RIP Chris Burden


Chris Burden’s work has become a permanent fixture in the creative landscape of Los Angeles.  While writing this blog over the years, Burden was revealed to me in many different forms.  The most obvious was from his signature massive installation of Urban Light, a sea of 202 1920’s street lamps that he sourced and refurbished since 2000 and later installed at LACMA in 2008.  HIs collection of these lamps originally began with the parts of 2 lamps he sourced at the Pasadena Rose Bowl Flea Market.  It’s a piece that has become indelibly linked to Los Angeles as a landmark, destination and cinematic backdrop.

When I was introduced to Chris Burden’s Performance Art work in 2012 at L.A. Raw I was amazed to see the disturbingly dark, destructive themes of his work during these years but when taken in context they reflect the challenges of the time in which they were created.

Perhaps what was pleasantly shocking to me was that one of Los Angeles’ beloved Pulitzer Prize winning food writers began his career as a performance artist assisting Chris Burden in the late ’70’s.  (Tangent: this story is a wonderfully hilarious and insightful tangent about performance art and the genesis of an unlikely friendship).

Metropolis II is a manic mesmerizing look at cars moving through this expansive labyrinth of roads and byways.  It is a fantastically captivating piece that inspired this rather corny 2012 piece I wrote about at self-driving cars and transportation in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles has celebrated his career in many different ways which expanded his reach to individuals who may not otherwise experience his work.  His influence and how his creativity has resonated with many.  Burden’s career was anything but predictable and he pushed many creative and personal boundaries.  His vision and creativity will be missed, but his legacy shines on.

2013 “Rewind”

IMG_5165Whew!  Before I look forward to 2014 (and I must say, it cannot come soon enough), I thought I’d take a quick look back on my digital footprints and share my favorite CultureShockArt moments of 2013.  So I picked 5 posts from Twitter, Instagram, WordPress and Pinterest that were either popular, or made me squeal, “Eep eep! Such and so acknowledged my existence!”  Yes, I find that these situations render me as a 12 year old girl wearing 3 Swatch watches and L.A. Gears but hey, such is the magic that is the internet.

#5- HuffPo and my MOCA musings

For the most part on Twitter I feel like that one crazy aunt or uncle who sits in the corner at family gatherings shouting bizarre non-sequiturs to nobody in particular.  Once in a while a random post will illicit a response from someone, and I go completely starstruck when it is a celebrity, museum or a blogger I admire (yes, I get starstruck over museums and bloggers too).  So back in March when I wrote this post about some Los Angeles MOCA drama (and we had our fair share of it this year), little did I know HuffPo Arts would post it in their “Twitter reactions” gallery at the end of one of their articles.  The Art Girl geek in me came out when I saw my snark displayed amongst some of my favorite arts writers.



#4  Orange Crush

I was extremely late to the Instagram party, but once I dove in I took to it like a fish to water.  Strange enough, IG has taught me to keep my eyes open, not for photo ops, but to be more observant of my surroundings.  I now find my head in the clouds…appreciating them more than daydreaming.  At one point I had color phases when I would be obsessed with certain hues that would dominate my wardrobe, nail polish, handbag selection, you name it.  First orange, then lilac, then red… On this particular day in April I was laughing at the budding collection of all things “Orange” on my desk and snapped a pic of it.  Well, when Caroline Issa, editor of Tank magazine (and one of my style ICONS), emoji’ed her reactions to some of my pics, I was thrilled beyond belief!  I still really love this photo, but not as much as the oodles of shots I take of my napping dogs who deserve their own Instagram account.



#3  My 15 Minutes Seconds of Fame


The Warhol Museum is responsible for driving the most traffic on a single day to my humble little blog.  In August when I posted a reaction to an op ed piece about how a writer hates museums, the Warhol Museum noticed and linked my article to their website and Tweeted it to their followers.  I was forever grateful for pub and encouragement.  There are so many museums out there that are using social media to engage with their audiences in smart ways and the Warhol is near the top of the list.  THANK YOU Warhol Museum for taking the time to notice and show some blogger love.


#2 “What’s Your Bag?”

If I had a nickel for every time I got this question this year, I’d be able to afford 3 more of her bags!  This by far was the most talked about handbag in my collection this year.  It started many a random conversation in stores, restaurants, airport security screening lines, meetings, and an awkardly funny encounter with actor, writer and producer Issa Rae (we have the same bag).  So I wrote a post about bag obsession–not necessarily the bag itself, but what’s inside it.

When the designer pinned this picture on their Pinterest site, it drove crazy amounts of traffic to my blog.  Nice!  It’s also one of the most pinned photos on their site. (Really nice). Everybody wins, right?!


#1 The Sphinx and the Cronut


Of all my posts this year, this one cracks me up the most!  The Banksy mania that overtook NYC in August was slightly outdone by the city’s obsession with the Cronut.  I had to find a way to mash these two phenomena together.  Apparently I wasn’t the only one who got the connection.


Pulitzer Prize winning food writer Jonathan Gold sent me a message on Twitter saying he loved my Banksy post!  I have to say it just doesn’t get any better than that.

Despite all this name dropping and validation seeking, what I find most rewarding are the new experiences this blog has shown me.  I saw some wonderful exhibits and met some amazing artists, writers, designers and bloggers this year who took me on an inspirational journey beyond the keyboard.  For that I am truly grateful, and I am especially thankful for all of my readers who have shown their support and encouragement to me in 2013.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!  I wish you all the best in the New Year.

Social Media Week: Recap


Social Media week just wrapped (September 19-23), and I was able to attend a couple of events that really got me thinking about my blog.  I learned a few important things:

1.  I need a Twitter account

2.  Content is King

3.  “Engagement” and “Exclusivity” draw users and build loyalty

Examples of these lessons in action:

On Thursday I had the pleasure of attending a Spotlight Event for FabFitFun, a site I’ve been following for a few months now.  At the helm of FFF is E News host Giuliana Rancic.  The FFF’ team share cool beauty, fitness, diet and wellness tips that keep me motivated to maintain a healthy lifestyle, all while reminding me to take a minute to kick back and have fun.

The spotlight event at the beautiful Oceana in Santa Monica featured skinny cocktails by Ritual Cleanse, healthy apps, Zumba lessons, and massages.  The perfect remedy for weary writers!  It was a fun night!

On Friday, I attended a Panel Discussion on Social Media in LA’s Restaurant industry, compliments of dineLA.  The event at The Palm included LA Weekly’s Jonathan Gold, the Midas of the restaurant industry.  Other panelists included Nguyen Tran of Starry Kitchen and Katie Burbank from Yelp.  If you are Downtown and haven’t visited Starry Kitchen, you’re missing out.  The guy is a character and has brilliantly mastered the use of Social Media (the dude was Tweeting while talking on Panel!), and he refuses to take himself seriously.  I have to give him props for showing up to the panel in a Banana costume🙂.  Katie provided restaurant owners some good tips for dealing with negative reviews.

It was an engaging discussion and I think it opened some eyes to restauranteurs on how to take advantage of Social Media in their businesses. This is when I came to the conclusion that it’s time for a Twitter account.

I hate Twitter.

If you can tell from my posts, I’m wordy.  I can’t be pithy.  You know the other reason why I hate Twitter?  Ludo Lefebvre.  I briefly met Ludo at a Food Truck event last year (he was on his phone-Tweeting) and we start talking.  I asked him where his next Pop Up restaurant was going to be.  He gave me this bewildered look:

Ludo:  “Yooouu mean, you DON’T follow me on zee Twitter, or zee website or on Face-book?”

Me:  “No dude, I don’t have time for that stuff.  I hate Twitter”

Ludo:  *Patronizing Tone*  “Well, if you would then you would know…”  *Blah, blah, blah*

Me:  *Eyes darting toward nearby Cupcake truck*.  I had completely checked out of that conversation, written off Ludo and written off Twitter.

Hindsight is 20-20 and I now get it.  I can be a bit stubborn, but there is some value to it.  Jonathan Gold specifically cited Lefebvre’s use of Social Media as being critical to his success.  Talk about being late to a party!  Oh well, here we go!

So I’ll be Tweetin up a storm during dineLA’s Restaurant Week starting October 2.  I love Restaurant Week, it is the best way to introduce yourself to new spots at affordable prices.  Participating restaurants have prepared Prix Fixe lunch/dinner menus all at the same price point.

So eat yourself into an oblivion during Restaurant Week, then check out FabFitFun to get tips to help you erase the trace of the gluttony!