Red telephone booths are not a common sighting in the United States, let alone in the costal town of Laguna Beach, California. However, a city famous for its local art scene, this piece is one of its latest installations. Designed by artist Michael Grahm, the work, which is situated on Forest Avenue, consists of an old fashion red telephone booth with a metal figure desperately trying to open the door. Grahm repurposes a vintage object while adding a contemporary, comical spin. No one uses telephone booths anymore, so why is this figure so desperate to enter the booth? To actually make a call? For free wifi? To escape the rain? You tell me.
It’s a warm summer night. Hundreds of people gather in an outdoor amphitheater near the beach. A booming voice announces a painting by a given artist. When the lights click on a large framed picture dominates the stage. It takes a moment to realize that the figures in the painting are not fictive. They are real. Looking closely with binoculars you can see their shallow breathing despite the stillness of the scene. This spectacle of people posing as figures in famous works of art is Laguna Beach’s annual Pageant of the Masters. Occurring every night during the summer months, a few professions and hundreds of volunteers collaborate to produce this unique event. To keep it fresh the pageant explores a different theme each year. The theme for 2015 is The Pursuit of Happiness. For many, the highlight of this annual event is the step by step secrets that show how these living works of art are created before the eyes of the audience. Pop up art galleries surround the venue giving patrons the opportunity to view and meet local artists. This is an event not to be missed by anyone who loves art.