I Make Faces

my name is: Kate Berlant

i make: People laugh.

what inspires me about the getty: I’ve always tried to burst through any and all moments by making some grotesque face or gesture. I remember coming to the Getty to see the James Ensor exhibition, and I was so drawn to his works. I felt so connected to all of those grotesque faces, so funny, and yet unbearable to look at in certain ways.

I find “the grotesque” to be interesting, as I can’t really separate it from being a woman, wanting to be pretty, and using a hideous face to disrupt that feeling. I remember being maybe fifteen and I would do these faces, and my mom was like, “Is that voluntary?” She was worried that it was an involuntary tick. And I was like, no. I’m deliberately trying to interrupt how you consume me. It is a way to desexualize oneself in our culture.

to me, inspiration is: I’ve been thinking about the Chuck Close quote “Inspiration is for amateurs.” I like this quote a lot in relation to stand-up comedy in particular. I’m inspired by the idea of committing to performance—repetition inevitably breeds difference, and so doing stand-up constantly you are destined to see yourself change, hopefully for the better. Repeating the action even when it feels painful is liberating.

Read more riffing from Kate Berlant on The Getty Iris »

Architecture with a Purpose

my name is: Gabbi Sun

i make: Designs for architectural spaces and buildings

what inspires me about the getty: The Getty continues to be a constant architectural favorite and a case study that I find myself returning to often for inspiration. I admire Richard Meier’s work for its ever so simple, clean, detailed, and well-lit characteristics.

I remember back in high school when I was still trying to figure out what I wanted to be and what I wanted to study in college. My English honors class went on a tour of the Getty Museum and it was actually the first building I set foot in that made me truly realize that I wanted to pursue architecture. I knew I wanted to go into a creative field since I was that girl who loved to paint, do d.i.y. projects, and constantly rearrange my parents’ furniture. I was always trying to find a way to make things better in my own way. So seeing a large-scale project like the Getty, I was in awe that someone had designed every little detail in the building and each framed view had a purpose behind it.

Now as an architectural designer I find myself challenged to educate clients to appreciate well-designed architectural spaces. I often say a well-designed space is one that feels very comfortable, one that inspires you, and serves the purpose of its use. It’s hard to understand this concept by looking at pretty images on the internet and requires one to really physically experience a space. The Getty is the perfect example of just that and I always encourage clients, friends, and family to make the trip to admire the architecture and how it showcases the art beautifully.

to me, inspiration is: Inspiration is that light bulb above our heads where we are suddenly brought to a state of mind of being totally present with our ideas and moved to take them apart and create new ones. These moments of inspirational pause are sparked by who knows what…for me it’s listening to other creative people explain their design process, going on a walk around the city and discovering new things, getting to be in historic and new buildings, listening to a ridiculously good song, being humbled by people’s actions, and/or even watching the sun’s path and understanding life’s existence!



Just Be Patient

my name is: Sam Taylor

I make: Music and radio

What inspires me about the Getty: It’s peaceful, it’s quiet; there are places where you can get away from people. You can settle in and not worry about what else is going on around you. I found this little spot.

To me, inspiration is: Sometimes it’s a thing that comes to you. Sometimes it’s a thing you work out for a really, really long time. Inspiration is something you’re actively constructing. It’s not something that falls out of the sky, but it could be a moment where things begin to make sense. It’s a product of hours and hours of thought. And sometimes it’s a mistake, a mistake that works for some reason.

If inspiration were an animal, it would be a sloth. Because you have to be really patient and know it’ll get where it’s going to go, but you have to wait.

Listen to the mix tape Sam was editing at the Getty »