December, 2009

Fart-ing

People tend to forget about food when talking about art.  In fact, food isn’t even allowed in most museums, as if the paintings would get jealous.  And although much ado is made out of drugs, nobody ever asks what an artist was eating at the time of their masterpiece.

Of course, like most artistic discourse, this is all backwards.  The oldest surviving cave paintings, which in all likelihood are the first known pieces of human art, are all depictions of food (or sex).  Therefore, no conversation about artistic merit should begin without first discussing the work’s relationship to the “original” art, food art (or for short: ‘fart’).  One person who certainly knows the power of the ‘fart’ is Jonathan Gold, Pulitzer Prize winning food critic for LA Weekly.

In his much-celebrated column, Mr. Gold creates weekly pieces of art inspired by the best and worst food in Los Angeles.  Starting last month and running until January 23 at the Harriet and Charles Luckman Fine Arts Complex, various artists are doing just the same; they’ve even decided to pay tribute to ‘the Gold-en boy’ by re-using his column title: “Counter Intelligence.”  The work on display here, however, goes beyond the literary and into the realms of sculpture, photography, video, and performance, all in the name of the edible.

Because as any foodie like Jonathan Gold knows, you can’t make ‘fart’ without the food.

“Counter Intelligence” can be viewed until January 23rd at The Harriet and Charles Luckman Fine Arts Complex in the Cal State campus. For more information please call (323) 343-6600.

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Winding Up The Holidays…

A good lot of us cannot wait to say good-bye to 2009 and the ’00s as a whole.  Sayonara, the aughts.  And hellooo, teens!

But there are a couple of us having a hard time letting go of the holiday spirit.  And if you happen to be one of them, keep your iTunes radio on the Christmas carol channel and bake those cookies just a couple more days.

If ice-skating is your thing, swing by Pershing Square for some outdoors ice with your sweetest.  Hot cocoa is not included, but the fee and skate rentals are  only $8. [Info]  Need a few drinks to ease the pain when the ice breaks your fall one too many times?  The W Los Angeles in Westwood offers a skating rink of its own for those who need a little liquid courage…erm, holiday cheer to accompany them. [Info]

Do you need lots of bright lights to stay warm and cheery?  The DWP’s Holiday Light Festival is going strong…until tomorrow night.  You don’t even need to leave the safety of your own car while driving down a mile-long stretch of ligh decorations gracing Griffith Park. [Info]  If you tend to trot the unbeaten path, head down to the LBC to see Phantom Galleries’ version of a holiday light show.  Aptly titled Let There Be Light!, twenty-eight exhibitions in 25 storefronts will be shining with various light-based works ranging from the subtle, abstract shapes to the bold and fluorescent. [Info]

You don’t have to say good-bye just yet to the holiday season, but since CVS has its Christmas display right next to Valentine treats, the countdown is on.

Posted in Art, Bring Your Flask, Contemporary Art, Downtown, Exhibitions, Festival, Food & Drink, Galleries, Installation, West LA No Comments »

New Year, New Art

The way you start off a new year is very important to the way the new year ends up going for you.  At least that’s what they say.  Put their theory into practice with some of January’s most promising arts events in our fair city – would you like your 2010 to look a little more Bond-like? Would you rather it looked a little more experimental than your 2009?  It’s so tempting to answer those questions with: there’s an app for that, but really your city has got what it takes to kick off your new year just the way you’d like.

Mr. Bond

Friday, January 1 is not likely to be your most shining and perky day.  That doesn’t mean you can’t start on a sleek, technologically advanced, Bond-like bend – from 7:30pm at the Egyptian Theatre there’s a double feature of Dr. No and You Only Live Twice.  You may not be at your sharpest on Friday, but you’ll soon make a better Bond than Mr. Connery.  If you’re less than interested in leaving your house that day, worry not.  Saturday evening (January 2) from 7:00pm, they’ll be screening Goldfinger and Thunderball – if you don’t have a love/hate relationship with villains after a weekend like that, you’re not cut out to be the next Mr. Bond.  And that’s no way to start a new year.

Please click here for the Egyptian Theatre’s full January 2010 calendar.

Barely There

At Sam Lee Gallery, just near Dodger Stadium, you’ll find local artist Jeff Gambill’s exhibit “Barely There,” on through January 23.  His paintings have this generally zen, colorful feeling that convey the transient, transitional message he’s going for.  Fresh from a trip to Japan, you’ll definitely see an East Asian influence in each of his works.  They don’t scream out at you, but they definitely make you want to look closer.  And what better message than looking closer at something that doesn’t shock and awe for a new year?  Time to delve a little deeper, kids.

The Sam Lee Gallery is located at 990 N. Hill Street #190.  Please call (323) 227-0275 or click here for more information.

New Year, New Music

It’s so easy to fall into an all-Mozart (or all-Beyonce) rut.  Take some time in January 2010 to break out of it.  It may not last the whole year, but at least you can say you tried.  On Saturday, January 16 at the First Presbyterian Church in Santa Monica,Jacaranda invites you to discover Thomas Ades, Benjamin Britten, Peter Maxwell Davies, George Benjamin, and others.  The concert, called Licorice and Rosin (“licorice” is a slang term for clarinet and rosin is a solid form of resin used on string instruments), will present some of Britain’s more exciting contemporary music from the last twenty-five years.

If a church is the last place you’d like to be, Monday Evening Concerts at the Zipper Concert Hall at the Colburn School kicks off 2010 on January 11 at 8:00pm with a concert called “Mostly Californian.”  Featuring compositions by Clint McCallum, Luciano Chessa, Michael Pisaro, and others, you will hear sounds of contemporary California.  (No, that doesn’t include woeful cries for our current economic situation.) The composers in question present lyrical, theatrical works that won’t sound like anything else you’ve heard before.

Please click here for more information about Jacaranda.  Alternatively, click here for information about Monday Evening Concerts.

Soundtrack for a Revolution

The Grammy Museum just celebrated their first birthday – still haven’t been? Monday, January 11 at 7:00pm they’re presenting Reel to Reel: Soundtrack for a Revolution, a documentary that looks at the American civil rights movement and the unparalleled soundtrack that went along with it.  Filled with archive footage, interviews with civil rights leaders, and a soundtrack of freedom songs sung by modern day R&B, Hip Hop, and Soul legends like Joss Stone, Wyclef Jean, The Roots, and John Legend.  Monday’s screening will be followed by a panel discussion chock full of everyone you’d like to get advice from for a soulful 2010 – Danny Glover, filmmakers Bill Guttentag and Dan Sturman, producer Dylan Nelson, and music producer Corey Smyth.

For more information, please click here.

Posted in Art, Bring Your Flask, Classical Music, Contemporary Art, Downtown, Exhibitions, Film, Galleries, High Brow, Hollywood, Jazz, Low Brow, Museums, Music, Old School, Santa Monica, Silverlake/Los Feliz, World Music No Comments »

Merry Christmas!

Well, dear readers… It’s that time of year again.  We want to take a moment to wish you a very happy holiday season filled with warmth, joy, and love.  Most of all, we want to thank you for being so loyal and supportive to us – we (quite literally) would be lost in cyberspace without you!

So enjoy your Christmas Day and let’s keep our fingers crossed that someone was listening as you dropped hints all year… “Ooh, I would just love to hang that print in the dining room…”

Happy Holidays, everyone!

xoxo FALA

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The Art of the Funny: Richard Pryor and The Mafia…

When Richard Pryor got on stage to tell a story, a joke, or just spread around some colorful language, we all sat down and listened up – he was an absolute master of the art of comedy.  We’ve found ourselves digging up some of our favorite videos this week, perhaps due to this top ten list/end of the year roundup vibe going around… Either way, enjoy Mr. Pryor at his best!

 

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Turning Your Holiday Houseguests into Local Art Lovers

We imagine that a great many of you, dear readers, have guests in town for the holidays.  If you’re lucky enough to have them staying at your house, you’ll appreciate this little listing of places to send them so that they can experience all the art and culture that LA has to offer. (Remind them that Woody Allen was wrong when he said it was only frozen yogurt and right turns on red…)

Bergamot Station

A healthy sized collection of art galleries in Santa Monica, Bergamot Station does actually have something for every walk of life.  Your sister-in-law prefers installations while your uncle is a photography nut? Send them west of the 405 to this once dilapidated train station for a day filled with some of LA’s most innovative galleries.  They’ve even got a café, salon, and vintage clothing shop on site, so let them know they could be occupied for hours!

Bergamot Station is located at 2525 Michigan Ave in Santa Monica.  Please call (310) 828-4001 or click here for more information.

annenbergsm

Annenberg Space for Photography

Your guests will surely appreciate a jaunt to Annenberg Space for Photography’s latest exhibit: SPORT: Iooss and Leifer.  Read our take on it here.  It’s a spectacular collection that chronicles the recent history of sports including inspiring snaps of Serena Williams and Mohammad Ali.  They have no excuse to come back before grabbing a bite at the little café downstairs and then maybe catching a movie across the street at the Century City shopping center – drop a hint about your favorite shops in the mall.

The Annenberg Space for Photography is located at 2000 Avenue of the Stars #10 in Century City.  Call (213) 403-3000 for more information or click here.

 

Walt Disney Concert Hall

If you’ve got guests over New Year’s Eve, grab a couple seats to see Big Bad Voodoo Daddy take advantage of the unparalleled acoustics at Disney Hall.  There’s a show at 7:00pm and one at 10:30pm – we’d recommend a quick bite either before or after the performance at Kendall’s Brasserie across the street at the Dorothy Chandler to help ring in the New Year!

Walt Disney Concert Hall is located at 111 South Grand Ave. in Downtown LA.  Please call (323) 850-2000 or click here for more information.

fine arts la getty villa malibu

Getty Villa in Malibu

There is no better place to remind your guests that you live in paradise than the Getty Villa in Malibu.  It’s free to view the ancient Greek, Roman, and Etruscan antiques and objets d’art, you’ve just got to make a reservation beforehand for parking.  On view now at the Villa is an exhibition called “Reconstructing Identity: A Statue of a God from Dresden.” Once you’ve gotten your fill of the gorgeous views and Roman-inspired architecture, head a bit farther down PCH to Cross Creek Road, where you’ll find Taverna Tony’s (delicious Greek food) and some dangerous shopping.

The Getty Villa is located at 17985 Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu.  Please call (310) 440-7300 or click here for more information.

Posted in Architecture, Art, Bring Your Flask, Contemporary Art, Downtown, Exhibitions, Food & Drink, Galleries, High Brow, Jazz, Low Brow, Museums, Music, Painting, Photography, The Social Scene, West LA No Comments »

A Few of Coltrane’s Favorite Things…

‘Tis the season to sing about your favorite things – or, rather, play sax about them…

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A Cinematic Christmas

So you’ve pulled your trusty Christmas DVD collection from its dusty nook on your shelf to start getting in the Christmas mood…finally!  You’ve watched Home Alone once, Christmas Vacation twice, Scrooged three times, and Love Actually four times… It’s the film version of the “Twelve Days of Christmas.”  Now it’s time to watch The Santa Clause fiiive tiiimes!  No, wait, I wouldn’t want to wish that upon anyone.

Before you get around to having too much Tim Allen gracing your LCD, pay a visit to the Cinefamily for some crooked Christmas cinema that does not involve sugar plum fairies dancing anywhere.

On Christmas Day night, they will be screening Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, a screwy saga about two men from Mars with notions of our Yuletide customs and orders to kidnap Ol’ St. Nick so that their alien children can also enjoy presents!  We can’t blame ‘em either.  And also thrown in the pile of presents are some filmatic treasures including a specially made Christmas video mix from Everything Is Terrible amidst verité footage of department store Santas, misguided movie tie-ins, exhumed cartoons, and aborted holiday specials.

Some cinefiles would say it is better than five golden riiings…

Mondo Christmas (feat. Santa Claus Conquers the Martians) screens this Friday, Christmas Day at 8:00.  For more information, please click here.

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Indie Dreams at LeBasse Projects

We all dream in our own style – some of us have dreams of grandiose places, some have anxiety dreams about some upcoming event, and the lucky ones have kinky dreams.  It often takes more than just looking at someone to work out what their dreams might look like.  But, and I’m really generalizing here, I have a feeling that the two artists currently on view at LeBasse Projects in Culver City have got the wonderfully indie dreams of film favorites like, say, Ellen Page or Michael Cera down.

On one hand, Scott Belcastro’s exhibit, called “Chasing the Last Glimpse of Light,” is full of paintings (somewhat big, acrylic paintings) that show a sort of Where The Wild Things Are existence with fuzzy mountains, a red menacing sky, and a lone reindeer beneath the stars.  He has a simplistic painting style with colors that are more muted than vibrant – the paintings are ultimately a delicate view of the wild and twisted world we live in.

Then, there’s Linda Kim and her exhibit, “A Light Within.”  The two painters easily complement each other – her style has a similarly minimalist, yet dreamlike quality with animals making their way through the mist or sleeping beneath an intensely blue sky.  The immediate difference between those two is actually their use of color.  Where Kim employs color blocking techniques and a more diverse and concentrated use of hues, Belcastro seems to want you to wander through his world with a more fragile touch.  Kim also presents her work on little wood “houses” – which really make you wish you could crawl inside and lay down.  You’d probably have some pretty crazy dreams in there.

Scott Belcastro and Linda Kim’s works will be on display at LeBasse Projects through January 2010.  For more information, please call (310) 558-0200 or click here.

Posted in Art, Conceptual, Contemporary Art, Culver City, Exhibitions, Galleries, Painting, Save + Misbehave No Comments »

Los Angeles Ballet: Let’s Make It Official

It is a shame that, in Los Angeles, a ballet company has yet to survive for a full decade.  Don’t the powers that be realize that little Angeleno children need to experience the spectacle that is The Nutcracker year after year?  With Los Angeles Ballet comes the glimmer of hope that indeed children lucky enough to be born in the city of angels will get to see the magical world of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker year after year.  Now kicking off their fourth season with their annual production of The Nutcracker, Los Angeles Ballet is becoming a staple of our city – finally.

While the company has seen a great many changes in the past four years – the good including their new rehearsal and office space as well as the introduction of new dancers, the bad including the loss of some truly gifted company members – all seems to be going well in their favor.  And they’re set to change a few more children’s lives this winter with Colleen Neary and Thordal Christensen’s beautifully choreographed Nutcracker.  Find me one little girl or boy who sat through The Nutcracker with grandma at the tender age of 7 and didn’t beg for ballet lessons for Christmas.
We recently snuck our camera into their studios (and their opening night performance) to get a sneak peak at what’s on offer this year.  Catherine Kanner’s set design and Mikael Melbye’s costumes enhance the magic inherent in this classic ballet that ignites a holiday spirit in a way that nothing else can.  Their schedule includes four performances at Royce Hall on Dec 19 and 20 followed by three at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center on Dec 26 and 27.  Plenty of opportunities to remember what the holidays are all about – sugar plum fairies, harlequin dolls, fighting mice, and little toy soldiers.

Los Angeles Ballet’s The Nutcracker performs at Royce Hall on Dec 19 and 20 and at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center on Dec 26 and 27.  For more information, please click here.

Click here to have a listen to Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite… Berliner Philharmoniker & Mstislav Rostropovich - Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker Suite

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