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Posts Tagged ‘San Diego’

Amtrak Pacific Surfliner headed north

This past weekend found me on the train headed for Los Angeles to see Jack White in concert at the Shrine Auditorium. Usually, my mode of road trip transportation is my 1987 Honda Prelude Si, which is fun to drive and has plenty of room for hauling home bags of records, CDs and the occasional painting or two. The drawback to my Honda is the fact that the AC has not functioned during this century, and with temperatures in LA County projected to top 100 degrees… the train seemed like an excellent alternative!

I took the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner leaving from the Old Town Trolley station in San Diego, which spends a considerable amount of time hugging up the coastline between Del Mar and Dana Point. It’s a really beautiful and relaxing ride; perfect for reading and listening to music and you cruise by packed beaches and breaking waves.

But, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s take a step back to the beginning. To Old Town and my wait on the platform for the train to arrive at the station.

Travel tip!
Always keep your camera handy, either in a pocket or around your neck. Your camera should always be a shutter click away. Otherwise, you may miss something like… this:

Accentuate your ensemble with a color that will POP!

Yes, this dapper gent in his little electric cart was waiting on the platform at the trolley station. Sadly did not board my train to LA.

Now, I ask you: going forward, will you remember to keep your camera close at hand?

Snce I have a ton of pictures (and video!) to share, I’m going to breakup my weekend into segments. And, we’re off!!

The Train Trip

This first segment of photos was taken from the relaxed comfort of my seat on the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner. The first shot was taken as we were approaching one of the stations along the coast, though I can’t recall which one. In any case, there were plenty of people out enjoying a Friday morning at the beach. And who could blame them!

Next is the view of The Big A, which is apparently now called Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Not a bad name, I guess, but I prefer The Big A. I took this picture while we were stopped at the Anaheim train depot, so if you ever want to take the train from San Diego to see an Angels baseball game, this is where you hop off.

The first photo on the bottom row is the skyline of downtown Los Angeles as you approach Union Station. The building in the very center is the tower spectacularly zapped into oblivion in the film Independence Day. I’ll have another shot of that building later.

Jack White at the Shrine Auditorium

The main purpose of my trip was to see Jack White in concert. Apparently, he’s played several different LA venues during the past year, and on this time around he chose to play at the historic Shrine Auditorium, a building with a rich history dating back (in one incarnation or another) to 1906. The current facility was completed in 1926, and it’s a spectacular place filled with what I’ll call Arabian Night’s Opulence.

Outside the majestic Shrine Auditorium before the Jack White concert on Friday night

There is no shortage of chandeliers, stained glass, interesting architectural detail and—no doubt— secret passageways, spread throughout the Shrine. Living in an old house myself, I’m always interested to poke around inside structures built around the same time period, though my house is Spanish Colonial while the Shrine takes its cues from Yul Brynner in The King And I.

Here are a few photos from inside the venue…

Third Man Records 2012 Menu

Parked just outside the fence in the parking lot was the cute little van you see below—the Rolling Record Store from Jack White’s independent record label, Third Man Records. I would have liked to visit the tiny little store to see what vinyl wonders it held inside, but as the van was outside the iron gates, and I was inside the gates, this would be difficult. More so because the Gestapo-like security outside the venue that was very insistent about ushering people directly into the venue. NOW! Luckily, I was able to take this quick picture through the gate, and even more lucky that a kind woman shopping the store handed me the foldout catalog you see to the right, which is filled with all kinds of reasonably priced vinyl releases available on the label.

That’s going to be it for Part One of my LA travelogue. Tune in for the second part for photos (and videos) of the concert itself, plus continuing excursions throughout Los Angeles.

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I normally start my “work” day in my home office, enjoying a cup of coffee and listening to music while responding to email, browsing a few websites, and checking in on Facebook and Twitter. After that, it’s project time out in the studio where I play with toys and take photos.

Carmen conjures a song of swashbuckling revenge while drying out in Acapulco, 2005

Yesterday started out just like any other time, though my electronic mailbox seemed unusually filled. Surprising, having recently unsubscribed myself from a boatload of daily junk mail. As I scrolled through the list I saw lots of familiar names, and for a moment thought I was having one of those the-final-is-today-and-I-haven’t-been-to-class dreams. Though, in this case it was the post-employment work version of that dream: my-presentation-is-today-and-I-haven’t-prepared-any-slides-and-what-the-hell-is-the-subject-again?

I had this feeling because my mailbox was jam packed with messages from former coworkers, all smart and cultured people who had been listening to the local NPR affiliate on their drives into work and heard me talking about my photography when the radio news program turned an ear to the local San Diego arts scene. Pretty cool!

The radio segment was a companion piece to the feature that ran on the TV side of KPBS a couple of weeks back, though obviously without the visuals, and with some key changes from correspondent Beth Accomando to better fit the audio-only format. So, while you don’t get to see me pop the head off a kewpie doll, you do get to hear me wax poetic on toys, record, books and the ever-popular “how I come up with my ideas.” Oooo! Ahhh!

The piece runs about 5 minutes long, and I especially like the super fun music used in the background throughout the piece!

So, just in case you missed the piece when it aired, click on the little audio widget above and pretend you’re driving into work listening to smart, intelligent public radio. And don’t spill your coffee.

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Financial Freewheeling and the futile pursuit of the American Dream

Head over to the San Diego Union-Tribune’s blog, Sign On San Diego, and check out John’s interview with arts writer and photographer, Will Parson.  He asks some great, perceptive questions that really made John think about his photography in new ways.  Thanks, Will, for giving John the opportunity to share his thoughts and work.

In other news, through the month of November, with every purchase of a limited edition print, you’ll receive our special collector set of postcards for FREE!  It’s pretty rare these days to receive anything special through the mail, so beat the holiday rush and order yours today.

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Humankind survived!

Yes, it’s true.  Despite an army of untold numbers of kewpie dolls, robots, monsters and animals descending on La Jolla this past July, the exhibit has ended.  The kewpies were relentless and put up a good fight, but in the end they were simply no match for my superior height and my ability to grab their little plastic heads and drop them into a big cardboard box.  Everything is now safely tucked away in my studio — kewpies, monks, record albums — where no doubt the kewpies are already plotting and planning their next attempt for world domination (I hear those whispers coming from the stacks of boxes in the corner… don’t think I don’t!).

Before packing everything up I managed to capture the kewpies in their native habitat, roaming the ledges of the Pannikin and standing proud atop each of the framed photos in the exhibit.  The footage is rough, but I was being pursued by a posse of the small plastic imps while I was filming, so I had to complete the video in one long tracking shot before escaping into the daylight to tell me tale of kewpie mayhem.

Either click the video above, jump directly to YouTube, or visit the new and improved video page of my site.

Have fun!

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Unbeknownst to her Creator, Eve longed to become a cheerleader

Exciting news in Wind-up Dreams land–we are now offering Unbeknownst to her Creator, Eve longed to become a cheerleader (shown above) as a limited edition print! Unlike our other limited editions, Eve is printed on beautiful Fuji Pearl paper to give the image a brilliant, metallic-like finish (all the better to enhance Satan’s fiery gaze).  And priced at just $125, it is now our lowest-priced limited edition.  While it’s currently listed in the etsy shop, it won’t be available for shipment until Monday, July 26th because we’ll be attending Comic-Con this week. (!!!)  Reserve yours today and add some devilish fun to your world for a decidedly un-devilish price.

If you’re going to be in San Diego attending the Comic-Con convention as well, please swing by Pannikin Coffee & Tea in La Jolla and see the latest photo and slide show extravaganza, Seven Signs of the Kewpie Apocalypse.  It’s running through July 30, so you still have time to check it out.  Speaking of slide shows, have you seen the incredibly fun stop-motion animation video for the making of Eve?  Well what are you waiting for?!?!  Check it out here on our newly re-designed Videos page.  And if you can’t make it to Comic-Con, don’t feel left out!  We’ll be tweeting live, so follow @johnpurlia and/or @windupdreams on Twitter to see pics of the kookiest costumes and undoubtedly hilarious overheard conversations about Star Wars, Futurama, and loads of other geeky fun.

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Last week at the Opening Reception for the “Seven Signs of the Kewpie Apocalypse” exhibit, people really enjoyed the stop-motion animation and time-lapse videos that were created for Unbeknownst to her Creator, Eve longed to become a cheerleader and Financial Freewheeling and the futile pursuit of the American DreamWe didn’t want to leave anyone out, so we’ve posted them on YouTube!  In the videos, you can see how the still life dioramas that eventually become the photos are created. The Eve video was created from 2,100 separately shot and edited photographs after the actual gallery photo was shot. The action was then storyboarded and the animation was shot in reverse. The entire production required about 8 weeks of work.

The Financial Freewheeling video was created from time lapse footage showing the construction of the photo.  The video was actually created during the deconstruction of the diorama, one shot every two seconds, then played back in reverse to create the effect of “building” the final scene. You can also watch the video, “The Fantastic Plastic World,” which shows the installations that were on display as part of the exhibit “And The Beat Goes On” at the New Puppy Gallery in Los Angeles last year. The four videos also feature super fun music by Fantastic Plastic Machine, Moby, and James Brown, and Nina Simone. The last new video that’s been posted is a retrospective of select works from 2004-2010. AND, we’re also excited to announce that these videos can be found on a newly re-designed Videos page on the Wind-up Dreams site. Feel free to leave comments and let us know what you think.

Of course, you can still see the videos and photos live! in person! at Pannikin Coffee & Tea, La Jolla, CA through July 30.

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Big news in the land of Wind-up Dreams…

My next solo exhibit, Seven Signs of the Kewpie Apocalypse, will be running from July 3rd through the 30th at the Pannikin Coffee & Tea, La Jolla, CA. Lots of fun surprises are planned including the latest batch of new photos, a separate room filled with custom framed Album Editions, and… my first video installation! Wind-up Dreams & Vinyl Nightmares goes live on the big screen (well, actually, a smallish 22” TV with a built-in DVD player) with stop motion animations, slide shows, and other visual stimulations to frighten and delight. The gallery will also be jammed packed with cute kewpies, killer robots, cheesy record albums, and alphabet blocks.

Fun for all!!

An opening reception is planned for Saturday evening, July 3rd, from 5 to 7PM (or maybe later if we can get a big crowd). Come on by and cower in cuteness as the Pannikin falls under the transformative spell of the…

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Please welcome…

Kathy Jones and husband Colin enjoy the San Diego Zoo on their first trip to southern California.

… Kathy Jones, who has been providing quite a large helping hand over the past couple of months as I gear up for some major steps forward in the advancement of my artistic career. Over the course of the next few months Kathy will be deep in the details of all kinds of coming projects: the re-launch of my web store, the release of my first limited edition print, and… my first exhibit of brand spankin’ new work in over a year! That’s right — coming soon! — new photo fairy tales to tempt the eyes and challenge the mind. Details coming soon, and Kathy will continue to be a big help as this exhibit draws near.

In addition to the mountain of tasks ahead to launch the store and prep the exhibit, Kathy’s also going to be rubbing a little polish on the website, and posting news items here and there. How can you tell which posts are hers, which are mine, and which magically appear with neither of us typing a single character? Easy. Mine, first person. Hers, third person. Neither?  I suppose those will be signed, like, Posted by Red Kewpie, or, Posted by Hula Girl. These things happen, ya know. Ever read the story of the cobbler’s elves?

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“Mother” by Ana Bagayan

Just above is a brand new painting I’ve added to my collection, Mother by the super talented Ana Bagayan, which is currently on display for all to see at Billy Shire Fine Arts in Culver City. Over the weekend I made the trek up to LA for the show’s opening reception, which also features the incredible work of Yoko Tanaka and Judith Schaechter. This is a very strong show, with the proverbial “something for everyone” (which isn’t exactly true… there’s only so much “something” that three people can produce, so satisfying “everyone” might be an art-blog exaggeration).

In any case, I liked what I saw, and decided to plunk down a little bit of cash on another painting by Ana Bagayan.

This painting, in it’s cool black oval frame, was the centerpiece of one gallery wall, flanked on either side by six small diamond shaped “baby animal portraits” — the offspring of “Mother” — which was a really cool way to tie together her central theme of mother nature.

Pretty much all of Ana’s paintings were sold, or mostly sold, or close to sold, or almost promised… anyway, all but a couple of paintings sported Red Dots of Purchase, so get on the phone and call the gallery if you want to nab that last painting (if it’s still available, that is).

Next… figuring out where I’ll hang this beautiful piece once I get it home in another month or so!

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Taking a quick break from all the hype, er, focus around my exhibit at the Pannikin, I’ve added a new painting to my collection… my very first Shag! Pictured above is “The Mentalist,” one of the new pieces that will be on display at Shag’s upcoming show at Billy Shire Fine Arts. The exhibit —  “Conspicuous Consumption” — opens this coming Saturday with a reception from 7 to 10 PM, and includes over 100 small 6” by 6” paintings of many of the motifs and characters Shag has developed throughout the year. Monkeys, tikis, shriners, willowy babes…they’re all there to be gleefully consumed.

“The Mentalist” is one of six large paintings that will anchor the show (this one is 17” by 30”), and I absolutely love the imagery of a suave 1960’s illusionist performing bar tricks in a swanky cocktail lounge. A fine addition to my home… and now appearing for everyone’s viewing pleasure in the collection section of my site.

And now… back to the focus, er, hype, er, shameless self-promotion.

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