George Herms

Posted in Education, Exhibitions and Installations, Sculpture and Decorative Arts

To Walter with Love: Ed Kienholz’s “Walter Hopps Hopps Hopps”

Walter Hopps Hopps Hopps / Edward Kienholz

Sometimes, only a friend will tell you what they really think. Take the case of artist Ed Kienholz and curator Walter Hopps. Kienholz’s over-life-size assemblage portrait of his friend, Walter Hopps Hopps Hopps—the inspiration for our collage meet-up this Saturday—is… More»

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Posted in Education, J. Paul Getty Museum

Invitation of the Week: Collage Meet-Up on October 29

Analia Saban and Claire de Dobay Rifelj at a collage workshop on October 19, 2011

Update! See our Flickr set from the meet-up here! We’re doing something different for our Question of the Week series on the Iris this month: an invitation of the week. Join us at the Getty Center on Saturday, October 29,… More»

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Posted in Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Research Institute

It Happened in L.A.: George Herms Gets Creative for Rent Money

Announcement for “Raffle,” a Tap City Circus raffle in Los Angeles, June 6, 1965. Designed by George Herms

George Herms is known for his poetic assemblages of discarded, disheveled materials. But back in the ’60s, he had preoccupations besides art: he was “tapped out”—that is, broke and ready to tap-dance on street corners for cash—and facing eviction. His… More»

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Posted in Art, Getty Research Institute

Avant-Garde Antics: The Art of Display in Postwar Los Angeles

Wallace Berman’s gallery in Larkspur. Photo by Charles Brittin. Research Library, The Getty Research Institute, 2005.M.11

How do you hold a “secret exhibition”? In 1957, Los Angeles artist George Herms did just that, setting up his assemblage sculptures among the foundation blocks of a row of demolished buildings in Hermosa Beach. The show wasn’t publicized, and… More»

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      William Pope.L

      Tell us a bit about how and why you became an artist.

      I used to blame my being an artist on my grandmother, but that was my younger self looking for a scapegoat. At one point in undergrad, I had a moment, a crisis where I thought it was my job to save my family and the best way to that was to be a commercial artist—but I had to let go of that. Truth be told, being an artist is something I choose every day. Of course, maybe I choose art because I’m afraid of theater—too much memorizing and being in the moment and shit.

      A lot of your work deals with racial issues—perceptions of “blackness,” “whiteness,” the absurdity of racial prejudices, the violence of it. Why do you address race in your work? Do you think art can be an agent of change?

      I address race in my work ‘cause day-to-day in our country it addresses me. Yes, art can change the world but so can Disney—so there is that. I think the real question is not can art change the world, but can art be changed by the world? Would we allow this?

      Humor, with a touch of the absurd, seems to be an important component in your artistic practice. What role does humor play in your work?

      I like to use humor in my work ‘cause it answers/deals with questions in ways that are very unique. Humor answers questions with an immediacy and creates a productive amnesia of the moment in the receiver—but then the wave recedes, the world floods back in with its pain, confusions, and crush but the humor remains like a perfume or an echo or a kiss inside beneath one’s skin.

      More: Artist William Pope.L on Humor, Race, and God

      From top: Obi Sunt (Production Image from the making of Obi Sunt), 2015, William Pope.L. Courtesy of the Artist © Pope.L; Gans-Nelson fight, from the album ‘Incident to the Gans-Nelson fight’ (Page 40-3), Goldfield, NV, September 3, 1906, William Pope.L. Courtesy of Steve Turner and the Artist; Tour People, 2005, William Pope.L. Courtesy of the Artist © Pope.L; Failure Drawing #301, NYU/Napkin, Rocket Crash, William Pope.L. Courtesy of the Artist © Pope.L.


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