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This last seven months have been a testament regarding the strength of the human spirit. My human spirit. I have experienced loss, disappointment, frustration, and defeat. During this period I even loss my "muse" or ability to channel my voice into writing. Consistent writing. As an aspiring writer, it's a horrible place to be.

My vision for the future has been shook. 

Still, I have managed to maintain a sense of hope. I know what needs to be done. I need to look within myself and really focus on what it is I want. I need to develop a means to pursue what that is passionately and vigorously. Part of this mission for rejuvenation includes revamping this blog. 

I have not devoted the time to The Cultural Report that it deserves. I have neglected the blog as though it is a chore I plan on getting to later. I know that is not what I want. I desire a writing space where I have the motivation and eagerness to share regularly and with consistency. I think I can achieve this by focusing on subject matters that ignite my creativity and hungriness for crafting an interesting narrative to share with others.

With this in mind, I will be taking a sabbatical. I don't know if I will return with The Cultural Report or shut it down to start something new. However, I do hope to reignite that loss spark and begin to write again.

This past week I visited the downtown Los Angeles Arts District to attend a press preview of Hauser Wirth & Schimmel Los Angeles before its Grand Opening. The press event included an exclusive tour of the gallery's inaugural exhibition Revolution in the Making: Abstract Sculpture by Women, 1947 – 2016Before the event began I got the opportunity to explore the venue unguided. I stumbled upon a small presentation of personal documents from artist Louise Bourgeois provided by The Easton Foundation. Bourgeois is a featured artist in the exhibition and the insight into her mind as artist and woman helps shine light on the artistic themes Revolution in the Making is trying to set forth. 
I have endeavored during my whole lifetime as a sculptor to turn women from an object into an active subject. – Louise Bourgeois
The opening remarks led by co-curator Paul Schimmel accentuates the importance of Revolution in the Making as an inaugural exhibition. Schimmel dubs the Los Angeles Arts District a "cultural community". Schimmel notes the Los Angeles complex of Hauser Wirth & Schimmel as an indicator of the extra-ordinary changes taking shape in this community within the last ten years. With Revolution in the Making, Hauser Wirth & Schimmel has the opportunity to serve as an example of what the arts center can be. Not just a cultural community, but a diverse cultural community. Revolution in the Making both recognizes the contributions of women to sculpture since the postwar period and informs the public of the diversity within art often excluded from mainstream consciousness.

With seventy years worth of collected artistry provided from close to sixty American museums, Revolution in the Making aims to highlight the specific contributions and influence women like Bourgeois have held over the language of abstract sculpture. The exhibit includes installations and sculptures created by a variety of creative thinkers. It can be boasted as an collection that educates the public on how many women became progenitors and innovators within abstract sculpture in the very same means as Bourgeois. The exhibition is a look at women becoming active subjects by taking their domestic spaces and the material within these spaces to produce artistic expressions and techniques that have become central to art today.

In a follow up post, I will delve into an in-depth look at my impressions on a few pieces from the exhibition. For now, have a look at key sculptures that caught my attention.

Lynda Benglis, Wing, 1970
Abigail Deville, Intersection, 2014
Lee Bontecou, Untitled, 1964
Shinique Smith, Forgiving Strands, 2014 – 2016

Revolution in the Making: Abstract Sculpture by Women, 1947 – 2016 is on display at the Hauser Wirth & Schimmel Gallery from March 13, 2016 to September 4, 2016

Gallery Information 
Hauser Wirth & Schimmel Gallery

901 East 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 537-0858

Metered Parking is available outside the gallery.

Hours of Operation: 
• Wednesday, Friday – Sunday: 11 am–6 pm 
• Thursday: 11 am–8 pm 

What are your thoughts on abstract sculpture? Are you familiar with this form of artwork? Are you interested in learning more? Sound off in the comments section below!

This post contains some digital photos taken during the 2015 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. 

Brief history on the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach
Grand Prix originated in 1975 as a Formula 5000 race before it transitioned into a Formula One race the following year. Since 2009 it has served as an annual racing event scheduled in the month of April during the IndyCar series calendar year. In addition to one of the races for the IndyCar series the event sponsors a number of other races including the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race.

Winners of 2015 Grad Prix of Long Beach

2015 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach
New Zealand driver Scott Dixon

2015 Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race
Pro Winner: Alfonso Ribeiro
Celebrity Winner: Dave Pasant

For more information on the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach visit:

Noah Purifoy: Junk Dada is a new exhibit featured at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (commonly known as LACMA). The exhibit is located in the Broad Contemporary Art Museum and includes installations, paintings and sculptures created by the titular artist. Much of the artwork was produced from the 1960s to the early 2000s. 

According to curator notes of the exhibit, Purifoy was an American visual artist and sculptor who sought to “[make] something out of nothing.” Research reveals Purifoy earned undergraduate and graduate degrees before he received a BFA from Chouinard Art Institute (known today as CalArts) at the age of 39. Purifoy’s exhibit profile suggests his training at Chouinard helped him realize the connection between his artistic philosophy and the Surrealist and Dadaist movements in art history. 

The exhibit’s profile on Purifoy also notes his interest in urban life and its inhabitants. This intrigue is claimed to have spurred his desire to take the “junk” of the urban to create assemblage sculptures reflective of urban experience. With an emphasis on African American urban experience, Purifoy appears to highlight the socioeconomic disparity within African American urban communities. According to the curator notes of the exhibit, this intentional artistic mimesis is meant to bring awareness to the need for change and display art’s power to potentially effect such a change. 

My Impressions 
I was foremost inspired by Purifoy’s drive as I learned he followed his dream and passions of being an artist at a later stage in life. The fact Purifoy graduated from Chouinard just before his fortieth birthday emphasizes how our dreams have no expiration date. Purifoy further exemplifies this as he began creating his most widely known artwork in his forties and founded his internationally recognized Joshua Tree Outdoor Museum in his seventies. 

As a 29 year-old aspiring writer who will begin his pursuit of a MFA in screenwriting at the age of 30, I am encouraged to continually follow my passion of creating narratives that are significant, investigative and authentic. As long as I have a roof over my head, clothes on my back, food in my stomach and my bills under control why not pursue a career in which I can find personal fulfillment. 

Regarding Purifoy’s artwork, some of the pieces that stood out in particular include Black, Brown, and Beige (After Duke Ellington), Zulu, No Contest (Bicycles), and A Book Flown

Noah Purifoy, Black, Brown and Beige (After Duke Ellington), 1989, Collection of Sue A. Welsh 
Black, Brown, and Beige (After Duke Ellington) is a reference to Ellington’s background as a jazz musician. An exhibit note on Purifoy’s references to pop culture suggests the ten-foot wide triptych conjures allusions to the Jazz music cultivated in African American urban culture. The curator’s note indicates the jagged wood slabs evoke fingers playing the piano. I interpret the musical influence of the piece as a direct reference to the cultivated Jazz scene of Los Angeles nurtured on Central Avenue. RJ Smith’s The Great Black Way (2006) details the history of this musical culture, including Ellington’s part in the history of Jazz music crafted in the segregated African American communities of Los Angeles. 

Noah Purifoy, Zulu, 1989, Collection of Kealan Thomas Estrada 
Zulu is a serene installation piece and remarkably portrays the cultural aesthetic of the Zulu tribe of southern Africa. Purifoy’s creation of the piece follows the release of the South African miniseries Shaka Zulu (1986) directed by William C. Faure. The miniseries tells the story of the South African Zulu king Shaka as he struggles and interacts with British traders and colonialist. I believe Purifoy’s Zulu highlights the regality and beauty of the Zulu culture, and greatly contrasts the persistent barbaric and savage interpretation of these people presented in Faure’s panned interpretation. The minimalism and softness of Purifoy’s artwork arguably reasserts the humanity of the Zulu people believed to be stripped away in Faure’s adaptation. 

Noah Purifoy, No Contest (Bicycles), 1991 
This giant installation piece is particularly striking. It is authentically rural in its design and seems to recall Purifoy’s southern origins from Alabama. My impression of the piece is that Purifoy suggests his time in Joshua Tree, California gives him an artistic fulfillment that holds no contest to his time crafting his artwork while living in the urban sprawl of Los Angeles. It is in the rural Purifoy constructs his Joshua Tree Outdoor Museum, where he spends the remainder of his life creating art and in much grander scales than ever before. 

Noah Purifoy, A Book Flown (Desert Tombstone Series), 1995 
One of the final pieces that I thoroughly enjoyed was A Book Flown, a sculpture in which a countless number of frayed books are crammed into a metal tombstone. The sculpture is thought provoking on its own, but when paired with the Purifoy poem of the same name it evokes a contemplated meaning of both personal and cultural interpretation. 

Noah Purifoy, "A Book Flown", poem promoting 66 Signs of Neon (1966) 
Noah Purifoy: Junk Dada is on display at LACMA from June 7, 2015 to September 27, 2015

Museum Information 
Los Angeles County Museum of Art | LACMA 

5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036 
(323) 857-6000 

Parking Fee is $12 

Entrance Fee: 
• $15 for General Admission 
• $10 with Student Discount 
• $10 for Seniors (62+) 
• Children Free (17 and under) 
• Members Free 
• Free for Bank of America Customers the first weekend of every month 

Hours of Operation: 
• Monday, Tuesday, Thursday: 11 am–5 pm 
• Friday: 11 am–8 pm 
• Saturday, Sunday: 10 am–7 pm 
Wednesdays Closed

What are your thoughts on Noah Purifoy's Junk Dada? Are you familiar with his work or new to it? Sound off in the comments section below!

Screenshot from New Day via CNN.
A friend asked for my thoughts on Ben Carson's comments on homosexuality during an interview with New Day host Chris Cuomo. During the segment, Carson made the claim people entering prison straight and leaving gay proves being gay is a choice. I find his assessment troubling, and not only because it was a sweeping generalization and factually unsupported. In my response, I wrote:
I don't understand the need to boil individuals down to case studies, which this isn't. It's at best an observational opinion without any meritable analysis or investigation. The individual circumstances or histories behind those prisoners who "come out" are ignored for a sweeping generalization. Whenever there is a commonality among a group, people want to apply that commonality to all individuals who have a relation to said group, however small the relation is. This desire to take away individuality in order to "understand" something or someone instead of treating people as unique and free-thinking individuals is troubling. 

What are your thoughts on Ben Carson's claim being gay is a choice? What are you thoughts on sweeping generalizations made on political platforms? Sound off in the comments section below!

Once people hit their mid-twenties and beyond being single elicits feelings of sympathy and the universally recognized “ouch” face from friends and family. Singles hear usual fanfare such as:

“You have such a great personality, you should be dating!”

“You’re such a sweet person, we need to find somebody for you!”

“You’re so much fun. Why aren’t you dating anybody yet?”

These good-natured people fail to realize they are describing features sought after in friendships more than romantic interests. It’s why so many singles have many and strong friendships, but their dating history is a bit sketchier. Including those who are actively dating.

Since 2011, it’s claimed 40 million Americans are using online dating services to meet potential matches. However, a good number of the most popular dating services are using swipe features where prospective matches are based on a physical attraction to a user’s profile picture. Swipe right if you like what you see and swipe left if you don’t. In the 21st century, it seems the most important thing in the dating world is physical attraction. While it is a strong aspect of straight dating culture, a priority on physical attraction is expressively dominant in gay dating culture.

This is reflective of the evolution of the dating world. When coupling becomes more about personal choice than the familial arrangements of eras past, people tend to gravitate towards particular personal wants in a mate. Whether they admit it or not, at the top of the list is someone who fits societal standards of handsomeness or beauty. What does this mean for singles that weren’t cut from the same cloth of supermodel specimen like Willy Monfret or Selita Ebanks? Or even those who don’t fit heteronormative aesthetic standards (whether straight or gay)?

I have no idea.

What I do know is the stigmatization of the post-25-year-old single is rampant. Yet, even with their accessibility, the possible rejection on dating apps and sites makes these services potentially ego bruising rather than helpful. A single can have a winning profile showcasing how stable and charismatic he is, but if he doesn’t please the eye of those he swipes right on it doesn’t matter. It’s to the left, to the left for the single. And vice-versa. It’s not enough to be an interesting person, there also seems to be a requirement to be picture perfect.

So, good-natured friends and family, just remember singles are combating such superficiality to find someone to authentically connect with and the task isn’t easy. Try to remember dating is just tougher for some singles. Don’t ask why they are still single. Just know they are trying.

What are your thoughts on 21st century dating culture? Do you think there are distinctions between straight singles and gay singles looking for a connection? Can people have chemistry without physical attraction? Sound off in the comments section below!