Old Books, New Art and Virtual Reality

Chapter 3 of The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Chapter 3 of The Picture of Dorian Gray.

When I was 12 or 13, I fell hard for The Smiths and Morrissey. In typical Morrissey fanatic fashion, I started reading the writers that the singer mentioned in songs and interviews. The biggie was Oscar Wilde. I went from The Picture of Dorian Gray, through the plays, fairy tales, basically anything I could find. I loved it all.

Years later, I stumbled across The Clark Library’s website and found out that they had this massive collection of works from Oscar Wilde and his co-horts. How the heck did this end up in L.A.? Maybe it didn’t matter. I had to see the Oscar Wilde collection. A few emails later, I had a story assignment and a tour scheduled.

“Inside the Clark Library’s Immense Oscar Wilde Collection”

Also, for KCET Artbound, I interviewed Stephanie Inagaki. She’s an L.A.-based artist whose portraits are both unexpected and beautiful.

“Stephanie Inagaki’s Intimate Portraits”

In other Artbound news, my recent story on L.A. punk legend Alice Bag one a recent vote, meaning that it will be the basis for an upcoming segment on the Artbound television series.

“Alice Bag’s Portraits of the Los Angeles Punk Scene”

Not long ago, one of my editors at L.A. Weekly asked if I had time to check out a virtual reality awards show. And it just so happened that I did. VR is at a pretty interesting stage right now. It’s getting more accessible for developers, but it hasn’t quite hit the public yet. Still, there are enough VR projects to put together an award show. The following day, I ended up at an Oculus Rift conference, which is also part of this story.

“The Oscars of Virtual Reality”

Last weekend, British artist D*Face opened his latest show, “Scars and Stripes,” in L.A. It’s a fascinating exhibition that explores celebrity and death and I had the chance to talk to him shortly before the opening. This is my current “Cult Stars” column for L.A. Weekly.

“D*Face Tackles Death and Celebrity in His Biggest Solo Show Ever”