Saturday, August 13, 2022

A Day of Poetry in Los Angeles

Los Angeles Poet Laureate Lynne Thompson and former Anaheim Poet Laureate Grant Hier will host A Day of Poetry in Los Angeles which will include readings by the former Los Angeles Poet Laureate, Luis J. Rodriguez, and the current Los Angeles County Youth Poet Laureate, Salome Agbaroji, as well as sixty other local poets.

Friday, August 12, 2022

Thinking of Salman Rushdie


Thinking of Salman Rushdie today after he was attacked at the Chautauqua Institution this morning. I had the privilege to meet Salman at an event in Beverly Hills in 2008 that was moderated by Carrie Fisher. This is a photo I created after meeting this amazing man. A card of my painting "A Walk With Ganesh" sits on the table next to him. On this #worldelephantday I wish for Ganesh to lift Salman up in his current struggle to survive and heal. Hate has no place in our world.

Tuesday, August 09, 2022

New E Line digital screens feature rider portrait artworks

The Metro E Line (Expo) has newly installed digital screens on its station platforms, and in addition to Metro customer information and third-party advertising, the new amenity also features Metro Art programming.  

The digital screens are the latest location where riders can view portraits from Metro Art’s multi-site We Are… rider portrait exhibition. Community art advisors worked with Metro Art to ensure that the commissioned portraits displayed on the new screens each have a link to the neighborhoods served by E Line (Expo).  

Here are the nine portraits featured on the E Line (Expo) digital screens: 

There are lots of ways to see the artworks even if the A Line (Blue) or E Line (Expo) aren’t part of your normal route!  The twelve A Line (Blue) and nine E Line (Expo) rider portraits are part of the collection of portraits in the exhibition We Are…Portraits of Metro Riders by Local Artists 

You can find them among the 41 portraits inside the Metro Art Bus, in the Union Station Passageway Art Gallery and in the online gallery on the Metro Art website. In addition, the A Line (Blue) portraits are also highlighted in the latest Art on TAP cards, too!   

Click here for more information about the Metro Art program. Follow Metro Art on Facebook and Instagram and subscribe for email updates.

From Metro - The Source

Happy International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples

Monday, August 08, 2022

Vantage Point (Chicago Theatre)

Gregg Chadwick
Vantage Point (Chicago Theatre)
30"x22"gouache on paper 2022
Private Collection Bloomington, Illinois

Day turns towards night on State Street in Chicago. Above us glows the marquee of the timeless Chicago Theatre. Built in 1921, the building just celebrated its centennial last year. I am reminded that as a child - my father, a career military officer, taught me to be aware of my surroundings. "Always look up," my Dad would say. And as an artist, I heed his words and look up to see what is above.

Sunday, August 07, 2022

PASSED: The Inflation Reduction Act!

Wednesday, August 03, 2022

David Hockney: Moving Focus / Retrospective at Kunstmuseum Luzern

Long time readers know that I am inspired by the life and work of David Hockney.
My thoughts on Hockney's 2005 exhibition at LA Louver can be found here
 I wrote then and still feel that Hockney, throughout his career, has been as interested in how we see as in what we see. Light, color and questions on space and time have come to the forefront in both physics (light has become the cornerstone of reality and space and time have become observer-dependent) and the art of David Hockney. This new retrospective of David Hockney's art at the Kunstmuseum Luzern looks like a must see. 

Tuesday, August 02, 2022

Cherries Jubilee for Two (L'Affaire Cerises Jubilé)

 by Gregg Chadwick

My brother Kent called me last night while he was dining with our parents because he had a question for me. “Do you remember the name of the French restaurant in La Jolla where they would not serve me Cherries Jubilee for dessert  because I was underage?”

We laughed and chatted for a while and all I could come up with was Chez something. Fortified by a double espresso this morning I began to think about that meal and the wonderful times we have had as a family dining out, traveling, and learning about art, history, culture, and food. 
My first thought was to check in our collection of matchboxes from our travels over the years. I vaguely remembered a picture of the Eiffel tower on the matchbox and maybe the menu. It was the early 1970’s so likely there was a hand drawn feel to the menu and signage. I was studying French in Junior High and my brother was learning it in High School so we had few problems with the menu that night. We had visited Paris with my parents when we were younger, so we had an appreciation for French cuisine. Around that time I was painting my first oil paintings with a definite nod to Cezanne, Monet, and Renoir. 

Gregg Chadwick
Pink Chair
30”x20”oil on canvas 1972 
(The artist was 12 years old)

It was Kent’s birthday and the meal was great fun. I started with an order of escargots. That I do remember. The waiter asked if we would like some as it was a house speciality. The look on his face when I said, sure I would like an order of snails was priceless. “Bon choix” he said. 
They were delicious with just the right amount of garlic. It was fun using the two pronged fork to pull the snails from the shell. 

Eugéne Manet
Sketches of Snails, Flowering Plant
Watercolor over graphite pencil on cream laid paper; 198 × 126 mm
The Art Institute of Chicago, gift of Robert Allerton, 1923.1057

I would often order fish as a main course so I most likely had the sand dabs. How do I know? Well, I discovered a menu for sale online while taking up my gorgeous and brilliant professor wife’s suggestion that I search for French Restaurants in La Jolla during the 1970s. First I found an article in the La Jolla Light with reminiscences from food writer Leslie James - "I can still taste the buttery, garlicky escargots at Chez Françoise.”  This looked promising, Chez Françoise could have been my brother’s birthday restaurant. The chef at that time was Pierre Lustrat. 

Chef Pierre Lustrat

An article in the San Diego Reader describes that "when La Jolla's Chez Françoise needed a chef, Pierre Lustrat jumped at the chance, taking charge of the kitchen from 1972 until 1975. While he executed the menu to everyone’s satisfaction, he longed to buy the place and to prepare his own dishes, in his own way, with the skill and imagination that his years of training had brought him.

When he finally claimed the restaurant as his own, he renamed it L’Escargot (the snail), redecorated it, and — most important — revamped the menu.

'When people first came here, they ordered escargot always the same way — with garlic and butter. Well, I thought up four or five ways to serve them, including en croute (in pastry dough).’”

After reading about Pierre Lustrat’s life as a chef, I pulled up images from the Chez Françoise menu from the 1970s. Pink paper. Hand drawn text with a quote from Chef Pierre - “ La bonne cuisine a besoin du temps et patience. Si vous l’avez, vous pourrez savourer un bon repas.” 
In English - "Fine cuisine requires time and patience. If you have it, you can then enjoy a good meal.” Our family had time and patience that evening as we dined. My Dad would have ordered the onion soup for his main course and Kent had the special which he remembers as Beef Wellington. Interestingly, Beef Wellington (named after the Napoleonic Era English Duke of Wellington who enjoyed the dish two or thee times a week if stories are to be believed) or Filet de Bœuf en Croute, is still served in French restaurants around the globe despite the Duke of Wellington’s devastating defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo. At dinner that night because my father was a career military officer and the rest of us were history buffs, we would have discussed Napoleon’s final battle while referencing our memories of the battle charts laid out in my dad’s A Military History & Atlas of the Napoleonic Wars by Vincent Esposito and John Elting at home in his library. The National Army Museum in the UK describes the final moments of the battle:

"Defeat of the Imperial Guard
At about 7pm, in a last bid for victory, Napoleon released his finest troops, the Imperial Guard. They marched up the ridge between Hougoumont and La Haye Sainte, but had chosen to attack where Wellington was strongest. Under a withering fire from British guardsmen and light infantry, the Imperial Guard halted, wavered, and finally broke.
Their defeat sent the rest of the French into panic and eventually retreat. This continued all night, with the French harried by the Prussian cavalry. Napoleon lost nearly 40,000 men killed, wounded or captured. The Allies suffered 22,000 casualties.
Napoleon was defeated. He spoke of fighting on, but was forced to abdicate when the Allies entered Paris on 7 July. He spent the rest of his life in exile on the island of St Helena in the South Atlantic.”

My Dad and Mom had visited the battlefield at Waterloo when they lived in Paris during their Julia Child years after the Korean War. I was taking a photography class at La Paz Junior High in Mission Viejo at the time of our outing to the French restaurant in La Jolla and I was actively printing my Dad’s old negatives including the monument at Waterloo. I can still smell the photo chemicals and see the glow of the red safe light  in my memory. 

The Duke of Wellington at Waterloo, 1815
‘My heart is broken by the terrible loss I have sustained in my old friends and companions and my poor soldiers. Believe me, nothing except a battle lost can be half so melancholy as a battle won.’
Duke of Wellington, 1815
Lithograph after 'Wellington at Waterloo' by Robert Alexander Hillingford, 1815 
National Army Museum, Study collection

Manet’s Still Life With Brioche
photo by Gregg Chadwick

As the night moved on that evening in La Jolla we talked about the future. Kent would soon finish High School and leave for college. Where? 
He wasn't sure yet. The mystery of our lives had just begun with many new chapters to fill. Our main courses were finished. The plates would be cleared. And then the menus reappeared like magic for a discussion about dessert. My Mom would have Mousse au Chocolat and my Dad would have his traditional Crème Caramel." "Brulèe please” my Dad would ask and then add - “Almost burnt.” “D’accord”, said the waiter. Perhaps, I had a lemon tart. I don’t remember because I soon was going to watch my brother’s birthday triumph reach a culinary Waterloo. "I will have the Cerises Jubilé, s'il vous plait”, said Kent. “Non. Monsieur - you will not” said the waiter firmly. We were all perplexed. Were they out of cherries? 

No, the dish was made in a traditional style at the table with flaming brandy. And my brother was too young to drink. But the alcohol burns off someone protested. No monsieur, you are still too young for some things the waiter seemed to say. We all were young then. The news of Watergate was just breaking and the Vietnam War was ending. I was reading film director Jean Renoir’s biography of his artist father Paul Renoir at that time and my Dad would ask me why I enjoyed the paintings of Renoir so much. The answer was easy - though I didn’t know it yet. Renoir’s joy of being alive appealed to me. 
Renoir often painted the simple pleasures of modern life in a way that spoke to me. In paint Renoir captured the beauty of sharing a meal with family and friends. Soon we would move back to the East Coast and I would stand in front of Renoir’s Luncheon of the Boating Party at the Phillips Collection in Washington DC. 
Kent would be off to college at UC Davis.

L'Affaire Cerises Jubilé would remain in our memories. Today looking at the old menu from Chez Françoise I found under Desserts proof that this was my brother’s birthday restaurant: And there it was - Cerises Jubilees (pour deux) - Cherries Jubilee for two 
Next time we visit with Kent and his wife Cathy at my parent’s house, we need to make things right for Kent. We will light the brandy on fire and make Cherries Jubilee in style.  

Renoir’s Luncheon of the Boating Party at the Phillips Collection in Washington DC
photo by Gregg Chadwick


Here are Julia Child‘s directions for Cherries Jubilee:

Drain the cherries (save the juice), and toss in a bowl with the lemon rind, sugar, cinnamon, and kirsch or cognac; let steep until needed.

[At serving time]

Blend a tablespoon of arrowroot or cornstarch in a bowl with the cherry marinating juices, then beat in a few tablespoons of canned cherry juice. Pour into chafing-dish pan and stir over heat until thickened, adding more cherry juice if needed. Before entering dining room, stir in cherries and heat thoroughly. To flame, set over chafing-dish flame, sprinkle with 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, and add ½ cup (125 ml) cognac. Heat, then set afire with a lighted match. Spoon up the flaming mixture until blaze dies down; serve over vanilla ice cream.” [1]

Sunday, July 31, 2022

Paint & Pitchfork: Illustrating Blackness | The New Yorker Documentary

Must Watch - Paint & Pitchfork: Illustrating Blackness | The New Yorker Documentary

In a documentary by Christine Turner, the painters behind the official portraits of Barack and Michelle Obama share their thoughts on the portrayal of Black bodies on canvas.

Shirley Ngozi Nwangwa in the New Yorker describes the genesis of the film:
"When the filmmaker Christine Turner got a call from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (lacma) asking whether she’d be willing to make a film about the painters Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald, she didn’t hesitate to say yes. She’d followed the work of both artists for several years, once even going to see Sherald’s work in New York while nine months pregnant. And she knew that the only way to showcase Wiley and Sherald in all their glory, she told me, was to “give them the same reverence, dignity, and respect” that they grant their own sitters. The final product, “Paint & Pitchfork,” explores the unfinished legacies of two Black cultural icons, and how in painting themselves, their subjects, and their people into the art-historical record they attempt to rectify the social and cultural absence of, as Wiley says, in the film 'people who happen to look like me.'"

Thursday, July 21, 2022

07/21/22 Select Committee Hearing

Congrats Steph!

Saturday, July 02, 2022

LBJ signed monumental Civil Rights Act, today 1964

Gregg Chadwick
UCLA School of Nursing Dean Hassenplug Meets President Johnson, 1964
36”x36” oil on linen 2019
UCLA School of Nursing Collection


Friday, July 01, 2022

"Something In The Night" - Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band 7/5/2012

From the City of Lights - Paris 

Gregg Chadwick
Pigalle - City of Lights
48"x36"oil on linen 2015
Kavich Reynolds Productions Collection, Los Angeles, California