Monday, June 13, 2005

LA is great for artists! A fun week for this punk gal!

Had a great week! Hullabaloo fundraiser for the Silverlake Conservatory of Music, founded by Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers (gave him a print of Darby Crash performing at the Masque). My donated shots of Joey Ramone (by the swimming pool and raising his fist with the Kamen Rider statue) and the Screamers on the bus bench each raised about $300 each. Ran into John Denney, lead singer of the Weirdos and Key Club booker Joseph Brooks (whom I met when I met and shot the Ramones, August, 1976). Ran into my documentary producer, Raymond Leon Roker of URB and his crew. Drank and ate, a rare treat for this broke raw foods vegan. Heard Tracey Chapman, and while floating out, got picked up by two gentlemen near my age. I necked with one in the backseat of his white Mercedes. Ha ha, he thought me 18 years younger than I am! I told my pal Mark Martinez what happened, saying it’s 1977 again, except for the Mercedes. That was a step up and the fact I went home alone. I ain’t so easy these days. But whatta trip!

Saturday I finally made it to Leaf Cuisine, a raw foods restaurant in Culver City and it was packed! It was ok, mainly cos they gave me a free shot of wheat grass and I ran into my raw foods pal, the tall and mellow Pineapple Head, who works there. Otherwise, I have so much trouble eating out. But if I didn’t eat something substantial I knew I’d get too high from booze, although I didn’t drink much. I’m tired of living on fresh juices and nothing for days to lose the bloat from booze and food. But hey, it’s human to want to feel a buzz.

Then off to photographer Brad Elterman’s photo opening at the new Jaxon Gallery on Abbot Kinney in Venice. I spoke with Darcy Diamond, one of the funniest women I ever met, who used to write rock articles. I hung with Genny Schorr and Marina del Rey of Backstage Pass. I asked Holly Vincent, working again with Backstage Pass and soon to record on her own in Nashville, if Holly and the Italians opened for the Clash in England in June/July 1980. Her face lit up when I told her I found pix of her onstage. Of course she wants some!

Saw Lilibeth Filgueira [fig tree], a talented painter Brad and I met at Patricia Correia’s gallery opening for Frank Romero, where I spoke with Cheech Marin and my pal, master printer/artist Richard Duardo earlier this year.

Wonderful to see Maryam Seyhoun, of Seyhoun Gallery, on Melrose near Doheny. She has been so kind to both Brad and I. Her openings are very special because she has a fine eye and presents exhibits with that are timeless and beautiful. I went to one dedicated to contempoary Persian calligraphy, and it was stunning. I missed the last one on June 4 because I was at UCLA for their Pre-Code films, racy and political. This series emphasized political themes dealing with the wealthy class versus the workers, the people who made those few so wealthy and society and government's responsiblity towards all. You won't see or hear such daring themes, outside of progressive blogs, let alone mainstream media such as film, in these repressive days.

They gave out shots of stuff which they mixed into the champaigne. It’s supposed to be healthy, but packed with sucrose and dextrose (concentrated sugar, a terrible refined carbohydrate that robs your body of nutrients). I know it’s not healthy to drink, but keep the sugar at bay, pul-eze. The melon flavored vodka was so sweet I threw it out. The pale ale was good.

I met Che, an early Backstage Pass member who left to join Kim Fowley’s creation, the Orchids. Ohmygawd. Their debut resulted in amazingly fun shots of Ric Ocasek of the Cars, Stiv Bators of the Dead Boys, the Doors’ Ray Manzarek and Danny Sugerman, Go-Go’s Belinda and Jane (the Surreal Life), Pleasant Gehman, Randy Kaye/Randy Detroit, Nancy, Dennis Crosby (Bing’s grandson), Ann McClean, Tomata du Plenty and KK Barrett of the Screamers, Trudie (who married KK), Robbie Fields of Posh Boy Records, Levi and some of his Rockats (precursors to the Stray Cats), Michael des Barres, Blondie’s Nigel Harrison (at one time a band mate of Michael’s and fellow Brit), and so many others watching the Orchids play and then with the Orchids. I shot more, but don’t feel like looking through the proofs for more names now. I’ll post the shots on my site soon.

Of course Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols and Jonesy’s Jukebox was there as he and Brad are mates. One of these days I should get his autograph, not just shoot him and give him a hard time. (Steve loves to tease me and I throw it right back at him. I told him "Fuck you" at Johnny Ramone's statue unveiling cos he wouldn't let me shoot him. We're finally on talking terms cos of course I love 'im. He is very handsome with his new mustache. I say, the bigger the better! I think he's sexy. But that's as far as it's ever gonna go. I don't have a bubblebutt. If you listen to his show, you'll get this train of thought). As I left I mentioned to Lilibeth that I was off to a friend’s gallery, CoproNason.

Greg Escalante is Joe Copro (of CoproNason) and always an entertaining presence at art openings. He's one of the few men near my age with whom I can talk about art, punk and life and feel comfortable. He is the curator of "Juxtapoz," a cool mag you ought to check out. I spoke on Joe Escalante’s new Indie 103.1 radio show, “Barely Legal,” on Friday regarding needed permission to use my photos in my work. Joe is Greg’s brother and founder of Kung Fu Records and in the Vandals. Those Escalante men are busy, creative, smart and fun!

I am a very harsh critic of a lot of new art, mostly “low brow,” but even the man who started that art movement, Robert Williams, with his solo exhibit at Otis, bemoans the lack of originality by younger artists. But this show was different. Check out CoproNason for details. I saw Adam Parfrey, the prolific publisher of Feral House. We had a great talk and subsequent emails. I hope to contribute some photos to an upcoming project of his. It was such a treat to reconnect with him! The LA Weekly just ran a cover story on indie publishers, with a major opening spread on him and his girlfriend, Jodie, also involved in publishing and a very beautiful, kind woman.

I always smile when I see Chantal, whose image is being used in a ad for an art school, also seen in the LA Weekly. That painting of her is touring Europe. Our mutual painter pal is Natalia Fabia; see her work also at but gotta wait til all the pix are downloaded and scroll to the right or click on thumbnails at Natalia is far slimmer and skinnier than she photographs and looks like a smart and really fun Paris Hilton. Natalia painted Chantal and she and I both want that painting.

I love Chantal's assemblages and jewelry made of bones.

I’m not one to live for money, but when you don’t have it, it really sucks. I’d buy so much art from my friends.

I turned around to see Lilibeth, not realizing she found the gallery with the approximate location I mentioned. That surprised Greg and I, cos people have a hard time finding it, even knowing the address. Chantal, Lilibeth and I all share a Jewish background, although Chantal looks like milky white Frieda Kahlo with her long dark braids and ribbons and bones in her hair. Lilibeth’s strong Argentinean accent and ancient Lebanese/Spanish background threw me. Due to the Inquisition, Sephardic Jews fled Spain and many settled in Argentina. She said 10% of South Americans share some Jewish history. To quote Monty Python, “no one expects the Spanish Inquisition.” I love being around people with varied ethnicities and nationalities. I’m all Russian, but I swear there’s Germanic blood in me. Wagner, anyone? Greg, Lilibeth and I hung out at the end, laughing and talking.

Sunday I went to LACMA (LA County Museum of Art) to see the closing day of their German Expressionist Poster exhibit. Early punk graphics was very influenced by German Expressionism. I am very fortunate because LA has one of the best collections in the world, due to the generous donations and loans from the Robert Gore Rifkin Foundation. I’ve seen the most incredible art due to those shows. I walked in and began to cry when I spotted one of my all time fave pieces of art, a dark blue and brick red poster by Kolomon Moser. I used that art in a college project cos I love it so. I created typeface for a poster announcing fictional Gallerie Jenny, showcasing Moser's work. It’s for a calendar, with a brunette Norse goddess holding an hour-glass, the sands of time, encircled by a circle holding its tail. The circle represents death and rebirth. It’s really something to be face-to-face with art I’ve looked at in books since I was a kid.

Now I know how people feel about my photos and why so many want to see large prints and lots of books. Working on it and that’s why I get so pissed wasting so much time trying to get blogs and websites looking the way I want them to look. And I’m so hungry! I have no money and going out and a bit of drinking and eating packs on the pounds. So it’s fresh veggie juices for a few days.

Except Tuesday night I will celebrate the 12th anniversary of Green Galatic, and my new pal, Lynn Hasty. She is THE publicist to all the cool art and music happenings in town.

What a great few days: balmy weather, Wednesday Silverlake benefit, Friday radio show, Saturday art shows, Sunday art museum and Monday wasted time and energy formatting blogs and websites. See why it’s hard for me to work? LA is so distracting. How I love LA, if only I had money and liked to drive. It’s always something. So now to work!


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