Making art in the now world
By John Lopez
“What it means to be an artist today — where do we start on that one?” muses Ed Ruscha, almost nonplused. Finally, the soft-spoken art veteran decides : “It means facing a lot of information that’s going to be very difficult to take in and swallow because there’s so much of it.”
Once the ramifications settle in, he slyly drawls, “to grasp the total picture would make you wish you could go back to 1960 when things were a bit slower, almost like the Dark Ages.”
That dizziness finds a counterpoint with fledgling film director Michael Mohan on a cold December night in Westwood. His youthful exuberance contrasts with Ruscha’s measured bemusement: “It’s not like it’s going to be crazy; it is crazy, right now.”
Mohan has reason to be excited. His first feature, “One Too Many Mornings,” about two twentysomething guys who reignite their high school friendship, which he shot over two years’ worth of nights and weekends with a budget well under $50,000, will play the 2010 Sundance Film Festival in a new category dedicated to low-to-no-budget filmmakers.
Where Ruscha recoils at the opened floodgates of the Information Age, Mohan gushes: “There’s an audience for everything . . . if you say I want to express myself and people will see it, yes, that’s what in 2010 you can do.”