We thought it was just general, irrefutable knowledge by now that bigtime L.A. architect Frank Gehry designed downtown's Disney Hall by crumpling up a piece of paper and setting the welders to work.
But, as Gehry revealed in a CNN interview on Sunday, it turns out that was probably just something we saw on “The Simpsons” and filed away in the “makes sense, therefore it is” portion of our art-challenged brains:
Asks esteemed interviewer Fareed Zakara, not really knowing how to bring up something he saw on “The Simpsons,”
“So this — the famous story that you took a piece of paper and crumpled it and looked at it and that was the Disney Hall in L.A.”
Famous story, eh? Gehry's awesomely blunt response:
“But that's a famous story because the Simpsons had me do that.”
“The Simpsons” — how rumors get started.
But high art? Really? Throughout the rest of the interview, Gehry kind of vacillates on whether, in reality, designing the Disney Hall was just a “fun thing” or a true architectural feat, but does admit “I worked my butt off to make that special” for the audience. Because in the end, “a building should engender some kind of an emotional response.”
So, no: Probably not completed with one paper-in-fist flourish. Here's the cartoon's creationist version of how L.A.'s majestic, if overheated, concert hall came to be (in which Gehry plays God, duh!) versus the boring “Sketches of Frank Gehry” documentary account.
(In Spanish for copyright reasons. About time you learned anyway, you bad Angeleno. But here's a translation of the best line, directly after the crumpling: “Frank Gehry, you're a genius.”)
Shucks. At least it made a good story while it lasted. Plus, Gehry got some hilarious art-asshole anecdotes out of it:
“Everybody thinks I'm going to crumple a paper. Clients come to me and say crumple a piece of paper, we'll give you $100 and then we'll build it.”
Now that we got that out of the way, it's Eli Broad's turn: How to explain away the giant coffee filter he's installing along the downtown museum circuit?