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The Avant/Garde Diaries: Aaron Rose Talks Watts Towers

It’s impossible to forget the first time you visit Simon Rodia’s Watts Towers in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles. I remember being confronted by the beauty of the spires that look dreamlike and fragile at first until you realize how strong and robust they in fact are upon closer inspection.

They are one of the masterpieces of 20th C. folk architecture but also so much more than that label entails.

In the latest installment of The Avant-Garde Diaries, Aaron Rose, of “Beautiful Losers” fame, shares his love for this monument far ahead of its time.

Posted inOpinion

Madrid’s (Holy) Version of the Watts Towers

In LA, the Watts Towers are a homemade monument by Simon Rodia, pointed cylinders of steel decorated with found objects that stretch over 99 feet tall. In Madrid, Benedictine monk Justo Martinez has constructed his own cathedral of a scale and complexity to rival Baroque architecture. Built over the past five years and rising over 131 feet, the cathedral is an enormous monument to perseverance.

Posted inOpinion

Required Reading

This week on Required Reading … a look back to Napoleon in Egypt … a history of mural whitewashing in Los Angeles … the preservation of the Watts Towers … Steven Heller tracks dowing the master style guide to the Master Race … what is “The Future of Art” … are you ready for the Singularity?