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sees these developments as part of a “historic moment taking place
at UCLA and profoundly impacting the cultural change L.A. is experiencing.”
Here he raises another salient issue. Where in the past artists
would train in L.A. and then leave, mostly for points east, now
they stay. The critical mass defining an “art community” has at
last been achieved here.
as Kelly drolly states: “The regional argument is over; the permission
to exist in Los Angeles has been won.”
the department offers today is an unusually sober and pragmatic
approach to art-making. Yet the master-apprentice relation that
has historically been the basis of artist training still has currency
at UCLA, if with a fitting transfusion of fin de siecle independent-mindedness.
The disciples of Mary Kelly, Nancy Rubin, Lari Pittman, Charles
Ray, Paul McCarthy and other current faculty are likely to be very
different from their mentors.
are moments in one’s development when you share affinities with
the person with whom you’re studying, Pittman observes. “It’s almost
a rite of passage: you honor your mentor with some sort of homage.
What I’m always waiting for is the moment the student says, ‘Yes,
I recognize your help, but now it’s time for me to move on.’”
Hackman writes frequently on the visual arts.