Posts Tagged ‘art’

Luxury Tours of Los Angeles - 3:00 30 December 2016

Get to the Getty in Los Angeles

Irises by Vincent Van Gogh at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles

Vincent van Gogh’s Irises Touch Our Private Tour

This was at one time the most expensive painting ever sold (~$54M in 1987).  Painted in 1889 by Vincent van Gogh while he was institutionalized before his death, this painting is part of series painted in the asylum garden.  Our Los Angeles private tour guests were especially moved by this beautiful work as so many of the 1.3 million visitors to the Getty Museum every year find themselves to be.  We appreciate that so many of our guests understand that a private custom tour of this magnificent Southern California city can (and we think should) include visits to any number of our impressive museums.  Besides the two campuses of the Getty Museum (the Getty Center in Brentwood and the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades), major art museums include the Broad Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), the Hammer Museum and the Norton Simon Museum.  There are many more fine art museums and galleries as you would expect.  In fact, there is a whole art district in downtown Los Angeles.  Besides art museums, there are science museums, natural history, ethnic origin and Hollywood history museums.  We like to say there is a museum for everyone, even a kids’ museum.  We suggest a visit to a museum of interest to you as part of your private tour so you do not have to worry about driving, parking or timing.  We take care of that for you.

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Luxury Tours of Los Angeles - 3:00 30 November 2016

Saint Monica in Santa Monica

Statue of Saint Monica in Santa Monica

Our Private Tour Guests Reflect on Families as the Sun Sets in Santa Monica

Wilshire Boulevard is the “Main Street” of Los Angeles.  For 18 miles the wide roadway connects downtown Los Angeles to the ocean in Santa Monica.  Traffic on this main road of a major city can often leave our guides praying for salvation as they bring their Los Angeles private tour families through Beverly Hills and West L.A. into Santa Monica, talking about the rich history, lucrative businesses and wealthy neighborhoods, telling stories and adding anecdotes, our guests never have any idea how fraught a particular journey has been.  We have great guides who are all excellent drivers.  But still, when they get to the end of Wilshire Boulevard there is a statue of Saint Monica, the bay spreading out behind her to the horizon, and our guides can offer up their thanks.  The city is named for this patron saint of difficult marriages and wayward children but sometimes any connection to the sublime when arriving at Palisades Park is worth paying tribute to.  Our guests on their custom tour often choose to walk along the palisades to admire the sea and the city, to look down over the beach and the homes of Hollywood stars built along the Pacific Coast Highway below them, to enjoy the sea breeze and, if they are lucky to be out late in the afternoon this time of year, enjoy a beautiful sunset.  We are pleased to talk about the creation of the art deco Saint Monica statue by sculptor Eugene Morahan back in 1934 with money from a federal public arts project.  As we parade along the cliff edge towards the Santa Monica Pier there are other interesting landmarks to pass by including a camera obscura.  The lights on the pier come up to make it look like a dazzling scintillating jewel against the golden sky.  Children with us are always attracted to the Ferris Wheel and the roller coaster.  Thank you, Saint Monica, for having a fun and beautiful city on the sea.

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Luxury Tours of Los Angeles - 3:00 18 November 2016

Still Life on Sunset Boulevard

Not real people but artwork on this front lawn on Sunset Boulevard

A Favorite Home to Pass By on A Private Los Angeles Tour

The front lawn of 10000 Sunset Boulevard in the Holmby Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles seems always to be quite busy.  People, children and pets are all engaged in life activities in a perpetual tableau.  These are all sculpted works on display in front of this Wallace Neff designed home that has been occupied at one time or another by Vincent Minelli and Judy Garland, Howard Hughes and Jennifer Jones.  The driveway was used in a scene in the classic film Sunset Boulevard.  The work featured in this top photo is by J. Seward Johnson, Jr., scion of the bandaid empire and titled “A Little to the Right.”  Below is the playful work of Mexican artist Victor Salmones, “Curiosity.”  This is just one home we can visit during our Los Angeles custom tour that features significant art on display.  Sometimes we can only see the art and not much of the home behind and the “life” of the house stand in suspended animation in a silent welcome to passersby and visitors.

Victor Salmones' sculpture has these two boys forever climbing the wall to peek over

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Luxury Tours of Los Angeles - 3:00 4 November 2016

More Art in Downtown Los Angeles

A new addition to the downtown Los Angeles art scene, the Hauser Wirth & Schimmel Gallery

We Show Our Private Tour Around the Edge of Downtown Los Angeles

Adaptive Reuse – that is a common expression and term of business art we discuss when we are in downtown Los Angeles on a private tour and sightseeing in the urban core.  This means that old buildings, beautiful and historic, instead of being demolished and replaced are instead reengineered to modern safety and construction standards and used again for a contemporary business.  Once a flour mill in downtown Los Angeles and then a derelict structure is now a fine art gallery, bookstore and restaurantHere we are now on the eastern side of downtown Los Angeles near the river when we drive up to one of our newest jewels in the crown of the Los Angeles renaissance.  The old Globe Mills, a former flour mill, is now the Hauser Wirth and Schimmel art gallery and bookstore.  Much of downtown Los Angeles during the past several decades has been adopted by the art community who were already there in the “derelict” years before the community began to envision the potential of downtown and began a concerted effort to rebuild, reuse and redevelop the downtown core that was so vibrant in its heyday before WWII.  HW&S is a global art seller and exhibitor and has created an exquisite gallery for its collection of the works of modern artists.  There is also an art bookstore and lunch restaurant, Manuela.


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Luxury Tours of Los Angeles - 3:00 7 July 2016

Burning Sensation – Kobe Bryant as Art

Local artist celebrates Kobe Bryant with burnt wood

Lakers Star Stars in Wood Art

Not only do we encounter art all around Los Angeles but sometimes we run into the people who make art.  As our readers know our guides are all fully aware of the art museums, installations and art activities throughout the Los Angeles area and in particular downtown, Hollywood, Beverly Hills and in the beach communities.  Sculptures, statues, fountains, murals and sidewalk paintings can all be highlighted during a Los Angeles private tour.  Sometimes, though, we are out doing chores on behalf of the company and it was on that occasion that we met Patrick Frisby.  Patrick is a young illustrator and artist, still studying in college, but with a remarkable talent.  You have only to visit his Facebook page (go ahead and LIKE it) to see the young man has a bright future ahead.  This particular piece caught our attention because, well, we are all Los Angeles Lakers fans and in particular are already missing Kobe Bryant who retired after this past season.  Patrick’s wood art drawing is incredibly detailed and very meaningful as this great athlete’s contribution to his team and his sport will be gone next season.  Or, we could say his talent burned with a rare heat that seared our basketball loving hearts.  Join us for a luxury tour of Los Angeles and let us take you around to the art places and the sports arenas.

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Luxury Tours of Los Angeles - 3:00 27 June 2016

Art at a Hollywood Bus Stop

A series of intriguing sculptures appearing on our way to the Hollywood Sign

Art Becomes a Topic for Our Private Tour on the Way to the Hollywood Sign

If this particular oft-appearing art installation does anything it slows traffic on this busy Hollywood street and draws eyes away from the Hollywood Sign clearly visible from this point.  If we were discussing tales of movie making and the stars then suddenly we are talking about the wealth of public art in Los Angeles.  With the mild weather we have year round artists feel encouraged to bring their work outside to be enjoyed by pedestrians and other passersby.  Much of the art is permanent but some, like this, appears at the whim of its owner.  The drive up Beachwood Canyon to the most important destination for so many of our Los Angeles private tour guests is filled with “arty” points of interest be they sculptures, painted homes, tilework and mosaics, and home and building design.  We are more than happy to dawdle on the way up to the sign and direct our guests’ attention to these objects and places.  The Hollywood Sign is quite dramatic when we get close and redirecting the attention of our passengers with the art of Hollywood is a wonderful way to create a real surprise when we are suddenly right in front of the great sign.

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Luxury Tours of Los Angeles - 3:00 15 April 2016

Los Angeles Sunset Over Our Aircraft

Our helicopter pad as the sun sets in Los Angeles

Our Private Tour Group Says Goodbye to Their Bird

After a busy day of luxury helicopter tours the sun sets over Los Angeles and the birds can rest.  Our last private Los Angeles tour group had spent the day on Catalina Island.  Our twin-engine luxury aircraft make that a swift and beautiful trip across the 23-mile wide channel that separates the island from the mainland.  Flying means more time on the island although the boat trip is a fun adventure in its own way.  Catalina offers a lot for our guests: hiking, sightseeing, dining, snorkeling, scuba diving, deep sea fishing and ziplining.  Even the art is amazing.  It inspires us to take great photographs for our guests to keep in their tour photo album.

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Luxury Tours of Los Angeles - 3:00 22 January 2016

Avalon Bay Remembered as a Painting

Original painting of Avalon Bay (Catalina Island near Los Angeles) by Barbara Simcoe

Sometimes a Private Tour Guest Wants More Than a Great Photograph

Our private Los Angeles tour guests love that we take photographs all the time they are with us sightseeing or enjoying a Southern California adventure.  We relieve them of the need to bring out their own cameras (or cellphones) all the time and, most importantly, we capture everyone in the group in our tour photographs.  Best of all, we take these photos all the time and are very good at getting the best angle and composition (our high end digital SLR cameras makes shutter speed and aperture settings easy for us) even for our much practiced “candid” shots.  Since we take so many pictures on so many tours our guides are constantly looking for new images to capture and new techniques which we then examine during our regular staff meetings.  In other words, our guests have wonderful tour photo albums when they go home.  However, we also have guests who journey with us with their sketch books in hand.  They visualize and capture memories in their own special way.  We love getting images back of their work.  Barbara Simcoe, a Tucson artist, sent us this photo of her painting of Avalon Bay taken on a luxury tour over to Santa Catalina Island.  Just another beautiful Los Angeles day rendered so colorfully in acrylic and canvas.  Barbara was not on the island for the Eco-Ziplining experience but was instead interested in finding vantage points to capture island life only 23 miles from Los Angeles.

Photo of Avalon Bay

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Luxury Tours of Los Angeles - 3:00 9 October 2015

Stay or Go – Kikki Eder, Artist

She captures the colors of Los Angeles culture in her paintingArt is Everywhere to Be Seen on a

Private Tour in Los Angeles

We have art museums and art galleries galore all through Los Angeles.  Many of our private Los Angeles tour guests are not only interested in seeing the completed works of area artists but also want to see where those painters, sculptors and photographers are getting their inspiration.  We visit, as you might expect, the famous and familiar locations of Los Angeles, Hollywood and Beverly Hills.  We stop along the coast to see the beaches and palisades, the offshore islands.  More important, we think, we drive into tiny communities and pockets of Los Angeles and Southern California culture.  Little Armenia, Little Tokyo, Koreatown, Boyle Heights, Mar Vista, NoHo, Highland Park…there are countless streets and individual blocks on those streets replete with picaresque scenes of life unfolding that color and inform our days and nights here in the southland.  Kikki Eder, a local artist, captures the vibrancy and life of Los Angeles streets with the bright colors and bold style that makes her paintings grab your eyes when you walk into a gallery hosting her work (dA Center for the Arts, Pomona, starting October 10th).  You should not be surprised to see all that goes on off the beaten track, away from the landmarks, that makes life in Los Angeles so rewarding.

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Luxury Tours of Los Angeles - 3:00 7 October 2015

Where to Go for Art and Music in Downtown Los Angeles

A tour helicopter-eye view of Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles

Our Private L.A. Tour Guests Get an

Arts Perspective from Above

Los Angeles is as much about arts and culture as any major city anywhere in the world.  Our reputation for producing and sharing great works of art and wonderful music has grown over the past several decades in part because of the construction of wonderful new museums and concert halls.  Music, dance, theater, and opera are performed in the same neighborhood as modern and significant works of art are on display.  Our private Los Angeles tour guests on the aerial portion of a combination helicopter + ground tour looked below as we flew over downtown Los Angeles (DTLA) and could see a new art museum (Broad Museum) right beside the extraordinary Disney Concert Hall which is across the street from the Music Center (Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Mark Taper Forum, Ahmanson Theater).  The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) is nearby as is the Colburn School of Performing Arts…and this is just a small part of the central downtown district.  North Hollywood (NoHo), the Westside, the Wilshire Corridor are Los Angeles neighborhoods hosting wide ranging access to the arts.  And that’s just Los Angeles proper.  Many neighboring cities offer performance venues and museums of their own.  Whatever form of culture and arts moves you is readily available in Los Angeles.

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