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Notes on Decoration

January 26th, 2010

Daniel Pontius







-Vogue Living Australia Nov/Dec.



I take notes because I yearn for beauty, for continuity and for a narrative rich of depth and substance in a land of lessor notions. Here in L.A. we certainly need to do a better job in distinguishing the artist from the art, the writer from the writing, the actor from the act. But I like a lot of people like to keep them entwined.

Kelly Wearstler, I hear, is a very nice person. A friend commented on her appearance as a judge on a television show as “She had some smart things to say, but was a little too confident for me to like her.” That is perhaps what one’s marketing department might or might not call being a visionary. Design is most always taking from the past and putting one’s stamp on it and not asking questions. As Lady Mendl was fond of embroidering, “Never Complain; Never Explain.

To my own tastes I like Ms. Wearstler’s bright white compact building on La Cienega because in the evening the windows of her studio glow— chandeliers like a chimera in my brain–in a flight of fancy. And because on the other side of her building, from my rooftop deck, I can see the lattice fencing on her building’s roof and imagine that’s where her chaise lounges lie.

She is that heroine in our American Story of success that we love in LA: good timing, smart alliances, hard work and get it done. No nonsense. This particular story tends toward a future of luxury and glamor. Age never creeps in, because the shoe is already on the foot. The past is a sentence in a biography that ends with a point to the future: “She currently resides in Beverly Hills, California.”

You may want to take notes. This is the story of the self made. You are not who you are or where you come from; you are where you want to go. Your interior can and will evoke your future. A Brand is a Brand is a Brand. Ms. Stein might have said if she were alive and had taken notes.

Ms Wearstler like all of us here in Los Angeles can become sacrifice to a deity larger than ourselves. Los Angeles is the place to come to remake oneself. It is the mythic move west. This is the story of our parentage; it is one of the stories of America. But it can also be the story of a future that lacks the congruency of the past.

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