What do you get when you mix a warehouse art space in Culver City with a cafe staffed by French-maid outfitted Asian girls- Royal/T. Royal/T has created quite a stir amongst Japanophiles and Asian art enthusiasts alike as it stands to be Los Angeles's first version of a cosplay cafe. Now don't get too excited yet fellas...these ladies aren't gonna play hide and seek with you, feed you, or cater to your every whim. What Royal/T DOES offer is an open and welcoming space to enjoy a cup of tea amongst some of today's most talented contemporary artists.
Current exhibit: "Just Love Me is the opening exhibition at Royal/T. Selected from the Susan Hancock Collection, Just Love Me explores the complexity of cuteness, and the yearning it reveals in artistic expression today. Cuteness is a gesture expressing an innocent desire to obtain unconditional love from someone who gives one's heart. Cuteness is not always sweet and jovial. It can also be monomaniac, enigmatic and obsessive accomplishing the craving under its optimistic surface-to be loved. Just Love Me is the title of a neon sign in the collection by Tracey Emin. This exhibition juxtaposes works not only by Japanese contemporary artists but also by various international artists who explore obsessive human desire." (Royal/T) Featured artists include: Takashi Murakami, Yoshitomo Nara, Keisuke Yamamoto, and Izumi Kato.
One of my most favorite and alluring pieces at Royal/T was Nick Rodrigues's Porta Party- basically the collision of a porta-potty, iPod, discoball, and camera. The sculpture is part of Rodrigues's 'Human Interaction Series'- an exploration of how human relationships cater to and sometimes conflict with technology and innovation. You can literally walk into the porta party, choose a song off the bright pink iPod nano inside, have the flashing lights dance with the spinning discoball, and the camera inside will capture all debauchery which is then projected onto the iPod screen for outsiders to gawk at. According to Nick Rodrigues's site, the Porta Party is available for rent for your next house party, debut, or bbq.