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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.


Downtown Los Angeles, California
The second edition of Printed Matter’s LA Art Book Fair kicked off last night in The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA as the fledgling of the famed NY Art Book Fair.  
Over 250 international outfits are taking part in the assembly, and the range of offerings is highly impressive. Everything is egalitarian, sharply presented and extremely tempting.
Hometown heroes Ooga Booga, KesselsKramer, and Arcana — who are making waves on the international scene — are paired with their out-of-town peers, simultaneously repping their work and acting as ambassadors.
The fair is going on until Sunday and is free to enter and enjoy, thanks to the selfless contributions of many. For more information and for the full schedule for screenings, panels, lectures and special events visit laartbookfair.net.

Downtown Los Angeles, California

The second edition of Printed Matter’s LA Art Book Fair kicked off last night in The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA as the fledgling of the famed NY Art Book Fair.  

Over 250 international outfits are taking part in the assembly, and the range of offerings is highly impressive. Everything is egalitarian, sharply presented and extremely tempting.

Hometown heroes Ooga BoogaKesselsKramer, and Arcana — who are making waves on the international scene — are paired with their out-of-town peers, simultaneously repping their work and acting as ambassadors.

The fair is going on until Sunday and is free to enter and enjoy, thanks to the selfless contributions of many. For more information and for the full schedule for screenings, panels, lectures and special events visit laartbookfair.net.


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.


Downtown Los Angeles, California
LA Chapter is celebrating its second week of existence. The new restaurant at Ace DTLA is helmed by Five Leaves Chef Ken Addington and restaurateur Jud Mongell.
Expect some of the same iconic dishes from the Brooklyn restaurant but with a truly LA spin.
Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner. To make a reservation call 213-623-3233.

Downtown Los Angeles, California

LA Chapter is celebrating its second week of existence. The new restaurant at Ace DTLA is helmed by Five Leaves Chef Ken Addington and restaurateur Jud Mongell.

Expect some of the same iconic dishes from the Brooklyn restaurant but with a truly LA spin.

Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
To make a reservation call 213-623-3233.


Downtown Los Angeles, California
On January 29, we are helping to welcome art critic, essayist and academic provocateur Dave Hickey, who’ll be celebrating the release of his new collect Pirates and Farmers with a talk and book signing at Grand Central Market in Downtown Los Angeles.
Dave Hickey’s decades-spanning career as a cultural commentator playfully straddles the barriers between high and mass art, music and celebrity culture — a sly irreverence that’s won him a fair share of both favor and controversy, not to mention a MacArthur Fellowship.
If you’d like to drop by, be sure to RSVP via the MoCA Website.

Downtown Los Angeles, California

On January 29, we are helping to welcome art critic, essayist and academic provocateur Dave Hickey, who’ll be celebrating the release of his new collect Pirates and Farmers with a talk and book signing at Grand Central Market in Downtown Los Angeles.

Dave Hickey’s decades-spanning career as a cultural commentator playfully straddles the barriers between high and mass art, music and celebrity culture — a sly irreverence that’s won him a fair share of both favor and controversy, not to mention a MacArthur Fellowship.

If you’d like to drop by, be sure to RSVP via the MoCA Website.


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:

 


Downtown Los Angeles, California
The Theatre at Ace Dtla will be embarking on its maiden voyage February 14 with Spiritualized at the helm — performing their landmark album Ladies and Gentlemen We are Floating in Space live with full orchestra and gospel choir.
If you missed out on the band’s sold out two-night stand, you might still be in luck: nonprofit Los Angeles Conservancy — devoted to preserving the great historic places of Los Angeles — is giving away a pair of tickets to the show on February 14, along with a room at Ace, for a flawless Valentine’s Day, Los Angeles style.
For more information: www.laconservancy.org/ace.

Downtown Los Angeles, California

The Theatre at Ace Dtla will be embarking on its maiden voyage February 14 with Spiritualized at the helm — performing their landmark album Ladies and Gentlemen We are Floating in Space live with full orchestra and gospel choir.

If you missed out on the band’s sold out two-night stand, you might still be in luck: nonprofit Los Angeles Conservancy — devoted to preserving the great historic places of Los Angeles — is giving away a pair of tickets to the show on February 14, along with a room at Ace, for a flawless Valentine’s Day, Los Angeles style.

For more information: www.laconservancy.org/ace.


The lunatics have finally taken over the asylum. Today we welcomed the first guests into our new tower on Broadway in Downtown Los Angeles.
Spirits are running high and for the next week we’re offering reservations in our Medium rooms for $199 a night through the rest of the year.
We hope to see you soon.

The lunatics have finally taken over the asylum. Today we welcomed the first guests into our new tower on Broadway in Downtown Los Angeles.

Spirits are running high and for the next week we’re offering reservations in our Medium rooms for $199 a night through the rest of the year.

We hope to see you soon.


Downtown Los Angeles

The secrets behind three food + wine pairings at Alma this week. Ari Taymor and Ashleigh Parsons' latest tasting menu is nothing short of a masterwork. 


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