Herbert Blau, theater director and former CalArts provost, dies at 87
By David Ng
Herbert Blau, a renowned and influential theater director who helped to shape the California Institute of the Arts during its early years, has died at 87. He died at his home in Seattle on Friday following a battle with cancer, according to reports.
As a stage director, Blau worked with companies around the country. He favored experimental drama and was instrumental in introducing the plays of Samuel Beckett and Bertolt Brecht to a wider American audience.
Michael Jang's Family Photos Are Better Than Yours
By Christian Storm
Last time we checked in with Michael Jang, he was showing us his hilarious portraits of would-be weather men and women. Last Thursday, Michael pulled more gems out of the archives when his new solo show, The Jangs, opened at the Stephen Wirtz Gallery in San Fransisco. This time, we see intimate and hilarious shots of Michael's own extended family, taken in California in the 1970s while he was a student at Cal Arts. These pictures are far from your average family snapshots; in fact, they were just purchased by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. We had a quick chat with Michael to talk about his very photogenic family.
The CalArts Digital Arts and Technology Expo offers a glimpse into the future of digital entertainment. If the innovations on display here are any indication, the future looks mighty fun.
By Leslie Katz
It's that time of year when student boffins the world over display their final projects, offering tantalizing glimpses into their mad-scientist machinations, and possibly the future.
If inventions out of the California Institute of the Arts -- founded by Walt Disney in the early 1960s and now one of the nation's top art schools -- prove prescient, that future includes a wearable interface that lets dancers control music with the flick of a finger and a virtual studio where you can compose tunes by crouching toward the floor. The school will feature those and more student and faculty innovations Thursday at its Digital Arts and Technology Expo, which this year focuses on future directions in gaming, animation, human computer interaction, digital performance, graphic design, projection mapping, and machine learning.
Year end projects have been delivered by BFA students of the CalArts Character Animation Program. The best of the best, 23 films, will screen tonight in the famous “Producer’s Show”, a faculty-juried showcase that is a popular event for industry to attend and see what the next generation of animation talent has to offer. However a startling number of the films are currently online! Collected in a Vimeo channel, over 60 films are available to watch.
Actor Don Cheadle has been one of the most consistently sought after faces and personalities for character work for the better part of two decades, and this weekend he reprises his role of James “Rhodey” Rhodes in the Marvel Studios juggernaut Iron Man 3. Cheadle, who has worked regularly with the likes of big name directors like Steven Soderbergh, Paul Thomas Anderson, and Robert Zemeciks and consistently delivers memorable, iconic performances, joins director Shane Black as he takes up the helm of the superhero franchise from previous director Jon Favreau.
Work starts on the Huntington Library's new $60-million education and visitor center
Complex due to open early 2015
By Janette Williams
SAN MARINO-- Work has started on the Huntington Library's new $60-million, 43,000-square-foot education and visitor center, designed to provide "world-class space for our world-class programming," Randy Shulman, the Huntington's vice president for advancement, said Thursday.
"The Huntington has envisioned a project like this for many years and the actual planning started in earnest six years ago," Shulman said. And when it opens in early 2015, the annual 550,000 visitors will find themselves immersed in an interactive museum experience "the minute they step out of their cars or lock up their bikes," he said.
"It's not just a new entrance building but a gateway into ... a proper understanding what happens inside the library, a glimpse behind the scenes," he said.
Artist Eric Fischl on His Memoir Bad Boy, His Rivalry with Julian Schnabel, Gallerist Larry Gagosian, and the Lack of Great Art Today
By Jesse Ashlock
The painter Eric Fischl, part of the generation of New York City artists that exploded in the eighties, became a star for his figurative canvases rife with tense, psychosexual imagery. His aptly titled new memoir, Bad Boy (Random House, $26), traces his life from his mother's alcoholism and suicide to his education at CalArts alongside fellow trailblazers David Salle and Ross Bleckner, and from the glory days of SoHo to his mature work. Here, the 65-year-old legend opens up about looking back.
The first French retrospective devoted to the work of the subversive American artist Mike Kelley opens today at the Centre Pompidou. Born in Detroit in 1954, Kelley died from an apparent suicide in January 2012, leaving behind a complex, protean and disturbing oeuvre, drawing upon both high culture and popular culture. After a first stop at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, this exceptional retrospective, designed in collaboration with the Mike Kelley Foundation for Arts, will next be presented at New York’s PS1 and the Los Angeles MoCA.
For anyone feeling burnt out by the increasingly self-referential Marvel superhero movies of the past few years, Iron Man 3 will come as a surprise: a stand-alone story that feels a part of the ongoing “Avengers” plot in spirit but requires no extensive knowledge of the Marvel universe and only passing familiarity with the rest of the series. As directed by series newcomer Shane Black (known for writing Lethal Weapon and Iron Man star Robert Downey Jr.’s cult favourite Kiss Kiss Bang Bang), it’s arguably the strongest Iron Man yet.
It also features another standout performance from Don Cheadle as Col. James Rhodes / War Machine (rechristened “The Iron Patriot” in this film by his government handlers), a superhero whose sense of loyalty and cooperative nature put him at odds with the more independent, self-obsessed Tony Stark / Iron Man. We joined a recent press junket for the movie to find out what fans can expect from Rhodes and the movie as a whole.