Video: Destroy the Picture at MOCAtv.

A viewing of Paul Schimmel’s last show at L.A.’s MOCA, Destroy the Picture: Painting the Void, 1949-1962 (now closed), would not be complete unless you’ve also taken in this somewhat surreal video produced in conjunction with the show. It’s an uneven buffet of Schimmel commentary with shots of some of the work on view, as well as uncut vintage footage related to a few of the artists. This includes lovely black and white film that Yves Klein shot at judo demonstration in Japan, and there’s loads of footage of Klein crafting his flame paintings — with the assistance of a firefighter and a pair of comely nude models. (I love that he wears a vest and cravat while operating the flamethrower.)

But the pièce de résistance is the early ’80s video of L.A. artist Sal Scarpitta acting out an auto race: it’s totally, charmingly nuts. (And waaaaaay better than some of the other stuff on MOCAtv, which feel like ads for urban clothing companies.)

If you’re a diehard art nerd, set aside half an hour for this. Worth it.


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