Sedona - the city of vortexes. You can immediately feel the spirally energy as you drive through the town. There's no stop sign crossroads and instead about two dozen round abouts on the main road. I arrived at nightfall and took a leisurely cruise throughout the village. Art galleries , psychics , metaphysical stores, and beautiful homes enclosed within a red rock mountain backdrop- a magical stage.
I drove past some galleries to peer into the windows at their displays. I'd love to show work here and want to find the perfect spot. I pass by one and find a bar behind it called The Full Moon Saloon. I pulled into the completely empty bar to grab a beer and utilize the wifi. The bartender is a super nice woman and I feel compelled to ask her what her creative passion is. She shows me her purse that she made out of an old pair of cowboy boots. I'm always delighted to see people using their creative energy into such a range of products.
I leave the bar in search of Bell Rock - one of the four main vortexes of energy in the town. Driving closer I felt a rush of electricity tingle down the back of my neck and down my spine. I felt the subtle hum of the atmosphere around me. I parked and got out of my car near the Bell Rock.
I awoke to the sunrise peaking through the mountain tops. These red mountains are incredible and Bell Rock was an astounding megalith to witness. I read about the Sedona vortexes , and one of the signifiers is the Juniper Trees.
They say that the Junipers are especially receptive to the swirling vortex energy , and will grow in a spiral pattern accordingly. The especially twisty ones show you where the highest frequency resides.
I had a beautiful morning hike - refreshed and inspired. I stopped to take a picture for an older couple who was hiking- "What a great start to a great morning," said the gentleman.
I ventured again through TJ's township checking out the beutiful homes surrounded by the fantastic scenery. I stopped by a chapel built into the middle of the cliff - a sight to behold.
After, I stopped by a coffee shop to watercolor and update my blog. Now I'm on the road again checking out galleries around town and then heading to Santa Fe.
Check out my website for new art on my gallery and stay tuned for my next discovery.
On the road again - cue Willy Nelson. Heading towards Phoenix and Sedona - and what a beautiful view. It was wild to consider this was the same 10 highway that cuts through LA. It's a much more relaxing drive and nice to be able to reach 75 mph during the day.
Along the route through Arizona, I saw the sign for a town called Quartzite and felt compelled to stop and see what this quartz talk was all about. I pulled off the highway past a gas station to take a driving break and notice a sparkly white rock in the ground. I picked it up and noticed another. Throughout the ground was white quartz and immediately reminded me of a dream I had a few weeks ago. I dreamt I was in Joshua Tree with my model and friend Kat Moss and we found ameythyst in the dirt road. I felt like a child picking up these cherished stones, excited to have gifts for my friends back home.
I drove left on a highway exit and saw a giant warehouse in front of me that read "CRYSTALS, STONE, FOSSILS" and was like hell to the F yas I'm gonna check this place out. Met this awesome woman named Deborah who told me about the new place and about some of the stones I was interested in. The choices were amazing and somewhat overwhelming, and the prices were fantastic. I'll definitely have to go back - I could start my own crystal store.
I found my pineapple sunglasses in my car and was delighted in the yellow filter they provided - making everything bright and happy. Pineapple illumination for realz.
Deborah , the crystal woman, went on and on about Sedona - my next destination. I could hardly wait to visit this magical place. Check out my next post for my Sedona adventure.
The land of the Joshua Tree and the illumination of the skies.
Today I begin my journey. Leaving behind my house in Venice Beach I head Eastward leaving the sunset behind me. My first stop in Joshua Tree, a magical desert land.
Art Los Angeles Contemporary is an annual contemporary art fair held at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica. The air was brimming with exciting new energy that we felt the moment we stepped out of our cars. An installation of white shoes greeted us in the lot. We politely stepped over a performer laying on the red carpet in a red bodysuit, an appropriate camouflage.
Breezing through the booths to get a feel for the fair in it's entirety, Shulamit Nazarian stood out amongst the crowd. As a Venice local, I am familiar with this hip new gallery and their youthful exuberant programming. I got the chance to speak with gallerist Shulamit and she informed me on their new location opening in Hollywood in less than a month.
“We're opening a new space, it's about 3,500 square feet. It's in Hollywood just south of Melrose on La Brea – used to be a car garage and has really been transformed. It has a buttress ceiling with a large exhibition space that we're very excited about.”-Shulamit Nazarian
I asked her about the changing LA art scene and the strategic decision behind opening the new location in Hollywood.
“I feel that a lot of cutting edge, really contemporary art galleries are moving into Hollywood and that area. With the issue of traffic, it is nice for the art audience to be able to hit as many galleries as they can in one day. We feel that can help us all.” -Shulamit Nazarian
I was curious to hear more about Shulamit and her background in art.
“I am an architect and Iranian transfer to America. I always thought it was nice to learn about people through their history, heritage, and culture. I felt contemporary art was the best medium to be able to expose your ideas and your thoughts – whether they are futuristic or looks to the past. I felt these were important messages to be given through the medium of art.” -Shulamit
We finished the conversation talking about her roster of artists and the qualities they share. She explained her interests in her artists and the inaugural exhibition opening at Shulamit Nazarian Hollywood.
“Most of our artists are interested in their identity and politics. They all share that in one way or another and carry those ideas out in their work. February 18 is our new opening. It's called “Escape Attempts” curated by Kathy Battista. Our inaugural show of seven female artists that are talking about feminism and minimalism and how artists are looking back at minimalist history and how it has been primarily male dominant. These women are taking these ideas and the identity - how they feel it. It's going to be a very dynamic show - seven women from very different backgrounds – New York, LA, Germany – and yet they share a vision. “
Walking around the fair was both exhilarating and highly stimulating. We strolled the white-walled labyrinth in quest for the visionary best. Honor Fraser made for the best utilization of space with their colorful minimalist installation by Victoria Fu. Dan Levenson's installation at Susanne Vielmetter schooled us on the history of art. Yautepec from Mexico City streamlined their artist roster in two digital touch screen catalogues, almost like an Amazon for expensive art. Mixographia print gallery showed off their faux-metal multimedia paper prints by Ed Ruscha, "CASH FOR TOOLS." Michael Benevento Gallery gets the award for strangest sight with the work "Nude Shoe" by Martin Solo Clement. Jamie Warren, the gregarious goofball of the art world made an appearance at The Hole Gallery from NYC. Jenny Holzer's words cut like swords in an auspicious print edition on display at Alden Projects from NY.
Luis De Jesus gallery from Los Angeles pushed conceptual boundaries while still exhibiting work that is aesthetically beautiful and reminds us that painting is not dead, and neither is craft. The large cyanotypes by Lia Halloran were both impressive in scale and technique. Using cyanotype chemicals, one of the oldest photographic techniques, she created prints from her paintings on vellum that honor women's achievements in astronomy. Her celestial cyanotypes not only honor female scientists, but also reference Anna Atkins - the first major female photographer who created a series of cyanotypes of her fern collection. Cyanotype is a process of using chemicals that are photo sensitive such as Potassium Ferricyanide and painting them to paper in the dark. Once dried, the paper is then exposed to sunlight with a negative of some kind, and the resulting print is revealed by washing the paper in water. Halloran's work honors the sun, the photographic process, and the history of female achievement in a cohesive and captivating aesthetic.
David Lynch's small works on paper lined the booth walls of Kayne Griffin Corcoran's booth like a neo-classical French salon. Using watercolors, graphite, and other drawing mediums, he creates hauntingly beautiful scenes that flow together to create dark and mysterious storyboard. Genevieve from KGC gave me a brief history of David Lynch's art practice:
"We have a solo presentation of David Lynch's works on paper from the past decade and also two sculptures. He went to art school in the 1960's and created a works on paper, paintings, sculptures, and photography simultaneously with his film career. In fact, it predates his film career. He wanted to create a moving painting and so he created a painting and overlapped a film on top of it and that kind of began his film career - 3-dimensional painting. He thinks of them as separate activities but they are all in the same world, the same language. "
Ever Gold projects, based out of San Francisco, exhibited a duo show by artists Petra Collins and Petra Cortright. This Petra-fying display brought simple and colorful imagery to the fair, creating a meditative space amongst the cacophony of the crowds. It was a pleasant surprise to see Petra Collin's photography in person, she is quite the Instagram celebrity and I have been following her work for years now. Not only were the images serene, by the large printing and framing was museum grade quality. Presentation was key and further enhanced the work. I spoke with Andrew from EVP and he gave me the run down on the Petra/Petra duet:
"This is a two-person booth of Petra Collins and Petra Cortright, two artists that I have been working with for a while. We though it would be fun to do a Petra/Petra booth, they're both friends and their work is reminiscent of each other. They both have an interesting aspect of their career working in fashion: Cortright has done videos for Stella McCartney , Collins has worked with Gucci and Adidas."
I was especially interested in Collins work and wanted to hear more about her art career.
"She is a 24 year old artist originally from Toronto. She started working for Richard Currin when she was 15 and then started working for Ryan McGinley when she moved to New York. Through that, she has always been involved with fashion and editorial but also art too, obviously. So, for her, everything else is an extension of her art practice. It's a very contemporary outlook, everything comes together. The traditional boundaries got broken down, and its great to work with two really incredible young female artists."
Exclusive behind the scenes look at making of "When Everything Is Wrong I Feel At Home" music video for The Leisure Boys // Director of Photography: Morgan Cooper // Creative Director: Mark Allen // Starring: Kat Von Rich
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O R A C L E is home to some of the finest curios and mystical artifacts in the midwest. Carrie, Alessandra, and Jane are the three magnificent women behind the operation and our favorite contemporary Sanderson sisters. As they invite you into their little shop of horrors, light streams in from the West and South through the large open windows facing the corner of W.18th and Wyandotte.
Two beautiful taxidermy peacocks guard the front entrance, the aroma of palo santo and sandalwood seduces your senses. An array of curiousities has you gaze spinning in circles. Skulls, a taxidermy bear, a collection of giant selenite crystals, and a beautifully intricate snake skeleton all grab your attention. You have entered the magical realm of ORACLE and you will be forever transfixed in this witchy wonderland.
BIRD-LIKE is a multi-media project created by Mark Allen (director), Cooper Ottum (composer), and Cara Strever (animator). The musical score is inspired by the illustrations and writings of John James Audubon (1785-1851) who extensively observed the birds of North America. In his writings, he personified the various species. The flock draws correlation to people and their patterns of governance. The vulture garbles it's carrion feast, the woodpecker creates his rhythmic tune, and the nuthatch dances in a mad erratic way. The cardinals mate for life and renews the sense of divine provenance. The parasitic seeks out other's nests, and lays it's egg to be another birds burden. This strange and exciting performance combines the music of a 5 piece quintet (2 violins, viola, cello, and piano), bird characters weaving strange narratives, and colorful animations that bring it all together. Watch the full video below.
PHOTOS BY JUSTIN RODIER