So I was on the phone with my pal Mary the other day and we were talking about how, between our respective work deadlines and obligations, and taking care of our quadruped loved ones, we essentially never went out anymore. “I mean it’s not as if we’ll ever catch up...Read More »
Young Caesar is born of a certain moment – a definably Californian, forward- and global-looking moment. In Lou Harrison’s music and the awkwardly framed conceits of its libretto by Robert Gordon, there is yearning, rather than the ‘ambition’ we might associate with the subject: yearning for an idyll of serenity,...Read More »
It says something that you need not one, but two actors to play Norman Mailer in a performance that places him at the center of a cultural moment he could hardly have held without the connivance of a media machinery he had masterfully charmed and manipulated for almost a decade...Read More »
The Los Angeles Opera’s co-production of Mozart’s The Abduction From the Seraglio (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), which closed February 19th, updated the action of this singspiel from its original mid- to late-18th century Ottoman Turkish setting, when the Ottoman Empire had reached its greatest extent in central Europe (pressing...Read More »
They gaze at us with supreme confidence. They are gods after all, aren’t they? Or leaders certainly – leaders of men. That is to say, soldiers – and they are all men, though anatomical details beyond the head are concealed beneath those often strikingly well-tailored uniforms. Not a Leni Riefenstahl...Read More »
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It’s Halloween and it’s about time I finished my walk-through of Guillermo del Toro’s reconfigured ‘Bleak House’ home/office/inspiration space in the Art of the Americas Building at LACMA. What, after all, could have been keeping me so long? Maybe I simply needed a return visit – having gotten lost in...Read More »
Weightless line, transparent plane, unbroken horizon, and the constructive dilemma: the art of Brian Rea
You probably know Brian Rea’s work even if you’re not familiar with his name. In fact, it’s probable that you do know his name by now because his illustrations seem to be almost everywhere from book jackets and frontispieces to half the magazines you pick up, and even tote bags....Read More »
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The beginning of another arts and culture season also marks a point where we really start to feel the impact of everything we’ve been experiencing over the preceding orbital/calendar year and start to take its measure. Events move swiftly; you can feel as if you’re stepping onto a speeding train...Read More »
It’s the first post-Labor Day week-end and we’re approaching mid-September, which means one thing in Los Angeles (and New York, too, I guess – as we head into Fashion Week) – the start of the new arts and entertainment season. LACMA just unveiled an elegant exhibition of the crème de...Read More »
I have a confession. At some point between Graduation and 2010 or 2011 (whenever he last recorded with Katy Perry), I lost track of Kanye West. Yes, of course I was peripherally aware of what he might be doing, whether in terms of his own planned record releases or his...Read More »
We live very close to horror in the early 21st century. But then I wonder how much has really changed since, say, the 1940s (although the northern 75 percent or so of the North American continent was relatively at peace during the 20th century up to that time). The 19th...Read More »
Roughly a generation separates me from artist-curator Joshua Nathanson; but we clearly live in very similar moments in very similar cities. (My understanding is that he is based here in L.A., but he was born in Washington, D.C. and studied in New York prior to grad school so there’s definitely...Read More »
In the late 1970s there was a running joke surrounding Francis Ford Coppola’s much anticipated, but disaster-plagued and seemingly endless Vietnam War-as-American Heart of Darkness project, Apocalypse Now. While Michael Cimino’s Heaven’s Gate was already bleeding United Artists of money, Apocalypse Now seemed to bleed time. ‘Apocalypse When?’ peers, press...Read More »
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Jorge Gutierrez and Mexrrissey: Crossing Borders and Reinventing Culture – or How Mexican Art and Music Saved My Life Again
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So I’m at brunch at Figaro (on Vermont) with two of my best (and one of my oldest) friends from out-of-town; and we’re actually sitting outside on the hottest day of the year (I’m imagining the wait-staff making bets on my imminent demise). There’s a very tea-in-the-Sahara vibe –...Read More »
The art world has been revisiting issues of identity and identity politics in recent months (see, e.g., the current issue of ArtForum), which had their own ‘second wave’ in the late 20th century borne largely upon the convergence of conceptualism, especially in its multi-media manifestations, and feminism (as both feminist...Read More »
While much of the focus on Ramiro Gomez’s new show at Charlie James Gallery, and Gomez’s work generally, has been on labor – as subject and focal point; as a device re-framing public discourse around the subject; as the un- or under-addressed component of its surround or background...Read More »