Orion Carloto Is Taking Over Arman Naféei’s Sunset Boulevard Kiosk

Orion Carloto

Orion Carloto and Arman Nafeei, photographed by Katie Walsh.

Back in March, man-about-town and founder of the music podcast Are We On Air (later referred to as the “Willy Wonka of culture”) Arman Naféei opened up a colorful newsstand across from the Chateau Marmont, which he affectionately termed the “Kiosk-o-thèque.” In partnership with Idea Books, the kiosk is stocked with collectable vinyl records, prints, ephemera, and the occasional DJ residency. This past weekend, Nafeei gave writer and it-girl Orion Carloto free rein to transform the kiosk into her own street-side bedroom: the weeklong installation, titled A Room Of One’s Own and on view until June 13th, features a number of hand-curated books held together by delicate lace, alongside printed photographs taken by Carloto over the years and featured in her recent zine, Beds I’ve Slept In. As the pair made preparations for the pop-up, they joined each other on a Zoom call to gush over Lana Del Rey and explain why you aren’t really a Los Angeleno until you’ve had a few late nights at the Chateau Marmont.


ORION CARLOTO: I am your interviewee for the day.

ARMAN NAFÉEI: Love it. What’s up? How fitting, I’m sitting here in Venezia, Italy and you’re in Los Angeles.


NAFÉEI: And I’ve been looking at art all day long and it’s very much your mood, right? Venice is like, your aesthetic.

CARLOTO: The drowning city. What’s more me than that? I haven’t been to Venice in years. I’m quite jealous. I’ve been locked at home.

NAFÉEI: I’m only here to get inspired for our upcoming exhibition.

CARLOTO: Yeah. I am really excited about this, because we’ve been in each other’s orbit since 2020, which feels insane because it feels like I’ve known you much longer.

NAFÉEI: I know.

CARLOTO: And since then, you’ve been doing literally everything under the sun. I love to observe.

NAFÉEI: Yeah, very voyeuristic of you. But you’ve been a participant as well. We started our beautiful relationship in 2020 with our interview on Are We On Air? It still is one of the most popular episodes, so kudos to you.

CARLOTO: It haunts me to this day how nervous I was for that interview.

NAFÉEI: But you have very good music taste, so I think quality speaks for itself.

CARLOTO: Thank you.

NAFÉEI: And then you were in Paris and I dragged you to our first kiosk block party outside the Louvre. We popped your DJ cherry, so to say.

CARLOTO: Truly. And in one of the craziest places of all times. Can we talk about it?

NAFÉEI: Yeah. I mean, let’s talk about it. 

Orion Carloto

CARLOTO: The Louvre? I was playing right next to the Mona Lisa. She was my co-DJ.

NAFÉEI: Exactly.

CARLOTO: That was fun. I feel like your world, I really just plop into it. I don’t know if this is insulting, but once somebody was like, “Who is Arman?” I was like, “He gives me the same energy that Willy Wonka would give you.” You have so much energy. You’re this magical creature that just appears with exciting things to say and do almost all time.

NAFÉEI: That’s so funny. I’m the Willy Wonka of culture. There you go.

CARLOTO: The Willy Wonka of culture. He’s handing out his little golden tickets to the kiosk. Outside of the fun, what you have that Willy Wonka provides is a mystery to him. I don’t think that many people know much about you. 

NAFÉEI: The Enigma. 

CARLOTO: Yeah. Which is such a difficult thing to stroll around the world doing. I feel like I expose too much of myself all of the time. You do a really good job of keeping everyone on their toes. How do you do that?

NAFÉEI: I mean, I did hear the “International Man of Mystery” many times in my life, but am I holding back that much? Maybe. I guess when you’re so out there, you’ve got to keep something for yourself in order to have that energy to put it out when you need to. But before we start talking about our upcoming venture, let’s talk about Paris for a second, where I announced you as a DJ and your superfans showed up. You put a nice playlist together and I was helping you with the technical side of things. But by the time you were supposed to come, I was on fire and we were going full throttle. I remember this French girl screaming at me, “Where’s Orion?” And I’m like, “Oh shit. I forgot about Orion.” Took the mic: “Orion, where are you? Come to the booth, please.” In front of 5,000 people. And people were very happy to see your face.

CARLOTO: That was so exciting. I am chronically shy. I was like, “I feel like I should be up there at this point, no?”

NAFÉEI: We all had a good time.

CARLOTO: It was so much fun and I enjoyed standing there pretending like I knew what I was technically doing. I think it was cool to start DJing in Paris of all places. In Los Angeles, in the world of music which I orbit, DJs are playing disco. And in Europe, it’s all house music. I guess it didn’t register to me how everyone’s taste differs all across the board. It was a relief to experience an entire crowd going crazy for Azealia Banks’ “212.” That’s truly all I needed in that moment. 

NAFÉEI: There were a lot of hits in there, like Azealia Banks and Lykke Li. It was kind of refreshing to be forced to play something different in that moment because it was your time to shine. I remember how everybody was just going crazy. Hopefully we can continue this magic in our upcoming exhibition at the Are We On Air? kiosk on Sunset Boulevard next week. Tell us all about it. How did this come about and what can we expect?

Orion Carloto

CARLOTO: So early this year I released my zine, but right before it I released this whole project accidentally. And so many beautiful things came out of it, just through the whole nature of my relationship to a bedroom. The zine is titled Beds I’ve Slept In and it’s a collection of photographs from the past five years, but there are photos as old as from when I was 16. What’s important for me is that I bring the readers into my world as much as possible, because I have this tendency to hide away for a long time and people don’t think I’m doing anything. But in that time, I feel like I’m working on so much. So A Room of One’s Own was the project in concert with Beds I’ve Slept In, and that was a gallery that we held here in Los Angeles. And it had my art, and some of my friend’s arts, and a piece from the Joan Didion Estate, which is really exciting. I was so incredibly nervous for the zine. But then the weekend happened and I was so upset that it didn’t last any longer. So, of course, when you reached out to me, I remember talking to you about the gallery, asking for spaces and trying to figure out what I was going to do with this project. So the whole goal and purpose here is to bring some version of those projects into the kiosk. And I know that you’ve had really exciting collaborators in the past. You had Nadia Lee Cohen recently–

NAFÉEI: And the fantastic Antonio Lopez exhibition, you cannot forget. How Interview is that?

CARLOTO: I know, truly. What I love about this opportunity is that you really are like a gallery director.

NAFÉEI: Totally.

CARLOTO: You’re just like, “This is the artist I’m commissioning for this time, and you have free-range to do whatever you’d like.” And that’s really freeing.

NAFÉEI: Yeah. I mean the concept of the kiosk, of course, has always been the physical version of what Are We On Air? [the podcast] is. It’s high culture, public and free on the street. That’s basically the idea. Of course, music is the undercurrent and the vibration is always there, but with all these different touch points in my personal interest and guests that have been on the show. Musicians, poets, artists, directors and so forth. And what can you do with the small square footage? The idea has always been a small footprint, big output. That’s the mantra. And then, let’s try to step outside of the Y-Cube format of a gallery and put it all on the street and mix it all together and see what happens. And obviously, the stuff we are designing right now and the merch and the design of the space is going to look beautiful. We’re basically putting a bedroom on Sunset Boulevard. That’s a first. Are we going to sleep in that bed for one night? That’s the question?

CARLOTO: Perhaps we will. I mean, if we have no choice.

NAFÉEI: Exactly. But speaking of the Chateau, obviously the book was partly written at the Chateau a couple of years ago, right? And obviously the aesthetic of the Chateau and the general theme of a place with history and a certain romanticism plays a role in your work. Tell us about that, Orion.

CARLOTO: Yeah. I’m literally wearing a Chateau sweater right now.


CARLOTO: Well, when you live in L.A. and you are integrated into the culture, I feel like you have no choice but to one day end up at the Chateau. And before I even lived here, I always had dreams of going. It was strictly because I was obsessed with listening to Lana Del Rey. And since then, it’s kind of become integral to my lifestyle here. And it’s so inspiring, especially in this day and age where people are so gatekeep-y and trends go so fast. People look at the most popular, trendy thing in disgust and with an eye roll, and I’m no stranger to that myself. But I think Chateau could be one of those things that, no matter how often you go there, it still feels new. So it showed up in themes across the board through my work in my last book, Film for Her, and also in Beds That I Slept In there’s a handful of photographs from the Chateau. I just feel like so many pivotal moments in my time living here have happened at the Chateau. 

NAFÉEI: Well, yeah, I have my fair share of my Chateau stories, of course, which we won’t talk about right now. By the way, we should invite Lana to the opening. I mean, it’s obviously her world.

CARLOTO: That would make me sick. I love her like, a lot.

NAFÉEI: We’ve been trying to get Lana on the pod forever. 

CARLOTO: I think she’s wonderful and would have such incredible things to say. I mean, everything that leaves her mouth is ridiculously poetic, but I feel like she’s in this era right now where she’s just open to the world.

NAFÉEI: She’s becoming a butterfly again. She’s awake, warming up, ready to take over. What’s your favorite Lana record?

CARLOTO: It’s very difficult to ask what my favorite record of hers is because it depends. There’s different records for different moods. But I did include Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Boulevard? in the boxes [at the kiosk], particularly because it is her recent album. It’s really fucking good. And I know people will argue it’s not as good as Norman Fucking Rockwell! because everyone assumes that that’s her magnum opus, but Did You Know is such an important record because it really asks you to look inward. It also aligns with what I have been writing for the past two, three years, and it’s not happy, beautiful, gorgeous things, but things of life and death. And so the records that I chose this time around are things that I grew up with, things I write alongside and things that have inspired me. And that is way more important to me now than being the esoteric, deep-cut girl.

NAFÉEI: I like it. We won’t play the B-sides, only the A-sides over here. Tell me three records and three books that we can expect at the kiosk.

CARLOTO: Okay, so we have one Lana record. We have a wild card, I put Barbara Dane and her anthology of folk music in one. I’m giving everyone a little taste of country, a little taste of home. And then the other one has Glen Campbell, which is—

NAFÉEI: Oh, I love Glen Campbell. Didn’t he just pass away recently? Poor man. Well, he had a really great life.

CARLOTO: 2017.

NAFÉEI: Oh, wow.

CARLOTO: That’s recent enough. 

NAFÉEI: I mean, we’re interviewing here for Interview Magazine. And as a big fan of Interview Magazine, why don’t I ask you a very Andy question. What did you have for breakfast today?

CARLOTO: Well, you’re asking a girl who woke up 30 minutes before this interview.

NAFÉEI: So, nothing? Coffee? Water?

CARLOTO: I never claimed to be a morning person. But after this, I’m going to have coffee. I’m going to make eggs and a side of avocados. It’s riveting, I know.