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Posts Tagged ‘Mike Mills’

Giant Pinwheels, Talking Trees and Not-So-Temporary Tattoos: Swerve Festival Photos

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We spent a few breezy moments sitting beneath a pinwheel designed by Mike Mills as it spun over Hollywood at the first-annual Swerve Festival. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday.

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Festival papa Jonathan Wells opens the first night’s screening of Surfwise.

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Aaron Rose does a sound check at the BARR Listening Tree; art by Jesse Spears.

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Spears also manned the highlight of the festival, a Sharpie tattoo booth.

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Crowds swelled to both observe and receive Spears’ awesome semi-permanent artistry.

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More Awesomeness Announced for Swerve Festival

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Just when we think, surely Jonathan Wells and his merry gang can’t squeeze any more action into these three days of joy, they hit us up with yet another announcement. Here’s the latest news from the Swerve Festival, taking place next weekend in LA.

Remember we told you that Aaron Rose would be curating the art show? Well here’s what Rose has to say about that: “Looking at art in galleries is dead. I didn’t want to have a little art ghetto in the middle of this dynamic festival.”

So, artists like Mike Mills, Terry Richardson, Thomas Campbell, Geoff McFetridge, Ed Templeton, Chris Johanson and more were given instructions for how to build 15-foot high pinwheels that will dot the Barnsdall Art Park grounds.

25 trees will be transformed into “Listening Trees” where you can put on a pair of vintage headphones and hear musicians and performing artists like Animal Collective, No Age, Tommy Guerrero and BARR.

Plus, poke your face into novelty backdrops with cut-out head-holes by graffiti artists, check out the murals by Sage Vaughn, Chris Pastras and Jesse Spears, and should you want to take the art home with you, Jesse Spears will even grace a selected body part with a Sharpie tattoo.

Tickets and details here. And we will see you there.

Jonathan Wells Gets His Swerve On In LA

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We’ve been shopping for a new festival to wrap our arms around out here in LA and who better to deliver it than Jonathan Wells, who brought us the RESFESTs that we love so dearly. Yes, kids, the Swerve Festival is coming to town September 28-30:

SWERVE FESTIVAL isn’t just a film festival or a music festival or an art show-it’s all of these things,” says Jonathan Wells, Festival Director. “There’re no sidebars, all of our programs feature top-notch talent that stand on their own, yet are more cohesive as a whole. One of the trademarks of West Coast creative culture is the cross pollination of creative disciplines–art, music and film are interrelated and overlapping. This is the first festival to celebrate that.”

The film festival will run throughout the weekend, including two films we’re dying to see: Surfwise by Doug Pray, and Control, the story of Joy Division’s Ian Curtis, directed by the great Anton Corbijn. Closing the festival is the movie The Man Who Souled the World about skater Steve Rocco. Should that inspire you, roll right over to the CreateAskate workshop where you can make your own skateboard, right before you make your own broken elbow.

Art will be curated by Aaron Rose with his usual crew of “Losers”: Mike Mills, Geoff McFetridge, Terry Richardson, Thomas Campbell, Sage Vaughn, Ed Templeton, and more.

Bonus: That identity up there is by Hunter Gatherer, another good sign of things to come.

Aaron Rose’s New Group Show Opens in LA

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It was hard not to feel the love at the opening of “Other Scenes” at Roberts & Tilton Saturday night, namely because the gallery was throbbing with the belly-warming aural assault of No Age, who played a live set amidst the art-goers. The Aaron Rose-curated show featured the work of Raymond Pettibon, Ryan McGinley and Rita Ackermann, among others, and was attended by more than a few stars of the documentary Beautiful Losers, currently in the final stages of post production.

Rose’s ever-present hat bobbed among Mike Mills and web designer-of-the-moment Miranda July, Ed and Deanna Templeton, Craig Stecyk, and Geoff McFetridge with a little one in tow. A “Scrubby”-looking Zach Braff poked his head in for a bit, and a sighting of a cast member from the “L Word” also generated some buzz, although we never did quite find out which one it was.

The crowds thinned a bit as the stack of empty Coors Banquet Beers grew taller, and No Age began to pack up for a second show at the Troubadour, but we did have the chance to compliment Randy Randall on his coonskin hat, which, as the attached tag proved, was an authentic Frontierland purchase.

Beautiful, Yes, But These Ain’t No Losers

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We’ll never forget how cool we felt telling someone who lived in St. Louis about the “Beautiful Losers” exhibition when it started its global ramble a few years ago. For someone new to LA, this roster of artists was the ultimate measure of how much a place like California ruled. “Oh yeah, it’s like graffiti, and skateboarding, and, you know, surfing…” Popular culture has since been irrevocably altered by that unofficial collective of artists, and today, if we were to tell that same person about the show, we could even call a few of the artists by name–”Geoff McFetridge, Shepard Fairey, Mike Mills…”–and that person would probably get it. Dude, we bet even our parents would get it.

A lot of that has to do with “Beautiful Losers” co-curator Aaron Rose, who invited us to a special sneak preview of his documentary film of the same name. Beautiful Losers tracks the unlikely careers of this group, who more or less converged at Rose’s infamous Alleged Gallery in New York during the 90′s. Footage from that period, with the artists assembling group shows, makes for some of the most incredible shots in the movie. And it made us realize how wrong we were about the whole thing.

We always thought that this art, drawing from fringe and fuck yous, was generated by this cultural elite trying to out-hip each other. But it’s not. These were just kids, creating the only way they knew how, often with very little training or resources, teaching each other. And seeing them all on film, together, it’s their earnestness more than anything that shines through. They might swear up and down they’re losers–a surprisingly-eloquent Ed Templeton has one of the best quotes in the movie about it–but they’re pretty much heroes for anyone out there who wants to make something they love.

We hear that a few scenes will be screened at the RVCA party in Sundance, with Money Mark playing songs from the score live. Definitely worth skipping one of those other movies for.