Prison Relic #1: CDC ID, detail of Phoenix Rising, Part 1: This is Where I Learned of Love and There Is Nothing Left but Freedom

3 Questions with Jennifer Moon

Why L.A.? Why did you choose to work in this city in particular?

My path to art and to L.A. was the result of cosmic funneling and not necessarily a choice on my part. I came to L.A. all the way from Orange County to attend UCLA in 1991 and have stayed ever since. Getting into UCLA was a lucky fluke or certainly the work of the 3rd Communal Entity (3CE). I only applied to the art department at UCLA because they were not accepting portfolios that year, only an essay. I certainly would not have applied to be a fine art major or gotten in with a portfolio since my understanding of art back then was limited to traditional drawing, painting, sculpture and I could not draw, paint, or sculpt worth shit. In addition, my SAT scores were on the low side, something like 1040. I consider getting into UCLA one of the luckiest things that has ever happened to me. It changed the course of my life. I continued on to grad school at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena and am currently living in Culver City. I haven’t had the urge to leave L.A. yet. 

How has your time in L.A. shaped your work?

So much of my life happened in L.A. and since my work is based on my life experiences, I would say that L.A. is a significant factor shaping the development of my work. L.A. is where I learned about art and where all my obsessive crushes took place, where I developed friendships, learned how to work with others, smoked a lot of weed, became a junkie, met Mr. Snuggles, committed crimes and went to prison (though prison wasn’t in L.A., that was in Chowchilla), got sober, fell in love with myself, and started The Revolution. For me, L.A. is where I came to know myself and continue to grow and expand. It is part of my psyche.

Favorite place in L.A. Go.

Oh dear, this is a hard one. I don’t think I have a favorite place in L.A. but I do love driving in L.A. I look forward to when I get to drive somewhere. It’s my relaxing time, my time to meditate and think while also operating and maneuvering a large encapsulating vehicle that is taking me somewhere. It feels good to be inside my car where I get to sing really loud to songs on the radio. It’s a very comforting space: the movement is soothing and I like the private/public aspect of it. A lot of ideas come to me when I’m driving. The only downfall is the pollution (which is kinda a big thing). In terms of stationary places, I suppose one of my favorite places in L.A. is Topanga Canyon. The drive is beautiful and I go there to ride horses. It’s a part of L.A. that doesn’t feel so much like L.A.—it feels otherworldly L.A.

Jennifer Moon leads a Hammer Kids event this Sunday. In this workshop on Independence Day weekend, families view the revolutionary work of artist Jennifer Moon, on view in Made in L.A. 2014, and then follow the artist down a revolutionary path with artful flags.

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Tags: Made in L.A., Jennifer Moon