vie magazine subscribe button

Art Walk in Downtown Los Angeles

By Troy Ruprecht

The lobby of L’Ermitage Beverly Hills was humming with excitement on the Thursday evening during my visit to Los Angeles in January. It was a beautiful, clear night with temperatures in the mid 60s as I pulled on a sport coat. With my camera bag in tow, I waited for the stylish company-rented Chevy Suburban to be pulled curbside among the Ferraris, Maseratis, and Porsches—oh, well. Other VIE representatives were on the hotel’s rooftop attending a cocktail mixer for the sponsors of the exclusive GBK 2012 Golden Globes Gift Lounge that was to take place on Friday and Saturday. As I pulled away, I was looking forward to my first cultural experience in L.A.—at HStudio—only nine miles away.

A staggering ninety minutes later, I finally arrived at the downtown showroom, and in the midst of the celebrity-obsessed Hollywood glitz, I encountered something quite different from what I expected. Nickie Mersino, an old college friend and member of the HStudio team, greeted me inside and introduced me to the rest of the crew. As the hours slipped away, I mingled and met many interesting individuals, one of whom was Troy V, the featured artist of the evening and the lead singer and guitarist of the Downtown Train. He is an extremely talented artist, with quite an interesting self-perspective on what he does and what he believes in. I was enthralled.



vie-magazine-art--walk-la-2012-1 vie-magazine-art--walk-la-2012-8
View of Navy Pier Featuring Lake Michigan And The Centennial Ferris Wheel


View of Navy Pier Featuring Lake Michigan And The Centennial Ferris Wheel


After spending some time in “The Vault” listening to Troy play his guitar, another attendee of the exhibit caught my attention as he was leaving the showroom. He was peculiarly dressed and had a cat perched on his shoulder. When I finally caught up to him outside and down the street, I was able to find out a little about him. Fantastic Fig, a psychic magician, and his cat, Newton, had appeared on America’s Got Talent last year. Fantastic Fig happens to be the alter ego of renowned personal injury attorney Paul F. Fegen—and this character did not disappoint! With a deck of cards in hand, he asked me to name a card and, without hesitation, immediately drew that very card off the top of the deck. I was a bit skeptical until he proceeded to prove himself right time and time again, sometimes mixing it up by pulling the card from the bottom of his shoe or from under his hat. This Fantastic Fig character was just that: fantastic!

As I recorded my exhibit experience by camera, Nickie approached to inform me that I had actually won the door prize—I didn’t think the night could get any more interesting. My prize, a solid acrylic sculpture, is part of a series by HStudio’s founder, Shlomi Haziza. The project, which started with some sort of connection with movies, further developed as a spin on the Roman portrait sculptures. To refresh the idea of these sculptures, he assigned each sculpture a different “power,” similar to those of the Roman gods. Each head sculpture expresses an individual personality.

vie-magazine-art--walk-la-2012-33vie-magazine-art--walk-la-2012-6


I was curious to learn more about his artistic inspiration, prompting me to dig a bit deeper into his story. This is the interview with Shlomi Haziza, owner and founder of HStudio:

VIE: What has influenced or inspired you to transition from painting to furniture design?

Haziza: The ability to transition between different mediums is key in the success of art and design. Innovation has always been important with my development as an artist and designer.

VIE: What inspires you now?

Haziza: The modern world inspires me. Also, anything that touches people and relates to their imagination. Keeping people in awe is always exciting!



View of Navy Pier Featuring Lake Michigan And The Centennial Ferris Wheel

VIE: What is a typical day on the job like for you?

Haziza: Oh, it is ever changing. I’m always looking at new materials and finishes for our designs. I oversee the entire creative process within the company; so it is busy, to say the least.

VIE: What does the future hold for HStudio a year from now? Or even five years?

Haziza: It depends on trends and my imagination, really. Ideas and technology will also always be influencing the growth of HStudio.



View of Navy Pier Featuring Lake Michigan And The Centennial Ferris Wheel

VIE: What is the one work you’ve done that you are most proud of?

Haziza: There isn’t just one; I’m mostly just very proud of the people in my company as a whole.

VIE: You’ve had great success at what you do. Do you have any advice for young artists or anyone who is beginning a new career?

Haziza: It is important to never stop dreaming. Always keep good relationships, and keep yourself current with trends. Know your subject. Stick to what you believe in, and don’t be afraid to do what you love.



View of Navy Pier Featuring Lake Michigan And The Centennial Ferris Wheel
View of Navy Pier Featuring Lake Michigan And The Centennial Ferris Wheel


VIE: Overall, what would you like people to think about when they hear about HStudio?

Haziza: What we are: innovative, high-end, quality art and furniture made in Los Angeles and made with love. We are leaders in the art and furniture business, but most importantly, we are good people.

— V —



Read Responsibly

VIE magazine 2017 March-April Cover South Walton Fashion Week
VIE Magazine - January/February 2017 - The Health & Beauty Issue
VIE Magazine - Nov/Dec 2016 The Sophisticate Issue
christian siriano vie magazine september october 2016 vie magazine
the modern minimalist issue
Summertime!
the culinary and couture issue march april 2016 vie magazine
the voyager issue alys beach vie magazine january february 2016
cultural issue vie magazine november december 2015
home and garden issue vie magazine september october 2015
the art and style issue vie magazine july august 2015
the wedding issue 2015 May June vie magazine
the food and fashion issue vie magazine march april 2015
the travel issue vie magazine january february 2015
the music issue vie magazine 2014 november december
The Animal Issue vie magazine september october 2014
the home and garden issue vie magazine july august 2014
the wedding issue vie magazine may june 2014
emeril lagasse food and fashion vie magazine
the men's issue january february 2014
the music issue november december 2013 vie magazine
the home and garden issue 2013 october september
the wedding issue vie magazine july august 2013
the artist issue may june 2013 vie magazine
the food and fashion issue march april 2013
the men's issue january february 2013 vie magazine
The Holiday Issue
the love issue july august 2012
the all american summer may june 2012
the entertainment issue march april 2012
the fashion issue vie magazine winter 2011
the home and garden issue vie magazine fall 2011
the anniversary edition vie magazine summer 2011
the wedding issue vie magazine spring 2011
vie magazine the holiday issue 2010 Dec
vintage swimsuits vie magazine 2010 Fall
judith march designer vie magazine summer 2010
wedding giveaway vie magazine spring 2010
holiday gift guide vie magazine winter 2009
emarketing explosion vie magazine fall 2009
tribute to mother's day vie magazine summer 2009
james and robert redford vie magazine spring 2009
zz top vie magazine fall winter 2008
project dreams vie magazine new york fashion week
Sign-up for VIEmail

Sign up for VIEmail

X

A LIFESTYLE