Art of Boozing

I'm used to getting comments on this blog that trend towards the negative (see the “What You Missed Over the Weekend” post below for a prime example), so it was a rare treat to receive the following message in my inbox:

“Read some of your reviews on the ocweekly blog, and thought since you go anywhere that offers free alcohol maybe you’d like to come to our art gallery opening on the 19th.”

Hot dawg! Now there's a reader who totally gets me. I haven't been to enough local art exhibits anyway – last one was that Art of Warcraft mini-show that kinda sucked. When your centerpiece is an action figure that can be bought in any comic store, you're hurtin', frankly. Might as well call my apartment a museum by that standard.

Free booze is good. Free booze within walking distance of my domicile is even better. I have long seen the lofts of Santa Ana from afar, but this time they were actually open, glassy garage-door-like fronts rolled up into the ceiling that the residents may better display framed photos, sculptures, and the like.


I gather there's some debate on what to call this area, near the train station. How about “The Awesomeness”? I mean, if you can choose any name whatsoever, just go for it, right? I know it may sound too unrefined for some wine-sipping artists, but people will remember it. I don't think any city in the world as of yet has an area with that particular name.

Among the works of art that stood out at the aLoft gallery (and the one next door) were:

A series of nature photos by Andre Aleksis (below). You can't really go wrong with good, clear photos of rippling ponds.

A “Puzz3D” style rhino head made out of layers of masonite, weighing about 100 pounds total; I didn't test the weight, but was told that had I been there with a camera while they were trying to hang it on the wall, some hilarious hijinks might have been recorded. Artist: Dan Rhoades, apparently not in attendance.

A series of colored/photocopied photos of Target stores, posted on the wall all the way up the stairs and dubbed “Passing Target.” Artist Ronald Ray Reekers, or “Triple-R,” as he's probably never called, had to point out to me that the pictures actually don't say “Target,” they say “Targe.” So in addition to getting creative with an omnipresent local marquee, it's also an exercise in showing you what your brain fills in.

But what of the wine-tasting? The most genius thing about that whole deal was getting a black clad wacky German guy to host, sort of like a cross between Udo Kier and Mike Myers' “Dieter” character, named Klaus. You'd never expect anecdotes about different kinds of soil, or the capillaries of wine-makers, to be that exciting, but in Klaus' hands they turned into magic. Sort of like how 'I'll be back” is a banal bit of dialogue unless you-know-who is the one uttering it.

A lot of Klaus' wines tasted like Ribena, but I'll give him credit for giving me white wines that don't cause indigestion – I can't usually touch the stuff, but when a German guy insists, whaddaya gonna do?

In the picture below, he is demonstrating the bottle that he says women are drawn to the most. He says it's because they colored it blue, but I can't help thinking he's subtly referring to its unusual length and shape.

I thank Rebekah hugely for the invite. Much fun was had. And I hope I didn't drink anybody out of house and home.

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