It wasn't an easy task taking photos and writing about the Los Angeles Art Weekend launch party at the Purple Lounge at the Standard on Sunset, which doubled as a Mike Mills book signing. Taking photographs of "notables" at any event will inevitably make you feel like a paparazzi photographer. My dad was a photojournalist and during hard times he made money working as a paparazzi. Once we even crashed Will Smith's wedding. I took the photos and got thrown out by security; my dad denied knowing me and stole my photo credit. At the opening, those memories came flooding back. I found myself shouting phrases I'd picked up from dear old dad: "Look alive"; "Say something funny"; "Make me believe it"; etc. Who had I become? (MIKE MILLS AND MIRANDA JULY. PHOTOS: ALEXI WASSER)
I met Miranda July and Mike Mills, who were lovely. I dreaded sticking a camera in their faces. But when the brute photographer from a certain daily fashion magazine came up behind me, the couple became aloof and asked to be left alone to enjoy the party. I of course agreed with July and Mills perspective and now worried that I'd been forever lumped, in their minds, into the category of monster paparazzi!
Kate and Laura Mulleavy.
I tried to look busy, important and confident. I met the girls behind Rodarte, the LA-based designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy. Earlier that night the two had interviewed Mills at the Hammer Museum, with an introduction by Miranda July. They're the sisters with the Cinderella success story; now, sitting by the bar laughing with Mills and July all night, they're the coolest kids at an alternative LA arts high school. I met Scott Sternberg, the designer behind Band of Outsiders who was deep in conversation with Bettina Korek, the founder of ForYourArt. I chit-chatted with the long haired, groupie attracting, request taking DJ Michael Stock of Part Time Punks.
I only photographed the cutest people I could find—and if they weren't cute, I photographed them because the amazing co-producers of the weekend, Black Frame, told me they were important. Heaping indignity upon indignity: I was told the party had an open bar, but when I went to the bar and asked for a pineapple juice, the bartender said that it cost $3. Explaining to her that I was both working and had to drive home, I was re-buffed. I ordered a vodka pineapple-hold the vodka.
Hoping I wouldn't be in trouble for sneaking out sooner than later, who did I bump into sneaking out, but Miranda July and Mike Mills! "Sneaking out of your own party?" I asked. "It's not my party," he replied. I apologized for my intrusive camera; "It wasn't you! It was the other guy."