I treated my
husband assistant and I to a little weekend jaunt out to Los Angeles last week to attend the opening reception of the biennial Rogue Taxidermy Show at La Luz de Jesus Gallery, and while it’s been written up, tweeted, and shared in many places I can find online, I do feel it is my duty to at least jot a little down here in my own blog about it (even if it’s mostly links to other sites who did a much better job than I documenting the experience).
We flew out on Virgin America which was a delight after having endured too many multi-part flights to LA. Direct flight? Cheapest airfare in town and multi-media players for each seat? SOLD! So that was pretty neat, and then we landed and it was time to try my hand at driving in LA for the first time. One word comes to mind: AGGRESSIVE. It seems like there are just no “Streets” in LA ,even the smaller thoroughfares are four lanes wide. It’s quite efficient though and I noticed an abundance of bike lanes which was encouraging. It’s just a little more difficult to navigate. The entire system felt like a series of swirls, whereas Philly is a grid.
We got to my friend’s house in one piece, however, albeit a little jet lagged. She came out with us to a Mexican restaurant where I proceeded to throw my ethics out the window and have my first red meat in months in the form of an all beef enchilada. I think I was punished for this and other offenses, but more on that later.
The next day we took a drive down Mulholland and looked at all the giant houses. I really don’t have the words to adequately describe how I feel about these structures. It just seems like a dream; I can’t wrap my mind around that kind of wealth.
After we descended back down to the land of mortals, we headed to Amoeba records in Hollywood where I purchased the soundtrack to “Blow”. It proved to be an excellent CD for driving down all the long trafficy strips in LA. Just listen to that Stones song I posted above right now and tell me you wouldn’t feel like a total badass cruising down the Sunset strip in your sexy Ford Fiesta.
That night was the opening reception at La Luz, so I slapped on my finest drag and we all headed out to a French restaurant beforehand for dinner. This is where A) I stood inches from Erin of The Office after mistaking her for my friend and almost telling her about how we’d be waiting 20 minutes before getting a table, and B) Jim and I ate some raw oysters that I’m pretty sure changed everything. More on that later.
We mangered and then walked over to the Gallery. Here are some photos from the opening I borrowed from Lee Joesph’s flickr page which is pretty amazing so go check it out.
Those are my hats, standing at attention waiting for Dita Von Teese to come buy them all. Or Kat Von D. Or anyone, actually. These ladies are too beautiful to not have a home.
This was probably the highlight of my evening: meeting these two. Sarina Brewer I’ve admired from afar since I first realised other people were doing what I was doing, which is toiling away behind locked doors doing unconventional things with dead animals. I am a total fangirl; she was basically the trailblazer for chicks doing cool taxidermy. Plus she’s as kind and delightful as one could imagine. In the center is Vega, who was also showing some pieces that night. She’s super kind and very present in a way that can only be described as West Cost. They are a different breed of human out there; I often muse about it when I visit and wonder if it all can really be chalked up to differing climes. When I find myself face to face with a West Coast breed, I used wish I could just relax a little, and chill. Like them. It’s an admirable way of life and a wonderful energy to have. I am however, a Philly girl. Born and bred and full of defenses. It’s taken me 34 years to accept it but I wouldn’t have me any other way.
After the gallery closed a few of us went to the bar across the street for a nightcap. When we got back to my friend’s house to call it a night, I felt sore and achy. And freezing cold. I dismissed it and went to sleep, only to wake up sore all over and still chilly. Jim was sore as well, plus we both felt like we had the hangover of the century. This was strange, considering I only had three or four drinks over the course of five hours. Soon came the stomach cramps but we decided to ignore it and head out for some early morning adventures, like coffee and yardsaling in Silverlake. I scored a pink Christian Dior turban for $2 and Jim got himself a nice Pyrex bowl for $1. Not too shabby. Later on we hit up the MOCA to catch the exhibition curated by Mike Diamond of the Beasties before it came down that night. We both still felt seriously hung over but kept it up-this was our vacation dangit! We drove to Malibu and laid on the beach for a few hours which was about all I could do at that point. Like idiots, we drank more alcohol (hair of the dog?) and felt no better. We both passed out at 7pm and that was the end of it. Enter stomach issues too grotestue to describe, made worse by the fact that we were guests in someone’s house with only one bathroom. Needless to say, the flight home on Sunday was almost unbearable.
We were pretty much laid up for that whole week, unable to keep any food in our stomachs long enough to actually digest, until we finally saw a doctor on Friday who put us on antibiotics. A bacterial infection from the oysters seemed to be the popular theory, but I can’t help but wonder if it was the universe punishing me for casting aside the moral high ground I’d declared just a few weeks ago in regard to not eating meat unless I am familiar with its source. Message received, universe.
Food borne illness aside, it was a great trip and LA is a wonderful town. I look forward to going back. Jim took some great shots of the beach and other stuff:
check out his recap here: SNAP BAM SPLAT
Up next: My new studio!!!!!!