Tuesday, August 25, 2009



Tuesday afternoon I headed over the hill to LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) with Jonathan to check out Pompeii and the Roman Villa: Art and Culture around the Bay of Naples. As a member of LACMA, I was able to get a free pair of tickets to the exhibition.

After seeing the exhibit I gotta say those Romans were a very sexy bunch. There's a lot of flesh on exhibit, albeit in marble and bronze. One very intriguing sculpture even includes a representation of a hermaphrodite! Very little is locked away behind glass, so you get a very up close look at most of the exquisite artifacts.

Jon and I have a LONG history of going to LACMA together since high school!!! So it's always really nice to return there together to check out art and stroll familiar grounds. But this time I was able to actually introduce Jon to the new BCAM side, including Urban Light which he's never seen.

Here are some shots from the day:

Me & Jon in front of a LACMA building decorated in conjunction with the exhibit "Your Bright Future: 12 Contemporary Artists from Korea" at BCAM.
Lyd & Jon @ LACMA
I thought the colorful ribbons looked like Thera-Bands gone wild and it really spruced up an otherwise drab building. Too bad it's just a temporary installation.

Me pole hugging Chris Burden's Urban Light sculptural installation featuring 202 restored cast iron antique street lamps dating from Los Angeles in the 1920's and 1930's.
Me & Urban Light at BCAM/LACMA

Jon's always been a great model!

Jon enjoying HappyHappy
HappyHappy is Korean artist Choi Jeong-Hwa’s installation created for Your Bright Future: 12 Contemporary Artists from Korea (June 28–September 20, 2009) at LACMA. It's made up of floor-to-ceiling strands of thousands of household containers bought from local 99¢ stores. Walking through this installation, I felt like a big kid romping in one of those inflatable bounce houses. It's a lot of fun, very tactile, very colorful, and the way the outside natural light plays against and through the plastic is visually dynamic.

Jon having fun in the sculpture garden

More of the "Thera-Bands"


Info about Pompeii and the Roman Villa: Art and Culture around the Bay of Naples from LACMA's website:

"Pompeii and the Roman Villa focuses on the breadth and richness of cultural and artistic life in this region. The exhibition, organized by the National Gallery, Washington, D.C., includes works of art from the imperial villa at Oplontis and from aristocratic villas such as the Villa San Marco at Stabiae and the Villa dei Papiri at Herculaneum, as well as works from the opulent houses of the urban elite in Pompeii, whose very name conjures up ancient Rome and other towns along the bay of Naples. The objects proposed for this exhibition are a carefully selected group of approximately one hundred-twenty works of sculpture, painting, mosaic, and luxury arts, some of them long-familiar works, others generally unknown to the public. Recent discoveries from around the Bay of Naples that have never before been exhibited in the United States will complement more familiar finds from earlier excavations. In particular, the exhibition focuses on the influence of Classical Greek culture around the Bay of Naples, where wealthy Romans displayed impressive art collections in sumptuous homes."

Incidentally, LACMA has a very nice blog called UNFRAMED.

Monday, August 24, 2009


Saturday I photographed the 4th annual Simply diVine: A Summer Soirée for the Senses, a fundraiser for the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center at tony Two Rodeo in Beverly Hills. It was a challenging event to shoot - I was photographing everything from product details, people mingling, VIP's, rooftop shots of the entire scene below, a sponsor car (Mercedes-Benz of Beverly Hills), signage, celebs, musicians, and food galore. I mainly used off camera flash (carried by my trust assistant Sharp), but took a few shots using available light (like from the rooftop) when I could. I used my Nikon D80 with the Nikon 17-55 f/2.8 and an SB-800 flash mounted on a Bogen Manfrotto monopod with a Gary Fong lightsphere attachment.

Here are some of my favorite shots from the evening:











LuAnn Boylan, Celebrity Chef Susan Feniger, Lorri L. Jean (CEO of the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center)

Actor Wilson Cruz (right)

Susan Feniger (second from right)

Simply diVine photo credits: © Lydia Marcus 2009
Photographed August 22, 2009 in Beverly Hills, CA at Two Rodeo

Friday, August 21, 2009



Went to the Coral Tree Cafe with my friend Sheryl and her two Doxie pups Tilda and Lulah for a doggie play date. It's the first time our pups have met each other. The doxies were a little overwhelmed by Cali since she's so much larger than them (and pretty rambunctious). Cali is 5 months old and the doxies are a few weeks younger. Cali is about 30 pounds now, not sure how much longer I'll be able to pick her up.

In the last week I've taught her "Leave It" and how to shake her paw. She picks up commands pretty quickly so I'm hoping to be able to teach her lots of stuff.

Right now this is what she can do:

Lie Down
Sit Stay (as long as I'm in view and not too far away)
Lie Stay (ditto)
Find It
Leave It
Give It (this only works with tennis balls for fetch)
Sit at the door when we're ready to go outside. Sit Stay once the door is open until I release her to go out.
Sit in front of her food bowl until I let her eat
Sit at corners when we go for walks. Responds to Heel command to continue walking.

What I REALLY need to work on - PULLING when walking on leash - getting worse. I need to get her in a harness every time, her normal flat collar is useless. Also, she's really good at responding to COME in the house but when she's outside in the front or back yard, she pretty much ignores me. Gotta up the ante with food rewards for this one.

I took her out to Montrose to visit with friends today and their seven year old daughter was able to get Cali to respond to Sit, Lie Down, Shake and Leave It. She's the first "trainer" besides me to give Cali commands so I was really impressed that Cali listened to her even in a very distracting outside environment with LOTS of doggie stimulation. Go Cali!

Photo credit: © Lydia Marcus 2009
Photographed August 19, 2009 in Encino, CA

Friday, August 7, 2009


Hey, meet the swinger
Polaroid Swinger
meet the swinger
Polaroid Swinger

It's more than a camera
it's almost alive
it's only nineteen dollars
and ninety-five

Swing it up {yeah yeah}
it says yes {yeah yeah}
take the shot {yeah yeah}
count it down {yeah yeah}
zip it off

Stumbled across this vintage Polaroid commercial from the 60's. Ali MacGraw is the model, Polaroid Model 20 "Swinger" is the camera. Despite the commercial being over 40 years old, I think the sentiment it captures remains the same - Polaroid photography is always fun!!! The only thing that unsettles me a bit is the use of instant peel apart pack film at the beach. I have enough problems keeping my Polaroid prints clean shooting in a controlled indoor environment because the fresh, wet prints attract dust and other particles like CRAZY, so the idea of shooting in a sandy, windy environment just blows my mind.

You can no longer get film for the Swinger, but I sure would love to have one for display. It's black and white design looks sort of cutely Art Deco to me. A later camera, the Model 3000 "Big Swinger" does work with current 3.25" x 4.25" pack film like Fuji FP-100C but it's body is an ugly dull grey and lacks the charm of the Swinger.

- Lydia Marcus

From Wikipedia:
"The Polaroid Model 20 "Swinger" was a popular Land Camera produced by the Polaroid Corporation between 1965 and 1970. At $19.95 USD it was the first truly inexpensive instant camera, a fact that helped fuel its enormous popularity and made it one of the top-selling cameras of all time. The Swinger was especially successful in the youth market due to its low price, stylish appearance, and catchy "Meet the Swinger" jingle in a television advertisement featuring a young Ali MacGraw."

Polaroid Swinger photo credit Wikipedia