Monday, December 15, 2014

Michael Voltaggio opens Ink.Sack at LAX

Ink.Sack's turkey melt and Cuban sandwich

Michael Ovitz's business partner chef Michael Voltaggio is opening a new Ink.Sack (his sandwich place located next to his critically-acclaimed Melrose Avenue restaurant Ink.) at none other than LAX airport, according to this recent article in Los Angeles Magazine.

"In some terminals, terror is the $12 sandwich. You know the type: damp bread, wilted lettuce, a mustard packet if you’re lucky. Ink.Sack corrects this egregious error with an array of creative handhelds from Michael Voltaggio and Co. for half the price. Their Spicy Tuna comes garnished with Sriracha mayo and nori flakes. The Spanish Godfather proffers a pile of prosciutto, chorizo, and Manchego. There’s a $4.69 veggie banh mi. The black carry-away lunch sack completes the fancy-casual vibe."

Check out the new Ink.Sack the next time your flight is delayed at LAX!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Celebs and Artists Attend Art Basel Miami Beach

Michael Ovitz and girlfriend Tamara Mellon were at Art Basel Miami Beach this week, attending the annual seated dinner hosted by the real estate mogul Aby Rosen and his wife, Samantha Boardman in the Dutch restaurant at Mr. Rosen’s W Hotel.  

Celebrities and artists at the event included Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Owen Wilson, Alex RodriguezVera WangTommy HilfigerPeter Marino, Heidi Klum and Vito Schnabel, Paris and Nicky Hilton, Kim Kardashian and more, according to this New York Times article.

"After the dinner, the crowd moved to The Wall for the Dom Pérignon-hosted after party Metamorphosis, where Alex Dellal, Stavros Niarchos, and Vito Schnabel traded art talk art for dancing on tables and drinking loads of champagne."  

Sounds like fun!

Art Basel Miami Beach started in 2002 as an offshoot of the annual international contemporary art fair founded in 1970 and held every June in Basel, Switzerland

Read more coverage on Art Basel Miami Beach in Business Insider and The New York Times.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Warhol's 'Triple Elvis' Leads Record-Setting $852.9 million Total at Christie's Auction

Michael Ovitz - Andy Warhol Christie's auction
Andy Warhol with one of his series of screenprinted paintings of American singer Elvis Presley
Michael Ovitz was in attendance at Christie’s recent record-setting auction totaling $852.9 million, driven by two Andy Warhol works: the 1963 screen printed painting "Triple Elvis (Ferus Type)", selling for $82 million, and the artist's 1966  "Four Marlons," of actor Marlon Brando, selling for $69.6 million.

The auction house had assembled 80 works total, 22 of them expected to sell for more than $10 million and nine poised to bring more than $20 million each.  "It's our highest total ever," worldwide chairman of postwar and contemporary art Brett Gorvy told the New York Times. "We saw a lot of new bidders tonight from the Middle East and Asia, but the biggest and most powerful buyers were still from America."

In addition to Michael Ovitz, other art aficionados included J. Tomilson Hill, Stefan Edlis and Andrew Saul.

Both "Triple Elvis (Ferus Type)" and "Four Marlons" were put up for action by German casino company WestSpiel. The works had been displayed in Casino Aachen since the late 1970s, and were purchased by unidentified telephone bidders.

An avid art collector, Michael Ovitz commissioned Michael Maltzan Architecture in 2000 to build a new residence for his family and to be able to display his art collection. The house was completed in 2010 and now acts at a permanent home for works from modern and contemporary painting and sculpture, to Ming Dynasty furniture and African antiquities. The house features three dedicated galleries, one of which is a rotating project space where commissioned artists create site-specific installations on an annual basis, thereby allowing the collection to expand while also establishing new and lasting relationships with contemporary artists.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

MOMA's 'The Forever Now' Opens Dec 14

Michael Ovitz Family Collection: “Carlotta” (2013), by the German-born, American-based painter Charline von Heyl
“Carlotta” (2013), by the German-born, American-based painter Charline von Heyl
The Forever Now,” which opens on Dec. 14 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City includes 'Carlotta' by the German-born, American-based painter Charline von Heyl from the Ovitz Family Collection, according to this recent article in The New Yorker Magazine.

The show, curated by Laura Hoptman, examines painting today 'and finds it more vital than ever' via 17 painters 'whose approaches are all over the map, from figurative to abstract and boisterous to restrained.'

Born in 1960 in Germany, Charline von Heyl 'lives and works in New York and Marfa, Texas. Her work has been exhibited both in the United States and abroad, including solo exhibitions at The Tate, Liverpool; Kunsthalle Nurnberg, Nurnberg; Bonner Kunstverein, Bonn; ICA Philadelphia; ICA Boston; Westlondonprojects, London; Le Consortium, Dijon; the Dallas Museum of Art and in the Vienna Secession. Von Heyl's works reside in the collections of the Tate, London; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; among many others.'

Charline von Heyl’s paintings 'are not abstractions of objects or figures; rather, she is interested in creating abstract images that stand for themselves. They are new pictures, composed inventions. ...further expansions (and revolutions waged) upon the bounds and rules set by the history of painting, in which abstraction stretches toward representation, image and non-image indecipherably integrate, and where the distinction between image and object dissolve.'

Read the entire The New Yorker article, Winter Preview.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Michael Maltzan's Innovative Apartment Complex for Homeless Opens on Skid Row

Star Apartments by Michael Maltzan, Ovitz residence architect
Michael Maltzan, the architect behind Michael Ovitz's  28,000-square-foot home (covered here in this W Magazine article), continues his collaboration with developer Skid Row Housing Trust with the new Star Apartments located at 6th Street and Maple Avenue bordering Skid Row.

The innovative, modern building provides permanent supportive housing for formerly homeless via 102 apartments, consisting of prefabricated "modules" stacked like blocks over the existing building's roof, allowing a lower budget and shorter timeframe to completion (or, better said, to "ensure a higher quality of construction, meet tighter construction tolerances, and dramatically accelerate construction time, producing a parallel reduction in cost").  The 95,000 square foot building is 'mixed-use', with a retail street level zone, community program zone (2nd floor), and four terraced floors above for residents.  Amenities include a community garden, running track, exercise and art rooms and a library.

Maltzan has designed numerous modern structures throughout Los Angeles for the homeless,  including the Rainbow and New Carver apartment buildings, all of which have garnered international recognition for their innovation and purpose.

Learn more about the Star Apartments in this L.A. Times article, "Innovative Apartment Complex for Homeless People Opens on Skid Row."

Read more about Michael Maltzan's design of the Michael Ovitz residence in this W Magazine article, 'The Client Whisperer'.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Chris Ovitz Launches Workpop - Job Board for Hourly-Wage Workers

Michael Ovitz - Workpop startup of Chris Ovitz
Many job seekers use LinkedIn to find work, but what online resources exist for the hourly-wage worker?  Michael Ovitz's son Chris Ovitz has launched Workpop, a site designed just for the 76 million people in the United States who work for hourly wages and often don't have detailed resumes or work histories online.  

Ovitz and co-founder Reed Shaffner maintain that dropping off resumes by foot wherever a 'We Are Hiring' sign is displayed is outdated and ineffective - and the VC world apparently agrees:  Workpop closed a $7 million Series A funding round led by Trinity Ventures, following an initial seed round of $900,000 in April 2014 that included investments from SV Angel, Box Group, Obvious Ventures, Cornerstone OnDemand, Slow Ventures, Ironfire Capital, Plus Capital, Joe Lonsdale (a partner at Formation 8), Lee Linden (Facebook), Dennis Phelps (IVP), and Aaron Levie (chief executive of Box Inc).   

Workpop is a free service benefitting both employees and employers in several ways.  For workers, in addition to a much easier place to find potential work, they also receive anonymous feedback from employers who reject their applications, a response when a job they applied for has been filled, and advice on what successful applicants who got the jobs they wanted had that they didn’t, such as specific skills.  In addition, a job applicant will see a photograph of the hiring manager and a response rate (similar to AirBnb).

For employers, the service matches jobs to a pool of strong applicants less likely to quit quickly, as well as tools for background checks.

Co-CEOs, both Ovitz and Shaffner are veterans to the online startup world.  Ovitz is the co-founder of Viddy, a social video startup while Shaffner is a former Zynga executive.   The founding team also includes CTO Benjamin Berman and Director of Product Henry Jay Yu.