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Lisa Adams Talks Dirty Air in Bed (VIDEO)

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Wangechi Mutu/Gladstone Gallery
Wangechi Mutu/Gladstone Gallery

There's nothing more exhilarating than getting an artist in bed. That was the case with Lisa Adams, a well-known artist at the Santa Fe Arts Colony in DTLA (downtown Los Angeles). When I talk to people about Adams, it occurred to me that everyone knows and respects her work so she has definitely made her mark in Los Angeles art history. When she asked me who I was filming (at the time of my visit) she admitted that she didn't know many of them. That, I believe, typifies her legendary status as an artist. She finds solace in her painting so there was no surprise to me that she wanted me to see her paint. She just wants to paint, so I let her paint...

What started off as an initial 'meet-and-greet' with my usual photo ops (I never leave empty-handed) quickly turned into this film. As a documentary filmmaker who wants to start rolling tape and burning flash cards immediately (why wait?), Adams greeted me with open arms. I got the feeling if I had asked her to do cart wheels or sing a lullaby she would have. I would describe my ninety minutes with her as carefree. I asked her almost everything and nothing was sacred to her. She told me about her ex husband and her Marxist past. She was a stream of consciousness from the start. My camera couldn't keep up.

Then I asked Lisa to get in bed and talk about Werner Herzog and her passion for film. She did, but my flash card died part of the way through. Oh well. If I had told her to take a nap and let me film her you would still hear her conscious firing away at REM speed.

Lucidity transcends Adams, and if you ever watch Herzog's "Lessons of Darkness" you will profoundly see many metaphors of a toxic sky, an Adam's Toxic Sky.

Here is a link to footage from Werner Herzog's "Lessons of Darkness"