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The Magic of Line & LA Style at the Getty

Last weekend I found myself with the entire weekend off.  Not getting many of those this time of year, we decided to make the most of it which meant no chores, no grocery shopping, no stress or boring, mundane everyday activities.  Just fun.  A little mini vacation right at home.  Branden and I have both been working hard and were ready to get out and play a bit.  Just a couple of days earlier I heard one of the great people at the Getty discussing the newest exhibit on NPR…Gustav Klimt’s The Magic of Line.  Sold.  They are open until 9pm on Saturdays so we got to sleep in gloriously late and still spend hours at the museum…even my early bird husband slept in much later than usual so clearly we were off to a great start.  We had a lovely morning at home, grabbed some lunch and headed down to the Getty to see the Klimt exhibit.  I enjoyed leaving my heavy camera at home and just used my iPhone for the day.

Gustav Klimt is one of the many many artists I studied in depth as an art history major but I had never seen much of his work in person.  This particular exhibit focused on his drawings.  I always love stuff like this because it’s almost like a backstage pass to see how the artist works.  Most of us know Klimt’s most famous painting, The Kiss, but what we don’t often see is all the drawings and sketches that are done in preparation for the final artwork.  I loved seeing his rough sketches, and then more elaborate oil sketches and finally some finishes drawings that would be recreated in the painting he was preparing for.  With a background in decorative arts, Klimt is known for his elaborate, gilded designs and definitive use of line incorporated into his final paintings.  It’s fascinating to me to see the loose sketch of where it all began and just how little information is in there.  I love seeing how he would get from point A to point B.  Here’s a sketch from The Kiss:

The finished painting, The Kiss (the paintings aren’t actually on exhibit, just the drawings, but I love seeing them together):

The Blood of Fish, 1898

I love how the heavy use of line in this drawing manages to convey a lightness, like these girls are floating through the water.  There’s a very easy to see reference to Japanese woodblock printing that was influencing many artists of the time.  This piece was a highlight of the show.

A couple more iPhone pictures.

We both really enjoyed Klimt’s drawings and reading up about what they were ultimately used to create.  The highlight of my day though, was a total surprise to me.  Herb Ritts is an incredible high fashion photographer.  I could have spent hours in this exhibit, taking in all of the sun-soaked, shadowy black & white photos, analyzing each one and moving onto the next.  Every image was thought provoking and beautiful in a sort of understated way.  I’m in awe of the amazing shapes he’s able to create and the intensity of the light & shadows in each image.  I love me some contrast and these left me feeling super inspired.  I kind of want to go back and take it all in again.

These are some of the incredible photos of Herb Ritts on display in his exhibit, L.A. Style at the Getty Center.  Stunning and iconic.

 That was our fun little Saturday!  Sunday we slept in again and saw The Dark Knight Rises which was amazing!  Now I gotta run to prep for a wedding tomorrow.  What are you doing this weekend?

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