Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Head Mistress: Susan Claassen bring's Edith Head's Hollywood to Life!

HEAD MISTRESS: SUSAN CLAASSEN BRINGS EDITH HEAD'S HOLLYWOOD TO LIFE!  Every now and then, something comes along that draws you into another world -- a world seemingly lost in time and yet so vividly alive in our imaginations that you wish somehow it would be real, indeed. Well, for those of us who just love anything and everything about the Golden Era of Hollywood (ranging from the silent film era of the 1920s to the late 1950s depending on who you ask) something very special is coming to Southern Californina -- and it's A Conversation with Edith Head -- a critically-acclaimed one-woman production starring Susan Claassen as the most famous costume designer of all time Edith Head. Even celebrities who've worked with and have known Head (see interview below) practically swear that Claassen's take on Head is spot-on in every way -- so much so that they too feel as though the toughest lady to ever work the studios was in their midsts once again. (In the photos above, Claassen is pictured with Joan Rivers and Tippi Hedren -- and there's a photo of Ms. Head with Doris Day!) Seeing as how most of the dialogue in the play is taken directly from Head's own words, it's no wonder that audiences have been entranced by Claassen's performance. We encourage you to visit the play's site to learn more and to get tickets to shows at the Santa Barbara Center Stage (November 2 - 4); the Pasadena Playhouse Carrie Hamilton Theater (November 8 - December 1); or at Working Wardrobes in Costa Mesa (December 4 & 5). Since this production by Claassen and Head's biographer Paddy Calistro is so engaging and so filled with stories, gossip and insight into a studio system that no longer exists, we hardly know where to begin to describe it. So, we went to the top! Below is an exclusive Studio of Style interview with the star herself -- and we look forward to her Pasadena performance as well.  Won't you join us and take a fashionable stroll down Hollywood's memory lane and experience a great night of live theater? You will? Fabulous! By the way, for all you pet lovers (yes!) the opening night in Pasadena on November 9 will benefit the Motion Picture and Television Fund's Pet Care Program (Head herself once said that "Animals are my best friends, always have been."). So get your tickets, pick out a nifty ensemble to wear and we'll see you there!

Studio of Style: When you first began preparing yourself to portray Edith Head many years ago, what was the first aspect of her personality or mannerisms that you recall perfecting? How did the rest fall into place from there?

Claassen: I first got the idea to create a theatrical presentation when I was watching a television biography. I contacted Edith's estate and they granted me permission to pursue this project. I madly read anything I could find and when I came upon Paddy Calistro's 1983 book, Edith Head's Hollywood, I decided to attempt to locate its author. I called telephone information for where I thought Paddy lived and, voila!, she was listed. I placed the phone call and it was kismet. At our first meeting in Los Angeles we knew the connection was right and we agreed to collaborate.

With Paddy’s connections we received the blessings of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. They prepared a reel of film clips of Miss Head’s appearances and I was able to study her physical traits: the way she walked, a tilt of the head, how she gestured -- really, how she carried herself.  I also studied her speech patterns and rhythms.  She had been a school teacher so she had distinct way of speaking -- clipped and to the point!  I worked with a voice and movement coach in order to constantly perfect the details of her mannerisms and vocal qualities. My studying is ongoing.

I remember seeing Edith Head on television when I was a child. I was aware of her work when I would see the film credit “Gowns by Edith Head” but I wasn’t really aware of her as a person. Some of the common misconceptions are that she lacked a sense of humor and that she was rigid. You rarely hear about her charitable efforts and her kindness and mentoring of other designers. She was extremely charitable and provided many opportunities for other designers. In fact, she was one of the founders of the Costume Designers Guild and an early member of Fashion Group International -- 1935. 

Studio of Style: You were given access to 13 hours of taped interviews with Ms. Head.  Was there anything about her, based on those tapes, that struck you more so than anything else?

Claassen: Paddy had not only written the book but had inherited 13 hours of taped interviews with Edith Head - it was truly a gift from heaven. We can honestly say that A Conversation with Edith is based upon the words and thoughts of Edith Head -- the ‘Edith-isms'. In hearing her speak, it struck me how bright she was -- and she did not suffer fools lightly. She had to keep up a strong exterior in order to mask her vulnerability. Her longevity is a direct result of her tenacity. Paddy and I have worked very hard to create an intimate portrait that reveals the complexity of this fascinating woman.

Studio of Style: Because your portrayal of Ms. Head is so uncannily realistic, have people (especially Hollywood insiders or celebrities) who've known her or worked with her made some interesting comments of particular note?

Claassen: I know I'm not Edith. And the audience knows I'm not Edith Head. But there's a shared moment. Everybody can remember a film they saw, or a date they had, or the first time they saw the film credit “Gowns by Edith Head” or the first time they saw Grace Kelly in the gorgeous gown, or Elizabeth Taylor in the A Place in the Sun dress. It brings back something that in some way touched them. And that is a connection that I just treasure.

Norman Lear and Barbara Rush, who both worked with Head on Come Blow Your Horn, came to see us and said, “You are more Edith than Edith!”  Jean-Pierre Dorléac, a costume designer who was one of Edith's contemporaries, came to opening night and said, "I just felt I was with my friend again."
The list goes on from Joan Rivers to Anthony Powell to Tippi Hedren to Elke Sommer to Kate Burton (Richard Burton's daughter) who said, “I am having an out of body experience. I used to come to your fittings ‘Miss Head’ with my step-mom!”
Studio of Style: How do you prepare yourself for this role before going onstage each night?
Claassen: I’m very disciplined. I study the script every day. I listen to her interviews. Arrive at the theater two hours before curtain to slowly and thoroughly get into Miss Head’s “head” -- it is a wonderful time and very precious to me. I have my rituals that I go through like eating the same thing prior to every performance. It is an awesome responsibility to keep someone’s legacy alive and I embrace that wholeheartedly.

Studio of Style: Have there ever been moments, while onstage, when the expectations from the audience and their desire to believe and your desire to deliver Ms. Head for them resulted in transcendental moments where you've felt as though reincarnation had happened?

Claassen: I feel every moment to be transcendent - not a reincarnation but a shared moment in time. We set the play in 1981 during the making of her last film, Carl Reiner’s Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid starring Steve Martin. She died two weeks after the wrap of the film and the film is dedicated to her. Throughout the play, we see glimpses of a woman who has outlived all her contemporaries and is wrestling with a lifetime of memories and regrets. It is some those vulnerable moments that resonate so deeply.

Studio of Style: Are there particular mannerisms of Ms. Head's that you do onstage that only insiders, perhaps, would catch or notice?

Claassen: I have studied her mannerisms like the way she tilted her head or posed for photos and it seems to pass the test of industry insiders!

Studio of Style: Is there a greater message about the long-lasting career of Ms. Head that those looking for careers themselves in Hollywood can learn from?

Claassen: Edith paved the way for all costume designers. Edith was an executive woman before there was such a thing! It was a “boy’s club” when she started in 1923. Women in the Unites Stated had just recently got the vote, if you can imagine. It has been said that Edith had the instincts of a pastry chef and the authority of a factory foreman. She herself said, “I knew I was not a creative design genius…I am a better diplomat than I am a designer...I was never going to be the world’s greatest costume designer, but there was no reason I could not be the smartest and most celebrated.”  She knew how to play the game better than anyone. Her concern really was to change actors into characters. Edith said, “I make people into what they are not - ten years older or younger, fatter or thinner, more handsome or more ridiculous, glamorous or sexy or horrible.  The camera never lies, after all, so my work is really an exercise in camouflage.” She was women with a great heart, a great sense of humor and great, great determination.
Studio of Style: Of all your global performances for this play over the years, has there been an especially notable one that you'll always remember?

Claassen: Every audience is notable and remarkable. From our first night in London when Dame Cleo Laine came to my student matinees -- each opportunity is a blessing.

Studio of Style: What do you want theater-goers to walk away with from this play or from your performance that they didn't necessarily have when they walked through the theater doors that evening?

Claassen: The audience response has been amazing. From Tbilisi to Edinburgh to Chicago audiences have been touched by Edith’s story.  What they take with them after having seen the performance is truly dependent on what they bring to it. Film buffs get immersed in  hearing stories from someone who has lived through the evolution of contemporary film; older audiences remember always seeing the closing credits, “Gowns by Edith Head”  and it evokes a bygone era; and younger audiences think of the Pixar animated film The Incredibles and Edna Mode, designer to the super heroes. The universal response is summed up by a note I received from a fan: “My friend saw the show on Saturday and adored it. He said the same as me -- i.e, if someone mentions Edith Head to me now, my first reaction will be to say "Oh yes, I met her once and it was unforgettable!"

Pasadena Playhouse Tickets click here.
Images courtesy Susan Claassen.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

October 28 & 29, 1957: Elvis Presley has L.A. All Shook Up!

OCTOBER 28 & 29, 1957: ELVIS PRESLEY HAS L.A. ALL SHOOK UP! -- It was one of those defining moments in rock 'n roll history -- that is, depending on which night you were there! Elvis was at a golden high in 1957: the classic film Jailhouse Rock was about to open nationally on November 18; and the Elvis hits All Shook Up and (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear were burning up the radio airwaves. So when Elvis hit Los Angeles for two performances at the now-long-gone Pan Pacific Auditorium on Beverly Boulevard, there was Elvis-mania all over town for 1950's biggest music star. But after the first night's show, all hell broke loose in L.A. the next day!! Newspaper reporter Dick Williams of the Mirror-News thought the entire thing was obscene! "The madness reached its peak at the finish," he reported, "with Hound Dog. Elvis writhed in complete abandon, hair hanging over his face. He got down on the floor with a huge replica of the RCA singing dog (Nipper) and made love to it as if it were a girl." WOW -- now that musta been some show! Obscene? Hardly! Sexy? Yes!! You gotta remember that up until Elvis hit the music scene, the world had yet to see a white male performer quite like him -- gyrating all over and shaking every part of his body -- love it! Okay, so Elvis was indeed rolling across the stage that night -- and he did hug the little doggy statue (shown in upper middle right photo) very, very tight indeed -- but hey, kids, this was rock 'n roll, but no one really knew it at the time.  Of course Little Richard (whom Elvis once attributed as being the real "king") was already gyrating and cavorting onstage in blatantly sexual overtones -- but you gotta remember that nice white kids weren't really going in droves to Little Richard's shows, thus Elvis was as wild as it got in those days! Well, to Elvis' defense, singer Gordon Stoker of the famed Jordanaires (who backed Elvis on his live shows and recordings) commented that Elvis "did not do anything onstage with Nipper that was suggestive or off-color" and then added, "We were standing very close to him as we always were. Williams was simply out to get Elvis."  But unfortunately that wasn't enough for the Los Angeles Police Department! Before the second show the next night, the city's Vice Squad contacted Elvis' manager Colonel Tom Parker with a warning for Elvis to basically clean up his act or go to jail! Now that would have been a real jailhouse rock show, for sure! Elvis was justifiably angered by this attack on this onstage actions -- but that didn't stop the police from showing up on the second night -- with movie cameras to capture any lewd gestures!!! Throughout that performance, Elvis repeatedly informed the audience that he was being filmed by the cops -- and at one point during the show, he put his hands together as if they were cuffed and said to the crowd, "You should have been here last night!" Good for you Elvis! Nothing, not even the threat of going to jail, could stop Elvis that second night -- he gave the fans what they wanted and they screamed back in sheer delight. By the end of 1957, Elvis had performed for at least a quarter of a million people across the country -- but it was the now-legendary shows at the Pan Pacific Auditorium that caused the folks of L.A. to go into a tizzy fit that sparked paranoia from city officials and adoring pandemonium from Elvis' legion of followers. Talk about getting all shook up!

Insalata Caprese: The Enduring Style of Italian Cuisine

INSALATA CAPRESE: THE ENDURING STYLE OF ITALIAN CUISINE -- No one can quite say when or where the most famously simple of all salads -- the insalata caprese -- first appeared on the scene, or the exact origin of when it was named after that beautiful sun-soaked isle of Capri, part of very historic Campania region. But one thing we do know is that it is absolutely one of the most enduring of all Italian antipasti and so evocative of those heady days of fun, vino and romance along the Mediterranean coast.  (Speaking of fabulous Italian things, be sure to check out the recent post Studio of Style did on Campari.)  Of course, the famed tricolor look of the dish which, like the equally famed margherita pizza of Napoli, depict the colors of the Italian flag. But let's dig a little bit deeper into history, okay? (We know how you regular readers of Studio of Style just love a little bit more of everything, right?)  First of all, so much of the world associates Italian cuisine with that wonderful deep red tomato sauce found on many dishes -- but wait! The word "pomodoro" from the words "pomo d'oro" or "golden apple" doesn't quite match up with the color red, now does it? That's because the first tomatoes brought to Europe from the New World (i.e. The Americas) were actually more likely to have been yellow than red! More on that in a moment.  But some say that "pomo d'oro" might also be a mistranslation of the phrase "pomo di moro" or "fruit of the Moors" who had introduced so many exotic foods to Italy.  You see, it was Italian physician and botanist Pietro Andrea Mattioli who wrote in 1544 that a new type of eggplant had been brought to Italy which was blood red or golden in color that could be eaten like an eggplant -- and 10 years later Mattioli used the words "pomo d'oro" in print.  The yellow variety of the tomato definitely made landfall in Europe sometime after 1521 when Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés captured the Aztec capital of Tenochtítlan in Mexico -- though Christopher Columbus of Genoa (who was also working on behalf of the Spanish monarchy) might very well have brought some back around 1493! And did you know that the earliest known Italian cookbook with tomato recipes was published in Naples (naturally!) around 1692 -- most likely the recipes were translated from Spanish sources. Thus, by a slight twist of history the famed marinara sauces became red and not yellow (but the name "golden apple" still stuck!). But the bigger question is: who put together that amazing combination of basil, mozzarella di bufala, tomatoes and olive oil -- crowned with a light sprinkling of salt and black pepper -- a combo that epicureans have been raving about ever since? To enjoy this antipasto to the fullest, try to find the freshest handmade mozzarella, the ripest seasonal tomatoes, absolutely fresh basil, the best extra virgin olive oil and high quality salt and freshly ground black pepper (and please, no vinegar of any kind!!).  Said perhaps one of the most famous Italians of all history, Leonardo da Vinci: "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." And how right he was...and still is! The simple yet profound pleasures found in insalata caprese transcend time itself! And in the words of so many Italians throughout the ages: Mangia bene, vivi felice!
Italian Trade Commission:
Styling and Photography by Greg Firlotte

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Pearl Girl: The Outrageously Bejeweled Queen Elizabeth I

PEARL GIRL: THE OUTRAGEOUSLY BEJEWELED ELIZABETH I -- The older she got, the more outrageous she dressed (sounds like a great idea to us!) --and the laws she set into motion about who could wear what were just as outrageous  (more about that later!) -- and the things that people (i.e. royalty, nobility and stylish folks like us!) did in the name of fashion were, well, just plain crazy -- but then, the Elizabethan Era (1558 to 1603) named for the reign of Queen Elizabeth I of England, symbolized the height of English Renaissance poetry, music, fashion and literature (think Shakespeare and traveling minstrels) which has curiously never left us in one way or another (think renaissance faires!). She was a tough old bird, for sure, but she certainly loved her clothes, jewelry, wigs and makeup (sounds like us!) and she used all of these to great effect in projecting her image as the greatest ruler of the Western world -- and sitting for portraits was one of her favorite pastimes (other than defeating the Spanish navy) it seemed -- as there were so many portraits of her during her 45-year rule. At age 65, the Queen granted an audience to French ambassador Andre Hurault-Sieur de Maisse Andre (and you thought you had a clever name!) who left us with this most wonderful firsthand look at the real Queen -- not simply a portrait (as we have above painted by George Gower).  Says the ambassador: "She was strangely attired (oh really?) in a dress of silver cloth, white and crimson, or silver 'gauze' as they call it. She kept the front of her dress open and one could see the whole of her bosom (good for you, girl!) and she would often open the front of this robe with her hands as if she was too hot (you would be too with all that velvet and pearls!). The collar of the robe was very high and the lining of the inner part adorned with little pendants of rubies and pearls and she had a chain of rubies and pearls about her neck. On her head, she wore a garland of the same material (she really did love those rubies and pearls, didn't she?) and beneath it a great reddish coloured wig. Her bosom is somewhat wrinkled as well (hey, she was 65!), but lower down her flesh is exceedingly white and delicate (well, that's a relief!). Her figure is tall and graceful in whatever she does, yet humbly and graciously withal."  In other words, she was one stylish lady!  Now as for that dress code -- the "Sumptuary Laws" which Elizabeth enacted in June of 1574 dictated that if you were poor (ouch!) that you could only wear items of wool, linen and sheepskin (however silk, taffeta and velvet trimmings were allowed, but only in certain colors!).  If you were noble or of the upper class, you could wear velvet, silk, lace, furs and taffeta -- but only in certain colors and you could only spend so much for them.  Breaking these rules among the rich meant loss of property, your title and even harsher punishment!  But in the words of the Queen herself, these laws were basically to protect against "the wasting and undoing of a great number of young gentlemen and others...allured by the vain show of things...which only consume themselves, their goods and lands which their parents left unto them."  Such was the power of fashion in Merry Ol' England!  Could we, today, ever be allured by vanity?  Spend all our money on clothes and jewelry?  Expose our bosoms to French men?  Yes, yes and double yes!!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Hello Dali: A Surreal Interview with Salvador Dali!

HELLO DALI: A SURREAL INTERVIEW WITH SALVADOR DALI -- Spanish-born artist Salvador Domingo Filipe Jacinto Dali di Domènech (1904-1989) spent his entire life being very clever – having been expelled twice from the Royal Academy of Art in Madrid Spain in his youth, claiming he was more qualified as an artist than those would have examined him – with history proving him right on this one. So, in 1928 he packed up his bags and paintbrushes and headed to Paris – the capital of all things artistic in the early twentieth century -- and met those titans of art Pablo Picasso and Joan Miro and by the time 1929 rolled around Dali had established his unique brand of art known as Surrealism (the Surrealist theory is based on those of renowned Viennese psychologist Dr. Sigmund Freud). Dali’s mad, dream-into-nightmare, colorful imagery secured him a singular place in art history.  At Studio of Style, we enjoy peering into the minds of genius as much as we do observing the art – so here is Dali in his own wonderfully surreal words!

Studio of Style: Why surrealistic art?
Dali: We are all hungry and thirsty for concrete images. Abstract art will have been good for one thing: to restore its exact virginity to figurative art. Surrealism is destructive, but it destroys only what it considers to be shackles limiting our vision. Progressive art can assist people to learn not only about the objective forces at work in the society in which they live, but also about the intensely social character of their interior lives. Ultimately, it can propel people toward social emancipation. Instead of stubbornly attempting to use surrealism for purposes of subversion, it is necessary to try to make of surrealism something as solid, complete and classic as the works of museums.

Studio of Style: Did you always want to be an artist?
Dali: At the age of six I wanted to be a cook. At seven I wanted to be Napoleon. And my ambition has been growing steadily ever since! In order to acquire a growing and lasting respect in society, it is a good thing, if you possess great talent, to give, early in your youth, a very hard kick to the right shin of the society that you love. After that, be a snob!

Studio of Style: Is art ever perfect?
Dali: I do not paint a portrait to look like the subject – rather, does the person grow to look like his portrait? Mistakes are almost always of a sacred nature. Never try to correct them. On the contrary -- rationalize them, understand them thoroughly. After that, it will be possible for you to sublimate them. Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it. And it is not necessary for the public to know whether I am joking or whether I am serious, just as it is not necessary for me to know it myself.

Studio of Style: What about drawing?
Dali: Drawing is the honesty of the art. There is no possibility of cheating. It is either good or bad. And painting is an infinitely minute part of my personality.

Studio of Style: What is your secret to your creativity?
Dali: The secret of my influence has always been that it remained secret! I have Dalinian thought -- the one thing the world will never have enough of is the outrageous! I don't do drugs. I am drugs! I seated ugliness on my knee, and almost immediately grew tired of it. What is a television apparatus to man, who has only to shut his eyes to see the most inaccessible regions of the seen and the never seen, who has only to imagine in order to pierce through walls and cause all the planetary Baghdads of his dreams to rise from the dust. Each morning when I awake, I experience again a supreme pleasure - that of being Salvador Dali!

Studio of Style: Have you achieved success?
Dali: The thermometer of success is merely the jealousy of the malcontents. Let my enemies devour each other! Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing! Democratic societies are unfit for the publication of such thunderous revelations as I am in the habit of making. Liking money like I like it, is nothing less than mysticism. Money is a glory!

Studio of Style: Is there such a thing as happiness?
Dali: There are some days when I think I'm going to die from an overdose of satisfaction!

Studio of Style: Or purity?
Dali: When I was five years old, I saw an insect that had been eaten by ants and of which nothing remained except the shell. Through the holes of its anatomy, one could see the sky. Every time I wish to attain purity, I look at the sky through flesh.

Studio of Style: Some people thing you’re a bit strange….
Dali: I am not strange – I am just not normal! The only difference between me and a madman is that I'm not mad.

J. Robert Scott Celebrates 40 Years of Classic Style!

J. ROBERT SCOTT CELEBRATES 40 YEARS OF CLASSIC STYLE!  The champagne glasses were raised high -- very high -- to toast Sally Sirkin Lewis at her Melrose Avenue showroom in West Hollywood, California, in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the company she founded: J. Robert Scott.  Back in 1972, Lewis threw open her doors to a much different design world then -- she was the first woman on Melrose Avenue to have her own furniture showroom and it was filled with furnishings that celebrated clean, pale tones, natural textures and the beauty of wood grain instead of trying to cover it up.  Her lines were spare, modern and also clean of frills -- but that was her vision -- and over these four decades she has stuck to that vision which has earned her a place in the Interior Design Hall of Fame, plus more than 150 U.S. design patents to her credit, as well as having introduced a ground-breaking concept in furniture finishing called Ombré which is based on creating a transparent gradient effect of seamless color from light to dark on wood veneer. Naysayers back in '72 said that a woman selling paired-down light-toned furniture with a handful of natural, woven textiles and some rustic accessories wouldn't last six months in the design trade -- such was the narrow-mindedness of the times! But all the well-wishers from near and far who came to Lewis' Melrose Avenue showroom recently to share in the 40th anniversary celebration proved that vision and determination are so much stronger than any slings and arrows of doubt! At the party, acclaimed designer Donna Livingston (top left) and legendary actress June Lockhart (upper right) joined Lewis who created a gallery-like setting at the showroom to highlight her many trademark designs. Not only furniture, but Lewis is equally known in the design world for her wide offering of silks, silk mohairs, chenilles and fine wools -- as well as her super-soft Superkidskin lamb hide upholstery. At Studio of Style, we're always up for a glass (or two!) of champagne -- so we say Salut! to Ms. Lewis!
Images courtesy J. Robert Scott

Monday, October 1, 2012

Fresh, Bright, Exciting! Art Platform--Los Angeles 2012

FRESH, BRIGHT, EXCITING! ART PLATFORM -- LOS ANGELES 2012  If you've never been to a contemporary art fair, then you'll never know what you might be missing! However, for those who do attend them when they can, they are aware that contemporary art fairs provide the ideal opportunity to discover something fresh, bright and exciting -- all under one roof (which saves a lot of time gallery hopping -- which isn't a bad idea either!). But lucky Angelinos!! They got to experience the second annual installation of Art Platform -- Los Angeles this past September 27 - 30 at the historic Barker Hanger in Santa Monica. And what an exciting opportunity it was indeed to see and experience works by not only some well-established names in modern art (Picasso, Motherwell, Ruscha, Hirst and many more), but also a great deal of cutting-edge artists from around the globe -- as well as a cutting-edge private jet! Executive Director Adam Gross (middle left photo) got things off to a great start on Thursday and after that, it was all a constant stream of thousands of art lovers in search of artistic adventure over the course of the next three days. Spread over two pavilions, the show offered "immense cultural diversity, from its museums and alternative art spaces to the diverse demographics of individuals who visit Los Angeles or call it home," said Gross. Some of the art and galleries included (clockwise, from top right): a colorful work on canvas by Mira Dancy at Night Gallery; a photographic installation of portraits by Clayton Campbell reflecting on "Words We Have Learned Since 9/11"; a political poster from the many pieces in the Co/Lab exhibit of art from selected alternative artists; "Snow White (Unique)" by Speedy Graphito at Denis Block Fine Art; the art pencil sculpture by Federico Uribe at Now Contemporary Art; and the interior of the amazing XOJET Challenger 300 whose sleek appointed cabin provided a backdrop for a soundscape by sound artist Steve Roden! (see more of the fair in the post below)
Photos by Greg Firlotte

Fresh, Bright, Exiciting! Art Platform -- Los Angeles 2012

FRESH, BRIGHT, EXCITING! ART PLATFORM -- LOS ANGELES 2012  There was so much to see and do (and people to meet!) at Art Platform -- Los Angeles 2012 at the historic Barker Hanger in Santa Monica this past September 27 - 30 that it was a challenge to try and take it all in -- but thousands did and they loved what they saw! Among attendees on opening day: the ever-glamorous art goddess of Los Angeles Homeira Goldstein (above left) looking chic in all black. Artist/photographer Mei Xian Qui (upper right) represented at Los Angeles Art Association presented works from her "Let a Thousand Flowers Bloom" series (which we absolutely love!!) that addresses the Chinese-American identity from past to present. We spent some time with her as she discussed this wonderful and very insightful series.  A fun wall installation (middle right) by artist Cindy Kolodziejski at Frank Lloyd Gallery fills an entire wall; and acclaimed Beverly Hills gallerist Timothy Yarger (below right) of Timothy Yarger Fine Art discusses his many artists, including famed photographer Jim McHugh whose photo of the historic El Rey Theater in Los Angeles is shown at center. We certainly look forward to next year's edition -- and we hope you too will join us and the many thousands of art lovers!  After all, everyone can use something fresh, bright and exciting in their lives, right?
Photos by Greg Firlotte