Palm Springs, CA
INTERVIEW: AARON DE LA CRUZ
Aaron de la Cruz is currently mid-mural-painting on the Commune wall at Ace Hotel & Swim Club as part of Desert Gold 2014. The San Francisco-based artist’s background is rooted in street art, and the way he shapes and improvises movement in his work gives it wonderfully deep texture and context. Through his use of lines and space he manages to evoke a unique intertextual roadmap by connecting the dots between modern linguistic text along with pre-Columbian Mayan art and contemporary life on the west coast. That is, we’re very proud to be working again with him. His mural is almost ready for you to vibe on all year long at Ace Hotel & Swim Club.

Part of your process seems to involve being in the moment when you are painting some of your site-specific work. You’ve spoken in interviews about letting your feelings, thoughts and the environment around you influence where you take your work. What sort of preparations do you make leading up to putting paint to surface? Do you have a color palate?  
It really depends on the project as far as how I’m going to determine the outcome of the piece I’m going to create. For this project, I really wanted to focus on my ethnic background — being of Mexican descent. My source of color palette inspiration was a cup of fruit that you would buy from a vendor on the street in Mexico. After spending the first day here on location, I got to meet some of the staff here. Most of them happen to be Latino (or part-Latino) and I knew I had made the right decision. 
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Does your work have an agenda? Do you have a goal or focus as an artist?
As far as my work having an agenda I would say that I really try to push myself to work within a limited amount of mediums. For now I like to challenge myself to see what I can do with that. Having a goal and a focus as an artist is a must. I am always trying to find ways to tell a story with my work that has to do with my family or myself. The more I become dependent on my works supporting what I do, the more I feel it’s only right to share what I have with an audience who wants to listen. I would like to see my work become more three-dimensional (architectural/industrial design) and even do some earthworks as well. 

What is your process for navigating your own artistic concerns or goals when it comes to doing commissioned pieces? Is having constraints helpful in your work, or a hindrance?
For the most part it’s been really easy to work in commission pieces. I find that while most people I work with are really open and let me do what I want, I do give them a sense of direction that I will be going in. I enjoy some pushback at times as it causes me to work in an uncomfortable setting that I have to make right. I have worked with Ace Hotel before on a print we did along with Arkitip, and the response was great, so making this mural project happen wasn’t difficult at all. 

Lots of people will be walking by your mural over the next year, taking photos with it, tagging it online. Is there anything you’d like to have these people take away from the mural — something connective, or a feeling? 
I want the working staff of Ace Hotel & Swim Club to know that this is their mural and it’s influenced by the culture of their community that they have created. The designs I’ve chosen for this mural were influenced by the style of architecture here, and I wanted the designs to have a sense of calm, since my color palette was so loud. As for people taking pictures and capturing a feeling, I guess I will let nature takes its course and see what happens! 

Palm Springs, CA

INTERVIEW: AARON DE LA CRUZ

Aaron de la Cruz is currently mid-mural-painting on the Commune wall at Ace Hotel & Swim Club as part of Desert Gold 2014. The San Francisco-based artist’s background is rooted in street art, and the way he shapes and improvises movement in his work gives it wonderfully deep texture and context. Through his use of lines and space he manages to evoke a unique intertextual roadmap by connecting the dots between modern linguistic text along with pre-Columbian Mayan art and contemporary life on the west coast. That is, we’re very proud to be working again with him. His mural is almost ready for you to vibe on all year long at Ace Hotel & Swim Club.

Part of your process seems to involve being in the moment when you are painting some of your site-specific work. You’ve spoken in interviews about letting your feelings, thoughts and the environment around you influence where you take your work. What sort of preparations do you make leading up to putting paint to surface? Do you have a color palate?  

It really depends on the project as far as how I’m going to determine the outcome of the piece I’m going to create. For this project, I really wanted to focus on my ethnic background — being of Mexican descent. My source of color palette inspiration was a cup of fruit that you would buy from a vendor on the street in Mexico. After spending the first day here on location, I got to meet some of the staff here. Most of them happen to be Latino (or part-Latino) and I knew I had made the right decision. 

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We discovered the cryptic, maze-like work of Aaron De La Cruz in the pages of Arkitip, and knew we had to find him. Our friends at Arkitip asked him if he’d work with us at Ace Hotel & Swim Club, and he jumped on board. He created two limited screenprint editions of 230 to spellbind our guests in their rooms. We’ve got signed and numbered batches of 50 of each on the shop. Edition 1 is screenprinted on white 80 lb. paper, Edition 2 on 80 lb. natural. Like a book or a forest or your true love’s eyes, they’re easy to get lost in.

We discovered the cryptic, maze-like work of Aaron De La Cruz in the pages of Arkitip, and knew we had to find him. Our friends at Arkitip asked him if he’d work with us at Ace Hotel & Swim Club, and he jumped on board. He created two limited screenprint editions of 230 to spellbind our guests in their rooms. We’ve got signed and numbered batches of 50 of each on the shop. Edition 1 is screenprinted on white 80 lb. paper, Edition 2 on 80 lb. natural. Like a book or a forest or your true love’s eyes, they’re easy to get lost in.


Arkitip and Comex have conducted a study in color at Ace Hotel & Swim Club in a handful of guest rooms, each repainted with three-color combinations based on Comex trend books. They invited five journalists to stay for along weekend, playing musical rooms each night to experience the myriad emotions conjured through color.


Our inspired cohorts at Arkitip are hosting a launch party tonight at Project Space in LA for their color-themed 58th edition. They’ve asked a group of artists to create pieces using Comex paint, and the party will feature installations by featured artists, not to mention frozen treats from The Good Times Classic Ice Cream Truck. See all you need to know here.


INTERVIEW : JANET JAY // PEARL+ SOAP & STUDIO J

The lovely Janet Jay hand-produces Pearl+ Soaps — using crushed pearls among other things — exclusively for Ace Hotels. You can find it in our online shop in gift packs for the holidays. But you can also find it at Studio J, unfinished, lined in trays, and scenting the air there with the wonderful smell of all of Janet’s (not so) secret ingredients. Pearl+ Soaps will be featured in a holiday trunk show this weekend with other local designers and retailers, Subject to Season, including two of our favorites, Hazel Cox and Adam Arnold.

We love Studio J — not only is it beautiful and full of light, it’s also the creative hub of Janet and her husband John Jay, of Weiden + Kennedy. They have all sorts of amazing projects together, and John and Ace partner Alex Calderwood co-curated a recent special edition of Arkitip magazine this year. We wanted to ask Janet about her process, Studio J, and Neufy.

What are you listening to today in the studio?

Seabear, Iron and Wine, Feist and Japanese hip hop that brings back good memories of living in Tokyo.

What’s the sky like out of those huge windows?

Grey but not raining!

Tell me what’s on the to-do list for today.

Meetings on a new project in Old Town and Pearl+ Soap production.

Is your grey kitty hiding out somewhere?

Neufy took the day off work today.

What’s for lunch?

Ping's wide rice noodle and chicken. My favorite, stir fried twice…yum.

Tell us the story of Pearl+ — the pearl dust, and your grandmother.

Like many Asian women, my grandmother used pearl powder in creams and lotions to help promote clear beautiful skin. I was always fascinated by this and decided to develop a product that both men and women could use…Pearl+ Soaps was it. We used pearl powder and then decided to incorporate charcoal for the benefits of absorbing impurities and oils.

Pearl+ Soaps are made local and lovingly by hand here in Portland…and you guys are the only ones that have it!

sts-winter-evite


Howie’s Top 10 Collaborations

Howie Pyro made a list of his top ten favorite collaborations caught on 45s. It was part of the recent X: Mark of Collaboration issue of Arkitip curated by Ace founder Alex Calderwood and Ace friend John Jay, of Studio J. Howie also hosts a weekly party at Ace Palm Springs called Intoxica Radio Live, a live version of his radio show on luxuriamusic.com. Howie is awesome — we did another post about him that you should check out.

Top 10 Collaborations by Howie Pyro:

1. FRANK ZAPPA & BURT WARD: BOY WONDER I LOVE YOU
A super weird 45 written by Zappa for Ward (aka Robin from 1966 Batman TV show.) Produced by Mothers & Velvet Underground producer Tom Wilson.

2. NANCY SINATRA & LEE HAZLEWOOD:
Anything.

3. JOHNNY “ROTTEN” LYDON & AFRICA BAMBAATA: WORLD DESTRUCTION

4. BUNKER HILL & LINK WRAY: THE GIRL CAN’T DANCE
Hill, a prize fighter/gospel singer turned Rock & Roll screaming madman, backed by the first thundering guitar hero, Link Wray, makes for the obliteration of anything in Soul or Rock & Roll up to that point. 1962.

5. BRIGITTE BARDOT & SERGE GAINSBOURG:
Songs recorded for 1968 French TV program.

6. DAVID BOWIE & BING CROSBY: LITTLE DRUMMER BOY
Great duet done for a 1977 Bing Crosby Xmas TV special.

7. THE VELVET UNDERGROUND & NICO:
What else can I say?

8. THE BEACH BOYS & CHARLES MANSON: NEVER LEARN NOT TO LOVE
This song, from The Beach Boys 1968 LP, 20/20, is actually a known Charles Manson original song, Cease To Exist. The song writing credit was given to Manson’s buddy (at the time), drummer Dennis Wilson, as Manson owed Wilson money for trashing his house. Crazy.

9. I ONCE SAW SKY SAXON, FROM 60’S GARAGE BAND, THE SEEDS
do a duet with Mark Lindsay from Paul Revere & The Raiders, backed up by the Mys- terians (of Question Mark & the Mysterians, most famous for their track 96 Tears.)

10. The A-Bones backing Hasil Adkins (or Ronnie Dawson or The Flamin’ Groovies!)

Howie Pyro’s musical career began in the late 1970’s when he formed the notorious NYC punk band, The Blessed. Since then, Howie has been member to acts such as: D Generation, Danzig, and The Action Swingers. He’s played at venues such as CBGBs, The Mudd Club, and Max’s Kansas City alongside such acts as The Misfits, KISS, The Ramones, and Social Distortion.Partnering with D Generation co-Founder, Jesse Malin, Howie opened the (now legendary) rock club, Coney Island High. Howie is currently hosting a radio show titled Intoxica on luxuriamusic.com. He is also working on books, CD compilations, and creating mashups/bootlegs under the group name The Illuminoids.

Portrait by Matt Held


We collaborated with Generic Surplus and Arkitip last year to create Ace-exclusive shoes perfect for the poolside and for walks in the desert. This spring, we’re re-introducing these very coveted kicks in new colorways, and with all the same great elements as the original. The classic low-top laced plimsoll silhouette has been re-imagined with a mesh upper made of quick-drying canvas that keeps your feet cool and dry. The vulcanized non-slip sole is perfect for poolside cocktail mingling on a Sunday afternoon.

Check them out early (they’re due out April 15) and reserve a pair with Arkitip. Keep them at the ready for your first foray into the sun this year at Ace Palm Springs.


ARKITIP Issue 0053X: Mark of Collaboration

Jeremy Pelley x Fritz Mesenbrink x Mathew Foster of OMFGCo

Arkitip asked Ace’s Alex Calderwood and John Jay of Studio J to curate their latest issue, X: Mark of Collaboration. It’s made up entirely of creative alliances between artists and innovators. After you look at this selection of pages and pictures of John and Alex working on the issue, you might want to get one. You can do that here.

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