Posts Tagged ‘video interview’

Gunpowder, Guy Fawkes, and the Geffen…

Contrary to what we all might think, political dramas and fabled truths didn’t start with George W. Bush.  Those in power have long controlled the versions of the truth that end up in our news reports or history books.  Back in the day, Shakespeare’s day to be precise, there was once a foiled plot against the established government, known as the Gunpowder Plot, in which the houses of Parliament would be blown up while King James and his largely Protestant cabinet were inside.  Brits now celebrate the day as Guy Fawkes Day because it was Guy Fawkes who was sent late at night on November 5, 1605 to light the fuse beneath the house of Parliament.  It was also he who was captured and killed on behalf of his team.  It seems that we can all relate to the events that followed…

King James told his emissary, Robert Cecil, to hire the best playwright around to tell the story of the Gunpowder Plot.  Shakespeare, who was currently rehearsing King Lear with his troupe, was approached and accepted the challenge of telling the world King James’ version of the truth.  As he and his troupe struggled with the difference between fact and fiction, they come to realize the real power of the establishment.  And so did playwright Bill Cain in his Equivocation opening this week at the Geffen Playhouse.

All about this storied event (in more ways than one), Equivocation touches on Shakespeare himself, his troupe, and his relationship with his daughter. We were recently lucky enough to sit down with the entire cast of the show.  Our video interview is chock full of the cast’s favorite scenes, how they feel about Guy Fawkes Day, and how they feel about yours truly…

We’re not the only lucky ones, though.  The Geffen Playhouse is offering Fine Arts LA readers an exclusive ticket offer!  In the interest of killing two birds with one stone (drinking wine, seeing the play) our readers can purchase tickets for $35 to see the play on one of the Geffen’s Wine Down Sundays – you get tickets to the show and a chance to enjoy complimentary wines beforehand.  Talk about enhancing your theatre-going experience!

The following Sundays are eligible for this sweet, wine-soaked deal: Nov 22, Nov 29, Dec 6, Dec 13, and Dec 20.  To enjoy this offer, call the Geffen box office and mention this code: FAE35 – enjoy!

Bill Cain’s Equivocation runs at the Geffen Playhouse from November 10 – December 20, 2009.  For more information, please click here or call (310) 208-5454.

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David Fahey Has Got a Story or Two

They say it’s smart to have a niche: find what differentiates you from the pack and run with it.  That has been quite true for the owners of Fahey/Klein Gallery on La Brea Blvd.  Focusing entirely on the medium of photography has proven quite the challenge what with a new exhibit that must go up every five weeks, but as David Fahey, co-owner of the gallery mentioned, it’s been well worth it.  We recently sat down with Fahey to discuss Los Angeles’ art scene, photography, and wild times with Peter Beard.  How many other people can you name off the top of your head who can recount stories about Irving Penn, Alfred Stieglitz, Helmut Newton, and Herb Ritts?  We can name only one: David Fahey.

On now through December 5 at the gallery is an exhibition of nudes featuring two distinct artists: Ralph Gibson and Rasmus Mogensen.  A tried and true genre, according to Fahey, these artists really take their work to a new level of innovation.  Gibson’s architectural, piece-by-piece look at the female form implements shadows, light, towels, and stockings to find a host of new, intriguing shapes.  On the other hand, Mogensen’s larger-than-life photographs of nude women posing in nothing but high heels are reminiscent of Helmut Newton with a unique Mogensen touch.  Called “Perfectly Natural”, each photograph in the series has been altered in some minor way to create the artist’s idea of a perfect woman – look closely at them and you’ll see the Photoshop-ed discrepancies.

Having stayed in the same gallery space for twenty-three years, it’s safe to say the owners of Fahey/Klein Gallery know a thing or two about Los Angeles’ changing artistic landscape.  We took a seat and listened to the expert – check out our video to hear what he had to say.

Ralph Gibson and Rasmus Mogensen’s work will be up at Fahey/Klein Gallery through December 5, 2009.  For more information, please call (323) 934-2250 or click here.

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Cole Sternberg Tells Us What He Knows…

Who knows what goes on within an artist’s mind? Well now we’re getting closer to knowing… Cole Sternberg, a quickly emerging local artist, has given us some valuable insights. 

Recently, we had the pleasure of suffering heat stroke, er… touring Sternberg’s (hot) Downtown studio in which he’s preparing for an upcoming show at the American University Museum and for a month-long residency with e105 Gallery and Art Lab 21 in Germany in August.  With a recent show at Kinsey/Desforges in Culver City under his belt, we were very excited to see what he’s got coming up and here we’re giving you a sneak peek at the man and his work. 

Born in Richmond, Virginia, Sternberg has lived in LA for five years, which almost makes him able to say he’s “from” here.  Working with oils, watercolors, and spray paint, his works have an organized chaos to them that’s actually quite appealing.  Once a lawyer, Sternberg uses many topical issues as his inspiration for his upcoming museum show and he’s also influenced by such variant art icons as Claude Monet and Cy Twombly.  From issues with the U.N. to a look at how Twitter helped shape the voting conflict in Iran, Sternberg’s pieces explore some rather dark places in a comprehensive, creative manner.   Needless to say, he’s one to watch (and we don’t just mean in our video interview)!

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From the ‘Streets’: New Orleans to LA

Last week, I was asked to accompany a friend to an art gallery opening in Beverly Hills. Getting dressed, I decided to step it up and wear khakis (so rare for LA, right?) and a pressed button down shirt with a nice thin summer sweater on top. I felt just right as I approached David Streets’ gallery on Little Santa Monica. I turned, smiling, to enter the soiree and saw that nearly every man inside was dressed in black tie: my jaw dropped.

It is customary in these situations to run away as quickly as possible before being stoned for any sub-par attire, but unfortunately I was trapped.  My “friend” assured me that I was fine and that there were other underdressed folk who also hadn’t gotten the memo. At the first sight of another pair of khakis, I relaxed and remembered I’m in LA – he who has never been underdressed in LA can cast the first stone.  I was safe. 

David Streets is one of the most interesting people I have met since living in Los Angeles. Originally from Louisville, Kentucky, he has a slight southern drawl that tends to calm you, allowing his eloquent vocabulary to flow smoothly. “When it comes to entertaining, black tie is the norm in the south,” he explained to me.

Returning to interview him the following week, I assumed he’d been in LA for years, especially considering the Oscar-esque crowd he drew. I was shocked to find that he has only lived here for three years. David began and built his career in New Orleans on Royal Street in the French Quarter over twenty years ago. He started as a director in a gallery and eventually worked his way up in the New Orleans art world to own a 22,000 square foot gallery space that represented 45 different artists. 

On August 28th, 2005 his world was turned upside down, along with hundreds of thousands of others, when Hurricane Katrina struck.  In something he could only describe as a scene from Armageddon, he found his gallery ravaged and stripped of all its artwork– even the toilets had been ripped from the floors. Ironically, his gallery’s neighborhood, the French Quarter, sat on a plateau in the center of the city and was untouched by the flood- instead it was destroyed by the animalistic behavior of looters and thieves.  

Struggling with the decision to leave New Orleans, he was approached by friend and sculptor Richard MacDonald about moving to Los Angeles to open a gallery for him. David hesitantly took the offer and moved to LA in December 2005 and he hasn’t left us yet..

He left Richard’s Gallery, among other ventures, to open his own gallery. He opened the doors to both of his new spaces last week. David Streets Gallery is composed of a contemporary art and photography space, as well as a traditional and conventional space with a truly diverse array of artwork. His gallery doesn’t feel empty like so many others in LA – there is a sense of hospitality in its character that makes you feel welcomed and appreciated.  

Overall, David has built an empire (though humbly he wouldn’t say so) of A-list clients and artists from around the world that all value his unique vision, praising the educational and exciting “experience” of art.  

Please check out the video interview to hear more about how he has secured his place in  LA’s art world.

- By Gray Malin

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