Tag Archives: Los Angeles

  1. 06.26.15
    Sighted
    L.A.’s Newest Design Brand, TOOOLS

    Back in 2012, we wrote about the launch of a gallery called Beginnings in Brooklyn, which, a year later, met an untimely and unfortunate end. But two of the gallery’s founders have since gone on to forge a new (ahem) beginning, this time giving it a far less superstitious name: TOOOLS, a Los Angeles–based object-design company recently started by artist Caroline Hwang and designer Joel Speaskmaker that aims to be “a new company with an old ethos: form & function.” See what the duo have to say about the project, and see tons of images, after the jump.

  2. 05.30.15
    Saturday Selects
    Week of May 25, 2015

    A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week: a hip summer pop-up shop in Sagaponack, two ceramicists branching out into wallpaper and shelf brackets, and more work you might have missed during ICFF, like the Earnest Studio trivets above.

  3. 04.06.15
    At Home With
    Brook & Lyn, Los Angeles Furniture Designers

    The precision-machined brass bars lining the base of Mimi Jung and Brian Hurewitz’s Pepto-pink sofa? They’re a doggie jail. At least they were, conceptually speaking, intended to be; the couple lives with three dogs in Los Angeles’s Mt. Washington neighborhood, and Truffle, the most diminutive of the bunch, necessitated the arrangement. “If you give her six inches of space underneath anything, she’ll steal things from around the house and drag them in there,” says Jung. “I wanted to make a couch that had prison bars for her, so she couldn’t get in.” Granted Jung started out sketching metal poles and wound up creating a system of stunning, diagonally canted fins that subtly shift in appearance depending on one’s vantage point, but the sofa overall was — like much of Brook & Lyn’s work — designed to serve very specific, very personal needs. Since they moved from Brooklyn to L.A. a year and a half ago, Jung and Hurewitz have been populating the studio’s portfolio with pieces they’ve created for themselves, and their new home.

  4. 03.23.15
    What They Bought
    Julia Leonard of Either Way LA

    “I sometimes think I wear too many hats,” says Julia Leonard, the Los Angeles–based artist, interior designer, curator, gallery owner, and shopkeeper, whose backyard retail venture Either Way LA — an every Sunday sale of thrifted or commissioned pieces — has recently become a hit via Instagram and word of mouth. Since moving from San Francisco a little more than four years ago, LA has offered her the chance, as it does to so many, to start over. In San Francisco, where she had studied, worked, and lived for over a decade, she had been teaching alongside her art practice. However Los Angles marked the opportunity to focus on her art, giving her a fresh perspective: “I even dress differently,” she admits wryly.

  5. 03.10.15
    Sight Unseen Presents
    Think Big! Our First LA Pop-up, at Space 15 Twenty

    If you’ve been following our Instagram, you know that we’ve been spending an awful lot of time in Los Angeles lately. Last Thursday, we finally revealed why (aside from an obvious need to escape New York’s subzero temps and un-meltable snowdrifts). Our latest pop-up — and our first-ever venture in LA — opened last Thursday at Space 15 Twenty, the Los Angeles Urban Outfitters concept shop and sister store to Brooklyn’s Space Ninety 8, where we hosted a similar event last fall. Called Think Big!, the pop-up is inspired by a 1980s-era Soho store of the same name, which featured scaled-up versions of everyday objects.

  6. 02.19.15
    Invitation
    The Hollyhock House Shot by Gaea Woods

    If you’d happened to wander into L.A.’s Barnsdall Art Park in the middle of the night last Friday, you might have assumed there were concert tickets, or some newfangled iPhone model, about to go on sale the next morning: even into the wee hours, a line of people three hours long snaked all around the property. Amazingly enough, though, the massive crowd had turned out not to buy something but to experience the re-opening of Frank Lloyd Wright’s landmark 1921 Hollyhock House, which we overheard certain over-caffeinated line-goers describe as “super hyped.” Built in 1921 in the so-called California Romanza style, the theater and home turned museum had been closed to the public for more than three years for restoration, and the city was celebrating the unveiling of its face-lift by giving the public continuous free access for 24 hours. We figured the best way to mark the occasion was to send a photographer to shoot the house after dark, a task we entrusted to the up-and-coming L.A. photographer Gaea Woods.

  7. 02.09.15
    Excerpt: Exhibition
    Doty/Glasco at CES Gallery

    We had never heard of the photography husband-and-wife team of JR Doty and Joe Glasco — or the LA gallery CES — before this exhibition announcement arrived in our inbox today, but as soon as we saw the photos we were hooked. The two photographers began collaborating professionally back in 2013, and their current work draws from an archive of more than 40,000 images that were taken on a road trip across America over the last year. Doty and Glasco photographed specific locations, like Utah and California, because of their unique geological conditions. “The images represent the essence of nature with an emphasis on the phenomena of time as it affects the landscape’s topography, such as rippling water, striations of marble and the constant changing of landforms,” the press release reads.

  8. 12.17.14
    Up and Coming
    Los Angeles art director Sarah Kissell, aka Pure Magenta

    It can be easy to become immune to the Postmodern references and patterns currently littering the digital ether, but there’s something different about Sarah Kissell, the Los Angeles–based designer behind the graphically-fitting guise Pure Magenta. As she describes it, it’s the simultaneous practice of excess and restraint — especially while exploring questionable taste — that Kissell values the most. “Riding the line between the two is when things become interesting to me,” she says. “It also widens the opportunity to succeed or fail, which is a healthy place to be a young designer.” And healthy is exactly where the designer is right now, dividing her time as senior art director for the terminally trendy fashion retailer Nasty Gal, as well as developing Pure Magenta’s graphic identity and soon-to-launch jewelry line.

  9. 12.12.14
    Excerpt: Exhibition
    Adi Goodrich at The Standard, Hollywood

    In her day-to-day job as a set designer, Adi Goodrich constructs elaborate environments with her crew on set or in the studio, but the rest of world experiences her work only through photographs. As of last night, however, you can view the Los Angeles designer’s work IRL in an installation on view until the end of December at The […]

  10. 11.12.14
    Sighted
    Marten Elder in 01 Magazine

    Sometimes you have to laugh at your own predictability. It was love at first sight when I first saw these images of Los Angeles photographer Marten Elder’s work in the fantastic new issue of 01 Magazine (which also features SU faves like Oeuffice and Doug Johnston). But when I began to read the article, it became immediately clear to me why: Elder studied at Bard College, where his senior project advisor was Stephen Shore, another visual fascination of mine. But while Elder’s older work is more like Shore’s in its exquisitely faithful representation of a banal reality, his newer work represents a more color-saturated view of those equally ordinary vistas (a concrete street corner, a stack of scaffolding.) The accompanying interview is great, so we’re excerpted part of it, as well as our favorite images, here. Go to 01’s current issue for the full article, then visit Elder’s website for even more images.

  11. 10.30.14
    What They Bought
    Ouli

    Founded last year by longtime friends Scott Barry, a Cal Arts–educated graphic designer, and Brooke Intrachat, a CCA grad who was disillusioned with textile work, Ouli originally existed as a showroom, gallery, and pop-up retail space in Echo Park, in a tiny sun-filled storefront studio that was inherited from a mutual friend. There, the two exhibited their own burgeoning furniture and accessories line alongside the little-known work of friends and like-minded artists, and in the beginning, the space existed as some sort of halfway house for brilliant pieces without a home. “I knew a bunch of artists making work that didn’t fit into a gallery setting; it was more about the home,” says Barry. “And we also ended up showing contemporary sculptors in LA who were working under pseudonyms; typically they were people who had signed with a gallery but who weren’t making a ton of money. It was weird black-market stuff like that. An artist would drive up in his van and say, ‘Hey I just made 5 of these. Do you want them?'” Ouli quickly gained a cultlike following among Angelenos looking for something a bit off the beaten path, but just as quickly as it began, the retail enterprise was over; the two lost their space in August.

  12. 10.29.14
    Excerpt: Exhibition
    The I’m Revolting Stone Show at Kiosk

    A few weeks ago, I got an email from our friend Su Wu at I’m Revolting, asking if I’d be part of a show she was putting together for Kiosk. “Will you send me a stone?” she asked. “The show is of rocks; everybody loves looking at rocks! Me too: you know I move slowly on beaches. It can be a pebble from your morning walk or a pretty specimen, craggy or river-smooth, petrified, funny holes.” As someone whose daily routine hardly deviates from a straight line through the East Village, I didn’t have anything particularly suitable. But starting this week at Kiosk (and on Instagram at #stoneshow) you can find out who did. The results were delightfully inventive and weird: Albert Chu from OTAAT sent hot-pink Pop Rocks; Doug Johnston sent a solid piece of aluminum made from melted beer cans that people had thrown into a campfire; and Bari Ziperstein’s rock crystal, which dissolves in water, can only be cleaned with smelly vats of brine. Some of them were also surprisingly moving: “Lauren Ardis found her rock in Bolinas; it has a heart shaped indent in the back,” Wu says. “She used to make fun of her mom for collecting heart-shaped rocks; now, she laughs about getting more sentimental with age.” The rocks will be exhibited at Kiosk’s new location at 540 LaGuardia Place and placed at the base of a tree outside the shop when the exhibition ends. Here’s a snapshot of the submissions.

  13. 09.23.14
    At Home With
    Su Wu, Writer

    There are people you meet in life to whom you feel a deep and immediate connection, so much so that the particulars of how and why you both arrived at the same place at the same time matter much less than the fact that you did. That’s pretty much how we feel about Su Wu, whose inspiring blog I’m Revolting we admired from afar for months before reaching out two years ago, asking her to collaborate, and becoming instant friends. Earlier this summer, however, when we found out that one of our favorite photographers would be visiting LA, we realized this was the perfect time to find out a bit more about the circumstances that led Wu to where she is right now, both philosophically and quite literally — the downtown LA loft she calls home.

  14. 09.16.14
    Excerpt: Exhibition
    “Another Cats Show” at 356 Mission

    “Another Cats Show” may have started as a one-liner, but that doesn’t mean it fails to land the joke. The exhibition, which closed this week at the Los Angeles gallery 356 Mission, included feline-themed pieces from 301 artists and proved that what they say about die-hard cat lovers is pretty much true: They may be crazy, but they also totally mean it. “People assume cats will be funny,” says Ooga Booga founder Wendy Yao, a partner in the space. “It is casual and inclusive, and gives artists a chance to do something not quite as monumental.”

  15. 09.05.14
    Q&A
    Ricky Swallow vs. Matt Paweski, for Herald St London

    As much fun as it is, as journalists, to the pick the brains of the artists and designers who inspire us every day, there’s something we enjoy even more: being a fly on the wall as two of our favorite creatives spar back and forth about their craft. It’s something we’ll never understand as intimately as those who are makers themselves, and when those makers are as thoughtful about their work as Los Angeles artists Ricky Swallow and Matt Paweski are, it makes for a most excellent Friday read. Swallow interviewed Paweski in advance of the latter’s solo exhibition, opening tomorrow at Herald St gallery in London, and we were lucky enough to nab a transcription of that Q&A. Read on to find out what makes a Matt Paweski, which direction his work is going in, and what the heck a “kerf” actually is.

  16. 08.11.14
    Excerpt: Book
    Strange Plants by Zio Baritaux

    We’ve all been thinking it, but the Los Angeles writer and publisher Zio Baritaux finally did it — put together a project capturing the prevalence of plants in contemporary art these days. Her new book Strange Plants contains interviews with ten artists of varying mediums who focus on flora in their work — three of which we’ve excerpted below — plus selections from the portfolios of 15 more, including an interlude featuring tattoo artists. Baritaux says she was inspired to create the book not necessarily by the trend she was witnessing in the art world, but by the elaborate gardens full of koi ponds and topiaries that her mother grew when she was a child. “I didn’t really appreciate these gardens until I was an adult, living in an apartment in L.A. with no outdoor space or plants to call my own,” Baritaux says. “There were plants throughout the neighborhood, like night-blooming jasmine and overgrown bougainvillea, but it wasn’t the same. I wanted to experience them. So I brought plants inside my apartment — a hanging terrarium, a potted cactus, and so on. These plants brought back memories and inspired me, just like the art I had hanging on the walls. So it seemed natural to create a book that combined the two.”

  17. 08.05.14
    Sighted
    New Work by Matt Merkel-Hess

    In our Saturday Selects column last week, we made mention of “More Material,” the now-closed exhibition at Salon 94 Bowery in New York, curated by the London-based fashion designer Duro Olowu. What we didn’t mention was the bonkers amount of new work Los Angeles–based ceramicist Matt Merkel Hess created for the show and shop (not all of which was included in the exhibition). Merkel Hess is best known for the ceramic copies he makes of everyday objects; for his 2013 show at Salon 94 Freemans, the designer rendered vintage Dust Busters, Super Soakers, stand mixers and the like in glazed porcelain. Here, he focuses on three distinct forms: porcelain novelty ears, flip-flops and West African water kettles.

  18. 07.22.14
    From the Library Of
    Joanna Williams of Kneeland Co

    Last summer, we ran one of our favorite stories to date: a glimpse inside an 1980s-era Scandinavian design book that Seattle designers Ladies & Gentlemen Studio had unearthed while cleaning house. We’d intended to keep going with the column — ostensibly a place where people could show off the strange, beautiful, and mostly out-of-print volumes that populated their libraries — but somehow it fizzled out. We’d been talking this summer about resurrecting it, when at the same time we found out that Joanna Williams, the LA-based owner of the Kneeland textile studio and online marketplace was opening a third branch of her multi-faceted business: a research library, where clients could comb through the curated images Williams has amassed over the years or search through books or magazines focused on graphics, textiles, decorating, and more. We’d found our first subject.

  19. 07.21.14
    Eye Candy
    Ben Sanders, Artist

    L.A. artist Ben Sanders was already making paintings, drawings, illustrations, and sculptures when he co-founded a collaborative art direction and photography studio, Those People, not too long ago. As if all those mediums weren’t enough, though, the 25-year-old Art Center College of Design graduate recently started making objects, too, in the form of ceramic pots that he finds and uses as 3-D canvases, for paintings of wildly colorful air-brushed faces compiled from playful ’80s-style shapes.

  20. 07.16.14
    Studio Visit
    Otaat / Myers Collective

    If the best reason to know the rules is to be smarter about breaking them, then consider the year-old collaboration between designers Albert Chu and Jennifer Myers not so much a violent upheaval but an exercise in playfully tweaking the system. Chu and Myers met while studying at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design — an institution they say reinforced their respect for constraints — and each worked in architecture and launched an accessories line before combining their shared pedagogy into a series of leather and brass pouches. “I think working within, and rebelling against, a set of parameters is actually the ultimate in design fun,” Myers says. Chu agrees: “We love working with fundamentals and trying to introduce a slight deviation,” says the designer of Otaat, which stands for “one thing at a time.” “Harvard was about being restrained in the conceptual and design intervention, that sometimes the most effective and thorough result could arise from a minimal, subtle act.”

  21. 07.12.14
    Saturday Selects
    Week of July 7, 2014

    A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week: ceramics from a graphic designer, paintings from a lighting designer, and the coolest $300 rock you’ve ever seen.

  22. 07.10.14
    Studio Visit
    Kate Miss

    The fact that Los Angeles designer Kate Miss has, since we shot her Koreatown workspace last fall, chopped off her hair, adopted a dog, and moved studios not once but twice — the second time abandoning her freelance graphic design life altogether for a full-time position at Karen Kimmel — may tell you just how busy we’ve been around these parts. But it could just as easily be a reflection of how much Miss craves change. She’s the only person we’ve ever heard utter the words: “I love moving.” And yet that peculiarly peripatetic quality is what defines Miss — it’s what brought her from Seattle to New York and finally to LA, and why she’s equal parts known as a blogger, a photographer, a jewelry maker, and a graphic designer.

  23. 06.30.14
    Excerpt: Exhibition
    Morgan Peck at Jancar Jones Gallery

    When we first took notice of Los Angeles ceramicist Morgan Peck in 2012, it was because she had suddenly become ubiquitous in the concept-shop scene, with her vessels and abstract mini-sculptures popping up at all of our favorite places (Mociun, Totokaelo, Iko Iko). Now that she’s moved into an entirely new territory — the art world — with the opening of her solo show at LA’s Jancar Jones Gallery last week, we figured it was the perfect time to revisit her work. We asked Peck for her thoughts on her change of scenery, and how her sculptures have made the transition from shelf to plinth. “When Ava and Eric offered me the opportunity to have a show at Jancar Jones last February the first thing I thought was: Are you sure?” she says.

  24. 06.11.14
    Eye Candy
    Osei-Duro, fashion designers

    Molly Keogh and Maryanne Mathias are Osei-Duro, two high-school friends who rekindled their relationship at a 10-year reunion and soon after began the so-named clothing line, which is headquartered in L.A. and designed and produced in Accra, Ghana. Partnering with garment workers in Ghana and using such native West African techniques as hand-dying, wax prints, hand-weaving, screen printing and mud paint, Osei-Duro’s clothes reference such disparate themes as ’90s fly girls and the hieroglyphics of early man. The label has also made it a priority to be a socially conscious and sustainable venture: The employees of Osei-Duro are paid a fair wage (much higher than Ghana’s minimum wage), and are taught transferable skills so they can remain competitive in their emerging market economy. First Lady Michelle Obama herself has worn an Osei-Duro skirt during a panel on education and technology in Johannesburg. See the well-loved looks here, then go to Osei-Duro’s site to find out more.

  25. 06.06.14
    Eye Candy
    Kieley Kimmel

    Color is Heat, Kieley Kimmel’s third official collection, found its initial inspiration in an overexposed landscape photo taken by the designer’s mother in the 1980s. Kimmel, a textile and clothing designer based in Los Angeles, works a very organic design process for each of her seasons, allowing evolution from start to finish. This approach, combined with a background in painting and philosophy, results in the most softly poetic of collections.

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