As a furniture design company, we look for inspiration from as many creative outlets as possible. Contemporary Art is a endless source and, luckily for us, Contemporary Art Museums open in Los Angeles as often as Cold Pressed Juice Bars. The most recent example is the Marciano Art Foundation, located in a former Masonic temple between Hancock Park and Koreatown. If you don’t recognize the namesake of the collection, the Marciano family founded Guess Clothing and established themselves as fashion powerhouse during the 1990s. Maurice and Paul Marciano began collecting contemporary artwork and amassed an impressive assortment of works from artists including Doug Aitken, Takashi Murakami, Christopher Wool, Sterling Ruby, Albert Oehlen, and Tauba Auerbach to name a few.
The family chose to repurpose an older building instead of building something anew. They purchased the Scottish Rite Masonic Temple built in 1961 by Millard Sheets and transformed the space into a gallery like setting. The Mid-century building featured walls of Travertine Marble and brass accents that were easily updated to a clean, contemporary aesthetic. The Foundation stripped down the upper floors and former Auditorium to create a bare industrial spaces to house the collection. Each of the four floors of the building are dedicated to various parts of the collection including a huge space for special exhibitions that is currently filled with Jim Shaw’s ‘Wig Museum’ featuring found objects and theatrical backdrops from the Freemasons who originally utilized the building.
Simply put, the collection is impressive. A room dedicated to Takashi Murakami’s anime inspired artwork is unapologetically bold while the Second Floor landing, filled with a mural dedicated to the Los Angeles social landscape by Alex Israel, provides a fun respite for visitors. The range of styles was an endless fountain of inspiration for us and got our wheels turning for future Bend collections! If you haven’t been yet, we highly recommend visiting the Marciano. The inaugural exhibition is up through the end of the year. Don’t miss it!