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The 5 Strangest Art Pieces LACMA Has To Offer

Olivia Niland |
September 28, 2014 | 5:39 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Los Angeles is a city known for its undercurrent of weirdness. That weirdness doesn't, however, usually come in the form of highbrow exhibits at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

But if you like viewing your oddities with an added touch of jazz music playing faintly in the background and an overtone of avant garde, here are the five most unusual art pieces you can currently see at LACMA (which, by the way, if you're a student attending college in LA County, you can do for free!):

"Anger" by Hans-Siebert von Heister, 1920

Well, he sure looks like a friendly fellow, doesn't he? This aptly-named piece is oil on canvas and certainly evokes...feelings, no?

(Olivia Niland/Neon Tommy)
(Olivia Niland/Neon Tommy)

"Metropolis II" by Chris Burden, 2011

It's hard to really do this piece justice with one photo. Just imagine something like a real-life version of the world from "The Lego Movie." This kinetic sculpture isn't so much strange as it is unexpected amongst all the 2-D art, and will likely bring out the little kid in anyone. 

(Olivia Niland/Neon Tommy)
(Olivia Niland/Neon Tommy)

"Untitled (Comb)" by Vija Celmins, 1970

This piece was apparently created by the artist as a part of his collection of oversized objects relating to childhood - puzzles, erasers, pencils, etc. Really, don't you just want to try combing your hair with this thing?

(Olivia Niland/Neon Tommy)
(Olivia Niland/Neon Tommy)

"Maria" for "Metropolis," 1927

This lovely lady is a part of LACMA's new "Haunted Screens: German Cinema in the 1920s" exhibit. She was created for the apocalyptic film "Metropolis" directed by Fritz Lang.  You can't get a whole lot weirder than a silver, humanoid robot towering over a room of "haunted screens."

(Olivia Niland/Neon Tommy)
(Olivia Niland/Neon Tommy)

"Untitled (Lipstick Urinals)" by Rachel Lachowicz, 1992

I just had to save this one for the grand finale - the "pee" de resistance, if you will - of LACMA's strange art. This art piece is, quite literally, urinals made of lipstick, wax, hydrocal plaster, and fiberglass. I would assume that this is meant to be a commentary on gender dynamics, given the depiction of something traditionally exclusively used by men (urinals) with something typically only used by women (lipstick). If you take nothing else away from it, just know that these are probably the most expensive, least functional urinals you will ever lay eyes upon.

(Olivia Niland/Neon Tommy)
(Olivia Niland/Neon Tommy)

Read More: Haunted Screens: German Cinema in the 1920s

Given art's subjectivity, one man's weird could be another man's wonderful. But for yours truly, LACMA could probably do a bit more to step up it's "strange exhibit" game.

As a first-time visitor, all of the exhibits seemed rather sparse, at least compared to other museums I've visited. The contemporary art exhibit in particular seemed to be rather lacking in that "WTF" factor that can make modern art both a head-scratcher and conversation starter.

If weird art is your thing, be sure to also check out the Getty Center and the Museum of Contemporary Art, which tend to have a larger selection of wonderfully weird art on display. 

And, in the spirit of  Halloween, if you're looking to explore the darker side of weird museum exhibits in LA, the Museum of Death on Hollywood Boulevard is a really terrific (if not slightly traumatizing) collection of all things ghoulish and macabre right in the heart of 'Hollyweird.'

Reach Staff Reporter Olivia Niland hereFollow Olivia Niland on Twitter @olivianiland.



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