Downtown Los Angeles
In a recess of the rooftop lounge at Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles that once served as a transmitter tower for late-night devotional radio broadcasts, we now find this candelabra, brass-lined and gleaming by night over cocktailers and their companions.
Lux perpetua luceat eis.

Downtown Los Angeles

In a recess of the rooftop lounge at Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles that once served as a transmitter tower for late-night devotional radio broadcasts, we now find this candelabra, brass-lined and gleaming by night over cocktailers and their companions.

Lux perpetua luceat eis.


New York City

Last week wrapped up the final chapter in 24BY36, an ongoing experiment in art creation within the walls of Ace New York. For the project, 36 solo and duo artists spent the night with the purpose of producing 24 original works by morning. Love letters, collages, manifestos, musical partitions — we’ve been greatly amazed by the fruit of those twenty-four nights. The following snapshots are just an early glimpse into the collection of work and we’re already feeling inspired for the next edition.

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NOWORK

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FCKNLZ

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ARIEL DILL

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PATRICK HIGGINS

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ADAM DUGAS + CASEY SPOONER


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Pestisani, Romania

Constantin Brancusi’s clean geometry, unveiling the essence of things in marble, wood and stone. The modernist sculptor born on this day in 1876 preferred simple clothes, a studio with a rock slab table and a primitive fireplace, and furniture, utensils and a phonograph he made himself.


New York City
The respective works of composer Lesley Flanigan and indie group People Get Ready each approach music as a fundamentally physical act.
Flanigan’s ghostly, undulating electronic compositions are played on her own handcrafted instruments — comprised of minimal electronics, microphones, speakers and tons of feedback — whose bellowing reverberations rely on the clear physicality of human interaction. People Get Ready — a band lead by choreographer Steven Reker — delicately blur the line between pop show and performance piece, with a cleverly constructed hybrid of music and movement. 

Lesley and Steven came together a couple of weeks ago at Ace Hotel New York to participate in our 36BY24 residency project — more on that soon — to prepare for an incredible collaborative show that’s happening tomorrow, February 19 at Kaufman Music Center as part of the Ecstatic Music Festival.

New York City

The respective works of composer Lesley Flanigan and indie group People Get Ready each approach music as a fundamentally physical act.

Flanigan’s ghostly, undulating electronic compositions are played on her own handcrafted instruments — comprised of minimal electronics, microphones, speakers and tons of feedback — whose bellowing reverberations rely on the clear physicality of human interaction. People Get Ready — a band lead by choreographer Steven Reker — delicately blur the line between pop show and performance piece, with a cleverly constructed hybrid of music and movement. 

Lesley and Steven came together a couple of weeks ago at Ace Hotel New York to participate in our 36BY24 residency project — more on that soon — to prepare for an incredible collaborative show that’s happening tomorrow, February 19 at Kaufman Music Center as part of the Ecstatic Music Festival.


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Downtown Los Angeles

Kevin Willis is a journeyman. He’s an admirer of the ‘camp’ in antiquity and seems always to extract the eerie, underlying purpose from a thing where others see only pulp. Kevin is also a closely-kept member of our family and a contributor to Ace culture in ways that outmeasure just his physical work for us.

In the lobby at the Theater at Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles resides his Cathedral of Our Ladyfingers. She’s something of a sentry at the mouth of the Gothic grandeur that lies just beyond, taking IDs, looking like Mother Superior clipped from the celluloid of a Buñuel film. Her making was entirely in the clay-caked hands and mind of Kevin, but the inspiration was divine.


New York City
To ready the latest show in the Gallery — Park & Parcel: Watercolors by Sandra Gibson and Luis Recoder —we worked with master-framer Yaqub Esmaelsadeh, aka Jacob, the proprietor of Decor Art Gallery. 
Born in Kabul, he finished high school in 1979 — precisely three days after the Soviet war began — and promptly left to study medicine in West Germany. Once he graduated from Medical School in Hamburg in 1998, he first visited — and instantaneously fell in love with New York.
After moving to the United States, Esmaelsadah began framing as a part-time job while attending ESL classes in New Paltz. In framing, he found both a career path and an opportunity to express himself creatively. In 1991, he opened the Decor Art Gallery at 337 Park Ave South. He considers himself a pioneer in offering affordable, high quality wood frames.
How has the neighborhood changed since 1991?
I’m one of the few left small businesses in this area. This neighborhood had bad reputation at times but now, it’s one of the most beautiful places in New York. Sometimes I go to Madison Square Park to relax and enjoy the atmosphere.
What are some of the more memorable things you’ve framed?
Rifles, Berlin Wall pieces, or a ketubah using the pieces of broken glass from the ceremony…
At a museum, do you ever look at the frames before the art?
Oh yes, not just in museums. Wherever I go, my first attention is on the frames. That’s one of the biggest changes on me, and my house looks like a museum.
Did you ever frame Roger Rabbit?
A few years back, Disney cels were big in the market and we were framing almost every one of those characters…and also Roger Rabbit.
We teamed up with Mad. Sq. Arts to present Park and Parcels. The opening reception is tomorrow at 5pm in the Gallery at Ace Hotel New York.

New York City

To ready the latest show in the Gallery — Park & Parcel: Watercolors by Sandra Gibson and Luis Recoder —we worked with master-framer Yaqub Esmaelsadeh, aka Jacob, the proprietor of Decor Art Gallery.

Born in Kabul, he finished high school in 1979 — precisely three days after the Soviet war began — and promptly left to study medicine in West Germany. Once he graduated from Medical School in Hamburg in 1998, he first visited — and instantaneously fell in love with New York.

After moving to the United States, Esmaelsadah began framing as a part-time job while attending ESL classes in New Paltz. In framing, he found both a career path and an opportunity to express himself creatively. In 1991, he opened the Decor Art Gallery at 337 Park Ave South. He considers himself a pioneer in offering affordable, high quality wood frames.

How has the neighborhood changed since 1991?

I’m one of the few left small businesses in this area. This neighborhood had bad reputation at times but now, it’s one of the most beautiful places in New York. Sometimes I go to Madison Square Park to relax and enjoy the atmosphere.

What are some of the more memorable things you’ve framed?

Rifles, Berlin Wall pieces, or a ketubah using the pieces of broken glass from the ceremony…

At a museum, do you ever look at the frames before the art?

Oh yes, not just in museums. Wherever I go, my first attention is on the frames. That’s one of the biggest changes on me, and my house looks like a museum.

Did you ever frame Roger Rabbit?

A few years back, Disney cels were big in the market and we were framing almost every one of those characters…and also Roger Rabbit.

We teamed up with Mad. Sq. Arts to present Park and Parcels. The opening reception is tomorrow at 5pm in the Gallery at Ace Hotel New York.


Los Angeles, California
Dave Hickey wrote and sent this over before his book signing yesterday. 
I am interested in the survival of the art world now that the distinction between the fine arts and popular arts has dissolved — now that the one-time congeniality of the cottage industry that created most of the great art of the twentieth century has been infected by the relentless, aggressive habits of corporate and institutional culture — now that the underground which once provided a home for cultural rebels has been obliterated. For the past one hundred and fifty years, the marketplace has censored popular art. What is popular is popular art. During the same period, high art has been defined by its ability to censor its audience to a knowledgeable and sophisticated audience defined by its ability to tolerate difficulty and dissonance.
During this period, popular art was always more popular than high art. Peter Max was always more popular than Andy Warhol. Andrew Wyeth was always more popular that Alex Katz. Salvador Dali was always more popular than Georges Braque. So how does high art survive when it can be censored by its “popularity.” In this new art world, difficulty and dissonance are routinely suppressed. Writers like myself whose livelihood has been grounded in the interpretation of difficult art are rendered obsolete. Scholars devoted to assessing the historical impact and viability of difficult art are rendered obsolete. The small contingent of dealers and collectors who take chances on behalf of difficult art are rendered inconsequent. Artist devoted to pushing the envelope are de-prioritized.
So what becomes of the tradition of dissonance and difficulty? It survives, I think, but nobody thinks about it. Art is simply defined by its opacity and left opaque, so there are no historical consequences to work that might be difficult to understand. It simply dwells in the tides of fashion as the sort of thing we don’t understand and don’t care to. So, difficult art will continue to be made but no one will notice. This leaves a space for a new underground where people might pay art more careful attention to the world before their eyes.
Photo by Toby Kamps.

Los Angeles, California

Dave Hickey wrote and sent this over before his book signing yesterday. 

I am interested in the survival of the art world now that the distinction between the fine arts and popular arts has dissolved — now that the one-time congeniality of the cottage industry that created most of the great art of the twentieth century has been infected by the relentless, aggressive habits of corporate and institutional culture — now that the underground which once provided a home for cultural rebels has been obliterated. For the past one hundred and fifty years, the marketplace has censored popular art. What is popular is popular art. During the same period, high art has been defined by its ability to censor its audience to a knowledgeable and sophisticated audience defined by its ability to tolerate difficulty and dissonance.

During this period, popular art was always more popular than high art. Peter Max was always more popular than Andy Warhol. Andrew Wyeth was always more popular that Alex Katz. Salvador Dali was always more popular than Georges Braque. So how does high art survive when it can be censored by its “popularity.” In this new art world, difficulty and dissonance are routinely suppressed. Writers like myself whose livelihood has been grounded in the interpretation of difficult art are rendered obsolete. Scholars devoted to assessing the historical impact and viability of difficult art are rendered obsolete. The small contingent of dealers and collectors who take chances on behalf of difficult art are rendered inconsequent. Artist devoted to pushing the envelope are de-prioritized.

So what becomes of the tradition of dissonance and difficulty?
It survives, I think, but nobody thinks about it. Art is simply defined by its opacity and left opaque, so there are no historical consequences to work that might be difficult to understand. It simply dwells in the tides of fashion as the sort of thing we don’t understand and don’t care to. So, difficult art will continue to be made but no one will notice. This leaves a space for a new underground where people might pay art more careful attention to the world before their eyes.


Photo by Toby Kamps.


The enemy of art is the absence of limitations.— Orson Welles
Portrait by Louise Dahl-Wolfe, 1938.

The enemy of art is the absence of limitations.
— Orson Welles

Portrait by Louise Dahl-Wolfe, 1938.


Downtown Los Angeles, California
A show we’ve anticipated for quite some time opened nearby our new house lately. We found ourselves there with an old friend, Brian who wrote about his time there and shared it with us to share with you. How nice.
Last Thursday was the opening of “The Mothership, In Our Details are the Maps of Existence” at Dilettante in Downtown Los Angeles. I don’t have a nice camera, so I used the 10-megapixel Nikon Coolpix L20 I bought as a throw-away on a trip to Prague in 2010. According to the official description, “The Mothership is a vessel that guides and carries smaller vessels … a symbol of the collective conscience form, which we, as individuals, draw creativity and inspiration from.” The show, which features work from a selection of female artists, is intended as a celebration of that vessel. 
A giant spider made of Swarovski Crystals greets us just inside the door. This is Eye Walker by Amanda Charchian.  I ask Amanda what her piece is about, and she sighs, then responds “It’s based on a Native American myth about the eye walker. It’s about magic.  Good magic — white magic. Sympathetic magic.” When I ask Amanda if she got frustrated stringing together all the little crystals, she stares, deadpan. “No. It’s a meditative process.”

Next to the spider, a bunch of glitter-coated knives are stuck into the wall. This isGiving in to All My Best Qualities by Lola Rose Thompson. Lola and Amanda went to Otis around the same time; they are good friends.

Lola steals my camera to take a picture of Amanda with the glittery knives. Lola is not pictured, but she is also very good-looking.

I run into my friend Shane who tells me that “The stuff upstairs is really dope,” so we go upstairs.  The stuff up there is really dope. 
 
From the balcony, I see this dude examining the piece on the floor.  I go downstairs to talk to him.  His name is Jack.  I ask Jack about his feelings on the piece.  Jack thinks for a moment and replies, “It made me feel like a jazz riff. It’s a dancey piece, like a bunch of movement on the floor.” The piece is called Jazz Riff #1 by Lita Albuquerque.

This is Single Camera by Alia Shawkat. Alia says it was inspired by "a really bad audition I had one time. This guy," she points to the man painted red in the upper right corner, "he hated me. He was a producer. And this woman over here is a producer, that’s why she’s holding ‘CONTENT’." 

Artist and event organizer Carly Jo Morgan stressed that she did not curate by selecting specific works. "I picked women who inspire me, gave out the theme, and let them go." Carly is herself currently a mothership.

I find Jacqueline Suskin of the Poem Store. You have seen her in the galleries and farmers’ markets of Los Angeles. On the wall behind her is her piece The Poet & The Timber Baron. I ask Jacqueline to write a poem about this show. Here is what she wrote:
 

Downtown Los Angeles, California

A show we’ve anticipated for quite some time opened nearby our new house lately. We found ourselves there with an old friend, Brian who wrote about his time there and shared it with us to share with you. How nice.

Last Thursday was the opening of “The Mothership, In Our Details are the Maps of Existence” at Dilettante in Downtown Los Angeles. I don’t have a nice camera, so I used the 10-megapixel Nikon Coolpix L20 I bought as a throw-away on a trip to Prague in 2010. According to the official description, “The Mothership is a vessel that guides and carries smaller vessels … a symbol of the collective conscience form, which we, as individuals, draw creativity and inspiration from.” The show, which features work from a selection of female artists, is intended as a celebration of that vessel. 

A giant spider made of Swarovski Crystals greets us just inside the door. This is Eye Walker by Amanda Charchian.  I ask Amanda what her piece is about, and she sighs, then responds “It’s based on a Native American myth about the eye walker. It’s about magic.  Good magic — white magic. Sympathetic magic.” When I ask Amanda if she got frustrated stringing together all the little crystals, she stares, deadpan. “No. It’s a meditative process.”

Next to the spider, a bunch of glitter-coated knives are stuck into the wall. This isGiving in to All My Best Qualities by Lola Rose Thompson. Lola and Amanda went to Otis around the same time; they are good friends.

Lola steals my camera to take a picture of Amanda with the glittery knives. Lola is not pictured, but she is also very good-looking.

I run into my friend Shane who tells me that “The stuff upstairs is really dope,” so we go upstairs.  The stuff up there is really dope. 

From the balcony, I see this dude examining the piece on the floor.  I go downstairs to talk to him.  His name is Jack.  I ask Jack about his feelings on the piece.  Jack thinks for a moment and replies, “It made me feel like a jazz riff. It’s a dancey piece, like a bunch of movement on the floor.” The piece is called Jazz Riff #1 by Lita Albuquerque.

This is Single Camera by Alia Shawkat. Alia says it was inspired by "a really bad audition I had one time. This guy," she points to the man painted red in the upper right corner, "he hated me. He was a producer. And this woman over here is a producer, that’s why she’s holding ‘CONTENT’."

Artist and event organizer Carly Jo Morgan stressed that she did not curate by selecting specific works. "I picked women who inspire me, gave out the theme, and let them go." Carly is herself currently a mothership.

I find Jacqueline Suskin of the Poem Store. You have seen her in the galleries and farmers’ markets of Los Angeles. On the wall behind her is her piece The Poet & The Timber Baron. I ask Jacqueline to write a poem about this show. Here is what she wrote:

 


New York City, New York
Scotty Albrecht’s work is up at the Ace New York gallery this month. Everything In Between showcases his graphic woodworking, painting and hand done typography. Still plenty of time to see it before Jan 31.

New York City, New York

Scotty Albrecht’s work is up at the Ace New York gallery this month. Everything In Between showcases his graphic woodworking, painting and hand done typography. Still plenty of time to see it before Jan 31.


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