Art In The Streets of East L.A.

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The new Vincent Price Art Museum recently opened at East Los Angeles College and this weekend I dropped by for a visit. The late horror actor donated thousands of paintings, sculptures and artifacts to the school starting in 1951 and they finally have a dedicated home. The kinetic museum building by Miami-based Arquitectonica was certainly dramatic and will rank among the important institutions in the city. I was a little shocked and surprised to see that superstar painters Willie Herron, Diane Gamboa, Kent Twitchell (pictured) and Clement Hanami were about to appear on a panel at the museum’s first public program so I changed my path from the Pre-Colombian gallery to the theater and heard the provocative foursome chat casually about their formative years in East L.A. in the 1970s and 80s. They also talked tough about their exclusion from the MOCA Art in the Streets Show. Twitchell and Herron talked about how a New Yorker like Jeffrey Deitch couldn’t possibly understand their scene and the art they created on Los Angeles streets like City Terrace Drive, Alcazar Street and South Broadway. It was like being invited to an art star dinner party where they really spoke their minds.