Art of Elysium
September 5, 2014
The Theater at the Ace Hotel
Los Angeles, California
In addition to promoting arts outreach to children’s hospitals and nursing homes, the central mission of Art of Elysium is to provide a platform for upcoming artists, and the organization’s sixth annual Genesis in Downtown Los Angeles was appropriately a showcase for new talent. Curated by artists and luminaries like Spike Jonze, Shepard Fairey, Beck, Jakob Dylan, Karen O, Cat Power, Alex Ebert, and Santigold, performers Moses Sumney, Soko, Rodrigo Amarante, The Garden, and Nite Jewel played for a crowd of artsy Angelenos and a smattering of celebrities like Joaquin Phoenix, Matthew Gray Gubler, Emile Hirsch, Devendra Banhart, and Jeff Goldblum.
Tucked away in the corners and hallways throughout the Ace Hotel’s Spanish Gothic theater were art installations and paintings by the night’s star artists; artwork made of recycled vinyl records by Colton Tran and a massive wall of album covers by Nick Egan drove home the musical theme, while live graffiti art by PUSH set the perfect backdrop for an endless number of selfies outside the theater lobby. Inside, guests immersed themselves in the audiovisual work of director Chris Milk, whose 360-degree film of Beck covering David Bowie’s “Sound and Vision” was viewed through futuristic Oculus Rift headsets.
Art of Elysium founder Jennifer Howell had stated that she wanted Genesis to feel like “a rock-and-roll Cirque du Soleil,” and it definitely felt like being under the big top, with a pair of aerial acrobats performing between sets, dangling from the ceiling, twisting and contorting themselves from hoops and swings.
After almost three hours of performances by the night’s selected acts, guests were treated to surprise performances by Ariel Pink, Cat Power, and Moby, the latter of which closed the night with a rendition of the Beatles’ “Come Together,” supported onstage by fellow musicians from the night. It was a raucous way to close the party as everyone did indeed come together…in front of the stage to dance.
To find out more about The Art of Elysium’s mission and the artists they support, check out their website here.