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The Soul of California

Let them share.....That's the goal. Let the leading thinkers, writers, academics, artists and activists talk about their work and the influence of California on that work. In these podcasts, I hope to bring out the myth and the ethos that is not only a leading administrative entity in the United States, but also the world. No commercials, just content. Feed your soul. Keep listening.
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Now displaying: November, 2017
Nov 20, 2017

In this 38-minute podcast, Joe Lewis shares with listeners Noah Purifoy (1917-2004) the man, the social worker, the Director of the Watts Towers and pioneering arts advocate and activist. Known for his work with the vernacular, read “junk”, which started in 1965 using debris leftover from the Watts Rebellion, Purifoy worked steadily out of Los Angeles, spending the last 15 years of his life in Joshua Tree. Purifoy took debris, mixed it with the vernacular and social issues, and created unique and powerful works, reverberating far beyond the desert. 

Lewis describes the influence that the Watts Rebellion had on Purifoy (min. 2), his standout pieces (min. 4), starting of the Foundation and his “studio” (min. 9) and the role of the natural elements in composing (and decomposing) his work. Joe then continues with how it worked in a “proper” museum, surround by white walls (min. 18), special memories (min. 22), his need to go out to Joshua Tree (min. 29) and how the Foundation deals with the elements to preserve his work and legacy. 

Feted by the art world, including at LACMA, Purifoy’s art transcends what has been termed “Junk Dada” - there is something intensely relevant in our times about inequality, mass consumption and polarization.

Feed your soul. Keep listening. 

 

Nov 10, 2017

Dana Johnson talks about a different side of Los Angeles, one that is under the radar and usually on the other side of the tracks. In this 38-minute podcast, Johnson discusses the changing nature of LA and the suburbs of West Covina where she grew up, the portrayal of a different LA in film (min. 10), her writing style and schedule (min. 12), how she teaches (min. 19), her first job (min. 22), white-dominated pop culture (min. 23), who writes history and the wonderfully moving history on one Biddy Mason (min. 29). Dana closes it out with her top three picks on an island or having a coffee....

Throughout our chat, Dana challenges the status quo in the perception of minorities and provokes us to think about what white-dominated culture means to minorities, who writes it and to whom does it really belong. Class is also part of the equation - just look at the Dodgers of 1980....Garvey, Smith, Sutton, and Baker. 

Next up: Junk Dada in Joshua Tree - Noah Purifoy’s Legacy with Joe Lewis

Feed your soul. Keep listening.  

 

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