I found myself walking through a hotel made out of hand painted cardboard. Every room is filled with an incredible amount of detail, hinting at the type of guest staying there. If you keep your eyes open you might spot a gun, or drugs, fancy little slippers, a phonograph, a box of chocolates, matches, cat food, and a multitude of other objects revealing stories. Walking through the hotel lobby, guest rooms, hallway and bar felt like walking within a series of drawings. A funny mix of fantasy and reality settles in as all the objects are so familiar yet, completely fictional. The walls separating the rooms are paper thin, giving the exhibit it’s title.
Zoey Taylor and David Connelly (members of Dosshaus), are part of the exhibit — literally. Zoey was sitting on the floor, leaning against the bed in room 101, writing in a journal. Behind her, a suitcase full of cash. David was lying face down by a film camera in room 105. Not far from him, a desk with RX pill bottles and several alarm clocks.
The detail and the innumerable amount of items in the hotel was humorous. Entire personalities were whipped up from common “stuff”. Every item relatable to anyone yet, the combination of said items set characters apart. We categorize each other and identify through the things we display. We surround ourselves with stuff, in a constant attempt to voice our identities. Whether what we come up with is real or fictional remains ambiguous.
If you haven’t seen the “Paper Thin Hotel” yet, it’s definitely worth a stroll before the show ends.
The beauty about Los Angeles is that the minute you look at the city’s calendar, there is definitely something going on. This Saturday I attended the opening of Heather Cook’s exhibit, “1D 5L 2D 6L 3D 7L 4D 8L 5D 1L 6D 2L 7D 3L 8D 4L” at the Praz-Delavallade gallery.
Two series of woven work was presented throughout three rooms. You are first presented with Cook’s Shadow Weaves and then lead to see the Weaving Drafts. The compositions are made out of yarn. The yarn is painted with acrylic before being woven together, creating a picture in which the image lives within the canvas as opposed to on the surface.
While standing in front of one of the huge woven creations and letting myself drown in the complex graphic imagery created by the weave, I couldn’t help but reflect on my own line of work.
There is a certain presence of chance in all finished work. The process of planning followed by building will be inevitably altered by interference. This sort of distortion that happens in the creation of every project is why shaping an idea into form is addicting and forever drives a creative mind to design.
If you have a free afternoon, stop by the Praz-Delavallade
The Heather Cook exhibit will be displayed until June 16th.
Guillermo del Toro’s “The Shape of Water” won Best Picture and Best Director at the 90th Academy Award this year. I truly believe it was deserved. Although tackling some extremely serious subjects, del Toro’s fairy tale approach allowed me to immerse myself freely in today’s reality through magic. Del Toro’s use of fantastical worlds allows personal interpretation of his ideas; an approach based on invitation versus invasion. In a society where we are constantly and forcefully bombarded with strong opinionated media, I found an open ended fairy tale to be the most approachable commentary on our world’s reality today.
A fairy tale is for everyone
Today’s topics on inequality in race, sex and status are so constantly pounded into our heads that there is often a feeling of helplessness which, can be followed by feelings of rejection and shut down. By aggressively addressing the differences there seems to be a push towards exclusivity instead of inclusiveness, which in turn only causes a larger inequality gap. The Shape of Water does an extraordinary job at addressing some very serious issues in today’s society without feeling like a personal attack. Just like old fairy tales, this is a story for anyone and everyone. The tale is not catered to a specific group of individuals which, in my opinion is the only way to tackle inequality.
“A Director doesn’t dictate; a Director interprets“
I watched the film twice. The second time, a good friend took me to Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water, screening on February 22nd at the Landmark Theater on Pico (LA). It was wonderful to see the film again, this time in the presence to the Director and Writers. Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor lead a fun and warm Q&A after the screening.
Gulliermo speaks of his role as a Director and reminds the audience that “a director doesn’t dictate; a director interprets”. This was a phrase that really stood out to me. Dictating people into a way of thinking has never and will never have a successful effect. Again, the topic of inclusiveness versus exclusiveness. This is a thought process that rings true in so many aspects of our lives. Invading someone’s mindset versus inviting them for a stroll in your brain can have an immeasurable different outcome.
I managed to stop del Toro for a quick snapshot. As a “thank you”, I gave him a book about Russian fairy tales.
The Shape of Water definitely had an impact on me. It was gorgeous, the story was sweet but, what did it for me was the open ended magic. The need for every viewer’s opinion to complete a story. In a time of exclusive social movements, I felt included in something with everyone.
Guillermo, thank you for keeping fairy tales alive.
Creativity comes from the world around us. Dallas, talented 3D generalist proves it through his awesome work and inspiring lifestyle.
Dallas Holloway on his Los Angeles sailboat, Emily Lynn
After a couple of back to back Wednesday meetings, I got to detach myself from the ground beneath my feet. I went out on a sailing adventure with my good friend and colleague Dallas Holloway on the coast of San Pedro, CA. We talked design, shared freelance experience, and philosophized about the motion industry. All this while catching incredible views of dolphin packs, grey whale blows, seagull dives, and barking seals.
Throughout the years I’ve known Dallas, I have seen him seamlessly juggle his busy freelance life with family, friends, music projects, and sailing. His ability to never lose touch with the physical world around him is what makes him so great in the virtual worlds he creates.
Dallas is an extremely talented 3D artist with a passion for outer space and sailing. He freelances between Los Angeles and Wichita. He is one of the best artists I’ve ever worked with. He is fast, organized, has an answer for almost any 3D question — and if he doesn’t, he’ll figure it out in no time. Besides all this, he is also just a good person. If you ever have a chance of working with this guy, do it! Check out his work at dallasholloway.com
I got to steer the wheel. The happiness was out of control.
Dolphins! And check out that tuna splashing in the background.
By the time we got back, it was dark. Here’s a view of San Pedro Marina.