LACMA commissioned Los Angeles artists Mark Bradford and Ruben Ochoa to create SWAP in conjunction with Art Programs with the Community: LACMA On-Site, an outreach program that provides art experiences for students and the community. The installation is inspired by the neighborhood that frames MacArthur Park, where the school is located, and includes art from LACMA’s collection as well as installation pieces created by Ochoa and Bradford. The installation includes a large sculptural piece designed by the artists and painted by a local sign painter to resemble the awning of the Bonita Swap Meet on Alvarado. The second large gallery consists of six stalls that mimic the interior of the Bonita Swap Meet and display works from LACMA’s collection, along with artwork created by students at Charles White Elementary School. Bradford and Ochoa's goal in displaying LACMA’s artwork in the context of a swap meet was to demystify art; they believe that by relating art to things that are familiar to children, children will become comfortable viewing and talking about art. The LACMA works selected for the exhibition relate to urban life, community, a sense of identity and nature; some are made from everyday objects or are purely whimsical. Among the pieces are two drawings by artist Charles White, a sculpture by Alison Saar, a house group from Nayarit, Dancing Ganesha from India,Architectural Support with Squatting Dwarf from Nepal, Sony TV by Ed Kienholtz, a series of prints of frog cups by Kenneth Price, and photographs by Delilah Montoya, Beat Strudli, and Yrenia Cervantez. These selections reflect not only themes related to community but also the broad range of work in LACMA’s collection.
Art Programs with the Community: LACMA On-Site is made possible through the Anna H. Bing Children's Art Education Fund
Image: Installation Photo © Museum Associates/LACMA 2008