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Press Play is off for the Fourth of July, so we are hosting a replay today: four independent thinkers from our archives. First, the late artist Noah Purifoy spent the last 15 years of his life in the Mojave desert creating huge sculptures made of junk. Now, the L.A. County Museum of Art has brought Purifoy’s more recent large-scale works out of the desert sun and inside for Angelenos to see. Then, the 340-ton boulder that is now an art object at LACMA called “Levitated Mass” had to travel 106 miles, very slowly, to get to its final destination. That journey is chronicled in a documentary we revisit. Next, hikers and nature lovers have started reporting graffiti in parks, and the Modern Hiker community has been acting as an unofficial police investigation force when it comes to tracking down taggers. Finally, Alexandra Fuller had an extremely unconventional childhood in southern Africa, which she describes vividly in her first bestselling memoir, Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight.

Producers:
Matt Holzman
Anna Scott
Jolie Myers
Christian Bordal
Ryan Kailath

Purifoy at LACMA 11 MIN, 44 SEC

The late artist Noah Purifoy spent the last 15 years of his life in the Mojave desert, creating huge sculptures made of junk. Purifoy was also a big figure in L.A., as a founding director of the Watts Towers Art Center. Before moving to the desert, he was most known for a sculpture constructed from charred debris from the 1965 Watts Rebellion. That was the basis for 66 Signs of Neon, a landmark group exhibition about the riots. Now, the L.A. County Museum of Art has brought Purifoy’s more recent large-scale works out of the desert sun and inside for Angelenos to see. Madeleine takes you inside for a sneak preview.

Guests:
Franklin Sirmans, LACMA (@mfsirmans)
Yael Lipschutz, independent curator

More:
Noah Purifoy: Junk Dada
Noah Purifoy's Joshua Tree Outdoor Museum

The Path of Levitated Mass 13 MIN, 35 SEC

The 340-ton boulder that is now an art object at LACMA called “Levitated Mass” first had to travel 106 miles, very slowly, to get to its final destination. The process involved getting permission from the two dozen localities the rock had to travel through. Along the route, the rock was greeted by enthusiastic bystanders who turned out to watch it pass through their communities. That journey is chronicled in a documentary we revisit.

Guests:
Doug Pray, director and documentary filmmaker

Graffiti in National Parks 11 MIN, 13 SEC

Andre Saraiva, the graffiti artist known as Mr. Andre or Mr. A, has taken his paint into Joshua Tree National Park, where his signature tag has appeared on boulders in the desert.

His infamy peaked in the 90s on the streets of Paris where his tag was well-known. It has a square head with one round eye and one eye that looks like a cross. It has a big toothy grin and long, stick legs. But his work has sparked the ire of nature lovers in Southern California, where graffiti in parks is on the rise. The Modern Hiker community has been acting as an unofficial police investigation force when it comes to tracking down taggers.

Guests:
Casey Schreiner, Modern Hiker (@dropdeadsuit)

Alexandra Fuller and 'Leaving Before the Rains Come' 14 MIN, 57 SEC

Alexandra Fuller had an extremely unconventional childhood in southern Africa, which she described vividly in her first bestselling memoir, Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight. A civil war raged, tropical diseases were common, dangerous hippos lurked in nearby waters, and her family had more than its fair share of tragedy. So when a dashing American river guide arrives on the scene and they fall in love, Alexandra believes he will save her from the unrelenting chaos of her African life. And he does -- until their marriage begins to fall apart. She chronicles how things disintegrated in her new memoir, Leaving Before the Rains Come.

Guests:
Alexandra Fuller, author, 'Leaving Before the Rains Come'

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