If you want to know a secret What are you waiting for? If you want to ask me something I can tell you so much more If you want to cause me trouble It's not up to me I know that there's something missing
lyrics by Caribou "back home" photographs, sources unknown.
a conversation withMichael Felix
"My family mostly wants me to be successful in an American Dream kind of
way. They’re Old School. My grandfather grew up in an Italian family in
Cincinnati and had an arranged marriage with my Italian grandmother. And
my mom grew up in South America. So I think they still carry that
Last December on an extremely dark and rainy afternoon in Los Angeles, Nathalie, a good friend took me to the studio of furniture designer Michael Felix. Luckily, Michael's studio happens to be only a block away from where I live in downtown LA. The Arts District is a neighborhood that is quickly transforming with art galleries (Hauser and Wirth, Ibid, Museum as Retail Space) and small boutique stores, restaurants, and young designers. Michael recently moved into his studio space, which is subdivided with many other artists and designers in a beautiful decaying 1920's paint factory building. We talked for a few hours about the intention of Michael's works, the first year start-up of his line, and his family history, of being a 3rd generation upholstery designer. There are an incredible amount of furniture designers working and emerging in Los Angeles at the moment, but very few I know of that are 3rd generation. Michael's work is both a nod to the past in technique, material, and familiar forms, and a request for entry into the future. Eager to see where he takes this collection. Thanks Michael for the conversation. - David John "Michael Felix is a handcrafted furniture company that designs and produces upholstered goods in Southern California. A 3rd generation upholstery designer, Michael started from the ground up as a sample-maker’s assistant in the furniture factory founded in 1959 by his grandfather. His in-depth understanding of classic upholstery techniques makes for a collection that is thoughtfully designed, structurally engineered and made for a lifetime of use. Each piece of furniture is made to order by hand in California, allowing for a maximum amount of customization of fabrics and finishes. Michael also designs custom furniture solutions for commercial and residential projects."
"the friends stool"
A converation with Michael Felix: Describe your working background and how you came to launch your own furniture line?
After high school I was taking art classes and looking for a part time job. I was interested in design but didn’t have a specific focus so I decided to work at my dads upholstery company, learning from the ground up and apprenticing with the sample makers. It was a great way to immerse myself in the process and I also became really good friends with the craftsmen. After a couple years I became more involved and started designing for some of his clients. And eventually came to the point where I thought it would be fun to do my own thing.
When did you launch your own furniture line?
I launched my line about a year ago.
What is your specialty?
My specialty is upholstered goods because I have access to incredible craftsmen and production. I’m currently working on some wood items at the moment like shelving and side tables.
Is there a lot of pressure on you from your family since you're a third generation furniture designer and decided to branch out on your own?
My family mostly wants me to be successful in an American Dream kind of way. They’re Old School. My grandfather grew up in an Italian family in Cincinnati and had an arranged marriage with my Italian grandmother. And my mom grew up in South America. So I think they still carry that immigrant mentality.
What are some of the challenges you faced when you first started your own line?
A lot of challenges were small business style obstacles and the stress of doing something new. Believing in it but also not really knowing what it will be or how things will work.
Where is your furniture made? Everything is made in LA and the surrounding areas.
Since you come from a lineage of furniture designers, what is something one should consider when picking out a great sofa?
I’d say being comfortable would be the most important thing and of course the quality of the construction from sewing to the frame. The quality of the cover is important too. It’s what you’ll see all the time.
How much influence does your family have in what you design?
I ask them what they think of things because they have a lot of experience. But in the end I trust my gut and everything is my decision
THIS IS NOT A TIME FOR DREAMING..... vs. "today we escaped for lunch to the museum, to the secret world of Pierre Huyghe"
"This exhibition marks the first major retrospective of the work of Pierre Huyghe (b. 1962, Paris). Huyghe creates films, installations, and events that blur fact and fiction, reinvent rituals of social engagement, and use the exhibition model as a site for playful experimentation. Organized thematically, the exhibition covers more than two decades of Huyghe's career, with a focus on cinema as both model and matrix. By filming staged scenarios, Huyghe probes the capacity of art to distort and ultimately shape reality through methods that are filmic, spatial, or social. In keeping with the artist’s desire for a non-hierarchical presentation, the exhibition is designed as a single, extraordinary environment, like a park or garden: a public sphere where a visitor can walk, reflect, and take in a variety of attractions through participation, thoughtful immersion, or simply as a passer-by."
"A series of monumental works feature organic, terrestrial forms made from resin and earth. In contrast to their raw, earthly matter, a series of highly polished stainless steel sculptures reflect and refract an illusion of the world onto their mirrored surfaces and confound the viewers’ relationship to the space around them."
Anish Kapoor January 31 – March 7, 2015
Projects is pleased to present an exhibition of recent work by the
London-based artist Anish Kapoor. One of the most influential sculptors
of his generation, Kapoor’s work combines the formal concerns of
minimalism with concerns for the material and psychical nature of both
the object and the self. Known primarily for his large site-specific
installations and objects that test the phenomenology of space, this
exhibition features significant new work that pushes his use of
materials into exciting new territories.
"Kapoor has shown with Regen Projects since 1992 and this marks the artist’s fifth solo exhibition at the gallery. A series of monumental works feature organic, terrestrial forms made from resin and earth. In contrast to their raw, earthly matter, a series of highly polished stainless steel sculptures reflect and refract an illusion of the world onto their mirrored surfaces and confound the viewers’ relationship to the space around them. Similarly, several monochromatic voids appear to float on the gallery walls, their concave interiors play with the viewers’ perception of surface and depth and create the illusion of infinite space reflected in their void like interiors. A trio of amorphous wall sculptures entitled Keriah (I, II, III) refer to the Jewish mourning practice of clothes tearing. Visceral and raw, their shapes hang on the wall as if in a perpetual state of decay. "
new book:‘I DON’T KNOW': Interviews on Architecture and Craft
"As it turned out, no one really knew what was going to happen."
"Starting from ‘I Don’t Know’ documents a 2011 week-long workshop at Sitterwerk, St. Gallen, in which Studio Mumbai’s Bijoy Jain joined expert craftspeople from Switzerland to share the knowledge, techniques, and insights from their own practices with students, artists, and architects. The interviews in this book explore the creative potential of hands-on learning, local knowledge, and open experimentation. Celebrating the role of chance and collaboration in the process of making, Starting from ‘I Don’t Know’ makes an argument for bringing together the oft-separated areas of architecture and craft early in the design process."
"Mr Postman, do you have a letter for me? Mr Postman, do you have a letter for me? A letter for me From my own true love Lost at sea Lost at sea" - the decemberists
1. "Cheim & Read is pleased to announce Landline, an exhibition of six
new paintings by the Irish-American painter Sean Scully. Begun in 2013,
Scully’s Landline series resonates with newfound urgency and freedom.
Thick horizontal bands of subtly-layered color provide his compositions
with rhythmic pulse, while the interactions between striations of paint
bristle with energy. Though reminiscent of the physical landscapes which
inspired them, Scully’s canvases are activated by an emotional and
The retrospective, Follow the Heart: The Art of Sean Scully 1964–2014,
curated by Philp Dodd will be on view at the Himalayas Art Museum in
Shanghai until January 25. This exhibition will travel to the CAFA
Museum in Beijing from March 13–April 23. Scully is the first western
abstract artist to have a museum tour in China. Scully also has major
upcoming exhibitions at Pinacoteca do Estado in São Paulo from April
11–J uly 11 and at the Palazzo Falier in Venice from May 9–November 22."
2. Source unknown
'Moun Room' is comprised of three chambers contained within one another. The spaces Houseago has conceived with 'Moun Room' – extending both within and outside the structure's physical walls – invite meditation upon movement and codes of behavior in response to architecture. The artist has described this work as 'a visual maze with a spiritual dimension"
Hauser & Wirth is pleased to present 'Thomas
Houseago. Moun Room', an immersive environment that represents a
departure for the artist. Houseago is most widely identified with
monumental sculptures of the human body, figures admired for their brute
physicality and potent tactility. Drawing upon and deftly subverting
classical sources, the artist creates forms that hover between power and
vulnerability, old and new worlds.
"Down the long driveway, you'll see it. " new photography book by Mary Gaudin
I've followed Mary Gaudin's photographic work for a few years now and I continue to be always captivated by her eye and the stories that go along with her works. I was lucky and honored to have her do a guest post on You Have Been Here Sometime a year or so ago. Her post was about a modernist apartment she stayed in for the weekend. (Read her post here.. "It must have been a startling sight. This was postwar public housing. It was idealistic modernism...") A few years earlier, I interviewed Mary Gaudin about her "Lifebooks" (Read the interview here..). Her recent book, "Down the long driveway, you'll see it." is a continuation on these familiar themes of architecture, and how spaces affect our psyche. Homes and the stories that become them, and how they are reflected in the materials, the furnishings, and the age that happens as life goes on. Visit her website for more information here.. - David John
Down the long driveway, you'll see it.
is a book of pictures of modernist, mid-century New Zealand homes. The
houses aren't new, they’re old and lived in. They can be a little
dusty, slightly worn around the edges and all have what antique dealers
like to call “patina”. But they’re perfect in the minds of the people
who live in them because of what they represent, which when designed,
was a better way of living.
The idea for the project
wasn’t so much to document the houses in purely architectural terms,
but to give an idea of the way these houses were and are lived in, as
well as showing details of the designs and the materials used in their
construction. The use of native timbers throughout these houses has
given a unique feel to the interiors. In the Martin house, for example,
John Scott used rimu for cupboard doors and matai, a wood which darkens
with age, for the handles.
I also wanted to look at the
way these houses fitted into their surroundings. All of the Wellington
homes are connected to native bush, attracting tuis, fantails and
bellbirds amongst other native birds. The owners of the Einhorn house,
which backs onto the Karori bird sanctuary, sometimes see rare hihi
feeding in their garden. The front of the Manning house is surrounded by
an enormous pohutukawa tree which, from inside the house filters views
out towards Auckland Harbour Bridge.
The title of the
book comes from a phrase in an email from Bruce Martin giving directions
to his home at Bridge Pa. Filled with a lifetime of pottery both from
Bruce and Estelle’s work, together with gifts from potter friends, the
Martin’s home highlights the particular mix of craftsmanship and design
which is reminiscent of all the homes shown in this book."
Mary Gaudin is a New Zealand photographer living in Montpellier, France.
Photographs by Mary Gaudin Text by Matthew Arnold
"Many of Allen’s new sculptures, made of marble, travertine, and Claro walnut, weigh several tons. Despite their solidity, the works appear to undulate and vibrate, as if they are about to be sucked in or pushed out by some external force to the point of dissipation."
Alma Allen January 10 – February 28, 2015 Opening reception: Saturday, January 10, 6–8pm
"Blum & Poe is pleased to present an exhibition of new sculpture
by Alma Allen. This is Allen’s first exhibition with Blum & Poe and
his first solo gallery presentation in Los Angeles. Working primarily in stone, wood, and bronze, Allen’s mid- and
large-scale sculptures had never been publicly shown before their
inclusion and wider discovery in the 2014 Whitney Biennial. A teenage
runaway without a high school degree, the self-taught artist began an
initial period of intense hand carving using salvaged materials while
often homeless. Demonstrating an attunement with imbalance and
precariousness, Allen’s sculptural forms are a marked departure from
iconic stone carvers Constantin Brancusi and Isamu Noguchi, to whom his
untrained sensitivity for shape and material have been compared.
Recurring forms in Allen’s work take a cue from quantum particles and
body organs and make indirect associations to psychological pain and
wonder. Many of Allen’s new sculptures, made of marble, travertine, and Claro
walnut, weigh several tons. Despite their solidity, the works appear to
undulate and vibrate, as if they are about to be sucked in or pushed
out by some external force to the point of dissipation. In a series of
bronze sculptures, the edges of an unknown trajectory are revealed, as
tensive and fluid as the expanding universe. Presented in groupings and
as individual forms, Allen’s sculptures arrive out of inherent chaos and
chance provided by nature, as well as the precision of technological
operation and mastery, all the while suggesting a range of
anthropomorphic and visceral associations. The obstinate sincerity of Allen’s work belies a process as
anti-scriptural as the work itself. After repeated injury from obsessive
over-carving left Allen unable to use his hands for extended periods,
the artist built a large-scale robotic system out of spare assembly-line
parts and developed its proprietary software as a mechanized extension
of hand carving. The feat of engineering with emerging technology,
rather than relying on third-party fabricators, allows Allen to continue
his devotion to immediacy and reckless intuition in the creation of
labor-intensive sculptures. Instead of being Untitled, all works in the exhibition are referred to as Not Yet Titled.
In the smallest curve in Allen’s works, and in their weighted
sensuality and bare longing, is an ongoing consideration of the moment
before loss and/or becoming."
"I am an obsessive researcher, I love being in the library, figuring out the roots, the links, the relationships and the influences.” - Rebecca Willer
If there’s anything I set out to achieve, it’s that I want the look to be like the objects have grown with the person,” says Willer. “Our clients are discerning. They are people who travel, experience different cultures and who are very interested in the arts. We help them reflect their lifestyles in their decor.” Charming, perceptive, interested and interesting, Willer has confidence in what she knows but also confidence to be excited about learning more, all the time. “I am an obsessive researcher,” says Willer. “I love being in the library, figuring out the roots, the links, the relationships and the influences.” This approach to design and life is in Willer’s DNA. “My father was a diplomat towards the end of his career and when he travelled, what he always wanted to know was ‘What are the most special artefacts of the local cultures?’ and ‘What can we ship back?’ I can’t imagine not responding to my environment that way; even when I was a student, living on a shoestring, my room didn’t look like anyone else’s – for pennies, it looked different. I say my approach has always been spare, not forced, certainly accumulated over time.
I’ve long been interested in loops, mistakes, trance-y repetition. It’s like writing a novel with pages missing in all the right places. —Harmony Korine
December 28, 2014 - January 31, 2015
Eden Rock Gallery St. Jean, St. Barthélemy
Gagosian is pleased to present recent paintings by Harmony Korine at Eden Rock Gallery's new location on top of the iconic hotel Eden Rock in St. Barths. Korine’s cult films of the past twenty years—from the surreal Gummo (1997) to Spring Breakers (2012), a contemporary film noir in which four college freshwomen are drawn into a murderous labyrinth of events—merge reality with fiction and hand-held camerawork with precise montage. This heady mix of the unplanned, the seductive, and the outlandish crystallizes in his lesser known, highly tactile paintings. Eschewing brush and professional paint in favor of Squeegees, leftover household paint, and masking tape, he creates loosely sequential images that echo the sonic and visual leitmotifs of his films. The accumulative hypnotic effect of the paintings is offset by lifelike randomness and impulsive energy.
Fidget Malt Crew and Slotty (all works 2014) are inhabited by shadowy, clawed creatures reminiscent of Goya’s ghastly Caprices, obscured by layers of housepaint, sprayed with letters, and repainted over the course of several years. The rows of circles and squares that cover every inch of Fflobby Check and Slausenraver Check yield sudden variations that vacillate between considered and spontaneous mark-making, while rainbow-hued, striated paintings comprising hundreds of horizontal lines hint at distant perspectives. Korine sticks pieces of bubble wrap, plastic, and paper to the canvas as he works, imbuing the optical depths with physical relief. These fossilized scraps embody dual narratives: as literal records of process, their skeletal silhouettes also suggest drifting specters, echoing the animated wraiths of more overtly figurative works such as Tinchy Sinchy and Frost Ball Junior High. Deliberate and erratic, repetitious and random, Korine’s paintings are born of fierce life forces, conflictual yet interdependent.
2. Catch, is a collection of floor, wall and suspension lamps which plays on a visual and physical tension amongst brass elements, blown glass and the sensual light of the opal. “I let the chain turn into big graphic staples imposing themselves on fragile glass elements. […] Some sort of timeless play between the male element – the rigid metal – and the female one – the liquid glass” via Nilafur Gallery
Bruce Conner: CROSSROADS
"In an untitled work from 1963 a labyrinthine and dense series of
black lines simultaneously resembles a thumbprint and a black hole of
space; in an inkblot drawing from 1995 the small mirrored shapes recall
the self-reflective quality of fleeting images of inner thought."
"Kohn Gallery is pleased to present Bruce Conner: CROSSROADS, on view November 8 through December 20, featuring the iconic 1976 short film of declassified footage of the first underwater atomic bomb test, The fully restored 36-minute film, with original music by Patrick Gleeson and Terry Riley, was last seen in a single screening last fall at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the exhibition at Kohn gallery returns the film to the west coast. In addition to the film, a selection of Conner’s drawings focused similar themes of destruction and resurrection, created between 1962 and 2004.
Accompanying CROSSROADS is a group of works on paper that date from 1955 to 2004 by Conner. These drawings not only relate symbolically to the film, as in MUSHROOM, 1962, but also in the range of emotional depth of the varying works. The mushroom image recurs in a number of drawings from the early 60s, most likely because of the artist’s admiration for the secret, complex growth of this fungal form. The notion of great knowledge and wisdom contained within, be it a fungus or a nylon-veiled assemblage, is a consistent theme in Conner’s works. In an untitled work from 1963 a labyrinthine and dense series of black lines simultaneously resembles a thumbprint and a black hole of space; in an inkblot drawing from 1995 the small mirrored shapes recall the self-reflective quality of fleeting images of inner thought. Other drawings in the exhibition from the FALLING LEAVES series, created soon after 9/11 in 2001, show the fragility of nature in the face of human borne disaster. The pathos of these works on paper is poignantly close to that elicited by CROSSROADS."
"Born in 1933, internationally recognized American artist, Bruce Conner is best known for his assemblages, surrealist sculptures, avant-garde short films and detailed paintings and drawings. Conner’s innovative film works, often utilizing montaged shots from pre-existing footage and incorporation of pop music for sound tracks, have inspired generations of filmmakers and considered to be precursors to the music video genre. He was a central figure in the San Francisco Beat scene of the 1950s and remained an active proponent of the counter-cultural movement, at large through his death in San Francisco in 2008. "(text taken from here)
Kohn Gallery 1227 North Highland Ave Los Angeles, CA 90038
David John is co-founder of DISC Interiors in Los Angeles. He has collaborated with companies L.A. Modern Auctions, and Heath, consulted for corporate design clients, in addition to designing for private clients (residential and commercial). In addition to design, he has also written for leading design publications Wallpaper, Apartamento, and Yatzer. This is his journal, a collection of conversations with friends, makers, and artists. His thoughts on the intersection of decorative and contemporary arts, a collection of photographs, and fleeting thoughts: You Have Been Here Sometime. Feel free to contact: david ( at ) discinteriors.com