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l.a. centric october/november 2012

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l.a. centric magazine

14 | onview pennelope gottlieb 16 | people q&a adam gross 20 | people q&a peter mays

October-November 2012


22 | art alison van pelt 24 | art on the use of lace 26 | jewelry april star davis 28 | fashion lazy sunday afternoon

A Roadtrip through Europe 32

After “The End” 44

Laura Grier travels through Germany, France, and Italy and chronicles her journey in words and stunning photos

Marta Soul places classic film characters in new environments and photographs the result

52 | design using succulents

54 | food justine freeman reviews smoke and gusto

58 | health yoga: transitions & practice

56 | food outstanding local produce

On the cover: Peppers at the Farmer’s Market Photograph by Cristina Urioste

10 l.a. centric oct/nov 2012

See article on page 56

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

L au ra Gr ie r She has worked freelance for a variety of media giants like Warner Bros. Studios, National Geographic, and Wire Image. Presently, Laura is a Los Angeles based photojournalist, and the founder and present owner of Beautiful Day Photography www.


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.

Su z y K l oner 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.

l.a. centric magazine

Pub l isher & Editor

Richard Kalisher Architecture & Design Editor:

Brent Turner

F o od & T ravel Editor :

Justine Freeman A rts Editor:

Lisa C Soto

Fashion Editor :

Ashley Heaton


Lisa M. Berman Donovan Stanley

C ont ribu t ing 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 ont ribu t ing W riter s: Mi ch el l e Wi ener C ri sti n a Uri oste 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 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

12 l.a. centric oct/nov 2012

Conception • Design • Editor-at-large

l.a.onview Penelope Gottlieb’s new exhibition explores the themes of ecological crisis and botanical extinction through highly detailed, and densely rendered, paint and ink based works on canvas, panel, and paper. Gottlieb’s recent practice continues an ongoing project of re-imagining lost species. She re-envisions, and ultimately re-invents, lost botanical plant life based on historical descriptions and accounts. In the absence of existing visual references for these perished species, Gottlieb engages extinction in a literal way by summoning its subjects back to life through a series of imagined reconstructions. Gottlieb’s work, while charged with timely environmental anxieties, and conversant with our shared dread

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of ecological peril, is powerfully seductive and visually alluring. Deceivingly decorative and lush upon first glance, the paintings’ aesthetic veneer is anything but superficial. Upon closer inspection, the work reveals an arresting network of imagery, complexity, and depth. Gottlieb’s aesthetic is informed by her consummate draftsmanship and graphic sensibility. Her dense compositions, embellished with highly detailed additions of pen and ink, create the impression of visual abundance. Each piece is painstakingly developed by the artist’s highly saturated use of color, and by her meticulous approach to mark making. The visual dynamism and movement formally invoked by the

work, conveys an impression of frenetic energy. It is as though they were truly living things. As large format works, these acrylic and ink based paintings are monumental and impressive: larger than life. They seem to defy the confines of their own image plane; and reverberate as if untenably contained. They are poetic investigations of loss that suggest an overwhelmingly frenetic imperative to “live”. Through these works Gottlieb attempts to explore the dynamic shift in our relationship to the natural world. Her work resists the calm and disinterested representation of nature we tend to associate with pastoral imagery, historical botanicals, or still life, and instead activates it as a tumultu-

ous and problematic subject. Accompanying new works from the Extinct Botanicals series, ECAA will be featuring new works from Gottlieb’s Invasive Species. In this body of work Gottlieb continues her exploration of loss and extinction through appropriated, and revised, images by John James Audubon (1785-1851). The artist intentionally takes these historically familiar representations of nature and alters our perception and understanding of them through a series of interventions. Invasive Species probes the exploitative nature of non-native species once introduced into foreign ecosystems. In these works the subjects are literally bound and suffocated by the presence of

an invasive botanical growth. The creatures are visibly compromised in these images, but the aesthetic remains serene and contemplative. By retaining Audubon’s visual language, and in fact by appropriating it in her own emulative additions, Gottlieb’s revisionist additions are intended to defer a moment of realization. We are not entirely sure if they are beautiful or distressing, and in fact they are both. Content is again deceivingly fraught beneath a beautiful veneer. Penelope Gottlieb completed her MFA at the University of California in Santa Barbara, and has been widely exhibited throughout California. She has been featured in prominent international art fairs such as the Armory, NY, and

was recently featured in Conference of the Birds, presented by Cynthia Reeves Projects at Mana Contemporary, NJ. The artist’s work is currently included in an exciting touring exhibition Ignite! The Art of Sustainability presented by Exhibit Envoy, and touring CA from 2012 to 2015. Her work has been acquired by several prominent public collections, including: the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Chicago Art Institute, the Palm Springs Museum of Art, 21c Museum, the Nevada Museum of Art, and is on view at the Drawing Center, New York. Penelope Gottlieb: Gone is on view at Edward Cella Art + Architecture through October 27.

oct/nov 2012 l.a. centric 15


Back & Forth with

ADAM GROSS Executive Director of Art Platform Los Angeles

Lisa C Soto I am sitting in Ray's restaurant on LACMA's grounds with Adam Gross, Chief Executive Director of Art Platform Los Angeles Contemporary and Modern art fair. He is generously giving me a few minutes of his time away from the cacophony of activity in his office, as he and his team put together the second year of the art fair, only weeks away. Where were you born and where did you grow up? I was born and raised in Los Angeles. I spent my entire formative years in L.A., including my undergraduate and graduate years at UCLA. I majored in international economics and finance in undergraduate school. Later, I took an art history class and just fell in love. I went from a B student in economics to an A student. I was in front of the class, raising my hand for every question. I ended up double majoring in international economics and art history. I came back to UCLA for graduate school and majored in art history. That was one of the reasons I took the position at Art Platform and the reason the parent company of the armory show hired me. They knew L.A. has its peculiar needs. They felt someone who had lived here for a long period, or was born and raised here, could provide the kind of strategies and insights that are needed to make it work in L.A. Secondly, because my parent company is out of Chicago and the armory show is out of New York, they really didn't want to be seen as carpetbaggers or interlopers. They wanted it to come from a local perspective. What was your first vocation? My first job was in finance working for a pharmaceutical company in New York around '92-'93. I was not happy. I spent my evenings going out to openings and museums on the weekends. I realized quickly, if there ever was a time that I was going to look into the art world as a vocation, this would be the time. I was not married. I didn't own anything. I was free; this was the time. Were there any members in your family in finance? Nope. I was particularly good at math and numbers. I knew I liked the arts. I thought I would make my money in finance and spend

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it on the arts. I realized that life was too short. I wanted to spend my time doing what I liked. Although, if I had stayed in finance I might be retired by now. (laughs) But I will work for the rest of my life in the arts and be happy. Were your parents in the arts? No, my dad is a dentist; my mom was trained as a dental hygienist. They met back when USC was the only dental school in California. We were solid middle class; we were taking trips to Europe and my parents had membership to museums, but we never went to galleries. My idea of a vocation in the arts was extremely limited. I knew there were artists, curators, and galleries but I didn't know how they were run. I never thought about the entire infrastructure that exists around the visual arts: the shippers, insurance, museum curators, developers, etc. I think that is a testament to how poor our arts education is; and this was in the 70's when there was arts education and funding. What a tragedy it is that there is a whole population out there that would be able to make great contributions to the art world but have no idea that it is an option. They know you can be a building professional, or a nurse, or work in finance. But they don't know they can have a very satisfying career as an art handler, a shipping and crating person, or art insurer. What was your first job in the art world? I was working with a guy by the name of Niels Kantor; he had a gallery on Melrose. His mother Ulrike Kantor had a gallery on La

Cienega back in the '70s and '80s. His father was a gentleman by the name of Paul Kantor, who was the dealer who brought Diebenkorn to Los Angeles. He was one of the first to show Rothko and De Kooning, for example. He was very big in bringing the abstract expressionists and the NY school to Los Angeles. He also started doing a lot of work in the impressionists market. By working with Niels I was also able to do some work with the family. It was a remarkably interesting experience. At that point I had about 50 years of art that I was able to hear about and watch unfold. I did that for about 4 or 5 years. But I realized that there was a conceptual and intellectual underpinning in contemporary art that I had not been trained in. As an undergraduate focusing on contemporary art, you still had a lot of pre-Columbian, Southeast Asian, sub-Saharan African art, renaissance, and European art that you were studying. Maybe I took a few courses in contemporary but you are really just touching on things. But especially in Los Angeles, conceptual art, light and space, minimalism, these are not intellectually lightweight “isms”. In order to understand the impact, vernacular, and language I found myself in contact with, I felt I needed a more rigorous underpinning. So that is when I left the gallery and returned to UCLA for my master’s. What followed after graduate school? I went to work for Butterfields, an auctioneer out of San Francisco. It was found in 1865. It had been bought by a four-year-old com-

pany out of Palo Alto called eBay. It was that moment between 1999 and 2002 where everyone thought, wow, you have the Internet, you have this image-based business and the art world. These things are going to revolutionize each other. I think Ebay was a little bit ahead of the curve, for what they were trying to do. The idea that people would want to buy things via art auctions on line and not want to go see the works and talk to someone about them wasn't working. Art to me is an experience, a history. When you go to someone's home and ask them about a work of art, they are probably more inclined to tell you more about their experience buying that work of art than what the artist was thinking or where they went to school. You are more likely to get more about their personal experience. This experience of looks good, click, buy; there is nothing to talk about there. People connect to art, and then via art, people connect to other people. You helped MOCA through a very challenging period. Tell me when did you hold a position there and what was your role? I worked as the Associate Director of Development from about 2005/2006 to 2010. The challenging time was in the fall of 2008. It happened relatively quickly. It wasn't as though everyone at MOCA knew we were having financial difficulty. We woke up one day and realized: oh! we are in financial difficulty. One reason is because we lost 50% of our stock portfolio virtually overnight, our endowment. Our endowment was already small and then it suddenly got 50% smaller. I oversaw individual givings. I managed some of the upper- level donation groups and the acquisition councils. I was good at closing a deal, and to deal with adversity. When you are working in finance you got to be able to deliver bad news to people at some point. You need to be able to do that with a certain amount of integrity and present it in a calm way. To help assure people that things will work out. There isn't a lot of business minded people in the art world. To be able to think in that capacity, I think that helped my position at MOCA. Specifically, can you explain how you were able to help during the crisis? Yes, I was there to help strategize. What are the changes we are going to make? What programs we are going to put into place to address this new state of affairs? And to give moral support to the staff and the donors. You can read in the newspaper what's happening at MOCA, but you need to talk to someone. You need to be able to ask specific questions about specific programs. You need to feel that there is someone there and that there is a plan. So my job was to assure the existing donors and supporters that we were going to get through this period. When Eli Broad stepped in were you there, were you involved? I bore witness to what was happening, but

Lisa C Soto and Adam Gross under Levitated Mass at LACMA; (opposite page) Soto and Gross at Ray’s. Photo by Marianne Williams

I was not actively in conversation with Eli or the Broad foundation. I was certainly there to support the transition and explain it to people. Would you share any of your personal thoughts about Broad bringing in Jeffrey Deitch? Yes, first of all I love the institution. MOCA has been part of my formation, the formation of my opinions on art and contemporary art. It's crucial in how I look at the contemporary art world. I will say the strategies that got MOCA into the point of needing help were strategies that clearly weren't working. Had they worked that wouldn't have happened. So I think there was a basic recognition that rad-

ical change was needed. I think that Roberta Smith wrote about the choice of Jeffrey, “It's a great institution it's in radical trouble, therefore it needs radical change.” I will say this, I think that Jeffrey is working to re-conceive the basic notions we have about museums and their operations. It will be interesting to see how that plays out. It seems that it is becoming a leaner organization. Do you think it is good that MOCA is becoming a leaner organization? That remains to be seen. I am in the generation that is inbetween. I have nostalgia for the MOCA of the old. But I think that there is something interesting happening. I just

oct/nov 2012 l.a. centric 17

spent a lot of time in East Asia; I see what's happening with the economy, culture, and arts there. I see what's happening here in the west, and there is a shift. I feel that we are entering into a future where there is going to be more competition for resources. Because of the cultural landscape that we have created for ourselves, it will need to be evaluated and supported. America has a remarkably innovative way to support culture, which is via individuals, as there is virtually no governmental help. The European museums and art institutions are only now starting to have to look at fundraising. Not only do they not understand it functionally, but also the population doesn't understand it. Unless you are a multi-billionaire, the idea of pick a museum or a Kunsthalle is completely alien to you. If you were, you would more likely build a museum in your own name. So inversely here we have a much broader base. But when you have a lot of the things that are happening in the economy, it makes it more difficult, you feel pinched. I do feel we are going to see more innovative ways in managing arts programs, more shared resources, more outsourcing — and different kinds of arts organizations. Do you think Deitch is part of that shift or making that shift happen? And do you have an opinion regarding the present conflict at MOCA? That is a good question. I think that he is part of that shift. I don't want to get too deep into the present situation, but I find it really unfortunate. It has become polarizing and has taken away from the conversations we should be having, like programming and direction about some very fundamental issues. It should not be centered on one person. Even when Jeremy Stricht left MOCA the vitriol wasn't directed at Jeremy, the concern was directed at the institution. Otherwise it gets very distracting and I think we are entering into distraction land. Was it during your time in MOCA that Merchandise Mart Properties, Inc. (MMPI), PRODUCERS OF 8 other art fairs, Including the Armory Show in NY, approached you? Yes, at that point I had been a year and a half into the uncertainty and the changes at MOCA. I think we were all getting really tired. I didn't want to leave but there was no incentive to stay and it gets emotionally draining. I thought this was an opportunity that dovetailed nicely into my ultimate goal. I realized what I liked doing most was sharing art with other people. I see art as a method of communication. Paul Morris, one of the founders of the Armory Show, approached me. He told me that I was the only name that kept popping up. The timing and my skill set just made it right. How did Art Platform Los Angeles come about? We started looking at the Armory model

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and we realized very quickly that New York is not Los Angeles. L.A. presents very unique challenges and has a very unique set of assets that are distinct. It has an art scene but not a mature art-scene like New York. I consider L.A. one of the world's greatest production cities. It seemed to explode particularly around 2008 or 2009. We decided that calling it the Armory Show L.A. was a bit of a misnomer. The name came up because we saw our role as providing a platform for people to experience great art. With Los Angeles Art Show and Art Los Angeles Contemporary already established in L.A., what does Art Platform bring to the table that is different from these other L.A. based art fairs? In the end, it comes down to expertise and resources. It isn't that we are making a paradigm shift regarding art fairs. But I have an operations team that is amazing; they understand production. We got that compliment often last fall. When operations aren't good, it distracts you from all of the good things you should to be doing. Also, the reach of the Armory has 17 years of history behind it. They created the idea of the VIP program in art fairs. They have a VIP list that reaches to every collector, curator, and consultant the world over. So the idea was you have a city like L.A. that is experiencing a very interesting creative moment. And you have an international audience. But the thing about L.A. is you have to know how to pace yourself. As Paul Morris put it, we want to demystify this city for people. We want to people to leave people feeling that they weren't confused. I want people to love this town. Last year Art Platform was held downtown at the L.A. Mart. Where is it being held this year? Last year we did it downtown because our parent company owns L.A. Mart. We needed a 50,000 sq ft floor and we didn't want to make it too complicated for our first year. Because of the challenges of getting downtown, we are holding the fair at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica Airport this year. How many galleries do you expect to be participating this year? Is that more than last year? About 80–85, a little more than last year. This does not include all of the non-profit organizations like the Los Angeles Art Association, LACMA, MOCA, Santa Monica Museum, and organizations like Co-Lab. Are there any special art commissions for the new site? Yes, we are very excited to commission Steve Roden, a sound artist with Susanne Vielmetter gallery in Culver City. For opening night only, we will have a jet from one of our sponsors XOJet, parked outside the fair. It is a Challenger 300, which is designed to make the interior into a speaker. So we are commissioning a soundscape from Roden,

for the interior of this jet. What is your overall view of the L.A. art world? L.A. is one of the world's best art production capitals. There are other cities out there like Berlin and Beijing. But what differentiates L.A. is the artist, the number of artists coming out of art schools in Los Angeles. Some of the best art schools happen to be located in Los Angeles. It’s changed since 10 years ago when Baldessari told his students, “If you are serious go to NY.” Now if you are serious, you stay in L.A. Almost every year there is an exponential growth of artists that are making L.A. their home. I am concerned about that. It is not as though I am seeing another 100 collectors coming in L.A. every year. I think there needs to be more art collectors in this town. We need to think about the people who have the ability to collect. The great irony of Los Angeles is that this city's success is built on a creative industry, the entertainment industry, yet the number of collectors or philanthropists out of it is a really small number. It has been the holy grail for L.A. for years. Paul Kantor's great success was bringing people like Billy Wilder and Dennis Hopper into the art world. When I was at MOCA, I realized that the people who are making larger donations are already invested. We have to expose more people to the arts. One of the easiest ways is to bring you to an art fair. An art fair is a highly efficient way to see a lot of art in an environment where the gallery owner is available. You know it is place of commerce. It is meant for the acquisition. Once you start to collect, you become invested. A big part of the reason why people are involved in the arts is that there is a social network and it is interesting! A great example of philanthropy is the Hoffman's, Rose, and Rachofsky's in Dallas. They banded together made a gift of all their collections to the Dallas museum of art and, on top of that, donated a 100 million dollars. l.a. We need that here.

Adam’s Top 8 Favorite Recent Shows • • • • • • • •

Made in LA – Hammer Museum, LA Ends of Earth and Panza Collection - MOCA, LA Levitated Mass, Metropolis II, & Sharon Lockhart - LACMA, Herb Ritts - Getty, LA Richard Diebenkorn: The Ocean Park Series - Corcoran, DC “Yayoi Kusama – Whitney Museum, NY Christopher Michlig - Marine Contemporary Gallery, LA Friedrich Kunath - Blum and Poe, LA (upcoming)

Art Platform Los Angeles, September 28 - Sept 30, 2012, opening preview Thursday, Sept 27 at The Barker Hangar, in the Santa Monica airport.


Back & Forth with

PETER MAYS Director of the Los Angeles Arts Association

Lisa C Soto I am sitting with Peter Mays, the Executive Director of the Los Angeles Art Association (LAAA) in his beautifully sunlit exhibition space, Gallery 825. Situated on La Cienega in W. Hollywood. Mays is also known for his position as chairperson of the West Hollywood Arts and Culture Commission and its Art on the Outside public art effort. He leads the city’s nationally regarded outdoor public art programming which has been praised in Art Forum and the New York Times. Mays helped launch the region-wide LA Arts Month effort from 2009-2011 where he served on Planning Committee and the Program Committee. He has stopped his whirlwind activities for a few minutes to share what he has been up to. Where were you born and where did you grow up? I was born in Pittsburg, PA. I lived there until I moved to Los Angeles in my 30’s. What was your role in your family that may have led to your present position? Both my brother and my father were engineers. They had very analytical skills sets. I was very different from them so were my sisters. I was making work from 5 years old until my 30’s. I was the artist of the family. I get asked all of the time: do I miss the practice. Not really. There are a lot of artists that came to it later; they feel they have to make art. I don’t feel that anymore. My work is keeping me active. What university did you attend? I have an MFA in painting & printmaking form the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. I went to University of Pittsburg for my undergraduate years. After university what did you venture into? I was an artist for many years until my 30’s. I was also the director of Clark Gallery in the celebrated Clark building in Pennsylvania. What brought you to Los Angeles? I wanted to move to a large city. I had spent a lot of time in NY, but I wanted to see what L.A. was like. I came to L.A. for a few weeks to visit a relative and here I am 17 years later. Did you come to Los Angeles as an artist or gallery director? I was open to both. I got a gig at the Tierra del Sol Foundation. A local foundation that runs an organization for developmentally disabled adults. I ran their art program for 500 adults with disabilities for 8 ½ years. That was my

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entree to the world of nonprofit management. It was quite exciting, amazing work comes out of these individuals every day of the week. We launched a large regional out reach exhibiting works of these artists. Then I was hired as a senior staff for the Galef Institute. The family has one of the 2 buildings at Otis, named after them. They are big art supporters. The Galef ’s had an educational non-profit that used the arts in service of student achievement. They firmly believe that the arts can enhance a child’s learning. I worked for them for 2 ½ years and then LAAA found me. How did that come about? They had an 18-month search for an executive director. Somehow my name came up while I was at the Galef Institute, I went through a few interviews in the 5-month process and then was hired. It is a good match for my skills, both my artistic side and the administrative side. I had a nice set of skills to respond to the needs of the organization at that time. What is your mission for gallery 825 that is different than what it had previously been? The organization is 87 years old and anything that old has peaks and valleys, and different focus areas. At the time of my arrival, a lot of it was artist driven as far as the administrative duties. They didn’t have a nonprofit professional to do the managerial and necessary items that needed to be done to bring the organization up to another level. So I brought that on and also I am a natural networker. I was able to reach out to the local arts community and also set up national and international presence and opportunities for artists in those settings.

You not only are the director of LAAA but you are also the chairman of the West Hollywood art commission’s board. How did that come about? They knew me from LAAA and that I am a W. Hollywood resident. They asked me to join the commission a few years ago. The commission does all of the programming for the public arts in West Hollywood. The public art, like what you see on Santa Monica Blvd. It is not just visual but also musical performance, theatre; it programs the civic art content. My role as chairman is to lead priorities. There are 7 of us who have to vote, so majority rules. But still there is a way to lead the discussion, to set the tone and lead the conversations. You organized a beautiful public art murals on the West Hollywood Library parking structures by Kenny Scharf, Retna and Shepard Fairey tell me about this... That is my favorite public piece we have done to today, the murals at the West Hollywood library. The city of West Hollywood embarked on their largest ever-capital effort, which was the new library, a few years ago. It was 5 or 6 years in the making. As it was coming to completion, I knew about MOCA’s “Art in the Streets” exhibition. It was the biggest survey of street art ever. It was something I thought our city could be a part of. I was very enthusiastic. So I approached Jeffrey Deitch about our city being a part of his exhibition at MOCA Geffen. We took a tour of West Hollywood, midway through the process, we realized the library could be a potential site for the murals. In that instance, we became very excited. They have a large parking structure with

3 walls that are three stories high. After that I let Jeffrey choose and approach the artist. The artists were Shepard Fairey, Kenny Scharf, and Retna. I think it was the largest public mural each of them had every worked on. This was supposed to be part of “Art in the Streets” but because of circumstances, it got delayed. It ended up being launched a couple of months after “Art in the Streets” closed. I felt it worked out even better; it was like a coda on “Art in the Streets”. You had this citywide zeitgeist about how exciting street art was, then that closed, everybody saw it. Two months later you have a very discrete public splash with another big important public art effort so it built on “Art in the Streets” without being a part of it. Vanity Fair did a big feature on it as well as The Huffington Post and many other publications. (http://www.huffingtonpost. com/2011/10/13/west-hollywood-library-murals-unveiled_n_1009014.html#s406571). It is possible we are going to do another project with MOCA, in the future. With LAAA you have elevated it to a very active and relevant center supporting contemporary artists. You have created national and international collaborations with Harvard, Art Basel, in Germany, and in Korea, to name a few. Tell me about some of these projects. Yes, we had our first ever-public exhibition during Art Basel this past June, in collaboration with PING-PONG. They have had artists from Basel, Miami and this year have included L.A. It is a project that documents, and explores the artistic endeavors of the chosen cities. It has been getting some good press over the years. It is always part of the programming that happens during the fair, though it is not part of the fair. We took 4 artists of ours over there, and the effort also featured 4 Miami artists and 4 Basel artists. There are 12 artists altogether. That was step one. Then we are taking those same 12 artists to Art Platform Los Angeles in September and then to Miami Art Basel in December. Another one that stays with me was an effort we did last year at Harvard. We worked with a colleague of mine named Lisa Randall. She is a very famous physicist. She is kind of a rock star of the science world, always on Charlie Rose, etc. She was interested in our programming. One of the programs we have done over the years, I refer to as our ‘Mentoring Opportunities’. In the past we have worked with established artist who work with a cadre of our artists here, on a singular effort, a singular installation. In the past we have worked with Lita Albuquerque, Tim Hawkinson, and Barbara Smith, to name a few. Usually six artists get together under the tutelage of this established artist in service of this large installation. I started thinking, instead of an artist why not get a different kind of thinker to lead the effort. Lisa was working on her latest book, at that time. It involves the theory of scale and what that means on the physical level and in the realm of atomic particles. She brought her thinking with that subject and did a show called “Measure for Measure”. We had 8 artists who worked with her

on this project. We had the first iteration here at Gallery 825, then we took it to Chapman University in Orange County, and then we culminated at Harvard in November 2011. You also worked in Korea... We had an exchange program with Korea for 2 years where we showed 7 of our artists. A pretty well known center in Korea called the Inza Arts Center and a fairly well known gallery called Gallery Ahn. We sent work there for two years; in that instance we did not receive work. Alternatively we had an effort that went the other way with China. In 2008 we welcomed 62 Chinese artists in a massive building in Alhambra. That was wild! And tell me about your exchange in Germany. In Essen, Germany there are two regional art fairs called Contemporary Ruhr, for the Ruhr valley in Germany. They have two fairs per year and a new media fair in June. It is one of the few art fairs dedicated to new media, a lot of video installation, it is not about wall bound art; it is more about experiential art. The area is an abandoned mine, that the German government took over and made into a cultural site. Every year the E.U. designates one area in Europe as the cultural center, like the Olympics of culture. We had our fair during that in 2010. It was amazing; the whole cultural context of Europe came to the fair. We have been doing this for 3 years; we are going back in October. We have welcomed the German art fair producers to bring German artists here to the gallery, so this is more of an exchange. You have a great fall program this year; can you tell me about it? It is non-stop and it is exciting. We are having a very special one-week show called Applied Science. It will be over by the time this article is published. The context is 4 artists who use mechanics or technology in the presentation of their work. So a photo would not be accepted but a video would work. In September and October we have four amazing solo shows. We are going back to Germany for the contemporary art fair, featuring some of our artist there. In November we are working on an exciting group show. Every year in December we have our signature survey show that is called “Open Show”. It is open to all Southern California. We have very prestigious curators like Franklin Sirmans from LACMA, Charlie Manzo from Gagosian, Ann Philbin from the Hammer. I am working on this year’s juror. Also in December we are going to be in Miami. I am waiting to hear the exact location we will show

in, but I think it will be in a university this year. What are your long-term goals for the gallery and the association? I really would like to continue the trajectory we are on. I function best slow and steady, where you just keep going up. It is my experience that one successful opportunity leads to the next one and the next one. I want to be open to new possibilities and keep expanding with the networking. The area I see the most potential growth is in these off sites partnerships we have started internationally. They are some murmurs about Asia in 2013, so we will see... l.a. Los Angeles Art Association, 825 N. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90069. gallery825@laaa. org

Peter Mays Top Ten Favorite Art Exhibitions • • • • • • • • • •

Documenta 13 – 2012 Tim Hawkinson’s Uberorgan - Getty Museum, 2008 Art in the Streets - MOCA, 2011 Byzantium - Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2005 Wolfgang Tillmans – Hammer Museum, 2006 - 2007 Measure for Measure – Gallery 825 and Harvard’s Carpenter Center, 2010 & 2011 Art of Two Germanys/Cold War Cultures – LACMA, 2009 Willem de Kooning - MOMA, 2011 Isaac Julien’s Ten Thousand Waves – ICA Boston, 2011 Kandinsky – Guggenheim, 2009

Lisa C Soto and Peter Mays, Photographs by Marianne Williams

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For the past 30 years, I have been preoccupied with the act of painting. For most of this time, I have been captivated by the blurring of paint. I like to streak it to imply motion, or finesse the paint until the image is hidden a bit, or drag the brush aggressively until the image is almost obliterated. My favorite blur, the gentle, steady, repetitive blur, seeks to create the illusion of a tangible, three-dimensional apparition, like a hologram. Because this result is not always achieved, and because the pursuit of this enterprise can be strenuous, and must be meticu-

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lous, it is important to find joy in the process of painting. The blur has become more than a means to an end. I love to watch the paint change as the brush passes over it. It is mesmerizing to watch an image gradually develop and reshape. I am comforted by the repetition of brush strokes and entranced by the transformation of colors and textures. While the conclusion of a painting may not be the realization of the desired objective, I find that the more time I spend immersed in the practice of painting, the more I come to value the act of painting itself.

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As I was perusing the September issue of Vogue, the trend of lace garments were the standouts of the fall collections. Specifically, Hamish Bowles’ editorial spread on Dolce & Gabbana, titled “One Enchanted Evening,” photographed by Peter Lindbergh, calls to attention that this is not the lace of Madonna’s ’80s. No. It is one of the romantic, may I dare say even baroque, aesthetic. From Valentino to Michael Kors, the Bible thick guide to fall’s definition of beauty is not one of lace trim, but of an entire garment made of the porous material. The material itself is historically charged. It began in the 1540s under the innovative care of Venetian needles. Embroiders reversed the technique of drawn threadwork in order to create an openwork embroidery. Over the centuries it became a signifier of great wealth, as well as made the living for many Dutch women who supported their parents. It even caused a war between Louis XIV of France and Colbert and the Republic of Venice. It is a gendered medium, in that it was usually the work of women, beginning at a young age

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(and most of the time in orphanages). However, in the seventeenth century, it was mainly worn by men on the rim of their clothing as a sign of affluence. It did not become feminine until later in the eighteenth century, mainly because there was a lift in the laws forbidding the purchase of lace to the lower social classes. Let us also remember the great social divide of who makes the lace and the ones who wear it. The advent of machine lace in the early nineteenth century made production swift, supplying the high demand for the alluring fabric. The word lace derives from that sentiment. Evolving from the Latin verb lacere, meaning “to entice or ensnare,” the fabric does evoke that seductive, almost teasing nature. In the noun form the word’s origin is also from the Latin laqueus, meaning noose. The medium really is the message here, for the open-weave fabric, very much like a net, is made though the process of fastening and securing knots in various methods, capturing the tactile and visual (given that it has a certain transparency) senses coyly.

The word in the verb form is one of connectivity, as we lace up our shoes, or we tie things together. We can also lace substances with flavor, either enriching them or adulterating them. The word may connect materials, but the conative meaning could not be more of a polemic. The very color of the lace denotes its meaning. For example, we have the virginal white lace of a bride, and the eroticism of black lace. In fact, Alfred Hitchcock notes this in his film Psycho, by placing Janet Leigh’s character in both white and black brassieres to convey her moral disposition at the given point of the film. What I am witnessing in the Los Angeles art scene today is lace as a signifier of historical opulence, modern sexuality, and permeable nature. My obsession with lace as an art medium began in 2008 when I saw the work of Cal Lane. With plasma cut metal in the patterns of various found lace (even some given to her by her patrons), Lane takes the fragility of lace and negates it. Nevertheless, the holey virtue of the lace pattern

Works by Margaret Griffith (above and opposite page) Canopy, 2012, hand-cut paper; (above left) Coringa, 2012, hand-cut paper.

leave the metal vulnerable, and in the case of her shovels and oil drum, stripped of their functions. She is a welder, or a lacer with a blowtorch. The lace work refers not only to commerce and capitalism, but the very idea of work, whether it is by hand or by machine. Maps and sexual positions are interwoven into the lace patterns, conveying the gendered, sexual and historical warfare lace and the oil inside the oil drums have. The works most intriguing to me are her Dirt Lace works, where she uses the metal lace cutouts as a stencil, sifting dirt through to form a carpet installation. The work progresses as she has a nude figure lay down in the installation, and they too are covered with the dirt lace through the stencil. The dirt in itself negates the virginal aspect of lace, and it reinforces the seductive erotic essence of the textile. Yet, it is also a transitory piece that is swept up, alluding to the fragile qualities of lace. The notion of delicate is also found in the current show at the Ruth Bachofner Gallery. Artist Margaret Griffith created an installation

of hand cut paper sculptures and audio, documenting the gates in her Highland Park neighborhood. Evoking the hard labor of hand made lace, each of the paper sculptures used in the installation are hand cut from photo references. Remember, both the lace-maker and Griffith are fiber artists. With a closer look, one can see the seams of the paper glued together and the pencil marks of pattern tracing. They are painstakingly beautiful. The achromatic palette is understated, subtle and elegant. Griffith not only places large paper gates into the gallery, but smaller fragments. These seem like the remnants at a fabric store. I do not find these necessary within the context of the entire installation, for only having part of a gate seems even more absurd than the idea of a paper gate in itself. The work asks us what the functions of a gate, a boundary, even a line are, and illustrates the paradox of what offers confinement also provides protection; what symbolizes fear also conveys possession, or at least the want to protect possessions from theft.

Like lace, the paper cutouts (let me even be as bold as to say drawings) are penetrable, draped and fragile. The gate is now without its function and we are left with the decorative illustrations of gate architecture. Iron bars on windows, gates and doors are iron bars, no matter how many spirals and floral accents they have. The audio piece is of Griffith’s neighbors speaking about their gates and what they mean to them. As a separate work this may be something to contend with, but as part of the installation, I find it as a reiteration of what the paper sculptures already do. I believe that the viewer already reads the work and does not need the audio in order to understand the content of the show. One element that I wish had been considered more is the actual entrance to the gallery. For an artist who is obviously skilled and well versed in what the function of her work is, I am surprised that she did not contend with the gateway into space. All in all, it is a wonderful, thoughtful exhibition. It is one which lingers in one’s thoughts well after the gate has closed. — Michelle Wiener

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Jewelry designer April Star Davis has created pieces worn onscreen and off by the likes of Jennifer Garner, Justin Timberlake and Kate Moss. But one of her proudest accomplishments was founding Designers 4 Africa (, which helps nonprofit groups raise money for those needing aid in Africa. Davis recently traveled to Uganda to teach HIV-positive widows how to create their own jewelry — work they can do while caring for their children. helping others isn't as daunting as it initially seemed. "You just need to start somewhere," she said. "It gets easier after that."

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Late Sunday Afternoon scarves collection


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jackie robbins leather + jewelry

los feliz village 1954 hillhurst avenue los angeles, ca 90027 323 664-4860


European Road Trip by Laura Grier story and PhotographY

Walking into the BMW factory in Munich, Germany, is like walking into something from the “Jetson’s” cartoon. The entire building is all different shapes of glass and steel twisted together to look like a cyclone, and you are in the eye of it. They greet you, serve you beer, let you climb into a simulator to “test drive” your new car, and then reveal your new car on a spinning platform with spotlights on it. This was how my boyfriend, Jason and I picked up our new ride to go on our epic European road trip. We picked up a shiny, new, space gray 5 series and had a European license plate that made us look and feel like spies in James Bond. Thus our adventure was born. The idea for our road trip started months ago. Jason wanted to have a stick shift BMW, which you have to special order from Germany. My sister, Marisa, was about to move to the south of France and have a baby. The Euro Cup Soccer matches were happening in June. And last, but not least, I had been dying to go back to Italy since I studied abroad there as a freshman in College; vowing to come back so I could get married there someday…determined to marry an Italian man. Now, 14 years later, I have returned with my Italian man and we both have a strong desire to find a place to get married someday in Italy. So for me, this trip turned into an adventure to scout our dream wedding location in Italy.

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When Jason first mentioned wanting to drive through Germany, France, Italy, and Austria in two weeks, I thought he was crazy. In my mind, it takes me 7 hours just to drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco and I have barely even crossed the state and I have definitely not changed languages or currency, but when you look at a map and realize how close everything is in Europe and that Europeans pretty much all drive like they are on the Audubon, I started to think maybe we could actually pull it off. I of course threw a complete tantrum on day one, because I really wanted to detour a bit to go see Neuschwanstein Castle, which most of you would recognize as the castle that Walt Disney based his famous Sleeping Beauty Castle on at Disneyland. Jason overruled my demands and said that it would take us hours off our course to get to the south of France. So, I pouted…I really wanted to see a castle. Little did I know, that we would see about 20 different castles in the next five hours as we drove through the mountainous roads through the Austrian alps. It was beyond breathtaking to drive through these majestic mountains, and equally frustrating, because all I wanted to do was take photos and there is nowhere to stop and no way to shoot quality through the windows…I guess there are certain things that are meant just for memories. It’s hard to believe that in eight hours from departing Munich, we were pulling into the

quaint town of Menton, France, just over the Italian border. I had been to the south of France before, but I was not prepared for all that Menton had to offer. I had no idea that there were so many Medieval Mountain Villages between Nice and Italy. Most Americans think of the South of France and think of the Cannes Film Festival, P-Diddy’s Yacht parties in St. Tropez, or the Grand Prix in Monaco, but there is so much history and culture in this region that it is staggering to comprehend. Jason and I met my new little niece, Olivia, which was so exciting and as a family with my sisters and their husbands we all strolled along the cobblestone streets of Menton, having gelato and perusing the farmer’s markets and the many aisles of cheese..mmmm. Everywhere around you, you heard multiple languages being spoken, one of the things that make me realize how much Americans live in a bubble…spoiled to only have to learn one language. I learned that this region, the Cote D’Azur, has always been fought over for centuries. It is no surprise to me why. One look around you at the crystal, clear, turquoise water with a dramatic mountain backdrop and views of Corsica and Italy, and you realize you are truly in paradise. So many different countries have conquered it over the years, that there is such a diverse clash of cultures, evident not only in the languages, but in the architecture. We found ourselves walking through path-

ways and sidewalks in the old, medieval part of town, large enough only for a donkey cart to pass through. We would happen upon a church with paintings dating back to the 1100’s and people still living and worshiping there as it was hundreds of years ago. We also hiked up to the highest point in Menton, now a cemetery for the fallen that fought to protect the castle from a siege from pirates in the 1300’s. The highest point in Menton, is not the highest point in the mountain region by far though. My sister told us about St Agnes and Eze, two nearby villages high up in the mountains only 15 minutes away. So we decided to go explore them. Basically, these two towns were built from the people that fled the pirates and chose to live by escaping even higher into the mountains and building a new village with a new castle and church. It was like they were all trying to outdo each other…. bigger, higher, safer, better. Eze and St. Agnes took our breaths away! These towns still look and function as they did centuries ago. Their old castles have been converted into a boutique Hotel/ artist colony, where all of the tiny stone rooms of the caste have been converted into artist studios. So as you walk around and explore the narrow winding cobblestone walkways of the castle, you can stumble into a painter’s workshop, or a weaver’s studio. I felt so enchanted being there and the view of Menton below was like we were in

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a plane looking down on the town, because we were up so high. It was hard enough to hike around the village, let alone try to fathom what it took for people to climb up there and build these towns with their bare hands stone by stone during the Dark Ages. After a few days of relaxing in the warm waters, hiking around, and just soaking in the sun and culture, we were off again to discover Lake Como. Jason and I had never been to Lake Como and we were so beyond excited to drive there and stay for a few days. Both of us have always talked about wanting to get married in Lake Como and even though we had never been, it has held a special meaning for us both. I believe that everything happens for a reason, and one week before the trip I was asked by a wedding magazine to photograph and write about local places to get married at in Lake Como. So that request led us to the fabulous Valentina at Hotel Grand Tremezzo, where we were invited to come stay and were treated like royalty. Honestly, I don’t think even George Clooney himself could have shown us a more lavish time. We were given their penthouse, lakeview suite, with a private hot tub on the balcony. Our living room opened up completely to the balcony and our view was of their floating pool in the lake and the Bellagio beyond. It was so spectacular we didn’t even want to leave our room! We were given a tour of the property, the entire time giddy and practically putting a deposit

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down for our own wedding, because we were so in love with the place. The Grand Tremezzo is unique on Lago di Como, because it is the only hotel originally built as a hotel on Lake Como. All of the other hotels on the lake were once Villas and have been converted into hotels, so they are smaller and older. Hotel Grand Tremezzo is more boutique, modern and chic, with colorful modern furniture modeled after 19th century furniture and décor. It still had the “old school” charm, yet with modern luxury and amenities. They even have a private garden with a table for two, called the “Dis Moi Oui”, or “Tell me Yes” garden, where they can organize engagement proposals with a private dinner and violinists to serenade you. They sent chocolates and champagne to our room and Valentina even organized a private tour of the lake in their old-fashioned wooden boat, so typical to Lake Como. Lake Como is a microclimate and palm trees are indigenous here. This was so strange to me to come from California and still be seeing palm trees here in the mountains of Italy near the Alps. The lake is in the shape of a wishbone, so getting to the other side is deceiving. It looks close, but could take hours to drive around it, so there are ferries and water taxis to cross over to the other side of the lake. All around you are mountains and what makes Lake Como so special is that the lake is so narrow, that you feel like you are in canyon and have spectacular

views no matter what direction you face. I had no idea that Lake Como is 45 minutes from Milan, 2 hours from St Morritz in the Swiss Alps and 4 hours from the South of France. So you have luxury relatively close in every cardinal direction. Driving our huge German car around the lake was quite frightening to say the least. Again, these roads were built most likely with a donkey cart in mind, so imagine windy curves that are one lane wide and a cliff on one side. That was an adventure. There are only three places in Lake Como where you can be legally married outside of the church, the Town Hall, Villa Carlota and Villa Balbianello (the location where the wedding scene from Star Wars was filmed). I became obsessed with the idea of having our wedding ceremony someday at the Villa Balbianello, because it is this private estate on its own peninsula not accessible by the road that circles the lake. So the only way to get to there is by boat and that idea in my head seems so romantic. I started getting stressed out just trying to figure out the logistics of how to get all of our friends and family out to Lake Como for our future wedding and then I had to back up and remember that Jason and I are not even engaged yet, so I am getting WAY ahead of myself:) After three days of pure luxury in Lake Como, we sadly said our goodbyes, but were excited to continue our Italian adventure in Verona and Venice. It is only 4 hours to Venice

and I wanted to stop for lunch in Verona, but also go to seek out the famous balcony from Romeo and Juliet. Many couples from all over the world come here to find love, locate lost loves, or even to leave messages for Juliet. Years ago, you could write a letter to her and leave it in the wall, but now times have changed and for your convenience (and a small fee of one Euro) you can leave her a voicemail on the payphones provided…seriously. When we reached Venice I was already thinking like the Wedding Photographer I am. I was like, “Honey, how cute would it be if we got married in Venice? Since we met and live together in Venice, California, we could have a “Venice” theme..From Venice to Venice” etc… I had all but designed our table cards by the time we reached the port in Venice where we had to leave our trusty BMW steed and proceed to shlep all of our bags for an hour, getting lost in 100 degree weather, and carrying our bags over 20 bridges, before finding our little Pension. After that, as much as I LOVE Venice and it’s charm, it made the thought of getting our guests to Lake Como seem like a piece of cake. I fell in love with Venice when I was 18 years old studying abroad in Italy. There is something about the energy there that is electrifying. Its funny, because Venice, Italy is similar to Venice Beach, where it has been a haven for artists over the years and is a melting pot of food, music, culture and the arts. As touristy as it was, we

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took a gondola ride through the older parts of the city and had a romantic dinner in one of the plazas where a quartet was performing, but the highlight was our orchestra performance inside of a 600 year old church later that night. We saw a flyer for Vivaldi’s 4 Seasons, one of my favorite pieces, and I felt like we couldn’t leave Venice without seeing some type of performance in an old church. Venice is known for teaching artists their craft as it was taught centuries ago, so there was even a Harpsichordist performing. I felt like we had been transported back in time. As we rounded the corner of our trip and had to head back to Germany to drop off our car and drive home, we decided to take a different route home through the Austrian Alps and stop for a night in Salzburg. There we did as the locals did and ordered massive beers and pretzels and watched a Euro Cup Game in an outdoor beer garden. Watching soccer in Europe is a completely different experience than watching it in the United States. No one in our country appreciates the sport or lives the obsession as they do in Europe. That was such a highlight of our trip to pop into a different bar or pub in every country or city we were visiting in to watch a soccer match. Soccer, or Football, is the Universal language in the rest of the world. Something that transcends the language barrier and a way you

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can always find friends no matter where you are. We finally returned to Munich after two weeks that felt like two months in some ways and two seconds in other ways. We had barely seen anything in Munich other than the BMW Welt and I wanted to see something memorable or photo worthy there before we flew out the next day. Jason’s German friend mentioned the “Endless Wave” in the heart of Munich, where people from all over come to surf. I thought he was making a joke, since we came from California the surf capital of the world and I can never quite get the humor of Germans anyway, but sure enough as we neared the center of town, we started to see people in wet suits carrying surfboards walking across the street. It may be one of the coolest things I have seen in an urban city. It’s a water pipe that spews out water in a way that it creates this permanent, surfable wave. When people wipe out they get washed down the river and the next surfer jumps on and it’s like watching a video game where the river keeps eating surfers one after one and they just disappear and float away. I love coming across strange places like this when I travel. It is one of the reasons I am a photographer, because I wouldn’t believe some of the things I have seen myself if I had not captured it with my camera. I always feel like I can’t leave a place unless

I am excited by at least one photo I have taken there. My surfers in Munich did that for me. After I took those photos I remembered feeling ready to go home. As much as I loved every second of our adventure and we were already planning multiple trips back before we had even left, there is something to be said about going home,

not living out of your suitcase, and just jumping back into your own life again. I felt inspired to learn another language better, to find a way for Jason and I to live in Europe for at least one month a year, and, well, to hopefully come back again soon for another epic European Advenl.a. ture called “Destination: wedding�.

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Custom Designs Available


It has to be a Cornelis Hollander..... 480-423-5000 800-677-6821 4151 N. Marshall Way, Scottsdale AZ 85251


Photography by Marta Soul Text by Dr. Javier Aguado-Orea & Lisa M. Berman


Marta Soul’s photographic work has explored the interaction between role-­taking and their subsequent emotions. Her artwork has been exhibited worldwide, including Spain (where she resides) and many other countries in Europe and Asia. In her continuous search for relations between stereotypes and wills, she continued her quest this summer in Los Angeles, home to Kopeikin Gallery, her West Coast representative in the United States. During the short 10 weeks, she noted the architectural diversity in Los Angeles, and she wondered what kind of people would actually inhabit those houses and how their lives would develop within their varied designs. As this is the city of dreams, it also is the city of myths. Marta’s creative life has been influenced by her cinematic experiences and their

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indelible memories. As Marta Soul reckons, some movie characters have engraved our social perceptions deeper than most of the classical artists’ works. We all have seen moving pictures, a.k.a. films, that have left a lingering, even invested trace upon us. Marta decided to utilize some of her favorite movie myths (those who have left those enduring feelings) to recreate their looks and lives by placing them together at “real” Angelenos homes. In one unlikely set-­up, we view familiar, yet eclectic characters: good old Neddy Merrill, the character from Perry’s The Swimmer, meets Deanie Loomis, from Kazan’s Splendor in the Grass, Maggie (the Cat On a Hot Tin Roof), Fellini’s Guido (from 8 1/2), and two of Billy Wilder’s characters: Irma “La Douce” and Sabrina. All six happen to get together at

someone’s house, where they play their “character” roles. Their interaction in the context of real houses becomes weird, even eccentric. As strange as it would be imagining their current value as social models for our lives, all of a sudden they are playing their odd orchestra composed of six solo players. Then, they are sunbathing in their actual “character” wardrobes at the swimming pool, or contemplating a painting that would not necessarily maintain such a close attention from the group. By using these orchestrated scenes, Marta Soul might be proposing a reflection on daily narcissism, individualism, social interaction, and role-­taking. The movie characters seem to be stuck into a type of individual reality when they engage in this new collaborative interaction.

An alternate group of situations include five more of Marta’s favorite movie myths including: Gilbert’s Alfie who meets Margo (from All about Eve), Severine (Belle de Jour at night), Stanley (A Streetcar Named Desire) and finally Modesty Blaise (a sixties female super-­ agent interpreted by Monica Vitti in 1966). All of these classic characters get together at an apparently odd reunion: A toast to the unknown, “texting time” in the living room, and flirting in the kitchen. Cinema myths put in social practice. Through this presentation, Marta Soul experiments with stereotypes and emotions in a new dimension. The resulting scenes seem comical, weird, beautiful, or even uncomfortable. They will surely be a catalyst to raise introspective questions by the observer.

oct/nov 2012 l.a. centric 47

Credits: Concept & Photography by Marta Soul, represented by Kopeikin Gallery (see www. & Project Producer, Casting Director, Editor, & Assistant hair/make-up by Lisa M. Berman (see Wardrobe Stylist/Accessories provided by the personal collection of Sculpture to Wear (see Project Assistant, Chauffeur & Translator: Dr. Javier Aguado-Orea Hair & Make-up (Bel Air) by: Brooklyn Stephen (see and Marilyn Cole (see www.marilynrocks. com) for Lisa M. Berman Locations: Bel Air: house of Brenda Swanson; Calabasas (pool) house of Jamie Massion & Charly Emery.

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Characters: Brett Stimely: Burt Lancaster as Ned Merrill in "The Swimmer". Stimely is an actor and producer. (See www. & Brenda Swanson: Bette Davis as Margo Channing in "All About Eve". Swanson is an actress and TV personality. (See: and Charly Emery: Audrey Hepburn as Sabrina Fairchild in "Sabrina". Emery is personal strategist and TV personality. She is the author of Thank Goodness You Dumped His Ass (See: Daniel Brunnemer Hall: Marlon Brando as Stanley in "A Street Car Named Desire" & Marcello Mastroianni as Guido Anselmi in "8 1/2". Hall is an actor and producer (See: Notice of Filming Company & Pathological Films, noticeoffilming/group) Nancy Sohl: Catherine Deneuve as Sverine Serizy in "Bell De Jour". Sohl is a fashion stylist and student. Valentina Kolaric: Natalie Woods as Wilma Dean Loomis in "Splendor in the Grass". Kolaric is an actress. Brandon Murphy Barnes: Michael Caine as "Alfie". Barnes is an actor (see Michele Hall: Elizabeth Taylor, Maggie the Cat, "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof ". Barnes is the fabulous mother of two and godmother to one. Chelsea Von March: Monica Vitti as "Modesty Blaise". Von March is a fashion stylist (see http: // Lisa M. Berman: Shirley McClaine as "Irma La Duce". Berman is a personal branding and fashion expert, as well as a celebrity wardrobe stylist, TV personality, and gallery proprietor (see and

oct/nov 2012 l.a. centric 49

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:



using succulents by Suzy Kloner

Los Angeles is full of inspiration. When running around the city take some time off and explore the true beauty that makes up Southern California. Explore the trails at Griffith Park; hike the trail to the Hollywood sign and see LA from a bird’s eye view. See the breathtaking coastline and Take Pacific Coast Highway to the beaches of Malibu where you can discover tide pools that are home to starfish, sea anemone and crabs. Notice the color pallets in the cliffs and beaches. It is truly inspiring. Whenever I design a home I always make it a priority to reflect the beauty of Southern California into my interiors. Whether It be as literal as incorporating native plants into my design or adding natural elements with accessories, Southern California’s landscape is always a source of inspiration. One way I bring nature into a space is by incorporating large indoor plants such as fig trees or royal palms into my spaces. They add

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splashes of color, add organic elements to the space, create depth, and they have the added benefit of producing oxygen. Another beautiful design technique is incorporating native Southern California plants like succulents into your design to accessorize your room. Succulents thrive in Southern California’s natural climate, and if you are anything like me and plants perish the second you lay a hand on them, then these plants are a good fit for you. It is always best to get a few different varieties of succulents to add texture and shape to your arrangement. These plants are hardy and easy to plant, need minimal water and sunlight, and last for months. Succulents are great for adding color to a space. They make great centerpieces for a coffee or dining table and can so be easily planted in any found object. One variety of succulent that is especially colorful is the echevarias, it has rather peacock like coloring rang-

ing from the purples to the greens and fans out with either pointy edges or round edges. An artistic arrangement of succulents in the right container makes a great gift, and is easy to put together. Here is what you need to get started. You will need a container to plant them in. I am always a fan of utilizing reclaimed or recycled containers. The right container can add character to the arrangement. For example, I went to an antique mart in Santa Monica and found an old grayed wood vintage coca cola crate from the 1940’s. It was only 30 dollars and worked perfectly. The muted tones and different varieties of succulents coexisted perfectly with the washed out wood and distressed iron that made up the box. Arranging succulents can be therapeutic and if you do not have the greenest of thumbs, but love to work with your hands, then you might enjoy arranging succulents. Before I unpot them, I experiment with var-

How and what you need to do to plant them: - A liner to place on the bottom of the container - Cactus soil - Preserved moss - An empty spray bottle - White small pebbles are also a nice, more modern filler and substiture for perserved moss and can be bought at a hardware store.

Here are some good ideas for planters: - Old wood crates ( that carried old soda bottles). - Vintage marble bowls - Large shells - Lanterns - Candle holders - Even your grandpas old cigar box

Best place to find these recycled gems in LA:

ious spacial arrangements, looking for the best design. I then lay out a thin layer of soil, take the succulents out of their individual pots and firmly lay them into the soil. When they are all in place, I then add remaining soil in the hollow areas and add preserved moss where there are spaces. To water them, simply mist with a sprayer 20 times once every two weeks. These plants last for months, without bringing in the bugs. If only all plants could be like succulents and take care of themselves.

Succulent species to add different shapes and color: • • • • •

Adromischus Delosperma spalmanthoicles Sedums Senecios Crassulas

- The Antique Mart in Santa Monica - Fairfax flee market, open every business day of the month - Santa Monica airport flee market - Badia Design, - Rolling Greens Nursery, - Your grandparents’ attic

Best place to buy succulents on the cheap: - Home Depot or Lowe’s - Constentinos in Malibu - Target home - Your neighbors yard

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Written and Edited by

Justine Freeman They say, where there’s smoke there’s fire. Although a word to the wise is that smoke can be deceptive, like when you have been duped by smoke and mirrors. When I made my reservation at Smoke Steakhouse, I was impatient to find out which way the cards would fall. Would this place have substance and delicious food, or would it just be another shot in the dark in this seemingly cursed location? Before “brosephs” Justin Safier and Travis Lester behind Brosephs Restaurant Group (BRG) opened up Smoke, a string of other restaurants had surfaced in the same spot and then vanished in the blink of an eye. I once thought that this remote stretch of Melrose was too far off the beaten path to draw in any patrons. Teetering on the brink between Beverly Hills and West Hollywood, this block of Melrose always felt to me like a teenager with an identity crisis who couldn’t quite find a way to fit in. Well, that theory bubble burst in January and the evidence can be found less than 100 feet away at Craig’s Steakhouse. The loyal patrons of Dan Tana’s followed in droves as longtime maitre d’ Craig Susser opened his very own venture just a few short steps east of Smoke. It’s tough to tell whether these two places will be competing for the same dinner crowd, although there will undoubtedly be some overlap. Craig’s perhaps draws a crowd more inclined towards the old-fashioned steak house experience whereas Smoke has opted for a more modern nightclub feel with black curtains, granite tabletops, grey banquettes and melting candles. Every Thursday through Saturday you will find a DJ spinning until 2am and food and drinks are served throughout the evening. The cocktail menu showcases the latest in mixology trends, with drinks featuring smoky mezcal tequilas and duck-infused vodka. Having a hard time deciding? Try the ginger elixir with bourbon, ginger, agave, raspberry and mint. We began with a beautiful salad of summer melons, fresh goat ricotta, arugula, spiced pistachios, and cured pork. The melon was thinly sliced carpaccio and was lovely with the equally thin slices of pork. This was a twist on the classic dish of melon and proscuitto so popular in Italy but with spiced pistachios, fresh ricotta and spicy arugala. The Jonah lump crab cake with frizee and imperial sauce was juicy and also tasted deliciously light. The crab was sweet and I was thrilled that it was not ground, but still in succulent lumps beneath the light golden crisp of the exterior. For the entrees, I tried the 7 oz. petite filet and the carbonara pasta. The meat was prepared exactly medium rare the way I had ordered it and the steak was tender and loving, errr, I mean it was tender and juicy. Just how I

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West Hollywood

like it gurrrl. Plated off to the side was this dainty bite of potato gratin topped with a blistered cherry tomato. This was a delightful tease and spurred me to order more potato, mainly the lobster twice baked potato pictured below. This decadent dish had large chunks of lobster claw and tail submerged beneath an ocean of cheese and buttered goodness. Sometimes it’s best to give in to your temptations and feed your soul. Just a few bites does the trick. The brocollini confit was superb with subtle notes of ginger and chili. The menu also includes everybody’s favorite in this town, brussel sprouts with bacon. Or get your greens with a side of asparagus. Can’t go wrong with crisp, vibrant vegetables prepared with fresh, flavorful ingredients. The pasta carbonara with peas, pancetta and runny egg yolk was perfectly creamy and every element of the dish successfully executed, especially the egg. The apple crisp on airy leaves of millefeuille with caramel drizzle was impossible to resist. The portions were small so ordering more than one dessert shouldn’t feel out of the question. As if it ever is. This dessert was a creative pairing of liquored cherries with pistachio cake and mascarpone ice cream. Another winner with the use of seasonal berries capturing the tart with the sweet and not overloading on sugar. Chef Laurent Saussy is on a winning streak. It began with his collaboration with BRG at Bar Esquina Restaurant in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, and has since expanded to Santa Monica and West Hollywood. The “brosephs” have named Chef Saussy Executive Chef at each of their ventures, including Brick + Mortar by the beach and another new West Hollywood restaurant set to open any day now, called Fatty’s Public House. Chef Saussy, who humbly prefers to be called Laurent, has been cooking in Southern California since he was 15 years ol,d beefing up his expertise at places like 72 Market Street, Jiraffe, Josie Restaurant, Memphis at the Beach, Cache, and Waterloo & City. Laurent also took on several New York City stints at restaurants like Bouley and Blue Hill. With a self described inclination towards spontaneity and creativity, his menu draws upon the diverse techniques he picked up growing up going back and forth between his Island town of Puerto Rico spending hours in his French grandmother’s kitchen and in Tennessee absorbing the Latin flavors of the South. This might help explain the popularity of the esteemed Esquina Bar Restaurant in Mexico. Hopefully, Laurent doesn’t have too much on his plate with 2 new restaurant openings about a month apart. If the menu and the food at Smoke reveal anything, it is that BRG need not worry about what is going on in the kitchen.


West Hollywood

Is Gusto the new Mozza? L.A. foodies nodded their heads in avid agreement when S. Irene Virbila, food critic for the L.A Times, remarked that “Gusto is some of the best Italian cooking in L.A. in a long time.” Since leaving Culina at the Four Seasons Hotel and opening up Gusto in May, chef Victor Casanova has been preparing deliciously rustic Italian food for the lucky patrons of West Hollywood. The dining experience in this cozy restaurant is clearly as unforgettable as chef Casanova’s name. With ambient lighting, a mix of eclectic music and astonishingly reasonable prices, Casanova has us wooed. The menu is ever-changing, and since its conception there have been almost 20 items that have been switched around, which makes every visit new and exciting. Only the freshest seasonal ingredients inspire each dish and the unpretentious combinations are mouth watering. The Fig and Burrata Salad showcased the season’s figs and a rich balsamic enhanced the sweet tanginess of the soft fruit. The creamy burrata was drizzled in a young olive oil which was almost as peppery as the arugula leaves. The pepperiness was perfect with the sweet, strawberry-like tang of the fig. The Halibut with fennel, olives and grapefruit was like a sunny day on the southern coast of Italy. The floral accent of the fennel and the citrusy zest of the pink grapefruit were delightfully refreshing and perfumed. The halibut was flakey and moist with a lightly golden crisp which fell apart like a sandcastle might at the touch of my fork. And the olives were a taste of the mediterranean with the same salinity of the sea. Agnolloti with english peas, ricotta, mint and lemon burro fuso was a beautifully rustic taste of the garden. The ravioli were small and firm and the vibrantly green pea tendrils strewn about the dish so gorgeously seasonal that I imagined flowers in my hair. The lemon butter sauce absorbed right into the soft ricotta and pea puree so that the impossible freshness of the ingredients seemed to dance together in reverie. Braciole pork shoulder braised in tomato sauce and dandelion greens was exquisite. The succulent meat was sweet from hours of braising in herbaceous tomato sauce and dandelions and still retained a significant heartiness. The ragu and swiss chard enveloped everything in a warmth that made this pork shoulder stand out to me as true Italian cooking at its best. Polipo charred baby octopus with chickpeas and harissa was a brilliant snack. It was a treat to see the octopus in full-form (no pun intended) and the soft chewiness of the mollusk was balanced by the

crispness of the char. The chickpeas were full of spice and flavor yet never overpowered the mildly refined taste of octopus. Polpette Pork Meatballs were delicately dressed with thyme and marinara sauce, sprinkled with cheese, on a cloud of whipped ricotta cheese. For heaven’s sake. They were melt-in-your-mouth juicy. Ricotta Gnocchi with wild mushrooms, marsala and thyme was lighter than anticipated. None of that over the top creamy mushroom sauce invaded the plate. The beauty of Casanova’s dishes lies in his ability to accentuate the quality of the ingredients while never masking them. The potato gnocchi was firm but not heavy and the medley of mushrooms was magnificent with the sweet marsala wine sauce. For dessert, I recommend the Coconut Gelato Pie. It is a pleasingly cold slice of coconut gelato on top of a graham cracker crust. The milky and sweet ice cream with textured fragments of toasted coconut proved to be an unexpected delight and perfect for summer. At Gusto, the food is made with love and care and with complete faith in the quality of what goes into it. Extraordinary ingredients and a creative menu are proving to be a real must these days and here, Angelenos can revel in everything from fresh figs and heirloom tomatoes to the freshest, house made pasta. Better learn to share the spotlight, you geniuses at Pizza seems you have found a worthy rival in Mr. Casanova.

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Healthy Finds by

Cristina Urioste

We Angelenos are so fortunate to live in the rich climate of Southern California, where the locally grown organic produce is plentiful and grows year round. There are over 90 Certified Farmers Markets in the Los Angeles Area, and any day of the week we can visit a market, meet our local farmers, and purchase the freshest, most delicious food. Why is it important to buy locally grown produce from our local farmer’s markets? To begin with, it is it incredibly valuable to know where our food comes from. At it’s core, food is such a critical component to our well-being, and we have taken for granted the fact that our current industrial system can ship food from 2000 or more miles away, and we think that that’s OK. The problem lies in that by purchasing food that has been shipped to us from so far away, we deprive our own community from thriving by producing and growing our own food. When we know where our food comes from, we then have the choice to buy locally. In making that choice, we are choosing to circulate money back into our local economy, there-

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outstanding local food

by building community and sustainability. Building community is invaluable, as is protecting the environment and nourishing our bodies with good food. Evan Marks, founder and director of The Ecology Center in San Juan Capistrano defines “good food” this way: “Good food is fresh food, and it's local food, and it's organic food." It’s that simple. There are numerous local organic farms that grow “good food,” here in Los Angeles and the surrounding areas. Alex Weiser, of Weiser Family Farms points out: “It’s a quality of life issue. Eating good food is part of the enjoyments of life that people should know about, especially here in Southern California where we have this great climate where crops grow twelve months out of the year. It is much easier here than it is in other parts of the country to eat local all year long.” The Weiser Family Farm, established in 1977, has over 160 acres of land. They grow everything from heirloom and specialty root vegetables, including potatoes, carrots, beets, parsnips and sunchokes, to beans, heirloom broccoli, romanesco, pur-

ple, and orange cauliflower, several varieties of sweet and hot peppers, to melons, apples, peaches, nectarines, and more, depending on the season. They vend at 15 markets all over the Los Angeles area, including Venice, Santa Monica, Topanga, Beverly Hills, Hollywood, Long Beach and Pasadena. Restaurants who purchase Weiser produce include Capo, Gjelina, Joe’s, Providence, Fig, Melisse, Akasha, Rustic Canyon, Library Alehouse, A-Frame, Little Door, and The Tasting Kitchen, just to name a few. You can also find Weiser Farms at Whole Foods Markets all over LA. Alex also participates in quite a bit of community outreach in schools, too. “With the childhood obesity issues today, it is important that children are educated about ‘nature’s candy’ that’s out there. You don’t have to eat processed foods. Nature has it’s own candy.” Turning the kids on to how things grow, and what ‘local’ means, are important to him, because he cares about the future. He also knows that if you give them good food, they will eat it, and he always comes out of the experience feeling great. This

is his contribution as a community builder and as a citizen of Los Angeles. Many local chefs and restaurant owners also understand the value and the splendor of buying locally grown organic food at our local farmers markets. Chef Linda Normandy, of Akasha Restaurant in Culver City, describes her experience: “Being a chef, and being passionate about food, it is great to be able to go and taste the product right off the trucks with the dirt still on it. To wander around in the cool mist of the early morning at the Santa Monica market inspires me with the produce. The farmers themselves take such care, and are mindful of what they have. You can taste the care and love the hard work that they put into the produce. Here at Akasha, we use local produce whenever possible because it also lowers

our carbon footprint. It helps the local economy. I can rest assured that it is fresh and/or organic. No one understands the love chefs have for great produce. You let the food shine in its simplest form. A little salt, pepper and good oil, and the food comes to life.� Visit your local market, or dine at a restaurant that serves locally grown food. Take advantage of the vibrant colors and the crisp flavors that our California sun and soils contribute to our fresh fruits and vegetables. I always feel inspired and revitalized after visiting the farmers market. There is a unique magnificence in the air, and I encourage you to go feel it for yourself. Eat locally for the sake of our community, our environment, or for your own personal wellbeing. Cheers!

Related to this Article: The Ecology Center Weiser Family Farms Akasha Restaurant

oct/nov 2012 l.a. centric 57


yoga: transitions and practice

Linda Eifer & Rachelle Luczynski

Transitions This time of year, summer is ending, fall beginning, and even if it has been decades, we remember the bittersweet excitement of returning to school. Nature is transitioning, we are transitioning. Change is in the still, hot air. When we pause and deepen our awareness, we learn to feel the change of season in our bodies. In Southern California, where Easterners are fond of reminding us there are no seasons, our senses know differently. The garden is gradually changing. We are aware of a softer natural light in the yoga studio. Indian summer heat forces us to slow down, reflect, observe. The shadow of the Japanese Maple plays in a new place on the wall. Fall takes its place as the transition between Summer and Winter. How does the change in season affect the rhythms of our yoga practice? In our yoga practice, we take our cues from the nature of the garden. We tend to think of transitions in nature as events like the changing of the seasons. Profound changes in nature affect us daily, the transition from night to dawn: We think of human transitions as life cycle events, births or that first day of school. Transitions frame our daily activities. We begin our day mostly without a thought of what is occurring in our bodies. Looking at that transition, we notice a routine, a mindful rhythm that in-

troduces us to the fullness of our day, a cup of tea or coffee, a moment of quiet. Fundamentally, yoga is about union. Union between our bodies, minds and spirits; union between ourselves and the space around us. In the most physical way, it is what frames our yoga practice; we take our seat on the mat, center ourselves, and turn toward a deeper awareness of our breath. When we chant the sound of OM, that ritual is a graceful transition to the time we set aside for our yoga (asana) practice, in classes big or small, online, or alone. Those of us practicing some form of Hatha Yoga are probably moving through a combination of Sun Salutations, standing and seated poses, twists, bends, maybe inversions. It might be twenty minutes long or two hours long, practicing with the belief that we are moving our bodies in the most life-enhancing way possible. We make mistakes, we laugh, we learn, and sometimes we cry. No matter what the asanas look like, before we finish, we honor our time on the mat by taking Savasana, or corpse pose. We lie on our backs, minds quiet, hearts open, vulnerable, supported by the earth. We give ourselves this gift of sweet stillness so that we can transition back to the rest of our day with grace, with the knowledge that we are an integral part of this natural world, that its rhythms are our rhythms.

We invite you to join us in a moment of yoga practice. We offer you the following to help you reset whenever it is needed.

"When you see the Invisible and Experience the incredible, You can achieve the Impossible" - Amir Zoghi

Visualization / Meditation Lie down on your back and close your eyes. Take a full deep inhale through your nose; exhale through your mouth. Surrender your body. Feel the weight of your skeleton like a magnet to the earth; heavy. Soften: your skin, behind your eyes, behind your heart, and relax. Let go. Allow yourself to rest. You deserve it! - RL

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So when you next step onto your mat, honor your practice by being mindful of the structure by marking the transitions. Sit comfortably before you begin to move. Complete your practice with a true Savasana. The time you set aside for your yoga practice is sacred time; the space, even if temporary, is sacred space. As you acknowledge the beginnings, endings, and transitions in the world around you, you will find the parallels of beginnings, endings, and transitions on your mat. Eventually, that line blurs: your yoga and your life begin to support each other, and the - Linda Eifer seasons continue to change. Nature provides us with transitions giving the opportunity for change. Whether it is in the challenge of expanding your family, experiencing unfortunate loss and/or gain of a job, a health or spiritual crisis, or even possible changes in personal relationships, it is our human nature to resist said change -- but, life implores us to surrender to these moments. It is exactly the same in a yoga pratice. There are asanas that can intimidate us, frighten us, ask us to reach for something in ourselves that may seem unattainable. Yet, what does yoga give us? A way to live and understand these transitions that fortify us, give us choice and inspire us. - Rachelle Luczynski

The Practice: Sukhasana The first instruction we hear in class is usually “take a comfortable seat.” Asana, means seat, not your bottom, but seat, as in essence; i.e. Washington DC is the seat of our government. Sukhasana is the Sanskrit name for sitting cross legged. Think sitting in a circle on the first day of Kindergarten, it came so easily when we were six. It is meant to be easy. So how do each of us find a comfortable seat? Try sitting flat on the floor with your legs crossed. If your knees are well above your hips and you struggle to sit up without rounding your lower back, your sukhasana is neither sweet nor easy. That’s when props become essential. Sit up on a folded blanket, block or a bolster until your hips sit even with, or higher than your knees. Sitting on a chair is perfectly fine, there is no shame in that! Your spine will lift, your shoulders will stack over your hips, your breath will ease and the transition to your practice will become one of effortless effort. - LE Linda Eifer is a native Angelena, Certified Yoga Instructor, teaching senior yoga, prenatal/postnatal, yoga theraputics, Thai yoga therapy

Rachelle Luczynski, from Chicago, is a certified Yoga instructor teaching prenatal/postnatal, Yoga therapeutics, Thai Yoga therapy and a Birth Doula.

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L.A. Centric - October/November 2012  

An issue of L.A. Centric magazine, published in October 2012