If you’re in LA, you still have a week or two to participate in a very special treasure hunt that you might have already been participating in without even knowing it. The exhibition Women in the City dropped more than 50 large-scale public art projects around Los Angeles last month that blended in to the urban landscape so well, you might have simply dismissed one as yet another paid-for message competing for your attention.
I wrote a piece for Print about the exhibition and its adorable Italian curator, Emi Fontana, who was delighted when I suggested people pretend it’s a treasure hunt, complete with maps to help you find the art. A quick walk around Hollywood & Highland will give you a nice sampling, and if you’re driving down Sunset or Wilshire and know where to look, you’re in for a particularly hilarious show.
Of the pieces—which are by Jenny Holzer, Barbara Kruger, Louise Lawler and Cindy Sherman—the ones by Holzer are my favorite, simply because they mimic the text-heavy mediums they appear in so well. In addition to her famous Truisms posted in places like the marquee on the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel (above), she created wild-postings of her Inflammatory Essays (right) that got pasted over construction sites and put up in coffeeshops. They are hilarious and terrifying and just to make sure that even more people could puzzle over the meaning of these bizarre rants, they were even translated into Spanish.
Besides the reactions I observed when reporting the story, I didn’t hear much more buzz from people wondering what these were. Maybe we’re so used to seeing wacked-out messages around town that a video billboard telling us to stop texting while driving doesn’t even faze us? Curbed LA reported that a “hooligan—or a smart art collector” snatched the Holzer piece on the side of the Standard Downtown, but then a commenter claimed they saw workers taking it down. At any rate, it’s back up now, so read my piece and go find it!