The Heads of State are a pack of three art-savvy wolves illustrating and designing their asses off in Philadelphia. Their poetic use of iconography, touch of colorblindness, love of facial hair and wholesome humor lands them clients as gargantuan as Nike and as petite as Wondermade Marshmallows in Orlando, Florida. Dusty, Jason and Woody will be talking October 21 at RE:DESIGN/Inspire in LA about how they stay inspired during what can be a rigorous creative process for a small team. The conference is a chance to peer into the creative worlds of nearly two dozen thinkers, makers and shakers including Noreen Morioka, former president of AIGA Los Angeles, and Jeff Castelaz, president of Elektra Records — get in on it.

The Heads of State are a pack of three art-savvy wolves illustrating and designing their asses off in Philadelphia. Their poetic use of iconography, touch of colorblindness, love of facial hair and wholesome humor lands them clients as gargantuan as Nike and as petite as Wondermade Marshmallows in Orlando, Florida. Dusty, Jason and Woody will be talking October 21 at RE:DESIGN/Inspire in LA about how they stay inspired during what can be a rigorous creative process for a small team. The conference is a chance to peer into the creative worlds of nearly two dozen thinkers, makers and shakers including Noreen Morioka, former president of AIGA Los Angeles, and Jeff Castelaz, president of Elektra Records — get in on it.


This week with Ace: our director of food and beverage in DTLA, Olivier Rassinoux, enjoying a salmon croissant at Stumptown LA's weekly Pancake Epidemic for Los Angeles creatives; Ace Palm Springs' singing hostess and fairy godmother Linda Gerard at Miller’s Children’s Hospital for a day of bingo and music with kids for MyMusicRx and the hospital’s in-house TV program ” The Giggles Show”; and two friends from think-tank Fabrica stopping by for a visit in the lobby at Ace Hotel London Shoreditch.

This week with Ace: our director of food and beverage in DTLA, Olivier Rassinoux, enjoying a salmon croissant at Stumptown LA's weekly Pancake Epidemic for Los Angeles creatives; Ace Palm Springs' singing hostess and fairy godmother Linda Gerard at Miller’s Children’s Hospital for a day of bingo and music with kids for MyMusicRx and the hospital’s in-house TV program ” The Giggles Show”; and two friends from think-tank Fabrica stopping by for a visit in the lobby at Ace Hotel London Shoreditch.


Photo by David Hochman for The New York Times
INTERVIEW : RON FINLEY : GUERRILLA GARDENER
Ron Finley doesn’t live in a Los Angeles zip code where buzzwords likeorganic and heirloom rule the supermarket. So a couple years back he took matter into his own hands and planted a sidewalk garden to cut down on his grocery commute times, earning him a citation from the city. His subsequent efforts to fight City Hall earned him an audience, then a TED talk that instantly made him the public face of the farm-to-table movement in underserved areas. The city of LA has since backed off, leading to enormous potential in a city with up to 26 square miles of vacant lots. But nowadays he’s thinking on a global scale. We caught up with him to talk about the ups and downs of being an overnight vegetable king and where he goes from here.
Were you surprised by the instant celebrity that you had after the TED talk? 
A little surprised, but you definitely got to be prepared or it could suck you under like an undertow or something. Fortunately, I have a motto, when we used to train we’d say, “If you stay ready, you ain’t got to get ready.” 
Beyond winning a moratorium on the ban on parkway planting, is the city of LA more on board with what you’re doing now?
Totally on board. They want to create a shift in food access. My thing is LA should be one of the healthiest cities on the planet and the folks I was talking to feel the same way. LA is for innovators and that’s what we need to bring back, to where we are the innovators and we’re not checking for nobody because everybody is checking for us. What are they doing in LA? That’s what I want to bring. LA is the place where things happen big.
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You have a unique aesthetic as a gardener. What kinds of things inspire you to plant what you do, how you do it? 
I’m inspired by life. I’m inspired by air. The simplest thing on the planet, you can’t even see it, but it’s the thing we all need more than anything else and that’s my inspiration. I don’t really go out and design a place, I let it tell me what to do.
When people ask me, “Where should this go?” I’m like, “I don’t know. Where do you want to put it?” People need to let go of the books and let their body, let nature take over because we are nature. We need to stop separating ourselves from the butterflies and the bumblebees and the flowers, we’re nature. We decompose just like they do. “Where do you feel it should go?” Feel it, there’s no book. The hell with the book, throw the book away. When you walk out of your door, where do you want this? Where do you want to see this? What do you want to be greeted with? The same way when you design a path, walk it first. If it don’t feel comfortable it’s not right. Nothing in nature is really straight. 
How important is the visual aspect relative to the nutritional? 
The visual feeds you too. We are all artists, some of us just lose it and forget it. Everybody is born an artist, it’s still there. You need to feed that creativity and that’s what a garden lets you do. A garden is nothing but a metaphor for life. Everything that happens in life happens in that garden, everything. From you planting the seed, to you taking care of what comes out of that seed. It needs nutrients, it needs to be nurtured and you get a healthy plant. Everything is in there, [all the way] to compost, which is to me the rebirth. 
Do you think we’re in a good moment as far as changing the way we eat?
We’re in a hell of a place right now. I get hits, inquiries and inspiring notes from New Zealand to Florida to Chicago to Canada to Italy, all over the world. It’s definitely happening. People want to take their food back. It’s almost impossible to not know somebody with a curable food related disease. I think right now we’re at a good point where people are waking up and wanting to grow their own food. 
The hands-on of growing your own as cultural experience must help change attitudes towards what you eat.
Right, the thing with putting your hands in the dirt. That’s what we are, that’s where we’re from. We decompose just like that leaf does. I think that’s the lesson, I think that’s why people have these epiphanies when they get into the soil and it effects people. What’s next? 
Well I’m opening SXSW Eco, [and presenting at] TEDYouth, New Zealand and Brazil. I’m working on some plans with Alice Waters, the godmother of the whole slow-food movement, where we’re trying to decide how we’re going to take over the world up in Berkeley. It’s a diabolical master plan, that’s all I can say for now.

Photo by David Hochman for The New York Times

INTERVIEW : RON FINLEY : GUERRILLA GARDENER

Ron Finley doesn’t live in a Los Angeles zip code where buzzwords likeorganic and heirloom rule the supermarket. So a couple years back he took matter into his own hands and planted a sidewalk garden to cut down on his grocery commute times, earning him a citation from the city. His subsequent efforts to fight City Hall earned him an audience, then a TED talk that instantly made him the public face of the farm-to-table movement in underserved areas. The city of LA has since backed off, leading to enormous potential in a city with up to 26 square miles of vacant lots. But nowadays he’s thinking on a global scale. We caught up with him to talk about the ups and downs of being an overnight vegetable king and where he goes from here.

Were you surprised by the instant celebrity that you had after the TED talk? 

A little surprised, but you definitely got to be prepared or it could suck you under like an undertow or something. Fortunately, I have a motto, when we used to train we’d say, “If you stay ready, you ain’t got to get ready.” 

Beyond winning a moratorium on the ban on parkway planting, is the city of LA more on board with what you’re doing now?

Totally on board. They want to create a shift in food access. My thing is LA should be one of the healthiest cities on the planet and the folks I was talking to feel the same way. LA is for innovators and that’s what we need to bring back, to where we are the innovators and we’re not checking for nobody because everybody is checking for us. What are they doing in LA? That’s what I want to bring. LA is the place where things happen big.

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Astrid Kircherr was out with some friends in her native Hamburg one night in 1960 when they stepped into the Kaiserkeller and came face to face with rock n’ roll personified. In the next four years Kircherr documented the transformation of the original line-up of the Beatles from five to the Fab Four, from cherub-faced rockabilly youth to the centerpiece of probably the most viral explosion of global youth culture ever seen. The pictures she took in those days — before the Beatles were the Beatles — might as well be from a different world. In a way they are from a different world, though one whose orbit paralleled ours before “She Loves You” awakened some dormant spirit in the teenage mass and a new course put some drift between us. The Early Beatles Collection, including rarely seen photos taken by Kircherr between 1960-1964, opened today at the Leica Gallery Los Angeles and is up for a bit, stop by if you’re in the neighborhood.

Astrid Kircherr was out with some friends in her native Hamburg one night in 1960 when they stepped into the Kaiserkeller and came face to face with rock n’ roll personified. In the next four years Kircherr documented the transformation of the original line-up of the Beatles from five to the Fab Four, from cherub-faced rockabilly youth to the centerpiece of probably the most viral explosion of global youth culture ever seen. The pictures she took in those days — before the Beatles were the Beatles — might as well be from a different world. In a way they are from a different world, though one whose orbit paralleled ours before “She Loves You” awakened some dormant spirit in the teenage mass and a new course put some drift between us. The Early Beatles Collection, including rarely seen photos taken by Kircherr between 1960-1964, opened today at the Leica Gallery Los Angeles and is up for a bit, stop by if you’re in the neighborhood.


Catch a retrospective of the last five decades of work by James Turrell at LACMA through April 2014 — born in LA 70 years ago, Mr. Turrell has been negotiating with light and space on behalf of humankind and carving light into shadowy corners for the better part of a century.

Catch a retrospective of the last five decades of work by James Turrell at LACMA through April 2014 — born in LA 70 years ago, Mr. Turrell has been negotiating with light and space on behalf of humankind and carving light into shadowy corners for the better part of a century.

James Turrell

James Turrell

James Turrell


While under the spell of a cotija-dusted puffy taco at Chef Josef Centeno’s Bar Ama our minds’ eye takes a culinary-cum-Tree-of-Life style journey through foodways and space-time, into a place where corn is a giver of life, not a syrup for bonding disparate particles into pockets of infinite shelflife. In this dream-Eden, bell peppers swell like Dizzy Gillespie’s cheeks beneath a canopy of trees and oceans eddy with forests of kelp and untold schools of fish, unencumbered on their rounds by lost cities of PET. And when we touch back down in our seat back at Bar Ama the dream seems within reach.    

While under the spell of a cotija-dusted puffy taco at Chef Josef Centeno’s Bar Ama our minds’ eye takes a culinary-cum-Tree-of-Life style journey through foodways and space-time, into a place where corn is a giver of life, not a syrup for bonding disparate particles into pockets of infinite shelflife. In this dream-Eden, bell peppers swell like Dizzy Gillespie’s cheeks beneath a canopy of trees and oceans eddy with forests of kelp and untold schools of fish, unencumbered on their rounds by lost cities of PET. And when we touch back down in our seat back at Bar Ama the dream seems within reach.    


Photo by Lucas Jackson for Reuters
About a month ago President Obama took the podium in a couple small Midwestern towns and said that the “growing inequality” in America “isn’t just morally wrong, it’s bad economics.” He pledged to spend the rest of his term trying to right that situation and we wish him the best in that endeavor. The elevator to the American Dream has gotten so top heavy lately that for millions locked in the basement there’s no way up without a shiv. So for the Los Angeles area fast food workers walking out today, we quote Ralph Ellison who said “the truth is the light and light is the truth.” Godspeed. You have a posse.

Photo by Lucas Jackson for Reuters

About a month ago President Obama took the podium in a couple small Midwestern towns and said that the “growing inequality” in America “isn’t just morally wrong, it’s bad economics.” He pledged to spend the rest of his term trying to right that situation and we wish him the best in that endeavor. The elevator to the American Dream has gotten so top heavy lately that for millions locked in the basement there’s no way up without a shiv. So for the Los Angeles area fast food workers walking out today, we quote Ralph Ellison who said “the truth is the light and light is the truth.” Godspeed. You have a posse.


Silence has a lot to tell us. Even the sounds we forget to hear are always narrating the world. Few humans really know how to slow down and tune in as well as the once and future king John Cage, maestro of underdog aural landscapes and forgotten frequencies. His particular magic was a balm, koan and sigh for a natural and unnatural world that does its best, frequently fails and always tells a good story. Born in Los Angeles September 5, 1912, his compositions are being celebrated just in time by the LA-based Society for the Activation of Social Space through Art and Sound (SASSAS) with a series of classes for kids September 3-5, Kids Play Cage, with three foci: What is Music?, Silence and Chance, culminating in a free performance by the students September 8. The class costs nothing and is open to the public —- register your small person as soon as you can, though, and get a spot at the performance.

Silence has a lot to tell us. Even the sounds we forget to hear are always narrating the world. Few humans really know how to slow down and tune in as well as the once and future king John Cage, maestro of underdog aural landscapes and forgotten frequencies. His particular magic was a balm, koan and sigh for a natural and unnatural world that does its best, frequently fails and always tells a good story. Born in Los Angeles September 5, 1912, his compositions are being celebrated just in time by the LA-based Society for the Activation of Social Space through Art and Sound (SASSAS) with a series of classes for kids September 3-5, Kids Play Cage, with three foci: What is Music?, Silence and Chance, culminating in a free performance by the students September 8. The class costs nothing and is open to the public —- register your small person as soon as you can, though, and get a spot at the performance.


United Artists Theater — the site of the soon-to-be Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles — during a parade photographed for the cover of the 1936 Los Angeles City Planning Commission Report. On the marquis, Piccadilly Jim starring Robert Montgomery, Madge Evans and Frank Morgan, and Star For a Night with Claire Trevor.

United Artists Theater — the site of the soon-to-be Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles — during a parade photographed for the cover of the 1936 Los Angeles City Planning Commission Report. On the marquis, Piccadilly Jim starring Robert Montgomery, Madge Evans and Frank Morgan, and Star For a Night with Claire Trevor.


NY-born artist Liza Lou's Color Field is currently on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego — part of her long lineage of labors of love and collaboration made with her present-day communities in Los Angeles and KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Through a marriage of patience, OCD, undivided focus, piss and vinegar, Lou brings pause, awe and heft to our fleeting human attention. Highly recommended scuba diving for today: an inventory of her works past and present.

Liza Lou

Liza Lou

Liza Lou


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