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Best of Los Angeles: Design & Realty

BY The Editors | December 27, 2016 | Feature Features

Be it an inspiring design showroom, a bold new menu or an exuberant comeback, in the City of Angels, creativity is thriving like never before. Here's a look at the people and places responsible for putting L.A. in the global spotlight, for 2017 and beyond.
TAKING SHAPE Artist Ben Medansky puts the finishing touches on a sculptural ceramic piece.

Fired Up
Ben Medansky is giving BeyoncĂ© a run for her money. The Silver Lake-based artist, known for his graphic ceramic pieces and collaborations with influential designers such as Kelly Wearstler, has fully embraced a lemons to lemonade philosophy ever since a devastating fire wiped out his Arts District studio several months ago. “There are some people in the community that have told me this could be a blessing. A lot of the [remaining] work turned out a bit cooler then it ever could have had if I glazed [those pieces] myself. At least they stayed in my color palette,” he says, a humorous nod to the blackened post-fire pieces. Medansky has been busy with several projects since the career-changing event, working on a coffee-table book; presenting a show at Lawson Fenning of charred work left over from the blaze; and moving into a new studio in Atwater Village, located close to one of his mentors, Adam Silverman. “I actually moved to L.A. to become Adam’s assistant six or seven years ago, but he hired [someone else]. He became more like a mentor then a boss,” says Medansky, who, like Silverman, is veering toward creating ceramics that embrace an art with a capital A mentality. “I haven’t touched clay since the fire, and that’s made me think about how I want to work with this material. I don’t plan to buy a wheel right away, so that will prevent me from throwing cups,” he says. “I can focus on making larger, more monumental scale sculpture.” He continues, “With the fire, I’m able to pivot without having to make up excuses.”

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