Behind the Scenes, Getty Center

Kalpa: No Strings Attached

Dancers, a World War II searchlight, and 400 spools of thread combined to turn the Getty Center’s Arrival Plaza into a performative installation last Friday night. Hirokazu Kosaka’s Kalpa was part of the Pacific Standard Time Public Art Festival, an 11-day celebration of performance art in public spaces.

Because of the setting, it took hours of rehearsal to plan the piece. Check out the video to get a glimpse of some of the preparation that took place before the performance.

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      ROSE

      This milky pink boomed into popularity because of a marketing ploy, a mistress, and its ambiguous origins.

      In an effort to compete with the renowned Meissen porcelain factory, the French Sèvres manufactory recruited the glamorous Madame de Pompadour (mistress to King Louis XV). Like a smart sponsorship deal, Sèvres gave her all the porcelain she requested. 

      Introduced in 1757, this rich pink exploded on the scene thanks to favoritism by Madame Pompadour herself. 

      The glaze itself had a weird history. To the Europeans it looked Chinese, and to the Chinese it was European. It was made based on a secret 17th-century glassmaker’s technique, involving mixing glass with flecks of gold.

      For more on colors and their often surprising histories, check out The Brilliant History of Color in Art.

      12/19/14

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