We had the good fortune of connecting with Edem Elesh and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Edem, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
Inner belief. I have always “known” I was going to be an artist of some sort. I had this feeling from as early as I can remember. It’s hard to put into words, but there it always was. Charles Bukowski wrote a famous poem called “Bluebird” that’s about a “little bluebird” inside of him that kept singing despite the alcohol he poured on it, and cigarettes he choked it with. My feelings regarding my “art core” are similar. Looking back on the turns of fate and fortune in my life, every road led to my Rome; it was only a matter of seeing these events, both seemingly favorable, and not, as sign posts to my present.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Well, there’s a ton of stuff, and busy suits me. I am a Los Angeles contemporary artist, represented by Gloria Delson Contemporary Arts in Downtown L.A. I have also been fortunate to have been invited to numerous international exhibitions, art exchanges, and workshops in the pre-Covid world, from 2008-2020. So, I continue to create my fine art which, I’m happy to say, is still resonating domestically and overseas resulting in invitations to Bangladesh, this being the 2022 19th Asian Art Biennale in Dhaka, and an upcoming art exchange/art workshop in Southern Italy scheduled for sometime later this year (fingers crossed- grazie Carla Viparelli!). This is a good time to thank Voyage L.A. Magazine for their 2021 article on me, because it was seen by BsquaredMGMT out of Nashville, TN, a music PR firm who read the article, in which I mentioned my music project KinderCrowdControl, and they checked out our music, loved it, and signed us up. Since then the beautiful, hardworking, and wonderful ladies there have pushed KinderCrowdControl music out to podcast DJs, online magazines, Spotify play-listers, you name it… as a result we are in the 10s of thousands of streams and downloads, and we’re definitely on the music turntable, so to speak. So, Brett, I, and Sandra Ban (a celebrated Croatian artist I had met on an art exchange in Bangkok in 2018) are creating our music regularly, and loving every minute. Crazy. So between the fine art, KinderCrowdControl music, and my design firm 56design.com, I am always busy and on 11! I am proud to say I am currently a Board Member for the IAA/USA (the International Association of Art, USA) and, amongst other duties, I am able to assist in providing exhibition opportunities to other artists from all over the country. Being able to give back at this juncture of my career is incredibly rewarding. I’m stoked for sure. Amazing life.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Ok so, good questions! Let’s see… I live in Highland Park, so I have a beautiful view of Downtown L.A. from the deck in my backyard. Local places to eat: Las Cazuelas, amazing El Salvadorian food on Figueroa, tell Carlos Edem says hi. Penny’s Burgers too on Figueroa and York. Chinatown is nearby, try Hop Li on Alpine which is, in my view, the best Chinese food in L.A. Little Tokyo has several great spots: T.O.T. on 2nd street, the best Japanese food in L.A. Also Suehiro Cafe on 1st, great too. Anzen Hardware on 1st to see a hardware store that’s been there since the early 1900s, and Fugetsu-Do for mochi, also there since the early 1900s. LA Artcore is around the corner on Judge John Also Street for great local fine art, ask for Pranay Reddy. Gloria Delson Contemporary Arts on 7th and Spring, ask for Petra Wright, my amazing and lovely art rep. Beautiful South Pasadena and Pasadena are nearby. The beaches of course! In Redondo go grab a drink at The Bull Pen, a fabulous old bar and steak house; Malibu… go to The Reel Inn in Topanga for great seafood. The surf spots I’ll keep to myself. Surfer lore! I’m surrounded by so many great places, but these are awesome stops.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Wow, so many, so many. In a semblance of order of appearance: My mom, dad, and brother Hugh for sheparding me through my youth; My life-long friend, and brother-from-another-mother, Ron Russell for being a constant in my life since the age of 4; Bruce Licher of Independent Project Records L.A. for giving my (then) band Drowning Pool Music a home; Roland Young of Art Center College of Design (and all my amazing professors there) who left me with diamonds of wisdom; Harley Rinzler for being my first big art collector and supporter; Don O’Melveny for giving me my start in the L.A. art scene; Lydia Takeshita of L.A. Artcore for giving me a port after Don closed his doors; Stephen Johns for introducing me to Lydia; Gloria Delson and Petra Wright of Gloria Delson Contemporary Arts in Downtown L.A. for representing me to this day; Dr Kamol Tassananchalee, the celebrated Thai National Artist, who supported my art and invited me to innumerable shows in Thailand from 2008-2020; all the other officials, deans, and facilitators who invited me to their countries as “artbassador” from 2008-2020; Carla Viparelli, the celebrated Italian artist who has supported me, and my art, and become my beloved sister-in-arms; Brett Smith my dear friend and music collaborator, who has created music with me, and “been there”, for decades; Voyage L.A. Magazine for the great article in 2021; BsquaredMGMT out of Nashville, Tennessee, who, because of reading the Voyage L.A. Magazine article, checked out my KinderCrowdControl music and signed us up; they are phenomenal. Finally, my beloved Louise for her magical love, and my amazing son Griffen, for keeping me grounded and who I am so proud of. There are many, more. To them, and they know who they are, a heartfelt thank you for being part of this amazing journey.
Instagram: edem elesh and kindercrowdcontrol
Youtube: edem elesh