i’ve spent the last few days with wayne and the flaming lips and all of their amazing friends and girlfriends. and family and students and etc etc in oklahoma city. it does make me sort of long for life in a small city filled with nice people where everything is 15 minutes away from everything else and there’s no traffic…
one of the most amazing things that wayne and co. have done in oklahoma city is ‘the womb’. an old factory/garage that they’ve colonized.
a giant vagina.
a huge damian hirst spin art painting on the ceiling.
lots of disco balls.
tons of props and lights and offices and storage.
a silver pillow structure.
more disco balls.
number of the beast silver balloons.
it is, in short, vaguely akin to doing drugs without actually doing drugs. and this was during the daytime. i could imagine entering the womb at night and not leaving for a month. the pictures only give about 1/100th of the sense of what it is. and that it’s in oklahoma city, the capital of the most conservative/republican state in the country, is even more amazing.
ok, super simple: a nice and random bauhaus inspired (or, possibly, designed) house from the 30’s. nice lines and perfect little rectilinear proportions. and you can malign l.a with it’s sea of beige, but there are also so many early and mid century houses in l.a that you couldn’t even begin to possibly count them (or stand on the street and take pictures of them).
in most cities a house like this would be remarkable, a rare example of good early-mid century architecture. in l.a it’s a nice modern house among tens of thousands of nice modern houses. l.a has all of these amazing houses and buildings and parks and streets and random weirdnesses, but they’re almost all kind of hidden. not hidden in an obnoxious cool way, just hidden due to the fact that l.a is huge and filled with tiny little oddball streets.
in most cities the beauty conceals the ugliness. here the ugliness conceals the beauty. well, oftentimes.
oh, i also took a few steps from this house and took a picture of hollywood as it might have looked in, say 1965. or so. 1965 was a good year. but i’m biased.
i’ve always loved abandoned buildings. even when i was really little i loved buildings when they were left alone, succumbing to entropy. then, as i got older, i started breaking into abandoned buildings just to see what they were like.
normally, to state the obvious, you find abandoned buildings in remote, desolate, and out of the way parts of the world (like, by way of example, the salton sea). but in l.a you find abandoned buildings right in the middle of the city. which might not speak to well to the financial health and well being of the city, but i love abandoned buildings so i don’t think too hard and long about what they represent other than strangeness and beauty.
this particular abandoned gas station is remarkable as it’s also architecturally significant. a perfect little jewel box of an art deco or moderne gas station. i still feel strange writing ‘moderne’ but apparently it was a real thing.
in any case, here’s a beautiful abandoned gas station. maybe somehow it will remain a beautiful abandoned gas station, further succumb to entropy, and not get turned into something terrible.
here’s the info for my next art/photo show… pictures i’ve taken of the apocalypse and the post-apocalyptice cult of the innocents.
Project Gallery, 1553 N. Cahuenga Blvd. LA 90028
friday february 21st - march 30th, 2014
"most cults are pre-apocalyptic, anticipating a benign or malignant impending apocalypse. but, as we all know, the apocalypse started a few years ago. ‘innocents’ is a look at the unfolding apocalypse itself, as well as the cult of innocents that arose in it’s wake."
hopefully see you soon,
i haven’t put up an architecture update in a couple of weeks… i’m sorry. mea culpa.
todays’ house is the derby house, built in glendale by lloyd wright, frank’s son. per usual i could only take pictures from the street, as the creepy architectural voyeur stalker that i happen to be.
i’m not sure i would want to live in one of lloyd or frank’s mayan spaceships, but i’m amazed and happy that they exist. they’re like an obscure architectural/design cul de sac that showed up in the 20th century and pretty quickly disappeared. an odd side bar of heavily ornamented modernism, usually looking like a bunker built by mayans or aztecs visiting from a very distant galaxy. but it’s hard to not be impressed and amazed by the inventiveness and the oddness and the uniqueness of these bunkers.
oh, also, completely unrelated, i’m having an art opening at project gallery on cahuenga, if you’d like to come by. the show will be up from this friday for about 5 or 6 weeks. it’s all pictures of the apocalypse and the post-apocalyptic cult of the innocents.
i’ve put some other pictures up here.
hopefully see you soon,
i have a lot of favorites when it comes to houses in l.a. having said that, this is one of my favorites. which shouldn’t demean the idea of a ‘favorite’. i mean, isn’t it better to be liberal with labeling things ‘favorites’ rather than stingy with approval and appreciation? or maybe i’m just lazy and i need a better word than favorite.
i want to find out more about this house, but here’s what i know:
- it was built in the 20’s.
- it’s almost completely hidden by vines and trees and plants and more vines.
- the rolling stones stayed here when they were finishing ‘exile on main street’.
- marilyn manson lived here for a while.
- lots of other people have lived here.
- it’s built around a very tall central spiral staircase.
- it probably has a storied (no pun intended) past, but i don’t know anything more than what i’ve written here.
i mean, i assume that in the 20’s and 30’s it was home to odd and debauched early movie stars, but that’s only an assumption on my part. an assumption with empirical support, as almost every house in hollywood has been home to odd and debauched movie stars (including my own, thank you very much).
also i’m continually amazed that overgrown estates like this are literally 3 minutes from grimy crumbly hollywood. all of the odd and interesting stuff in l.a is, to a large extent, hidden.
just got back from holiday travels and i decided to take some pictures of one of my favorite scary crumbly hotels in hollywood. and that’s saying something, as there really are countless scary and crumbly motels in hollywood.
what i don’t understand about this hotel is how the giant wall and sign are sort of reminiscent of a time when the future was clearly to be found in either outer space or science fiction. but the buildings inside look sort of like norman bates’ mom’s final resting place in ‘psycho’.
i don’t know if it has any great architectural merit or significance, but i love it for it’s off-putting strangeness. and i don’t know if they actually have guests, as i didn’t see much evidence of anyone coming or going while i was being a creepy architecture voyeur.
in other news: i hope you had a wonderful holiday(s), regardless of whatever holidays you chose or chose not to celebrate. and if you’re somewhere egregiously cold i hope you don’t resent those of us in southern california who are suffering through an exceedingly warm and sunny winter.
we suffer with dignity and restraint.
happy december 25th (or 26th, as i’m sending this on the 25th and i assume it won’t reach you until the 26th. or 27th. i feel like i’m sending a letter).
i hope that you had and are having a really nice holiday time (based on whatever holidays you choose to observe / celebrate / indulge in / excoriate / ignore / etc).
i know this can be a hard and lonely time for some people, so if this is a hard and lonely time for you please take care of yourself and please know that you’re not alone.
i spent the day by myself, hiking around l.a in the unnaturally warm l.a weather (it was around 85 degrees f. today, which is warm even for l.a in december). and at the end of the day i climbed up to a ridge in griffith park and took this picture of l.a (and, to state the obvious, i wasn’t eaten by one of our mountain lions. yet).
to put it in size perspective, this picture probably represents around 1/1000th of l.a county. it’s big.
again, i hope you had and are having a wonderful holiday, and please reach out to someone if you’re feeling especially sad or lonely this time of year.
ok, i’m posting this as a quasi-architecture photo. hm. why?
ok, time to justify myself.
because… architecture defines a space and this rainbow also defines a space? and a simple curved line changes how we perceive the space contained both within and around it? is that too justify-y?
also i felt lucky that i was able to take this picture, as it’s a rainbow going from the observatory (which is architecture!) to the hollywood sign (which is architecture for the squirrels who probably live in the hollywood sign?).
also, happy holidays. next up: real buildings. well, in theory.