Heath Ceramics primary image | Still from "Heath Ceramics: The Making of a California Classic"

Zorthian Ranch

Artbound's editorial team has reviewed and rated the most compelling weekly articles. After putting two articles up for a vote, the audience chose this article to be made into a short-format documentary.
 
Nestled in the foothills of Fair Oaks Avenue up a windy dirt road, lies the infamous 48-acre art junkyard Zorthian Ranch where resident artists milk goats and make cheese, and hundreds of notable people (including Andy Warhol, Bob Dylan, Charlie Parker, Segovia, Richard Feynman, and many more) have gathered to exchange ideas and celebrate life and times with its erstwhile proprietor, Jirayr Zorthian.
 
It was 10 years ago in January that Jirayr left his legacy the self-built "Z Ranch" in the hands of Alice and Alan, his children from his second wife, Dabney. Today, the ranch is less like a wasteland of art history, and more like a constant work-in-progress. In 1992, on Zorthian's 81st birthday, Jirayr said he had "Forty more years of work to do here, so I would have to live till 120 years old. I don't have time to die." He believed that art was not life, but a religion. "Art becomes more important than ourselves," he expressed in videos and interviews that overfill five milk crates at the Zorthian home. Jirayr was prolific, creating and building until three months before he died in January 2004. When asked if his father's work has been finished, Alan quickly responds, "No, I really haven't finished his work. It's like Gaudi's 'Sagrada Familia.'" It's a constantly evolving process.

 

 

Full Episodes

Upcoming Airdates

Artist and Mother

This episode profiles four California artists who make motherhood a part of their art: Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle, Andrea Chung, Rebecca Campbell and Tanya Aguiñiga. There's a persisting assumption in contemporary art circles that you can't be a good artist and good mother both. But these artists are working to shatter this cliché, juggling demands of career and family and finding inspiring ways to explore the maternal in their art.

  • 2020-07-15T20:00:00-07:00
    Link TV

The Art of Basket Weaving

Native American basketry has long been viewed as a community craft, yet the artistic quality and value of these baskets are on par with other fine art. Now Native peoples across the country are revitalizing basketry traditions and the country looks to California as a leader in basket weaving revitalization.

Electric Earth: The Art of Doug Aitken

This episode profiles prominent artist Doug Aitken who for more than 20 years has shifted the perception and location of images and narratives. His multichannel video installations, sculptures, photographs, publications, happenings and architectural works demonstrate the nature and structure of our ever-mobile, ever-changing, image-based contemporary condition. In his newest piece, “Underwater Pavilions,” he creates a conversation with the viewer to become fully present and immersed in the sea.

Desert X

The vast, strange, sometimes contradictory world of the urban desert and its people are explored in 11 public art exhibits and their respective locations scattered throughout Coachella Valley. Art includes Will Boone’s “Monument,” an underground bunker off Ramon Road in Rancho Mirage and Phillip K. Smith III’s “Circle of Land and Sky” in Palm Desert. Desert X is a site-specific biennial exhibition that first took place in the spring of 2017 where artists from different parts of the world were invited to create work in response to the unique conditions of the Coachella Valley

Variedades: Olvera Street

This look at Los Angeles’ Olvera Street is part-history lesson and part-immersion in stereotype of the birthplace of Los Angeles. Emmy® award-winning journalist, author and musician Rubén Martínez, explores the sometimes-violent, 200-year struggle for the political and symbolic control of the city as told in “Variedades” — an interdisciplinary performance series that brings together music, spoken word, theater, comedy and the visual arts, loosely based on the Mexican vaudeville shows of early-20th century Los Angeles.

  • 2020-07-28T12:00:00-07:00
    Link TV

Masters of Modern Design: The Art of the Japanese American Experience

From the iconic typeface of “The Godfather” book cover to Herman Miller’s Noguchi table, the influence of Japanese American artists and designers in postwar American art and design is unparalleled. While this second generation of Japanese American artists have been celebrated in various publications and exhibitions with their iconic work, less-discussed is how the World War II incarceration — a period of intense discrimination and hardship — has also had a powerful effect on the lives of artists such as Ruth Asawa, George Nakashima, Isamu Noguchi, S. Neil Fujita and Gyo Obata.

  • 2020-07-29T20:00:00-07:00
    Link TV

Día de Los Muertos / Day of the Dead

Día de los Muertos has been adapted for centuries from its pre-colonial roots to the popular depictions in mass media today. Inspired by rich Oaxacan traditions, it was brought to East Los Angeles in the 1970s as a way to enrich and reclaim Chicano identity through a small celebration at Self Help Graphics and Art. Since then, the celebration has grown in proportions with renditions enacted in communities all around the world.

  • 2020-08-05T20:00:00-07:00
    Link TV

How Sweet The Sound: Gospel In Los Angeles

Gospel music would not be what it is today if not for the impact left by Los Angeles in the late '60s and early '70s, a time defined by political movements across the country. Artists like James Cleveland and Aretha Franklin captured live recordings of the church experience of South Central and the voices and sentiment of the people coming together to give birth to a new gospel sound and the election of L.A.’ s first black mayor, Tom Bradley.

  • 2020-08-12T20:00:00-07:00
    Link TV