crazy early one saturday morning, i interviewed philippe vergne, the newly appointed, but not yet living in la, director of moca. well, it was early for me at least; he was talking to me from a reasonable mid-morning in new york. we talked about la vs ny (of course), debated the center of the art world, economics, and mike kelley, one of his favorite artists, close friends and the subject of the first exhibit under his tenure, me asking questions in my pre-coffee rasp, him answering in his leaves no doubt he’s from paris accent. the full interview is here.
All posts by abbystone
i interviewed sculptor joel morrison for look who’s talking, the back page in angeleno magazine, for their arts & power issue. we met up at laurel hardware in west hollywood and talked about everything from growing up to new technology over drinks (mine) and dinner (his). it was a fun, intriguing, irreverent, freewheeling, quirky evening, just like his work, that spilled so over the expected hour i’d allotted that i had run out to put money in the meter. you can read the full article here.
how often does one get to interview a legend? what do you even ask? so, yo, dvf…wassup? that’s what i was up against when i interviewed diane von furstenberg for angeleno magazine for an article that coincided with the opening of an exhibit at lacma celebrating 40 years of her iconic wrap dress. i untied my tongue; you can read the resulting article here.
fashion pieces are fun. see the full piece here.
after a private tour of the frank sinatra estate, a chance to take the new land rover out for a spin and a wonderful dinner at workshop kitchen and bar, i woke up early in the morning to write a profile of gerry mcgovern. the sun was just starting to come up and the saguro was quiet. i’m still amazed at how productive those early morning hours are. everything comes out in a big rush. even after all this time, i still find the process miraculous. it’s hard to describe how it works, i just know that it feels wonderful. here it is.
can you imagine living in a lautner or a neutra home? kelly lynch lives in both! we spent over an hour chatting: about the film about her neutra house, the oyler property up in lone pine, about preservationist architecture (we both agree to co-pilot any of the wrecking balls for some of the appalling structures that have been going up around la), and astrology. sometimes you have such a great time talking to someone it feels weird to hang up and not plan to get together for coffee. this was one of those times. see the whole interview here.
california home + design’s final (and, as it turns out, their last) issue focused on the designers and designs that had won the award the magazine gives out. my assignment was ted boerner and his thicket tables. since, in the weird time frame of magazines, i was interviewing him before the statues were handed out and i couldn’t let him know that he’d won, the editor and i concocted a ruse that i was talking to all the nominees. the conversation was slightly surreal since i knew and he didn’t; he was humbled just to be nominated. this was the first time i’d worked with editor erin feher; it’s always nerve-wracking writing for someone new. you can read the full piece online here.
i interviewed madeleine brand for the palm springs modernism week blog. madeleine was the voice of the eponymous and now defunct madeleine brand show, kpcc’s most listened-to show from 2010 to 2012. this week, she returns to the airwaves with a new show on kcrw called “press play”. it’s very surreal interviewing an interviewer. i felt very self-conscious. what struck me most was that she does not use any fallback words, she just breathes through the pauses. i’ve got to learn how to do that! when i transcribe long interviews, i’m often mortified by how many i use. like, y’know, um, you can, um, read, the, like, whole interview, like here.
in the order of best to worst, interviews can take place in person, over the phone or skype or over email. in person interviews are always preferable, especially if they take place over drinks or there’s an activity; there’s a chance for spontaneity, humor, and unscripted moments. email interviews are practically guaranteed to be terrible. few people write like they talk; the responses are stilted, awkward and full of publicity-speak. so i wasn’t expecting much when it turned out that i’d have to interview nichole galicia over email. i understood — there was a sick family member she was visiting in the hospital in europe — but i steeled myself for the worst when i opened her response. maybe it’s her genius iq but her answers were natural and surprising and, after a few back and forths over a sunday, i made my monday morning deadline. if this is any indication of her talent and professionalism, this girl is going places. see this full piece here.
i interviewed claire pettibone at her store for california brides over the summer. i’m always intrigued by how people discover what they love to do — it’s like asking a couple how they met — there’s always a story that, in retrospect, seems fated but, at the time, felt more like falling down alice’s rabbit hole. claire had never planned to design wedding dresses and, despite what you’d expect, she didn’t design her own. in fact, it was only after a friend asked her to design a dress that she realized that it was what she wanted to do. that design, kristene, is still one of her most popular styles. read the whole piece here.