We celebrate the love for camouflaged looks and discreet flair that navigate through the world’s most exquisite museums.

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What if you meet someone so dazzling that nothing else mattered. What if, in the midst of your skin-deep hypnosis, you find out that this heart-skipper is a registered nurse, seasoned model for the cheeky ads of American Apparel and a collector of fine rocks and minerals? And what if those fun facts don’t supersede her stop-dead-in-your-tracks looks? Ok, so then what if I told you this terrestrial siren was Tibetan and was once blessed by the one and holy Dalai Lama. What would you say then? Oh yeah, nothing, cuz you’re not used to that whole of a babe setting off your parochial radar.  Here Chime is spotted at Gallery1988 taking a break in the middle of a methamphetamine exhibition in celebration of the gripping tv series Breaking Bad.

Alex Silva De Appel Art Centre with Allan van Hoorn

Anyone whose outfit is inspired by Miss Piggy is good in my book. Here is Alex at the de Appel art centre in Amsterdam, spotted with Allard Van Hoorn’s bulbous “Skies over Snaefell” installation. Alex is a fashion designer and  stylist, and grew up  frequenting museums all her life. Who could ask for a more stylish babe with brains? (Photo by Kelly Silva)

I didn’t know it would be my dream to sandwich a babe between two works of art until it actually happened. Such an occasion presented itself when meeting fashion illustrator Meagan Morrison at the MET Museum as she was spotted in front of Ellsworth Kelly’s "Blue Panel" painting and behind Joel Shapiro’s untitled, beaming red sculpture. (photo by Xavier Aaronson)

Jacquelyn somehow managed to find herself all alone in the Art Institute of Chicago, discreetly dressed in a cerulean jumpsuit that matches the cumulus tone of Georgia O’Keefe’s “Sky Above Clouds IV.” No mini-skirt cry for oogling attention and with a stand-alone disposition so alluring that I can’t think of a more camouflaged beauty at the museum.


This optical illusion - if you could call it that - basically determines your preference for blondes or brunettes. It’s true. Let your eyes drift and tell me in the comments section below which museum babe you noticed first.
What you’re actually seeing is Mary (blonde) standing inside of Dan Graham’s For Gordon Bunshaft installation at the Smithsonian in DC, taking a photo of the Tamara (brunette) standing outside of the piece.
Truly a first of its compositional kind for us at Babes At The Museum.
Both of these California natives are no strangers to babe’ing out whether it be in DC’s museum scene or on Santa Barbara’s beaches, where these two beauties met while completing their undergraduate studies.

 

 

This optical illusion - if you could call it that - basically determines your preference for blondes or brunettes. It’s true. Let your eyes drift and tell me in the comments section below which museum babe you noticed first.

What you’re actually seeing is Mary (blonde) standing inside of Dan Graham’s For Gordon Bunshaft installation at the Smithsonian in DC, taking a photo of the Tamara (brunette) standing outside of the piece.

Truly a first of its compositional kind for us at Babes At The Museum.

Both of these California natives are no strangers to babe’ing out whether it be in DC’s museum scene or on Santa Barbara’s beaches, where these two beauties met while completing their undergraduate studies.

 

 

Hannah at UMFA credit Colin Roe Ledbetter

It’s okay to stare if it’s art. Hannah was spotted at the Utah Museum of Fine Art staring at some First Nations islander art. The heart-shaped glow you see here was completely accidental. (photo by Colin Roe Ledbetter)

Beauty is fugitive. So when Raye was strolling through  the Musée De l’Orangerie we weren’t going to let her get away so easily. Here she is spotted alongside Monet’s Water Lilies masterpiece.

I have never been to a museum in Los Angeles. Part of me was reluctant to admit that but it’s true. And it must be said. Then again I’ve only been to L.A. once, for a weekend, so spare me the chuckles.
Because of this embarrassing fact and my inability to break away from Brooklyn for the past six months, I reached out to one of my favorite West Coast creatives to answer all my burning questions about L.A.’s exceptional art scene. Enter museum junkie and multi-talented ‘demoiselle Claire Cottrell.
As the design editor for Flavorwire, film director and recent owner of her own online art book stand, Claire is a treasure trove of smarts as she navigates through the many facets of L.A.’s artistic community. BATM recently had the opportunity to chat with Claire about what makes L.A. such an undeniable art capital and why we should all book a ticket to LAX, ASAP.


Photo by Andre Neuhues

 
BATM: Hi Claire! Do you sometimes feels that L.A. may be overlooked as a serious arts and culture center?
It’s our best kept secret.

What’s so special about L.A.? 
Claire: LA is the world’s biggest artist’s colony. From Day 1 California has attracted free spirits, artists and folks who value space, sun and insane natural beauty. Because of that, I think L.A. has always had a thriving art scene. Did I answer the question?

In an unexpected way, yes! With that said, which L.A. artists would you credit for helping to establish L.A. as an art capital?
I’m going to go new gen here and say Miranda July, Mike Mills, Rodarte, Shepard Fairey, Frank Gehry, Geoff McFetridge, Ed Templeton, Doug Aitken and Fritz Haeg. I’m sure I’m forgetting some key people (sorry). Before that, I’d say Ed Ruscha, John Baldessari, David Hockney and then Joan Didion did so much for introducing the world to the real California.

What about younger L.A. artists? Which ones should the world be on the look out for?
Anyone doing anything with THIS, Machine Project, Public Fiction (the museum of) and FAMILY.

LA is a vast city with lots of space and arguably more mental freedom than say a city like NYC. How do think the city can shape an artist and their work?
Where you live is everything because the shapes, sounds, sights, smells and colors around you are everything. I think L.A. does encourage mental freedom, clarity, release and expansion.
Whereas, to me, NYC is all about intensity, containment and vulnerability. One isn’t necessarily better than another. Every city inspires in different ways.

What’s the biggest misconception about the L.A. art scene?
That it’s not as good as New York’s.



Recently, Mike D of the Beastie Boys curated the “Transmission LA” at MOCA. I also read about the Hammer Museum hosting “Bike Nights.” I love it when institutions spice up the typical museum experience, don’t you?
They’re doing a great job of making contemporary art more accessible by being creative with curation and events. Wow, that makes it sound so dull and boring. It’s a hard thing to explain. Everything’s just cool. Nothing’s been your average exhibition that you go to and walk around a white room and look at good art. There’s been more to it. Browse around Pacific Standard Time's site and you'll see what I mean.

What L.A. museums are you most excited about these days?
I think Jeffrey Deitch is killing it at the MOCA. Every exhibition is so much more than art in a white room. The programming is brilliant.

 And what museums would you say are underrated or at least don’t get the proper attention that they deserves?
The MAK Center at the Schindler House in West Hollywood, The Skirball, The Huntington, William S. Hart Museum, Craft and Folk Art Museum, CLUI and LAND (Los Angeles Nomadic Division)

What are your thoughts on the Hammer having their first Biennal?
I love the idea of an L.A. Biennial, but I wish it was less contained. It would have been cool to have the actual city play a role, instead of it just being about the end result at the museum. The whole point of a specific biennial is the role of the locale, no? Maybe it defeats the point of a museum, but I just wish they’d somehow engaged the city more by taking the show out into the city. and I love that they took it out in to the city. I went to their Venice Beach Biennial last weekend. Seriously cool concept on the Venice Boardwalk aka the "Free Speech and Expression Zone." L.A. artists created work inspired by all the classic crazy Venice vendors (tarot cards, jade animals, dream catchers, sand art, your name on a grain of rice) and set up shop on the boardwalk for the weekend. You couldn’t really tell the art from the “art.” The boardwalk operates on a first come first serve basis, so every day people show up at 5/6AM to claim their space. The artists had to do the same. It’s not like the Hammer came in and permitted the area and moved in their tents. Brilliant all around even though I’ve heard a lot of criticism about the fact that you couldn’t really distinguish the Biennial artists from the boardwalk vendors. Kinda the thing I liked the most. My favorite: Ben Brunnemer’s giant hand painted tarot cards.


Photo by Jon Ramos

Are you noticing any genres of art that are on the rise in L.A. at the moment?
Hmmmmm, there’s a major street art movement here, but it’s not a new thing. It does seem like street art is tip-toeing away from graffiti and murals towards things like little impromptu gardens, urban geodes and knitted parking meter covers. Uncommissioned stuff that beautifies the city. I don’t know, maybe it’s just what I like.

This whole interview makes me want to go to L.A., like right away. Not being a local n’ all, walk me through an epicly awesome daytrip through L.A., skipping the clutter and the crap.
To see a different side of the city, I’d probably say check out the Land Art exhibit at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA. Then I’d say go to Fugetsu-Do in Little Tokyo for mochi. Then, take the metro to Highland Park. Swing by Public Fiction. Have dinner at Good Girl Dinette. Maybe a nightcap at The Biltmore.

Anything else you’d like to add?
Cookbook in Echo Park hosts $5 open drawing nights from 7-9PM every Monday. Oh and this happened a few months ago.

For more on Claire and a glimpse at her array of talents and exciting projects check out clairecottrell.com

I have never been to a museum in Los Angeles. Part of me was reluctant to admit that but it’s true. And it must be said. Then again I’ve only been to L.A. once, for a weekend, so spare me the chuckles.

Because of this embarrassing fact and my inability to break away from Brooklyn for the past six months, I reached out to one of my favorite West Coast creatives to answer all my burning questions about L.A.’s exceptional art scene. Enter museum junkie and multi-talented ‘demoiselle Claire Cottrell.

As the design editor for Flavorwire, film director and recent owner of her own online art book stand, Claire is a treasure trove of smarts as she navigates through the many facets of L.A.’s artistic community. BATM recently had the opportunity to chat with Claire about what makes L.A. such an undeniable art capital and why we should all book a ticket to LAX, ASAP.

Photo by Andre Neuhues

 

BATM: Hi Claire! Do you sometimes feels that L.A. may be overlooked as a serious arts and culture center?

It’s our best kept secret.

What’s so special about L.A.? 

Claire: LA is the world’s biggest artist’s colony. From Day 1 California has attracted free spirits, artists and folks who value space, sun and insane natural beauty. Because of that, I think L.A. has always had a thriving art scene. Did I answer the question?

In an unexpected way, yes! With that said, which L.A. artists would you credit for helping to establish L.A. as an art capital?

I’m going to go new gen here and say Miranda July, Mike Mills, Rodarte, Shepard Fairey, Frank Gehry, Geoff McFetridge, Ed Templeton, Doug Aitken and Fritz Haeg. I’m sure I’m forgetting some key people (sorry). Before that, I’d say Ed Ruscha, John Baldessari, David Hockney and then Joan Didion did so much for introducing the world to the real California.

What about younger L.A. artists? Which ones should the world be on the look out for?

Anyone doing anything with THIS, Machine Project, Public Fiction (the museum of) and FAMILY.

LA is a vast city with lots of space and arguably more mental freedom than say a city like NYC. How do think the city can shape an artist and their work?

Where you live is everything because the shapes, sounds, sights, smells and colors around you are everything. I think L.A. does encourage mental freedom, clarity, release and expansion.

Whereas, to me, NYC is all about intensity, containment and vulnerability. One isn’t necessarily better than another. Every city inspires in different ways.

What’s the biggest misconception about the L.A. art scene?

That it’s not as good as New York’s.

Recently, Mike D of the Beastie Boys curated the “Transmission LA” at MOCA. I also read about the Hammer Museum hosting “Bike Nights.” I love it when institutions spice up the typical museum experience, don’t you?

They’re doing a great job of making contemporary art more accessible by being creative with curation and events. Wow, that makes it sound so dull and boring. It’s a hard thing to explain. Everything’s just cool. Nothing’s been your average exhibition that you go to and walk around a white room and look at good art. There’s been more to it. Browse around Pacific Standard Time's site and you'll see what I mean.

What L.A. museums are you most excited about these days?

I think Jeffrey Deitch is killing it at the MOCA. Every exhibition is so much more than art in a white room. The programming is brilliant.

 And what museums would you say are underrated or at least don’t get the proper attention that they deserves?

The MAK Center at the Schindler House in West Hollywood, The Skirball, The Huntington, William S. Hart Museum, Craft and Folk Art Museum, CLUI and LAND (Los Angeles Nomadic Division)

What are your thoughts on the Hammer having their first Biennal?

I love the idea of an L.A. Biennial, but I wish it was less contained. It would have been cool to have the actual city play a role, instead of it just being about the end result at the museum. The whole point of a specific biennial is the role of the locale, no? Maybe it defeats the point of a museum, but I just wish they’d somehow engaged the city more by taking the show out into the city. and I love that they took it out in to the city. I went to their Venice Beach Biennial last weekend. Seriously cool concept on the Venice Boardwalk aka the "Free Speech and Expression Zone." L.A. artists created work inspired by all the classic crazy Venice vendors (tarot cards, jade animals, dream catchers, sand art, your name on a grain of rice) and set up shop on the boardwalk for the weekend. You couldn’t really tell the art from the “art.” The boardwalk operates on a first come first serve basis, so every day people show up at 5/6AM to claim their space. The artists had to do the same. It’s not like the Hammer came in and permitted the area and moved in their tents. Brilliant all around even though I’ve heard a lot of criticism about the fact that you couldn’t really distinguish the Biennial artists from the boardwalk vendors. Kinda the thing I liked the most. My favorite: Ben Brunnemer’s giant hand painted tarot cards.

Photo by Jon Ramos

Are you noticing any genres of art that are on the rise in L.A. at the moment?

Hmmmmm, there’s a major street art movement here, but it’s not a new thing. It does seem like street art is tip-toeing away from graffiti and murals towards things like little impromptu gardens, urban geodes and knitted parking meter covers. Uncommissioned stuff that beautifies the city. I don’t know, maybe it’s just what I like.

This whole interview makes me want to go to L.A., like right away. Not being a local n’ all, walk me through an epicly awesome daytrip through L.A., skipping the clutter and the crap.

To see a different side of the city, I’d probably say check out the Land Art exhibit at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA. Then I’d say go to Fugetsu-Do in Little Tokyo for mochi. Then, take the metro to Highland Park. Swing by Public Fiction. Have dinner at Good Girl Dinette. Maybe a nightcap at The Biltmore.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Cookbook in Echo Park hosts $5 open drawing nights from 7-9PM every Monday. Oh and this happened a few months ago.

For more on Claire and a glimpse at her array of talents and exciting projects check out clairecottrell.com

Chloe is from Kentucky and has some of the most pop-up, hyperlinked style I’ve seen in ages at the Met Museum. Here’s one of our many fun time photos. (photo by Xavier Aaronson)

21, Danish, and flying solo at the Arken Museum. Karen is a graphic designer who caught her own eye (and ours) at one of Frank Thilo installations, part of his “The Phoenix Is Closer Than It Appears” exhibition.

Off we go to Estonia to check out KUMU, the gallery of contemporary art, in the capital city of Tallinn. Featured here is Agnes, a native Estonian, who now lives in Oslo, in full hypnosis, looking straight into one of the one of the many installations part of the ”Speed of Darkness and Other Stories” exhibition, curated by Jaakko Niemelä. Agnes likes to shred through Oslo on her custom-made bicycle and enjoys being loud in the museum when she feels like she and her friends are the only ones there.


Please tell me we’re in a museum and not some fat cat’s garish living room because I absolutely need to post this photo. Luckily, we’re at the Met, so it counts.
To be honest, this is getting embarrassing. Yet another lens crush on a girl plucked straight out of charm-ville. I hope I never see Alexandra again. It’ll save me the embarrassing spectacle of nervousness.

Please tell me we’re in a museum and not some fat cat’s garish living room because I absolutely need to post this photo. Luckily, we’re at the Met, so it counts.

To be honest, this is getting embarrassing. Yet another lens crush on a girl plucked straight out of charm-ville. I hope I never see Alexandra again. It’ll save me the embarrassing spectacle of nervousness.


The fetching streetstyle and interior designer Aimee Song and her impeccable flare at Vizcaya Museum & Gardens. More of Aimee here.

The fetching streetstyle and interior designer Aimee Song and her impeccable flare at Vizcaya Museum & Gardens. More of Aimee here.

cosi at moma Viviane Sassen

"My name is Cosima. But really, it’s Cosi." In front of some Viviane Sassen photographs at the MOMA.






Windy day at the Louvre

Windy day at the Louvre