Friday, April 13, 2012

Must See Art This Weekend: Charlene Liu ~ Everywhere Close To Me

It's a little after midnight, and I've just finished photographing this amazing new body of work by Charlene Liu. The way she manipulates paper cannot be understood in jpegs. You'll have to use your own eyes to appreciate what's going on in these works. The show opens this saturday at Taylor De Cordoba.



Taylor De Cordoba is proud to present Everywhere Close To Me, Charlene Liu’s third exhibition at Taylor De Cordoba. The exhibition will run from April 14 – May 19, 2012 with an opening reception for the artist on Saturday, April 14th from 6 – 8PM.

In her new body of works on paper and panel, Liu manipulates the medium of paper itself to create a series of beautiful yet unsettling abstractions. Along with acrylic airbrush, handmade paper is Liu’s material of choice and she uses delicately pigmented papers to build her collaged works. Armed with an overtly feminine palette of pinks, peaches, mints and violets, the work oscillates between extreme beauty and the saccharin. Through a process of forming paper pulp into shapes and painting with pigmented pulp, Liu cultivates chance and embraces a stylistic looseness that playfully mines painterly traditions.
Drawing from the everyday of her domestic interior and backyard landscape, as well as, chinoiserie and decorative art objects, Liu repeatedly recasts and collides motifs until their specificity collapses and a new world emerges. Clustered plum blossoms lie tangled in a chain link fence as loose abstract marks float through a celestial backdrop. Swooping and drifting the imagery can’t be contained, pushing through entangling lines and the confines of the rectangle. In the larger works, she subverts by piling up delicate motifs and details until they become dominating, even grotesque.
The combined elements create a pictorial space confounding ideas of ornamentation and desire, high and low forms, figure and ground. Repeatedly, Liu walks the line between celebration and critique, as she moves gracefully from imagery to abstraction. The result is a stunning series of imagined landscapes.
Liu lives and works in Eugene, OR where she is an Assistant Professor at the University of Oregon. Born in Taiwan in 1975, Liu received an MFA from Columbia University in 2003 and a BA from Brandeis University in 1997. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, with recent solo exhibitions at Taylor De Cordoba Gallery (Los Angeles), Elizabeth Leach Gallery (Portland, OR), and Shaheen Modern & Contemporary (Cleveland, OH). Her work has been reviewed in the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, and Flash Art International among others and is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the New Museum (New York), and the Progressive Art Collection (Cleveland, OH).

Taylor De Cordoba 2660 S. La Cienega Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90034 (310) 559-9156

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Miss Traffic: "Take Metro to Ciclavia this Sunday"

Metro made a really cute video promoting how bikes and metro can play nice together, especially on the way to Metro made a really cute video promoting how bikes and metro can play nice together, especially on the way to Ciclavia this sunday. Behold, Miss Traffic! this sunday. Behold, Miss Traffic!

The Quickening Art

Kant the philosopher called the music the quickening art. And music seems inherently alive and to give a feeling of life and emotion and ongoing, and of a journey, a sort of trajectory. And I suspect important all of these could be important as well. It’s just not the rhythm.  Everything in music carries one along.
-Oliver Sacks

Friday, April 6, 2012

Ciclavia 2012 art exhibition: Some Assembly Required

Some Assembly Required - Ciclavia 2012 Art Exhibition

Some Assembly Required looks like a fun activity to take in during next week's Ciclavia. I'll be bringing out the Shopping Cart Rickshaw once again to bring mirth and merriment to 2 wheeled Angelenos.

CicLAvia Bike Ride with Chad and the Rickshaw thru Downtown L.A. from Alex de Cordoba on Vimeo.

Inspired by CiclovĂ­a, the original, weekly street closure event in Bogotá, Colombia, CicLAvia opens LA streets to pedestrians and bicyclists, creating a temporary web of public space on which residents of Los Angeles can walk, bike, socialize, celebrate and learn more about their own city. On 4/15/12, 10 miles of roadways will temporarily close to car traffic and open for recreational purposes. From Boyle Heights to Downtown, MacArthur Park to East Hollywood, El Pueblo/Olvera Street, and South LA, CicLAvia encourages Angelenos to not only make active use of their streets, but to rediscover the roadways and neighborhoods that too often go unnoticed in a car. Help open LA’s streets… take part in the fourth CicLAvia on April 15, 2012.

Summer Meal in Spring

IMG_3095 IMG_3139 IMG_3119 IMG_3112 IMG_3162 IMG_3168 IMG_3154 Sangria, Hamburger, Fries, BBQ'd corn on the cob, top it off with brownie ala mode smothered in caramel sauce. Beatrice and her family are living the good life.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Perfection Perfected


How does one improve on perfection? Just ask Sherry & Miguel of Marvimon. Last week they opened their newly refurbished event space in Chinatown.


I'll never forget the first time I crossed the threshold of Marvimon, leaving behind Los Angeles and entering a magical land. As you prepare to leave grungy downtown L.A., the antique rug gives you a hint of what's behind the door.


Here you can see what Marvimon does best: elegant entertaining for large groups, state of the art multimedia & an ambiance limited only by your imagination.


Hollyflora, the best floral artisans in Los Angeles, know the ins and outs of Marvimon. This piece here brings the natural essence of a field of wildflowers into the mix, a perfect accent for this golden brick wall.


The muted grey/blue color of this wall makes everything POP


More flower porn...


The reclusive Lord Nelson holds court at the margarita bar.


Back to reality, if you're too imbibed to drive home, the train station is a five minute walk down the street.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Mountain Bike Sunday: Paseo Miramar to Eagle Rock


This past sunday morning, I jumped out of bed bright and early eager to go on a mountain bike ride, my first of the year. I've been looking forward to taking out my barely ridden Jamis cyclocross bike, which has been sitting for 6 months with nowhere to go. It's the perfect bike to ride on fire roads, where major suspension is not needed.


Around 630am, I tossed the Jamis in the back of my truck and drove to Pacific Palisades. I chose to ride up Paseo Miramar, a very steep uphill trail that leads to the Backbone Trail and Eagle Rock.

The backbone trail goes from Will Rogers all the way to Point Mugu. You can literally spend days and days riding around the Santa Monica Mountains on this trail.


I arrived at the trailhead and hopped on the bike and began pedaling. The trail got steep, fast!

CAT 3?
I tried to shift into the lowest gear and realized it was slipping. I spent a few minutes turning adjustment screws and finally got it sorted out. Back on the bike and even in the lowest gear, this was waaay too steep for me and my double ring cyclocross setup. At that moment, I really missed the triple chainring I was so used to on my mountain bike.

Without the triple, this ride turned into my own personal alpe d'huez.

I struggled to keep the cranks turning, taking turns sitting and standing, and eventually getting comfortable enough to accept that I was going to make it to Eagle Rock, eventually...


Once I got past the first 2 miles, where there's a 1000 feet of altitude gain, the ride became much more pleasant. The air was ultra clear and the trail had a soft tacky trail surface from the rains that fell the night before.


As I finally had a chance to catch my breath, I was reminded of the fact that I live in gorgeous part of the world that is there for me to enjoy whenever I want it. Deer ate breakfast by the side of the trail and spring was making her presence known in the blooming flowers everywhere.


"Why don't I ride here more often?" I asked myself.


No excuse...