All the hits you can stand to hear!!! And the last time in an architectural treasure.
Nice, big, fat story in the Times on me today + 12 photos. Thank you, Bob Morris, for seeking me out (no press agent involved here!) and writing such a heartfelt, spirited, and happily long piece. My house thanks you too (at least the part of it that made the photo)!
This is one of the few food related items that John Lloyd Young didn’t jewel at my place last Sunday when The Allee Willis Museum Of Kitsch & APLA hosted “Food for Thought”, the first ever exhibition of his brilliant Pop Kitsch art interpretations of iconically kitschy komfort foods. Had I remembered where I put it I may have used my Velveeta camera to take some fabulous photos that day. Lucky for us I didn’t as you can actually see the work and the beautiful Pop Kitsch guests like RuPaul who came to view it much clearer then my little Shells & Cheese Dinner baby is capable of popping out.
John Lloyd’s eye-popping work costs somewhat more than the three Kraft box tops and dollar shipping and handling one had to send in to get this Velveeta Camera when it was made in the 1980’s. The 110 Kodak film cartridge is still inside…
…just as fresh as John Lloyd’s ever-glowing can of Spam.
Of course, my preference would be to dump the Kraft Shells & Cheese Dinner cam and go for John Lloyd’s Kraft Mac & Cheese “Dominoes”. It’s hard to a tell from this photo but he jeweled 100 boxes of it and toppled them out on a 16 foot serpentine table.
In 2006, the musical I co-wrote, The Color Purple, lost the Tony to Jersey Boys of which John Lloyd Young was the star and for which he won the Best Actor Tony.
We hadn’t seen each other since the round of award parties back then but a few months ago he e-mailed me out of the blue and asked if I was interested in writing some music with him. When he came over to talk about it he brought me a gift that he had just made, a jeweled box of Triscuits.
I went completely nuts for the box and encouraged him to keep on jeweling. What I saw over the next couple of months I considered brilliant works of Pop Kitsch art and I decided that presenting John Lloyd’s work would make an excellent exhibition as the first artist officially sanctioned by The Allee Willis Museum Of Kitsch. My Tony loss to him already made a perfect set up for Kitsch. I also thought that his Pop Kitsch sensibility would inspire mine and make for some excellent party props like this sign I painted interpreting the junk food John Lloyd chose to honor in his work.
We both were hard at work up until the last minute before the guests arrived.
And arrive thank God they did as all proceeds benefited AIDS Project Los Angeles. Those who dug deep included Stu James (Harpo in The Color Purple), Lesley Donald (Buster in The Color Purple) and Jai Rodiguez,
as well as Mito Aviles, Chadmichael Morrisette and Tiffany Daniels (Squeak in The Color Purple) posing with John Lloyd’s very first jeweled piece, “Virtue” (not edible!)…
…and a couple hundred more folks who you can see you right here.
When it came to food there was delicious Moms BBQ House soul food versions of John Lloyd’s delicious jeweled food.
Here’s Charles Phoenix modeling the chicken, peas and mac & cheese with me, Sonny Ruscha Bjornson and Mark Blackwell:
“Food for Thought” was also an unbelievably great excuse to order the world’s largest home delivered pizza…
… and to float individual servings of cotton candy in the pool for guests to snack on.
Here’s a lovely display of Spam that accompanied John Lloyd’s bejeweled Spam…
… and the artist vouching for its edibility:
I must say that despite my lifelong dedication to junk food I never tasted Spam until I spiked a cube here. Not surprising to anyone who knows me I found it very tasty. But I digress.
All in all, it was a wonderful day both as a party host and as a conceptual artist. John Lloyd’s and my work melded into one big kitschified fondue and despite the fact that rain was threatened all week the heavens held up so our eyes and stomachs were able to ingest beautiful works of art that my Velveeta camera only dreams of capturing in their full glory.
For full documentation of the bejeweled food fest go here.
To see how the Los Angeles Times enjoyed it go here.
Photos: Melissa Manning for the Look Partnership LLC
I just won SIX W3 Awards. I wasn’t 100% sure what these awards were when I entered two of my videos but as an independent artist whose only distribution outlet is the Internet I felt I should take any and all shots to kick up some dust. Here’s what I won:
“Allee Willis presents Bubbles & Cheesecake – Editing Is Cool” – Gold – Music category
“Allee Willis presents Bubbles & Cheesecake – Editing Is Cool” – Silver – Animation category
“Allee Willis – https://www.alleewillis.com” – Silver – Personal Website category
“Allee Willis presents Bubbles & Cheesecake – It’s A Woman Thang” – Silver – Innovative/Experimental category
“Allee Willis presents Bubbles & Cheesecake – It’s A Woman Thang”– Silver – Music category
“Allee Willis presents Bubbles & Cheesecake – It’s A Woman Thang”– Silver – Animation category
I won in every category I entered. I’m not looking a gift horse in the mouth – I’m always happy to win! – but it seems I’ve stumbled onto something more significant than snagging the prize – an Internet business that’s guaranteed to bring in more cash than the records, videos and other web delights I’m chained to my desks creating, remuneration for which is zero or just above it in this day and age where such creations are viewed as public domain.
Check out this racket, um, strategy of the W3’s. Charge a hefty entrance fee. Create enough categories so it’s confusing which one your work should be entered in. If a music video has animation and you put it up on YouTube is it in the Music, Animation or Viral category? And don’t forget the Innovative/ Experimental category if your work is anything above average. Better enter all four categories to cover your ass. The triple digit entry fee multiplies faster than the number of times McCain spits out “my friends”.
A couple of months later I receive an email saying the deadline for the Awards has been extended. This means that either these are puny Awards and not enough people entered or these are greedy Awards and not enough people entered. But the email dangles that award carrot so I enter alleewillis.com in the personal website category, resisting the urge to cover my ass again and enter it in all the categories it qualifies for.
I forget about everything until the letters start arriving. “Congratulations, you have won…” (see above). I’m happy for a millisecond until I see that proof of winning each of my six awards will cost $175 a pop plus shipping and handling for a certificate and a statue. I check the W3 website. Nowhere, not even in 1 point type, is there mention of the fact that if you win it will cost you more than what it cost to enter.
This is SO offensive to me. At the very least how about the piece of paper for free and then a nominal fee to cover the price of stamping out the statues? I still think the latter is tacky but it’s better than nothing, which is what you get when you win a W3 and maybe want to buy food before an ugly paperweight.
I’ve thankfully won many awards. No one else ever charged me to be honored. Oh wait, I used to have to pay for my gold records when certain artists forgot that had it not been for the songwriter they would have had no song to sing.
I’ve spent days trying to decide which W3’s to fork out the dough for and which to ignore, but it sickens me to pick a favorite among my babies. So as soon as I finish this I will reluctantly write a check and tell my After Effects artist not to come in for a few days so I can afford to be honored. I’m also thinking I should cancel all the records and videos I’m currently working on and just dream up some Internet Awards so I can live off the entry and awards fees. How about the “Most Unoriginal Website Awards? I could make a fortune.