We Left Our Families


We Left Our Families by Here in Van Nuys
We Left Our Families, a photo by Here in Van Nuys on Flickr.

Motto For a City

I was driving west on Hollywood Blvd last week. Stopped at a light, right near the 101, I saw this poster in the window of a small shop.

Applicable to many who migrated here, it sets in words, the struggles and dreams, both won and lost, of men and women, defeated and determined, working and surviving, to transform their lives into something more significant.

I found the words poignant and sacramental, holy and human, a unifying testament of we the people, a city of angels: fallen and sinful, redeemed and reborn, for all time.

At the bottom of the print is the word cyrcle, a link to the art community that created the poster.

Books and Poseurs.


tumblr_mc60lu1Li51r12aa1o12_1280At LA’s first art book show at the Geffen in Little Tokyo yesterday, all the skinny people known to exist in the city of Los Angeles, all 2,000 of them, were gathered inside a large hall of ramps and rooms, to inspect and gather and pose, amongst the Instagrams, hundreds of homemade and craft printed ephemera, posters, books and many penis pictures provided by the coffee cupping community of handsome and intelligentsia.

Let the word go forth that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans–born after Dynasty went off the air, tempered by texts, disciplined by hard drives, proud of their smoky perfumes, determined to create and propagate nihilism.

Within eye and hand reach, the brilliance and magnificence of our artistic world, the modern culture of Los Angeles, here it stood proudly, the Van Goghs, Picassos and Michaelangelos of our era gathered in one room.

There was JIMMY, self-described as “An LA based queer zine with beard appeal…published in the hills of Silver Lake and the heart of Hollywood, inspired by the classic fag mag format…”

Aaron Krach, based in NY, was “an artist and writer who collects stuff and gives stuff away.”

Little Joe, from the UK, was about queers and cinema.

The Austrians were represented, not by Maria Von Trapp or Adolf Hitler, but lower case springerin, a quarterly magazine “which addresses a public that perceives cultural phenomena as socially and politically determined.”

And Susan Mills’ books “reflect an interest in language that is not written for publication” and she asserts, blankly and clearly, that she is “drawn to a tabula rasa quality”.

Finally, there was Strange Attractors.

It explores investigations in non-humanoid extraterrestrial sexuality.

We know that there may be life on other planets. But fantastically the possibility exists that it may not come from a vagina and penis. The orgasm may be fired by ray gun. Zero gravity and floating upside down might assist oral copulation. One-eyed cyborgs, reptilian monsters and their love life inspires these romantic artists, filmmakers and visionaries.

If that cums to pass, and sexually obscure visitors from another universe descend upon the City of Angels, humans may learn that a penis may not represent all possibility and potential. And the art world as it exists in Los Angeles will be doomed.

L.A.’s Homeboy Industries Needs $5 Mil; Lays Off Employees. //Picasso Sells for $106 million.


L.A.’s Homeboy Industries lays off most employees – Los Angeles Times.

L.A.’s Homeboy Industries lays off most employees

The institution dedicated to helping gang members quit lives of crime has been unable to raise the $5 million it needs. A quarter of the staff will remain.

May 14, 2010|By Hector Becerra, Los Angeles Times

Homeboy Industries, the Los Angeles institution whose mission for more than 20 years has been to turn jobs into a recipe for saving the lives of gang members, laid off most of its employees Thursday because of crushing financial problems.

Father Gregory Boyle, who started Homeboy Industries in Boyle Heights during the height of the city’s gang wars, said 300 people were laid off, including all senior staff and administrators. Boyle said he has stopped taking a paycheck.

Other recent headlines in Los Angeles:

The $106.5-million Picasso and the Bel-Air house where it hung

LA TIMES

May 5, 2010

The art world is buzzing over the sale Tuesday night of Picasso’s “Nude, Green Leaves and Bust,” sold at Christie’s in New York for $106.5 million, making it the world’s most expensive artwork ever purchased at auction. The 1932 painting came from the estate of Frances Lasker Brody, wife of Sidney F. Brody, but it’s not just the Brody art collection that’s up for sale.

Brody2 The couple’s Holmby Hills estate, pictured here with the Picasso on the wall at right, has gone on the market for $24.95 million.