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CalArts Alumnus Mike Kelley Remembered at MOMA PS1

October 12, 2013
The Daily Beast

By Justin Jones

Remembering Mike Kelley

The late Mike Kelley – a hugely influential LA artist – is the subject of a new retrospective, opening at MOMA PS1 this weekend. Justin Jones reports.

Mike Kelley always said that his formative years of childhood can shape personal identity, it’s no surprise that a new retrospective of his work, opening this weekend at MoMA’s PS1, is focused around a reformed elementary school.

Kelley, who died last year of apparent suicide, was raised in a middle-class family in suburban Detroit, attended CalArts, and had a tremendously impactful thirty-five year career producing genre-defying works in every medium: from massive stuffed-animal sculptures to installations.

At the time of his tragic death last year, planning for a retrospective  was already underway at the Stedeljik Museum in Amsterdam.  For the New York leg of the tour, Peter Eleey, curator and associate director at PS1, was able to add works that had not been previously displayed due to extra space. The exhibition marks the first time the space has dedicated its entire facility  to a single artist. Read More

MoMA PS1 Devotes Entire Space to Retrospective of Alunmus Mike Kelley's Work

October 9, 2013
The Wall Street Journal

by Kelly Crow

Exploring Formative Moments

Mike Kelley, a Los Angeles-based artist who committed suicide last year at age 57, earned an international reputation in part by making elaborate installations that explored the ways in which people's identities are shaped in the classroom—and in the scrappy schoolyard beyond.

So it is tantalizing, and fitting, that his first New York retrospective in two decades will open Sunday at MoMA PS1, which is housed in a former Long Island City elementary school.

In a rare move, MoMA PS1 has devoted its entire space—from its boiler room to the classrooms above—to "Mike Kelley," which runs through Feb. 2. The 250 pieces in the exhibit arguably represent some of his best. Read more.

CalArts Animation Alumnus was visually inspired for "Frozen", new Disney animated feature

October 7, 2013

by Christina Radish

Co-Directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee Talks Disney’s FROZEN, Dividing the Workload, Creating a Grounded Princess, Changes to the Film, and More

To promote the upcoming November 27th release of the Disney animated feature Frozen, the studio invited members of the press out to see about 30 minutes of the film, which included the original song “Let it Go,” featuring the powerhouse vocals of Idina Menzel.  The comedy-adventure follows fearless optimist Anna (voiced by Kristen Bell), who sets off on an epic journey to find her sister, meeting rugged mountain man Kristoff (voiced by Jonathan Groff) and his loyal reindeer Sven along the way.  Elsa (voiced by Menzel) has used her icy powers to trap Arendelle in eternal winter, and Anna and her new friends must battle the elements in a race to save the kingdom.

The glimpses we got of the film were both stunningly beautiful and hugely expansive, having been visually inspired by a trip some of the creative team took to Norway.  While at the press day, Collider got the opportunity to do this exclusive interview with co-directors Chris Buck (Tarzan, Surf’s Up) and Jennifer Lee (screenwriter, Wreck-It Ralph), in which they talked about how they got this gig, the advantages of directing an animated feature together, especially on such a tight schedule, the biggest differences in the story from when it was first conceived, creating a more real and grounded princess, working with Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez on the original songs, and the deleted scenes and songs that will be available on the DVD and deluxe edition CD.  Check out what they had to say after the jump. Read more.

Condola Rashad confirms connection with Orlando Bloom

October 4, 2013

By Jospeh V. Amodio

Condola Rashad on 'Romeo and Juliet' Orlando Bloom: 'We had a connection from the minute we met'


It's no surprise Condola Rashad is one of Broadway's hottest rising stars. Entertainment's in her blood (mom is award-winning actress Phylicia Rashad, dad is NFL legend and sports commentator Ahmad Rashad). One could say Condola's been in show business her whole life. Even before then. She made her first TV appearance during season three of "The Cosby Show," when her mom (who was then playing TV's reigning wife and mother, Clair Huxtable) worked during her pregnancy. Fans may recall Phylicia's baby bump was hidden by clever staging -- Phylicia held bags of groceries or read in bed on her stomach, with a hole cut out of the mattress. In the years that followed, Condola, now 26, grew up in Mount Vernon and hung out with mom on the "Cosby" set. She studied theater at the California Institute for the Arts, then hit New York, making her 2009 Off-Broadway debut in "Ruined." She then earned Tony nominations for strong performances in "Stick Fly" (in 2012) and "The Trip to Bountiful" (last spring).

Now, she stars as a certain star-crossed lover opposite heartthrob Orlando Bloom in "Romeo and Juliet" at the Richard Rodgers Theatre. She chatted with Newsday contributor Joseph V. Amodio. Read More

CalArts Alumnus, Ravi Coltrane, riffs on his music and his taste in ice cream

October 01, 2013

By Lara Pellegrinelli

Ravi Coltrane's Favorite 'Ice Cream' Flavor

Like a piece of gym equipment that always yields a great workout, most musicians have favorite tunes. For saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, "Who Wants Ice Cream" by trumpeter Ralph Alessi has proven especially fertile, drawing him back again and again since he recorded it as part of the album Spirit Fiction.

Coltrane is expected to play the tune during our webcast of his performance Live at the Village Vanguard Wednesday night. In an interview, he offered a musical primer to explain its lasting appeal — and his taste in frozen treats. Read more.

CalArts Alumni host "Psychic Barber" experience

October 1, 2013
Pasadena Now

Side Street Projects Announce The Finishing School’s “Psychic Barber”

Side Street Projects is excited to announce “Psychic Barber” a new social sculpture by artist collaborative Finishing School in collaboration with Jean Robison and Yucef Merhi. Participants will receive psychic readings and haircuts by real hairstylists who also have psychic abilities. These services are free and open to the public.

“There are social strata, even occupational and ethnic groups, whose social situation predisposes them to be regarded by the larger social communities as practicing magic: women, young children, professions such as barbers and physicians, strangers and others.” – Edward A. Tiryakian

The project was initiated by the chance encounter Finishing School had in 2012 with a neon sign reading “Psychic Barber”. They recognized immediately that it was important but did not know why. It provoked a pondering of the unknown and later, transformation for them as a collective. They want that same experience of excitement, the unknown, and transformation to be passed on to others. After the invitation to present the project in Pasadena at Side Street Project they consulted a psychic. That experience flooded them with themes including consciousness, labor, class, beauty, magic, mysticism, religion, realness and representation, spectacle, architecture, history, technology, civic/institutional critique, surveillance/privacy, and exhibitionism/voyeurism. Read more.

Celebrating 10 years of Walt Disney Concert Hall

September 30, 2013

By Victoria Looseleaf

Walt Disney Concert Hall Turns 10

The year was 1987, the check was for $50 million, its signator, Lillian Disney. And with that began a saga -- the building of Walt Disney Concert Hall -- that would put Los Angeles on the cultural map, much to the envy of other arts meccas, including New York City, whose Carnegie Hall had been the apotheosis of pristine sound since 1891.

Of course, little did anyone know that it would be 16 years before the magnificent, Frank Gehry-designed steel structure (we're talking more than 22 million pounds of the stuff), opened its fabulous doors. But on that night, October 23, 2003, with music director Esa-Pekka Salonen leading the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Los Angeles Master Chorale (the Hall's second resident company, celebrating its 50th anniversary this season), in the first of three gala concerts, the orchestra took center stage.

Okay, both the Hall and the Philharmonic triumphed, with antiphonal sounds originating from various nooks and crannies throughout the evening, including the loft surrounding the magnificent organ, where concertmaster Martin Chalifour opened the concert by bowing some Bach. (Designed by Gehry with sound design by Manuel Rosales, the organ, with its 6,125 pipes -- resembling French fries, pick-up sticks or whatever flights of fancy one's imagination takes -- is dazzling.) Read more.

CalArts Faculty, Ken Ehrlich, dishes Culinary Artistry

September 30, 2013
Los Angeles Times

by Kate Linthicum

The time is ripe for New Mexican green chile

In New Mexico, you know autumn is coming when you smell the chile roasting.

The bitter aroma rises from street corners and grocery store parking lots, where spicy green peppers plucked during the September harvest are blistered to perfection in cages cranked over an open flame.

We buy them by the sack and put them in or on nearly everything we eat: burritos and tamales, of course, but also hamburgers, pizzas, pastas and pies. Read more.

Alumna Condola Rashad on Broadway

September 28, 2013
Los Angeles Times

By Steven Zeitchik

Condola Rashad, star-bred and 'Cosby' trained

The daughter of TV's Phylicia Rashad and NFL luminary Ahmad Rashad has chops of her own now. She's starring in 'Romeo and Juliet' on Broadway.

NEW YORK — When Condola Rashad was a little girl, her mother would often take her to work. The youngster would sit and play or watch curiously as the woman she called Mom scurried about her job.

It was similar to the experience of many children, with one difference: Rashad's mother is Phylicia Rashad, who played mom Clair Huxtable on "The Cosby Show."

"She'd be super busy at rehearsal and I would be in her dressing room or somewhere backstage," Rashad said. "From as far back as I can remember, I would just sit right there and watch the process, not the red carpets and the glitz like some kids do but the work itself."

Condola Rashad is speaking from her own dressing room at New York's Richard Rodgers Theatre. The 26-year-old is a few hours from stepping on stage in her first Broadway leading role in one of the most famous plays ever written — as Juliet in the David Leveaux-directed revival "Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet," opposite Orlando Bloom.

Read more.

First Russian exhibition for former faculty John Baldessari

September 27, 2013
Art Daily

John Baldessari's most recent completed series of paintings on view at Garage in Moscow

MOSCOW.- The first exhibition of John Baldessari’s work in Russia, 1+1=1, presents the artist’s most recent completed series of paintings that offer a playful ‘double take’ on the canon of art history and continue his longstanding investigation into the tensions between text and image in art. Produced in 2011 and 2012, the works were created in four interconnected parts—Double Vision, Double Feature, Double Bill (Part 1 and 2) and Double Play. The exhibition at Garage is the first time a selection from all the Double series are seen together.

I think the idea of doubling for me issues from asking whether two things that look alike are really the same or if they’re different. It’s a mindset; some people think that one thing looks like another and others don’t. I like that sort of conflict. I play with it a lot. --- John Baldessari, July 2013

Working from traditional art history textbooks, Baldessari has selected masterpieces from the 18th to the 20th century by artists, including Chardin, de Chirico, Courbet, David, Duchamp, Gaugin, Hockney, Magritte, Malevich, Manet, Matisse and Warhol. In each instance, he gives the works a new lease of life by choosing a fragment and interpreting it as a complete image in its own right before ‘doubling’ or pairing it with a text that appears as a title. For example, works in Double Vision pair one artist’s name with a fragment of work from another well-known artist; Double Feature combines a fragment of an Old Master painting with a title from film noir; Double Bill juxtaposes images culled from two works, with one of the artists named below and the other not; and Double Play couples an image with a title from a song. Read More

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