Book of the Day Posted Apr 09, 2021

Book of the Day > Joseph Rodriguez LAPD 1994

Purchase ● In the mid-nineties, the LAPD was in search of a public image make-over after the Rodney King uprisings. The City Charter was reformed by increasing civilian oversight of the LAPD, the militant police chief of the moment, Daryl Gates, was forced to resign and Willie Williams became the first African-American chief of the department. I was no stranger to this type of assignment. At that time I had already published two books, Spanish Harlem and East Side Stories, which depicted life in impoverished neighborhoods. Covering LAPD gave me a chance to show how police operated in marginalized communities, and how those communities were affected by individual cops and the department as a whole.
As part of these efforts, the LAPD gave photographer Joseph Rodriguez unprecedented access to document the officers in the field for The New York Times, hoping to give the public an image of a “kinder, gentler cop”, as the headline put it. For weeks, he immersed himself in the daily workings of the 77th Street, Pacific and Rampart Divisions. Four years after Rodriguez rode along with Rampart officers, the station became notorious when the biggest scandal in LAPD history erupted in an astonishing spectacle of officer corruption that included the murder of a fellow cop, a bank robbery, unprovoked shootings of alleged gang members, drugs stolen from the evidence room, and other crimes.
In 2020, the year of Black Lives Matter, a generation after these photos were taken, new uprisings demand reform yet again and the same questions about policing – what are they for, who do they serve, and who do they protect – shape the public discussion.
Book of the Day Posted Apr 08, 2021

Book of the Day > Kristin Bedford: Cruise Night

Purchase ● Scenes from the Mexican American lowrider life: a clothbound photobook documenting a vibrant LA car culture
Known for her quiet portraits of American cultural movements, Los Angeles–based photographer Kristin Bedford’s new work, Cruise Night, is an intimate and unstaged exploration of Los Angeles’ Mexican American lowrider car culture.
From 2014 to 2019 Bedford attended hundreds of lowrider cruise nights, car shows, quinceañeras, weddings and funerals. Her images offer a new visual narrative around the lowrider tradition and invite outsiders to question prevalent societal stereotypes surrounding this urban Mexican American culture. Bedford’s photos explore the nuances of cars as mobile canvases and the legendary community that creates them.
With bright color photography and a unique female vantage point, Cruise Night is an original look at a prolific American movement set against the Los Angeles cityscape.
Book of the Day Posted Apr 07, 2021

Book of the Day > Age Of Collage 3: Contemporary Collage In Modern Art

Purchase ● Dive into an art form existing at the intersection of design, commerce, and abstract expression.
Cut, paste, create: while collage was conceived in the early 1900's, it seems to be the perfect form of expression for the 21st-century, with all its juxtapositions, eclecticism, and strange bedfellows. In our present age of collage, the simple act of mixing together different elements allows us to question our reality and make new worlds.
The Age of Collage showcases a new crop of artistic vanguards advancing the medium’s possibilities, piece-by-piece. Equipped with a craft knife, paintbrush, stylus, scissors, or tablet, a collage artist’s toolkit is as varied as their creations and this book brings their work back to the paper page.
From the poignant and provocative to the comic and curious, The Age of Collage features the creations of more than 60 artists. Packed with visuals and a number of in-depth profiles revealing what drives the hands behind the pieces, this comprehensive volume is a celebration of the enduring power of collage.
Book of the Day Posted Apr 06, 2021

Book of the Day > The Spanish Style House: From Enchanted Andalusia to the California Dream

Purchase ● Luminous new photography showcases contemporary and historic homes in the beloved Spanish Style in Southern California, while offering, as well, a rare look at the original inspirations to the style, born in Andalusia, Spain.
The great appeal of Spanish Style homes lies in their aura of romance and drama, a sense of story, of magic, as well as in their very comfortable and engaging proportions and the great livability of the interior spaces. Deep shadow, arched doorways, trickling courtyard fountains, climbing bougainvillea on wrought-iron window grilles, wood-beamed ceilings, and white plaster walls are all hallmarks of the style. Here, through a celebration of contemporary and historic homes in Southern California, as well as existing historic precedents in Andalusia, Spain--most notably the intricately detailed Casa de Pilatos in Seville and the Alhambra of Granada--The Spanish Style House presents the definitive picture of the style as it exists today.
Featured homes include the George Washington Smith-designed Casa Blanca (1928)--a fantasy made real in stone and stucco replete with the romance of old Morocco in its horseshoe arches, domes, and evocative tile murals--and a Marc Appleton-designed beach house (2007) in Del Mar, California, which is a dream on the sea and an eloquent testament to the virtues of the style for today.
Events Posted Apr 03, 2021

Personalized copies of Deanna Templeton's WHAT SHE SAID Available to pre-order!

Already a “Best of 2021” photobook, Deanna Templeton’s fantastic new MACK offering What She Said is now available! We had intended to have a real-life signing event for its launch, but as we’re all still playing it safe, Deanna will be specially personalizing copies with your choice of inscription (within reason of course) and a special rubber stamp created for the occasion. Order by April 17th, while supplies last! Order now on our website here.

What She Said takes its title from a song by The Smiths: “What she said was sad / But then, all the rejection she’s had / To pretend to be happy / Could only be idiocy. ”The work originates in portraits Deanna Templeton made on the streets of the US, Europe, Australia and Russia, in which she captured women in their adolescence: punks and outcasts whose ripped jeans and tights, tattoos, and hairstyles stand as testament to this transitional moment in their lives as they navigate the intensity of teenage life. Templeton grew up in an ostensibly different environment in 1980s youth, but she recognized in them something of the universality of female adolescence, as they struggled with similar disappointments and challenges she encountered as a young woman. The book combines these modern portraits with gig flyers and Templeton’s own teenage journal entries from the mid to late 80s, in which the familiar experience of growing up is laid bare in all its antagonism, humour and pathos.”

Events Posted Apr 03, 2021


For those who attended Arcana’s 2014 presentation of the artwork and inventions of reclusive outsider artist / folk engineer “eb, The Jersey Genius”, to say that it was a memorable event would be an understatement. Cited by an outreach member from the National Gallery of Scotland as “the best art exhibit he saw in Los Angeles” that year, the exhibition was filled with amazing folk art sculptures, wonderful inventions, and live demonstrations that explained exactly how eb believed the Egyptian pyramids were built. The highlight of the event was witnessing eb’s invention, The Boonsburg Egg, being used by a single person to easily roll one ton of bricks up an incline. For those who missed it, we offer this link to our original promo material, and this video of The Boonsburg Egg in action.

Arcana is honored that eb has given us the opportunity to offer tiles from his “Mother’s Kitchen Floor Collection.” Consisting of one dozen hand cut tiles crafted as a surprise to replace his mother’s aging kitchen floor, each VCT tile is a 12 x 12”, one of a kind piece of art depicting eb’s hand holding a disk shaped in the form of his invention mounted on board. The Boonsburg Egg, (which he believes not only explains how they built the pyramids of Egypt, but also Stonehenge, Coral Castle, and Easter Island.) On the reverse of the tiles eb has hand written excerpts from his theories, many of which challenge the teachings of modern day Egyptology.

Knowing that he rarely, if ever, parts with any of his creations, upon learning that these colorful tiles were just collecting dust in his workshop after his mother barred him from pulling up her old floor, we suggested allowing Arcana to offer a sampling of these to our customers. Amazingly, eb agreed, but under one condition – that in any announcement we made regarding his work, we would promise to include a few of his theories. With that, here are just two of the many amazing breakthroughs contained on the backs of these tiles:

#1 – King Tut’s headdress is not depicting a religious relic made of fine fabric and gold like experts claim - instead it is just a golden imitation of a function specific sun-blocking hat worn by Egyptian workers of the day, and is easily made using a single bent fan palm leaf.

#2 – Having discovered that the Ancient Egyptian’s used the same surveying tools that we still use today (including glass lenses, transits, water levels and tripods – all of which eb has found depicted on the hieroglyphs), eb rationalized that the ancient Egyptian surveyors might have also used the same hand signals to communicate over long distances as well. Below eb compares modern surveying hand signals with the unexplained stilted posturing found everywhere in ancient Egyptian art.

Besides being presented on the backs of the tiles, these theories, along with many others, are also included in eb’s hand-assembled “Nobel Prize Application” pamphlet, which goes even deeper into his groundbreaking findings. All twelve tiles from eb’s “Mother’s Kitchen Floor Collection” will be on display – and for sale - at Arcana from April 3rd through May 2nd, 2021. The tiles are priced at $112.35 each, and the “Nobel Prize Application” pamphlets $5.00 while supplies last.

We believe that it is a only matter of time until eb’s genius is finally recognized!

Events Posted Apr 03, 2021

Remote Book Signing for > THE SPANISH STYLE HOUSE

On Thursday, February 8th, 5:00-6:30 PM, join photographer Melba Levick and author Ruben G. Mendoza for the launch of The Spanish Style House: From Enchanted Andalusia To The California Dream published by Rizzoli, presented by The Ruskin Art Club. Purchase here!

”Luminous new photography showcases contemporary and historic homes in the beloved Spanish Style in Southern California, while offering, as well, a rare look at the original inspirations to the style born in Andalusia, Spain. This presentation will include photographs of the Ruskin Art Club’s historic 1922 clubhouse designed by Frank Meline (now a private residence), and review a host of 12th through 18th century palatial Spanish estates, and their Andalusian expressions in southern California for the period spanning the 1920s through the present.”

This will be an online discussion celebrating the book’s launch with photographer Melba Levick and writer Rubén G. Mendoza moderated by Dr. William Deverell, director of the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West. Both authors will be signing copies especially for Arcana on August 9th that will begin shipping Tuesday, April 13th. Order your signed copy here!

Join the Ruskin Art Club discussion April 8th at 5:00 PM by clicking here.

Book of the Day Posted Apr 02, 2021

Book of the Day > Alice Neel: People Come First

Purchase ● "For me, people come first," Alice Neel (1900–1984) declared in 1950. "I have tried to assert the dignity and eternal importance of the human being." This ambitious publication surveys Neel's nearly 70-year career through the lens of her radical humanism. Remarkable portraits of victims of the Great Depression, fellow residents of Spanish Harlem, leaders of political organizations, queer artists, visibly pregnant women, and members of New York's global diaspora reveal that Neel viewed humanism as both a political and philosophical ideal. In addition to these paintings of famous and unknown sitters, the more than 100 works highlighted include Neel's emotionally charged cityscapes and still lifes as well as the artist's erotic pastels and watercolors. Essays tackle Neel's portrayal of LGBTQ subjects; her unique aesthetic language, which merged abstraction and figuration; and her commitment to progressive politics, civil rights, feminism, and racial diversity. The authors also explore Neel's highly personal preoccupations with death, illness, and motherhood while reasserting her place in the broader cultural history of the 20th century.
Book of the Day Posted Apr 01, 2021

Book of the Day > The Chemarts Cookbook

Purchase ● Inspiration for Material Enthusiasts
How can we make flexible, transparent wood-based materials? What kinds of materials can we derive from trees, while still respecting the preciousness of nature? Could the innovative use of renewable cellulosic materials change our material world?
The CHEMARTS Cookbook offers both simple and more advanced ideas and recipes for hands-on experiments with wood-based materials. The book showcases interesting results, focusing on raw materials that are processed either chemically or mechanically from trees or other plants: cellulose fibres, micro- or nano-structured fibrils, cellulose derivatives, lignin, bark, and wood extractives.
Find inspiration, test our recipes at home, in workshops or chemistry labs, and develop your own experiments! Have fun!
Book of the Day Posted Mar 30, 2021

Book of the Day > Frank Horvat: Side Walk

Purchase ● The legendary photojournalist’s early ’80s New York photographs, published alongside his autobiographical musings in an elegant clothbound edition
From 1979 to 1986, the city of New York functioned as a kind of refuge for photographer Frank Horvat (born 1928). Born in present-day Croatia, for years Horvat lived and worked rather nomadically, traveling extensively through Asia and Europe on photojournalist excursions with a brief stopover in Paris where he shot fashion photography for Jardins de Mode and Elle. Eventually he found himself in New York; during this period, he allowed himself to surrender to the daily hustle and bustle of the city streets. In between commissions, Horvat created a prolific series of photography and writing that was not intended for public consumption, instead functioning as a reflection upon his own craft as well as the significance of photography itself.
Frank Horvat: Side Walk publishes many of these photographs for the first time alongside the photographer’s writing. The elegant presentation of this clothbound volume is representative of the great pride that Horvat took in the creation of his personal projects as well as his professional pursuits: the photojournalist's texts are published on thin Munken offset paper and his photographs are printed on deep matte photo paper. This publication is both a compelling depiction of a beloved city and a portrait of the sensitive man behind the camera.