Art World

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Learning to See

AN ARTIST’S VIEW ON CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS FROM ARTS... read more

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The AIPAD Photography Show New York

Robert Klein, former President, AIPAD Now in its ... read more

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When Failure Is An Option

{password} YouTube founder Steve Chen on success,... read more

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Ann Philbin

Director, Hammer Museum, UCLA Career Highlights ... read more

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Art...and Alzheimer's

Over the course of his artistic career, William Ut... read more

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Jacques d'Amboise: Come Dance with Me

Jacques d’Amboise COME DANCE WITH ME ... read more

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Rick Devos' ArtPrize

Rick DeVos continues a family tradition of giving ... read more

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Larry Bell

“I am in the process of celebrating my 49th year o... read more

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Michael Greco

  Michael Greco wanted to be a great Hollywood phot... read more

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P.P.O.W Gallery

Wendy Olsoff and Penny Pilkington co-founded the P... read more

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Olga Viso

Director, Walker Art Center Career Highlights Ol... read more

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A Walk on the Artsy Side

FUELED BY A LITTLE COMPASSION AND A LOT OF INGENUI... read more

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George Yepes

  George Yepes was born in Tijuana, Mexico and rais... read more

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The Finest Fair on Earth: The European Fine Art Fair

The Finest Fair on Earth THE EUROPEAN FINE ART FA... read more

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Confessions of a Superchef

Getting Intimate with Spain's Reigning King of Cui... read more

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ART TO LIFE AWARD 2009 LeRoy Neiman

Big Band. Big Art. Lately, it’s that simple for th... read more

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Maintaining Artistic Standards

NEW YORK CITY’S L&M ARTS IS A LIVING ENVIRONME... read more

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In His Own Words: Graham W.J. Beal

The director of Detroit Institute of Arts opens up... read more

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On Stable Ground

As Fondation Cartier’s Hervé Chandès explains, run... read more

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LA Art Show

Kim Martindale, Show Producer; George Stern; Parti... read more

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An Ever-Changing Legend

The Palm Springs Art Museum steps forward The bui... read more

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A Legend in Her Own Time

For a lifetime, Patricia Faure has cultivated only... read more

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Mark Acetelli

  In Mark Acetelli’s small, one-bedroom apartment i... read more

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Once Upon an Otto

A book of photographs of artist Frank Otto’s paint... read more

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Ruscha Revealed

When does text become art? When artist Ed Ruscha i... read more

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Billy Al Bengston

“There is nothing you can’t do, if you do it right... read more

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The International Foundation for Art Research: Facilitating Small Miracles

The International Foundation for Art Research (IFA... read more

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The Getty Foundation

When our country’s largest biennial of internation... read more

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Art for Art’s Sake

Greg Pelner sculpts a model of creative efficiency... read more

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The Art of the Chef Is Sometimes... The Art of the Switch

Whether or not they’ll admit it, everyone wants to... read more

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Elizabeth A. Sackler

&g For an institution once considered “establ... read more

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DAVID W. STREETS: KEEPING APPRAISED

DAVID W. STREETS: KEEPING APPRAISED by Lynn Morgan... read more

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The Armory Show

Paul Morris, Founder and Organizer The Gramercy A... read more

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A Woven History

DAVID SOLEIMANI CONTINUES J.H. MINASSIAN & CO.... read more

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Jeff Koons

Renowned Artist and Sculptor  Jeff Koons (b. 1955... read more

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Gonzalo Duran

  Gonzalo Duran was born in Mexico, emigrated to th... read more

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Margie Perenchio

Owner, LA Art House An accomplished pain... read more

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Marlene Zimmerman

  Marlene Zimmerman is a Los Angeles-based artist w... read more

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Cheri Pann

Cheri Pann started life in the public housing proj... read more

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Portraits of the New York School

For a number of years in the middle of the last ce... read more

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Emmanuel Guillaud

  Parisian-born photographer Emmanuel Guillaud live... read more

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A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Los Angeles’ Norton Simon Museum is Telling Tales ... read more

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Bill Viola

Bill Viola (b.1951) is internationally recognized ... read more

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Toni Alexander

A seaside home was reborn miraculously as a remark... read more

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Voices from the Head

Ace Gallery Los Angeles presents techno-artist Ken... read more

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ACA Galleries

“Getting recognized (by Art and Living) was a mile... read more

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Ben Janssens

BEN JANSSENS CHAIRMAN OF THE TEFAF, EXECUTIVE COM... read more

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American Art Gallery

A TRADITIONAL INNOVATION IN CARMEL For Alec Elzaf... read more

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Archi-tailored

In its latest show, Los Angeles’ Museum of Contemp... read more

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Adam Weinberg

Alice Pratt Brown Director, Whitney Museum of Amer... read more

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Rembrandt Lives

Galerie Michael sets the master’s etchings on disp... read more

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Master of the Gavel

Bonhams & Butterfields President Malcolm Barbe... read more

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Roxy Paine in Ponderland

Artist and sculptor Roxy Paine discusses his new s... read more

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Museum Maestro

With a bevy of his museums opening up in the last ... read more

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A Breath of Fresh Air

As his monumental retrospective at San Franci... read more

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Kingsley

  A Southern California-based conceptual artist who... read more

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State of the Art Market

Dr. Ulrich Guntram, CEO of Global Art Insurance Sp... read more

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A Painter-ly Style

Most of us have seen works of art that for some re... read more

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Todd Williamson

  Todd Williamson is an abstract oil painter who fi... read more

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Fiat Lux!

Talking with Shelby White, the face behind the rec... read more

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Marty and Josy Collins

“People collect for different reasons. My family a... read more

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Bruce Nauman

Bruce Nauman’s Topological Gardens earned him the ... read more

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Yamaha and Andy Moses

  Musical Instrument Innovators Great desig... read more

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Beyond Goya’s Ghosts

This fall, filmmaker Milos Forman brings Goya’s Gh... read more

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Julius Shulman

In early October of 2007, Julius Shulman blew out ... read more

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Andy Moses

  A Los Angeles-based artist with a unique take on ... read more

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Jordan Schnitzer

When noted art collector Jordan Schnitzer was a yo... read more

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Side-by-side

BASQUIAT AND DUBUFFET COLLIDE AT NEW YORK CITY’S PAC... read more

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Pearl Lam: Sharing the Beauty of Chinese Contemporary Art with the West

PEARL LAM SHARING THE BEAUTY OF CHINESE CONTEMPOR... read more

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The Lions of MoMA

A Conversation with David Rockefeller and Agnes Gu... read more

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Ron Burkhardt

  Ron Burkhardt is a conceptual artist and founder ... read more

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Amy Cohen Banker

  One of the most versatile artists working today, ... read more

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Music Carved in Stone

  Many say it was Pythagoras, some 2,500 years ag... read more

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Charles Arnoldi: 1972-2008

FOREWORD BY FRANK GEHRY ESSAY BY DAVE HICKEY CONVE... read more

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Gallery Spotlight

Gemini G.E.L. is more than just an art gallery—art... read more

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Eisenhower Medical Center

Utilizing the arts as a means of healing is a grow... read more

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SCOPE Art Fairs

Alexis Hubshman, Owner and Manager A large tent b... read more

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Art LA

Tim Fleming, Managing Director A crushed-up bus f... read more

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An Intricate Tradition

Chinese Lacquer comes to the Santa Barbara Museum ... read more

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Stephanie Barron

Senior Curator of Modern Art, LACMA Stephanie Bar... read more

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Art Miami

Nick Korniloff, Director; Robert Fishko, Participa... read more

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Ferus Fetish

While Ferus was influential, it wasn’t the only ho... read more

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Annabel Fell-Clark

ANNABEL FELL-CLARK NAVIGATES THE ART INSURANCE LA... read more

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The Art of the Scoundrel: Faked, Forged, and Counterfeit Art

Just another December day in LA. Two affluent busine... read more

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Art Connoisseur: Cathy Hau

ART CONNOISSEUR CATHY HAU CREATES ART EXHIBITIONS... read more

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American Art Now...

Twelve Innovative Artists   Wha... read more

Design World

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Alive with History

Gallery owner and antiques connoisseur Richard Shapiro acts on his passion, fulfills his passion, and shares his passion for unique and masterful period pieces Do enough soul-searching to give your... read more

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CIA At Greystone

By Jeff Marinelli  And Westin Verasa Napa Greystone, the Culinary Institute of America’s prestigious outpost in the Napa Valley, is a gorgeous tufa-stone edifice, the retrof... read more

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Franz Von Holzhausen

Chief Designer, Tesla Motors Franz von Holzhausen has not taken the easy road in his car design career. Still in his 30s, von Holzhausen left Mazda, where he was lead designer, a few years ago to b... read more

Creative World

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Starck Style

Checking in with ubiquitous designer Philippe Starck He transforms the ordinary. Hundreds of objects we touch, use, and work with every day have been reimagined and redesigned in Philippe Starck’s ... read more

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Chef: Conny Andersson

Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel, a Four Seasons Property Chef Conny Andersson strolls through the Regent Beverly Wilshire’s THEBlvd restaurant, a fair distance from his less-than-illustrious beginnin... read more

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Guy Savory

GUY SAVOY CHEF AND RESTAURATEUR MAKES AN ASIAN ENTRY ... read more

If He Builds It, They Will Come

Category: Architect Published: Friday, 04 July 2008 00:00 Hits: 2760

What does this mean? Well for one, Mitchell is not always a great date.  But more importantly, he’s not your typical interior designer. The intensely driven, semi-obsessive fortysomething is behind more than 20 of LA’s celebrity-filled hot spots, including Katana, Cinch, The Crescent, Ashton Kutcher’s Dolce, Chi and, most recently, the legendary Roosevelt Hotel.

With a boyish charm and a touch of self-professed ADD, the designer, named the “Crown Prince of Restaurant Design” by LA Magazine, boasts that, despite his lack of formal training, he has been designing his entire life. “There are pictures of me at 4 years old hammering the walls,” he recounts. “I was always moving the furniture around and building huge forts with these old floral blankets. I’d show my mom how the light made patterns through the floral—which is funny because now I’m known for my lighting.”

Mitchell eventually moved from sheet forts to set design and worked on several television projects.  His first break into the nightlife world was designing the small but long-lasting Santa Monica club, 217.

Since then, Mitchell has developed an eclectic, edgy style.  His designs are sexy, otherworldly creations full of earthy textures, unusually placed leathers and natural assemblages of wood, stone, fire and water. The designer, who has not taken a break in 12 years, says, “I try to make my designs into mini-vacations.  Whether they’re staying at one of my hotels or just a couple hours at a restaurant I want them to feel like they’ve gotten away.”

Recently, the passionate mind embarked on one of his biggest projects—the renovation of the Roosevelt Hotel. The 78-year-old Hollywood landmark hosted the first Oscars and was a favorite hideout for stars like Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable. Today, the revamped classic has regained the fame it held during the Golden Age—thanks, no doubt, to Mitchell’s creative infusion.

Mitchell describes the new feel as “Four Seasons with edge.” The lavish, palm-tree-filled poolside bar, The Tropicana, is frequented by the likes of Nikki and Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, and Bruce Willis, while the lush retro patio is equal parts Palm Springs oasis, South Beach hip, celebrity Mecca and classic Hollywood glamour.

Inside, the impressive lobby is adorned with Spanish tiles, exotic leathers, custom-designed furniture and exposed wood-beamed ceilings. The nightclub, Teddy’s, showcases high arches, ostrich feather chairs, lucite chandeliers and crocodile furniture. Despite this hip new interior, the hotel still maintains its old Hollywood feel and original 1920s Moorish architecture.

As Mitchell bounds from room to room excitedly pointing out every detail—from the 60s-inspired chandeliers to Teddy Roosevelt’s original Brunswick pool table—he explains, “I am inspired by the everything. It’s kind of a spiritual thing. I can be inspired by a martini glass or Mother Nature—whatever comes into my head is what the client gets. But when I start, you never know what is going to come out.”

And behind every unusual design choice, there’s an unusual story to match. “I was watching a porno late one night and a girl was undoing her lace boots,” Mitchell explains. “It was so sexy, so I decided to turn the laces into curtains.”  Mitchell took thousands of feet of regular bootlaces and created a moving sea of black leather that surrounds the lobby. As he tells it, “It’s all about the sex.”

The chic rooms showcase flat screen televisions and soundstage-inspired, suede-covered walls. “They give it that Hollywood feel,” says Mitchell. “And it’s great for sound proofing.”

The Marilyn Monroe suite features a slim sleeping alcove, Bert Stern’s 1962 classic photograph of Marilyn, and a mirror over the bed. “The mirror is tilted. As long as it’s that way, everyone looks skinny,” he smiles.

Mitchell stresses that his designs are all about comfort. “I want to make people feel good,” he professes, quickly adding, “I am a really shy person. In my designs, there are always places for people to kind of hide, to lean on something or just sit down.”

And that’s no accident. As Mitchell explains, when people in Hollywood go out, they like to be seen—but not entirely. “It’s like the lingerie effect,” the designer elaborates. “It’s sexier if there is something in between you and them. It makes people curious and want more.”

Mitchell says the key to being a successful designer is to “be passionate about your work and think from your heart.”  He does not favor any particular one of his designs “because I haven’t designed it yet. I’m really hard on myself and nothing has been quite perfect. I can see it in my head though, and I’ll definitely build it one day.”

And when he builds it, we will come.

Pictured: The Roosevelt’s Moorish-tiled lobby., reimagined in Mitchell’s vision. Courtesy of the Roosevelt Hotel.