Thursday, June 15, 2017


We saw Kir Dullea, as an old man, in this bed for the final scene of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Stanley Kuybrick’s masterpiece.  Remember what he said when queried by another astronaut who landed in the room and wondered what was about to happen?….. “Something wonderful”. That sounds about right to me!IMG 2608I should backtrack.  Laurie Pie wanted to do something quite amazing for my birthday and discovered ‘The 14th Factory', a ‘monumental, multi-media, interdisciplinary, socially engaged art experience that mirrors the decline of globalization. This amazing project was conceived and financed by the Hong-Kong based British artist Simon Birch with 20 collaborators to  create this immersive environment within a theme of overcoming obstacles and challenges as a global society.
IMG 2635
The space at 440 N. Avenue 19 in Los Angeles covers 3 acres, 150,000 sq. feet. This huge industrial warehouse, is an immense environment comprised of videos, installations, sculptures, paintings and performance art transforming you into a central player. First one walks through a totally blackened area, walking some distance enveloped in darkness…….Laurie is heading there….
IMG 2598After walking forever through pitch black corridors (we used the lights on our iPhones) you come across ‘The Barmecide Feast’ a facsimile re-creation of the final bedroom set piece in 2001: A Space Odyssey  by Paul Kember. and you’re absolutely overwhelmed! The iconic illuminated white floor and the stark ‘whiteness’ of the room is staggering.
18813324 606490276227057 918689657690354530 n
IMG 2600
Next one journeys through to other installations, this one being a re-creation of a crator on the moon!
IMG 2613
It’s hard to get a sense of the huge scope of these areas…...
IMG 2617
This absolutely fascinated me. Artist Movana Chen wove an entire huge piece from shredded magazines!
IMG 2618
IMG 2619
There were three areas I didn’t explore but this one was a darkened room with tremendous wall to wall screens that showed video abstractions  of Simon Birch’s Ferrari crashing!
IMG 2623
In the next room were pieces of the Ferrari and on the wall still photos of it crashing!  This white table is immense and again hard to tell the scale of it.
IMG 2625
Artist Gloria Yu created various crowns using different materials such as wood, silver, gold etc.
IMG 2645
IMG 2626
And here were three meteors that fell to earth over 3 billion years ago, on loan to the exhibit.
IMG 2627
"Immersed in a total video environment, we are projected into a different kind of “extra-terrestrial” space, created by the countless facades of a Hong Kong cityscape, punctuated by thousands of windows. The perspective is of someone falling or floating in mid-air, travelling downwards through the “landscape” of the buildings, yet never hitting the ground. 'Tannhauser' is a concept by Simon birch, realized by Scott Sporleder, Jennifer Russell, with sound design by @GunnGary"
I had to leave this room as I got so dizzy and was delighted when someone behind me said they too felt that way!  You’re surrounded by the videos of buildings that really do seem to continue to rise up making you feel as if you're falling down.
IMG 2631
Finally, airplane parts disconnected from their host vehicle and floating in seemingly black water. ‘Clear Air Turbulence’, Simon Birch.  A site-specific installation of salvaged airplane tails in a steel-framed pool.Fullsizeoutput 15764
 O.K., enough of a cerebral workout, time to feast at ‘BESTIA’, one of L.A.’s top 5 restaurants and may I say it should be #1!
IMG 2659
 We had the best seats to watch food preparation and salivate over every plate we saw. (The pink package contains Neil DeGrasse Tyson's ‘Astrophysics for People in a Hurry’.
IMG 2662
IMG 2824
 O.K. Foodies…this is for you….LOBSTER CROSTINO: Saffron & squid ink aioli, pickled chilies, opal basil. Citrus.  Eyes roll back in your head delicious!
IMG 2664
 SALUMI: Chef’s selection of house-cured meats, mustard, grilled bread.  Yummy!
IMG 2666I love marrow bones…..This one was roasted with a spinach gnocchetti, crispy breadcrumbs & aged balsamic.  Soooo yummy!
IMG 2667
 GRILLED WHOLE BRANZINO:  Pea tendrils, fried herbs, grilled lemon.  Magnificent!
IMG 2668I took a video of my birthday cake which was ‘COFFEE & DONUT’s' (holes) with a candle, some amazing spiced chestnut zeppole, Whipped cream and COFFEE ICE CREAM so no photo.  Thank you dear Laurie for a perfect day!
IMG 2674
And remember….Live joyfully!IMG 2705

No comments:


There is no avoiding the pull of the internet, the blogs, the YouTube imaginings. It's as if we're all 'On the Road' with Jack Kerouac each in our own world of meanderings. When we tell someone to 'get a life' it might be a bit difficult when you're dragged into other people's 24/7.

I've come to realize two foundational principals, there are no accidents and everyone has a purpose. More and more I'm desiring everyone to come into a full realization of their purpose as we all find our way on this little jewel of a planet.

For me, as a professional 'Western style artist', I stumbled into Chinese Brush Painting after a trip in 1980 to Monet's home/garden. Seeing all of his collection of Japanese woodblock prints was an ahh haa moment for me and when I returned to the States I started painting in the Chinese manner and never looked back. The first year was extremely painful for me as I felt that I should be able to master the technique since I was a 'trained' artist. Not a chance ... that just gets in your way.

Now, after teaching close to 3,000 students and having my book 'The Ch'i of the Brush' published by Watson Guptill, I can say that every one of my students does better their first day than I did my first year! Why? Because I insist that they leave their critical parent outside and just enjoy the journey, respecting the work that they do. I never let anyone throw anything away because that just ingrains frustration and defeat.

We really only begin to learn when we stop and figure out how to 'save' a painting. It works every time.I am so proud of my students, their receptivity and eagerness to express themselves is a continuing blessing for me.So, back to finding your purpose. Perhaps it starts with realizing 'it's not about me'. It so easy to want our needs met and to filter everything thru this attitude. When we realize that we're here to be of benefit to every life that we touch the universe really provides the ways and means.

The best part is that it's really exciting to not have yourself on your mind all the time!I'm re-reading a wonderful book about authenticity and in my next meandering I'll tell you about it. In the meantime I'd love to hear about your journey and am here to answer any and all questions about Chinese Brush Painting.