Today over on Los Angeles, I’m Yours, we have our Featured Interview with Media Temple’s Creative Director and Creative Mornings Los Angeles Organizer, Jon Setzen. We sat down with Jon in his studio, which he shares with his wife, artist Mindy Markowitz, in Silver Lake. He’s a recent LA transplant who has lived everywhere from San Francisco to London to Vancouver to, most recently, New York City. Our conversation revolves around music, design, and what makes Los Angeles city special to him.
You can read the full story here.
It’s possible that some of you don’t realize that I live in Los Angeles. I think I speak about it a lot, and I even started a blog to celebrate it, but it still may not be clear. It’s an interesting city to live in, and even more interesting to write about. I’ve been here for 6 years now, my anniversary is a week after my birthday, so it’s easy to remember.
There’s a vibe to the city which I’ve had a hard time putting my finger on, though I think that Geoff Manaugh may have hit the nail on the head. Geoff wrote a post back in 2007 called Greater Los Angeles which has been making the rounds with my friends over the week, and it certainly struck a chord with me. As I read it I was laughing with glee because of how true it is. Here’s my favorite part:
The whole thing is ridiculous. It’s the most ridiculous city in the world – but everyone who lives there knows that. No one thinks that L.A. “works,” or that it’s well-designed, or that it’s perfectly functional, or even that it makes sense to have put it there in the first place; they just think it’s interesting. And they have fun there.
And the huge irony is that Southern California is where you can actually do what you want to do; you can just relax and be ridiculous. In L.A. you don’t have to be embarrassed by yourself. You’re not driven into a state of endless, vaguely militarized self-justification by your xenophobic neighbors.
Los Angeles isn’t for everyone, it’s certainly the place for me though. Take 3 minutes to read his post, you can see the full thing by clicking here.
Los Angeles is obviously my favorite place in the world, so videos like the ones above are like candy to me. Colin Rich went around the city shooting some beautiful time lapse photography in all kinds of place, high and low, safe and illegal (like the Hollywood sign, which you’re not allowed to get very close to). I’m pretty sure I can even see my apartment complex in the video, so that’s always fun as well. All in all it took six months to shoot all the video, and he used a ton of different pieces of fancy tech to make it all happen. For those of you curious, here’s the equipment he used:
Shot with a 5D MK II and a 7D. Zeiss 35, 50 1.4, 85 1.2, Canon 15mm, 24mm, 24-105, 70-300mm,MOCA Kessler Cineslider, revolution head, and various DIY contraptions I’ve built for zoom motor control.
I also thought he wrote a nice note at the end of the video saying, “Shooting time lapses is a labor of love and a study in patience.”
I had the pleasure to be apart of another issue of Afterzine, the infrequently published art magazine that’s run by my good buddy, Hamish Robertson. This issue centers around Los Angeles, which I have lots to say about, but here’s what Hamish had to say:
“What began as a single-section issue with invited interpretations of “coincidence” by chance evolved into an exploration of the city of Los Angeles—a place I had mistakenly assumed to be lacking in happy accidents.”
The issue features a ton of creative people involved like Mike Mills, Miranda July, Zooey Deschanel, Andrew Andrew, Ben Jones, Peter Mendelsund and lots more. From these previews I’d definitely say it’s going to be a great read.
Kyle and I actually contributed together, putting together a map of our 10 favorite places in Los Angeles. We’re pretty opinionated, and we tend to frequent a lot of local places. I thought it would be fun to release our map as a wallpaper this week, since I was pretty happy with how it turned out. Everything was hand-painted by myself and then put into Photoshop to be tweaked.
But, in order to see why we love these places, you’re going to have to buy the issue. They’re only $10, and worth every penny. And just to reiterate, if you’re in Los Angeles on Friday, be sure to stop by the launch party at Skylight Books, more details can be found here.
Click images to enlarge
About six or seven years ago, maybe more, I bought a t-shirt from the Giant Robot store on Sawtelle, it featured the words Cookie’s Surf Shop with a simple drawing of a female surfer. I didn’t really know anything about it, only that the line work seemed so perfect, a mixture of times gone by with a sense of modernity. It turns out the shirt was based off a painting by Margaret Kilgallen. The saddest part is that she had already passed away from cancer.
When I think of the story of Margaret Kilgallen it makes me incredibly sad. Only in her early 30′s, she was diagnosed with breast cancer… while she was also pregnant with her husband Barry McGee. In order for their daughter, named Asha, to survive, Margaret forwent chemo therapy, sacrificing her own life for that of her unborn daughters. It’s a sad and tragic story that I feel should never be forgotten, because she was not only completely unselfish, she was one of the most incredible artists from the Beautiful Losers movement.
I had the extreme pleasure of seeing her work at the opening of Art in the Streets, one I chose to truly relish. I sat back and soaked it in, absorbing the way she drew people and the curves in her type. I sat there thinking of all the time it took her to hang paint each of these panels, and how beautiful it all looks as a complete thought. It saddens me that the world has lost such a brilliant artist, but I always look on the bright side and think of how glad I am that she was here at all.
Check out the photo gallery below, and if you have the chance, visit Art in the Streets so you can see her brilliant work in person. If you’re in San Francisco, there’s also some of her pieces up right now at Ratio 3, you can get more information here.