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LACMA announces inaugural Art + Film Gala honoring Clint Eastwood and John Baldessari
File photo of artist John Baldessari posing for photographs in front of one of his artworks. EPA/TONI GARRIGA.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- The Los Angeles County Museum of Art announced the inaugural Art + Film Gala honoring actor and filmmaker Clint Eastwood and artist John Baldessari at LACMA on Saturday, November 5, 2011. Co-chaired by actor Leonardo DiCaprio and LACMA Trustee Eva Chow, the evening will celebrate the art of the moving image and will bring together luminaries from both communities. Proceeds from the gala will be used to support LACMA’s initiative to make film more central to the museum’s curatorial programming, while also funding LACMA’s broader mission. This will include the newly reinvigorated film program led by Film Independent’s Elvis Mitchell, as well as exhibitions, acquisitions, and educational programming, in addition to screenings that explore the intersection of art and film. The 2011 Art + Film Gala has been made possible with the generous support of Gucci.

“Los Angeles is the hub of the film industry,” says Michael Govan, LACMA CEO and Wallis Annenberg Director. “It's also now one of the most important centers in the world for contemporary art. What an opportune time to bring these two globally important creative communities together at LACMA, acknowledging motion pictures’ increasingly significant place in the whole history of art. We are most indebted to Leonardo DiCaprio and Eva Chow for their outstanding leadership in this effort, and for their help in honoring two remarkable creative forces, Clint Eastwood and John Baldessari.”

“Supporting LACMA’s Art + Film Gala is essential to our ambitious goals for film at the museum,” said Gala Co-Chair Eva Chow. “I am thrilled to sit on LACMA’s Board with many highly respected film industry leaders and to co-chair this important fundraiser with Leonardo DiCaprio, whose support for this initiative is so critical. We are looking forward to an incredibly exciting evening, including fabulous entertainment and a special dinner prepared by world-renowned chef Joachim Splichal. I am certain that everyone who attends will have an amazing time.”

Clint Eastwood is one of the most distinguished filmmakers and actors in contemporary American cinema. With more than 70 movies to his credit on both sides of the camera, he most recently directed the upcoming drama J. Edgar, starring DiCaprio in the title role.

Leonardo DiCaprio said, “I am proud to take part in this celebration of the contributions of Clint Eastwood. His illustrious motion picture career is unparalleled. And I'm so pleased that LACMA recognizes film as the art form it is and is dedicated to creating a world-class film department.”

An imposing figure in contemporary art, Los Angeles's own John Baldessari is widely considered to be one of the most significant artists to emerge since the mid-1960s. His successful retrospective, co-organized by LACMA and presented in Los Angeles last year, opened its tour at the Tate in London and ended at the Metropolitan Museum in New York.

Govan stated “An international influence, John is one of Southern California’s most recognized artists, who through his commitment and contributions to our city’s cultural heritage as both an artist and teacher have helped make Los Angeles the center of contemporary art it is today. Through his consistent use of photography—often film stills—and video, John has continued to make art that beguiles audiences with his humor, conceptual approach, unconventional methods, and sly wit.”

The Art + Film Gala 2011 is expected to draw illustrious local, national, and international guests from the worlds of art, entertainment, fashion, and design, including collectors, philanthropists, and cultural and civic leaders, among others.

"Supporting LACMA's mission to celebrate the art of filmmaking is a natural extension of Gucci's longstanding commitment to the film community," said Gucci Creative Director Frida Giannini. "We are proud to join Michael Govan, Eva Chow, and Leonardo DiCaprio in honoring the inspiring and distinguished careers of Clint Eastwood and John

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