First Anthony Kiedis drove around L.A. with painter Ed Ruscha. Then Jason Schwartzman riffed on the meaning of art and the museum-going experience with a floating projection of conceptualist John Baldessari. Now Ice Cube -- aka O’Shea Jackson -- reflects on the importance of mid-century design superstars Charles and Ray Eames.
It’s all part of a promotional campaign to raise awareness for “Pacific Standard Time,” the unprecedented ongoing consideration of postwar L.A. art at more than 60 Southern California cultural institutions.
The rapper and actor, who studied architectural drafting briefly in 1987 at Arizona’s Phoenix Institute of Technology before forming N.W.A., visits the couple’s famous Pacific Palisades home, Case Study House No. 8, and takes full measure of their resourcefulness and ingenuity.
“Off-the-shelf factory windows, prefabricated walls -- they were doing mash-ups before mash-ups existed,” he says in the video, before noting: “It’s not about the pieces. It’s how the pieces work together. You know, taking something that already exists and making something special. Kind of like sampling.”
TBWA\Chiat\Day Los Angeles tapped Ice Cube for the project, which was shot in October, on the suggestion of the video’s director, Dave Meyers.
“It turned out that Ice Cube had this fascinating story that nobody knew,” says Patrick O’Neill, the ad firm’s executive creative director, of the performer’s education in Arizona. “And his approach to sampling and how he looks at it is so appropriate.”
In related news, the documentary Eames: The Architect and the Painter, narrated by James Franco, will be released on DVD on Dec. 13.