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December 20, 2013 | By Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times Art Critic
This was the year that George W. Bush, five years after his calamitous presidency, came in from the wilderness and went on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" to say, "I think I'm a painter. " He presented his host with a grinning portrait, and the audience clapped. The statement was not uttered with the surety of "I'm the decider, and I decide what's best," the much-mocked 2006 message delivered to reporters as a vote of confidence for Donald Rumsfeld, embattled secretary of Defense.
December 19, 2013 | By Victoria Kim and Corina Knoll
A 40-inch by 40-inch canvas bearing the silk-screened image of actress Farrah Fawcett, an Andy Warhol creation that became the subject of a 2 1/2-year legal battle, belongs to the star's longtime companion Ryan O'Neal, a Los Angeles jury decided Thursday. The panel sided with O'Neal over the University of Texas at Austin, the actress' alma mater, which said the painting was bequeathed to the school along with her art collection after Fawcett's death in 2009. The trial over the portrait lasted three weeks and became, in part, a scrutiny of O'Neal and Fawcett's relationship.
December 17, 2013 | By Lisa Boone
Who would expect to find an art show in a real estate office, even an agency devoted to architectural properties? Melinda Fay organized the Good Eye Gallery show "Home as Art," which she describes as a pop-up with more than 70 works, all installed throughout the nondescript Banner Los Robles corporate building in Pasadena where Deasy/Penner & Partners keeps its offices. Artworks hang in offices, in hallways, from the ceiling. The concentration of emerging and mid-career artists means there are several affordable gift-giving opportunities in this countdown to Christmas: Small paintings by South Pasadena artist Jordan Daines begin at $220, and handmade silk leaf mobiles by Jan Carson are $200 apiece.
December 16, 2013 | By Susan King
Stars had faces in the golden age of Hollywood. And for many years, photographer George Hurrell, the father of the Hollywood glamour portrait, captured their allure, glamour and indefinable charisma. Known as the "Rembrandt of Hollywood," the groundbreaking photographer is the subject of "George Hurrell's Hollywood: Glamour Portraits 1925-1992," a biographical coffee-table book by writer-photographer Mark A. Vieira, who knew Hurrell for more than 15 years. Using interviews, archival documents and 20 years' worth of his own diaries, Vieira creates a portrait of a brilliant, complicated artist who had a great working relationship with the stars and a mercurial personality with studio chiefs.
December 16, 2013 | By Corina Knoll
It is a stark image of the screen star, a woman whose playful smile and cascading hair made her a style icon of the 1970s and '80s. Staring straight ahead, Farrah Fawcett's eyes are pensive, her face still. A silk screen on canvas, the Andy Warhol painting hangs above Ryan O'Neal's bed in his Malibu home. The actor has said it's his favorite place in the house, where he can hear the ocean waves and sometimes talk to the portrait of a woman who died four years ago. But a legal battle over who owns the 1980 portrait has dragged O'Neal to a downtown Los Angeles courtroom, where ownership of the painting and his relationship with Fawcett have come under the microscope.
December 12, 2013 | By Sheri Linden
Gifted and tormented sculptor, involuntary mental patient, enduring symbol of female passion quashed by patriarchal convention - Camille Claudel is nothing if not a rich subject for storytellers. "Camille Claudel 1915," the tough and measured feature by Bruno Dumont, is a very different animal from the high melodrama of the 1988 biopic starring Isabelle Adjani. That's no surprise from a filmmaker who traffics in austerity and a performer, Juliette Binoche, who's ever resistant to the obvious and formulaic.
December 11, 2013 | By Lisa Boone
Sure, those awkward holiday portraits with the mall Santa are funny, now . But for some of us, those shots of terrified, tearful children trigger memories of frightening Santas and evil-looking elves. Poketo designer Ted Vadakan said his own memories of such portraits inspired him to host a fun alternative at his downtown L.A. store this Saturday. Vadakan has invited set designer Adi Goodrich , who has worked for Anthropologie and Barneys and bands including Youngblood Hawke, to create patterned backdrops for free family holiday portraits.
December 6, 2013 | By Gary Goldstein
The inventively shot and constructed documentary "For No Good Reason" is an absorbing look at the unique, surreal work of British cartoonist Ralph Steadman. Yet, the film, directed by 'Charlie Paul and narrated by - and also co-starring - Steadman's friend and admirer Johnny Depp, proves more successful at examining a lifetime's worth of an artist's output than at revealing much about the artist himself. Fortunately, Steadman's blotchy ink drawings are captivating; bold, weird, satirical and highly identifiable, often from their appearances in special editions of such classics as "Alice in Wonderland" and "Animal Farm," in Rolling Stone magazine and alongside the work of famed gonzo journalist and novelist Hunter S. Thompson.
December 6, 2013 | By Hector Tobar
Adam Lanza was, by all accounts, a strange child. Matthew Lysiak's new book, "Newtown: An American Tragedy," tackles the challenge of drawing a portrait of the troubled young man, who killed 20 children and six adults in a Connecticut elementary school last year. In junior high, Lysiak tells us, young Adam carried around an empty briefcase and insisted on sanitizing his desk each time he sat down. As an adolescent, his Little League teammates found it amusing when he was hit by a pitch - they knew he suffered from a form of sensory deprivation and couldn't feel pain.
November 25, 2013 | By Melissa Magsaysay
As the international creative director of Elle magazine for 40 years, fashion photographer Gilles Bensimon had the opportunity to shoot the world's most beautiful women. From supermodels to screen icons, many of his subjects reached icon status in fashion and pop culture. A newly opened photography exhibition celebrating women showcases a selection of his most captivating work for the magazine, where he was creative director and head photographer until 2009. On display to the public throughout the Sofitel Hotel Los Angeles' lobby and Riviera 31 Bar, the 25 portraits in "Elles by Gilles Bensimon" have been mounted here after traveling throughout the country, with prior displays in New York, Washington and Chicago.
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