“don’t get old,” i said to him.
as you may surmise, i’ve been on a toot about the getty center all week long. (and this is not the final post on the subject.)
my mother could talk to anyone about anything and talked to strangers all the time. i guess you could say, “he’s his mother’s son,” for no matter what corner i turn, i will find someone i don’t know, but after a few minutes and careful probing (“he’s a mind-reader!) i will know more. that’s my angle.
hummingbird #1: ooh, look at this one!
the garden has two sides, both of which have an ‘english’ feel to them, a little wilder, a little less ‘french’ (see the azalea maze), plants rub up against each other and even in the winter months there are little surprises–delicate blooms at your feet and above your head.
robert irwin, the artist who designed the getty center gardens, planned a walk down to the azalea pool that, in its broad arcs scythes across the downhill plain in ever widening strokes. the gravel path crosses a stream (a “water feature” that would be the envy of any neighborhood, even brentwood) that cascades down an ever diminishing rocky cavalcade–from large boulders at the top to a mosaic of narrow rectangular rough tiles and then rushes into the pool that supports the azalea maze.
it is a path that begs to be walked and talked, whether with your companions or with strangers. the towering arbors blooming with bougainvillea are a counterpoint to the abrupt angles of the center clad in its travertine stone.
we spent the day at the getty center in l.a. yesterday, consciousness of “a day without art” filtering in and out of our time with an old friend from chicago. it’s hard to live life without realizing that art is all around you, all of the time; it’s our job (or the job of artists) to make you/us aware of art’s presence in our everyday lives and it’s power to evoke passion, thought, and action.
what to do then at the getty center? even the most callous among us would be hard-pressed to not see the beauty in the setting, the buildings, the gardens, the art. it is such a grand meeting place, whether or not you’re there for the art–which i believe most people are–but also for the ease of sociability, a rare commodity in l.a.
in a brief essay on the getty.edu website, artist and educator, david gere, shares how art can transform the world, “MAKE ART/STOP AIDS demonstrates how art can make things happen in the world, how it can teach and goad and shift and protect us. It’s a reminder, on World AIDS Day, of the most exceptional thing that art can do: save lives. [italics, mine] you may read the full essay here.