Sunday, February 15, 2004

LA Scene: Vasa, an LA Artist


(Eighth in a series of occasional posts on Los Angeles life)

Dear Kari:

One of our favorite topics is art. Neither of us make our living as artists. But we know artists and artistic types of people. And we occasionally buy art items. And we certainly have opinions we can foist of people via this blog space.

For this post, I'll share a recent visit to the studios of a practicing artist here in Los Angeles.

Vasa Mihich was born in Yugoslavia and he works with plastics. Sounds like The Graduate (1967) or something, eh? Well, interestingly enough, Vasa started to use plastics for his sculptures in 1967.

Today, Vasa teaches at UCLA and has a studio where his objects are manufactured and displayed for purchase. In addition to making modest quantities of small to medium sized objects for individual purchases, he does larger ones for corporate and institutional commissioned projects.

A handful of us went to visit his studio and one of us was equipped with a picture cell phone that captured the following two images.



The object on the left is several feet tall. The objects on the right are smaller ones and are likely to be found on office desktops or shelves of homes

What can be found at my apartment?





Why do I like them?

I think first and foremost I find the colors appealing. The combination of colors and the mix of clarity with color just give me a good feeling. Look at them at a different angle and the way the colors play changes. It is purely an emotional reaction below or above logical perception.

This kind of unconscious perception occurs in me when I listen to music. I have some friends (you for instance) who can react both emotionally to music and intellectually from knowledge about music. But for me, I know little about art and music in a technical sense but I do bring my analytical mind to bear anyway. When I look at art, a part of me does try to "analyze" it in a logical fashion but I find emotions quickly rise to the surface (I like it, I don't like it).

I think another aspect of these items that captivates me is simplicity. The simple shapes have an aesthetic appeal.

This page explains how the objects are fabricated. In our studio visit, we got to see some of the steps involved in making them.

In my mind, simplicity in objects and clothes often appeals to me. But simplicity in music often doesn't. I find minimalist music very hit or miss with me. But then again, sometimes a big painting with lots going on piques my interest. Or a complex bit of music like Stravinsky's Rite of Spring is a delight to me.

When you are browsing artsy shops, what kind gets you in the door? What kind gets your wallet out?

Cheers,
Rene

FYI:
Vasa Studio
3025 Exposition Place
Los Angeles, CA 90018
(323) 290-3343

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