Strange and wonderful, this attending the same art classes with Zaza that Ander took when he was four. And when I say 'same,' I mean very very nearly exactly the same: the same arty-grandma lady teaching the class, trips into the permanent collection to see the same Blue Period Picasso (on 'Blue' Day), the same materials laid out in inviting little stations in the Art Cave, the same generosity with the large, thick pieces of watercolor (parents are encouraged to work alongside the kids), and even the teaching assistant is named Jesus (Ander's favorite 'art guy' was the similarly-monikered Josue)...
But everything else is different. Zaza continues to be very quiet during the in-gallery art chats, but in the womb-like Art Cave her timidity and reticence drops away -- she's fearless, fiercely self-motivated, and has strong, strong opinions about what she does and does not want to use to make her art. She doesn't look at what I'm doing or what the other children are doing -- she's completely focused. Which is not to say that she sits down with a vision or picture in mind -- she doesn't -- she absolutely makes it up as she goes along -- but she just goes with it in a way that I envy and try to imitate as I sit somewhere nearby, outside the fiery corona of her creativity.
In light of my recent rant about BCAM and LACMA and the jack-booted security therein, I found this recent L.A. Times article very interesting. It also seems that there was a weeeee grain of truth in what the scary guard said to Zaza when she touched the case around Damien Hirst's 'Lamb,' (which had already been brought to my attention by the brilliant and talented mr. a-go-go)... All that said, Zaza and I have found that the weekend staffers throughout LACMA are profoundly more friendly than the folks who are working during the week.