Did the Earth Move For You?
Old Pal Provisions collaborated with Autre Magazine on a limited-edition 50-page book featuring 38 Los Angeles-based artists called ‘DID THE EARTH MOVE FOR YOU?’
Photographed by Bennet Perez at Bruce Lee’s old dojo now photo studio in Chinatown, with an introduction by well-known contemporary artist, Peter Shire, it features indelible portraits of a unique creative generation in the new cultural epicenter of the world: Los Angeles. Only 500 of these exist so head over to the Autre site to grab yours now.
Los Angeles in California is a dissonant poem, a pollution, a white noise, a quality of light, a tone, a habit, a mythology, a nostalgia, a fantasy, a dream.
Los Angeles is the gathered and scattered, palm trees and poppies, chipped paint and graffiti, bungalows, ding bats and mansions, strip clubs, craft beer bars and Michelin-starred fine dining, organic, farm-to-table, sustainable and little crowded groceries and big box super stores and cars and freeway planks and ribbons of roads and highways for miles and miles.
Its inhabitants are, as the MAN once said, “Hustlers, opportunists, strivers, developers and sons of bitches,” by which he meant EVERYBODY.
Had the MAN looked through another peephole he might have said: “Angels, saints, martyrs, holy-men and CREATIVES,” and he would have meant the same thing.
The classic trope of the girl who won the local beauty pageant or the good-looking young man who played in the school play, getting off the bus on Hollywood and Vine, full of hopes and dreams.
They may come on an airplane or in a car to be models or to be in the movies… this is still happening. The aspiration of being an artist, a painter, a sculptor, a mixed-media interdisciplinary practitioner, a cultural creative producer has now been added to the mix.
As more artists gather, proliferate, mate and create, there becomes the basis of our own unique mafia. Collaboration, cross-pollination, cooperation, support systems, infighting, gossiping, back- stabbing, competition, both destructive and healthy.
Los Angeles is swirling together in a heady mix, like the centrifugal force of going way too fast on a freeway clover-leaf.
The open space that personifies Los Angeles, the tradition of imagining things that didn’t exist, nourishes the creative spirit and makes being an artist exhilarating and fun, which is anathema to those who subscribe to the nineteenth century version of the artist starving and suffering in a garret.
The value and mindfulness of feeling good, of being happy, of realizing high-school was something you did to yourself, morphs into fantasies and ambitions of a life well lived under the Los Angeles sunlight. Blue skies and dramatic sunsets filtered through dust. True love is always perverse.
Artists are the past, present and the future, the best part of it. The part that is about defining quality and creating things of lasting worth, that share values in our immediate community and as communities circle out, defining a neighbored, a city, a nation. Communicating revelations, emotions, bringing realizations, this is the adventure and romance of being an artist.
P.S. One of the artists is my wife’s sister’s kid – can you guess which one?