Matter on the edge of ’17.
Before the shit hit the fan, me and Sam went on a gratuitous but many-splendored trip to Los Angeles. Feeling so wrecked after this political season it feels like a distant dream to recall our sun drenched exploits.
After meeting for a cosmic catch up with my girl Ali at ban.do, I awaited Sam's arrival at the Standard Hollywood in a delirium (the Cactus Lounge’s drinks are fun but the adjoining Alma’s are better). We got off to a good start with an amazing meal at Maré (go through the door in the back of the grilled cheese place to access their secret garden) — significant crudités and seafood (and the tidbits brought to the table gratis). We got manicures at Olive & June which made me want to do stuff like that more often.
We commenced with the eating of toasts and swimming every day, taking a few pictures to inspire Sam’s beatific paintings. It’s always an honor to be a subject in my friends’ art (not to mention appearing in my friends’ dreams — please keep telling me when I visit you subconsciously to proffer a cupcake, or ask a philosophical question, or am covered in yellow body paint on a float in a parade). The Standard’s pool zone is emblazoned with the work of one of my favorite illustrators, Geoff McFetridge, subtle and endearing. We explored neighborhoods on this trip that I haven’t made a focus of past visits (namely West Hollywood, Downtown, and the Arts District with some Highland Park mischief), beginning with a totally superficial but lovely trek around Melrose. I was duly dazzled by the design of the Rachel Comey store and the setup at Tenoversix. Also cool to see The Apartment by The Line's showroom, Clare V. always, Assembly, and Kelly Wearstler. Lunch at Jon & Vinny’s was sensational.
We crossed Mid–city en route to Downtown, stopping at Kayne Griffin Corcoran to see the work of Mika Tajima and Jean-Pascal Flavien, and Ochi Projects to see paintings and sculptures by Lilian Martinez (aka BFGF). Moving to the Ace was such a different face of LA. We did a studio visit with Blockshop Textiles (so good), prowled Grand Central Market, and saw some exceedingly essential stuff at The Broad. We hung out at the hotel’s rooftop bar before attending Jen Gotch’s birthday skating party at the Moonlight Rollerway which was very fun. Afterwards we landed at Block Party and bar hopped along York and I look forward to spending more time there in the light of day.
We checked out the refined goods of Formerly Yes + a MAST factory + more highly curated wares at The Good Liver, tasted spirits distilled from clementines at The Spirit Guild, browsed the Hennessey + Ingalls bookstore, were skeptical but got healed at Café Gratitude, experienced the cool Hauser Wirth & Schimmel compound (SO into the Book & Printed Matter Lab, I found some remarkable works in there), and bought things at Poketo. We visited exceptional calligrapher and artist friend Emily, then popped in to Ooga Booga (perennially awesome), Friend Mart (Tuesday’s cute new shop), and Building Block (where he gave me a fortune cookie and the message inside was: “Leaves”) in Chinatown before dining at Pok Pok. I’ve been making shrubs with their drinking vinegars all year so was really excited to eat there and it did not disappoint. Since it was our final night I forced Sam to accompany me to the men’s room at Cole's Pacific Electric Buffet to witness the “Charles Bukowski Pissed Here” plaque (thank you Ashkahn for turning me on to this landmark).
Before leaving town I finally made it to Julia’s backyard Either Way sale – cool mix of vintage finds and objets d’art. Took the Flyaway bus to the airport which I totally recommend. Had picked up a couple copies of Car.la when I recognized it at a gallery (my friend Haynes is the design director – bravo) and immersed myself in its smart articles while drunkenly getting nutella all over on the way home and it felt meaningful.
Been living way beyond my means with travel this year but I can’t stop. Can’t wait to share a crazy one coming right up.
The minibars of LA are no match for us / 1 : Maré / 2 : Olive & June / 3 : Standard Hollywood / 4 : obsessed with the space + dressing room design at Rachel Comey / 5 : The Apartment by The Line / 6 : every shelfie at Tenoversix + Clare V. / 7 : Assembly / 8 : Flavien – so into it / 9 : Ace DTLA / 10 : Blockshop / 11 : Mast / 12 : yes yes in 1969 Allen Ruppersberg opened an art diner serving inedible surrealist dishes like “Simulated Burned Pine Needles a la Johnny Cash, Served with a Live Fern”
I curated a print show, Rising Signs, at Forage Modern Workshop and it’s up through November 6th. 10 women designed risograph posters that we printed at Beyond Repair. These limited editions are available for $10 at Forage! We had a super nice opening earlier this month with pop–ups by There There Collective and Dumpling. It’s been touching to see the pieces that people picked for their own triptychs and gallery walls... Check it out, or get in touch if you’re outside Minneapolis and interested in something. :)
A fast trip to NYC materialized last week and it was inspiring. A meal at Marlow & Sons and a walk across the Williamsburg Bridge set the pace for a couple days of wide-eyed wandering. I met up with Sam and we visited the inimitable Otherwild’s east coast outpost, beneath Coming Soon (a super great housewares shop), and saw Matthew Chambers’ paintings at Feuer/Mesler and Rachel Levit’s prints at Object_ify. The summer heat was sticking around and we probably should have decamped for Rockaway Beach (I really want to see this Katharina Grosse installation) but we drank our way across the city instead. We had some special mimosas (made with their inventive juices) at The Butcher’s Daughter and meandered towards the café at the Standard East Village, trying to acquire a discounted room via their app but it was sold out for the night. We got caught in the rain and brought the party to Sam’s studio, eventually ending up at The Ides Bar atop the Wythe which has a real pretty nighttime view.
I began the next day with stops at the Dimes Deli and Café Henrie, and was able to get a research appointment at the Lubalin Center! It’s a library and archive of design ephemera, just flat files of every issue of Avant Garde and Herb originals and it’s bonkers. There’s also a good Swiss design show in the adjoining gallery (at Cooper Union). I explored some of the showrooms upstairs at ABC and had ramen and a pint at Momofuku. I was finally in the same city as Radiant Human’s tour so I got an aura photo and it was illuminating. Then Sam and I chased more art, seeing Sarah Cain’s Dark Matter in Chelsea, David Shrigley’s Memorial in the corner of Central Park (a passerby asked us, “What is this?”), and the Madeline murals (which I have an affinity for obviously) on the walls of Bemelmans, where we got sidelined by expensive martinis and were late for the opening night of the NY Art Book Fair.
The NYABF was like a happy dream where you’re in a literal maze of publications and everything in sight is so good. The big bummer was that we didn’t have time to see everything at the preview and I was leaving in the morning — I could easily have spent all weekend there. Lastly met up with some tight bros from way back when at the bar and drank Minnesotan beers of course. New York is overwhelming to me but I just surrendered to it and did my thing and it was so fun.
“Vivo sumergido en tu aura.” —Jodorowsky / 1 : Café Henrie + Radiant Human vibez / Lower East Side color stories / 2 : the shopgirl at Clare V. sent a photo of my pants to Jesse Kamm / go swimming every day / sunset from Williamsburg / 3 : Lubalin piles / 4 : Sarah Cain’s floor paintings at Galerie Lelong / 5 : see also Why Printed Matter’s NY Art Book Fair is the Best/Worst Show of the Year / mementos
I know it’s only rock ’n roll but I like it. Listen here.
The Rolling Stones — Good Times / Ofege — It’s Not Easy / The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion — Magical Colors / Lee Dorsey — Ya Ya / De Frank Professionals — Afe Ato Yen Bio / Orquestra Harlow — Grazin’ in the Grass / Hound Dog Taylor — Let’s Get Funky / Ngozi Family — I Wanna Know / Paul & Linda McCartney — Oh Woman, Oh Why / July — Dandelion Seeds / The Kingsmen — You Can’t Sit Down / Savoy Brown — Train to Nowhere / Bob Dylan — Wigwam
We just took a quick trip to the Northeast and it began with a tour of architect Walter Gropius’ house in Lincoln, Massachusetts. I marveled at every detail and it’s like a mini museum with Marcel Breuer, Knoll, and custom furniture, and art and objects from myriad other Weimar and modern masters. I learned about “Bauhaus pink,” the perfect color that graces several ceilings and walls and delighted me considerably. Seeing his innovative philosophy, economy of materials and style, and exquisite collections on display was so inspiring. The Gropius House is super close to Walden Pond so we stopped there too, and I expected an earnest backcountry situation but it’s now a public beach that would be nice to spend a day at. We hit the road for Portland, Maine, stopping at the cute shop Folk in Kittery along the way.
After checking into the Mercury Inn we headed straight to More & Co., one of my favorite shops to follow from afar. We met up with a friend for dinner at the Portland Hunt & Alpine Club, and had an amazing smörgåsbord and cocktails. Then we walked to the concert venue + the main reason for this trip — Brian Wilson playing Pet Sounds. After regretfully missing the Stones last time they were in MN I vowed to go see more of my favorites, so when Brian Wilson announced a couple dates we thought about going to Austin’s Levitation festival with a detour to Marfa, but decided on a visit to ME and I was able to get seats in the orchestra section. Of course now he’s playing all over the country but it was extremely special to catch this show.
Bon Appetit’s recent city guide turned me on to several new places I hadn’t come across, and we spent a day doing a beer and snack crawl across town. There are a LOT of breweries and distilleries here, and we sampled quite a few. Oxbow’s beer was the best of the bunch, and other highlights include kombucha from Urban Farm Fermentory and seafood at Eventide (we intended to take a ferry ride but missed the boat because we were too busy getting drunk and eating oysters there). Bought wine at Drifters Wife (extremely well curated selection + their cafe looked like a perfect date spot), didn’t make it to Bunker Brewing but I wanna try their Salad Daze. And there are so many restaurants doing creative takes on Maine ingredients.
We crashed with our friends and one of their beautiful kids asked me in the morning, “Did you hear the stars twinkling last night?” We hiked Bradbury Mountain, and quintessentially ate a lobster roll next to a lighthouse on the way out of town. I really really wanted to go see Sol LeWitt’s wall drawings at MASS MoCA but couldn’t get there this time so we’ll just have to go back...