a conversation with Blackman Cruz

"Style is a simple way of saying complicated things."

- Jean Cocteau

(all photography by Lendon Flanagan)

"And what costume shall the poor girl wear
To all tomorrow's parties
Why silks and linens of yesterday's gowns
To all tomorrow's parties"
- Velvet Underground, "All Tomorrow's Parties"

Adam Blackman and David Cruz begin in 1993 as a resource for adventurous collectors and designers who "share their passion for exceptional, idiosyncratic furniture and accessories." Their 9,000 sq/ft showroom is in the heart of Los Angeles on Highland. Their product line, BC Workshop, is produced locally by artisans and craftsmen. Both of their exquisite homes were featured in last year' s coffee table book, Dealer’s Choice: At Home with Purveyors of Antique and Vintage Furnishings. Whether you are a designer, collector, or a voyeur, their newly redesigned website is a perfect entry into what they find beautiful. Their palette is textural, masculine, full of shape-shifting shadows, utilizing materials of bronze, velvets, and glass. And if you are very quiet, you might just hear the whispers....

"Stay a while my inner child
I'd like to learn your tricks
Know what makes you tick...
Some universal elegance....

- Conor Oberst

How would you describe the Blackman Cruz design philosophy & general vibe of Blackman Cruz?


Your work has level of detail in the fabrication process. What’s the attraction to working with metal, and bronze in specific?

The permanence of bronze. It will be around for generations to come.

Are your BC Workshop pieces fabricated in Los Angeles?

We are proud to say that all of the pieces that we have designed for the BC Workshop are in fact completely manufactured in Los Angeles.

If Blackman Cruz was a song or a musical group, what would it be?

Conor Oberst. "Bright Eyes"
The Velvet Underground.
or perhaps, Leonard Cohen.

How many designers are currently working on BC WORKSHOP pieces?
There are 3 of us.

How many pieces are created each year?

Depending on our inspiration....about a dozen each year.

Does BC do interior design projects?

No, we don't do design projects. We are asked frequently..

Countries to travel to looking for items for Blackman Cruz?

Italy, Mexico and Belgium.

The bat incense holder?

The bat incense burner was based on a 19th century Japanese piece. As you very well know, bats are a symbol of good luck and bring happiness and peace.

PROBE, the gay dance club that was once featured in American Gigolo, is the LA headquarters for Blackman Cruz. I’m bummed I never got to go PROBE, because there is a certain joy in seeing spaces transformed.

Do you still feel the energy of that old gay dance club?

The feeling of our showroom is alive with the days of The Probe. The energy of our space is very fluid and every once in a while we get a subtle smell of sweat and poppers. Lol.

Any reservations when you first saw the space?

We fell in love with the space immediately. It has great provenance and all kidding aside, the feeling and flow is marvelous.

Any particular BC WORKSHOP piece that you have a particular fondness for?

We love all of our children just the same.

Hard lines carved in your face
The sunshine's so cliche
Just like love and pain
You tried your best the rorschach test
But there's just nothing to see

- Bright Eyes, The Beginner's Mind

Blackman Cruz is a ride through a curated collection of intriguing objects and design — brought together by two adventurous minds. Adam Blackman and David Cruz created Blackman Cruz as a resource for collectors and designers who share their passion for offbeat curiosities. The ever-changing selection of unexpected oddities is housed in an equally offbeat location — a former infamous nightclub once featured in American Gigolo. The 9000-square-foot showroom is also home to Blackman Cruz╩╝s own product line, BC Workshop.

Visit: 836 North Highland Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90038