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4 posts tagged "John Baldessari"

Hedi Slimane Speaks: The Dior Designer Turned Photographer On “One Of The Most Personal And Intimate Projects I Have Done In Ten Years”


Man About Town, Philip Utz’s biannual men’s mag, may be Paris-based, but its next issue takes Los Angeles for its theme. And who better to steward its westward course than Parisien-turned-Angeleno Hedi Slimane? The former Dior Homme designer has spent the last several years shooting disaffected youth in L.A. Even sunny California couldn’t brighten up Slimane’s trademark moody images, shot mostly in black and white. “This issue is all about the creative or artistic community in Los Angeles, not the well-known Hollywood side, but rather the subcultures, something like a tribute to ‘indie California,’ ” Slimane told “Brian Wilson had therefore to be on this cover, a mythical Californian figure still inspiring the punk rock scene today with vibrant bands such as Wavves or Best Coast. This issue is mostly about portraiture, from iconic artists or writers (John Baldessari, Kenneth Anger, Chris Burden, Larry Bell, Gore Vidal) to California youth.” The former Beach Boy is Slimane’s cover subject, shot in all his well-creased glory. “Brian Wilson is legendary for me,” Slimane explained. “He still embodies the ‘sound of California,’ and proved to be one of the most gifted and important musicians of the twentieth century.” The whole issue, the photographer continued, is very close to his heart. “The L.A. portfolio might be somehow one of the most personal and intimate projects I have done in ten years. The magazine is almost a complement to Anthology of a Decade [a book of his photos from 2000-2010], coming out this month.” Above and below, a few exclusive spreads from the forthcoming Slimane-filled issue of Man About Town.

Photos: Hedi Slimane

“The Lobster And The Rat: A Love Story”


One of the hometown heroes of L.A. culturati is contemporary artist John Baldessari, whose career-spanning retrospective, Pure Beauty, is now up at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Sure, there’s a catalog, but if you want to commemorate the exhibition in more of a 2010 style, may we suggest Baldessari’s iPhone (and iPad) app—the first app created by a contemporary artist? Baldessari worked with L.A.’s ForYourArt to create an application based on his famous In Still Life, 2001-2010, which invited viewers to digitally manipulate and rearrange Abraham van Beyeren’s Banquet Still Life (1667) to create their own work of art. The app—and its attendant Web site,—lets you do the same, with the added bonus that a Flickr gallery allows you to see fellow artists’ work. To celebrate the genius new time-waster, we invited one of our own favorite Angelenos, Scott Sternberg of Band of Outsiders and Boy, to make his own (above). “I like to call this The Lobster and the Rat: A Love Story,” Sternberg wrote us simply. “John predicted everyone would try to ‘make the lobster dance,’” ForYourArt’s founder, Bettina Korek, added, “and of course Band of Outsiders did it first.”

John Baldessari: Pure Beauty is on view through September 12 at LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd, L.A., Oh, and one slightly gratuitous plug—speaking of apps, have you downloaded the iPhone app yet?


Art Appreciation Night At Fendi


Fendi’s Fifth Avenue boutique served as a virtual melting pot of the arts last night, hosting a launch party for a book about artist John Baldessari and a piano performance by rock-and-jazz fusionist Eric Lewis.

No mere coffee-table volume, Sharon Coplan Hurowitz’s The Prints of John Baldessari: A Catalogue Raisonne 1971-2007 is a definitive treatment, ten years in the making, of one of the last century’s most influential artists. “Making photographs part of art-making, John made that commonplace,” Hurowitz explained. “Now we take it for granted.” The L.A.-based Baldessari did a major collaboration with Mario Sorrenti two years ago, and a retrospective currently up at London’s Tate Modern is recognizing his lifetime contribution to the dialogue between creative forms.

On a similar note, so to speak, Lewis banged out “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and other rock tunes during the party for an audience that included Brooke Shields, Prince Pavlos of Greece, and Linda Fargo—on a piano wrapped in pages from Hurowitz’s book. It wasn’t his first time playing for the fashion crowd: Donna Karan had him perform on the runway in February. “She likes my way of approaching the music,” Lewis (who has also played the Obama White House) said. “I stand, I have poses. I’m known for the faces I make.” No wonder he feels at home on the catwalk.

Photo: David X. Prutting / Patrick McMullan

Blasblog: Free Art Stuff From Fred


It should come as no surprise that Fred & Associates’ Molly Logan recently opened a library in her New York offices. “Had a career as a professional librarian been able to support my shoe habit, I would be sitting in some musty university library right now,” says Logan, who secures commercial and editorial assignments for her stable of fine art photographers. It’s not a university, but her agency is now a fully operational reference center. “Half of my books were in storage and I was running out of shelf space in my apartment. So I figured, open a library where all of these books (many of which are out of print) could be shared,” she says. “I was frustrated with the Barnes & Noble-ification of New York City and the fact that most young photographers I met had a very limited frame of reference when it came to photography.” But you don’t have to be a professional lensman to join; anyone can become a member simply by e-mailing And books aren’t the only things that Logan and her peers at Fred are willing to part with. At, new screensavers of work by contemporary artists like Doug Aitken, Terence Koh, Karen Kilimnik, John Baldessari, AVAF, Collier Schorr, and Paul Graham are available for free download everyday. Why so generous? “I like to tell anyone who will listen about something I love—especially when it’s art.”

Photo: Richard Kern