Private Stories into Public Art


A FEW weeks back, I spent a good part of the day roaming around inside the memory (and studio) of Inglewood-based artist Michael Massenburg — for a piece I was putting together for KCET. He works with found pieces, discards — newspaper, fabric remnants, cast-off pieces of wood — and refashions them into art.


He does the same with the stories of neighborhoods — the faces and voices of those who came before us. Since so much in Los Angeles is quickly jettisoned, discarded, Massenburg has set himself on a path to find value in what has been tossed away and in so doing he carefully creates lost layers and contexts.


His most recent installation at the Farmdale Station on the Expo Line — “Life in A Day” — tells the story of the neighborhoods fanning out around the tracks — not just coordinates and intersections — but the very details and nuances that distinguish one place from another. His work doesn’t just resurrect ghosts but re-assembles history.

My full piece is up here at Artbound|KCET

images: by Michael Massenburg


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