Downtown Los Angeles

Photographs by Austrian-born LA filmmaker and photographer Matthias Königswieser, whose first solo exhibition, Chiaroscuro, is up now at Ace Hotel Downtown LA. 


Palm Springs, CA
This is the finished Aaron de la Cruz mural he’s been creating at the Commune wall. It’s part of our Desert Gold kickoff. Time to hit the waves, sport some shortpants, and dance it out. 
In his interview he was kind enough to let out a signal flare that’s illuminating Desert Gold this year: we’re focusing extra attention on Latino artists, musicians and cultures.
The world is bursting with wonder, and sometimes it’s nice to have a lens to look through. So for now we’ll echo H. Valentine Miller: “One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.”


photo by Aaron de la Cruz

photo by Aaron de la Cruz

Palm Springs, CA

This is the finished Aaron de la Cruz mural he’s been creating at the Commune wall. It’s part of our Desert Gold kickoff. Time to hit the waves, sport some shortpants, and dance it out. 

In his interview he was kind enough to let out a signal flare that’s illuminating Desert Gold this year: we’re focusing extra attention on Latino artists, musicians and cultures.

The world is bursting with wonder, and sometimes it’s nice to have a lens to look through. So for now we’ll echo H. Valentine Miller: “One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.”

photo by Aaron de la Cruz

photo by Aaron de la Cruz


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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Russia

Untitled work by the youthful abstract painter Sasha Pichushkin.


Downtown LA
The late, great Mike Kelley may have entered our world in the Midwest, but he was truly a child of Los Angeles. Featuring over 200 pieces, the broad, eponymous retrospective of Kelley’s work that’s been touring over the last year finally comes home this week — filling the whole of the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA with filthy felt beginning tomorrow through July 28. 

Downtown LA

The late, great Mike Kelley may have entered our world in the Midwest, but he was truly a child of Los Angeles. Featuring over 200 pieces, the broad, eponymous retrospective of Kelley’s work that’s been touring over the last year finally comes home this week — filling the whole of the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA with filthy felt beginning tomorrow through July 28. 


Portland, ORINTERVIEW: DANNIEL SCHOONEBEEK
Danniel Schoonebeek’s poems take back roads and veins to an American place filled with secrets in your ear. Where the barn behind you is lit with the most eerie Gregory Crewdson-like light.  
Last Saturday Ace New York hosted Bound by Chance. Danniel wasn’t there, but his words were. People used them to make stories and bound those stories into pamphlets. Tonight, Danniel reads from his book in Portland at Crema Coffee + Bakery before he sails back home to Brooklyn. It’s going to be an after hours poetry party. 
You recently completed a poetry tour in support of your first book, American Barricade (YesYes Books). Independent musicians tour all the time to support themselves. What was the experience like as a poet?
When I was seventeen I left high school and toured in a van with four other guys. We were a band, I was the drummer, and we toured the country for a few months, living in the van with our instruments. What’s startling to me is that I did this again ten years later. This time I was alone, I was reading my poems and not hitting a snare, and I took the trains across America instead of riding in a van. The tours were alike in that they were both these depleting, chaotic bursts in which you learn more about yourself than you knew was possible. You aren’t working hard enough are the words I came away with when I was seventeen. Our last date on that tour was at CBGB’s, and there was this holy feeling like we’d arrived. But nobody gave a shit about our songs, not the bands, not the people. I think that experience taught me that you have to demand to be heard, like a list of demands is heard in a hostage situation, and that list of demands is work. 
The tour I just finished leaves me to this day with jubilee. In some ways it was like playing a chess match against my own life. I’d just been kicked out of my apartment, I’d just been laid off, the love life was in the gutter. I booked the tour myself, no agents, no help from my publisher. I needed to see if a poet could do it alone. Friends came out to read and see me off, let me sleep on their floors. Strangers opened their doors to me, handed me their keys, helped me hunt down venues. These people are part of my life now, and they handed me small tokens along the way, tchotchkes and mementos, a little scratch some nights. The trains are their own crash course in how much American disgust you can tolerate within yourself. If you don’t have the constitution within yourself to wash your hair in the sink on a moving train, or deal with drunks, or fall asleep hungry on a dinner of tic-tacs, don’t get on the trains. But there was something unbelievable about waking up on the train, feeling like shit, drinking a styrofoam cup of coffee, and watching the landscape of America peel away outside while you’re surrounded by all these families and drifters and bulleting your way to a poetry reading in a different city each night. It was like not being a citizen anymore. 
I’m finishing a book about this last tour and that’ll come out soon. I’m working with two editors who are challenging the work and pushing it in directions I’m thrilled about. I can’t say who yet, but it’s coming. It’s called C’est La Guerre. 
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The poems you write have a lovely ability to at once feel very intimate—even small—while also having ragged edges that touch on archetypes that deal with American culture and values. What’s your creative process when you sit down to write? Do you have an agenda? A guiding principal?
I try to always keep myself unsettled. I hate flying, so I work on poems while I’m a mess in the sky. Or sometimes I’ll wear nothing but a blanket and wake up in winter and write in the kitchen. I always write poems if I have a nasty fever, or I like to cast out lines aloud if I’m standing, never longhand if I’m sitting. I write a lot in bed, the classic pose, we all do. I would like to write a poem while hanging upside down from the lintels of a doorway. So my process is to always throw a wrench in my process. I’m opposed to regimens, culturally and artistically, because they fail to do justice to the changing face of what composes them. American ways of life, as our culture defines them, always fail the people who are actually living their lives in America, never nuanced enough and always leaving someone locked outside. In the same way, I think having any guiding principal about poetry is a failure to language, how nuanced language is and how fast it changes and disrupts us. I try to always undermine myself, disrupt myself, refuse myself. The terrifying part for me is that undermining yourself, disrupting yourself, refusing yourself—these are also regimens that need to be undermined, disrupted, and refused.

Portland, OR

INTERVIEW: DANNIEL SCHOONEBEEK

Danniel Schoonebeek’s poems take back roads and veins to an American place filled with secrets in your ear. Where the barn behind you is lit with the most eerie Gregory Crewdson-like light.  

Last Saturday Ace New York hosted Bound by Chance. Danniel wasn’t there, but his words were. People used them to make stories and bound those stories into pamphlets. Tonight, Danniel reads from his book in Portland at Crema Coffee + Bakery before he sails back home to Brooklyn. It’s going to be an after hours poetry party. 

You recently completed a poetry tour in support of your first book, American Barricade (YesYes Books). Independent musicians tour all the time to support themselves. What was the experience like as a poet?

When I was seventeen I left high school and toured in a van with four other guys. We were a band, I was the drummer, and we toured the country for a few months, living in the van with our instruments. What’s startling to me is that I did this again ten years later. This time I was alone, I was reading my poems and not hitting a snare, and I took the trains across America instead of riding in a van. The tours were alike in that they were both these depleting, chaotic bursts in which you learn more about yourself than you knew was possible. You aren’t working hard enough are the words I came away with when I was seventeen. Our last date on that tour was at CBGB’s, and there was this holy feeling like we’d arrived. But nobody gave a shit about our songs, not the bands, not the people. I think that experience taught me that you have to demand to be heard, like a list of demands is heard in a hostage situation, and that list of demands is work. 

The tour I just finished leaves me to this day with jubilee. In some ways it was like playing a chess match against my own life. I’d just been kicked out of my apartment, I’d just been laid off, the love life was in the gutter. I booked the tour myself, no agents, no help from my publisher. I needed to see if a poet could do it alone. Friends came out to read and see me off, let me sleep on their floors. Strangers opened their doors to me, handed me their keys, helped me hunt down venues. These people are part of my life now, and they handed me small tokens along the way, tchotchkes and mementos, a little scratch some nights. The trains are their own crash course in how much American disgust you can tolerate within yourself. If you don’t have the constitution within yourself to wash your hair in the sink on a moving train, or deal with drunks, or fall asleep hungry on a dinner of tic-tacs, don’t get on the trains. But there was something unbelievable about waking up on the train, feeling like shit, drinking a styrofoam cup of coffee, and watching the landscape of America peel away outside while you’re surrounded by all these families and drifters and bulleting your way to a poetry reading in a different city each night. It was like not being a citizen anymore. 

I’m finishing a book about this last tour and that’ll come out soon. I’m working with two editors who are challenging the work and pushing it in directions I’m thrilled about. I can’t say who yet, but it’s coming. It’s called C’est La Guerre

Read More


London, UK
Last month we reported on London-based architectural photographer Andrew Meredith's adventures documenting the eerie vacancy of Hashima Island. Some of the captivating results of Andrew's trip hang this month in the gallery at Ace London. Opening reception is today, March 6, 7-9pm.

London, UK

Last month we reported on London-based architectural photographer Andrew Meredith's adventures documenting the eerie vacancy of Hashima Island. Some of the captivating results of Andrew's trip hang this month in the gallery at Ace London.

Opening reception is today, March 6, 7-9pm.


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Downtown Los Angeles

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.


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Pestisani, Romania

Constantin Brancusi’s clean geometry, unveiling the essence of things in marble, wood and stone. The modernist sculptor born on this day in 1876 preferred simple clothes, a studio with a rock slab table and a primitive fireplace, and furniture, utensils and a phonograph he made himself.


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Daniel Speightartist 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. 

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