It’s been real.

Approaching the floating islands of Lake Titicaca in 2012.

Hey Folks:

As anyone who has had the patience to follow this blog since its early days can attest, things have been a little sporadic — dare I say nonexistent — in these parts over the last couple of years. Part of this is due to the fact that it seems like I’ve spent the last two years moving: from New York to L.A., from L.A. to Peru, from Peru to L.A. and all over L.A. In between, I’ve gotten altitude sickness, covered the Pritzkers, talked social practice and spent hours watching TV in the name of journalism.

Now I’ve finally settled into a new home, both personal and professional. For the foreseeable future, I will be found over at the Los Angeles Times, the paper I grew up reading and the place that gave me my first job in media back in the dark, pre-texting days of 1990. (Also, the place that bit my blog name back in 2008, but what can I say? I have a short institutional memory.) At the Times, I will have my own blog — Culture: High and Low — where I’ll cover many of the same things that have made me excited about  culture over the last seven years: artists, ideas, oddities and stuff that makes me outraged and thrilled. Hopefully I can convince you to follow.

When I started this blog almost seven years ago, I never imagined I’d still be at it (sort of) so many years later. I began C-Monster (a nickname, btw) because I’d never blogged and wanted to try my hand at it. I imagined I’d do it for a few months and then move on. But I got addicted. And I did it solidly for several years, before all the other writing and radio work began to slowly overtake my time. But it’s been the best experience I could have possibly had. Blogging let me try on personas. It let me practice my writing. It let me investigate issues that no paying publication had any interest in. Blogging, in the end, helped me find my voice.

I am deeply grateful for everyone who took the time to read it and Tweet it and Share it. I’m also indebted to all the fellow bloggers and writers who linked to my crazy stories and photo essays over the years. You all do what you do much better than me. I am also deeply indebted to the magazine editors, radio producers, website chiefs and everyone else that has kept me gainfully employed all of this time. Freelancing isn’t easy, but I’ve loved every minute of it. In fact, I never imagined that I’d be giving it up. But the Times is offering me the opportunity to do what I love AND get health benefits.

Thank you all for the support over the years. It’s now time to put C-Mon in carbonite. Big internet group hug. (And remember, you can always find me on Twitter.)

xox,
C.

Calendar. 05.07.14.

A detail from A Land Reform 5, by Camilo Restrepo, at Steve Turner Contemporary in Los Angeles
A detail from A Land Reform 5, by Camilo Restrepo. Part of the artist’s solo exhibit, El Sueño de la Razón Produce Monstruos, at Steve Turner Contemporary. Through May 31, in Mid-Wilshire. Do not miss this show!! (Photo by C-M.)

Calendar. 04.30.14.

Nov. 19, 2013, 2014 Collage and archival inkjet print on watercolor paper 10 3/4 x 12 in. (27.3 x 30.5 cm)  by Fred Tomaselli
Nov. 19, 2013, 2014, by Fred Tomaselli. Part of the artist’s solo exhibit, Current Events, at James Cohan Gallery. Opens Thursday, in Chelsea. There will be a gallery talk and book signing on Sunday, May 10. (Image courtesy of the artist and James Cohan.)

Calendar. 04.23.14.

Big Trouble in Lil Haiti by Michael Vasquez (Courtesy of the artist.)
Big Trouble in Lil Haiti, 2013, by Michael Vasquez. The artist will have work on view at New Image Art in Los Angeles this weekend, part of the group show This Crazy Life, also featuring Patrick Martinez and Gregory Bojorquez. Opens Saturday 7pm, in West Hollywood. (Image courtesy of the artist.)

Calendar. 04.17.14.

Wangechi Mutu, Riding Death in My Sleep, 2002 (Courtesy of the artist and MOCA North Miami)
Riding Death in My Sleep, 2002, by Wangechi Mutu. Part of the exhibit Wangechi Mutu: A Fantastic Journey, at the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami. (Images courtesy of the artist and MOCA.)

Calendar. 04.10.14.

Swoon (American, born 1978), The Swimming Cities of Serenissima, Adriatic Sea, 2009. © Tod Seelie
The Swimming Cities of Serenissima on the Adriatic Sea. On view in Swoon: Submerged Motherlands, at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. Opens Friday. (Photo by Tod Seelie.)

If you’re hitting the Mike Kelley show at MoCA…

Mike Kelley's Chinatown Wishing Well at MoCA

The Mike Kelley show at MOCA Geffen has a whole lot of everything going on: child nightmare videos, weird banners, scary stuffed animal sculptures, night-light installations of the fictional Kandor, and architectural models of every school Kelly ever went to. There’s also his “Chinatown Wishing Well,” above, his tribute, to a similarly garish fountain located in L.A.’s Chinatown.

It’s a lot to absorb. But while you’re at it, don’t forget to take a peek under and inside many of his pieces, since they often seem to contain little surprises. Under the architectural models, you’ll find a mattress; a pink dresser hides books about sex and a packet of birth control pills; and inside the “Wishing Well” is a mattress, a box of Kleenex, some candles and tub of Vaseline. (This latter space he once described as a “crawl space/fuck room.”)

All of it certainly gets at aspects of the forbidden he often explored in his work. But they also serve as a reminder that if you’re just looking at the literal surface of his pieces, you’re missing a good chunk of the story.