Blowing stuff up at MOCA: Cai Guo-Qiang and the gunpowder drawings

Forget LACMA’s rock. MOCA’s had fireworks all week, courtesy the rock star artist from China,  Cai Guo-Qiang.  A team of volunteers helps prepare with stencils arranged on the enormous canvases before he ignites the flame. They’re then deployed with mitts to extinguish the embers: “When you’re putting out fires,” Cai said through a translator on Wednesday night, “please be careful not to step on the art work.”  And voila!  The singe yields a masterpiece.I was lucky to be in the rafters at the Geffen Contemporary, and I talked about this on KCRW with our art critic Hunter Drohojowska-Philp, who of course knew all about the legend of Cai.  She’d even seen another of his works recently on an art voyage she made to Qatar. Listen to our conversation:

Sky Ladder opens in April with another performance by Qaing. The works he’s making this week will be on display (replete with videos to show their creation.)