ART Vancouver

Uniting Nations through the Power of Art

As the evening starts to open up.

The Aim of Art is not to represent the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance” – Aristotle.

Art Vancouver, Western Canada’s most prestigious art fair is back this year at the Vancouver Convention Center West. Featuring reputable galleries and artists from across Canada and around the world. May 5 – 8th 2022.

Ron Art Mania

I attended the opening with my friend Megan last night. It was an overwhelming feast for the eyes as we wandered around and visited all the exhibitors.  There is truly something for everyone’s taste – well almost.  No booth is alike.

Reinvent by David X – Mixed Media of Elon Musk

What I realize from having visited various art shows and galleries is that we can appreciate a painting, sculpture, photograph and other mixed media works of art for the sheer ingenuity each of these artists put into their work as well as the power of a message, whether you like the piece for yourself or not.

Maybe you don’t find a work visually appealing or perhaps it doesn’t go with your décor, but we can still try to accept and welcome all the different styles, imagination and heart put into the work  – and as this show went to prove, there’s plenty of inventiveness out there, and overall…that goes to create an incredible event.

Industrial Design Artist German Aguirre Reder

Lisa Wolfin – Director’s Foreword:

Whether it be with a piece of clay, brush, or pencil, we all have the capacity to create love.  To say something through a full scale of colour or none at all, it is art which gives a voice to anyone who wishes to use it.  And it is only when you have the courage to share and admire these gifts that an event like Art Vancouver is made possible.  Surrounding ourselves with original art in our homes, the loving energy used to create the art emanates into our space.”

 I took tons of photos so as I’m sharing some today, I’ll post more next week.  Let me know what you think.

We loved a lot of what we saw

Still; if you’re focused on a very specific style for a set area of your home, you may or may not find what you’re looking for, even at a show of this calibre.  Art is so subjective.  You have to fall in love with your personal choice and it has to evoke some emotion. Art for art’s sake is not enough.

I highly recommend Art International Vancouverthis weekend.

Photos: d. king

https://www.artvancouver.net/

Sky Lilah and her wonderful collages and sparkly dress.
James Darin Corbiere Waabshki Makwa (White Bear) – Cowichan Bay, B.C.
Bones & the Residential School of Doom.

Marc Hazel (in mask) with Quynh Nguyen in artistic dress.
Erik Markovs, Portland, USA. Using vintage wallpaper and other materials to create unique and beautiful mosaic wall art.

By Freakshow. And yes; it was!

Wine is an art unto itself and I might add very personal too. I’ll sample this one at the upcoming International Wine Festival (May 16-22) – also at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

Art is not what you see, but what you make others see” – Edgar Degas.

There’s Something about Mary Woronov

Back at the Factory…or in this case the cultural center…

Ramona, Mary in the middle and Me.

A group of us attended an art/film/book signing event for Mary Woronov; former muse to Andy Warhol.  A muse by definition is a person or personified force who is the source of inspiration for a creative artist. However, Woronov has since become her own creative artist as actor, figurative painter and author.  But getting back to Andy…

I’ve always had a fascination with Andy Warhol, going so far as once trying to locate him (at a relatively young age) at his studio in Manhattan that everyone referred to as “the Factory.”  Unfortunately he wasn’t there and I’m not even sure what would have happened had I found him.  Perhaps he’d have hired me as an assistant, perhaps he would have put me in one of his underground movies and I would’ve become his muse or maybe he would have just told me to scram…but I didn’t see it that way.

Art by Mary Woronov

Being a bit of a mystery, his work appealed to me and he was way ahead of his time having eventually predicted what is now happening with social media where an average person can become famous through avenues like YouTube or tik tok.  It’s fascinating actually; the world is wide open and yet; it’s not really “real.”  Reality TV, influencers and Art is everywhere.  I remember Warhol’s “Interview Magazine”, nicknamed “The Crystal Ball of Pop”, featuring interviews with celebrities, artists, musicians, and creative thinkers. In 2018, the publication ‘folded’ and ended both its print and web publications.  Times have changed.  But sometimes it’s important to hear significant stories from the past.

with Claudia Reid of Palm Springs POV + variety show entertainer.

Which brings me to my recent meeting with former Warhol muse and cult star Mary Woronov.  It was at the closing reception of her art series “the mystery of the red shoe” and a movie she starred in called “Rock ‘n Roll High School,” at the Palm Springs Cultural Center last Saturday night – the closing night of a MARY WORONOV MEGASPECTIVE presented by The Ebersole Hughes Company – the same documentarian duo who did “House of Cardin,” “My Name is Lopez,” “Mansfield 66/67,” “Dear Mom, Love Cher,” and others.  I’m a huge fan of their work.

Sponsored by HELLTOWN Whiskey & The Cheetah Hotel (links below).

with Roy; creator & co-founder of Helltown Whiskey

Gathered around was an eclectic bunch, to say the least:  An “in-the-know” crowd of documentarians, entertainers, musicians, whiskey makers and the odd blogger who remains curious.

L-R (Me, Mary Woronov, Ramona Huth, Roy Rogers Oldenkamp, P. David Ebersole, Kitty Joselle Gilvezan.

It’s clear that not everyone knows who Mary Woronov is.  A major cult figure as an actress for her work with Andy Warhol and Roger Corman films, she is also an accomplished painter and writer, having published three books —Wake for the Angels: Paintings and Stories, her autobiography Swimming Underground: My Years in the Warhol Factory, and the novel Snake.

Kitty Joselle and hubby Dan Gilvezan

Woronov joined Warhol’s entourage after a class trip to the Factory and starred in a number of his underground films (Chelsea Girls for one), and she appeared as a go-go dancer in the Velvet Underground’s Exploding Plastic Inevitable shows. She left the Factory in the late 1960s and, after recovering from a heavy methamphetamine addiction, spent two years in Europe with a friend. It was during this time, Warhol was shot by Valerie Solanas, and thanks to the now altered Factory dynamic, “there was nothing to go back to.” She then supported herself with work in off-Broadway theatre, got married to director/producer Theodore Gershuny, appearing in three of his films.

Woronov is most famous for her role as Mary Bland in Paul Bartel’s black comedy Eating Raoul (1982).

She’s also funny as hell.  It was a pleasure being in her company.

Speaking of hell….there was Helltown Whiskey where co-founder Roy Rogers Oldenkamp (an L.A. Art Dealer) gave my friend Ramona and me a little education on the making of whiskey as we sampled whiskey sours which turned out to be pretty darn tasty.  The evening ended with us getting a lift to another bar called Truss & Twine with an entertainer who plays piano and sings Dean Martin tunes while his wife sings Dinah Shore oldies. The show is appropriately called “Dino and Dinah.” 

Welcome to Palm Springs!

Cheers!

 Cheetah Hotel:

https://www.cheetahhotelps.com/

Helltown Whiskey

Home

Maison Bleue Moderne

Oh, just another magnificent modernism maison.

Entrance to beyond la Porte Bleue.

I love observing how other people live. Very nice of the owners to open up their homes and let others take a peek inside and make them feel terribly envious by doing so.  I was feeling very Bleue in this home…but in the most positive way.

This home is like stepping into a vacation.  It’s a nod to the owners’ appreciation of beauty and being by the ocean with a modern nautical theme (despite being in the desert) as variations of water colors flow throughout, from vibrant turquoise to rich navy blues.  It’s just gorgeous.  I’m aware that I overuse this word but I just can’t think of another better word to describe this house and many others on the modernism open home tours.

Michelle Boudreau (pic below) recently re-designed the 1958 William Krisel originally designed Alexander Company home. She seamlessly merged materials and new spaces with modern technology while respecting the existing mid-century cherished design details.

The philosophy of the renovation was to establish a good relationship with the existing structure as it had beautiful bones.” Boudreau states.  I did notice that she herself has beautiful bone structure.  Just had to add this tidbit of info.

To create a poetic home that embraces the Palm Springs lifestyle, Boudreau selected from brands such as Brizo, Dunn-Edwards Paints, Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting, Hunter Douglas & Tidelli.

Check out that wall paper!

The 2,400 square foot artful interior space boasts four bedrooms & four bathrooms.  And lots of gorgeous attractive coffee-table books which I adore. The home and the books are inspired by the owners’ colorful personalities and passion for sailing and travel.

Check out that bedding and wall paper!

The home is nestled below the San Gorgonio mountain range in Vista Las Palmas, Palm Springs.

Simply breathtaking!

All photos: d. king

Modernism week is on until February 27th.  Get tickets for events while they last here:

https://modernismweek.com/

 

Modernism Week – 70’s Featured Home

Welcome to the start of Modernism week here in Palm Springs…home to the largest concentration of Mid-Century Modern architecture in the United States. Modernism week is an annual celebration and appreciation of all things midcentury modern. Think design, architecture, art, fashion and culture.
This is one of the busiest times of year for tourism in Palm Springs when hundreds of events take place that include the modernism show & sale, fabulous signature home tours, films, lectures, premier double decker architectural bus tours, nightly parties, live music, walking and bike tours, fashion shows, classic cars, modern garden tours and even more. Of course numbers to events are a bit more limited now and keeping a safe distance is still in place, however it feels like things are getting back to normal.

Today I toured the stunning 1975 Palm Springs residence referred to as the “Seventies Sackley” home, as it was designed by noted architect Stan Sackley. The home was recently reimagined by interior designers Michael Ostrow and Roger Stoker of Grace Home Furnishings who purchased it in 2012.

Located in the prestigious Indian Canyons neighborhood, the house boasts deep mid-century roots and a distinctive architectural style.  Situated on nearly a quarter acre lot, the 3,044 square foot home contains three bedrooms, three bathrooms and a beautiful saltwater pool and spa. It has brilliant mountain views, high ceilings, clerestory windows and walls of glass. The formal entryway is expansive and the dining area leads to a step-down living and media room, while walls of glass line the back of the house that open to the pool with a wondrous view of the San Jacinto mountains.

A favorite feature for the couple is the combo living room and media room which is separated by one of Sackley’s signature touches, a see-through fireplace with stacked stone detail.

The house’s custom glazed floor tiles were another coveted element, as they’ve believed to have been designed for the house by Sackley himself. 

Stan Sackley is described by Ostrow and Stoker as an architect who left a great body of work but has remained somewhat under-appreciated until recent years.  Ostrow shared that following Sackley’s death in 2001, his work archives were sold at a yard sale.  “Soon after, someone would go up and down the street asking people if they wanted to buy the floorplans to their house,” he says.  “We’re lucky to have it so we can see how the kitchen was configured.”  When they gutted the kitchen, they located a piece of laminate that was from the old cabinet and found the old countertop, a walnut laminated material and a matte white glazed tile. “What we put back in makes it almost look like the original kitchen,” Ostrow says.

When it came time for an update to the home, Stoker and Ostrow decided to implement changes that remained sensitive to the architect’s original design. Eventually, the pair decided on a modest renovation of the kitchen and bathroom with no structural changes.  Luckily, the couple got their hands on Sackley’s original furniture floorplan.

The interiors now feature a classic modern take on Palm Springs style, with a bold green and blue color palette.  Vintage pieces are used throughout the home alongside contemporary pieces from Ostrow and Stoker’s own Grace Home Furnishings Collection and showroom lines.

All photos: d. king

For ticketshttps://modernismweek.com/

The Artful Photography of Janet Slater

Capturing the ordinary and making it extraordinary.

This in a nutshell is what best describes the photography of Janet Slater.  You can see for yourself in the splattering of her work shown here on this site.

I had the pleasure of meeting Janet this past summer in Sechelt on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia.  We had dinner at a mutual friend’s house.  I was amazed at her creativity, imagination and ability to capture small details.  It’s the small details that an experienced photographer uses to capture emotion and turns it into an art form. And so, it’s not just another sunset, another beach shot…you get the picture (pun intended).

Janet shows a lot of diversity on her web page so I had to pick and choose which ones to showcase here.  That alone was a challenge.  Her interest runs the gamut of architecture, nature, ballet, bridges and barns…and more.

Did you know that it wasn’t until the 1940’s that photography was accepted as an art form?

Alfred Stieglitz ( American photographer, Author; The Photographer’s Eye, Art Dealer 1864-1946) is credited with getting photography accepted as an art form.

Obviously a different effort put forward than painting or sculpting, although the capture is what defines the art.

It’s the peaceful moments in a noisy world. The element of surprise and the unexpected. It’s the calm before the storm, the water droplets, the perfect and imperfect smiles and a sparkle in the eyes; these are some of the short-lasting emotional moments that makes every photographer’s dream shot.

Janet was awarded the FCAPA (Fellowship in the Canadian Association for Photographic Art). A high honour in recognition of her high standard of photographic  achievement. More on the link below.

You can browse more of her work and also make a purchase at:

https://janetslaterphotography.smugmug.com/browse

FCAPA Award at:

https://capacanada.ca/janet-slater-awarded-fcapa/

Vancouver International Film Festival 2020 (VIFF) Online

VIFF 2020 starts tomorrow

This film festival is something I look forward to attending and blogging about every year.  The lineup has always been excellent and it’s nice to sit with and bump into the same familiar faces. No doubt this time is going to be different.  The familiarity of sharing a cinematic experience with a crowd is on hold for now and we’ll all be happy when things return to normal and we’re able to sit together again.  So until then…

British Columbia’s biggest annual celebration of cinema is just around the corner.

From Noon on September 24 to October 7th, film lovers province-wide will enjoy over 100 feature films and events showcasing exciting, groundbreaking and provocative cinema and creators from around the globe.

You’ll be able to watch this year’s stellar line-up from the comfort of your home via VIFF Connect, VIFF’s new online streaming platform. For the first time, audiences across BC can watch VIFF curated cinema and viewers around the world can tune into our Talks and Conferences.

Stay in the Loop

SIGN UP FOR VIFF NEWS  

Check out the amazing films/documentaries/talks:

viff.org

 

Mural in the Making – painting a story

Let me introduce you to extremely talented Canadian visual artist Kris Friesen.  Everybody has a story.  He can paint yours.

The header today is the finished mural at the Greek restaurant Koutouki in the 124 Street neighborhood of Edmonton. It depicts a colorful streetscape of busy life in restaurants and cafes in Athens.  By Kris Friesen.

I love painting split scenes that show wildlife above and below a water line. From left to right in this river mural are: a coyote, tiger salamander, Canadian toad, mallard ducks, silver redhorse, river shiner and beaver – Kris Friesen.

A smiling drummer in traditional African clothing performs in the foreground of this mural, celebrating the Kaleido festival in Edmonton – Kris Friesen.

This group portrait painting depicts four generations Canadian military service with five members of the Scott family, from the Royal Canadian Air Force in World War 1 to Combat Engineers in Afghanistan. Where the oldest generation did not meet the youngest, and a photograph would be impossible, all are painted shoulder to shoulder in this portrait – Kris Friesen.

I first met Kris about 15 years ago when my husband and I commissioned him to paint a wall on part of our outdoor courtyard after seeing his work on the outside of a gelato shop on Commercial Drive in Vancouver.

Jia Jia lying by the first mural flanked by real rocks, shells & wood flowers.  Photo: d. king

Our friend Jackie was anxious to take us to this new place for the best gelato in the city, but as good as it was we were more mesmerized by the lifelike Italian scene depicted on one whole side of the building.  The attention to detail was amazing. Actually, it was the best mural we’d seen to date and it got us thinking about how we could incorporate something personal to our own outdoor space.  So I got in touch with the shop owner who let Kris know we were interested.  Unfortunately the shop along with the mural is no longer there.

We had some ideas, Kris painted a story board and voila, our idea came to life.  A bit Santa Fe, a bit Wine Country and some water and mountains off to the distance.  And of course, an expanse of sky.  When we sat out there we felt like we had a special view of everything we like.  And it was after that that we wondered why on earth we hadn’t asked him to paint another wall.  We pondered that idea for several years.  Then we decided to move on it.

However by then Kris had unfortunately for us, moved to Edmonton and we dressed up the blank wall with a wall hanging and later on a mirror with plants in front.  We felt it needed something.   Fast forward to this past summer when I found Kris’s website and sent him an e-mail not even sure he’d remember me. Surprisingly he did.  By this time he had moved to Duncan, B.C. – at least it was a lot closer.  I told him my husband had passed away and that we had been talking for years about wanting to get him back to do some more art.  Luckily for me, Kris was Vancouver bound for several days just recently so we discussed the wall.  I thought Spring would be a perfect time to start however Kris was going traveling for a while and not sure exactly when he’d be back.  Since the weather was good and considering how well the other mural held up over the years, I decided to go ahead.

I wanted the older mural to be extended around the corner and a few other things added to the much smaller blank wall area; which would have not been in the original plan.

The work in progress:

Always start with a blank canvas

Draw it out for a rough draft

Get started.  Looks a bit sketchy.

Starting to take life

Just about finished.  I have to leave a little bit to the imagination.  There’s a few missing little details.  Group of photos: d. king

Mural Mural on the Wall – I’m very happy with the finished result.  He even put another protective coating on the first mural which had held up very well and re-painted a few things on the upstairs deck.  Oh yeah; he also painted some rocks, sagebrush, flowers, gekkos and butterflies on the upstairs deck.  Looks great.

Here’s a small sampling of his other diverse original works of art.  Kris not only paints murals. He started with that, however now he paints on canvas and panels mostly.

This painting of a Chinese flute player that has been called a fairy or spirit by some members of Edmonton’s Chinatown – Kris Friesen.

This Asian elephant moves forward into a stream of water while throwing up an airborne stream of dust. As much as I like the contrast between air and water my understanding of elephants suggests they might like it more, as their trunks can provide a unique medium between the two – Kris Friesen.

The Battle of Vimy Ridge saw Canadians advancing uphill against Germans defending their hardened positions. The mural depicts some of the terrible conditions Canadian troops would have experienced as they gutted out their rolling barrage. To emphasize the challenges soldiers faced I made the direction of the mural up and to the left, the most uneasy direction to look if viewed by a westerner, as we read left to right and downwards – Kris Friesen.

First Nations peoples utilized Alberta resources long before Europeans arrived, like this painting of a spring fishing camp, where walleye and pike are caught and prepared with stone tools at a northern stream. Fish that are not cooked or smoked are placed on wood racks to dry in the sun, while nearby two people seal a birch bark canoe with spruce pitch and bitumen – Kris Friesen.

Website:

http://krisfriesen.com/

 

Hidden Paradise: The Mesa

Hidden Paradise is the very appropriate tour name given by the Palm Springs Historical Society to refer to The Mesa; an eclectic and beautifully secluded hillside neighborhood.  I took all of these photos two days ago, on the last day of the tour for this season.  It was a hot one….and I’m not referring to just the tour.

Beyond this gate was the home of actor Joseph Cotten (Citizen Kane, Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte among many other well known films).

I was invited to go on this relatively new tour, not being aware of how incredibly close in proximity The Mesa is to where I reside. I’m really happy I chose this walking tour from several the society offers because it’s another hidden jewel that I’m told many locals don’t even know about.  Even though some of the homes you can see from a distance, you may not know how to get there.

As they say on their website it is truly a slice of paradise. The amazing variety of architecture  ranges from the romantic Spanish Colonial Revival of the 1920’s to today’s dramatic contemporary styles.  Even one original mid-century modern home that stands out.

Max Factor (the makeup maven) family mansion.  The gate was open; it felt somewhat inviting.

With a glamorous past it has long been home to the Hollywood elite (Natalie Wood, Robert Wagner, Cher, Joseph Cotten, Henry Mancini, *Johnny Mercer, Jack Warner of Warner Brothers Studios, among others). Many have been celebrities from the World of Music – singers, composers, lyricists and musicians.  Even the cartoonist Lee Holley, known for Denis the Menace and comic strip Bugs Bunny who passed away in his home here just last year.  Our guide told us that he was so friendly he’d give away some of his original cartoon drawings.

Home of cartoonist Lee Holley – a fairly modest home here.

There are many vacation rentals here now too.  One home had no outside windows at all in the front to keep passersby from peering inside.  But I’m telling you; never judge a house from the outside.

Unless you’re lucky enough to get an invite to one of Barry Manilow’s fundraising shindigs, you can see his home and that of his friend Suzanne Somers from the outside only.  However the area itself which is larger than it appears is striking just to walk around and  see the gorgeous gardens.  In fact, it was really more of a garden/landscape tour than home tour – walking around for 2 hours+.

You can see the home of Suzanne Somers in the distance.  She said she can see Barry Manilow in one of the rooms of his home (which is a compound) – way up on the opposite side of the hill.

A crown jewel of desert architecture, Ship of the Desert, is located here.  Designer Trina Turk (love her clothes) resides here.  I’ve seen this home from afar many times. I know a few people who’ve been to a cocktail party inside (there are no hallways) during Modernism week.  They referred to Turk as a lovely and gracious host.

Ship of the Desert. d. king

This home appeared in this magazine in 1936.

and many years later

Michael, our patient tour guide was very knowledgeable about the homes and the people who lived/lives here and entertained us with some anecdotes and juicy gossip.

I highly recommend one of the walking tours (only $20) when visiting or even living in Palm Springs.

Other tours the Historical Society offers are Golden Era (Hollywood Homes of Old Las Palmas), Inns, Architecture and Glamour, The Tennis Club (Celebrity Haven), Rat Pack Playground (and Frank Sinatra’s Neighborhood in the Movie Colony), among Private Tours (Architecture gems and Palm Springs Highlights).

See the 3 guard dogs? As easy as it appears to jump this fence…I don’t think so.  I wonder what lies behind that door….Narnia?

*Johnny Mercer wrote 1,500 songs and won 4 oscars.  He’s probably most famous for writing Moon River for Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Also the Days of Wine and Roses, Autumn Leaves, etc.  He was a big fan of Barry Manilow and near the end of his life he donated all of his songs to Manilow.

I plan to go on other tours next season.

https://pshistoricalsociety.org/collections/walking-tours

 

 

 

 

Monday Mood: MODERNISM

It’s that time of year again….Palm Springs hosts it’s 14th annual signature event featuring midcentury modern architecture, interior, and landscape design, art and vintage culture from February 14-24, 2019.

Photo credit: Bethany Nauert

Join us for modernist tours, talks, shows, exhibits, films, parties, and much much more.

Photo credit: Christopher Kennedy

Grace Home Furnishings

Photo credit: Lance Gerber

Tickets still available:

https://www.modernismweek.com/

I’m telling you folks….if you’ve never been….it’s something not to be missed.

 

 

 

 

 “Botero” – a documentary

A good painter looks for solutions.  A great painter looks for problems – Fernando Botero.

 A fascinating behind-the-scenes profile of Columbian artist Fernando Botero.   The North American premiere of “Botero” at the 30th Palm Springs International Film Festival was one of the most compelling documentaries I’ve seen in a long time. The figurative painter and sculptor is known as the world’s most recognized living artist –  although someone I knew very little about and was curious to find out more.

For starters, many people only know him from his illustrious paintings of distorted fat ladies.  Well…turns out he’s much more well rounded (pun intended) than that.  He does not only people but landscapes, animals, fruit and sculptures.

Botero’s style is familiar in the same manner that other famous artists are, no matter what they paint. Picasso, Warhol, Monet, Pollock….their style is always identifiable. Botero’s colorful whimsical work with a touch of satire  tends to appeal to the masses.

I was blown away by Botero’s body of work including enormous sculptures which grace some of the world’s major landmarks and institutions. You don’t have to like everything, however you can’t help but  admire and respect it. Not all art critics understand the thought process behind the artist. Some get it, some don’t.  It’s pretty simple.  A great artist makes you feel because there’s a story behind every piece of art whether it’s abstract or otherwise.  It’s not just brush strokes.

For instance,  Botero did a series of paintings of a young boy –  boy is sitting atop a wooden horse, dressed up as an officer.  We learn the young boy was Botero’s son, struck by a truck early on in life and died instantly. This was Botero’s way of honouring his boy.  For a long while the young boy is all he painted.  It must have been torturous for him to do so.  But we look at the painting not knowing the story behind it and feel what we feel .

Director Don Millar who was here in person for a Q&A afterwards delves not only into the psyche of what makes Botero tick, he also interviews Botero’s daughter and two sons.  You see the love and respect they have for their father. They are clearly family people, educated and articulate.

On display: many works by Botero are on display at the Botero Museum in the center of Bogotá, Columbia.

Botero also very generously donated ALL of his private paintings, drawings and sculpures (including works he owned by Picasso, Monet and more) to the Museo de Antioquia in Medellin, his hometown in Columbia.  He now spends most of his time in Italy but the donation in Columbia is a positive way to take the focus off of a city which conjures up images of drug cartels, gangsters and kidnappers. The collection is the largest of his work anywhere to date.