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FDL Movie Night Preview: “The DVD of Tiki, Vol 1: Paradise Lost”

3:32 pm in Uncategorized by Lisa Derrick

Brrrr, it’s cold outside! And what better in the winter of our discontent that to dream of far-off lands, where floral scents drift on sea breezes, where the sun is warm, the beaches clean, and people kind?

Grab an exotic beverage and join us Monday night on a tropical excursion as we discuss The DVD of Tiki, Vol 1: Paradise Lost, The Rise and Fall of  Backyard Polynesia with directors and Tiki cogniscenti Jochen Hirschfeld and Schlango. Using  The DVD OF TIKI, Vol. 1 Paradise Lost  as our guide, we’ll discuss  the origins of the myth of the South Seas paradise and follow the United States on the transition from the puritanical 1950s to the sexual revolution of the 70s. Plus gain insight into the effects of Christian missionaries on native artwork, how the popularity of Tiki shifted attitudes in the islands, and how Tiki fell out favor, during the Vietnam War-era.

Trader Vic’s, Don the Beachcomber, mai-tais,  exotica music, wahines on velvet, dances,  Elvis, Disneyland, and the cultural phenomenons of the original Tiki movement  all feature in this exciting, informative documentary, full of original interviews with the likes of  Martin Denny (the godfather of exotics music), Leroy Schmaltz and Bob Van Oosting of Oceanic Arts, Eric Askew, The Bali Hai Boys who began as a band and ended up as hoteliers in Tahiti, Sven Kirsten, Otto Von Stroheim (founder of the annual Tiki Oasis getaway conference weekend), artist SHAG, and many more. (And while Tiki fell out of favor,  its modern resurgence began in the early 1980s, due in part to punk rock, go figure!)

Movie Night is 5pm West Coast, 8pm East Coast on the front page of Firedoglake.com.  To join in the disccusion, please register at firedoglake.com (it’s free!), and log in at 5pm. You’ll be able to ask questions and comments in the comment box.  Just remember to refresh your browser every couple of minutes to see new replies and comments.

Saturday Art: SHAG-adelic Jet Set Vegas Art Weekend

7:11 pm in Uncategorized by Lisa Derrick

Coolly retro-themed artist SHAG — a.k.a. Josh Agle — is the in-person host for next weekend’s Mondo Lounge III convention in Las Vegas which focuses on the culture, art and aesthetics of mid-20th Century America, specifically that brief shining period, Post-War, pre-grassy knoll when all things seemed possible, glorious and beautiful.

Along with era-appropriate entertainment, live music and heaps of style, there’s some awesome art.  SHAG is exhibiting, selling and signing,  and Bosko will also be present. Bosko’s tiki-inspired woodwork has a mid-century theme with his own contemporary twist, retaining a timeless quality.  . . . Read the rest of this entry →

Saturday Art: Los Angeles Mural Controversy; Billy Shire Fine Arts Closes Saturday

4:39 pm in Uncategorized by Lisa Derrick

Los Angeles City officials have decided Downtown LA has an arts district, and named it as such, but they are also fining the owner of the Down and Out Bar for a mural painted on the windows of his business because he and the artist Emmeric James Konrad did not go through the appropriate approval and permitting process. According to Konrad a mother walking by was offended by the painting, feeling it encouraged drinking. She complained. And the Down and Out now faces a fine for each day the mural stays up.

WTF? This is on private property, and while it is visible to the public, it’s art. In a city-sanctioned arts district. Artists have a plan though. Check out the link above…

And on Saturday March 6th, Bill Shire Fine Arts in Culver City closes its doors. BSFA was Shire’s five-year foray into the Westside, but the economy, the economy, the economy…

Avatar of lowbrow popculture and patron of the arts–and creative thinkers in general–Billy Shire opened Soap Plant/Wacko/La Luz de Jesus on Melrose Avenue selling cool kitschy gifts, and astounding selection of books, toys, jewelry, collectibles, and clothing, along with beautiful sequined Vodou flags and heaps of folk art, and just about everything underground, cool and amazing–along with Soap Plant’s own brand of soaps, scented oils, and make-up. Their red lipstick is fabulous!

The store also provided employment for hordes of underground señors and sceneristas whose attitudes and tattoos kept them out of mainstream straight jobs.

The underground river of alternative culture had found a Delphic spring, and Billy’s vision, the artists and styles he championed and the people he hired have created geysers of creativity that resonate around the world.

His gallery, La Luz de Jesus, above the Soap Plant showed up-and-coming artists who have since become art world names: Robert Williams, Coop, Kozik, Shag, Aaron Smith, Anthony Ausgang, Stacey Lande and many, many, more.

When Melrose Avenue rents skyrocketed in the late 90s, Billy moved his underground culture emporium to a larger space on Hollywood Blvd, east of Vermont. Then in 2005 as Culver City was developing an arts district, opened Billy Shire Fine Arts. BSFA had a successful run for half a decade showcasing a wide range of artists including Kozik, Shag, Gary Panter, Elizabeth McGrath, Miriam Wosk, and a group show curated by Aaron Smith.

On March 6th, BSFA will close at this location and move to the East Hollywood gallery space Shire is building onto Soap Plant/La Luz. The final BSFA exhibits, Dave McKean’s “New Works Inspired by Early Cinema” and “Nitrate and Kinogeists: Rare Silent Film Posters” illuminate and reflect the importance of Hollywood, the dream factory and its cinematic sister, Culver City. Fitting too, because Billy Shire has shaped and manifested the dreams of the City of Angels.