Spectacle Tuesday w/ Dan Chavkin

By garrett

Yesterday I had the pleasure of starting off my day with breakfast at Cecconi's in Beverly Hills with Dan Chavkin. The visit was special for me for a couple reasons, a major reason being that I pride myself in knowing the most iconic restaurants, bars, and venues in general in Los Angeles. When I reached out to Dan to see when he'd be in town and if we could meet up, he mentioned we should meet at Cecconi's. At the time I actually hadn't heard of it, but based on previous encounters with Dan, and knowing a little bit about him, I only expected something really special. Even if it was just a monday morning breakfast in Beverly Hills, I knew he wouldn't pick something that was just regular for any reason. Which leads me to the second reason why this monday morning was so special, an opportunity to spend an hour and a half just talking with a man I have profound respect for.  No cell phones or distractions of any kind. Just a calm 90 minutes engaging in creative conversation ranging from to film to architecture to Palm Springs to GLCO and of course to the history of Cecconi's.

The story of how I met Dan Chavkin is unbelievable. And I hate doing this and genuinely apologize for leaving you hanging (if anyone is actually reading this), but I can't share it in detail. All I can say is he was a bit of a guardian angel for GLCO when we couldn't have our eyes everywhere.  It's not that important, whats important is that it opened a door that may have not otherwise been there.

Dan Chavkin is a Palm Springs based photographer from Los Angeles who's work we recently featured in Spectacle Magazine.  When reading Dan's bio you will see that he is a self-proclaimed lover of mid-century modernist design. Particularly relating to architecture in the desert of Palm Springs.  But that doesn't even scratch the surface of how much he fucking loves it.  I use that adjective to describe his passion for it because thats how his energy makes you feel about describing it. For lack of a better way of describing this, Dan is just a bad ass. A bad ass working in an otherwise pretentious city, shooting generally "high-brow" content, most of the time for extremely high end clientele. But Dan is just Dan. He likes what he likes, in fact he loves what he loves, so much so that some of it is even tattooed on his body. His knowledge and understanding of these things he loves is so deep he could hold his own in any conversation, in any circle, but not for a second would any conversation appear to be beneath him. I'll stop now before I go on rambling, I just want to get the point across that we like Dan, he inspires us. We were so grateful to feature his photography in Spectacle Magazine, and you should go as out of your way as possible to follow his career, support his career, know him, or whatever. A great place to start would be his photography exhibit in Palm Springs on the 28th of this month featuring a collection of still photography from over 15 years ago that he took while getting his degree in photography. Back in the days of VHS, Dan would pause films at select moments and capture a photo.  Hopefully I can attend and share some highlights and a more in detail description.

One of our topics of conversation was the history of the space that is now Cecconi's. I still have more research to do on what used to be the original Morton's Steakhouse of Los Angeles.  This space was home to some of the 1980's most glamorous Vanity Fair events. Spending five minutes in this space is definitely one of those, "if these walls could talk," feelings.

Particularly this dining room. Pretty sure thats a Damien Hirst on the wall. But even more admirable is the decor. I never thought I could love marble floors this much. And the blown glass chandeliers are beyond impressive.

I guess the above photo is sort of my attempt at replicating Dan Chavkin's incredible ability to capture the most interesting balance of linear design interacting with three dimensional objects. Seriously check out his photography of the Frey House, Sinatra House, or Edris House, you'll see exactly what I'm talking about.

Thanks Dan, was truly a pleasure and really excited to explore some of the creative ideas we pondered for GLCO. Hopefully more to come on that!

One of the things we discussed was the mutual respect for our buddy Spencer's work over at KillSpencer.  Below is an iPad case that Dan had and you should definitely check out the rest of their work at www.killspencer.com

To check out the piece we did on Dan Chavkin in Spectacle Magazine II, click here.