MoLAA's Immersive Judy Baca Experience Is Actually Pretty Good

Pop-up van Gogh attractions have given immersive a bad name. But there's a surprisingly effective projected-painting display in the Museum of Latin American Art's Judy Baca retrospective. One room displays a panning, floor-to-ceiling projection of Baca's Great Wall of Los Angeles. The Tujunga Wash mural is one of the best-known but least understood works of public art in L.A. Conceived as a people's history of Los Angeles, it is generally encountered at random points along its half-mile length, scrambling the chronology. MoLAA's immersive version allows you to binge-watch Baca's history, from Episode 1. 

The van Gogh tourist traps blow up precious brushwork of 36-inch paintings to trumpet their importance. There is nothing precious about the Great Wall's facture. It's executed in a simplified, storybook style, mostly by some 400 collaborators, and has gone through cycles of weathering and restoration. The interesting thing about the Great Wall is its giddy ambition as a 2754-ft.-wide history painting. The projection allows you to encompass that as the original probably won't.

Judy Baca, When God Was a Woman, 1980-2021
"Judy Baca: Memorias de Nuestra Tierra, a Retrospective" spans original drawings, paintings, small murals, and sculptures. A double-sided triptych, When God Was a Woman, has been acquired for MoLAA's collection. 
Gabriella Sanchez, In a Word, 2018
MoLAA founder Robert Gumbiner's collecting interests ended at the border. South of it, that is. The museum begin featuring Chicano art only in 2015 (on the suggestion of Cheech Marin?) Simultaneous with "Judy Baca" is the first museum show of Gabriella Sanchez. Working as a graphic designer and painter, Sanchez's works synthesize the aesthetics of tattoo lettering and Sister Corita.