Go postal gorgeously – Oscar de la Renta stamps

Architecture & Design · Fashion
Yay! The Federal government finally did something! And they did something good. Last February the U.S. Postal Service issued Forever stamps honoring Oscar de la Renta, a native of the Dominican Republic and one of the world’s leading fashion designers. The Oscar de la Renta stamp pane includes 11 images — an evocative black-and-white portrait ...

Influential Brazilian-beat album recreated in CAP UCLA concert, That Bad Donato

In 1970, two landmark recordings changed the world. On Bitches Brew, Miles Davis infused jazz with the rhythms and textures of cutting-edge pop, exemplified by James Brown and Jimi Hendrix. The fusion genre sprang from that album. Concurrently,  keyboardist and composer João Donato thrust electronics and the cross-rhythms of funk into Brazilian jazz with A ...

Thanksgiving love for Lydia the Tattooed Lady 1

Film · Music
Our holiday pick: The Brothers Marx in their ode to the much-marked Lydia the Tattooed Lady. In Thanksgiving gratitude for Yip Harburg‘s brilliant lyric, “And a torso even moreso!” Kermit loves her too. Guitarist Gary Lucas plucks the polyphony – and poetry – in Groucho Marx’s torch song to the scribbled dame.

Agnes Varda’s Oscar picnic

Flowers and an Oscar? What more could a woman want? These mementos so richly deserved by the French woman of cinema, Agnes Varda. On Nov. 11, at the 9th annual Governors Awards ceremony of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), Varda received an honorary Oscar. Varda’s artful, thought-provoking, highly personal auteur films ...

Alan Johnson / Mel Brooks dance-clips party at the Paley Center 1

Dance · Film
Ed. note: Guest writer Julie McDonald, senior agent and co-founder of McDonald Selznick Associates (MSA), contributes this story about a tribute event for the choreographer Alan Johnson. Sunday evening I attended a career retrospective of the great choreographer, Alan Johnson, held at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills. Having attended a prior celebration ...

Luminario Ballet’s festive winter’s tale at the California Club

Dance · Music
For those who have loved and lost. For those for whom great art can assuage life’s forays into the forlorn. For those who love wine, a great meal, live chamber music and dance in a singularly splendid setting: the Luminario Ballet Viennese Winter Gala is the thing. Good cheer, live art and companionship go far, ...

Shepard Fairey DAMAGED: vast, beautiful, unsettling

Visual arts
Ed. note: Guest contributor Dana Ross covers a new mega-show in downtown Los Angeles, providing photos & text.  DAMAGED, Shepard Fairey‘s new exhibit in Los Angeles, is vast and beautiful. His graphic sensibilities and social commentary rattle the bars on the cage and give us the strength to break out. Fairey is most famous for ...

Clown Tomas Kubinek, professional lunatic, walks the walk

Tomas Kubinek, who smartly selected an always in-demand profession, that of a clown, is described as a comic genius, virtuoso vaudevillian, and all-round charmer who gives audiences a joyous experience. Kubínek, born in Prague, was smuggled out of the country at age 3 by his parents to escape the 1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. After ...

It concerns us all, says choreographer Miguel Gutierrez

Dance · Language & ideas
Ed. note: arts·meme is delighted to reprint an artist’s statement from choreographer Miguel Gutierrez on the occasion of a commission for the French Ballet de Lorraine soon to have its premiere. Gutierrez, an artist who is alternately outrageous and deeply thoughtful, shares his ideas here: I was invited by Petter Jacobsson and Tom Caley to ...

Jason Moran, in a Monkish mood @ CAP UCLA

“The horn is blowing according to what the drummer is playing, you know?” –Thelonious Monk to Hall Overton, 1959 Thelonious Monk’s 1959 Town Hall concert was an artistic landmark and a personal triumph for the iconoclastic pianist and composer. His pieces, conceived for the small ensemble format, had been orchestrated for the evening by the ...