Downtown Los Angeles
"Look, but don’t touch" —
a universal directive aimed at both young and old, the phrase has the power to reduce curious souls and fledgling gallery-goers to puddles of anxiety when in the presence of fine art. Fabric artist, furniture maker and Los Angeles resident Tanya Aguiñiga
, however, is having none of it.
To help tame rising decibels deflecting along the stone-heavy length of the rooftop bar at capacity, Tanya and her crew recently installed a 40-foot tapestry of composite fiber. In its full expanse, the installation folds in on itself non-directionally amidst braids of macramé shapes, descending downward with the weight of their knots, a play of fuzzy asymmetry that naturally absorbs the compounding frequencies of voices thickening as the night arcs toward its peak.
Downstairs, another one of Tanya’s creations is allowed a freer existence. Wild swirls of dun sheep wool climbs the hall behind the front desk, spreading out and ceasing unpredictably like ivy reaching for light — a pleasing sight made even more so when we discover that the animal from which the wool was sheared bears the charming name of Mary.
Many artists struggle with function’s push against the seductive pull of form. Tanya’s work is wholly other, eradicating the boundaries altogether in the simple and enthusiastic pursuit of the new, dismissing the old rules of polite appreciation in the process. Go ahead, it’s okay to touch it. Tanya said so.
Both works will be dedicated by the Public Works Improvements Arts Program of the City of Los Angeles.
Downtown Los Angeles, California
We spent the morning with Kristen Shaw and Joseph Mandelbaum of Cabin 207, a rare book store and hair salon in Downtown LA. Kristen opened a cozy three chair salon here in the summer of 2013, met Mandelbaum soon after, and the rest is history. In spirit, Cabin is like the original salons. The haircuts lead to talking, the books lead to ideas and the mixture is what makes sense.
Kristen began her career almost a decade ago in NYC at the Chelsea Hotel’s Suite 303. She’d leave work in the evening and bring scissors with her everywhere, telling people what she wanted to do with their hair and cutting it on the spot. Over the years she spent working in editorial and advertising with Jed Root Agency and doing housecalls between NYC and LA, she built up a loyal clientele. She’s been in LA for five years now and continues to do the same, but now you can come to her “home.”
She met rare book dealer Joseph in NYC, where he was selling books out of his apartment to a dedicated clientele. It didn’t take long for them to hit on the idea on the idea of combining forces, and after building the bookstore together, he relocated with his wife to Los Angeles.
He’s now Cabin’s Creative Director, curating the killer rare book selection and organizing cultural events. Joseph’s approach to book selection is simple: ”If I just couldn’t live without it, I buy it.” Right now the shelves are stocked with about 300 rare books, can’t-live-without art books, and new magazines including, Marfa Journal and Viviane Sassen’s “Die Son Sien Alles.” Every book is displayed face out museum style, that the rule.
Joseph and Kristen love being in downtown LA, and we’re pretty excited to be sharing the neighborhood with them. They’ll be hosting lectures, readings, cultural events, and book launches each month beginning with Graham Walzer in February. To book in the salon call 213.687.7420
Photos by Jessica Comingore