Notes from the Getty Center

Getty Plaza
Scorching plaza

Needing some tranquil “think space” after a most interesting discussion with Peter the meditation teacher, I headed in the direction of the Getty Center, a gallery/museum perched in the hills that comes highly recommended by friends and guidebooks.

Here are some notes I made during my visit there.

First impressions

“Feeling a little underwhelmed @ The Getty. It’s very stark, bakingly hot with all the marble. Gardens are fairly sparse. Maybe I’ll find something more agreeable inside.”

Feeling the heat

“Shade is hard to come across here. People on tours carry stone-coloured parasols to keep the sun off as they hear about the architectural and garden design. A design that makes them require portable shade.”

Wanting to come up with my own emoticon

**>> which translates to wink, wink, nudge, nudge

On the art

Getty water feature
A beautiful water feature tries to offset the baking hot

A Hare in the Forest, Hans Hoffman – such tiny detail. Spider’s web, creatures peering, hidden, like Animalia. A constant discovery + the colours ping! V. lifelike.”

The Rest on the Flight into Egypt with Saint John the Baptist, Fra Bartolemmo (Bacciodella Porta) – Love the halos, the transparent sash of St John, the palm and golden hue in the background. Mary is beautiful, but v. pale while. Joseph looks old, swarthy and Italian. He looks like he’s resting on a baseball. Discarded pomegranate at their feet seems wasteful.”

Giant Redwood, Santa Cruz, Carleton Watkins photograph from 1880’s – The giant redwood screws out of the earth like a drill bit, it’s bushing top depicting the remnant materials it collected on its way through the crust.”

Getty views
Great view for miles and miles

Whilst my first impressions weren’t overly enthusiastic, I warmed to the place (maybe the beating sun had something to do with that!). Parts of it were still underwhelming, like the Gods of Angkor temporary exhibit. Judging from all the flagpole banners flying around LA, I had expected a mammoth exhibit, like when the Salvador Dali exhibition was on in Melbourne. Instead, it was one small room with a few statues and a couple of information boards about the Angkor period in Cambodia. Completely underwhelming and uninspirational, although I have been to Cambodia and visited the ruins, so it wasn’t new to me.

I did spend some time sitting in the Central Garden reading and pondering, so that was nice, and the views are pretty darn incredible. However, for me, one visit to the Getty is enough.


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