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Craig Stephens

Bano initiation; Credit: Oram Bleicher

Baño Gallery: Turning the Bathroom Into an Art Space

Commercial enterprises devoted to the sale of visual art generally adhere to a common formula, with elaborate lighting racks, delicately framed work and pristine white walls the common attributes of the average space. Yet a new West Hollywood gallery, namely Bleicher Gallery's Bano annexe, is brazenly dismissive of these concepts......
Anjel Dust

California Pole Dance Championships at Highlands: Sport Says Sayonara to Strip Clubs and Sets Sights on the Olympics

With her Lucite heels, cheeky schoolgirl pigtails and silky, hot pink disco shorts exposing admirable curves, the petite dancer is a textbook picture of urban eroticism.Nimble, feminine and impressively toned, she grips the towering pole, launching her taut, muscular frame with astounding athleticism. She follows with midair splits, more twirls......

Broader Than Broadway

Another fashion shoot in a stuffy downtown warehouse, with generic techno echoing through a cavernous space as a model does her thing. Pursing her lips and twirling her hair, she jumps on command as a full-steam photographer barks, "Lift your butt, head back, curve your hips!" The scene plays out......

Dysfunction Junction

Sunset Junction is hallowed ground for many ardent music fans. From Spaceland and Silverlake Lounge to Elliot Smith's shrine and that questionably priced, namesake street fair, the area is undoubtedly ripe with history and authenticity. Whether they are, in fact, local, a legion of hopefuls seems to project its fervent......

Surf 'n' Turf

On a recent Friday afternoon, a contented gaggle of 30-plus surfers jostles for waves off Malibu's Surfrider Beach, not far from the eternal frustration that is the PCH. The surf is only 2 feet or so, not much for this traditional long-board venue. As the surfers float, four local dudes......

Upside Down Under: Australia Week in Town

It's a typical corporate function on a rainy winter afternoon in Los Angeles. The setting is the comparatively minimalist Renaissance Hollywood hotel in West Hollywood — hardly upscale utopia, but these are hard times. Inside, generic business types mingle. A middle-aged guy in a gray suit works the room, brandishing a business......

The Price of Shooting Stars

It's an unseasonably warm winter afternoon in West Hollywood and a hulking '09 Range Rover snakes through traffic on Melrose. It's pristine, with white paint and thousand-dollar rims, and its two-way radio crackles above the babble of a KROQ announcer. Behind the wheel is a bleary-eyed Englishman, his cockney accent barking......
Richard Ankrom’s modified sign and Caltrans’ replacement (BELOW)

RICHARD ANKROM’s Freeway Art: Caltrans Buys Into the Prank

For most of the decade, L.A. painter-sculptor and installation artist Richard Ankrom drove the freeways through downtown L.A. with a sense of pride and satisfaction. Poised above the chaos of the 110 freeway, precisely on Gantry 23100, just before the 3rd Street overpass on the northbound Pasadena Freeway, was a......
U2 conquers the Coast: If guitarist the Edge has his way

The Edge of Destruction

Irish supergroup U2 has long been acknowledged for its altruism, for using its fame to spotlight global issues like poverty, the AIDS crisis and the environment...
LA Weekly