The #selfies can continue! According to an update from LACMA, the restoration of Chris Burden’s “Urban Light” will be completed one half at a time, so that the public can continue to enjoy the installation. “Beginning on May 2, the southern part of “Urban Light” will be fenced off to clean the posts and treat rust before priming and painting; after that portion is complete, the northern side will be closed and treated.”
This is your last week to visit Chris Burden’s “Urban Light” at LACMA before it gets extinguished on May 1 for renovations. Be sure to get your snapshots and selfies in now because the installation will be completely closed off for two months while LACMA restores it with a more durable coat of paint. “Urban Light” is scheduled to reopen June 30, 2016.
Burden, originally from Boston, Massachusetts and a long-time resident of Los Angeles, passed away in May of last year. Although he created numerous performance, assemblage and installation works, two of his most famous “Urban Light” (2008) and “Metropolis II” (2011) are both in the collection and on permanent display at LACMA. Burden rescued the 202 individual cast-iron lamps that make up the assemblage by collecting vintage street lamps that originally lined the streets of our city. An iconic centerpiece of Los Angeles, “Urban Light” is one of the city’s most photographed works of art.
According to Wikipedia, “Urban Light” has also been a popular scene in the media. It was used in Ivan Reitman’s film No Strings Attached, Tori Amos’ video Maybe California, and the film Valentine’s Day. The work also appeared in a Guinness commercial and in a Vanity Fair article featuring cast members of the television series Glee, as well as in numerous amateur photos posted online. LACMA itself has featured the work as part of its own promotional efforts, including a 3D public service announcement preceding the film Megamind. In 2014, the sculpture was used in a dance scene in VH1’s Hit the Floor.
Video still from Tori Amos' "Maybe California"