“I don’t like Los Angeles. The people are awful and terribly shallow, and everybody wants to be famous but nobody wants to play the game. I’m from New York. I will kill to get what I need.” – Lady Gaga
This is a pretty common interpretation of my city, which is why, it saddens me a bit to see such a creative and talented tour de force such as Lady Gaga reinforcing such a boring stereotype.
It simply is not true.
But, then, perhaps Gaga is just using a “persona” here, evoking the spirit of Madonna?
I don’t know.
In each city, on either coast, there is a continuous battle raging about artifice, reality, and art– how we sometimes craftily blend it all into a big postmodern sludge, one that Lady Gaga, for sure, is no stranger to (what with her creative outfits and curious role playing in interviews).
Again, I don’t know.
On a strangely similar note, I had a dream the other night that Andy Cohen produced a show on Bravo called Andy Warhol’s Grandbabies (starring descendents of Warhol’s 1960s Factory family) which got me thinking. Maybe this is where both coasts could conceptually mingle: amidst the confusion of commercialism as an art form and using art as a promotional tool.
But this is a whole other conversation.
For now, I just want to focus on the softer side of our city– it’s why I felt inspired to start this blog. I wanted to show how here, beyond all the flash, we can (and often do) find a quiet place for looking or thinking about art without any corporate strings attached.
I took this photo (above) last weekend when I was downtown exploring the city by rail with my husband. Angel’s Knoll was covered in fallen white fluff from the trees above. It truly was magical to walk through bustling traffic, past skyscrapers, dodging grime, only to then stumble upon this sight.
This image is reflective of how I personally see Los Angeles.
Beyond all the loud and brassy trash, this city can be artfully ephemeral and unassuming at times, surprisingly scattered, and magical in its own quiet way.
I wrote about my relationship to this city in a piece titled “Open Letter to Los Angeles” (published by Thought Catalog). Stop over and take a look if you want to read more.