How to Get Invited to Cheech Marin's House
Art Los Angeles Contemporary offers a tour of the actor's collection of Chicano works as several art fairs paint the town and draw thousands of culture seekers.
This story first appeared in the Jan. 29 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
When you walk into Cheech Marin's house, you might not notice one of his favorite works of art, "Two Chairs" by seminal Chicano artist Carlos Almaraz, a large-scale canvas blending abstract blue and green flora around a clearing with empty seats — just one of hundreds of works in Marin's expansive collection amassed over 30 years. "Two Chairs" is behind the front door, so if you don't see it on your way in, you won't miss it on your way out. As for being invited to Marin's new Pacific Palisades house, that's solved by signing up for a tour at the seventh annual Art Los Angeles Contemporary.
"I like art fairs," says Marin of his decision to open his home. "Art is a good starting point of conversation: 'Why do you like that? What is that? Who made that?' It's a facilitator of communication. And I like having parties here." The Marin tour is just part of ALAC director Tim Fleming's plan to make some of L.A.'s great art sequestered behind closed doors available to all, even if only for a short time. Of course it helps to have influential friends like Justine Bateman (Family Ties) and husband Mark Fluent, who serve on the host committee along with Jesse Williams (Grey's Anatomy) and wife Aryn Drake-Lee Williams as well as UTA art division head Joshua Roth and wife Sonya, who heads Christie's SoCal office.
"Chicano art is something we are striving to bring more into the art fair," says Fleming in gratitude to Marin, who points out that Chicano is not necessarily political but often is a "comment about their community." Regarding one issue now close to that community, he adds, "Donald Trump is the most popular pinata in L.A."
The Marin tour and ALAC are part of a rich schedule of L.A. fairs:
The REEF, 1933 S. Broadway
Jan. 21-24; photola.com
L.A. ART SHOW MODERN/ CONTEMPORARY 2016 AND L.A. FINE ART SHOW
L.A. Convention Center, West Hall A, 1201 S. Figueroa St.
Jan. 27-31; laartshow.com
ART LOS ANGELES CONTEMPORARY
Barker Hangar, Santa Monica
Jan. 28-31; artlosangelesfair.com
STARTUP ART FAIR
Highland Gardens Hotel, 7047 Franklin Ave.
Jan. 29-31; startupartfair.com
L.A. ART BOOK FAIR
The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, 250 S. Grand Ave.
Feb. 12-14; laartbookfair.net