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FROM THIS EPISODE

I went to The Wallis theatre last weekend to see a play about Marc Chagall and his beloved wife, Bella. Their love, their art, and the drama and tragedy of their lives during the Russian Revolution, WWI and WWII – all that and more unfolds on stage with surprisingly joyful bursts of music, dance, and singing.


T & B: The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk. Photo Credit: Steve Tanner


One of the most well-known and revered artists of the 20 th century, Marc Chagall, in many of his early paintings, celebrated his love and marriage to his muse, Bella Rosenfeld. She was a writer whom he met in Vitebsk in 1909 – then, a city with a large Jewish population in the south part of the Russian Empire.


T & B: The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk. Photo Credit: Steve Tanner

In many of his early paintings, we see both Marc and Bella flying happily over Vitebsk. And, that’s exactly what inspired the name of this new avant-garde theatre production, The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk. This production was a big, sold-out success in London. Now, it’s landed here, in LA. There are two exuberant actors, who are dancing, singing, and, of course, acting. And two musicians, who play a variety of instruments, bringing the sounds of yiddish klezmer music, jazz, and even bits of Tchaikovsky. I left the theatre slightly drunk on everything I had seen and heard. The production runs through March 11, and it’s absolutely not to be missed.


Installation view of Annihilation by Vhils at Over the Influence gallery, Los Angeles.  Photo by Edward Goldman.

And, here is another welcome cultural import – a solo exhibition of Portuguese artist Alexandre Farto, aka Vhils, at Over the Influence gallery in Downtown LA’s Arts District. This relatively young Hong Kong based gallery opened its ambitious 6000 sq ft American expansion right next to Hauser & Wirth.


Installation view of Annihilation by Vhils at Over the Influence gallery, Los Angeles.  Photo by Edward Goldman.

Four years ago, I talked about Vhils’ museum exhibition that caught my attention in Lisbon. His exhibition in LA is, once again, something that you don’t want to miss. Using a surprising variety of materials, such as carved wooden doors, Styrofoam, acid-etched metal plates, and concrete, he sculpts portraits using cutting edge technology.


L:  Photo of Vhils’ street art on Abbot Kinney Blvd. in Venice, CA. Courtesy Flickr. R: Installation view of Annihilation by Vhils at Over the Influence gallery, Los Angeles.  Photo by Edward Goldman.

One of his early street art portraits popped up here several years ago, carved through stucco on a building on Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice Beach. What continues to surprise and intrigue me in Vhils’ work is his combination of the ancient tradition of portraiture with the most innovative tools.


L & R: Installation view of Annihilation by Vhils at Over the Influence gallery, Los Angeles.  Photos by Edward Goldman.

I wonder if, one day, one of his attention-grabbing portraits might appear in the National Portrait Gallery in London or Washington D.C….

CREDITS

Host:
Edward Goldman

Producers:
Benjamin Gottlieb

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