Los Angeles – Week 2

DAY 1: New Week Sneek Peak 

Not much to be said. I checked myself into the Mondrian, about which I would find out more later.
I got a tan and a swim by and in the pool. The achievements of the day!

DAY 2: LACMA, mama, and the Academy of Motion Pictures,  for sure!

Spent the morning at LACMA. Well not all morning, since it only opens at 11am. Let’s say I stayed long enough to get the pulse of the place.
On the third and last floor is a fascinating Robert Rauschenberg show, which implies all sorts of 3D collages.
On the second level are featured unknown artists who have yet influenced the 20th century. Once before Le Douanier Rousseau – the only recognized artist represented within those walls alongside Cindy Sherman maybe – I could not move. The density of his greens, the feline bestiary immersed in it… I had no idea he was one of Alfred Barr’s favorites. Alfred Barr, for those who don’t know him, is the founding director of the MoMA in New York. He is known for wanting to confront American and European artists in his own landmark. Which is exactly the point of Ouliers and American Vanguard Art. That is the name of the exhibition by the way.
I spotted a couple of works and painters I had never seen or heard of before.

Lunch in the a very timid sun, before meeting the team from the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.

The tour started at The Margaret and Herrick Library, which has been home to part of the Academy’s collections for more than fifty years, if I remember correctly.

We paid a visit to the photographic department, where a kind woman had selected a sample of key-images to gazed at. A fellow journalist – we were 3 to be exact – could not take her eyes off Brad Pitt’s abs. Personally, the picture of a full group dressed as Charlie Chaplin is what caught my eye. Apparently the face of silent movies was used to taking part in competitions, the point of which was to look just like him. The funniest part is, he would rarely win.

Off to the conservation department, to meet the curator of graphic arts, Ann, who could speak for hours with unwavering passion about the collections she is in charge of protecting. She showed us a portrait of Maleficient for Disney’s Sleeping Beauty, a study for one of The Wizard of Oz’s the sets, among other gems.

On the second floor is the reading room, accessible to you, me, everyone. Next to it are the “special collections”, one can only get a hold of on demand. And if the item you want to take a closer look at is not available, you can always ask for it to be digitalized. How marvelous the modern world is? I hope you can sense the irony here. At this stage we all got to talking about how some toddlers keep trying to swipe the tv. How ludicrous and alarming is that? Now you can tell why some people call me Grandma Sarah. Partially joking, because I am actually not that conservative, except when it comes to linguistics.

Then we all went to the future site of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, on S Fairfax Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard, adjacent to LACMA, which makes total sense when you know the latter is leasing out one of its buildings, a former department store, to welcome the Acamdemy’s collections. In addition to refurbishing it, Renzo Piano is building a spherical structure meant to house a theater. FYI: the museum is to become an immersive, and not only an exhibition, space where parties, screenings should take place.

Quick stop at The Grove and The Farmer’s Market, a few blocks away, to see what the fuss was all about. Unnecessary detail: I bought unsalted roasted almonds, my favorite snack in the world, although I rarely nibble.

As explained before, will keep the juicy details of my evening to myself…

DAY 3: Rainy and brainy day 

“It’s raining, it’s pouring, the old man is snoring”, I remember singing when living in Boston.

I was given a private tour of the hotel, whose design draws much from Alice in Wonderland… Ecstatic from all the information I got about the art on display, which echoes the name of the hotel. So where am I staying. That is the question?

Come hell or high water… literally. I faced the music, the storm outside, with hopes of reaching Château Mormont (where all the celebrities are known to hide) in one dry piece (of meat).

Fun fact: one of the waiters thought I was a regular, not to say an actress. I was wearing my sunglasses. I played along for a couple of minutes, before admitting that I was only a writer passing though Beverly Hills. Fortunately, we shared a good laugh.
In front of me were two movies stars, I could not recognize because of the over-dimmed lighting and my being short on glasses. Silly me, I forgot them back at the hotel.

More writing this afternoon.

Anticipated drinks for my bday this evening, with a friend who leaves town tomorrow. Happy to see him, not happy about the date, because I hear it’s bad luck to “celebrate your birth” (trying to avoid repetitions here), the day before it happened.
Oh well!

Anyway tomorrow I am working all day.

Still raining out there.


DAY 4: Birthday and curls

Today is my bday. Yeah! (Actually I do not really care). It pretty much covers it. Work by day, and by night play.

The rain has made my hair wavy, not to say kind of curly. The sun is to come back, which would be a great gift from Mother Nature.


OMG, it is Saturday and I realize I have not been updating my posts.
I have never been much of diarist anyway.

After a full day of work I went out… to a lovely restaurant downtown… next to the NoMad, where I had settled earlier in the afternoon.

Before then, I had interviewed Artist Alexa Meade, who turns 3D objects or people into 2D paintings, in her studio. Fascinating place and person… You may know her for her latest collaboration with Ariana Grande…

”Thank u, next!”


DAY 5: Not to bad, at NoMad

Highlights of the day:
- Interview with Mr. Brainwash, who had no clue one of his paintings was showcased at the Grand Palais’ Michael Jackson show. We chit chatted for 2 hours, during which he shared his new projects with me, showed me around. And I am proud to say I have 2 prints by him.

- Spent the afternoon at the Marciano Foundation, slaloming between works by Ai Weiwei.

- Illuminating tour of the hotel which I unfortunately leave tomorrow. Nestled in the former Bank of Italy. The vault on the Lower Lever is quite impressive. A must-see.

Tried to enhance my almost invisible tan in vain; even though the sun is back, the temperature does not match its intermittent brightness.

DAY 6: Bye bye blog. 

Off to Hermosa, after a lightening visit of the Broad, where I could not not go. This is where my personal writing stops, so that I can focus on the countless articles I will have to wrap up over there.