Artist Kii Arens: Live/Work Studio
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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Live/work is a theme that has resonated with us throughout our ten-year history, and we always delight in featuring spaces that do double duty. Inspired by this issue’s foray into the topic, we combed through our archives to find a few old favorites. From artists’ spaces to ergonomic chairs evaluated by the late designer Bill Stumpf, our series of articles and offerings delve a little deeper into the idea.
- Our current model of efficiency is the live-work space, and everyone deserves their own modern version. Hint: Keep it clean, clutter-free, and bright.
- Does art imitate life or does life imitate art? Either way, when these artists merged their home and artistic lives, the results were stunning.
One thing I am always asked about is where to find original art. Some of the earliest memories I have involve lining my bedroom walls with band posters, and I still carry that impulse with me when looking for pieces that are irreverent and a little rock-and-roll. Affordable art is everywhere and should not be intimidating. Here are a few of my favorites, all guaranteed to provide a punch of color without punching the wallet.
- In Toronto, a painter accustomed to crashing in his studio created an airy artistic haven with both working and living quarters for a more balanced and polished picture.
- Agricultural buildings aren't really designed, someone just made them. I try to design like that—so it looks like it's not designed at all, it's just there."
- In honor of the Palais-Royal's first public art exhibition's 346th anniversary (it debuted today in 1667!), we've curated a fine crop of modern art found in the pages of Dwell.