SPRING IN LA’S CREATIVE UNDERGROUND

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN LIP SERVICE WEB MAGAZINE

Let’s face facts. It’s often a pain in the ass to live an independent artists’ existence. Sacrifices, though, usually balance out with the perks, at least enough for otherwise-mainly-rational adults to stay out of the cubicles and keep at it. Sometimes, those perks tilt the scales so much they make even the most arduous sacrifices for the life of a full-time creative degenerate seem minute.

This spring is one of those times.

There is a feeling of renaissance in the air in the Los Angeles creative underbelly, but not your history books’ sort. This is a new breed of artistic expression cast in leather and latex instead of bronze and etched in flesh, not marble. Seething beneath the surface, there has been a growing lust among mainstream artists to explore their deviant sides. While they pined for the darker side, erotic artists touching on the beauty of deviation came to the fore.

Where these two creative communities meet has been an explosion of collaboration between parts of a very diverse underground. Revolutionary ideas are meshing in strange and unexpected ways. Even the recession has pitched in, playing its own strange part in the karmic shift. Just that little stretch of economic panic gave a lot of artists the last excuse they needed to pack in the suits and commute to commit to their craft. It also gave many of us a taste for taking creative risks, as well as an innate sense of camaraderie among artists of all stripes. In the end, we’ve discovered, we’re all one big band of brothers who have survived it together rather than competing creative philosophies or mediums. We found common ground and started exploring it.

For a while, all these factors were growing, multiplying. The only missing link was a place such diverse communities would be attracted to and, thus, be able to come together on a larger scale.

Then, last August Jane Jett and Miss Crash opened Studio Servitù. From the moment they welcomed the first guests to their still-talked-about Grand Opening, Servitù became a major creative hub. Not only was it a go-to location for mainstream and erotic photographers and filmmakers, it was also the site of everything from gallery benefits and fetish events to art mainstays like Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School. One couldn’t go to an event at Servitù without meeting a fascinating range of artists and creative minds and leaving with a head full of fresh ideas.

In no time, the studio was getting press in LA Weekly and major blogs (not to mention a certain alt fashion legend’s webzine *ahem*). The sheer crush of popularity threatened to overcome the (admittedly) small space. The promise of “what could be” compelled the co-owners of Servitù to do something a little crazy. Less than six months after opening the original Studio Servitù, the doors were temporarily closed to build a bigger and better space from scratch. Luckily for everyone in the LA underground, Crash and Jane were game to take on this seemingly Quixotic quest.

If the original Servitù was a labor of love for the creative underground, this new space qualifies as an undying pledge of devotion.

Honestly, I am trying rather hard not to lapse into gushingly adoring tones but, in all fairness, I’ve seen the new studio. Every time I’ve walked into it and seen the latest progress in build-out and décor, Shakespearean thoughts of “we lucky few” spring to mind. After all, I am one of the lucky few to be able to call this place a creative laboratory and playground.

As you might (or might not) be wondering by now, there is a method to my madness, a reason this creative degenerate’s fancy turns lightly to thoughts of Servitù and creative collaboration.

The new Studio Servitù hosts its Grand Opening this Saturday night!

It doesn’t take a genius to know this promises to give the artistic underground a goodly rumble, possibly the kickoff of a seismic shift. It also doesn’t take a lot of brain juice to know Jane and Crash will make the first official act of Servitù to dazzle, amuse, and shock us just a little in unexpected and (of course) sexy ways, altering our perception of where the line between mainstream and underground lies, if it exists at all. We kind of like that about them and, apparently, so do a lot of other creative Angelenos.

Including Lip Service, who is an event sponsor (Did you have any doubt? Really?).

I said it the last time and those who may have scoffed or doubted missed one hell of a memorable event. I will merely repeat myself …

This is an invitation you really want to get.

From what I know of the night’s plans, it should be huge … a  thoughtfully naughty amuse bouche, a viewing of the documentary “The New Erotic”, will launch into a full-tilt red carpet party with VJ sets by Ginger Fish, as well as appearances by magician Rudy Coby and emcee The Lizardman. Knowing Crash and Jane, I assume there will be tasty surprises beyond the announced … that’s just how they roll.

Granted, entertainment is the icing … the REAL draw of a night at a Servitù event is the crowd.

Beyond the cream of the creative crop of photographers, filmmakers, artists, and models, there promises to be an even more eclectic crowd on hand at the new studio. Not to mention, some famous faces are expected as well. Plus, there will be coverage from various segments of media. Like the studios, the new Grand Opening is set to a bigger and better scale. If my intuition is any judge, which it usually is, it will be an event you don’t want to miss. To cheezily paraphrase one of my favorite movie quotes, this opening is going to go to eleven.

Just trust me on this one.

We are living in very interesting times, my dear degenerates, and they’re about to get even more so this weekend.

Hope to see you there!

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