LAVA’s Sunday Salon – June 2011, Science Fiction and Fantastical Cities

Special program at the June 26 Salon: 

• Special guest Milt Stevens, a long time SF fan who has been a member of the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society for a bit over fifty years, will give a presentation on this illustrious southland organization–the world’s oldest science fiction club, which for many years met right here at Clifton’s Cafeteria. Milt will give a brief history of the LASFS and discuss its current activities, with a focus on memorable anecdotes about the writers and fans who have been part of this remarkable entity.

• Back by popular demand, LAVA Visionary Gene Sculatti, outsider artist and pop culture critic (The Catalog of Cool) returns to show off the new “construction” on his newest fantasy cityscape scroll Majestic Boulevard, which has been developed in response to the daffy and inspired suggestions of January Salon attendees. New developments suggested by LAVA Visionaries include: the world HQ of Ian Whitcomb’s ITW Industries and the consulate general of Smokessylvania, submitted by Count Smokula. Gene’s pitch to virtual developers: “Come live the Jet Age California dream when you stake out a virtual half-acre along Majestic Boulevard and plan the commercial development of your dreams. Maybe it’s tiki-themed bowling alley… or a no-tell motel named after your secret crush… or the lone Victorian farmhouse left behind when progress came to town.” Six months in the works, Gene returns to the Sunday Salon to unveil the expanded scroll to the lucky “property owners.” Also on view: Untitled #1,  whose theme might be ‘Imagining SoCal.’ This is a 13-inches-by-53-feet job, drawn from 1969-71, and was the last one the artist did before moving to L.A. The inspiration is mostly Southern California, and the work covers all four of Reyner Banham’s ecologies. Bonus: a portion has the experimental “smog coat” the artist devised to make it “more like L.A.” ABOUT GENE SCULATTI’S SCROLLS: Since the age of 9, Sculatti, 63, has created imaginary horizontal cities packed with fascinating details that reflect his evolving obsessions: googie signage, soaring bridges, skyscrapers, suburbs, amusement parks and much more. Join us for a rare opportunity to get close to these beautiful and strange artworks, and to hear the artist discuss his inspirations, working methods, and how the scrolls have stayed with him for more than four decades. To learn more about Gene’s cityscapes, see photos from the March 2010 Sunday Salon exhibit of Gene’s scrolls here, read Gene’s musings here, or view his work-in-progress sketches here.