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MMM Exclusive: Weekend of Art, Fun and Sun in Los Angeles

This post is brought to you by Banana Republic. Visit www.BananaRepublic.com for the hottest summer fashion trends.

When Banana Republic asked us to partner with them to show our readers a sun-filled weekend in Los Angeles, we were beyond excited! I was born in LA and attended college here, at UCLA, so I can't tell you how much love and pride I have for this incredible city. That being said, for this project, I took the director's seat and then asked four family members, one of whom you're already familiar with (Eugene, my brother as well as partner at My Modern Met), to help show us what a day of art, fun and sun looks like in Los Angeles.

Our first stop was The Museum of Contemporary Art in downtown LA, where MOCA was kind enough to open their doors to us an hour early so that we could enjoy Swiss-born artist Urs Fischer's boundary-pushing art all to ourselves.

Fischer's surreal show is spread out among two of MOCA's locations, the Grand Avenue building as well as The Geffen Contemporary, about seven blocks away. Easily, the most show-stopping installation at the Grand Avenue location consists of 1,500 plaster raindrops hung on invisible nylon filament. If you stand at just the right spot, it looks like it's actually raining inside, oversize blue droplets descend down from the ceiling and look as though they're about to splash onto your face.

Intriguing works of art greet you everywhere you turn including a slumped 21-foot high street lamp, a fairy-tale like bread house you can actually walk inside, a curious cat peering inside a lit oven, and an enormous painting of a 1940s actress with a giant lemon photoshopped onto her face.

Though staring straight at you, one large scale installation you may not immediately notice consists of a huge hole in the wall with a relocated cutout. Called Portraits of a Single Rain Drop, the piece started out as a kind of experiment that first took place in Fischer's studio as a creative act of demolition. By being transferred onto the museum's pristine space, the artwork is meant to bring something unfinished or “in the making” to a clinically preserved institution. In a similar vein, if you look at the floor of the exhibition space, you'll notice that the all-white walls are sloppily painted at the base with black paint. Similar to the huge cutout, this symbolizes a painting in progress.

Finally, at the Geffen location, you walk in and immediately notice all the small and large clay figures scattered throughout the floor. Fischer invited 1,500 volunteers to join him in making anything they wanted out of clay. Weave your way around the clay forms and you'll find two monumental works by Fischer himself, though these are not made out of clay, but wax. Created for the Venice Biennale in 2011, Giambologna's Rape of the Sabine Women (1579-1583) and the Rudi figure were lit up at the opening of the festival and were slowly burned down like candles. Now residing at the MOCA, these sculptures are nothing short of amazing.

After taking in all that incredible art, we decided it was time to get outside and enjoy the warm California weather. So, we hit the road, checked into our 1933 Art Deco-inspired hotel in Santa Monica, The Georgian, and then walked right across the street for a lunch picnic on Santa Monica's sand.

Santa Monica Beach is a 3.5 mile stretch of sand that enjoys over 300 days of sunshine a year. (Yes, you read that right, on average there's 340 days of sun hitting that spot.) Though many know of it by its famous sign or its fun pier, the beach itself is worth visiting for its wide stretches of white sand. Oftentimes crowded, you have to search for the perfect spot, especially for a quiet picnic, but it's worth it if you're interested in enjoying all the activities surrounding it.

Santa Monica Pier is a 100-year-old landmark that contains Pacific Park, a family amusement park complete with a large Ferris wheel. The pier itself is famous, having been featured in such films as Forrest Gump, Iron Man, and 2012. Though packed with people, it's a fun place to watch surfers or just people passing by. There's a reason why it's a tourist hot spot, fun and exciting activities are jam packed into one space.

After a very full day on Saturday, we decided that Sunday called for a quiet, intimate brunch at our hotel. Not only does The Georgian have an excellent and attentive staff, they have a great restaurant right in front called The Veranda. Sit outside and you'll enjoy ocean views while sipping on mimosas.

Driving around LA and enjoying all the city has to offer, you can't help but appreciate the place we call home. This memorable road trip couldn't have been possible without Banana Republic, so thank you once again to our sponsor, for allowing us to show our readers what an ideal weekend in LA means to us. We hope you enjoyed our summertime road trip and are inspired to take one yourself!

This post is brought to you by Banana Republic. Visit www.BananaRepublic.com for the hottest summer fashion trends.

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