Exploring The Wild Unknown With Kim Krans

Exploring The Wild Unknown With Kim Krans

As Kim Krans sees it, the “deep psyche” is always trying to tell us things, and tarot is just one way to tune in and listen. A Portland, Oregon-based artist, Krans is best known as the creator of the Wild Unknown tarot deck, which began as a self-published project for herself and her community and... More
A Bodhi Tree Grows in Los Angeles

A Bodhi Tree Grows in Los Angeles

Since the dawn of the 20th century, before the first movie studio staked its claim in the Southern California sun, Los Angeles has been a haven for alternative spiritual practices. With the arrival of the Theosophical Society in Hollywood in the 1910s, a procession of Hindu gurus including Paramahansa Yogananda soon followed. Yogananda compared L.A.... More
The Witching Hour: The Occult In An Age When There Are No Secrets

The Witching Hour: The Occult In An Age When There Are No Secrets

IN 1692, BARKING LIKE A DOG, pretending to fly, or erupting in a spasmodic fit was seemingly enough to get a teenage girl in Salem, Massachusetts, branded a witch and hanged, as depicted in Stacy Schiff’s new book, The Witches. Today there are an estimated one million practicing pagans — a term that includes self-identified... More
Eve Babitz's Classic Hollywood Memoir is Finally Reissued

Eve Babitz’s Classic Hollywood Memoir is Finally Reissued

Derek Taylor, the Beatles’ L.A.-based press agent and a man about the Sunset Strip, introduced Eve Babitz to the Fab Four as “the best girl in America.” Indeed, for a hot minute that spanned the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s, the Hollywood native was a bright star in the galaxy of art and glamour that was... More
Celebrating the 60th Anniversary of 'Howl' in Los Angeles

Celebrating the 60th Anniversary of ‘Howl’ in Los Angeles

As the man who produced one of Allen Ginsberg’s last recorded works — and who virtually invented the tribute album as standalone art form — the record producer (and current music producer of “Saturday Night Live”) Hal Willner was truly the only person who could have put together last night’s celebration of the Beat poet’s... More
The Colorful History of California Graphic Design

The Colorful History of California Graphic Design

Louise Sandhaus’s new book, “Earthquakes, Mudslides, Fires & Riots: California & Graphic Design 1936-1986” ($55, Metropolis Books), is a collection of visual artifacts as eclectic as California itself. The volume begins in the year that the L.A. transplant Merle Armitage designed the nontraditionally laid-out book “Igor Stravinsky” and ends with April Greiman’s “Does it Make Sense,”... More
Cameron, Witch of the Art World

Cameron, Witch of the Art World

Pale and slender, she is wrapped in a black and white shawl that once belonged to Rudolph Valentino, a Spanish comb fanning out from her fiery red hair. Slowly, she lifts the long, fringed lashes framing her blue eyes and fixes her liquid gaze on the camera. She extends her hand and opens her palm... More
Aldous Huxley's Brave New L.A.

Aldous Huxley’s Brave New L.A.

FIFTY YEARS AGO, on November 22nd, 1963, in his home at the top of Mulholland Highway beneath the first “O” in the Hollywood sign, the British author, psychedelic pioneer and visionary thinker Aldous Huxley lost his three-year battle with cancer. Per his written request, Huxley’s second wife, Laura, injected him with a dose of liquid... More
Altadena Shangri-La

Altadena Shangri-La

To transform her Altadena yard into a restorative garden retreat, writer Annie Retamal called upon Melinda Joy Miller, a permaculture expert, feng shui master and healer who is the author of a new book, Shamanic Gardening: Timeless Techniques for the Modern Sustainable Garden (Process Media). Miller and her daughter Kim Colwell, also a feng shui... More
L.A. Woman

L.A. Woman

In Eve Babitz’s third book, Sex and Rage, the main character Jacaranda Leven comes upon a black-and-white photograph hanging in a grand Hollywood penthouse apartment, next to “a David Hockney swimming pool, and a huge pornographic watercolor by John Altoon.” Shot by Julian Wasser in 1963, the image shows Marcel Duchamp playing chess in an... More
The Untrained Eye

The Untrained Eye

In 1951, Charles Brittin, a mailman and amateur photographer, moved to Venice, Calif., and began to photograph his surroundings: the desolate streets and misty midways, the oil derricks erected by the beach and the vibrant Beat community, with the artist Wallace Berman at its core, that gathered regularly at Brittin’s apartment for impromptu parties. He... More
Janelle Brown on the Pursuit of the California Dream

Janelle Brown on the Pursuit of the California Dream

There are infinite variations on the California Dream, but most Angelenos would probably agree that fame, fortune, sunny skies, golden statuettes and prime real estate are key ingredients. They’d also likely agree that the dream’s shadow side only makes it that much more alluring. With her second novel, “This Is Where We Live” (Spiegel &... More