You know those Hollywood tour vans you see riding around the city? They’re always full of windblown tourists with some sort of listening device strapped to their heads and a dazed look of both wonderment and confusion likely the result of whiplash. No locals we know have ever taken those tours because we have no need to and, even if we wanted to for kitsch value, the cost of attendance is way too expensive for the sake of an OK laugh. There are so many tour guide brands now, too: there’s a TMZ tour, there’s a Madame Tussaud’s tour, a Mercedes tour, a “Rockin’ Hollywood” tour, and so many others. You really have to define a niche for yourself if you want to attract more than just bored visitor eyes. Dearly Departed Tours has carved a unique (albeit morbid) corner of the market that is one part Esotouric, one part Hollywood fame chasing: they give van tours of celebrity death locations, mapping their lives in LA until their famous or even obscure end. The company has fairly recently launched a video series that sees owner Scott Michaels giving these tours of sometimes literal local haunts to the camera. It’s a fascinating series and his latest on James “Jimmy” Dean is particularly memorable.
This past week artist Urs Fischer needed help making clay objects for his upcoming April 21 through August 19 MOCA show. The happening circulated around online all week and we were very intrigued by the idea of doing an all day clay play with Urs Fischer, featuring a catered lunch with his personal chef. We signed up with little expectations outside of making clay things for a few hours. What was the happening? An insane (in a good way) clay free for all loosely moderated by Team Urs. It also functioned as a very, very loose preview for the show as there doesn’t seem like that much more can go into it as almost the entire floor (and some walls) of the MOCA Geffen space is covered in clay creatures and the dust they give off as they age.
Rios Clementi Hale Studios is a Larchmont Village based architecture studio who have been up to a lot lately. Even if you don’t know their name, you definitely know their work. For example, they were the people in charge of redoing the Hollywood & Vine Metro courtyard. They also headed the making of Downtown’s Grand Park, made Woodbury University a new studio building, and renovated the Century City Westfield Mall. They’re doing everything! They also have quite a local residential projects too, which they bring an equal amount of innovation and creativity to as well. Their House Of Love (Biet Ha-Ahava) is a shining example of their work placed onto a really unique yet modern home project. Who wouldn’t want to live in a house “wrapped in love”?
Fleurette West sits on the patio of the house she lives in. She eats a bowl full of fresh fruit as she casually reads over an issue of Slake that she found while cleaning. She doesn’t live far from Figueroa Street in Highland Park and very much enjoys the part of town that she’s found herself in. The neighborhood and city have had a large influence on her work as a painter, too.
“I feel pushed by the city and I feel like my art, in a sense, is pushing the city back. I’m not sure if that’s okay, though,” she says. “I’ve lived in Highland Park for a few years now and, at this point, I feel engaged enough with this community to make art about it. Whereas, a few years ago when I first moved here I felt like I wasn’t quite in that position. I am saying something about these spaces–and it is critical. It is not necessarily negative–but it is critical. As artists, we have a responsibility to make sure we own what we say.”
Weekend before Coachella, eh? Well, why don’t we all cram every fucking thing in the world in this weekend! Literally: everything is happening this weekend. We thought Los Angeles would be having a chilled out weekend! Nope: the exact opposite. You’re going to need to know how to navigate this weekend. So, CHECK THE RECAP!!