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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.


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 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.

Posted in Film, Hollywood, Low Brow No Comments »

This Halloween, It’s Different — Round Two

hallThe countdown is truly on to throw together your Halloween costume and plans for the evening.  Time’s ticking!  We have a few last minute ideas to point you in the right direction in case you have left it to the absolute last minute.  Tsk, tsk, tsk…

If you really want to be scared without the fake blood or sound effects, the Natural History Museum presents the Spider Pavilion until the beginning of November.  The enclosed habitat that was once the Butterfly Pavilion is transformed into an arachnophobe’s worst nightmare with different species of spiders roaming around for your creeping, crawling pleasure, including the golden silk spider and jewel garden spider.  Please know that all spiders are not poisonous and shy away from leaving their webs, but there is no guarantee that they won’t give you a solid case of the willies.

Playing it low key, probably the most frightening of locales for tonight’s festivities includes a romp through a graveyard at night.  Interested?  Cinespia presents another screening at Hollywood Forever Cemetery and will be showing John Carpenter’s Halloween.  A psychotic slasher film at a cemetery on Halloween?  This is nothing short than traumatic.  Prepare to have someone tuck you in tonight.

Feeling like playing dress-up?  LACMA, Santa Monica Museum of Art, KCRW, and the Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre are throwing their own versions of a costume party.  LACMA’s Muse Costume Ball is inspired by the exhibition Heroes and Villains: The Battle for Good in India’s Comic and will be including a lot of art, projections, and music throughout the night while patrons dress up as their favorite hero…or villain.  I’m looking at you, Cruella Deville.  The Santa Monica Museum of Art’s Halla Gala requires a costume or a mask at the very least.  Dress as your secret self, or perhaps another personality from a past life.  KCRW’s Masquerade Ball at the Park Plaza Hotel includes live performances by Sea Wolf and Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros as well as DJs spinning all night long.  And finally, there’s only one word that can describe the festivities that will ensue at Cinefamily’s party: Bollywood.  Take that and run with it there and all the way home.  Happy Halloween!!

Posted in Bring Your Flask, Festival, Food & Drink, High Brow, Hollywood, Low Brow, Miracle Mile, Personalities, Santa Monica No Comments »

This Halloween, It’s Different

We’re sorry to break this to you, but…we think you’ve gotten a little too old to trick-or-treat.  When you show up at a stranger’s front door decked out in your very innovative homemade costume and they ask where your kids are – it’s a sign.  We’re not saying you have to throw away the pumpkin earrings or even your witch’s hat, we just thought we’d present you with a few, more adult suggestions to celebrate this most flamboyant of holidays.  There are tricks and treats to be had throughout this city and we wouldn’t want you to miss even one…

For the old-fashioned in all of us – Halloween night screenings abound!  Nosferatu will be screened with musical accompaniment at Walt Disney Concert Hall at 8pm and with culinary accompaniment at Vinoteque on Melrose at 7pm and again at 9pm.  Tomorrow night, at the Egyptian Theatre, you’ll experience the 50th anniversary of the Twilight Zone – a screening of some of the series’ most acclaimed episodes should start your night off right at 8pm.  It might be hard to hit them all, but you do have that broom stick…

For the slasher film fan in all of us – it’s as if someone read your mind!  Sspooky!  Starting tonight, there is a three-day lineup full to the brim with blood and gore.  Tonight’s Slasherpalooza!: A Night of Gonzo Slasher Films includes screenings of Hatchet, Shakma, and Night of the Demon.  Not to be outdone, Friday night’s The Strange World of Coffin Joe series features Embodiment of Evil alongside Hallucinations of a Deranged Mind (which may be scarily reminiscent of your last therapy session).  Then, if you’re not all screamed out by Saturday, there’s a (family friendly) Bollyween party and fundraiser.  The Dosa truck will be there providing sustenance, there will be costume prizes, a couple of DJs spinning, a phantom photo booth, and tarot card readings – if you dare!

For the attention-seeker in all of us – Halloween isn’t about other people’s costumes, nor is it about how scary Jack Nicholson is in The Shining.  It’s about just how loud and on-pitch you can howl…er, sing.  The Music Center hosts a Friday Night Sing-Along on the plaza complete with lyric sheets and live accompaniment.  Just make sure your costume doesn’t outshine your voice…

nosferatuint01For the art freak in all of us – the Santa Monica Museum of Art is hosting their Halla Gala for which they recommend you dress as your “secret self” (Batman?) for an evening of mingling, a special exhibition, a particularly scary photobooth, Fellini-style movies, a Magic Carpet walk-off (those attention seekers would appreciate this too), as well as some capricious cocktails and delicious delectables to nibble on.

Fishnet stockings and character shoes don’t make a costume (and gentlemen, neither does a box surrounding your genitals) – so go get creative and send us photos of your most outrageous work.

Posted in Art, Bring Your Flask, Downtown, Exhibitions, Film, Food & Drink, High Brow, Hollywood, Low Brow, Museums, Music, Old School, Performance, Personalities, Santa Monica, West Hollywood No Comments »

Extra! Extra! The Golem at REDCAT

There are many directions you could take your Halloween experience this year. You could take the sweet ‘trick-or-treat amongst the children’ route, the ‘excuse to dress like a slut’ route, or the truly ghoulish, creepy, scary route.  If you are looking for any excuse to participate in the latter, REDCAT is the place to be on Friday, October 30 or Saturday, October 31.

It’s been proven time and again that it doesn’t take much to be thoroughly spooked.  In a great many very effective horror films, you may not even catch a glimpse of the monster until more than halfway through.  This weekend at REDCAT, prepare yourself for a truly original, horrifying experience: The Golem with live musical accompaniment under the direction of Brian LeBarton (otherwise known as Beck’s producer) for your pleasure.  Made in 1920 by Paul Wegener and shot by Karl Freund (of Metropolis fame), The Golem is the story of a statue brought to life by a Rabbi in 16th century Prague.  While the Rabbi’s intentions are noble, the experiment goes awry and the Golem ends up committing horrible crimes and kidnapping the Rabbi’s daughter.

We’d be ruining Halloween for everyone if we gave away the ending, but we do have something else to give away… tickets!  Fine Arts LA has got some tickets for both screenings of this spectacularly spooky piece of cinema and we’re just dying to give them away.

As always, some Extra! Extra! details you’ll want to keep in mind: by entering into this raffle, you’re automatically entered to win the next three we’ve got going on.  All we need is your first name, last name, email address, and voila – you’ll be off to REDCAT this weekend.  Try not to scream too loud!

(Click here if you don’t want to risk it and would rather just buy your own tickets.)



                      (valid email required)

Posted in Bring Your Flask, Downtown, Extra! Extra!, Film, High Brow, Low Brow, Music, Old School No Comments »

Fine Arts LA Does Comic Con

I am sure you are familiar with a little event that 125,000 people wait for all year with pennies (and Benjamins) saved up burning holes in hot pockets, costumes begging to be worn after months of design, and bags ready to be filled with loot: the San Diego Comic Convention — or, as I have learned to say, “the Con.”  Starting this past Wednesday to today, collectors, vendors, and spectators made their annual pilgrimage to San Diego to buy and sell wares, take photographs with costumed characters and booth babes, get a few items signed after playing some video games as well as watch discussion and preview panels for TV shows, movies, and industry workshops. Not to mention, catching up with all your con friends  — a total must.

If you happen to not have nerded out with the best of them, the mother of all comic book conventions may have escaped your radar. But with ample friends who fall into the realm of artists of the comic book persuasion, collectors (what up, LASK!), and just straight up nerds (you know I love you), I am fully aware of Comic Con and its power.  My challenge was to find the fine arts at Comic Con.  I know, I know, this is Fine Arts LA and the convention is in San Diego, but this was an experiment all the way around, so I ask for a little flexibility.

Saturday morning, I found myself San Diego-bound on the Surfliner train from Union Station.  Saturday was whiled away at Coronado beach and Lucha Libre tacos – I know, working hard.  Sunday started bright and early.  The convention hall was already in full swing with crowds pushing their way into, around, and from the exhibiting hall.  I really enjoyed the spectacle of it all.  Of course, my favorite part was the costumes. There were packs of Stormtroopers, Hogwarts students, and Jack Sparrows, with a smattering of Lord of the Rings characters and a really good Iron Man. There were the pristine factory-made costumes, but my favorites were the hardcore homemade ones, carefully constructed out of cardboard and metallic paint.  I love DIY.

To be honest, searching high and low, there was little to no fine arts in the traditional sense, but plenty of arts abound.  Illustrators set up booths with stacks of comics and drawings, sculptors showed off their talents with figurines small and large, and painters took centerstage (their subjects revolved around superheros and busty girls). Filmmakers and game developers were in attendance alongside graphic designers galore – not to mention those budding clothing designers.

Aside from the colossal booth installations of the big name production companies, it was a breath of fresh air to see young artists and  entrepreneurs up in the hustle, with plenty of fans eager for more.  No matter how small of a niche business, all of their biggest fans were there – even if there were only three people.  Finding the fine arts at the Con proved to be a difficult task, but I did have a good time sorting through the popular arts.  The overall sense of camaraderie was comforting, a feeling that can be found in the art world of the most highest or lowest of brows .  It was like Art Basel…in an alternate universe.

Posted in Art, Bring Your Flask, Fashion, Festival, Film, Installation, Low Brow, Painting, Video Art No Comments »