28 March 2007

Slacker? Maybe Fool? Definately Not

In Flavorpill's plug for the upcoming April Fool's day reception for Otis faculty member and interim chair of Fine Arts Scott Grieger's show at Patricia Faure Gallery, the artist is good naturedly labeled an "old school slacker..."

The event- 2 to 4PM, which is being co-sponsored by Otis celebrates this show's 30 year retrospective of Scott's work.

In describing Scott's work in the show, Flavorpill editor Shana Nys Dambrot cites "His ceaseless connoisseurship of ready-made images and unintended compositions...has produced a litany of paintings and mixed-media works...the cheekiest of which are on view..."

So whether you think he is a bit cheeky or a slacker, come out to Bergamot on Sunday and see for yourself why Flavorpill encouraged you to do so.

The Omnidisciplinary Artist and the Omnivorous Collectors

Jennifer Vanderpool is a multidiciplinary artist. Sirje and Michael Gold are Los Angeles based collectors. Both the Golds and Jennifer are profiled in the March edition of art ltd.

The magazine's artist profile of Jennifer describes her work saying "...in her own wacky way, she seems almost omnidisciplinary." In addition to a nice review of her recent show at Bandini Art, the piece gives the reader a brief history lesson on her work and a partial listing of upcoming shows including a summer installation at the Riverside Art Museum, which Jennifer suggests might look like "...a confectionary shop." "an explosive, overwhelming confectionary shop." Oh and she teaches at Otis.

Speaking of overwhelming, I felt just a bit so after finishing the piece on the Golds. Writer George Melrod describes his long association with the couple and does a very nice job of highlighting their extensive and quite varied collection that includes pieces by Otis alum Steve Roden and Otis faculty member Maura Bendett among others.

Art is Much More than a Game

This art is for sure...

MTV announced on its website that Otis' Ben Maltz Gallery will host "The Sims: In the Hands of the Artist," an exhibition of that brings together characters from "The Sims" and the art of our students. Presented in conjunction with Electronic Arts, the makers of the Sims, the show will be on display this summer from July 11 to August 14. Works will include original machinima films, virtual fashion and other mashups of art and the simulation game world. In addition to Otis, exhibitions will be mounted at Parsons in New York and the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.

Additional coverage:

London Free Press
Pro Game News
Indianapolis Star

22 March 2007

Juxtapoz- It is From the Fifteenth Century and it is Slick

If you've read the last couple of editions of Juxtapoz magazine, you've probably noticed an increased focus on graffiti art. April is no different. The edition- just about to hit newsstands- includes feature stories on alums Andrew Schoultz and "Slick" aka ?

In his interview with Caleb Neelon, Schoultz describes his work as "being influenced by a cross-section of fifteenth century German map making and fifteenth century Indian miniature painting as they meet the more contemporary influences of comic and graffiti art, with a political undertone." The piece also covers his growth from primarily muralist- authorized and otherwise- to his current work that he describes as "...working on paper. That purpose was mixed media, which currently my favorite way to work."

Mear One talks with Slick touching on many areas of the artist's rise in the west coast graffiti scene, including crediting his work for "...bringing graffiti into the public eye..." One of the more compelling parts of the interview is the way Slick describes the change in the art world. "Time is money. Rather than hire a Michelangelo to paint the Sistine Chapel, which would take four years, the church could now hire David LaChapelle to photograph that image with models and decorated sets, then do a digital wrap on the whole dang church interior for a fraction of the cost and a fraction of the time." I found this to be an original and rather accurate way to characterize where much of the art market is at the moment.

20 March 2007

Perhaps Not Only In LA

Steve Harvey writes the column "Only in L.A." for the Los Angeles Times and in his Sunday edition (B4) he cites Otis' report on the creative economy when listing a few things to be proud of as an Angelino including: "strapless bra, tooth-whitening toothpaste, the Hula Hoop, Bugs Bunny..."

The twist of course is the the origin of the fortune cookie, which is included in the report (LA Noodle Company 1918) but an alternative is offered by Mr. Harvey, namely that it was actually created in 1914 in San Francisco by Makota Hagiwara. He also cites the "Court of Historical Review" that was held by our neighbors to the north to determine who should claim the cookie. We did not fare well. Seems like another example of "In Smog and Thunder" to me.

14 March 2007

There was "Otis-Parsons" and then there was "Otis Parsons"

Otis has been around since 1918. In fact, we like to say that we've been in the art education business longer than anyone else in Los Angeles. So far no one has called us on it so we'll keep saying so.

During its nearly 90 year history, the College has been identified by several names including- Otis Art Institute, Los Angeles County Art Institute, Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design (commonly referred to as Otis-Parsons) and of course our current (and hopefully final) name: Otis College of Art and Design.

Well one way that I keep up about Otis being mentioned in the world is with "Google Alerts" and I have set them for the many different configurations of our name. Several times an alert for Otis Parsons has come up and it is usually linked to one of our graduates from that time in the school's history.

However tonight, in a case of don't take anything too literally, my Google Alert for Otis Parsons was in fact about a gentleman by that name who lived in the 1800's and whose family tree is on-line.

So now you know two things- how I find out about mentions of the school and that we weren't the first ones to be known by that name.

12 March 2007

It is Definately Not Paint By Numbers

Otis student Justine Serebrin was featured in a Long Beach Press Telegram article about the 6th annual Women's Art and Music Festival, held last Saturday. In addition to a photo of Justine at work, the article provides a brief summary of her work and how her upbringing framed her artistic desires- "Growing up with a mother and grandmother who were both artists, Serebrin says her affinity toward art came natural, as well as her association between art and female empowerment."

11 March 2007

Paul Vangelisti Back in His Old Stomping Grounds

Paul Vangelisti, the head of the Otis MFA:Writing program is heading back to the bay area for what the Berkeley Daily Planet cites as "...a rare East Bay reading..." in conjunction with writing Debra Di Blasi. He will be reading from his new book- Days Shadows Pass (Green Integer 129, Los Angeles). Describing Paul's work- "The influence of the Italian Neo-Avantgarde on Paul’s poetry gives it a different sound, more musical than we’re used to."

The event will be held on Monday, March 11 at Moe's Books and starts at 7:30.

The article includes the following excerpt:

Sound of hard freight before dawn

a few lights and chill in the arroyo,

considering the lie of the strangers

and later on the flock of pigeons

at noon soaring and tumbling

silver then white then sunlight

against the weight of air.

—Paul Vangelisti

an excerpt from “Absolutely Like Spring,” Days Shadows Pass

Art Scene Says Go See The Moral Museum

The March issue of Art Scene (page 24) gives a nice plug for Cindy Smith's exhibition in the Ben Maltz Gallery- "The Moral Museum: Selections From the Bick Archive." Describing the exhibition as a "...tableaux 'mockumentary' of the fictional life of Violet Bick..." the reviewer comments "what is really exciting about this information and artifact collection is how simultaneously through provoking and funny it is" and "It is research that is both poignant and unsettling."

The exhibition runs through March 31st.

07 March 2007

There's Porn and then there's Library Porn

Writing in his column "Academia in America" (part of the Chronicle of Higher Education) Thomas Benton confesses a long time fixation with "library porn" describing a book featuring the New York Public Library as "...a beautiful coffee-table book with photos of the library's most notable holdings and, more important, a few tantalizing pictures of the library itself, showing the exquisite architectural details of the public catalog room."

Alas, while the New York Library is a major turn on for Mr. Benton, our own Millard Sheets Library is apparently the equivalent of a cold shower. Referencing the book Libraries by the noted photographer Candida Höfer, he laments Höfer's willingness to include mundane images, citing Otis as having a "...dreadful, concrete room at the Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. As one of the few images showing people, perhaps it is meant to convey the ugliness of so much contemporary library architecture: cheap, ephemeral, and bookless."

I suspect our Library staff might take issue with such a characterization, particularly since the space was not built as a library at all but as the areospace headquarters for IBM, having assumed its next life as a library space when we moved the College to Westchester in 1997.

01 March 2007

LA's the Place...

One million jobs. That is how many can be attributed directly and indirectly to the creative economy according to the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation in a report that Otis commissioned. Released today during an event at the Omni Hotel in downtown, the findings show that graduates of schools like Otis, Cal Arts, Art Center, UCLA and the like are shaping how we spend our time and resources.

PDF of complete report:

Otis presents...

Mentions of the report:

Los Angeles Times
LA Weekly
Hollywood Reporter
Daily News
Daily Breeze
Media Bistro
Art Updates
Fashion Report Online