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Artist Kii Arens: Live/Work Studio

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While researching affordable Pop Art for Dwell last month I came across the art of Kii Arens. He designs the posters for the shows at The Hollywood Bowl and I was smitten by the images he created for Radiohead, Lady Gaga, Liza Minnelli, and Devo. I reached out to Kii and we began working on a series of lithographs he's creating that will be available through fabulis, where I am Creative Director. I will undoubtedly share those screenprints here at Dwell once they return from the printers.

While in Los Angeles for work last week I visited Kii at his studio in Hollywood. It was a very special couple of hours. We laughed, listened to his music (he's a gifted musician), and worked on our project. I pulled out my camera and started snapping images of his live/work space, which includes a recording studio with a wraparound staircase that his father, an inventor at 3M, built in the 70s. It was sensory overload: color everywhere, art everywhere, rock and roll everywhere. Surrounded by his art, his collections, and his musical instruments, he and his dogs live a true Los Angeles lifestyle, laid back and fun. He creates for a living, and his joy for life is evident in his art.


 

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  Kii Arens at home. He is as cool as the glasses suggest.  Photo by: Bradford Shellhammer
    Kii Arens at home. He is as cool as the glasses suggest.

    Photo by: Bradford Shellhammer

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  A stack of the artist's work sits in his live/work space's front window.  Photo by: Bradford Shellhammer
    A stack of the artist's work sits in his live/work space's front window.

    Photo by: Bradford Shellhammer

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  Arens' cupcake painting sits below a poster for his Hollywood Bowl art show. Dog toys and computer parts round out the vignette.  Photo by: Bradford Shellhammer
    Arens' cupcake painting sits below a poster for his Hollywood Bowl art show. Dog toys and computer parts round out the vignette.

    Photo by: Bradford Shellhammer

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  Kii recently scored these flat files. Too bad his poster collection won't all fit.  Photo by: Bradford Shellhammer
    Kii recently scored these flat files. Too bad his poster collection won't all fit.

    Photo by: Bradford Shellhammer

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  His newest obsession: velvet paintings. He created this one depicting gay icon Charles Nelson Riley.  Photo by: Bradford Shellhammer
    His newest obsession: velvet paintings. He created this one depicting gay icon Charles Nelson Riley.

    Photo by: Bradford Shellhammer

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  A portrait of Grace Jones, by Niagra, sits on top of a locker bank.  Photo by: Bradford Shellhammer
    A portrait of Grace Jones, by Niagra, sits on top of a locker bank.

    Photo by: Bradford Shellhammer

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  A giant beanbag sits below his recording studio, a futuristic structure built by his father in the 1970s.  Photo by: Bradford Shellhammer
    A giant beanbag sits below his recording studio, a futuristic structure built by his father in the 1970s.

    Photo by: Bradford Shellhammer

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  While doing research on a poster of Madonna, Kii showed me this book on Erte. All good research involves beer, as seen in the trash can.  Photo by: Bradford Shellhammer
    While doing research on a poster of Madonna, Kii showed me this book on Erte. All good research involves beer, as seen in the trash can.

    Photo by: Bradford Shellhammer

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  Kii's guitars and keyboards. And a toy piano and motorcycle helmet thrown in for good measure.  Photo by: Bradford Shellhammer
    Kii's guitars and keyboards. And a toy piano and motorcycle helmet thrown in for good measure.

    Photo by: Bradford Shellhammer

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