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Last night, at the Standard's Purple Lounge, friends of Italian conceptual artist Piero Golia came out to toast his latest masterpiece, a giant, glowing sphere suspended above the hotel's roof. Golia's Luminous Sphere, which is 5-feet in diameter and was installed last month, is meant to be illuminated when the artist is in town, and off when he's not. Inspired by the many billboards along the Sunset Strip near the hotel, the artist's globe serves as a sign of his presence to everyone within a couple of miles of it. He tells the L.A. Times,
“I wanted to learn the sign language of L.A. It’s a city where signs are very powerful, where the Hollywood sign came before what we think of as Hollywood.”
Golia is an interesting character with a mischievous air about him. He's known for his unconventional and somewhat extreme (in a fun way!) projects, like an exhibition in which he created a diving board to propel viewers into his gallery and another stunt in which he climbed a palm tree and refused to come down until someone paid him to. For real -- he was clinging to the top of the tree like monkey!
A young, artsy crowd gathered for a proper celebration of the globe in the Purple Lounge directly beneath it. Unfortunately they weren't allowing anyone on the roof to visit the installation but that didn't seem to bum anyone out too badly. The turnout was surprisingly very strong which made getting to the bar a bit of a struggle. Guests chatted throughout the space as a DJ spun a bunch of Joy Division and appetizers like mini pizza's and peaches wrapped in prosciutto (yum!!) were passed well into the night.
When asked how long we can expect to have his Luminous Sphere as part of our skyline, Golia said through a giant grin he hopes forever, if the powers that be permit. Having a piece of Golia's here for us to call our own and help brighten up our night sky would be awesome, and we hope so too.