Alex Israel Brings Pop Art to the Huntington's Classical CollectionThe contemporary artist pervades a stately European collection with pop culture references.
Los Angeles-based Angeleno Alex Israel intertwines his pop culture artwork with the Huntington Art Gallery’s classical European collection. Set in a historic mansion just outside of Los Angeles, the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens was established in 1919 by Henry E. and Arabella Huntington to serve as a research and educational institution. The art galleries provide one of the most comprehensive collections of 18th and 19th-century British and French art in America. Israel, along with co-curators Kevin Salatino and Catherine Hess, decided to juxtapose old and new art as a means of showing the parallels and differences between the two genres and inciting dialogue among visitors. As a result, Israel’s rendition of Gainsborough’s Blue Boy is placed alongside his self-portrait of a different “Blue Boy” clad in a Dodgers jacket donning sunglasses – two pieces which represent modern day Los Angeles. Additionally, Israel references classic films like Risky Business and The Maltese Falcon as a homage to Hollywood with a selection of pastel backdrops and desert-inspired motifs. Alex Israel at the Huntington is now on display until July 11, 2016.
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