Monday, January 7, 2008

Los Angeles, CA: Whitewater rafting down the Los Angles River

Lu dances disco on Alex's illuminated coffee table; Lula poses with Alex's Scarface garden jaguar

Lu, Pete, Phillip and I took a ride in the ole benzy down highway 5 on Friday for a weekend in Los Angeles, a city previously marked with personal disdain. After driving though two separate rainstorms we made it to Alex's place near Griffith Park near midnight. His house is really quite something! Even though it is a major fire hazard it sure is cool! We went to a corny Italian restaurant - decorated in the style of "Alfredo's Christmas Grotto" where we met the lovely Daniella. During our time here we encountered what would be the most mysterious element of our trip: a man who couldn't stop fainting. When Pete opened the door of the restaurant a man, whom we hear is named Steve!, fell backwards, blocking the entrance with his dead weight. I wanted to call the call the ambulance but his wife said he would be fine. Once seated moments later we hear him crashing into one of the faux-Roman columns. The ambulance eventually came and carted our man away leaving us alone, surrounded by tromp l'oil murals of gondola life. We ate dinner, Alex and Pete sucked down a couple of Blue Electrics at a tiki bar before last call and we headed to Alex's for a toke and a game of charades that lasted until the wee hours of the morning. We slept in on Saturday and Alex, Phillip and I got brunch at an LA kind of place. We had originally intended to go to the Museum of Jurassic Technology but alas, it was closed. We went to the "fashion district" in downtown LA. I bought seamed stockings and fishnets for my upcoming show (info to follow). We walked around Venice Beach so Alex could check out a new craigslist place. We went to Melrose. In the evening we went to Phillip's friends' gallery show at the bar/space Mandrake. This was the impetus for our trip (see press release below). We saw some fantastic wallpaper! We went to dinner, to Daniella's friends house, to a bar, then back to Alex's for a truncated rehash of the previous night. Sunday morning we all went for a long brunch at a hidden place called Cliffside in the charming neighborhood of Silver Lake. We made a quick stop at the store Y Que to buy Sasha a gift but it was sold out (I bought it online when I got home). Then we hit the road. I think the following photographs will illustrate the above better. The only thing missing from the collection is a shot of Steve.

Venice Beach

Venice Beach

Emily with her wallpaper; my favorite wallpaper (jaw bones); Phillip with Willis' wallpaper

Alex posing in Sasha's new shirt; Alex in his tented guest room

yours truly in sitting room of master bedroom; view from master br to living room

All in all it was a lovely trip. I feel like I hate LA less. I would like to return someday - if only to see those sepulchral lamps!

Vera Neykov/Robin Willis
Press Release
January 5th, 2008 - February 7th, 2008
Opening reception: Saturday, January 5th, 6-9pm

Ruffles & Rot

Ruffles & Rot is a group exhibition curated by Vera Neykov and Robin
Willis. 16 artists were asked to create wallpaper patterns focusing on
themes of decay, death and decadence. Their interpretations range from
social through historical to biological. The surface of the wallpaper,
and the patterns illustrated, are presented through an array of
techniques including images, drawings and words.

While wallpaper has a history almost as long as architecture, it is
disconnected from it because wallpaper is simply ornamental. Unlike
architecture, it serves a meaningless function of decoration. It is
excessive, indulgent and even decadent. Wallpaper has been applied as
a term to creative efforts that are all surface without substance. It
suggests a lack of depth, rigor and integrity. It attempts nothing
else but to be beautiful and enhance its surroundings. However, some
may say ornament has a function: It symbolically identifies space
through decoration, motif and illustration, much like the furniture
and objects within the rooms.

Wallpaper and decay have a specific history. Wallpaper is dated, it
stood still as the world moved on. It symbolized class, wealth and
taste in the past. With its decline in use, it began to decay, along
with the houses that display it.

Ruffles & Rot seeks to inject ornamentation with content and meaning,
while maintaining wallpaper's original, decorative purpose.

Artists included are: Cab Broskoski, Ian Burnley, George Christian,
Willis Elkins, Griffin Frazen, Phillip Gabriel, Emily Grenader,
Mei-Ling Hubbard, Billy Jacobs, Louise Ma, Lansing-Dreiden,
Tim Riccio, Scott Schwartz, Alex Spain-Strombom, Jessica

For more information please contact Vera Neykov or Robin Willis at
310.866.2326 .

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