When I visited artist Ron Piller at his studio in Torrance, California, I was welcomed by the sound of Julio Iglesias. The music filled the space between paintings and dried resin spattered on the floor, the resin startling me each time I mistook it for broken glass. Nice music, I said.
“Julio sold a lot of dresses for me. The women would come in [to the store] and I would have Julio,” Piller said, dancing slightly to imitate the women of his father’s clothing store.
“So my sister gave me this cello a couple years ago. It’s a nice cello. Actually, it’s a great cello. It’s probably the best cello, but I don’t really know much about cellos. Also the neck snapped off. Of the cello.”
Actress Dana DeLorenzo whines these words out while crawling on a worn couch, wearing yoga pants and a cut off tee, dipping her finger in a jar of peanut butter and telling you, in between each finger-scooped bite, how “you could saw the front of the [cello] and use it as a sled. Or give the neck to a baby as like a wizard stick for Christmas.” Free Cello is a Craigslist post performed by DeLorenzo in John Pick’s Best of Craigslist: LIVE, inspired by Pick’s Funny or Die video series Best of CraigslistA.
British photographer Terry O’Neill boasts more than six decades taking photos but not just of any ordinary subjects. He’s clicked his camera at some of the most recognizable faces from Winston Churchill to Nicole Kidman–oh, and every single actor to play James Bond.
• an activity in which one does something oneself or on one’s own initiative
• a public presentation or exhibition
• a boundless three-dimensional extent in which objects and events occur and have relative position and direction
• marked by similarity among or with the members of a group
In its three short years of existence the Los Angeles based experimental art collective known as Human Resources Los Angeles (HRLA) has remained true to the definitions above. Founded in May of 2010 by siblings Kathleen Kim and Eric Kim, the HRLA mission is to foster and broaden public engagement with contemporary experimental and conceptual art. Located at 410 Cottage Home Street in the Chinatown district of downtown Los Angeles, one enters the space through a sliding metal door and into a small entry way, which leads to the perfect space…rectangular, high ceiling, concrete floor, white walls…a non-stylized and acoustically “live” environment awaiting transformation by an artist.
Like so many good things in Southern California, the California Scenario is next door to a TGIFridays. I recently made the pilgrimage to Orange County to spend the weekend with extended family, and having already visited the OCMA’s Richard Jackson exhibition and spent several misty mornings at Rudolf Schindler’s Lovell Beach House, I was looking for a new escape. That could very well have meant a trip to South Coast Plaza Mall but, thanks to a photographer friend’s recommendation, it led me instead to a hidden sculpture garden in Costa Mesa, designed by Isamu Noguchi in 1980.
Across from the aforementioned mall, the California Scenario is nested between several tall, mirrored office buildings of the postmodern variety, accessible by a pathway between the parking lot of a steakhouse and that place where you can go enjoy a Tropicalada© after you take in the art. Like so many special art experiences, this one takes some finding.