The Buddha’s of artist Metis Atash took the L A Art Show by storm. Covered in nearly 20 thousand Swarovski crystals, her Buddha’s radiated light in every direction, enticing patrons to take countless photos and videos of her sculptures. JD Miller of the Dallas based Samuel Lynne Galleries, was a fantastic host on both days of our visit to the art show.
We were there opening night, and then again on the fourth and final day of the show. Opening night was fun and very conversational with several gallery owners and artists. Therefore, we didn’t make it to every booth. So we returned early Sunday morning and made our way to the booths that we’d missed. Our last stop was back were we’d begun… at the Buddha’s!
Atash sculpts in fiberglass, covers her creations with acrylic paint, and then meticulously bathes each piece by hand in upwards of 20,000 Swarovski crystals. The completed works can be an homage to icons like Chanel, Lichtenstein, Warhol, or Hirst, with a zen vibe rooted in Daoism. Her artwork has been exhibited in select galleries throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe, and has been featured in Vogue, Elle Decor, Architectural Digest and Haute Living. And most recently her work has been seen on CNBC’s the Secret Lives of the Super Rich.
If one of these beautiful creations is in your future, then reach out to Samuel Lynne Galleries in Dallas and tell them Romi sent you.
Halloween in Hancock Park is unlike anything you’ve ever seen. If you’re not familiar with Hancock Park, and neighboring Windsor Square, it’s because it’s one of LA’s best kept secrets.
The affluent neighborhood was founded in the early 1920’s by developer – philanthropist George Allan Hancock, and includes roughly 1200 homes. The homes tend to be architecturally significant, sitting on palatial lots, frequently with guest homes and pools tucked behind them. And when it comes to Halloween, these magnificent homes are frequently decorated to the nines. Why? Because trick or treaters come flocking to these homes by the thousands… and I’m not exaggerating. I’ve seen it first hand year after year.
The magic starts at sundown, with the youngest goblins strolling in. As the moon rises in the night sky, the streets get more and more crowded. The lines outside each home can be 50 to 100 deep, with zombie cheerleaders, biker babies and little mermaids filling their bags with some of the best candy south of Melrose avenue. One of my clients who lives in the neighborhood told me he spends on average of $500 a year, or more, on candy. With numbers like that, maybe I should be donning a mask and making the rounds too… kidding. Seriously tho, It’s so much fun to see so many happy faces making the rounds, awed by the Disney-esk mansions. Maybe someday when they’re older, they’ll come to truly appreciate theses grand Mediterranean and Spanish Revival homes for their architecture… but for now, it’s all about the Candy.
I LOVED the recent art exhibition of Michael Muller and Sage Vaughn. I’ve been aware of Sage’s paintings for years, but I’ve never had the opportunity to see his work in person. This recent exhibit featured Vaughn’s painting over the photographic images of Michael Muller. Most images were 48″ x 60″ and some as large as 60″ x 90″, ranging in price from $16,000 – $22,000. I was elated to see so many red sold dots on the pieces.
Over the last decade Sage has had multiple solo shows, from New York to London to Germany and Geneva. There have also been several group exhibitions from Los Angeles to London, San Francisco to Belgium… it’s safe to say, Sage is everywhere. I wish I would have known about his work a decade ago, as it might have been a bit more affordable. But that’s what drives prices up: the international solo shows and a list of top notch collectors.
As an artist, I’ve been very enamored by Sage’s use of the Butterfly, combined with his drip paint technique. Below you can view a YouTube mural making video that I created in 2014 inspired directly by his paintings. I have no idea if he’s ever seen my work, but I do hope that he would be flattered and not offended by my interpretation of his beautiful fine art.
The 79th Annual Chinatown Moon Festival was a happy accident for me. I’d recently gone to LA’s Chinatown to do a little research on Chinoiserie Architecture, when I noticed that many of the buildings were trimmed in neon. I can only imagine how much work it must have taken to do that, so I promised myself I’d come back the following Saturday right after work, so that I could see the neon at dusk. Well, when I arrived there were signs and banners everywhere for a festival. I asked the parking attendant ‘what festival’? The Moon Festival he exclaimed. Ugh, I thought. So many people everywhere… maybe I’ll come back another day. I’m so glad that I decided to stay.
As the evening progressed, it got more and more enchanting. Children were everywhere laughing and screaming, throwing confetti into the air. There were performers on stage including a contortionist. Food trucks were parked along an alley way, so I dove into a rice and raw salmon burrito wrapped in a paper thin shell. Overall I spent nearly nearly 2 hours at the festival, soaking in the pure joy of it.
Have you ever heard of the book The Artist Way? It helps people get in touch with their creativity, and one of their exercises is to have an ‘artist date night’ with yourself. Well, the annual Moon Festival turned out to be my artist date night. There’s something so wonderful about being a silent observer, letting an evening evolve as it may. After I left the festival, I took the long route home through downtown LA, via Broadway. I finally saw the iconic Bradbury Building at 304 S. Broadway, an 1893 landmark with a skylit atrium. Next up was the recently restored Eastern Columbia Building at 849 S. Broadway. It’s a smashing 39 story blue terra-cotta structure that looks absolutely divine at night. I literally was stopped at the light and looked over and voila! There it was.
Sometimes there’s nothing more satisfying then getting lost in your hometown, all by yourself. No rushing from place to place, just enjoying whatever pops up in front of you, letting the evening unfold. If you haven’t done this lately, I highly recommend it. You just never know what you might discover in your own city, or more importantly, about yourself.
The Coca Cola Building in Downtown Los Angeles is a Beautiful example of Streamline Moderne. I’ve seen photos of this building online for years, and finally made the trek into the industrial area of downtown LA to see it for myself. There are so many beautiful details that I discovered in person. One surprise was the color of the building. I’d assumed it was bright white, however, in person it was a soft tan color with the striking red and black stripe along the bottom.
Built in 1939 by architect Robert V. Derrah, who also built Crossroads of the World in Hollywood – considered to be America’s first outdoor mall, the permanently moored streamliner features beautiful porthole windows, a catwalk and a bridge. It was declared a Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monument in 1975, number 138. I absolutely love the attention to details with the rivets around the windows, and along the top of the building. And that lone door near the rear is pretty amazing too.
I would love to see inside one of these days, but tours are not allowed inside the building. I recommend checking it out on a quiet Saturday or Sunday to avoid heavy traffic along Central Avenue, 1414 S. Central Avenue to be exact. Oh, and in case you wondering… yes, they still produce Coca Cola at this location and it’s surrounding buildings. Maybe that’s why there aren’t any tours, Trade Secrets!