We've seen creatives collaborate in plenty of novel, inventive ways — by mailing materials back and forth, by playing games of exquisite corpse. But sometimes the best joint projects arise more loosely, like the one currently on view at Dream Collective in Los Angeles, featuring work by Bari Ziperstein, Waka Waka, and store owner/jewelry designer Kathryn Bentley.
For the past few years, Kathleen Whitaker's name has been practically synonymous with the ubiquitous gold dot and line earrings that are a staple in boutiques everywhere. But her work has been evolving recently, making it the perfect time to check in and see what's motivating her now.
A new book documents the jaw-dropping collaboration between Japanese plant whisperer Kohei Oda and longtime Sight Unseen favorite Adam Silverman, who over the past year have made a series of potted cacti that are amazing in their complete and total eccentricity.
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.
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.
Anyone familiar with the work of Los Angeles ceramicist Ben Medansky would be surprised to learn that, when he was a student at the Art Institute of Chicago, his work was actually colorful, spanning the full spectrum of glaze hues. But after he graduated and went to work for a succession of other artists — among them the Haas brothers, who hired him to set up and run their in-house ceramics shop, and Peter Shire, for whom he spent a sweaty summer splatter-painting dishware — he decided he needed to find his own signature style, so he abandoned color entirely upon setting up his own studio in 2012 and started by focusing exclusively on form. The strong, graphic shapes he’s been creating since, all in earthy orange stoneware peeking out from under a speckled-white glaze, have become instantly recognizable in the contemporary ceramics scene.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.