Simon and Lukas. The Haas Brothers. These true LA darlings and dear, new friends evidently didn’t get enough of us while outfitting LA Chapter and our mezzanine bar with smart pencil drawings of deeply-plumbed references to LA’s social history. Here’s some evidence of their enduring and inspirational presence. If you see them, say hello.
With a nod to his Los Angeles-inspired Sky Backdrop series, indigenous artist Alex Israel outrigged our building-adjacent billboard with something that mimes the magic-hour cityscape and gilds our hearth. Central to the piece is an inset of the logo for the LA Dance Project, an intimate working partner of Israel’s. The LA Dance Project bring their magic to the Theater at Ace Hotel with shows on the 20, 21 and 22 of this month.
Photo by Lauren Coleman
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
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.
Daniel Speight, artist and art installer at Ace London, lives on a boat in the canals of the city, where it’s legal to tether in one spot for up to two weeks and then, like an urban nomad, move onwards. He gathers supplies along the way, living in the fluid, shifting intersection between the natural and industrial worlds and watching as they change through the seasons. This life has allowed him a unique point of view on a vibrant and vital urban hub, watched from a distance — a perspective best seen in his elaborate illustrations of London’s buildings and homes, screen printed onto the fore-edges of old books. He’s a nimble storyteller, unbound to one medium or method. London Foxes, printed in full below, is his personal account of London canal life.