a solitary profession. Most of us are locked on our studio 15 hours a day, and don’t have a lot of interaction with the outside world, but now with social media, that is no longer the case. It used to be you had to have a good gallery to represent you and get your art in front of the right audience. Now with the internet we can be our own PR person. We can have hundreds if not thousands of people seeing our art without ever setting foot into a gallery. Networking both on the internet, and on a personal level is your greatest asset when trying to get your work “out there”. Patience and tenacity is the key though. You have to believe in yourself before anyone else will believe in you. Continue to hone your craft and take risks, both with your art, and with yourself.


“Going to California”

Even though the nights switch from warm to chilly in September, a really nice way for me to say “Adios” to summer was celebrating the Los Angeles Philharmonic‘s 100th birthday on September 28th, 2018. On this night from 7:30pm-11:30pm, the Los Angeles Philharmonic collaborated with media artist Refik Anadol to create “WDCH Dreams,” a breathtaking, three-dimensional projection onto the steel exterior of the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

WDCH Dreams, renderings by Refik Anadol Studio

By using machine learning algorithms, Anadol and his team developed a unique machine intelligence approach to the LA Phil digital archives – 45 terabytes of data:

To make Walt Disney Concert Hall “dream,” Anadol utilized a creative, computerized “mind” to mimic how humans dream – by processing memories to form a new combination of images and ideas. To accomplish this, Anadol worked with the Artists and Machine Intelligence program at Google Arts and Culture and researcher Parag K. Mital to apply machine intelligence to the orchestra’s digital archives – nearly 45 terabytes of data – 587,763 image files, 1,880 video files, 1,483 metadata files, and 17,773 audio files (the equivalent of 40,000 hours of audio from 16,471 performances). The files were parsed into millions of data points that were then categorized by hundreds of attributes, by deep neural networks with the capacity to both remember the totality of the LA Phil’s “memories” and create new connections between them. This “data universe” is Anadol’s material, and machine intelligence is his artistic collaborator. Together, they create something new in image and sound by awakening the metaphorical “consciousness” of Walt Disney Concert Hall. The result is a radical visualization of the organization’s first century and an exploration of synergies between art and technology, and architecture and institutional memory.

To actualize this vision, Anadol is employing 42 large scale projectors, with 50K visual resolution, 8-channel sound, and 1.2M luminance in total. The resulting patterns, or “data sculptures” formed by the machine’s interpretation of the archives will be displayed directly onto the undulating stainless-steel exterior of Walt Disney Concert Hall.

WDCH Dreams, renderings by Refik Anadol Studio

The Los Angeles Philharmonic was founded by William Andrews Clark, Jr., a millionaire and amateur musician, who established the city’s first permanent symphony orchestra in 1919. Walter Henry Rothwell became its first Music Director, serving until 1927; since then, ten renowned conductors have served in that capacity: Georg Schnéevoigt (1927-1929); Artur Rodzinski (1929-1933); Otto Klemperer (1933-1939); Alfred Wallenstein (1943-1956); Eduard van Beinum (1956-1959); Zubin Mehta (1962-1978); Carlo Maria Giulini (1978-1984); André Previn (1985-1989); Esa-Pekka Salonen (1992-2009); and Gustavo Dudamel (2009-present).

Check out the video below composed by Google Arts & Culture detailing some artworks:

Fall has officially begun in Los Angeles and LAAFA is bringing this new series called “Get To Know Our Instructors”, where we ask our amazing, current instructors questions to get to know them a little better. We will ask questions about their line of work, but most importantly questions about how they see themselves in the spectrum of the art world.

For this post, I have interviewed our recent LAAFA alumna and now Extension Class instructor, Rohini Sen. She is also currently working with us at LAAFA as the Admissions Assistant. Below is a list of questions that will help us understand the creative mind of Rohini:

Rohini in front of her drawing “Chinook” displayed in the California Art Clubs 107th Gold Metal Exhibition.

  • What was your experience like as a student here at LAAFA?

Studying at LAAFA was the intensive and immersive experience I was looking for. I knew that this course of study would really push my growth as an artist, challenge the habits I had built that weren’t getting me anywhere, and also teach me a world of knowledge that I wasn’t even aware of. I was also able to make connections within the artist’s network here that just would not have been possible in another country.

  • What is your preferred method or medium?

In terms of drawing, I absolutely love charcoal! The subtle nuances you can achieve, the drama, the emotion you can create, it’s all exciting to me. In terms of painting, oil medium is always my preferred choice. In terms of painting, I am totally captivated by oils. Working in oils challenges me to no end, but it is still the most rewarding medium.

“Mysteries” by Rohini Sen

  • Being international and especially as a woman and a woman of color, what have been some challenges for you as an artist in the United States?

As an international artist, everything just feels foreign, so even after 4 years of living here there is still some lost in translation issues … and I speak English!  But the comfort and familiarity in surroundings, and networks etc, don’t compare to the discovery and exploration that I can choose to experience here. I would not grow as an artist without them!

I feel very privileged to be an artist and a woman of color in this time of history. I’m aware of the challenges that could arise in time and the undercurrent that goes unspoken, but I honestly have not experienced anything overt that would deter my resolve as an artist. If anything, it would serve to fuel me further towards the fire to carry on.

  • What are some projects that you are currently working on?

I am working on a group of paintings and drawings that center around the extinct and endangered of the earth. The connection of the indigenous people groups, the animals and the land.

“Chinook” by Rohini Sen

  • What advice do you have for current or future students of LAAFA looking to make it into the art world?

Take all the opportunities you can while you are here. Volunteer, sit in on extra classes, go to events. When you have instructor time, ask specific questions pertaining to your work that will help with your personal vision as an artist. If you don’t know what that is, take time to figure it out, and invite your peers and instructors to offer critical feedback. Think beyond school, even before or while you are in it.


For this blog post, I’m bringing attention to the forgotten art of restoration botched by, believe it or not, old Spanish ladies. One might even think it is an ongoing trend, but in their defense, they were just doing the best they could with the limited resources available to them. What I am talking about is the recent “restoration” of a 15th century statue of the Virgin Mary by María Luisa Menéndez, a local woman in Asturias, Spain.

At left, the 15th-century statue of Virgin Mary before being “restored” (right) by a local woman in Asturias, Spain. Photo DSF/AFP/Getty Images.

As a local tobacco shop owner, María took the lead in giving the 15th-century sculptures of Mary, Saint Anne, baby Jesus, Saint Peter and a second Virgin Mary a neon makeover with fresh eyeliner and lipstick. “I’m not a professional painter but I’ve always liked painting and the statues really needed painting,” she told El Comercio. “I painted them as best I could using what I thought were the right colors. The neighbors liked them too. Ask around here and you’ll find out.” She also made it very clear that she had received permission from the local clergy to do so according to local media reports.

Apparently local news outlets did find some locals in support of Maria, but then again, the town only has 16 residents. The regional minister for culture and education in Asturias, Genaro Alonso, however, fully disagrees, calling the amateur work more “a vengeance than a restoration,” according to the newspaper La Voz de Asturias.

To make things even more interesting, when people started researching these statues, they found out that apparently they had been restored by professionals only 15 years earlier! But their reason for not painting them as Maria did? The wooden family had never been painted in the first place. Upon examining the damage,  Luis Suárez Saro who was the original restorer said that, “They’ve used the kind of industrial enamel paint they sell for painting anything and absolutely garish and absurd colors. The result is just staggering. You don’t know whether to laugh or cry.” he told the Guardian. An infrared examination will be undertaken by Saro to determine just how much damage has been done and if it can be reversed.

But of course, this isn’t the first time the art world has seen this kind of murder. Back in June of this year, a Spanish art teacher tried to restore a 16th-century statue of Saint George on horseback from the Church of San Miguel de Estella in Navarre, Spain.

Before and after a misguided restoration on the statue of St. George at Navarre, Spain’s Church of San Miguel de Estella. Photo via Twitter.

A cartoonish makeover nonetheless that many began to draw comparisons to Hergé’s comic book character Tintin:

And then there was the mother (or father, in this case) of all botched historical art works – one that even made it as a skit on SNL – the Ecce Homo incident of 2012 in which 83-year-old Cecilia Giménez decided to give an almost century-old fresco of Jesus Christ a makeover from her local church in Borja, Spain.

Before and after restoration to Ecce Homo in 2012.

Why are these historical art works left to the hands of these amateur Spanish women? The answer lies within the church institutions and artworks themselves. Many of these artworks that were commissioned by churches centuries ago never once thought about the longevity of these artworks. Over the years they are exposed to different elements that rapidly speed up process of deterioration. These small town churches with only about 1,000-10,000 residents barely have enough money to fund themselves and therefore seek humble volunteer services of its residents to help with maintenance of their church. So when the church notices an artwork or statue that needs a little pick-me-up, they soon find out how much professional restorers/conservators charge for their services. Having no money whatsoever, the church/clergy then looks upon the humble volunteer services of its residents and hires who they see “fit.” That is how you then end up with these three masterful artworks that should honestly have their own display cases in the Museum of Failure.

Meme of Bob Ross with “Beast Jesus” as his painting.

Hi-ya folks! Not sure if you’ve heard, but there was Disneyland exhibition/auction event in Sherman Oaks for most of August! I was fortunate enough to go check it out before it closed and stuff was auctioned off, so now it is my duty to share with you some of the magical and nostalgic artifacts of Disney.


Photo credit: Tara Ziemba/Getty Images

That’s From Disneyland! housed one of the largest private Disneyland memorabilia collections Southern California has ever seen. Collector Richard Kraft partnered with Van Eaton Galleries to transform a 40,000 square foot former Sports Authority Store into a “FREE, family-friendly, interactive museum that celebrates the unique history and artistry of Disney theme parks.”


Frontierland section of posters all estimated at $2,000-$4,000 each. The Original Mark Twain & Keel Boats Attraction Poster (fourth from the right) SOLD for $17,000.

Rivers of America “Indian Settlement” Animatronic Dog (Disneyland, ca. 1960’s), estimated at $5,000-$7,000. SOLD for $7,000.

After 25 years of hoarding artifacts from Disneyland in my home, office, and countless storage facilities, I’m swinging open the doors to my collection and throwing a bon voyage party for everyone who shares fond memories of Disneyland. This FREE exhibit is my way of saying goodbye to my beloved treasures from the Happiest Place on Earth.


The best part about this exhibition? Richard is donating a portion of the proceeds from the auction to the Coffin-Siris Syndrome Foundation and CHIME Institute For Early Education, both of which benefit children with special needs, like Kraft’s daughter.

Disneyland Hotel Neon Letter D, estimated at $25,000-$30,000. SOLD for $86,250.

Growing up in Southern California, Disneyland was my home away from home. My parents used to bribe me when I was a little girl by saying that if I didn’t cry during my doctor’s appointment (as the mean nurse injected me with a needle the size of my head), then they would take me to Disneyland. I, of course, immediately held back my tears and hoped for the best. There was even a time in my young-adult years where I’d find myself at the park at least three to four times a month! But due to the (absurd) surge in prices recently, that “home” became really away from home. This exhibit, however, managed to rekindle that part of my life and the love for the art of the magical world of Disney.

This exhibition had everything you could possibly think of – from the finely designed trash cans found in Fantasyland to the small “Ride closed due to winds” signs. Here are more images of the stuff that was being auctioned off. As you’ll see, I have notated the estimated prices followed by the whopping selling prices at the auction.

“Enchanted Tiki Room” Animatronic Jose Prop. Estimated at $50,000-$75,000. SOLD for $425,500.


Disneyland Main Street Mail Box Prop. Estimated at $1,000-$2,000. SOLD for $25,000.


Original “Art of Animation” Attraction Poster. Estimated at $5,000-$7,000. SOLD for $17,000 (Realized Price).


“Dumbo the Flying Elephant” Attraction Vehicle (Disneyland, 1960’s). Estimated at $100,000-$150,000. SOLD for $483,000.


Original Haunted Mansion Stretching Portraits (Disneyland, c. 1969). Estimated at $50,000-$75,000 each. The stretching portrait of three men sinking into quicksand sold for $350,000 (Realized Price), two-times more than the other three stretching portraits!


1972 Disneyland Map. Estimated at $200-$400. SOLD for $1,900 (Realized Price).


Disneyland Service Vehicle Original Concept Drawing (Disneyland, c. 1955). Estimated at $900-$1,200. SOLD for $1,300 (Realized Price).

There are literally HUNDREDS of more items that were sold in auction. If you’d like to check out the catalog, click here.