Oct 31, 2009

Shepard Fairey at the Warhol Museum

The top floor of the Warhol is gorgeously hung with Search & Destroy, the Shepard Fairey retrospective. Walls glow with the red, black and yellowed white of his strongest work-- from screen-printed posters to mixed media collages, stencils and combinations of all three, creating a swirl of ironic emotions (mocking and sincere, logical and incongruous) as one glides through the galleries.

His jabs at culture, politics and iconography, all assembled in the same place for the first time by this traveling exhibit (originating at Boston's ICA; next stop, Cincinnati; cities after that TBD,) pack a visceral punch that I wasn't expecting and there's a power in numbers here that I never realized before.

The lower floor of the exhibit, however, centered around the now over-exposed Obama Hope poster, didn't continue the momentum for me and I walked through it at a steady clip searching for the sustained jolt of the top floor. The super-sized mural was overkill. Badly lit, sagging and shiny (unlike the matte of the screen prints), it was the last piece I looked at and by then the party was over and I was hungry for art again.

The guy in the gift shop tried to sell me one of the limited edition Search & Destroy prints for $45 ("They're selling on Ebay for $170") but for me the appropriate memento was a small metal button, for $1.40, with an image of Andy on it. Around the edge in small white lettering it read, "Your fifteen minutes are up."

Jan 21, 2009

(Air)Ship of Fools

All aboard for Hell! First stop: Texas

As I read through this list of people who yesterday accompanied W. back at long last to Texas, my mind reeled at almost every name, conjuring a vertiginous trail of sharp, unpleasant and, at times, sickening memories of the past eight years, similar to the exhaust fumes spewing from the luxury jet's engines.
Jenna and Barbara, Karl Rove, Karen Hughes, Dan Bartlett, Josh Bolten, Joel Kaplan, Jared Weinstein, Mike Meece, Andy Card, Don and Susie Evans, Blake Gottesman, Clay and Ann Johnson, Ed Gillespie, Barry Jackson, Joe Hagin, Israel Hernandez, Jeanne Johnson Phillips, Margaret Spellings, Alberto Gonzales, Brad Freeman, Jim and Debbie Francis, and Roland and Lois Betts.
Good riddance.

Angeleno dispatches from the inauguration

While LA Metblogs’ Sean Bonner is in DC blogging about the inauguration, I’m feeling a bit stranded here in Los Angeles as the pomp, ceremony and parties unfold, so I’ve been taking solace in my friend Kristin’s Facebook journal about her adventures in the nations capitol, as well as exchanging a slew of emails with her about what I’m missing.

Kristin is Kristin Bedford, the woman behind Kristin’s List, the LA cultural listing site. An Angeleno who worked on the Obama campaign at the Pasadena Democratic field office, she returned to Washington to spend the year end holidays with her family (she’s a DC native.)

When Obama won in November, she decided to stick around for the inauguration. And so, for the past few weeks, she has been tearing through the nation’s capitol in preparation.

As the LA Times had an article on Sunday about what certain notable Angelenos would be wearing to the inauguration, as well as the balls and parties to follow, I asked Kristin the same questions and how she would be getting around town.

She was concerned about staying warm in the early part of the day.
Obama is sworn in at 12 noon; we need to be there at 7:30 AM to get through security. The 4½ hour wait is stressing me out. Even if I layer every single American Apparel T-shirt I own, my L.A. wardrobe is not making the cut. I need to find a space suit or a bear costume to keep going.

I will be wearing two pairs of gloves with mittens over them. I have figured out that if I stuff the mittens with a half dozen hand warmers (those little packets) my fingers don’t freeze; 2 pairs of long johns under jeans; 4 sweaters; 4 pairs of socks (with more hand warmers in shoes;) and of course my new Obama scarf/hat set (priceless.)
And for the evening festivities:
I will be wearing a fitted, dark purple, up-the-knee knit dress designed by Carol Young (from her shop on Hillhurst in Los Feliz) — it is the sexy, classic, minimalist, architectural, “I’m too cool to wear a ‘gown’ to a Ball” look; a vintage camel hair Calvin Klein winter coat; a floor-length black wrap; black heels by Arche; nail color: “We will always have Paris” by OPI; hair: down; lipstick: a dark chianti.
Her plans are to hit the Bytes and Books Ball at the Folger Shakespeare Library and the Google/Youtube Ball, which bills itself as “the alternative” ball experience, followed by two parties.

Washington is less reliant on cars than Los Angeles; and with the day’s events curtailing driving, she’ll be going with the flow.
Everything during the day will be by foot. For the balls, who knows? You can’t drive. Its going to be butt cold wearing these party dresses, so I think most ball people will be on the Metro (the great equalizer) — can’t wait to see women in gowns using their MetroCard.

Thats the rundown. The day is as big and as complicated as Election Day, when I worked for 21 hours and with about 500 people.
Photo: Kristin Bedford searches DC for inaugural festivities.

Barneys get bitchy about Michelle Obama

Fashion retailer Barneys New York is none too pleased about being scooped by anyone, even if it's First Lady Michelle Obama. After she appeared in an Isabel Toledo outfit for yesterday's inauguration, Simon Doonan, the store's creative director, got a phone call from a higher-up telling him to rush the designer's clothes into its NYC windows.

With what I'm sure was good natured bitchiness (Doonan is a friend of a friend and has seemed like a nice guy the few times I've been around him), he quipped, "I’m sort of annoyed that Michelle Obama has spring merchandise before us.”

The outfit will be available in March.

Jan 14, 2009

Just say NO to the bail out

Print Liberation in Philadelphia weighs in with my sentiment regarding bailing out banks and the overeager they lent money to so they could buy houses they couldn't actually afford in the first place.

Jan 11, 2009

Yes, Pecan!

Ben & Jerry's is honoring the inauguration of Barack Obama with their flavor, Yes, Pecan! Formerly (and boringly, but informatively) know as Butter Pecan, if you buy a scoop at a B & J shop, proceeds will go to Common Cause Education Fund.