Kenneth Anger Rocks Art Los Angeles Contemporary Show

Art Los Angeles Contemporary
January 30, 2016

Kenneth Anger at Art Los Angeles Contemporary, 2016. Photo credit: Bruce Edwin

The Art Los Angeles Contemporary Show was held here at the Barker Hangar, 3021 Airport Avenue, in Santa Monica, California, starting Thursday and going until Sunday the 31st. Santa Monica, to those who are not aware, is an amazing beach city on the West Side of Los Angeles noted for its great food, upscale shopping, hipsters, chill environment, beautiful hotels and beaches, film festivals including AFM, and art galleries including the great Bergamot Station which is a large cluster of over 30 art galleries.

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Barker Hangar itself has evolved into an upscale show space right adjacent to the Santa Monica Airport, hosting many upscale VIP and celebrity events. This week, it was transformed into Art Los Angeles Contemporary (ALAC), an art show of nearly 70 galleries of contemporary art from around the world.

While I don’t know how many sales took place on this particular Saturday, if they were plentiful, it was certainly thanks due to the show itself, for the show was buzzing, elbow to elbow with affluent people of all ages, and plenty of young money. One area here includes art and indie literature, a nice outdoor sitting and smoking area for those smokers, and another nice outdoor patio dining area with food and drinks.

The art here ranged from works by what is known as the ‘emerging artist,’ to ‘outsider art.’ Most art seen here today was very safe and functional, and a good place to shop for the early collector. Around 10% of the art here was an exception to the norm, with some artists’ unique approaches pushing the edges conceptually, and with some very refined painterly techniques such as that by ‘Liam Everett’ at ‘Altman Siegel’ Gallery, who creates excellent work.

KENNETH ANGER

The main reason I was here was for none other than the legendary Kenneth Anger. One of the most influential filmmakers in the world, Kenneth Anger, remarkably today in great shape at a ripe young magical age of ‘88,’ has reportedly influenced all from Martin Scorsese to David Lynch among countless more. Actually painting right on the film frames he shot themselves, Anger has produced some of the most mystical, and magnificent images on film ever seen.

With a history rooted in America’s rich tradition of rebellion, counter-culture, and the occult, Anger’s work has featured members of the Rolling Stones, Church of Satan founder Anton LaVey, and former Charles Manson buddy Bobby Beausoleil, among more. Openly promoting his religious path as a Thelemite, Anger has for decades, been a proud proponent of famed occultist Aleister Crowley, who later headed the magical group; The Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O). While many call Anger a Satanist, due to his frequent use of the word and homage to ‘Lucifer’ in his work, along with his interesting cast of characters in his films and his life, which often imitate each other, he has reportedly called himself merely a Pagan, and a Thelemite, not a Satanist.

The O.T.O, incorporating a series of magical grades, similar to the Masonic Order, adheres to Crowley’s writings as their religious body of texts. Crowley, once called ‘The Wickedest Man that Ever Lived,’ popularized the slogan which became so prevalent with the Beat generation and later the hippies; “Do What Thou Wilt Shall be the Whole of the Law!” Along with the pagan precept; “An it Harm None, Do What Thou Wilt!”

As a film major at an avant garde film school in Chicago, and as a decades long student of counter-cultural movements, rebels, and misfits as a punk rocker, I was of course raised on Kenneth Anger since I was a teenager, yet had never before met him–until today.

The fact that The Art Los Angeles Contemporary show hosted Kenneth Anger, speaks volumes as to the great significance, intelligence, and power of this show. Only former MOCA director Jeffrey Deitch was, as far as I know, wise, daring, and hip enough to book Kenneth Anger any time recently in L.A. This fact alone puts ALAC over the top in terms of relevance as a cultural and arts institution.

The Alex Theater here at the Barker Hangar rapidly filled up to over capacity, with staff having to tell the young guests to stand up, not block the door, squeeze closer, etc. The theater was packed, and tension was mounting by the minute. Over a half hour before the start, no seat was empty. The crowd’s energy swelled from waves of nervous conversations in synchronicity, to a dulled silence, then conversation began again. A sinister looking model type lad glared at me against the wall, then smiled. A male staff walked by and looked like he was going to plow into me, bumping my leg.

Finally, a tall man with glasses walked to the front, telling us that Kenneth Anger had now entered the building! It was 3:45, and he was 15 minutes late. Some of the crowd clapped. A few minutes later, a distinguished looking man with long hair entered the side door–Brian Butler, Kenneth Anger’s confidant’ collaborator extraordinaire. Kenneth appeared next to him, and walked on to the stage. The crowd excitedly clapped.

Kenneth Anger is a cordial, polite man. He said he was sorry at least twice for making a minor error in a date or technicality of a name. He answered every question posed to him by the audience. He spoke of Crowley, and he called Lucifer his guardian angel. He mentioned that the thing he was most obsessed with and upset about these days was the destruction of art, and what he called, the ‘murder of art,’ in the Middle East, by idiots destroying beautiful, ancient civilization landmarks, artifacts, art, and temples there, including what was the original Temple of Baal. He mentioned how he is making film again, yet stated how it takes time with his process, as he paints on each frame. He stated how he liked Santa Monica, how he was born here, and considers it his home town.

After a little over a half an hour, Kenneth Anger left the stage, said thank you, and walked to the show booth where around a half a dozen of his collections’ works were displayed. He there sat at a table in front of his prized art works by Aleister Crowley, Marjorie Cameron, Rosaleen Norton, and Bobby Beausoleil, and signed autographs for the hundred plus crowd that followed him. I took a final photo, and departed.

I walked outside, and the sun was blazing behind some clouds, about ready to go down. A fire red bi-plane flew over, its engine blaring, soaring into the sun. The same color as Kenneth wore. The Solar Fire.
b.e

(Interview questions by subnormal along with a portion of the lecture will be published in a future issue of subnormal. visit back here to listen to that later this month).

This content is copyright, 2016, Bruce Edwin, The Hollywood Sentinel, all rights reserved. subnormal magazine

David Bowie; The Icon Remembered

By Bruce Edwin

subnormal David Bowie 2016

Welcome to the newly revised Hollywood Sentinel! This online magazine is a creation that we are very passionate about, as we are passionate of all of the arts in general. The Hollywood Sentinel is the only magazine on the planet that covers all areas of the arts, features ‘only’ the good news, is seen by every star in its pages, as well as many more of the world’s most powerful people, and is created by working professionals in the entertainment industry. It is also unique in that it infuses a spiritual message in the publication, something lacking in most other entertainment publications. And, it serves as a voice to fans, to those aspiring in Hollywood, as well as an insider tool for top, A-level VIP’s and moguls.

ELITE AD 2016

After nearly a decade online, we decided it was time to re-vamp our look, upload speed, and smart phone capabilities. We are pleased that this new design does the job, enabling us to now bring The Hollywood Sentinel to you not only every Monday, but at times, with even daily new content. So, visit us often, explore the site, check out the back issues, and tell your friends and loved ones to read us too. There is truly a wealth of information and creativity in these pages, and we promise you, it will keep getting better, and better. You can always contact us via the contact box on the site, and for those of you that want to really do something great for yourself or your business, you can call us at 310-226-7176 to discuss advertising. Thank you for reading, and enjoy the new issue!

DAVID BOWIE

I grew up listening to my Dad’s great record collection when I was a boy. At 6 years old, I was singing to The Beatles, Janis Joplin, Elvis, Led Zeppelin, The Who, Tommy James and the Shondelles, and the Everly Brothers among many more. By 8, I was picking out my own music, and by 12, I started building my own record collection which included Joan Jett, Queen, Styx, Rush, Billy Idol, The Police, and dozens more including a man named David Bowie. When I first heard Bowie, I was stunned. The first thing that struck me all at once was the power and quality of his voice, songwriting, musical composition, and production quality. I had never heard anything else at all like Bowie. The production value was amazing, his voice sounded like it was right there in the room with me. His vocals were miked higher than most other bands I’d heard, and even among the solo artists like Bob Dylan or Donovan, Bowie’s production team did something I had never quite heard before. He was definitely out of this world; The man from Mars, to quote Debbie Harry. A genius songwriter, better than most any in the world, and with a voice and look that was captivating; David Bowie was legendary.

By the time I was 15, I had gone from being what kids called a metal head, to a new waver, to a punk rocker. I still loved metal bands including Ozzy Osbourne, Iron Maiden, Motley Crue, Judas Priest, and more, and I still loved the so-called new wave bands like Blondie, Bananarama, Flock of Seagulls, Culture Club, and The Cure, but I had now officially been introduced to punk rock. The Sex Pistols, The Damned, The Clash, The Ramones, The Dead Kennedy’s, Suicidal Tendencies, Black Flag, Bauhaus, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and many more were my new favorites. Across all genres of music, David Bowie was loved. My metalhead friends loved Bowie and listened to him, marveling at his wild outfits and theatrical make up and great songs. The new wavers naturally idolized him for his brilliance and songs that led so many movements musically and in fashion, and the punk rockers loved and appreciated him as well.

I recall many un-official David Bowie parties where my crowd of punk rocker friends host for the nights or days party would entail playing many hours of non-stop David Bowie CD’s. When I would go to the dance clubs in Chicago including Medusa’s, and later Club 950, and Neo among more, I would always hit the dance floor–as did everyone else who danced, when Bowie’s ‘Little China Girl,’ ‘Ashes to Ashes,’ Space Oddity,’ ‘Ziggy Stardust,’ ‘Fashion,’ ‘Fame,’ ‘Blue Jean,’ ‘Rebel Rebel,’ or any other number of his great hits were played.

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During my early punk years, I also made friends with a number cool black kids that also introduced me to early rap music. While I never became obsessed with rap like I did other genres, I liked a number of early rap artists, especially Public Enemy who I saw live several times. Even my rap friends loved Bowie. The mainstream pop crowd even liked Bowie, and although they and some of the rap crowd called him ‘weird,’ for having the guts to be one of the first male artists to wear make-up or wear a dress, they still liked him.

I loved music so much that I decided to start a music magazine which I called ‘subnormal,’ based on the college town of Normal, Illinois that I lived in for a number of years, and to describe a magazine that was definitely ‘not’ normal, featuring interviews with some of the bands listed above among many more. Having been called many insults during my early days as a punk rocker for how shocking I dressed, one of the entries of the word subnormal which also meant retarded, fit perfectly, to demonstrate an artistic and subcultural movement that could not be hurt or phased by even the worst of insults, similar to how some blacks later on began calling themselves the ‘n’ word. Like the punk rockers, and David Bowie himself, subnormal was un-insultable. We spoke our minds, and literally did not care what anyone thought or said. Like Bowie, subnormal wore its weirdness like a badge of honor, before it became trendy.

I remember how excited I was when David Bowie’s record label sent me some of his material, and an 8×10 glossy of David Bowie himself which I subsequently published. I was thrilled. I later decided to major in music in college, only later switching to film, as I realized it could include all of the arts within it including music, photography, writing, and even painting. David Bowie mastered nearly all areas of the arts; he sang, he wrote songs, he composed music, he danced, he acted, he wrote plays, he designed sets and costumes, he designed and wore fashion, and he made art as a painter.

People from every music scene out there loved David Bowie, and appreciated his artistic ingenuity, talent, brilliance, and greatness. He also collaborated with some of the other greatest artists of our time including The Rolling Stones, and Tina Turner, as well as from the punk scene including Sonic Youth, and Iggy Pop, and industrial rockers Nine Inch Nails among many, many more. I had the great pleasure to see David Bowie live when he toured one year with Nine Inch Nails and even performed some songs together with them. Trent Reznor was heavily influenced by Bowie, and reportedly asked him to do a tour together. Virgin Records kindly put me on the guest list. Bowie apologized that night for cutting the set short to about 90 minutes or less. He said he had a terrible cold and flu, and a sore throat. Yet he still sang, because, he said, he “didn’t want to cancel on us.” That was the kind of performer Bowie was. He loved his fans that much, and he was that kind. And if he hadn’t told us he was sick then, we would have never known, because he still sounded great.

David Bowie was light years ahead of his time, and still is. The world is still catching up with Bowie, and he influences artists across all genres in a myriad of ways. He gave me and countless others the strength to realize that an artist can be, do or have anything they want. An artist can wear anything they want, dress however they want, look however they want, and become anything they want, and that was their prerogative, and if someone else didn’t like it–too bad. Bowie gave hope to the hopeless, a voice to the voiceless, and a ray of light and celebration to anyone different, or yearning to be. David Bowie made being an outsider and rebel as cool as could be. And Bowie, unlike most any other, brought fashion, performance art, theatre, film, and more on to the stage, blending perfectly a multi-dimensional level of the arts like none before him. He realized that fashion itself was an art form, and more than most any performer of all time, made fashion an essential part of his persona. He even wrote a song called ‘Fashion,’ and married a fashion supermodel–Iman, which was shocking to many at the time, as Bowie was white, and she was black; yet another rebellious act that he didn’t just talk about, but lived. An actor, fashion icon, and musical great that made, broke, defined and defied genres, David Bowie made changes in music, the arts, and culture that will last forever. He was a true punk rocker; fearless, daring, and innovative, always pushing the edges.

The early morning when I clicked on the news and read that David Bowie had died, I was in a state of shock. I got tears in my eyes. Like other musicians I spoke with on the days that followed, they all felt like I did, that Bowie would be with us for ever, leading us all out of this life on Earth to the other side. I loved David Bowie’s work, and I am very sad that he is gone. A big piece of all of our global musical soul has been hit, and hurt since Bowie departed. I read that during his last months, he knew he was dying, but wanted to make his one last album for us, to leave to his fans, which he rushed to create and finished. That album, has since gone on to become his first #1 Album ever on the charts, giving his estate more sales at it’s debut than any of his other albums. I’m thankful I got to see his art exhibition that he personally put together, on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago just two years ago, which was amazing. I developed an even greater appreciation of Bowie after seeing that incredible show. There will never be another David Bowie. He stands at the very top of the greatest icons, performers, songwriters, and singers in all of the world, for all time. David Bowie, thank you for gracing us all with your brilliance and your art. You were and are– an amazing man.

This content © 2016, Bruce Edwin, The Hollywood Sentinel, all world rights reserved. subnormal magazine

Los Angeles Art

By Moira Cue

LA Art Show image 2014, 2016

Roundup: LA Art In Brief

Los Angeles Art Show

The 21st L.A. Art Show is back at the Los Angeles Convention Center in good old DTLA from January 28-31st.  This is an event so massive that it has at least a dozen publicized and a dozen more unofficial invitation-only after parties stretching from Chinatown to Culver City and beyond. There will be 120 galleries representing 22 countries. Wear some walking shoes, bring a note pad and empty out the memory on your iPhone!

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The VIP premiere was hosted by Amy Adams last year and will bring Anne Hathaway this year (on the evening of the Patron’s Ball on the 27th). There are separate sections for historic, contemporary, and even jewelry and interiors. There is typically a strong showing of Chinese art and a commercial vibe that borders on orgiastic, with 30 million in sales last year.  There are plenty of blue chip works, but also some other surprises, if you look carefully.  If you are Los Angeles local there’s no excuse to miss this!

According the to the official L.A. Art Show website; “ The LA Art Show, the 200,000 square foot art fair that welcomed more than 50,000 art enthusiasts to the Los Angeles Convention Center this past year, will launch its newly curated art show experience at the upcoming 2016 event. Looking back on the 20 year history of the LA Art Show, one can’t help noticing how it has evolved, changing locations and growing in diversity to reflect the trajectory of the burgeoning Los Angeles art scene. For the 2016 show, we want to offer visitors and collectors a new hosted art experience which will entail a fair devoted to only Modern and Contemporary art. Located next door, the Los Angeles Fine Art Show will exhibit works of Historic and Traditional Contemporary Art.”

It further states, “In recent years, the LA Art Show has become the most internationally diverse art platform in the Western world, bringing in the largest groupings of Korean, Chinese and Japanese galleries outside of Asia. Beginning in 2010, the LA Art Show has actively developed its international gallery offerings to provide collectors with a unique opportunity, to spot international trends and zeitgeist through art, a medium that has the ability to transcend language. This keen focus has been a hallmark of the show.”

   Thursday
   Jan. 28, 2016
   11am – 7pm

   Friday
   Jan. 29, 2016
   11am – 7pm

   Saturday
   Jan. 30, 2016
   11am – 7pm

   Sunday
   Jan. 31, 2016
   11am – 5pm

LOCATION:
Los Angeles Convention Center
1201 South Figueroa Street West Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90015

www.laartshow.com

Three Day Weekend

You might have had one on MLK Day, or perhaps you’re looking forward to President’s Day in February, depending on the political inclination of your employer. But you don’t have to wait, another THREE DAY WEEKEND starts Thursday, January 28 courtesy BLUM & POE Los Angeles. But Thursday’s exhibit is only two hours so it doesn’t count. This show has three locations, ten “manifestations,” and a free vacuum cleaner.

Three Day Weekend will show Dave Muller’s three replicas of the infamous Wrong Gallery from 2004. The Wrong Gallery was the smallest exhibition space in New York, located at 516A1/2 West 20th Street in Chelsea, (2002-2005). Inside each gallery will be an installation by Brian Sharp, Dave Muller or Jon Pylypchuck. This reminds me of the time I was back in Chicago in 2013 and bumped into Meg Duguid on the SAIC campus, carrying a shoebox-sized curated traveling exhibition. Someday I hope to receive nanoparticles of art invisible to the naked eye.

Grice Bench will show paintings by Roger White as suggested/commissioned by Jacob Stewart-Halevy along with a video by Stewart-Halevy.

ROGERS will show Dave Muller sculptures of Andre Cadere crates. The first person to check off all nine of the shows on a special handout and bring it in wins the vacuum. In the event of simultaneous submissions, participants will fight to the death in an impromptu mud wrestling match. OK, I just made that up.

From February 13 to March 12, 2016, the ROSAMUND FELSEN GALLERY presents Marcia Roberts, a minimalist color field painter whose current palette invokes the late years of Monet (or an eye-shadow kit from the 1970’s). If you traced a line from Monet to Rothko, the angle of the trajectory would point straight to Roberts, though the undeniable (or projected) femininity of her work brings also to mind Eva Hesse and Ellen Gallagher. Because Roberts’ earliest work involved special lights and materials, she has been associated with Light Art movement types such as Robert Irwin, but I think that if you drew a line between Irwin and Roberts and tried to drive it you’d get stuck in traffic.

LACE (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions) hosts the annual PEN USA Emerging Voices Welcome Party on January 27, from 7 to 9 pm. PEN Center USA is a branch of PEN International, an international literary and human rights organization. PEN Center USA “advocates for imprisoned, censored, and persecuted writers throughout the world, while cultivating and expanding a diverse and engaged literary community in the western United States.” The LOS ANGELES ART BOOK FAIR is also coming up, February 11 – February 14, 2016, at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA.

From January 30 through March 12, 2016, Anat Ebgi presents Double Blind, the gallery’s second solo exhibition with young SAIC/CalARTS alum Margo Wolowiec, whose source material is chosen from the Internet by “an automated algorithm,” but looks like a quilt of torn squares of James Rosenquist semi-imposed beneath a layer of Richter squeegees. And they’re actually woven tapestries.

LA’S BIG ART SHOW WEEKEND

In addition to the L.A. art show, we also have  Art L.A. Contemporary.  “Art Los Angeles Contemporary, now in its seventh year, is the International Contemporary Art fair of the West Coast, held January 28–31, 2016 at Santa Monica’s Barker Hangar. The fair presents top established and emerging galleries from around the world, with a strong focus on Los Angeles galleries.”

https://artlosangelesfair.com/
This content is copyright 2016, The Hollywood Sentinel / Moira Cue, all world rights reserved.