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l.a. centric july/august 2012 $ 3.95

The Stahl House Summer Travel Cheech Marin


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MODERN & CONTEMPORARY WORKS Paintings, Drawings, Prints & Sculpture

Karel Appel Alexander Calder Vija Celmins Marc Chagall George Condo Willem De Kooning Max Ernst Ma Sam Francis Alberto Giacometti Arshile Gorky David Hockney Hundertwasser Jasper Johns Roy Lichtenstein Man Ray Roberto Matta Joan Miro Henry Moore Pablo Picasso Robert Rauschenberg Pierre-Auguste Renoir Pierr Georges Rouault Ed Ruscha Rufino Tamayo Mark Tobey Andy Warhol Max Weber & others

Representing: Jordi Alcaraz Hans Burkhardt Claire Falkenstein Patrick Graham Reuben Nakian Ruth Weisberg Jerome Witkin Francisco Zu単iga

JACK RUTBERG FINE ARTS 357 N. La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90036 www.jackrutbergfinearts.com Tel: (323) 938-5222 Fax: (323) 938-0577 jrutberg@jackrutbergfinearts.com

Tuesday - Friday 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Saturday 10:00 a.m - 5:00 p.m.


John Kelly Chocolates, 2012 Truffle Fudge

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J u l y 5 – Au gu st 4 T URBULENCE selected paintings by (clockwise from upper left):

SARA BRIGHT ANGELA BAKER STEPHAN FRITSCH JULIA SCHWARTZ CATHERINE TIRR ERIN LAWLOR MASARU KUROSE MARIE THIBEAULT


GE O R GE L AW S ON G A LLE RY | LOS A N G E LE S 8564 Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232 www.georgelawsongallery.com 310.837.6900


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DESIGNING MODERN ENVIRONMENTS

PEBBLES sculptural seating

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l.a. centric magazine

July - August 2012

contents

18 | onview two art exhibitons

28 | art elizabeth orleans

20 | street abbot kinney

29 | art kate savage

22 | people q&a renee fox

30 | jewelry amanda keiden

26 | people melissa herrington

32 | fashion more summer favorites

Inside the Stahl House 38 Alison Martino visits the house, interviews the family

Summer Travel 44 Laura Grier in Panama; Amalia Maloney in Italy; Fashion in the Florida Keys

64 | design venice: home & garden tour 66 | art collecting blue-chip vs. emerging 70 | travel story vincente guerrero in baja

Cheech Marin & Chicano Art 60 Simmy Swinder interviews him about his collection

68 | food justine freeman reviews sycamore; night & market 72 | dating.pool pain+misery=amour

On the cover: Stahl House Interior Photograph by Donavan Freberg

12 l.a. centric july/august 2012

See article on page 38

lacentricmagazine.com


l.a.contributors Just i ne Fre e man Although she can't stay put, this LA native finds the town to be just dreamy. Justine loves to witness first hand how much LA continues to mature as a cultural metropolis and savors the moments when she gets to share how much the scene has flourished. In the last few years alone, the art world has expanded and the culinary universe has spotlighted some talented new chefs. Trying out new restaurants is always on her list of things to do. Justine blogs at mysoupdujour.com

Micha el D u m l e r Michael Dumler runs the style blog, “On Abbot Kinney.” He photographs style, but his real purpose is to discover the person behind the style that catches his eye.

Su z y K l one r Suzy’s love for LA runs deep. She is a native Angelino who is passionate about and inspired by the complex face of our city. From its iconic landmarks to its hidden architectural gems, Los Angeles’ history, style, and ever-changing character has served as inspiration for Suzy’s interior design firm, Suzy Kloner Design. Experienced in residential and commercial and hospitality design, Suzy specializes in creating interior and exterior spaces that are unique and distinctive.

Ash le y He aton Ashley Heaton is a writer and editor based in Los Angeles. A former fashion columnist for 944 Magazine, she has contributed to publications including California Home & Design, American Contemporary Art, and international editions of Marie Claire and Glamour. She blogs at www.thefashiongeek.net

L is a C S oto Visual artist Lisa C Soto exhibits in the U.S., the Caribbean and Europe. Her sculptures and drawings reference cartography, landscapes, and world cultures. Born in Los Angeles, Soto was brought up in both Spain and New York City. She currently works out of her art studio in the Beacon Arts Building in Inglewood, CA. lisacsoto.com

Sim my Sw i nde r Simmy Swinder is director and curator at Carmichael Gallery, located in Los Angeles and New York. She is also the marketing director of tasj magazine, an independent art periodical founded in 2009 and distributed to homes, museums, galleries, auction houses, art fairs, and festivals around the world. She is a frequent contributor to American Contemporary Art and L.A. Centric magazines.

A l is on Mar t ino Alison Martino is a television producer, writer and Los Angeles historian. She has produced many high-profile TV series, such as “Intervention” and “Celebrity Rehab with Dr Drew.” While she was working on the series “Mysteries & Scandals” on E!, she fell in love with old Hollywood. Her passion for historical L.A. inspired her to start “Vintage Los Angeles” – one of the most popular sites on Facebook, currently at over 30,000 fans. This Los Angeles native who grew up in the entertainment business also has a vast collection of L.A. memorabilia from matchbooks, vintage menus, and rare photos. Alison has been featured in the Huffington Post and Good Day L.A. She continues her passion writing about her favorite subject in L.A. Centric.

Ama l i a Ma l one y As a freelance writer, Amalia Maloney blends her passion for people and traveling to give the reader an experience rich in local cultures. She is currently based out of Denver, CO, and as a dual citizen of the US and Spain, spends time living and traveling throughout Europe. Learn more about her work and writings at http://about.me/amalia

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l.a. centric magazine

Pub l isher & Editor

Richard Kalisher Architecture & Design Editor:

Brent Turner

F o od & T ravel Editor :

Justine Freeman

Vintag e L .A . Editor :

Alison Martino A rts Editor :

Lisa C Soto

Fashion Editor :

Ashley Heaton

Art Collecting Columnist :

Astrid Oviedo Clark

C on t ribu t in g Editor s: Suzy K l on er L orn a Umph re y Mi ch el l Ne w man Man d an a Yamin C on t ribu t in g W rite r s: Mi ch el l e Wi ener L i n ds ay C arron L aur a Gri er Tri ci a Tongc o An n a Br ui sma Si m my Sw i n d er C op y Editor Ron S amps on

Adve r t is i ng In for mat ion : R i chard Ka l ishe r | 3 2 3 - 380- 8916 a dve r t is i ng@ l a c e nt r i c magazine. com Submissions - L A C ent r ic on ly accepts e-mai l submissions. Ple as e s end stor y ide as, complete d f ic t ion, ar t, and photos to submi ssions@lacentr ic magazine.com or v isit our website for more det ai ls. Ple as e note t hat a resp ons e may t a ke up 2 mont hs. © 2 0 1 2 R . K . Graph i c s / C it y C e nt r ic Me di a. A l l R i g ht s R e s e r ve d.

Eric Kalisher

Conception • Design • Editor-at-large


jackie robbins leather + jewelry

los feliz village 1954 hillhurst avenue los angeles, ca 90027 323 664-4860 www.jackierobbins.com jackie@jackierobbins.com


l.a.onview

Factory 77, a rare collection of raw, uncensored photographs by Los Angeles artist & prolific blogger, Brad Elterman. Factory 77 makes its Los Angeles debut showcasing several never before printed images, including a photograph of Cherie Currie of The Runaways and a candid shot of Olivia Newton John and John Travolta together after the Grease premiere. With a passion for rock n’ roll pop culture, Elterman felt compelled to reopen ‘Pandora’s Box’ of photos and unleash them on the public 25 years later. His photographs capture an intimate, ‘behind-the-scenes’ vibe of the rock n’ roll greats of the late 70’s/ early 80’s and their gritty, much admired glamour. "My timing was perfect. The apex was between 1975-1980 and there I was, a teenager, hanging out with my pals The Ramones, Sex Pistols, Debbie Harry and Joan Jett on the Sunset Strip. Luckily, I had a camera hanging around my neck" says Elterman. He was at the forefront of the industry because he was in the right place at the right time following the most iconic figures in music, including Madonna, David Bowie, Bob Dylan, and Michael Jackson. Elterman documents the essence of these luminaries while they were out on the town that had yet been interpreted though photography. His work allows us to feel the emotions captured at many exhilarating moments in the music industry before it was controlled by publicists, record companies and management.

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BRAD ELTERMAN

Factory 77 is on view through September 10. Kana Manglapus, 1346 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice.


RICKY ALLMAN

Ricky Allman, 2012, This is a lighthouse, acrylic on canvas, 8 x 13 ft.

In Ricky Allman’s exhibition, I’ll Capitulate If You Succumb, he uses the geographic landscape of his childhood in the Rocky Mountains, modernist architecture and gestural abstraction, Allman's work reflects an indefinite future, a complicated and frenetic world of colliding forms often in the moment of origination. His literal and psychological landscapes are a mix of dreamy futurism and bold expressionism, evoking contradictory worlds of order and chaos with a sometimes sinister beauty. Growing up as a Mormon in Utah, Allman was taught to believe in, fear, and prepare for an impending apocalypse. It is no surprise then that the themes of religious fundamentalism, paired with an implied critique of technology and its pollutative impact on the pressures of modern society, are particular concerns for the artist. In this new series of paintings and drawings, Allman’s dystopian view of society has =made way for more hopeful musings on the future of humanity. Delving further into ideas of human innovation as an evolutionary extension most concerned with selfpreservation, Allman believes we are the producer and the product of our tools; we shape them and in turn they shape us.

Projecting current technology's incremental advances into the future yields far more accurate predictions than any theological prophecies. New self-replicating and repairing building materials hint at a possible future of Darwinian architecture that can evolve over time. Using these notions of architecture as well as landscape imagery and abstraction, Allman plays with physical and psychological spaces that depict unconsidered scenarios. Allman’s paintings also exude a quirky playfulness that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Allman explains that while his concerns are very real, he is never one to forget to find the humor in it all: “The relationship of new technologies and their complementary and integral impact on our minds can expand, alter and distort our perception. Much like op-art and psychedelics in the 1960's awoke us to mental activities that we were previously ignorant of, our new tools of perceiving not only our universe but our neural processes have awoken our current generation to a larger, more complex and increasingly more accurate view of reality, bitches!” I’ll Capitulate If You Succumb is on view through Aug 11. Marine Contemporary, 1733-A Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice.

july/august 2012 l.a. centric 19


l.a.streets

20 l.a. centric july/august 2012

ABBOT KINNEY


Photos by Michael Dumler

july/august 2012 l.a. centric 21


l.a.people

Back & Forth with

RENÉE FOX Renaissance Woman

Renée A. Fox finishing her mural "A Decadent Work" for her show at West L.A. College, Photo by Avesha Michael

LISA C SOTO sat in the art filled home of Renée Fox and Kenneth Ober in Inglewood, California. Here they have created a meeting place for the L.A. art community to gather, exchange ideas, argue out opinions, BBQ, drink, play badminton, and dance in their enchanted garden. Where were you born and where did you grow up? I was born and raised in Frederick, Maryland. Frederick is a little German town, on the east coast. It is now a suburb of D.C. We lived on a little street across from the school in a brownstone townhouse. You lived there until you were how old? I lived there until I was 11. My parents divorced and my mother moved us to the southern panhandle of West Virginia, right on the Shenandoah River. We lived on a beef farm next door to an English gentleman who trained racehorses. How old were you when you left the farm? When I was old enough to start attracting boys, my mother put me in an all girls’ catholic boarding school in Frederick, The Visitation Academy. I came home on the weekends. I loved it there. The rumors are true; it sort of encourages you to be bad in a situation like that (laughs).

22 l.a. centric july/august 2012

Where did you go to College? I went to Catholic University for Architecture and the Corcoran College of Art + Design in D.C. I then ended up finishing at the Otis College of Design in Los Angeles. Did you grow up in an artistic environment? Not necessarily. It was something that I had naturally done most of my life. But at age 5 or 6, I had a babysitter who showed me how to make 3 dimensional images, how to shade things. It was like a really cool magic trick, which I continued to refine. That is so much part of my work, the really soft rendering and shading. So she was my first influence. My mother greatly encouraged and supported me by buying books and art supplies. I spent much of my time alone, drawing and reading. How did your role as an artist evolve? When I started architecture school, I thought this was a creative business. I already had confidence in my ability, my skills. I thought this was a great avenue. I could make money, it had prestige, and I loved architecture. It seemed perfect. But it wasn’t right, which put me in a bit of a tailspin. I took a year off and moved to the beach in Avon on Hatteras Island, part of the Outer Banks of North Carolina. I decided that I really loved the freedom that fine art could give me. I

got accepted to the Corcoran College of Art and Design in D.C. What brought you to L.A.? I was living in D.C., a place that had romance for me but had somehow lost its appeal. I needed to find a bigger art community and to be inspired. I had never been to L.A., loved its reputation, and I was told there were these wonderful summer breezes that smelled like vanilla and jasmine. I thought, I want to go there. So I did. I found that Otis had a similar curriculm to what I was taking at the Corcoran and also a strong, supportive community. Your husband Kenneth Ober is an artist as well. how did you guys meet? We met at Otis College. We both attended Keith Sklar's painting class. He gave the assignment to find someone in the class we didn’t know, and draw them as they simultaneously drew you. Kenneth asked me. After weeks of staring at and drawing one another, we fell in love. That is romantic. Where is Kenneth from? He is also from Maryland. He grew up about 45 minutes from me, also in horse country. He rode competitively. We pinpointed one concert we both attended in Maryland at the same time. But I was with this other red headed guy, not Kenneth (laughs). We had to cross the country to meet. Tell me about your art, about your


drawings. They are inspired by botanical drawing. When I studied at the Corcoran, I took a class in botanical drawing. The kind of skills I had went very well with that type of drawing. It was so elegant, something about making these fragile, beautiful forms. It then became a language. I have been exploring it in other ways since then, such as stories of erotica and stories from my upbringing. The work has gotten a little bit sexy, a little bit creepy, and certainly playful. I know you do murals as well; how did that evolve? When I was living in D.C., I was introduced to an artist, Nancy Jeffrey, who was ten years my senior. She saw a similarity in both of our styles. For example, she saw one piece I did of a big, fat, phallic, red, hot, chili pepper (laughs). She hired me for her mural and internal finishes projects. I worked with her for years and then went out on my own. It has been about 15 years I have been painting murals. Rafkho Studios is the name of my decorative painting business. The name comes from the initials of both my and Kenneth’s full names. Kenneth handles the accounting and is an amazing problem solver. I network to find new clients and constantly deliver high quality work, which yields referrals and repeat business. You are also an archivist? Yes, I archive art collections. That happened because Nancy’s first client had three homes with an incredible art collection. Nancy suggested to her client that she begin to put together an archive. I was asked to work on her collection because I had previous experience. Linda Burnham, my instructor and rmentor, taught me how to archive on Art Systems. We archived the work of her deceased husband, Robert Overby. So I have been working for 6 years on my current client’s archive. AND You also curate? I do! That also happened naturally. I curated my first shows with my studio mate Holly Williams, after we graduated from Otis. I was always very proactive. I started to find independent places with other Otis graduates, and we put on shows. Then a friend of mine purchased the beautiful old Otis administrative building, across from MacArthur Park in downtown L.A. It is a beautiful space with a courtyard, a fountain, exposed brick, and wood floors. Holly and I did our first show, “Reclaiming,” there. It was my first publicized curatorial show. I did my second one with Kate Harding, who is currently the assistant chair at Otis, and Jenée Misraje, who was a curator at the Hammer Museum at that time. ON TOP OF ALL THIS, you are also director of the gallery in the Beacon Arts Building. How did that come about? When Kenneth and I moved to Inglewood, we started meeting our neighbors, who were all artists. We put together open studios at our places. We started mixing our guest lists; the word got out and it grew organically. When it got so big we needed someone to manage it, I volunteered to organize them. This year will be

our sixth year. The third year there were two L.A. Times articles. That year I got calls from all kinds of people thanking me, including the city. That was the beginning of working with the Inglewood city government. One of the other people that contacted me was Scott Lane, who works with Tony Kouba, the owner of two commercial buildings in Inglewood. They were trying to figure out what to do with the buildings. They contacted me when they read the articles. I suggested that if they want to bring people here, it was important to include the greater L.A. art world. I felt there was a need for a community of artists that would be mutually inspiring. So I used my connections at Otis College and brought in instructors like Scott Grieger, who has a studio at the 1019 W. Manchester building, and alumni like Winter Jensen, who has a studio in BAB and is my assistant in the gallery. Were there studios before you got involved or were you part of that process too? No, I was part of that process. There were two empty buildings with two people who weren’t paying rent; it was challenging. I suggested the addition of the gallery because I saw it as the heart of the place. We now have 79 beautiful studios, with 70 professional artists between both buildings. BAB gallery has been more successful than I ever imagined. I didn’t expect to love being a director so much. Interestingly, it is not as though I go from one thing to another. Instead, I collect them, and I have another thing I do. I am still an artist. I am still a muralist, archivist, curator, and now gallery director. Tell me more about your involvement with the council members and the mayor? When we started the open studio tour and got press, the city government became very interested. They supply us with two shuttles a year for the open studios tour throughout Inglewood. One year Council member Judy Dunlap came with the local television station to document the open studios tour. It was added to their website to promote the city. They also aid us with promotion annually. That same year she and Danny Tabor, the mayor pro tem, came to our closing reception. They gave us certificates to thank us for what we had done for the city of Inglewood. What do you find is the most challenging part of wearing all of these hats? The most challenging part would have to be, finding the commonality. Initially, when I was working at Beacon, it was very hard to handle everything else. Since then, what I have learned is that being an artist is the commonality, knowing that as an artist I am creative. I can make not only work but also myself into other things as well. But I have to say that the main thread that really holds it

Renée A. Fox and Matt Gleason at Gleason's show "tel art phone" in Beacon Arts Building Photos (Courtesy) by Ginger Van Hook ©2010

Renée’s personal Top Ten • • • • • • • • • •

Sleeping Beauty series of erotic stories by Anne Rice Georges Battaille "Story of the Eye" "The Last Unicorn"- childhood favorite film The Biblical story of Adam & Eve. Hieronymous Bosh "The Garden of Earthly Delights" “In Wonderland: The Surrealist Adventures of Women Artists in Mexico and the United States” at LACMA "The Botany of Desire" by Michael Pollan Illustrations by Edward Gorey Georgia O'Keefe's sensual flowers and soft rendering style Art Forms in Nature: The Prints of Ernst Haeckel

Renée & husband Kenneth H. Ober at "ARATALAND! One Night Stand" at Beacon Arts Building

july/august 2012 l.a. centric 23


Renée A. Fox with Councilwoman Judy Dunlap and Mayor Danny Tabor at 3rd annual Inglewood Open Studios

together is the connections that I make. I am really socially geared, community driven. You can’t operate in a vacuum; it is important to get out there. With the shows you curate, is there a main theme? They have all been group shows so far. I tend to be inspired by a few different artists at a time and see relationships between them. They may have similar skill sets or are encountering things, in a similar way. In Otis, my instructor told me to look at artists that reminded me of my work, so I might learn something. Perhaps I have taken that and implemented it in a curatorial way. I feel I have defined a community within the art world. Maybe it shows what my taste is, what I am inspired by and the kind of artwork I would like to own personally. So process might be one of the themes in your curatorial choices? Process is huge. I love when process is evident, when you see a piece of work that reveals the time that went into it, when you can see that it is meticulously and skillfully done. I am definitely a stickler for detail-oriented work. What outside curators have you worked with and why did you choose them for Beacon Arts Building? That was definitely a political reason. When I started the gallery I made lists with Kenneth. We talked about critics as curators; that was the first series. I contacted art critics and writers throughout L.A. who I respect. The closing panels for each show were very interesting. I would invite all of the critics from each of the other shows. We would talk about curatorial practices and relationships to the artist’s show. They didn’t usually get together

24 l.a. centric july/august 2012

like that; sometimes there were very heated disagreements. These are really opinionated people, who speak their mind on a continuous basis. So it was spicy. Who are some of theSE critics? Shana Nys Dambrot wrote for Flavorpill and now for LA Weekly, LA Canvas, and WhiteHotmagazine.com. Peter Frank is a longtime writer in L.A.; his father was involved in the art world in NYC. A brilliant guy, Frank did a very smart show about painting titled “Densities.” David Pagel from L.A. Times. Doug Harvey who is a writer and artist. China Adams, a very talented artist. Matt Gleason did a great show called “Tel Art Phone”. Tell me about your latest show at Beacon Arts Building. The latest show is called “Lineamenta.” This show is very close to my heart because it is about drawing. I wanted the work in the show to explore drawing in different ways, with both abstract concepts and straightforward line work. When you think of the different genres, like painter, sculptor, I think that drawing can be a strange non-territory. Do you say a drawer? A draftsman? There isn't really a title. Drawing is often a means to an end, a sketch for a painting, for example. It is a visual language. It is so process oriented, the linear nature of drawing shows a passage of time. I like that idea, the meticulous proof of the time that goes into a drawing, because you see the lines, the evidence. Like in China Adams' pieces "A Certain Period of Time" where tiny lines lie perfectly next to one another, creating shapes that speak to the incredible care and time that the 3 drawings took to create. I thought about drawing in an abstract sense as well,

drawing relationships between things or drawing by removal showing the absence of something, or an unfinished process. In Jessica Minckley’s video "The Ineffable", a strikingly beautiful woman sings a song without words. It is an incredibly beautiful melody and you are getting this really strong message, but all she is saying is lalala. In the video, drawing functions as language and written word, which has not been completely defined. It is that limbo, in the process of becoming, where I wanted to define drawing. Lineamenta means drawing in Latin. There are over 30 words for “drawing” in Latin but that particular word encompasses so many ideas of what drawing can be. What is next in Fox world? A mural with a client in Bel Air, who has a home that was designed by Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac. I am continuing the archive for my private client that is over a thousand pieces. We have “Constructing Fantasy: Resident Artists of Beacon Arts Building & 1019 WEST”, opening on June 30th. On the second floor will be a survey of the 70 artists from our community (BAB & 1019). In the main gallery, we are having an exquisite sculpture show. In the near future, I have an entirely new set of guest curators coming, titled “Taste makers of L.A.”. These will be artists or educators who have made a huge impact on the art community. It includes, Jeffrey Valance, Alexis Smith, Meg Linton and John Baldessari. l.a. For more information on Renée’s work please visit her site: http://www.reneeafox.com For more information on BAB & 1019 visit: http://beaconartsbuilding.com/


l.a.art

Shadows rendered in braided lilies and unraveling webs. Suffocated surfaces with barren cracks and crevices. Slits, stitches and rope barriers that remain highly composed, or should I say unfailingly poised. One enters the gallery only to become cocooned in tragic beauty. The title of this exhibition, “Ashes to Honey,” suggests Melissa Herrington investigates the theme of maturation in her new body of work. However, I would argue that Herrington is examining the work of the body, specifically the female form, metaphorically and literally. Through the vehicles of Western myth and literary works from nineteenth century female writers, Herrington explores Woman in relationship to confinement and the production of beauty within it. Herrington used oil and acrylics on wood to create 12 paintings to form the center piece of this exhibition. These works stem from a studio time on a residential fellowship in Marnay, France awarded through CAMAC and Foundation Ténout. Herrington utilized this time during her fellowship to explore and experiment, this was a time of personal transformation, painting all of these works upon her return.

26 l.a. centric july/august 2012

MELISSA HERRINGTON

I would consider Herrington to be a lyrical painter, in that she has built an intimate visual language throughout her career as an artist. Even the titles of the paintings, which are grouped together in clusters, take on poet Tristan Tzara’s cut up method for creating Dadaist poetry. The paintings and the titles are fragments without one another, only to form a complete thought when united. A painted relationship between fragmentation and the whole. This could be a claim or position Herrington has for building a female community. This community speaks a different visual language. One which is informed by the metaphorical, metaphysical, and mythological ways of thinking. Yes, I could compare the titles of these paintings to the nonsensical absurdity of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, especially since there is a reference to Carroll’s motif of the portal, or looking glass, but I do not believe that she is speaking from a (seemingly) juvenile point of view. Rather, I would say that she is reflecting from a more mature and critical standpoint, commenting on issues such as the fiction of femininity and the power that it still may or may not hold.

The image of the portal is also offered to the female figures within the work as an escape and or transformation. Fragments of the body become signs for a giving up of the self and of what must be left behind. Ash, Ashes, Honey, Encrustation, Surfaced Marred, these works are reductive. Clearly contoured shapes remain distant. The place beyond becomes then the destination of the image. There is a spacing here, an interval which points onto the referent and the horizon that exceeds it. We are offered glimpses through the veils of night and gray blackness of dawn, Herrington exposes. Spilling muted tones, with honey-comb like forms and scratched marks that are sometimes methodical in their irregularity, sometimes appearing as though left unintentionally by some natural cause or progression. Honey spills; images emerge from lavender sediment, almost as figures. These elements form a sense of a landscape; a map chronicling a journey both internal and external, a visual mirage that Herrington creates. However, the thick “amber-like” resin on top of the surface is the great reminder that the image is fleeting, and becomes a reflective façade for the viewers to place themself within this world. The glassy veneer also suppresses


By Michelle Wiener

the layers underneath. This containment is a common thread literally and symbolically in the work. If biology is destiny as philosopher Simone de Beauvoir suggests in the first chapter of The Second Sex, then woman is trapped by her nature, contained by her own container of life. Herrington has made a slight shift within this new body of work. Not all of the female

figures are in silhouette. Most are in fact drawn in contour line. This technique in drawing is reserved for observational exercise. It is the eye translating what it sees and asking the hand to record the information. The line is careful, yet seems to have a topographical quality. It is as if Herrington is mapping out the physical qualities as well as the psychological workings

of Woman. The line itself is a double-edged sword, as it not only creates the form but then becomes the border or barrier in which it is contained. The rope like markings remind us that it is an object that either pulls us to safety or causes our demise at the gallows. The female figure is hollow, waiting to take in the world or l.a. surface around it.

july/august 2012 l.a. centric 27


l.a.art

ELIZABETH ORLEANS

I have created a unique language of shapes, that are based on an idea, feeling, personality or experience, which are used in a visually cohesive sculptural format. “Intimate Spaces” are a series of dry white cubes with smooth fleshy forms inside which capture the energy of the piece or a moment in time. The dichotomy of the inside and outside, create a yearning to reach into the interior of the piece and touch. Realizing that the walls of a room are just larger cubes, I collaborate with indoor environments to create architectural interventions. “Internal View” is an installation where a multitude of bump- like forms, protrude from the wall and drip from the ceiling. This work allows me to change a space and offers the viewer the experience of walking through my piece. “Inner Space Art” continues the exploration of working with walls by cutting into them and inserting my work directly into the facade. These nonrepresentational installations often are reminiscent of the body and deal with the concept of all manners of interaction, growth, relationships and vitality.

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KATE SAVAGE

I paint landscapes because I am trying to capture the tremendous awe I feel when I am immersed in nature. I am particularly drawn to the epic scale of the landscape on the western side of this beautiful country. My process is a combination of outdoor plein air studies and layered painting in my studio. I have been working on a very small scale for the past two years. I am trying to capture the expansive, deep, space of thousands of miles within a few square inches. To me this represents the connection to nature that I believe lives inside all of us. We all have a stunning, expansive, deep, space within us. I hope people will be inspired to be in touch with themselves and with the beauty around them when they look at my paintings.

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l.a.jewelry

AMANDA KEIDAN

Jewelry designer Amanda Keidan has become known for her exclusive, privately-commissioned engagement rings, designed under the name Amanda Keidan Jewelry. Her recently released new limited edition collections designed under the name AKJ. She has been designing for eleven years, and can count among her clients some very well known leaders and tastemakers. After trying her hand in a few creative positions in fashion and editorial in New York City, Amanda ended up in the metal studio after hours as a form of meditation. According to her, “Working with my hands, whether painting, sculpting or metal working is a process that takes me inward and clears my head. I carved a tree into a disk pendant with a tiny jewelry saw and I wore it out, and it got people'sattention. One of those people was an editor of a magazine and before I knew it, stores were calling and the business was born. I never considered it work, until people offered to pay me for it. This was in 2001.�

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Since then, Amanda has designed hundreds of privately commissioned diamond engagement rings. She is incredibly attentive to detail, drawing out the individuals’ story and ideals, inserting elements that are personal to the recipient: “I take pleasure in meeting my clients and hearing what they want and what they respond to. I like seeing them light up when they fall in love with an idea”. From afar, the piece may look classic, but up close details set the work apart — the way a particular diamond is held, the way a pendant is attached to a chain, or anunexpected stripe of pave diamonds. Every piece is hand made and created in the studios in New York and Los Angeles. The entire process is overseen by Keidan, from concept to sketch and design to fabrication — the end result is a truly memorable, delicate, personally-designed treasure that tells a personal story and intrigues from every angle.

Her limited edition collections of jewelry draw broadly on her inspiration from world travel, interior design, and a love of architecture. As she says, “Design ideas are always flying around in my head. The ready to wear collection is the three dimensional version of my ‘personal inspiration’ sketchbook.” Amanda Keidan currently resides in Venice, California, and makes frequent trips to New York and London to visit clients, hold trunk shows, and to deliver commissions. See amandakeidan.com

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l.a.fashion

Jessica

& some of her favorites

LOVE dress, purse strap belt, Jessica Simpson bag, Lulu’s Townsend clutch, Aldo shoes & necklace, Style & Co. watch , Miami boutique ring

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Jessica blogs at hapatime.com


(right) ShopAkira top, custom skirt Zara heels, Style & Co. watch

Style Sofia dress, gold heels by Vince Camuto, Lulu's Townsend clutch, Mimi's Boutique “love” bracelet, New York & Co. watch

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l.a.fashion

Jessica

& some of her favorites

(top) Motel Rocks dress, New York & Company watch (left) Romwe skirt/skort, Oasap belt, H&M top, Trend Essentials bracelet, Aldo bag, Steve Madden heels

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(right) Romwe top, Flirt Catalog shorts, Very Honey bag, Vivilli sunglasses, Oia Jules and Jeweliq bracelets, Aldo necklace. (below) LOVE dress, Enigma shoes, Romwe bag, Aldo necklace, New York & Co watch, Trend Essentials bracelet (bottom right) Forever 21 dress, Nasty Gal purse, Steve Madden Dynemte shoes, LYLIF bracelet

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DESIGN

JOHN

WILBAR SCULPTURE • FURNITURE

WWW.JOHNWILBAR.COM

Red Radius / sculpture: 8.3’h x 5’.4’w x 4’d

Hall Table 44 / 32"h x 44"l x 18"w

Red Coffee Table / 32"dia. x 18"h

222 West Abriendo Avenue | Pueblo, Colorado 81004 | 719-542-1370

www.johnwilbar.com John Deaux Art Gallery | 221 South Union Avenue | Pueblo, Colorado 81004 | www.johndeauxartgallery.com


HERBERT BAYER "Leaning Spiral Tower" tabletop edition, c. 1969 34 3/4" x 14" x 10 3/4"

"Undulated Wall" tabletop edition, c. 1967 37" x 21" x 21"

"Memorial Sculpture" tabletop edition c.1960-2007 48" x 21" x 21"

These sculptures and others from the Herbert Bayer Family Collection are available in editions of 6, in sizes from tabletop to monumental. For more information, contact:

EMIL NELSON GALLERY 2862 COLORADO AVE SANTA MONICA, CA 90404 www.nelsongallery.com Email: info@nelsongallery.com


VISITING THE ICONIC STAHL HOUSE AND FAMILY Alison Martino, creator of VINTAGE LOS ANGELES, explores legendary Case Study House 22

Photographs by Donavan Freberg


vintage l.a.

Throughout my life,

I’ve been fortunate enough to meet a lot of interesting people, many great legends, and visit astonishing homes. Nothing, though, quite prepared me for what I was about to see during my visit to the Stahl House. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are tons of beautiful homes in Los Angeles, but seeing this one was a revelation. Perhaps it was the breathtaking view above Sunset Strip or the immaculate mid-century design or the pool perched on the ledge of a cliff that thrilled me the most. I’ve studied Los Angeles architecture for years and celebrate its history every day on “Vintage Los Angeles”. It is a part of my everyday life. I’ve always longed for a time machine. I dream about that legendary DeLorean taking me back to an earlier, modernistic time in Los Angeles. Today, local theme parks, drive-ins, and roller rinks from those days have all disappeared. Houses and architecture I once admired have transformed drastically. But when I stepped into Case Study House 22, I realized the city around

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the Stahl house had changed, but the house itself had not. I’ve admired this house for years. I instantly thought of the famous photograph by Julius Shulman. Before I knew it I was sitting in that exact spot where the two girls were sitting. I almost started to tear up. But the best part of the visit was meeting the people inside this glass masterpiece. It was on this visit that I met Mark, Bruce, and Shari Stahl. This Stahls are approachable and friendly, traits passed down by their generous parents, Buck and Carlotta Stahl, both of whom have recently passed on. They grew up like any other post war American family, but their mother and father had an vision. And what a extraordinary vision it was... The original inspiration came from their father. After purchasing the empty lot for thirteen thousand dollars in 1954, he began his search for the perfect architect. After meeting with several who insisted that Buck’s plans to build this house

by Alison Martino

could not be executed — he had told them, “I don’t care how you do it, there’s not going to be any walls in this wing.” — he finally met architect Pierre Koenig, who agreed to take on the project in 1959. Some may ask, what is a "Case Study House"? John Entenza, who was editor of Arts & Architecture Magazine in 1943, championed all that was new in the arts, with a special emphasis on emerging modernist architecture in Southern California. He founded what was to become the most influential residential experiment the US had ever seen. Twenty-seven modernist homes over the course of 21 years would be built. They featured the works of architects like Raphael Soriano, Charles Eames, Craig Ellwood, Pierre Koenig, Richard Neutra, Eero Saarinen, and many other ground breakers. The Stahl house was number 22 in the series, and it has become the most iconic house produced within the entire case study house program. It embodied the house of the future.


The Stahl family was kind enough to allow me to interview them to take a closer look inside their lives growing up in Case Study House 22: ALISON Martino: How did you parents discover this lot? SHARI: Mom and Dad were renting a place nearby, just across the Canyon. They were constantly looking at this side of the hill wondering about the lots being created on the mountain across from them. So one afternoon, curiosity got the better of them, and they got in their Cadillac and decided to take a drive up there and look at the lots. Bruce: They ran across the owner of this lot by coincidence. He happened to be selling the lot and, a couple of hours later, they made a deal. Then, my Dad spent the next two years laying down concrete along the edge of the property to square off the edges and increase space. Shari: It was fate that the day my Mom and Dad decided to drive up, that the owner of the lot would be there at the same time and that they were able to make a deal on a hand shake. Today, that would never happen. You couldn’t buy property on a hand shake. WHAT IS A CASE STUDY HOuse? MARK: It was an experiment using very standard and attainable parts. Houses that would be affordable and quickly built using low costs materials. All the Case Study Houses weren’t built at one time. Twenty-seven houses were built over 21 years and this was approved towards the end of the program. How did Pierre Koenig get on board? Shari: Dad built a model and was trying to find an architect to build what he wanted. Two architects turned him down because they thought it was un-buildable. Pierre had the drive and the desire to make it happen. BRUCE: Mom had read about Pierre and heard he liked working with industrial materials. In order to get this house, it would have to be made of steel. Back then steel wasn’t very conventional. You couldn’t have built this house from wood. The windows wouldn’t hold up. So they used Bethlehelm steel. WHAT WAS IT LIKE GROWING UP HERE? SHARI: We had a blast growing up here. Nothing stopped us from roller skating through the house and on the edge of the cliffs. In fact, my brother Bruce used to dive off the roof in to the pool. Our Christmases were very unique and very festive. Since dad was a builder, he would carve giant Santa Clauses for us, and we would open up

our presents by the fireplace overlooking the city— the best memories of my life. As I got older though, I was concerned. One night, after having friends back on prom night, they started walking out on the ledge. I think that was the only night I was concerned. (Laughs) WHAT HAS KEPT THIS HOUSE ALIVE? Shari: It has been a combination of many people. Julius played a huge part with his amazing photography. Pierre kept it alive with teachings, tours and books. And a large part of it was our parents allowing people to come in for photo shoots, filming, tours, and

visits from colleges and universities. Having Julius’ photograph seen around the world and opening the house up continuously, I feel, has brought it to the level it is at now. Bruce: We have so many different players in the story. Julius couldn’t have taken the pictures if Koenig couldn’t have built it. And Koenig couldn’t have built it if my dad hadn’t shared his vision. HOW MANY TIMES DID JULIUS SHULMAN SHOOT HERE? Mark: Only that one time. All those pictures came from one day. The people in those pictures were friends of Julius. And

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vintage l.a.

now that black and white image is seen across the world and has become a signature of the house’s legacy. WHAT DOES THIS HOUSE MEAN TO YOU? Mark: It's our home. I’m comfortable here, in a city I’m not all that comfortable in anymore. You do not feel like you’re in the pressure of Los Angeles. It’s a quiet and peaceful spot. Shari: It is the home I grew up in and I absolutely adore this house! Most of the best memories that I have took place right here in this house. It is the only place that remains constant in my life. HOW CAN PEOPLE VIEW THE HOUSE? Mark: Viewings happen several times a month. Although I do encourage people to see the house sooner then later because nothing goes on forever. The Stahl house has become the most iconic symbol of mid century Modern living. I believe this creation could only have happened in one city, Los Angeles. It represents a pivotal breakthrough in the freedom of modern Southern California living. To me, the Stahl House is L.A.’s Hearst Castle… l.a. For more information and viewings, please visit their website: http://stahlhouse.com/

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Alison Martino with Mark and Bruce Stahl

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Summer Travel

Wanderlust:


Panama

by Laura Grier story and PhotographY


Laura’s Top 5 Things To Do in a Week in Panama List: 1) Walk around the art district of Casco Viejo and stay at the Boutique Hotel, Tántalo. It boasts a communal-style restaurant, with international-inspired comfort food dishes designed by Panamanian born Chef Pierre DeJanon, and the hottest rooftop bar/lounge in all of Panama. 2) Tour the Panama Canal. It is amazing to have lunch and watch these Mammoth Ships pass by and to learn it’s history. 3) Take a canoe through the Jungle to visit the nearby Embera Indian Village. There the Embera people show you how they live, cook for you and even sell you their handicrafts. 4) Go visit one of Panama’s 360 islands and go fish, surf, snorkel or just relax. The San Blas islands on the Caribbean side have stunning beaches and clear, turquoise water. They are owned by the Kuna Indians who will take you to their island in a private boat and cook you whatever fish they caught that day. 5) Stay at Travis Pastrana’s Nitro City Extreme Sports Resort. There you can learn wake boarding, skydiving, kite surfing, rent jet skis, quads, motocross or just relax by the pool.


A Man, A Plan, A Canal — Panama: Spell that phrase backwards and it reads the same way; it’s my favorite palindrome. To be honest, all I ever really knew about Panama was that it had a canal that connected the North and South Seas, otherwise known as the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans. Lately, when you peruse the travel magazine aisles, most headlines are talking about Panama. It has been on the horizon as the “next IT travel spot” for the past five years. This influx of popularity is mainly the result of the massive expansion project of the Panama Canal set to be completed in 2014, a multi-billion dollar venture which has brought a flood of foreign investors, banks, and new construction to this tiny isthmus of a country. By 2014, the centennial anniversary of the completion of the canal, Panama will control the majority of the shipping in the world, creating almost a monopoly on all trade routes for goods coming from China to Europe. This anticipation of the new and improved canal is causing excitement all over the country, and it is almost palpable in the energy that you feel there. Everywhere you look there is new construction, causing an often surreal juxtaposition between the third and first world. You can be standing in Casco Viejo, the old section of town and now a protected UNESCO Heritage Site, with churches and buildings dating back to the 1600’s, and also be overlooking the Panama City skyline that now resembles a mini Dubai. You can go visit a five-star resort in the jungle and get spa treatments, then take a canoe to visit the nearby indigenous tribes, still living in huts, wearing loin cloths. This constant contradiction is prevalent in all areas of Panama, a country that boasts much more than just a canal, a variety that is the very essence of it-s charm. I had always been intrigued by Panama, but it wasn’t until earlier this year when I received a call from my longtime friend Adam Rosenberg that the invitation to fly down became a reality. When Adam called me, he had been furiously finalizing the construction, interior design, and completion of Panama City’s first boutique hotel. Two years ago, he was asked to join forces with the founder and CEO of Blesso Properties, Matthew Blesso, to help with the creation of a truly unique hotel experience in Panama City. Matthew saw the need for a service-oriented, boutique hotel in Panama City, which was quickly becoming a major destination for sophisticated business travelers. Adam brought his savvy New York influence, sophistication, design and fluency in Spanish to the table, hoping to create an experience in line with what many tourists desire and expect. The two of them combined to bring life to Tántalo Hotel/Kitchen/Roofbar, an innovative, eco-conscious, modern boutique hotel right in the heart of the funky, artsy district of Casco Viejo.

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Adam challenged me to come down for a week to see all that Panama offered as a travel destination experience. Only in its first month, The New York Times selected Panama as the #1 Travel Destination for 2012; Tántalo was chosen as the “Sexiest New Hotel In Panama” by UrbanDaddy; and its rooftop bar, boasting first-of-its-kind views of the city skyline, had a line around the block to get in! I was excited to experience staying at this hotel but was even more curious about what Panama had to offer as a country and what all of the buzz was about. Adam said that I would leave Panama with a completely different perspective on the country, and I looked forward to experiences that would lead to such a result. When my boyfriend, Jason, and I first arrived in Panama, we didn’t know what to expect. I had a chance to practice my Spanish with our cab driver, who along the way was gleefully pointing out every statue and newly constructed building, while boasting how Panama had an island for every day of the year. I certainly never knew that Panama had nearly 365 islands! When our cab started climbing up this cobblestone street to the old section of town, a.k.a. Casco Viejo, I was shocked at the juxtaposition of abandoned and graffiti-tagged buildings with new, funky

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hotels and cafes. Because the area has been declared a UNESCO Heritage site, the original facades of all of the buildings have to remain unchanged. This is so important, because even though Casco Viejo has undergone impressive renovations in the last decade, it still feels like you are back in time, standing in what will be like a bustling New Orleans in a few years. You can just feel the energy there, like you are witnessing the beginning of something amazing. When I paid my cab driver, I discovered another fun fact, that the US dollar is legal tender there, another reason why Panama is so tourist-friendly. The coolest part about checking in at Tántalo Hotel is that each of its twelve, uniquely designed guests rooms incorporates artwork by emerging local artists. Each artist had the artistic freedom to design their own theme using numerous art mediums. Our room had a very indigenous feel with tribal-looking drawings of native birds painted on the walls. It made me want to explore one of the local indigenous tribes that are still living around Panama City. Jason and I got dressed up to join the crazy party on the rooftop bar. With the help of Adam, we brainstormed about what we should do in our brief stay in Panama City and we came up with a “Top 5 list” that Adam felt incorporated all of the different fla-

vors of Panama. We had a lot to accomplish in a short period of time, so we thought we would check off the adventure part of our trip first. We got up early the next morning to drive out to Nitro City to check it out. Nitro City is an extreme sports resort nestled in Punta Chame, Panama. It is only about an hour and a half outside of the city and is basically an adult playground where you can learn kite surfing, wake boarding, surfing, BMX, motocross, skydiving — or just do nothing and relax by the pool. When we got there, I felt like we entered the strangest adult summer camp. But after a couple hours around the sporty energy of everyone else, it was addicting! We even saw a lot of professional athletes who were there training and just trying out new sports for kicks. The rooms were all themed with different famous X-Games athletes or their sponsors, each with their own private deck and hot tub. It was such a fun getaway from Panama City, but close enough to do as just a day trip. On our fourth day in Panama we decided to do the actual Panama Canal tour, a definite requirment. At first I thought it would be cheesy, but it was actually really amazing to see how the canal locks work. We learned about its history and how it affected — and


continutes to affect — this country. Witnessing the sheer size of the enormous PANAMEX cargo ships, which pass through the canal with only inches of clearing on either sides, is a marvel to behold. I didn’t realize that the canal actually works as “water stairs” to lower or raise the ships to the appropriate sea level where they are traveling to. You can also can sit at a restaurant and order lunch as you watch the massive ships go through, something that is not at all easy. Each ship takes an enormous amount of man power and about 45 minutes of technical maneuvers to get these ships through the lock. It’s amazing. On the way back from the Canal, we decided to take a detour through the Jungle to go visit the nearby Embera tribe. We had no idea what to expect, which made it even more exciting. First we drove through an old abandoned American Military base in the jungle. It was so creepy; it looked like one of those fake suburban neighborhoods they build in the desert to test nuclear bombs on, but this one was in the middle of the jungle. We parked at the edge of a river, and a handcarved canoe with an Embera tribesman in nothing but a loincloth paddles up to collect us. We were then paddled out to their village through crocodile-infested waters and glided through a sea of gorgeous green lily pads in

order to cross over to their village. Once we were there, they took us on a hike through the rainforest, explaining the flora, fauna, and what they use for herbs and cooking. They also took us around their village, performed their native dances, prepared us a meal from fresh fish and plantains, and then showcased their gorgeous carvings and weavings, which are available to purchase to help support the tribe. They create these pots from palm leaves that are so perfectly woven that they can hold water without leaking. It was pretty impressive. I attempted to dance with them — and failed quite epically. Still, it was a truly unique experience and so amazing that people still live like this only minutes away from a major city like Panama City. We spent our last couple days in Panama City, biking around Casco Viejo, taking photos, and enjoying their local food. I was obsessed with Casco and all of the colors and textures of the old buildings. As a photographer I was in heaven there. We also decided to visit Panama City’s three closest islands, Maos, Perico, and Flamenco, all three connected by a causeway to the mainland and accesible by a quick bike or taxi ride. We had dinner while watching the sunset from the islands and walked around and checked out all

of the opulent yachts parked there. If you have time for a few extra days, I suggest going to the San Blas islands off the Caribbean coast of Panama. You can either charter a yacht or take a jumper plane there, but these islands have pristine white beaches and turquoise water with amazing coral reefs to go snorkeling. The options here are endless, since they do have an island for almost every day of the year! Adam was right: I was completely wrong about Panama. I was wrong to think I could expeirence everything this country has to offer in only a week. I left feeling a bit teased by my experience. There is so much to do here and so much more ground to cover. You can’t possibly see all of the islands, witness all of the wildlife in their jungles, try every new adventure sport, learn Spanish, or even perfect your tan in only a week. What makes it even more fabulous is that you can do all of this in style and comfort now that boutique hotels like Tántalo are becoming more popular and prevalent there. It is so exciting to watch Panama boom and become such an major travel destination. I am excited to see where it will be in a few years. In the meantime I am going to go back and enjoy it there as often as possible while it’s still Central America’s best l.a. kept secret.

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Pollock at 100: Exclusive Centennial Celebration

5th Annual

July 13-15, 2012

Media Partner

Opening Preview July 12 benefiting the LongHouse Reserve | Bridgehampton, NY | arthamptons.com Jackson Pollock’s East Hampton Studio at the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center, East Hampon, NY; Staged in December 2011. Photographed by Gary Mamay exclusively for ArtHamptons.


Photos: Myra Vides

A beautiful, eclectic collection of clothing, zen furniture, and California lifestyle essentials... 2400 Main St 90405 Santa Monica Green Light District naturalhighlifestyle.com


Summer Travel

Experiencing True Italy by Amalia Maloney

While recently traveling

from Venice to Tuscany, I made a point to stay at places that would give me the opportunity to experience the locals and culture of the area. After all, rather than just traveling Italy, I wanted to actually experience the country. No menus in English or long lines to see a castle, please.

From Milan I rode the train and will never forget my first view of Venice: arriving just at sunset, the lantern lights were softly bright and gave a golden glow to the buildings as it grew darker. The winding narrow pathways can’t really be called sidewalks; they are wonderfully too old and full of such character and life with their stone pavers and tall, ancient walls varying in color and style as I navigated myself and my bag off the water-taxi and took turns left and right, crossing over small arching bridges. I was glad that I

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mapped out the route to include as few bridges and stairs to mount as possible from the San Marco water-taxi stop to what came to be my Venetian home of Hotel Becher. If you have traveled there before or when you do visit, you will understand what I mean. Private water-taxis can be taken but are more expensive and the more common and affordable means of transportation, amongst visitors and locals alike, is the public water-taxis. A great attribute of the Hotel Becher is that from the main central station of Santa Lucia, you can take the public water-taxi to the San Marco dock, enjoying the scenic waterway as you pass under the famous Rialto and Academia bridges. From there, it is only a five minute walk with only one bridge that must be crossed just before your destination. If you take a private water-taxi or gondola, you can be dropped off directly at the small private dock of the hotel.

What I came to love the most about staying at the Hotel Becher was not only the quality of their three-star status or the beautiful Venetian-style dĂŠcor; it was also the service and comfortable atmosphere that easily existed there and in which I came to know the managers of the hotel. Hotel Becher and its modern-style sister hotel AD Place are managed by one family, Anna and Paolo and their two sons, Massimo and Alessandro. The central location of the Hotel Becher gave me convenient access to all of Venice, particularly Teatro La Fenice, which is the Opera House famous in Venice for its history, performances, and stunning Renaissance-style frescos. It is literally just down the main passageway from the hotel. Aside from the main public areas of the hotel, I enjoyed a well-decorated and comfortable room that had a picturesque window looking out directly onto the canal.


Breakfast is included and deliciously complete with everything from meats and cheeses to fresh fruit and breads, cereal and yogurt. My favorite was how well they made cappuccinos, with that slight dusting of cocoa powder that highlights the swirly foam of the coffee. Enjoying a cup of this out on their patio deck was the highlight of my mornings. I was almost content to sit there all day if the rest of the Venice had not been awaiting me. Perfectly suspended just over the water, the patio has a cozy cushioned bench and small wrought iron tables and chairs where occupants can enjoy coffee or wine at any hour. From here I enjoyed the sights and sounds of gondolas passing along this smaller canal that is the only one off the Grand Canal that cuts completely through the island of San Marco, which is essentially the very center of Venice. It is one of the best parts of experiencing Venice to wave hello to the gondoliers as they pass by with their passengers. Some gondolas also have a singer in them, providing rich sultry sounds of Italian music as they’re accompanied by an accordion player or classical guitar. The gondoliers made quite the show of blowing kisses my way and rambling off invitations in romantic Italian to jump on board their gondola with them. I am still not sure which was funnier: their hellos and passengers taking pictures of me on the patio, or me taking pictures of them and waving back. In case you’re curious, I chose to stay firmly planted on the dock and spend time with the city itself rather than the gondoliers — that would be an entirely different story.

Venice is where I started to fall in love with Italy, yet I knew I needed to continue on to my next experience so I once again boarded a train and went to a smaller town called Ferrara. Easily en-route along the train line to Florence, this medieval town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its beautifully preserved remnants of medieval urban planning. Here is where I experienced the first bed and breakfast that existed in Italy, the Locanda Bogonuovo. It is ideally located steps from the Estense Castle and is run by Adele and Andrea who are the wonderful couple that own the home and manage the B&B with their son Filippo. They were so kind to share with me the amazing stories that are part of their historic home. Built in 1639 it was originally the convent for the church that is still attached to the building. Later, Napoleon would separate the convent property and designate it as residential property available for purchase and use by the public. From that time on, it was owned and used as an individual residential home and in the early 1900’s, Adele’s father bought the home and raised his family there. Today, Adele and her family bring to the Locanda Bogonuovo their extensive experience in hotel management. As she studied and lived in other parts of Europe, she learned about bed and breakfasts, also known at that time as guesthouses, but they were not yet introduced to Italy. From these experiences, her and her family developed the idea to use their home in Ferrara to introduce to Italy the concept of a bed and breakfast, which they opened in 1994.

My room was clean, comfortable, and rich with dark woods and handcrafted quality in the build. From the wardrobe to the gorgeous tall window with heavy wood shutters, I was extremely pleased and enjoyed the spaciousness and comfort. Yet my favorite part of the experience as a whole was breakfast. How do I really capture the experience? Entering into the breakfast room was like stepping back in time. The layout is long and rectangular, and the walls are adorned with such an array of artwork, paintings, and photos, from times and artists of what seemed to be an endless variety. Adele explained to me that she and her husband have both been collecting artwork since they were in school. A handful of tables are elegantly dressed with white table cloths, fine dish settings, and fresh flowers. Along the outer-facing wall are tall windows with ledges that contain a quaint array of old books, potted plants, and perhaps an occasional candlestick here and there. Add to this the gorgeous crystal chandelier hanging from the ceiling in the center of the room, and you can see how the setting takes you back to a much earlier time of Europe. The setting is not alone in its excellence. Adele home-cooks the breakfast, even providing gluten-free foods. There is everything from biscuits with homemade strawberry-kiwi jam, meats and cheeses, piping-hot cappuccino, to fresh strawberry and apple fruit salad. The highlight for me was the gluten-free almond-carrot cake that was made with almond flour.

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The town of Ferrara and its many Renaissance treasures were waiting to be discovered by me. Adele and her family were very helpful in answering any questions I had and informing me of the special holidays and art exhibits currently taking place that I could enjoy. During my three days there, I enjoyed the lush green parks and art exhibit at the Palazzo dei Diamanti, riding the bicycle that the B&B freely provides to all their guests, and even an evening of live jazz music at the well-known Ferrara Jazz Club. It is amazingly housed in the round medieval tower of the historic wall that still remains around the town. A fantastic lunch recommendation that Filippo gave me was the café in the center of the Palazzo Schifanoia called Bar Ristorante Schifanoia. Outside under the large oak trees and among flowering bushes and trellis’ was a variety of seating, with everything from picnic tables to small round tables from which I enjoyed a deliciously fresh tuna salad. I enjoyed conversations with the server Stellanos who is from Greece. His friend Matteo was there doing a photography project that involved taking pictures of people’s profiles with their eyes closed as they thought of what made them happy. I, of course, took part, sitting in the bright warm sun of the afternoon on a rough wooden bench along the stone wall of the small café cottage. Moments like these make me stop and relish the sweet realization that this is why I travel the way I do. Other experiences in Ferrara taught me a couple of practices I find helpful to keep in mind as I travel. When you see a small shop that reads “pasta fresca,” definitely go inside! I did this one afternoon and although the old Italian woman inside didn’t know a word of English and I know “poco Italiano” (little Italian), we managed to complete a transaction that resulted in savoring the most delicious meal of pesto spinach lasagna that I took to a nearby garden with a bottle of red wine and thoroughly enjoyed on a park bench. For me, Ferrara and the Locanda Bogonuovo has been one of the best stops I could make in Italy for a fantastic off-the-beaten-path combination of history and architecture, the arts and the outdoors. Without even meaning to, I noticed that I was progressing through my travels by way of city, to small town, to countryside; from Ferrara, I continued on to the Villa Otium. Located just outside the small village of Volterra, it is a bed and breakfast that is in the center of Tuscany and relatively close to Pisa, which is about 30km away. The villa’s two stone buildings sit in the saddle of two hills, affording it a view of west and east where rolling green hills are laid out in an expansive view. To the south majestically towers a larger hill that plateaus along the top like a mesa and is crowned with the village’s romantic medieval castle and church. The lawn is a perfect combination of openness to the vistas in every direction and clusters of tall trees that provide shade and beauty amidst shrubs of roses and spring flowers. My room was in the second floor of the main building that at one end houses the restaurant. Each of the rooms has local area names on them and the name of mine was Badia, which is the name of the Volterra cathedral that I can view from my bedroom window. It featured a traditional ceiling that I came to recognize and know in this part of the country, with long beams of light brown-red brick crisscrossed with similar shaped beams of solid wood. The smooth red-brick tile flooring and wood shutters that opened to a view of Volterra, are all of rich handcrafted quality. From the many windows that line the walls of the restaurant, I enjoyed with each meal the spectacular view of rolling green hills and vineyards. Even when the spring season rains occurred during my stay, I enjoyed the view from these rooms as I watched the progression of the storm clouds rolling in and over the villa property. Along with the sites and accommodations, my experience was authentic and rich because of what I learned from the people. The owners, Julio and Maurizia are originally from Bergamo, further north in Italy, and have been running the Villa Otium for seven years. While breakfast is included in the cost of accommodations, they also cook lunches and dinners upon request, which I took full advantage of. From the gnocchi to the beef and pasta to salads, I can truly say that each meal I had was fantastic. Every time I complimented them on their cooking, they responded with “it is made simple.” I really came to appreciate this simplicity of cooking and foods thanks to them. By using fresh ingredients, herbs, and high quality meat, the food is true to tastes and traditions of the local area, while being absolutely delicious! Or as I came to say as one of the easier words in learning Italian, it


was all “delizioso.” The breakfast each morning was the wonderful spread of meats and cheeses, fruit juices and coffee, yogurts and fruit, bread and a freshly baked cake of apple or cocoa. The couple also spoke some English and had an understanding of Spanish and French. They were extremely helpful in providing me with a current schedule of the buses that conveniently stop right at the entrance to the property and run often, so I was able to enjoy visits to Pisa and into Volterra even though I did not rent a car. What I especially love was to hear about what the different seasons entail for their lives there. While I was there they worked on cleaning the swimming pool in preparation for summer and the high season for visitors. In the fall they have family and friends join them from Bergamo to pick olives from their olive trees that slope down the hill of their property. This takes place usually in late October and is also when many of the local families in the area make their own batches of wine. From their olive groves, they also produce and sell body products made from the olive oil. Small travel-size samples of the shower-gel and body lotion are in the rooms and I can say first hand, that I especially love the shower gel. Towards the end of my stay, I came to learn that the name of Villa Otium is derived from Latin and means “leisure” or to relax. It really is a wonderful place to do this and recharge. Along with having a swimming pool and outdoor bar area, there are local wineries to visit within walking distance and you can drive a short distance to castles or enjoy a vigorous bicycle ride through the hilly terrain. During my stay I met and befriended friends of Villa Otium who are locals of Volterra and showed me places that few tourists know to enjoy when they visit the area. My favorite was the family farm in the area called Palagione that the website designer Andrea showed me. It was bought some time ago by his father and he is currently restoring the large stone home that has existed now for over 600 years. The existing grapevines of the vineyard will be replanted in another part of the property for better soil and exposure to the sun, while in the meantime, he and his family produce their own private batches of red and white wine that I enjoyed tasting while there. We later hiked a nearby hill called Monte Voltraio and as we made our way to the top stopped at the remains of a Roman temple known in the area as Pieve di San Giovanni. Only the stumps exist now, but you can still see the intricate designs on the corners of the pillar foundations that are almost hidden in tall grasses. At the top of the hill, the remains of a Roman fortress beautifully exist throughout a dense expanse of tall grasses, flowers, and large oak trees. As we traversed the ridge, there were scattered portions of the stone wall that almost 2000 years ago was the defense of this countryside. Only the wall and a deep stone cavern going down into the earth, is what is left today of the fortress. At the far end of the ridge, we could look west to where we could almost glimpse Pisa and the Mediterranean coast, but the sun was setting in our eyes and so we enjoyed the view of hills and villa ruins just below our steep perch. The evening was finished with a visit to the castle Rocca Sillana, also known in the area as Rocca di Sillano. The moon was full and made it possible for us to walk up the path from the parking area in the dark of the night. Even though it was windy, the excursion was exhilarating as we approached the thick stone castle walls dimly lit by lights. At one of the main entrances, we glanced through the locked iron gate to see the inner courtyard of the round structure that made the main portion of this ancient structure. From where it sat on the hillside, we had an amazingly beautiful view of the landscape of Tuscany below, drenched in moonlight and dotted with small white lights from the occasional villa and small town. Needless to say, I guess it comes as no surprise that I extended my stay at Villa Otium an additional night. I am also making plans to return in October to enjoy the experience of picking olives with my new friends in Volterra. Where I go next is always a mystery, even to me up until the day before… but I can let you in on the not-so-surprising fact that I am deviating from my original plan to go on to Rome and returning to Venice to enjoy the opera, Le Boheme. Experiencing the local culture and people can provide opportunities like this and in my mind creates an entirely new way of traveling. When you are next in Italy, I hope you discover some hidden gems of your own as you also take me up on my suggestions made here for places that will give you a true experience of the beautiful country of Italy. l.a.


Summer Travel

The Florida Keys

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Model: Melissa Goldman / Photography by Rob Hahn

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Cheech Marin & Chicano Art Interview by Simmy Swinder

Photograph: Eric Mihn Swenson

Since the early 1980s, writer, direc-

tor, and comedian Cheech Marin has been an avid supporter of Chicano art, amassing a sizable private collection. In 2001, Marin and curator René Yañez launched an exhibition that toured 15 cities between then and 2007. Among the institutions that exhibited Chicano Visions: American Painters on the Verge were The Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. and The de Young Museum in San Francisco. In 2008, an abridged version was mounted at LACMA West, entitled Los Angelenos / Chicano Painters of L.A.: Selections from the Cheech Marin Collection. I recently sat down with Cheech at his Pacific Palisades home, which was a delightful mix of humble abode and sophisticated display of his successful professional career and passion for art. I asked Cheech about his experience as both organizer and patron of the historic, and at times controversial, traveling six-year exhibition, as well as his past and present motivations behind collecting and promoting Chicano art.

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I’m always curious to know from collectors as engaged as you are whether they only buy from artists whom they know and have a relationship with. I collect from artists that move me. Though I now know all the artists, I didn’t when I first saw their work. I believe that’s a really good way to go about it if you’re a collector or have to deal with artists on a consistent basis because then you can divorce the art from the artist very early on and judge the artwork on its own merits. Plus, a lot of artists are a pain in the ass so you want to cut that part out and just focus on the art. Has your collection been informed in any way by the exhibitions you initiate? To tell you the truth, it hasn’t been. I collected way before I started organizing exhibitions or promoting art. As a third-generation Angeleno, you identify as a Chicano and your unyielding support for that community has been the driving force behind your writing and collecting. What avenues

are you actively pursuing to this end? What I’m involved in now is trying to spread the word vis-à-vis art fairs and lecturing, mainly because nobody else is doing it. And so now pushing Chicano art that is not my particular, you know, dyed-in-the-wool, esoteric taste, I have to be aware of what the community would appreciate and possibly relate to as encapsulating the essence of being Chicano. I guess it’s a question of do you serve them tacos without chilies? No, because that’s not Mexican food or Chicano food. You just don’t give them the ones that are going to send them to the hospital. You talk at length about identity as a central issue in the Chicano community. Are there other themes that interest you or drive your collecting? The thing about Chicano art is that it overlaps in so many categories simultaneously. It is about identity, and that is just as good of a theory or a reason to form a school around as Abstract Expressionism or Ashcan or Hudson River Valley School. Most of the schools give a sense of place.


Identity is what the Chicano establishment has been missing because they’re still evolving that identity; their official identity has not been accepted. How do you mean? There’s no box you can check on the census as Chicano. You can check Asian, Caucasian, African American, but not Chicano. Yet you can get a PhD from Harvard in Chicano Studies. I don’t think identity is really what the Chicano School is formed around, but it comes to you in a myriad of different avenues, whether it’s social, religious, political, gender-based, or abstract. And all these points of view of that identity gather together to give you the 360 degree perspective of the experience and/or the feeling of being a Chicano. Do you think within that conversation, the Chicano artist’s voice resonates within other immigrant communities? It absolutely does. Take for example Born in East LA, which was about that process. People from the Philippines, China, Korea, or anywhere, who came to America under duress, immediately identified with it. It didn’t make any difference where you came from – you could still recognize that experience. I think people will see that what informs the Chicano School is the experience of being Chicano, and it’s told from a myriad of different viewpoints and styles that overlap into preexisting styles like Photorealism or Abstract Expressionism or Expressionism. These artists are university and/or art school trained – they are not naïve artists, they’re very sophisticated and they tell a very complete story. How else are you championing Chicano artists? I’m on the board of directors of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, through which I’ve created the first postgraduate scholarship in the arts. I use all my Jeopardy winnings to fund that, and that’s been quite a bit of money. Are you doing much writing as well? I write all the time. I’ve written this series of essays that I’ll gather together in a book and title We Come in Peace and We Have You Surrounded. One such essay is about the English-only movement – okay, let’s have everything in English. To begin with, we would have to rename all the states – Colorado, Texas, California, Arizona, New Mexico, and that’s just the Mexican names – Wisconsin, Indiana, they’re all Indian names – the only thing that’s left is the News, New Jersey and New York. How do we do that? I tried to write about it in a comical way, but it’s just the invisible elephant in the room that nobody sees. Which really questions the quintessential American. My book will examine the spread of Latinos throughout the country, since we’re in the midst of the biggest wave of immigration in the history of the country, namely 85% from Mexico, in every state simultaneously. And 85% of them are under 25. The census bureau issued a statement about 2 months ago that 50.6% of all children under the age of one in this country are Lati-

no, all over. You go to Rhode Island, you go to Mississippi, North Carolina, Hawaii, Alaska, it doesn’t matter. The majority of babies are Latino. I better brush up on my Spanish. With regard to languages, you characterize words like menudo and chicano as being inherently flexible, possessing an ability to transform thorough generations. How do you think these redefinitions help or hinder the Chicano movement? They define it, really. Chicano is a word that means amalgamation. Every generation that comes along has as much right to define what is Chicano as any of the generations that came before it. I think that Chicano will be the stand-in for the acculturation process, regardless of where you come from, whether you’re from Indonesia, Mexico, or Korea, because it’s that blending of your traditional background with American pop. And where those two things come together produces something else that is both – it’s a gestalt bigger than the constituent parts. Can you tell us about your Art of the New America initiative? It’s about discovering new artists and promoting them. Because I travel a lot, I get to go places and scout artists that heretofore never make it to LA, New York, Chicago or wherever the bright lights and the big city is. I go to El Paso or Corpus Christi, Texas or Mississippi and unearth art, and now, they find me. This gives me more time to hone in on a particular something that I’m looking for in a Chicano artist, mainly that their creative process or the object that they produce has an identity. It may not be obvious at first – it’s not like standing in front of a taco stand. But the influences that they take from their heritage and combine with the places that they find themselves in is unique and I recognize it when I see it. You probably had to let a lot of artists down. Yeah, well, the first time you direct a movie and have to cast it, you break a lot of hearts. But you make somebody happy, and I hope that somebody is me. How is the Art of the New America going to be incorporated into ArtHamptons this summer and how have you worked with Thomas Paul Fine Art, who will be exhibiting there, to raise awareness for emerging Chicano talent? I’m delivering a lecture and the headline is From the Comptons to the Hamptons. For the most part, people in New York have no idea what Chicano art is, not even the most established and well-informed of them. So this is where Thomas and I are reinventing the wheel. It’s a sophisticated audience that buys art and my mantra has always been to equate it to something else that they know—“this is the Modigliani of the group, this is the Picasso of the group, this is the Monet of the group, here’s Chagall, etc.” This came into play when we opened up Chicano Visions at the Smithsonian; we put up

a painting entitled Kill the Pachuco Bastard! by Vincent Valdez. It was about the zoot suit riots in 1943 in Los Angeles and captured the violent moment when the Mayor and Chief of Police unleashed the Navy on rioters, beating these young, punk Chicanos. During the installation, the museum’s director was hesitant about including the painting claiming, “We’re going to get a lot of school kids in here and this is really graphic.” I responded by noting that every major museum I’ve ever been has had some version of The Rape of the Sabine Women. So it really comes down to whose ox is getting gored here. I think the success of the Chicano artists that you work with and promote will be that their voice and their vision is as universal as Picasso’s Guernica or a Jackson Pollack drip painting. I’m trying to get Chicano art to the point where, if I say Chicano art, an image pops up in your mind, just like when I say Warhol, you picture a soup can or if I say Picasso, you imagine one of his cubist faces. I want a similar reaction to hearing “a Almaraz” or “a Gronk”. It will happen through repetition of images so that people get used to certain themes and pictures. So by raising the profile of Chicano artists, you carve a place for them in art history. The Abstract Expressionists didn’t sell 10 paintings between them in their lifetime. I went to a show at the MoMA entitled Abstract Expressionists that Created All Their Work within a 12-Block Radius of the Museum. Those guys had Clement Greenberg or any number of critics and dealers to write about them and promote them to a well-healed group of collectors. And what I’m trying to do is to identify and develop the well-healed. So this is why you’re bringing these artists to the Hamptons. You can’t love or hate Chicano art unless you see it – and that’s what we’re in the process of – getting them to see Chicano art. It’s same thing I did when I first discovered the Chicano artists that I know; I was trying to learn about contemporary art, which was the gap in my art knowledge. So I started going to galleries on the west side, and boom, they popped out at me, and I understood them right away. What do you think the future of Chicano art will entail? I’m excited to see what’s going to happen because I don’t know what’s going to happen. But as long as the artists remember the essence of being Chicano, it will go towards redefining what America is, and has been. You know, it’s not like I’m putting Mexicans in the populace – they’ve already been there. I’m just trying to have everybody raise their hand at the same time. Cheech Marin is the 2012 recipient of the Art Hamptons Arts Patron of the Year Award. Marin’s current touring exhibition is entitled Chicanitas: Small Paintings from the Cheech Marin Collection.

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design

venice: home and garden tour

by Suzy Kloner Carson Architects

O

nce a year, LA natives, locals, and tourists get a rare opportunity to explore eclectic homes and gardens featured in the Venice Homes and Garden tours. May 5th of this year Venice homeowners graciously opened up their homes and gardens for others to enjoy. All proceeds went to the neighborhoods youth association, Las Doradas Childrens Center. This association raises money to help under privileged children, youths and their families. The tour featured thirty unique and exciting homes and gardens around a Venice neighborhood east of Lincoln bordering Mar Vista. The tour could be taken by walking, biking, or driving. I had the opportunity to go this year on bike, which was amazing. It was a perfect spring day with blue skies, crisp air, and sweet smelling gardens in full bloom. The neighborhood had a diverse mix of homes, including modern new builds, bungalows, and retro-fitted classics. Many of the properties featured this year are owned by brilliant artists, architects, and designers who revamped and remodeled their spaces to bring them to their full potential. This year featured many homes that maximized indoor/outdoor living spaces, truly embracing the incredible temperate weather in Los Angeles. One home that caught my eye was the home of architect Santiago Ortiz. Santiago Ortiz is an innovative southern California architect who built this incredible home for his family. The space was built to incorporate the outdoors while also utilizing sustainable materials. The house features expansive upper balconies that ran the entire width of the south side of the structure, blending indoor and outdoor living space and maximizing light and air circulation. Since the house is wrapped in wood siding, it resembled a tree that arose out of the lush landscape and tall grasses. Construction of this home emphasized the use of green materials and sustainable products. This house utilized materials that were FSC certified ("The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), is a non-profit organization that

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sets certain high standards to make sure that forestry is practiced in an environmentally responsible and socially beneficial manner.") Ortiz did his research and integrated many natural materials that are FSC certified which included Douglas fir used to cover the steal beams (that connect the expansive open floor plan throughout). Walnut cabinets and built-ins cabinets were incorporated into the space and then finished with all natural Flax oil and Tung Oil. On the second story of the house he used cork underneath the FSC certified hardwood floor for acoustics, a very natural way to reduce sound. He also incorporated a zero VOC (volatile organic compound) and zero-solvent adhesive to install these materials. The floor covering on the first floor was constructed of custom concrete tiles made from a local manufacturer who utilizes recycled aggregate and recycled water in all of his concrete products. The concrete was sealed with a water based sealer and again with water based wax. The pentagonal shaped tiles on the floors created a bold geometric pattern that fit together like a puzzle. The wall treatments were constructed of hand troweled plaster rather than flat white paint. This plaster created sweeping highs and lows in the walls and ceilings. The southern wall of sliding doors and windows allowed natural light to flow throughout the house and illuminate the incredible space. Every detail in the space is designed to offer form and function. The roof featured an outdoor vegetable garden, and the balconies have metal planters which also house fruits and vegetables for the family. He used an ultra cooling metal technology to coat the planters that received hot western sun to protect the plants from the heat. Muiracatiara, a certified sustainable wood was used extensively to side the exterior of the home which added a beautiful natural look. LED lighting was used in 70 percent of the house, and solar panels were installed to create energy for the home. The house is a quintessential representation of southern California living and the future

of sustainable architecture. It wouldn’t be a home and garden tour without the gardens. Almost every garden I visited was unique in style and texture. Many of the gardens featured native California plants, citrus trees, family cultivated fruit and vegetable gardens, beautiful collections of multicolor flowers (in full bloom), succulents, tall impressive agaves, desert flowers, and an array of species of trees. Jay Griffith, a famous Los Angeles landscape architect and a founder of the Venice Home and Garden tour, created a usual garden that caught my attention. Griffith took full advantage of this outdoor living space by utilizing dramatic colorful bold plants like palms, hundreds of agaves, succulents, and desert flowers on different levels to give the backyard depth and character. He played with texture, shape, and color to create a whimsical outdoor living space. The home is that of Tom Carson with Carson Architects, who is a Venice based architect. His home features bold pops of color and the garden reflects this. The indoor and outdoor space seemed to fade into one another because of the full length stackable sliding doors that make up the homes exterior walls. The outdoor space featured a concrete platform lounge that was adorned with large plush outdoor cushions in purples, oranges, and greens, reflecting the colors in the garden. The fencing was even an extension of the outdoors made from a material called 3 form. The 3 form fence was created with natural grasses that were laminated in a resin; a very interesting juxtaposition between the natural and the man-made, almost a plant in itself. Further east bordering Mar Vista is a series of mid century track houses known as the “Modernique homes.� Built by famed architect Gregory Ain in the 1948 these Modernique tract homes were built as cost efficient housing in the mid century modern style. Ain built 52 homes on two blocks, they were all one story with over-


Santiago Ortiz House

hanging roofs, a simple rectangular long shape, flat roofs and Y shaped supports which served as a structural design element. These homes are the first homes to be protected by the historic preservation overlay zone, where no work is allowed to be done to the exterior of the homes so that are preserved to show their original splendor. To live in one of these houses today the homeowners must be supporters of the era and its modern form, lifestyle, and the vision of the architect. Taking a right off of Palms blvd. tour goers exited 2012 and turned the corner to enter 1954. This hidden street transports you into a time warp of post WWII mid century modernism. While modern for their time these homes still feel contemporary today. Ain set out to change the direction of architecture and create a

house that had an open floor plan and brought the outdoors in. Many of the homes had adaptable "convertible" rooms that were separated by sliding permanent walls. These homes were embraced by their owners who restored them to their original glory; many landscaped with drought resistant plants, and designed with vintage furnishings to be in keeping with the period. Living in LA my whole life I never knew this area existed; it was an unexpected treat to discover. The tour was a great introduction to a hidden neighborhood in Venice that is so special because of the love and creativity of the homeowners, designers, and artists who reside there. I look forward to next year’s tour and being inspired all over again.


fineart

I

blue chip vs. emerging art

by Astrid Oviedo Clark

t is almost unfathomable: the contemporary art market appears relatively untouched by the aftermath of the worldwide economic crisis. As the stock market was dropping in May, Christies auction house broke records with its New York sale of post-war and contemporary art on May 8th making $388.5 million. Only a month and a half later, its contemporary auction in London set another record with a $133 million dollar sale. Why is the art market outperforming other markets? And what does it mean to someone interested in buying art? The art market in general has expanded exponentially since 2002 due to the Internet. A whole new infrastructure beyond the physical white walls of the gallery has taken hold. Today, gallery dealers will tell you that they make most of their sales at art fairs and from purchases via their website. The ability to conduct business over the Internet and email high-resolution images of artwork has broadened the art market. The easy access to images, information, and auction results online is unprecedented. For this reason, the audience and interest in art has grown to include the newly minted billionaires of Russia, the Middle East, India, China, and South America. And, this truly global demand for art is why the art market is growing in volume and value. Everyone can take advantage of this. One can begin to learn about what people are talking about by going online, and this is particularly true of contemporary art. Blogs and online art news sites offer real time information. My favorites are: www.artinfo.com for general news and great bloggers turned columnists, and the more recently launched www.paddle8.com, where offerings at current international art fairs can be seen and bought. For images of contemporary art shows, there is www.contemporaryartdaily.com. Starting off here helps one begin to become educated about the art world and understand the diversity of what is out there. Of course, looking at art in person trumps any other way of getting to experience a painting, allowing one to see its surface and its true color. The contemporary art market is one area for collecting. What is wonderful about contemporary art is that it is created in our time, expressing visually an artist’s interpretation of the world we live in. If one looks back at art history, one can see that art best expresses its period. For example, the Enlightenment, the period in history when the Western world became interested in science, knowledge, and when many nations were born, historical painting (with its undetectable brushwork, almost photographic) reigned. Today’s art does not have one common theme or even medium. The work can range from painting to video , and materials of choice range from oil paint to supplies bought at Home Depot. They express the diversity of our society in subject matter, techniques, and materials used. Success in today’s contemporary art market is found in two areas: bluechip art and emerging art. Blue-chip art has an established resale market, can be seen in major museums, and is breaking records at auction. It is what can be seen in the important evening sales of the main auction houses, Christies and Sotheby’s. Warhol and Picasso are two wellknown names whose work mainly starts in the six-digit range. With the expanding, global reach of the market and the limited supply of their work, their prices will inevitably go up. The emerging art market offers something altogether different and in many ways is more exciting. So much so that many blue-chip collectors also buy emerging art. Emerging art refers to work created by unestablished artists working today, many of whom are beginning their careers.

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These are potentially the future Warhols and Picassos. However they are accessible in terms of price. Yes, these are untested artists in terms of the market but the joy of the “discovery” is something that new collectors can enjoy. These emerging artists are their peers in society, and they can follow the artists’ careers as they mature. As an art advisor, my job is to identify what untested artists are worthwhile. How can you do this on your own? First, always buy what you like. Start with what you like, if you keep thinking about, and find yourself returning to the gallery to see what else the artist has done. Then, look into the arist’s network to help determine if the choice is a good one. As I mentioned in my last column, no artist has ever been truly discovered. They are part of a network that nurtures them. Their galleries are central to this. One way to quickly start learning which galleries are the influential ones is by going to the sites of the top art fairs and seeing which local galleries are listed as exhibitors. Contemporary art fairs like ArtBasel, ArtBasel Miami, FREIZE in London and New York, the FIAC in Paris, the ARMORY show in New York, and the ADAA show in New York are known for having mostly blue chip dealers but also many younger dealers with emerging artists. The NADA, The Independent, VOLTA, and Pulse fairs exhibit younger galleries known for presenting emerging artists. Go to these galleries online or in person and look at their “program” (i.e. the artists they show). The influential galleries are open to meeting new collectors if they see the passion and the desire to learn. They will even guide a collector through the art world. Don’t hesitate to ask for someone to tell you about the work or to inquire about prices. The galleries want to educate and they are for-profit businesses. Read the artist’s bio and CV and look to see what school they went to, their exhibition history is, and what press they have had. Even ask the dealer even about who is collecting the artist, in order to get an idea of what big collectors are behind the artist. Also, galleries occasionally mount group shows (mostly in the summer) that are perfect occasions to “discover” emerging artists. In the summer, when attendance can be low, galleries introduce a wide variety of artists they are considering taking on. If you visit a gallery and really are interested in learning about the artist, ask the dealer if the artist is open for a studio visit. In most cases, they welcome this. At a studio visit, you can not only begin a dialogue with the next great living artist but get the chance to see where they create, something no one who collects a Warhol or Picasso will ever get to see. Another option is to get one step ahead of even the galleries and go to where they find their artists: at local art schools. Look up when the local MFA art schools are having open studios and visit. In Los Angeles, go to UCLA, USC, Art Institute and Cal Arts. In New York, visit the MFA open studios for Hunter College and Columbia University. Walk through, talk to the artists, and even ask if their work is for sale or if it will be. You will be viewing art next to top gallerists, collectors, and curators. Collecting in contemporary art can be a stimulating way to partake in what is happening right now in history and one of the most economil.a. cal. Who knows, you might even take home the next Picasso. Feel free to submit questions to artcollecting@lacentricmagazine.com Astrid Oviedo Clark will try to address them in future columns.


www.aplusd.org A+D Architecture and Design Museum > Los Angeles 6032 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90036 Tel: 323 932 9393 Email: info@aplusd.org


food

Written and Edited by

Justine Freeman

I'm thrilled to welcome Sycamore Kitchen to the neighborhood. Having heard that they serve Stumptown coffee, nothing could get me there soon enough for their opening day. Quinn and Karen Hatfield (the power couple behind the critically acclaimed Hatfield's) have answered my prayers with the debut of their lunchtime patio cafe. It’s perfect for summer! With a casual vibe and industrial space, it's perfectly tucked away on La Brea Ave., amidst some of LA's coolest vintage boutiques and furniture stores. The outdoor patio is spacious but sparse, with simple metal tables and chairs seated beneath large white umbrellas. Inside, exposed brick walls with high ceilings dripping in aluminum tubing and rafters create that sought-after, designer loft feel. Glass windows keep the space feeling bright and airy, and if you're in one of a nice-enough-to-talk-to-astranger-mood, you can sit at a wooden communal table and make friends. Or you can just gawk at the glass counter filled with tantalizing (and dare I say it, pretty healthy) pastries, like lemon polenta cake, coconut carrot parsnip bread, and quinoa muffins. As for the menu, the fresh, wholesome ingredients are creatively combined with thoughtfully intended seasonal flavors; which is exactly what I expect from chefs of such genius. The Roasted Chicken Breast Sandwich was delectable. Sandwiched between two slices of country bread slathered in tangy olive tapenade and sweet meyer lemon confit, the subtle juxtaposition of flavors was magical. With juicy tomato and frissee lettuces, this inconspicuous looking little sandwich will slowly disarm you and quite possibly undress you. The Chinoix Salad with shredded chicken, cabbage, apple, almond, puffed rice, and muddled ginger vinaigrette was light and delicious.

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SYCAMORE KITCHEN

La Brea Ave

Any fan of chinese chicken salad will enjoy this leafy delight. The crunch from the puffed rice and the sliced almonds were a lovely substitute to your typical fried wonton and I enjoyed the fresh bite of sliced apples that replaced the more traditional mandarin slices. The Mediterranean Chicken Salad with dates, toasted hazelnuts, radicchio, kale, blue cheese, and red wine vinaigrette is a superb choice for someone craving a more powerful salad. The blue cheese of course brought an intensely sharp and complex creaminess to the salad, and the saltiness of the blue cheese was paired with the sweetness of halved dates and the warm nuttiness of toasted hazelnuts. All the bases were covered here to make a truly tasty salad. The Double BLTA with crispy bacon and braised pork belly, butter lettuce, balsamic tomatoes, and avocado on country bread was a lusciously decadent darling. The pork belly and the avocado were creamy and practically melted into the fresh baked bread. Thank goodness for the balsamic on the tomatoes because they had the acidity needed to wake everything up. And if that doesn't do the trick, a Stumptown cold brew sure will. Sycamore Kitchen is open for coffee and lunch all day from 8am-5pm. No alcohol is served for now, but a salted caramel pecan bopka roll should take your mind off of that. Sycamore Kitchen has good things unfolding, with breakfast coming soon, and weekend brunch after that. The menu foreshadows such delicacies as rolled buckwheat crepes with strawberries, ricotta, and honey butter and cinnamon brioche french toast with grated apple slaw and creme fraiche. That's right, when the Hatfield's whip out the creme fraiche, the best thing to do is say "YESH".


NIGHT+MARKET West Hollywood

Chef Kris Yenbamwroong has really come up with something spectacular at the Talesai Hotel. Since Kris is chef and owner of two completely opposing Thai restaurants at the hotel, walking through these doors is nothing short of a revelation in identity. The restaurants may be side by side, but the ambiance, food, and clientele are worlds apart. The choice is yours. Choose to be seated at the traditional, more formal Talesai Cafe, or sit at the wooden communal tables at Night + Market for an extra spicy adventure in Thai street food. So which restaurant calls your name? If a James Beard Award nomination and a nod from Jonathan Gold mean anything to you, the choice falls off your mouth-watering lips with the unwavering certainty of a moth to a flame: "Two for Night + Market, please". Honestly, I made that call with the same involuntary certitude it takes my heart to beat or my eyes to blink. And don't be surprised if after trying a few of Kris's vibrantly delicious dishes, that heart of yours does skip a beat. These small plates are really meant to accompany a drink, and they are perfectly portioned just to last you through your beer. As Gold said on KCRW, "That is their purpose." So get ready to select a small army of dishes to carry you through the night. The Nam Kao Tod is a crispy rice salad with spicy fermented pork, and loads of ginger, onion cilantro, chopped peanuts, scallions, lime juice, fish sauce and dried chili peppers. Some people's faces get that shadowed look of concern at the mention of fermented pork, but it's essentially just sausage so everybody can just keep calm. The rice turned out to be intensely spicy, and I may have counted more slices of Thai ginger in the bowl than grains of rice. But the flavors were like a palette-popping rebellion in my mouth, and the sporadic slugs of Singha beer that quelled the ambush were a godsend. The Fried Pig Tail is an absolute must. The outside is crispy and the inside is full of soft, fatty pork so rich that I'm afraid Francois Hollande might start taxing it. Most of us have tried pork belly, so I should mention that the pig tail is similarly decadent. The difference is slightly crunchy cartilage here and there, which ultimately adds texture and the giggle inducing, tee-hee type reminder that you're noshing on a curly little pig's tail. The Som Tum Papaya Salad with green papaya, tomatoes, and lemon juice was light and refreshing. The green papaya had a texture similar to that of cucumber but less watery.

The lemon juice kept the salad light and zesty and was a pleasant accompaniment to the more pungent flavors of the other dishes. The Sai Uah, Chiengrai herb sausage is made in-house and comes with noom salsa and cucumber. The sausage was spicy hot and gritty and would go very nicely with a side of sweet sticky rice or coconut rice to calm the heat level. For those of you who would rather not play with fire, the restaurant welcomes any request to tame the heat on any dish. The herbaceous pork was phenomenal, and I am biting at the bit to try the minced chicken sausage with fish sauce and the issan sour sausage that is served a little pink on the inside. The Pu Pad Pong Karee, Curried Crab is a super lump crab with curry powder and onions. The juxtaposition between the sweetness of the crab and the sharpness of the curried onions makes this dish taste more playful than some of the spicier picks of the evening. It combined two of my most favorite things: delicate, sweet crab and pungent, astringent onions. I was relieved that the curry powder didn't overwhelm the sweetness of the crab or onions. Chef Kris achieved a balance of flavors that was pure poetry with his curry powder. Made from a medley of different spices, his yellow curry was delicate and harmonious enough to be a song in your heart. The Pad Kee Mao, Drunken Noodles with Short Ribs were wide, flat noodles with chile, basil, garlic and chunks of short rib. The noodles were ribbon thin and held together beautifully. The soft chewiness of the noodle held the garlic and yet maintained a gentle simplicity of taste while the short rib was as succulent, tender and toothsome as I had expected. The Ice Cream Sandwich is another striking example of the joys of straight forward flavors. A scoop of coconut ice cream is sandwiched between two thick slabs of warm, grilled, challah-like egg bread. The contrast of the creamy cold coconut paired with the warmth of the bread was fantastic. And underneath it all was a bed of sticky rice made sweet by a coat of condensed milk. After a wild night packed with chili and ginger and pure hotness, this ice cream sandwich was like the cool feel of bed sheets on a hot summer night. Night + Market is a trip to Thailand where the street vendor's carts are all safe to eat, i.e., a dream come true. The food and the chef alike have been showered in accolades, and yet the hype and admiration haven't turned the restaurant into a trendy, elbow-rubber's paradise. Why not? Because it doesn't need to be a hotspot when the kitchen can handle the heat.

july/august 2012 l.a. centric 69


travelstory VICENTE GUERRERO: ON PURPOSE by Lindsay Carron It was 8:00pm and I had just arrived back in Los Angeles after visiting the cascading grape vines of Napa Valley. The rush of anticipation of travel and adventure was coursing through me. I had just driven eight hours straight, but I was bursting with energy. Stan was in the dining room, unloading all of his belongings from his car and prepping it for our journey across the border. It would be my first time in Mexico. The plan was at once riveting and nerve-wracking. The parents were concerned, to say the least, and warned of the rising death tolls from the drug wars. We assured them we would be in good hands. Our plan: travel on the coastal route south from San Diego in Stan’s old SUV, stop in Ensenada to meet Karly and her crew, and continue two more hours south to the tiny town of Vicente Guerrero in Baja California, where we would spend seven days. We were on a mission. Stan, a filmmaker, and Courtney and I, artists, all graduated with Karly from Pepperdine University just a year ago. Karly has spent the entirety of her time after graduation heading up an after-school program that her church built from the ground up in Vicente Guerrero. Her responsibilities are vast: she fundraises every penny of what fuels the school, dictates how the finances are used, acts as boss to six lunch room chefs, and teaches 40 kids two days a week. The program is called Oasis. The three of us were heading south to Karly’s world with a purpose. Stan was filming a short documentary on Oasis in order to garner fiscal support for the program, and Courtney and I were painting a 3,500 square foot mural of a desert oasis in the school’s courtyard. The SUV was brimming with paint cans, brushes, sketchbooks, aerosol cans, film gear, and the agitated energy of three art activists. Karly patiently answered my eager questions on the bumpy ride that took us along cliff sides from Ensenada to Vicente Guerrero. She had been down there for a year, and in that time had seen American volunteers come and go; countless missionary parties were there for a week and then took off. Through it all, the after-school program blossomed. Her secret to success: stay put, learn about the people, and cater to their needs, not what you think they need. One of Vicente Guerrero’s hardest struggles is keeping kids in school and out of trouble. The need for education becomes obsolete when faced with a family of six living in a shed barely large enough for a dog. Kids are enlisted to care for their younger siblings while parents are working, or they are sent off into the strawberry fields to pick the produce alongside their fathers. School is a luxury. The graduation rate is dismal. Girls become pregnant while still young. The fathers of their babies are involved in adolescent gangs and drinking. A perpetual and stubborn cycle ensues. When we arrived in Vicente Guerrero, we were immediately struck by the grungy appearance of the town: the rundown homes, built from anything that could be salvaged, children and dogs running everywhere, and rust-colored dirt for miles. There was one main road through Vicente Guerrero, and it boasted a couple taco stands, a hardware store, one cof-

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fee shop that didn’t open until noon, a bakery, and several grave yards for old car parts. Yet, Karly insisted that the town was growing rapidly. Very recently, a supermarket chain established their first branch in Vicente Guerrero. The need for after-school programs like Oasis quickly became apparent. As we finished the first coat of primer on the courtyard wall that night and closed the gates of Oasis behind us, we were met with eerie, unwavering gazes from teenage boys and men across the road. The next morning, we rose to smells of firewood, roasted meat, and earth. It quickly became one of my favorite things about the town. I’d sit cross-legged on Karly’s roof, sipping green tea, and listening to the cacophony of morning sounds. I wrote in my journal: It’s the moment when everything else falls away: thoughts of home and family, California and friends, work and art; and I slip into the peaceful symphony that is Vicente Guerrero in the morning. Each day brought new experiences, adventures, and opportunities to learn. Stan interviewed the pastor of the church who runs Oasis and houses Karly, the female chefs, and community volunteers. He followed an Oasis family as they prepared for a day, beginning at 6:30am with kids in uniforms, dad heading onto the bus to the fields, and mom making bowls of meat stew. Courtney and I reached our painting goals each day, working from 9:00am to sunset, always with the help of a few Oasis kids eagerly asking, ¿te ayudo? By the time night crept in, we would be exhausted, covered in dirt, and starving for more chili relleno tacos — but we extremely satisfied. We were part of something. Sure, we still received awkward stares from town folk, but most came to know of us as the Oasis artists. We were acknowledged not as outsiders, but as components of their community. The seventh day of our journey came too fast. As Stan, Courtney, and I headed back north towards the border, we talked of the generosity and determination of Karly, the precious children of Oasis, and the priceless things we learned from the people of Vicente Guerrero. We harbored a small notion of pride: the mural was stunning, Stan had gotten some great shots, and we were welcomed back anytime with open, eager arms. Our minds whirled with ideas and hope for improvement in the town, but also in our own lives. We returned to Southern California with new focal points in our work: simplicity, small impact, strong relationships, and purpose. Lindsay and Courtney co-founded Anima Public Art, a mural initiative for the betterment of schools around the globe. Stay updated with their adventures by visiting: animapublicart.org.

july/august 2012 l.a. centric 71


ericans finding

dating.pool

L

pain+misery = amour

by Mandana Yamin

et’s face it: Most of us thrive on a little pain and misery when we’re in a failing, unhealthy, it-should-haveended-months-ago relationship. I’m of Middle-Eastern descent, and it’s common knowledge that we get tremendous pleasure out of beating ourselves — whether in the privacy of our own homes or in front of the local market. We’re not ashamed to hold back! As for me, I embrace doom and gloom like it’s an old friend; the razor-sharp serrated knife through my back feels warm and soothing. Remarkably, I am not alone here. In fact, it’s getting rather cramped with other demonic guests. “Hey, back so soon?” I ask. “ What happened this time? He fucked your friend and you took him back? Welcome home!” In the early stages of meeting somebody, I’m careful, hesitant, and wary to see who is behind the door that zigzags to my guarded heart. I’m reluctant to allow anyone in, but at some point the knock becomes increasingly louder and more relentless. I am scared and tempted to turn the doorknob, but the more I resist, the more he persists. After a brief power struggle, he busts through like an elite member of the SWAT team, overlooking the possibility that my precious face and vital organs may get damaged in the process. I am overwhelmed and utterly defenseless. Does it really matter, when the love of your life is possibly behind Door Number One? Unfortunately, there are no parting gifts; you leave empty-handed and obliged to hire a handyman to replace the broken door he knocked down. Physical attraction is a powerful and fascinating phenomenon. It can come at anytime, and when it does, take a deep breath and close your eyes, because the impact of this enormous tidal wave will shake, rattle and roll your entire existence. The questions never seem to alter: Heart: Does he like me as much as I like him? I don’t want to appear needy and weak. Brain: Be careful. Don’t open up too fast. Take it slow, and get to know him. Heart: I want to be with him. I’ve never felt like this. I want him to know how I feel. Brain: Don’t seem desperate. You are worth the chase — let him run after you. Heart: Take the risk, girl! You got nothing to lose. Who wins? Heart? Or brain? I never know which side to pick. It’s a constant struggle that never ends.

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Once you know it’s over, somehow the weather magically gets involved. The sky turns a ghastly gray and severe thunderstorms are in the forecast for the next year. More reason to hide and seek shelter in my safe haven. I eagerly check into the House of Pain (HOP), which is situated on a dead-end street. It’s a home-away-from-home. Welcome to my little pied-à-terre. They allowed me to design and hand-pick all the furniture. Black, bleak, and morbid. “Do come in! Would you care to sit on my bed of nails?” I escape happily into my abyss of darkness, where I listen to “slit my wrist” music. I’m convinced every other love song is written about my break-up. We start off with some Frank. Then a medley of Streisand: “A Star is Born,” then right into ”The Way We Were.” Three martinis later, I belt out a pathetic version of “Memories.” I get the bourbon out and turn the volume up with my girl, Stevie Nicks. Then an encore of Morrissey, who compliments the entire goth theme I have created in my decaying and fatalistic world. I’m so miserably happy! I hit myself some more. During my stay at the HOP, I give myself a butterfly tattoo, read Madame Bovary and Pride and Prejudice three times, and most of all, I turn the agony and self-pity into love and compassion. This endeavor involves a bit of patience, acceptance, and some serious brain-digging. Within time, the excavation is a complete success. I’m healed and ready to check out. I like the new me. I like her a lot! Long before my short stint at the HOP, there was a beginning. The early “I barely know you stage,” when you can’t find anything wrong with your new found love. It’s a powerful explosion that bursts out of nowhere. It’s like bathing in hot lava. I hear it’s quite good for your skin: gives you a nice glow or burn. I don’t recall which. Suddenly, my world appears like an old black-and-white French New Wave movie from the ’60s. I’m skipping like a schoolgirl dressed in a striped sailor shirt and a pair of black fitted capris, with a baguette, a bottle of Chardonnay, and some fresh Brie in tow. The billowy clouds slowly part, turning red with shades of pink specks, and form into the shape of a heart. A remix of Serge Gainsbourg is blaring in my head, while my stomach in a perfectly twisted ballerina knot. It’s all so French, n’est-ce-pas? Being in love is such a fantastic diet, I couldn’t dare eat the baguette and cheese. They’re merely props; besides, they’re so fattening. It all started one early spring evening. The bluebirds were chirping an aria. The flowers were in full bloom...ya, ya ya!! We met at an intimate dinner party, and sat across from one

another. There was an immediate spark. He was French and had an accent. I had my top off with “Bonsoir.” The spark led to an array of interludes and je ne sais quoi. His crooked smile was infectious as we roamed the cobblestone streets like giddy adolescents, French-kissing all over Paris. “Ooh la la!” Of course this is cheesy. Love stories usually are, so just enjoy the bumpy ride. There is nothing in the world like that deep intense look you share, when everything stops for a brief moment as you get lost in his fiery eyes. It’s a rare, inexplicable, mind-altering emotion, and if you’re particularly lucky, this may occur once or maybe twice in a lifetime -unless, of course, you consume large quantities of alcohol and are sex-deprived, then it happens a lot. My life is suddenly moving at a few frames per second… and yes, damn it, there are times like this one when I need to purposely confuse lust with love, particularly when love is in the air, and the view from the Eiffel Tower is so spectacular. It’s comparable to an innocent child seeing Superman soar through the sky for the very first time. “Look, it’s a bird… it’s a plane… no, it’s AMOUR!” Love sweeping amongst the pale blue skies, completely carefree, and by the time you search for your glasses to get a better look, he’s long gone. And wwith it goes the rest of the set you have meticulously created. Wait! What just happened? I thought I had met “The One.” We seemed so connected, spending night after night at our favorite neighborhood café, drinking vin rouge and smoking unfiltered cigarettes, while he serenaded me in his cool French way. ”You are so beautiful, cherie” he would tell me over and over again. Yet the end was near. So near that one day I inadvertently got run over by my beau du jour on his fancy scooter. I guess love wasn’t in the air for him. He didn’t even bother to stop and check to see if I was dead or alive as my body lay limp off the side of the road. Ironically, I was steps from a place called La Maison de Pain. Who knew there was one here? I contemplated checking in for a few days, until they informed me they were not that sort of hotel but a bread shop. Pardonnez moi! After my mishap, I hobbled to the banks of the Seine, sat on the ledge, and watched the boats go by. I made myself the most delicious Brie sandwich, and polished off the wine. It was like one of the cheery postcards you get in the mail, but this time I was in it. I felt elated. I may have lost the man I thought was my soul mate, but I immediately found love at an amazing new patisserie around the corner. l.a. “Monsieur taxi!”


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L.A. Centric - July/August 2012