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Wednesday, 29 June 2011


Managed to squeeze in all that LA had to offer, every cute store, gallery, beach and bar possible.
Of course, if you know LA, you'll know that half of ones time is spent in a car. It's tedious. The city is so spread out and only connected by multiple lane freeways that crawl along most of the time. Off the freeways you're in the stop/start grid system passing endless fast food restaurants, enormous pharmacies and car sales yards.
There is little public transport. A few high speed trains would transform LA but there is simply no infrastructure development because the entire state is broke. As is the rest of the country. In fact it seems the country is regressing, things break and don't get fixed.
There was a time when America led the way in development, huge architectural projects, bridges, tunnels, railways exploding all over the country but now it's at standstill. It's quite poignant, especially coming from HK and China where there are subways and bullet trains and highways appearing overnight. Sorry to be down on America, it's still a wonderful country even with it's recent downturn. Hong Kong has it's fair share of issues too.

On the upside, amazing restaurants, great people and the most amazing galleries and museums......The gallery with the skulls and the big pig is called Blum and Poe, the work by one of my favourite artists, Zhang Huan, who i had the pleasure of meeting in HK recently. Super nice guy.

It's summer but the coast has been unseasonaly grey and cold, the June gloom. the water is cold too but I managed to get a few good sessions at Malibu 3rd point, one of the best waves in LA on a good day.

Lunch at Chateau Monmart was lovely and typically surrounded by Hollywood  people and a few celebrities but it's all very low key off peak. The rooftop at The Standard downtown was also a highlight, especially when the sun finally melted the haze and bought stunning blue skies and views of the streets of the city so familiar from so many movies.  Richard Lewis sat next to me (from the show Curb your Enthusiasm) and I almost said hey what's up, because he is so familiar but then realized he would have no idea who I was. He looked old.

On the art side we checked out the LACMA, an amazing sprawling facility with a number of massive galleries showing everything from artifacts to contemporary art. They also had a show of Tim Burtons work which was pretty cool except that you weren't allowed to take photos which was fucking annoying because, inevitably when you exit the show there's a fucking gift shop stacked with books that have photos of all the works you just looked at  in them. So, paying to see the show wasn't enough, if you want a photo of the stuff you just saw, you have to buy a book.

But that's America, you have to pay for everything. And then you have to tip everyone even though the service is shit. People just expect you to give them this money even though they do the absolute minimum to deserve it. Hong Kong is the opposite.

These following shots are from the LACMA. Amazing and slick facilities....

I sneaked in a couple of photos of Tim Burtons stuff, what a dick for not letting people take photos. The security staff were real nazi's about it too...

A more interesting part of the show was a selection of work picked by Tim Burton from the museums collection, work that inspired him. He didn't mind you taking photos of other peoples work .....

The following shots were all taken at the Museum of Contemporary Art in  LA, a huge graffiti retrospective showing the whole history of the artform. Really well put together and fun. I'm not a huge fan of this stuff but found it very entertaining nonetheless. The Sex Pistols original artwork. Barry McGee and Mr Cartoon were the highlights for me, Banksy was without doubt the lowlight, am so over the novelty of his work. But that's what I love about the art world, you got heroes and villains, liars and saints, hype and integrity...keeps things colourful.

Before I leave I manage to have one wild night out. A friends awesome 80's themed birthday party full of hipsters all the way out in the OC. after we head on to Newport Beach where we get shitfaced at the local clubs (great names like Sharkeys and Woodies) with the whitest trashiest crowd I've seen in a while. The women look like future cougars and the men like guys that were on the water polo team who now work at a car dealership. It's a hedonistic, desperate scene with bad music, bad cocktails and bad tattoos, fake tits and obesity. Nonetheless we embrace, submit to the adventure, get into the spirit of it and make the most of it, so it ends up being a lot of fun. We all and end up at some random blurry house party with super nice people. I meet a girl who is the most awesome and prettiest that OC has to offer (she made me write that).