Artist Chris Burden was profiled in the Los Angeles Times on May 11, the day after his death. The first line says that he once had himself shot in the arm for a performance piece. Luckily, the bullet just grazed him. Although shocking, that’s not why art critic’s Christopher Knight article about him was on the front page of the L.A. Times, where only the famous, such as statesmen and Hollywood celebrities, get their obituaries. Burden’s is there because his “Urban Light” has become a Los Angeles landmark.
Chris Burden saw art in vintage streetlamps. He painted them gray and installed them in front of the L.A. County Museum of Art, on busy Wilshire Boulevard. They are now solar powered. The lampposts in each row are identical, so that even the most ornate have a peaceful grace.
This video by Mike Fix showcases the art installation with aerial views and gorgeous music: “Experience” by Ludovico Einaudi.
5 thoughts on “Getting It Right with ‘Urban Light’”
Truly amazing such simple things,seen and overlooked daily (or nightly) – have the potential to be transformed into inspirational spectacles from an artist’s eye.
It’s so pretty! What a lovely thing for him to give us all.
This is the thing that you don’t hear about – artist Sheila Klein and her installation Vermonica. It’s always bothered me that this idea was hers and yet she never gets proper credit for it. If Chris was a lessor artist, this issue would have been brought up. In fact, it was well documented as this link will explain.
I will try to see that the next time I’m nearby. A Staples parking lot is a humble place for an art installation, and I’ll bet her street lamps add beauty and at least a little grandeur. Thanks for sharing.