I’ve had a craving for burlesque for quite some time. My instincts led me to google. As correct as they were, it wasn’t exactly an easy choice for an indecisive Saturday. So many, and in multiple locations.

Blind Tiger by Harlow Gold?

A quick glance at their Vimeo sealed my Saturday shenanigans.  My eyes widened voraciously as the clip unveiled dancers, reminiscent of Jazz Age times, armed with Tommy guns, and legs that are just as powerful, gliding across the ample performance space.

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The masterminds of Harlow Gold, and the keepers of my heart, are Tracy Phillips and Dominic Carbone. Starting out in a parking lot of a dance studio in their native Denver, they have choreographed numerous numbers for film, TV, and music videos, including the Victoria’s Secret fashion show, to various awards shows. Their low profile shows have been the whisper of L.A.

All that Jazz.

All that Jazz.

The general location was easy to spot, but once I parked my chariot, the realization struck that I may need a password to get in. A quick scan of the ticket assured me I stumbled onto the right spot. The show was in a vegan restaurant? I was pretty hungry. Sensing my apprehension, the doorman asked if I was looking for Harlow Gold.

Whew.

With no clue how this was going to go, I was escorted to Bar Fedora. Larger than expected, it was laden with art deco appeal, with a “smoky” seductive air.

The show began with a lovely emcee, who announced the rules of the show. Keep your cocktails off the table, and no video.

Wait, what?

Swinging on chandeliers.

Swinging on chandeliers.

The tables are used as mini stages. Everyone, and everything is a part of this interactive cabaret. The bars intact above allow the dancers to swing with more grace than I walk with above the audience, as they seduce and delight your inner Ginger Rogers. There was an intermission – just long enough to use the restroom, get in your 2nd drink for the requirement before Act 2 begins.

Bondage ballerina

Bondage ballerina

I could continue on how I fell in love that night, but I think you should go instead. Let your heart be awed by brilliance, and your cheeks bloom with multiple shades of pink.

 

Blind Tiger by Harlow Gold

Various locations, check the website for details.

Most of my excursions to Westwood take place at an indecent hour, due to Diddy Riese’s completely accessible hours. Fortunately for my waistline, this adventure had nothing to do with cheap and delicious ice cream sandwiches.

Small, but a well rounded collection

The Armand Hammer Collection also includes sculpture and drawings.

The Hammer museum, a public arts unit of UCLA, was founded by Armand Hammer, CEO of the Occidental Petroleum Corporation. Originally, his personal collection was going to be housed at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. After a disagreement of how it was going to be displayed, he purchased a site to construct his own museum. Armand passed away less than a month after his namesake opened, in November of 1990. Today, the Hammer is not only known for his personal collection, it’s one of the most groundbreaking and contemporary museums in the Los Angeles area. It has hosted a rotating selection of programs throughout the year, from lectures, symposia, and readings to concerts and film screenings. Their mission statement is simple:

The Hammer Museum at UCLA
believes in the promise of art and ideas
to illuminate our lives and
build a more just world.

Happy dogs need not apply.

Henri Jr.?

With this in mind, I headed over to see the newest exhibit that is on display is one by the Mexican artist, Pedro Reyes. His project, pUN: the People’s United Nations, is a combined event and exhibition that places the diplomatic and global problem-solving missions that the United Nations face, onto non-political participants from all over the globe.  The representatives are instructed to use social psychology, theater, and art to solve the world’s most unyielding problems: from the current violence in his home country of Mexico, to food shortages, pay equality for women, and even the downward spiral of bees.

Dove Drone

Drone Dove wants peace and unity. And possibly your Cheetos in your back pocket.

One of the sculptures in particular, Disarm/Clock, is comprised of weapons that the Mexican police collected, then broke down and melted. Reyes then took these instruments of hate, and re-constructed them into actual instruments. He thought that they could help provide life and music, rather than take it away. For “Disarm,” Reyes, with his team assisting, used programs like Ableton Live, MIDI, and Max MSP to transform guns into pianola-esque musical instruments. For the “Clock” portion, every half hour or quarter of the hour, the mechanical clock utters a sound.

Gun Day

Up-cycling the best way you can.

Another exhibit I stumbled on, rather literally, was choreographer Maria Hassabi’s, Plastic. Her live installation includes sloth-like performers, that slither throughout the museum. The enlisted dancers consistently enact a form of live installation in the gallery and the museum’s outdoor spaces.

Slow motion dancing.

Mind the tap.

If you’re full on performance art, but running low on caloric intake, there’s a cafe in the courtyard that caters to your metabolism. There, you can let each exhibit mull in your mind, as you sip a cold pressed juice, and realize you mistakenly ordered a gluten-free muffin.

This is how I will spend all my Sundays.

This is how I will spend all my Sundays.

Once you’ve tossed your juice bottle in the recycling bin, collect your belongings, and go upstairs to the top floor. There’s a ping-pong table that is also part of a project. The sound of visitors attempting to “Forrest Gump” it up is the exhibit. The two paddles, and cluster of bouncy balls invite any curious folk to lob a few over, as they attempt a fancy back-handed serve. I left my Roger Federer impersonation at home, so I ended up doing fairly decent.

She thinks you should visit more often.

She thinks you should visit more often.

The Hammer Museum is free, and always will be, so you don’t need to run down to a Coinstar to cover your admission costs. The gift shop is worth a gander, as I thought it was one of the best museum shops I’ve encountered. I almost added “dancer/performance artist” to my resume, as I was blinded by the bounty, and had a very close encounter with the artists of Plastic. The first item that nabbed my heart, was a shaggy reproduction of Touc, by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, on a slab of carpet.

Need I say more?

The Hammer Museum

Monday: Closed

Tuesday – Friday: 11AM—8PM

Saturday – Sunday: 11AM—5PM

10899 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90024
Phone: (310) 443-7000

 

 

 

 

 

Stitch and Bitch.

My attempts to keep up with the guerrilla crafting community has been futile. I find myself discovering new trends on the page of Yahoo! news, which pretty much tells me it’s over. Imagine how excited I was when I tripped into a yarn bombed light post while exploring downtown LA.

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Tree hugging made more comfortable.

Without the help of VICE, or Yahoo! news, my rusty street art senses were tingling. I was in the presence of a thoughtfully placed, and intellectually planned art installation. I snapped a few photos, admired the needle-work, and went on my way to the Inherent Vice exhibition at the Ace Hotel. When I returned home, I dug out my laptop, and began my research.

Itsy bitsy, teenie weenie bikini

This tree is stuck in the 70s.

Yarn bombers are a community of knitters that create fiber-based art to engage thousands online, worldwide, and locally in the city of Angels. Yarn bombing Los Angeles dabbles in all genres: be it public, fiber, street, craft, social awareness, and high art. One social awareness I came across online was, “#BlackLivesMatter”, all done in yarn.

 YBLA’s mission is to create a form of community-generated, site-specific public art that is tactile and accessible, while at the same time initiating dialogue about cross-generation connections and craft history. (yarnbombinglosangeles.com)

 

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If your interests sway to the crafty and conscientious, be sure to check out the link below for all yarn bombed sights in the Los Angeles area, and beyond.

http://www.yarnbombinglosangeles.com/