LACMA's rolling stone is a rock star

boulder-bedroom.jpgThe 340-ton boulder that's headed for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is attracting crowds of fans — and potential new visitors to the museum — as it rolls across the Southland. Tony Gendrano is one of them. The retired county accountant has never visited LACMA, but now that he can see the "Levitated Mass" boulder from his Rowland Heights bedroom, he wants to go. Staffers from LACMA worked the crowds that gathered around the boulder this weekend with invitations to come see some art. Says ZevWeb tonight:

Gear heads have come to check out its transporter. Shutterbugs have taken its portrait. Schoolteachers have used it for lesson plans. History buffs have researched its provenance. Families have shown up with babies in blankets and grandparents in wheelchairs. Drunks have materialized at every stop, hollering and toasting. A Riverside County trucker proposed to his live-in girlfriend beside it. (“I wanted to give her a rock next to The Rock,” explained 35-year-old Ramon Vasquez III of Glen Avon.)

On Saturday morning, a man in a Rolling Stones t-shirt walked through the crowd calling it “Mick” (as in Jagger) and two Rowland Heights women rode up to it on horseback. Long lines of motorists drove by the transport apparatus, filming it on cell phones and yelling things at it.

“Roooooooooock!!” a carload of young men roared, revving their engine, as the boulder’s security detail looked mildly alarmed.

Visits to the LACMA website have reportedly increased tenfold since artist Michal Heizer's rock began its voyage. The museum's Gawkers Guide notes the boulder can be found Monday on Leffingwell Road, just west of La Mirada Boulevard in the city of La Mirada. Then it's on to Lakewood and Long Beach.


  • A team from transport company Emmert International is walking alongside the boulder the whole way — that will be 105 miles before all is said and done.
  • Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, whose website is following the boulder journey as closely as any media outlet, wrote a blog post saying yes, it is art:
  • “Levitated Mass” and Heizer’s other big, outdoor projects are reminders to me of how small, physically, we are in the scheme of things. They almost demand humility and introspection. Indeed, the whole oversized effort—the transport, the engineering required to install the rock at LACMA, all of it—is part of the art to me.

    Some people, of course, will always view Heizer’s LACMA work as simply a big rock. But to others, including me, it will represent something far more emotional and soulful. And that’s as it should be given the subjective nature of art—or, in this case, the art of nature.

  • Channel 4 has compiled some rock songs

  • Finally, artist Stuart Rapeport has gone a tad sour about all the hoopla. After the jump.


More by Kevin Roderick:
Ralph Lawler of the Clippers and the age of Aquarius
Riding the Expo Line to USC 'just magical'
Last bastion of free parking? Loyola Marymount to charge students
Matt Kemp, Dodgers and Kings start big weekend the right way
LA Times writers revisit their '92 riots observations
Recent Arts stories on LA Observed:
Ralph Lawler of the Clippers and the age of Aquarius
Silver Lake Badminton and Adventurers Club solves the crime
Pedro E. Guerrero photography at gallery in Hollywood
Bob Dylan on the passing of Levon Helm
Michael Heizer living at LACMA while he seats the boulder

New at LA Observed
Follow us on Twitter

On the Media Page
Go to Media
On the Politics Page
Go to Politics

LA Biz Observed
Arts and culture

Sign up for daily email from LA Observed

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

LA Observed on Twitter and Facebook