Rolls-Royce Wraith Debuts in Geneva
The British auto brand takes a 1938 model for a modern spin.
March 13, 2013
It’s symptomatic for Rolls-Royce to look backwards before moving forward when the time for contemplation of a new model is imminent. With a storied history—founder Charles Stewart Rolls was in his twenties when he co-founded the company and, as a young pilot, became the first man to double cross the English Channel non-stop—and a reservoir of creativity at its disposal, the British automaker proudly staged the world debut of its dynamic new Wraith recently at the 83rd Geneva International Motor Show.
Wraith, titled after a mystical Scottish spirit, represents new potential direction for Rolls-Royce and extends its level of luxury, refinement, and hand-craftsmanship, but also presents unique positioning defined by power, style, and drama. Originally conceived in 1938, the rebirth of the current fastback and its perfectly engineered features and technical contour introduces a younger demographic to the Rolls-Royce brand. The sleek and vigorous Wraith is purely driver oriented with its Ghost-based 6.6-liter V12 that now outputs 624-horsepower (European spec), allowing it to reach 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds. With this in mind, the majestic gran turismo becomes the most powerful Rolls-Royce in the history of the company.
Hallmark coach doors open into the Wraith’s rich cabin, which is composed of Phantom-grade leathers and Canadel Panelling wood veneers. A bespoke touch of imagination is displayed by way of the lustrous night roof lining, conceived by the hand stitching of 1,340 fibre optic lamps. For enthusiastic owners who position themselves directly behind the wheel, innovative technology dubbed Satellite Aided Transmission applies GPS mapping algorithms to forecast the driver’s next move using current location-base and drive characteristics. The system then pre-chooses the most suitable gear from the 8-speed automatic ZF transmission appropriate for the impending topography ahead.
Expect deliveries by the end of the year to early 2014 with a current European price of €245K. Further pricing details for additional markets such as the U.S. will be revealed at a later date. It’s currently a moment of introspection for Rolls-Royce as they position themselves for supplementary growth, heightened levels of performance, and inflated expectations from their loyalists.
Casey Weldon at Trifecta Gallery
Casey Weldon makes a triumphant return to Las Vegas with a darkly humorous yet nostalgic showing at Trifecta Gallery.
February 25, 2013
Homegoing by Casey Weldon
Blending postmodern macabre with a love of nature, painter Casey Weldon’s work is grounded in an offbeat drollery that originated at home. “I’ve always been attracted to deadpan delivery and the treatment of the absurd with a straight face,” he says. “My dad’s side of the family all have a real dry sense of humor.” As homage, Weldon’s painting Homegoing is a focal point in his exhibition “Lose and Find,” showing in the main gallery at Trifecta in March.
Homegoing is among the largest of his nontraditional oversize pieces; he creates them to complement his customary smaller paintings, which he tends to do in groups of up to five. Weldon, who works in acrylics on wood, has been delving a bit deeper into the background of his unconventional portraits. “I am trying to become a bit more painterly,” he says. “I want to loosen things up while experimenting a bit more with composition.”
While he was living here, from 2004 to 2007, Weldon met Trifecta owner Marty Walsh and became one of the gallery’s first artists. “I was showing a lot in other spaces in the Arts Factory,” recalls Weldon, who now lives in Seattle. “Eventually we became friends, and I’ve been showing at Trifecta ever since.”
He moved to Vegas for its affordable rent and growing art scene, and left with many layers of new inspiration. “I received a lot of support in the three years I lived here, and without that I’m not quite sure I would exert the same effort into the fine-art aspect of my career,” Weldon says. “Aesthetically, there is isolation to Las Vegas in its geography and natural environment that still resides in a lot of my work. I may not be painting a desert, but I still feel this balance of beauty and melancholy.” “Lose and Find” runs March 1–29 at Trifecta Gallery. 107 E. Charleston Blvd., 702- 366-7001
Spring Music: A-List Headliners
The bevy of A-list talent headlining Vegas stages means spring fever has officially hit Sin City.
February 25, 2013
Adam Levine of Maroon 5 rocking out.
The legendary rock band’s ever-philanthropic lead singer, Jon Bon Jovi, often headlines local charity concerts, including Tiger Jam. Now he and his bandmates are hitting Vegas as part of their Because We Can – The Tour, which rocks the MGM Grand Garden Arena April 20. Bon Jovi’s 12th studio album, What About Now, is set for release on March 26. MGM Grand, 800-745-3000; ticketmaster.com
In her first Las Vegas show since being named Female Artist of the Year at the American Country Awards last December, Carrie Underwood is back at Mandalay Bay Events Center March 2. Named for her new album, her Blown Away Tour is said to be her most theatrical to date, combining country music with high-fashion costume changes and modern technology. “Wanted” crooner Hunter Hayes opens for the blonde bombshell. Mandalay Bay Resort, 702-632- 7777; ticketmaster.com
Back for its 18th year on March 30, Desert Breeze Park’s Extreme Thing Action Sports & Music Festival (organized by Clark County Parks & Recreation) will feature the bands New Found Glory, 3OH!3, Asking Alexandria, Mindless Self Indulgence, Sleeping with Sirens, and The Aquabats!, to name a few. The dubstep stage offers additional acts, including Mike Attack, DJ Teenwolf, Big Chocolate, and many more, while BMX stars such as Ricardo Laguna show off their skills. 8275 Spring Mountain Road; extremething.com
The Adam Levine–fronted Maroon 5 just can’t stay away from Vegas. Only three months after an extraordinary two-day New Year’s Eve weekend concert in the city (in addition to recording many of their hit songs at Studio at the Palms), the band is returning to the Mandalay Bay Events Center. The March 16 show, with openers Neon Trees and Owl City, will feature songs from Overexposed, including “One More Night” and “Payphone,” which reached No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, on the Billboard charts. Mandalay Bay Resort, 702-632- 7777; ticketmaster.com
The state-of-the-art Pearl Concert Theater, which seats 2,500, is the perfect intimate venue to showcase the pop-rock superband Matchbox Twenty on March 29. Fans will be treated to the hits that put Matchbox on the map, plus new songs like “She’s So Mean” and “Overjoyed,” from their latest album, North. Palms Casino Resort, 702-944- 3200; ticketmaster.com
The English are coming! The English are coming! Muse will perform in concert, along with Dead Sara, on March 17 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. The band’s newest album, The 2nd Law, and its breakout single “Madness” have topped the charts since being released—just the latest achievements in a successful career dating back to 1994. Mandalay Bay Resort, 702-632- 7777; ticketmaster.com
Rihanna will be back April 12 as part of her Diamonds World Tour, her first show in Vegas since closing the opening day of September’s iHeartRadio Music Festival. Along with opener A$AP Rocky, the sassy reigning princess of hip-hop should light up the Mandalay Bay Events Center in an electrifying show featuring her signature spunk, songs from her new album, Unapologetic, and catchy favorites like “Umbrella.” Mandalay Bay Resort, 702-632- 7777; ticketmaster.com
photography by Christopher Polk/Getty Images
Retna: Graffiti Genius
From the Cosmopolitan to Louis Vuitton, graffiti artist Retna has our full attention.
February 04, 2013
Marquis Lewis, the street artist known as Retna, has gained significant traction in the contemporary art community, with projects including a commissioned collection of murals on parking garage floor B3 of Cosmopolitan practically catapulting him to celebrity. Catching the attention of Louis Vuitton, the artist was asked to fuse his signature hieroglyphics with the label’s iconic design aesthetic in a textile collaboration debuting this spring. Retna reinterprets the Vuitton cashmere stole, revealing a graphic scarf in a watercolored palette of aqua, purple, and cream. “I wanted to recreate the timeless moniker of Louis Vuitton with something new that reflected my classic style of merging the art of graffiti with the philosophies of ancestral scribes,” the artist says. “Just like the art I created at the Cosmopolitan, it is something that moves effortlessly throughout the past, present, and future.” Crystals, CityCenter, 702-262- 6189
Andy Warhol's 'Diamond Dust Shoes'
Andy Warhol’s Diamond Dust Shoes steals the show.
January 21, 2013
Diamond Dust Shoes (Random)
Long before the Campbell’s soup cans, the Elizabeths, the Marilyns, and the Maos, there were shoes. Andy Warhol loved to draw them—high heels, pumps, or jeweled stilettos, many of them blotted-line drawings, filled in with color, and created when the artist was a commercial fashion illustrator in 1950s New York.
In 1980, Warhol, who was by then a famous Pop artist, returned to shoes, portraying arrangements of ladies footwear in a Diamond Dust series of screen prints in which Warhol added diamond dust for extra sparkle. Among the most famous: Diamond Dust Shoes (Random), which will be on display at Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art when its “Warhol Out West” exhibit opens February 8.
The composition of ladies footwear on a black background, arranged as if they’d been spilled onto the floor with their toes pointed toward the center of the image, alludes to an endless array of shoes, playing into Warhol’s signature use of repetition. The diamond dust (from ground and cut gem diamonds) heightens the sense of glamour, fashion, and money—three things Warhol famously appreciated.
“The Diamond Dust works rarely travel” because of their delicate nature, says Tarissa Tiberti, executive director of Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art, which partnered with the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh to bring more than 30 of the artist’s works to Vegas.
The paintings, sculptures, photographs, screen prints, and wallpaper in “Warhol Out West” include Double Elvis, several works from the Cowboys and Indians series, and a not-often-exhibited portrait of painter Georgia O’Keeffe. “It’s so poignant right now, even more than anyone can understand,” Tiberti says. “He touched so many people.” “Warhol Out West” runs from February 8 through October 27 at the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art, 702-693-7871
photography courtesy of mgm resorts international
2013 Audi S8: An “S” for the Best
Rev up the new year in a car that perfectly pairs style and power.
January 04, 2013
Audi aficionados knew exactly what was expected when the German purveyor of luxury cars announced their new line of “S” performance vehicles including the S6, S7 and S8, which is the company’s four-door breadwinner in terms of power output and performance. But how could that be with the fierce and mighty V10 being supplanted for a smaller, more efficient twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8? It’s called German evolution.
Audi changed degrees with enhancements to their renowned quattro all-wheel drive technology, presented fascinating new products like the Q7, R8, and A7, enriched their interior cabins from an already stellar platform, and introduced magnificent engineering technology to ensure that the driving experience is pleasurable and safe. Now, the 2013 S8 is a new topic of conversation. The twin-turbo, 4-liter V8 produces 520 horsepower, helping the aluminum space frame go from 0 MPH to 60 MPH in 3.9 seconds. Mate the powerplant with Audi’s 8-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission with manual shift mode, and the vehicle achieves 15-city MPG and 26-highway MPG. Cylinder on Demand also aids in this mileage by transitioning eight cylinders to four cylinders when full power is not required. For example, fuel reduction at 55 MPH is 12%.
As for the interior, I felt special to say the least as the 22-way, diamond cross-stitched sport seats massaged me pleasantly. My mocha leather cabin was infused with a plethora of carbon fiber to intensify the level of craftsmanship of this German touring sedan, including the gear selector, seatbacks, dash, and center console. As I gripped the thick 3-spoke leather wheel and ignited the red Start/Stop button, the needles on the gauges rotated, the LCD screen rose from its embedded position, and the acoustic lenses from Bang & Olufsen’s big-ticket, concert-themed sound system emerged out of the dash. LED lights can also brighten up the cabin when needed.
Audi Connect, launched in the “A” cars, uses an array of various multi-media technologies along with Audi’s Multi Media Interface (MMI) for driver convenience. MMI is one of the most advanced telematics systems in the auto industry. When inputting the address in the Google Earth navigation system—which displays from the aforementioned LCD screen—superior visual computing takes over and guidance is enhanced by displaying satellite and 3D images of buildings and places of interest, as well as “Street View.” Online searches also come from Google, just as on your smartphone or laptop, and you receive weather, gas prices, RSS news feeds, and sports scores. Speaking of your smartphone, up to eight devices can connect wirelessly and search the web by way of the S8’s T-Mobile-provided hotspot. The first six months of hotspot ownership are free, with a separate monthly fee charged thereafter.
Once you reach your destination and step out to look back at the vehicle, you know you have properly arrived. With a massive grille that dominates the fascia and front air intakes, the larger 21-inch 5-star bladed rims and matching aluminum optic side view mirrors, and quad exhaust, this is not a typical A8 but an “S” driven by the very best. All you need to justify your $110,000 purchase.
2013 Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 Roadster
Geometric lines and a removable top define the new model.
December 06, 2012
Lamborghini adds another roadster to its stellar line-up, dropping just in time for summer 2013 sunshine. The new Aventador LP 700-4 Roadster will very likely become the most sought-after production vehicle from the Raging Bull, while simultaneously raising the bar for the world standard of luxury, open-air supercars. The Italian exotic, which is not a limited-production model, is currently available for ordering.
Molded from Lamborghini’s successful coupe, which was presented during the summer of 2011 and has enjoyed a sales run of 1,300 units, the Aventador convertible emblematically commingles sophistication and motoring technology with pure driving gratification. New geometric lines and a removable top will distinguish the two body types.
2013 Maserati GranTurismo Sport: Disciplined Advantage
The GranTurismo effectively combines sports car and style.
November 13, 2012
It was a sunny and breezy day in the Sonoma and Napa Valley region of Northern California for a drive in the shapely 2013 GranTurismo Sport by Maserati in Blu Sofisticato. The Italian purist provided highlight after highlight during my enlightened test drive through the vineyards—especially since the coupe speaks elegance and dominance simultaneously.
With uphill bending roads and open straightaways, I was able to truly understand Maserati’s new GT. And that’s just what the car is—a GranTurismo whose mission is not fixated on all-out acceleration or to become a full-fledged sports car, yet hones the ability to go fast intelligently. The GT Sport’s interior focuses on prestige and character rather than urgency, as demonstrated by its supple leathers, refined woods, interchangeable trims, and contrast stitching.
Detail is especially focused in a few key areas. The new steering wheel features deep thumb indentations that allow you to grip the wheel properly. Leather can be selected in any interior hue Maserati offers, while the ring material can be wood, Alcantara, or carbon fiber with Trofeo shift paddles that can be ordered in carbon fiber. The GT Sport’s new leather seats are designed in-house and feature integrated headrests for both front and rear passengers. A Bose audio system and a multi-media system with navigation and Bluetooth complete the technology package.
As for the body, it’s pretty much the same except for a few accent pieces. The rear tail lamps now have smoked lenses, new front parking sensors have been added to the aerodynamically enhanced front end, the headlamps have new LED daytime running lights, and the side grilles have been enlarged.
Under the hood, Maserati’s venerable 4.7-liter V8 remains, but with a slight power increase to 454 horsepower. And although it’s only 10 added horsepower, I certainly felt the difference from 2012’s GranTurismo S—lighter 20-inch Astro rims wrapped in staggered Pirelli P Zero tires offered amazing stability and grip, while specially-designed anodized blue Brembo six-piston calipers provided superb stopping power.
While thoughts of serenity urged me to drive more like a chauffeur, that notion played second fiddle to exploring the depths of the “sports” button while pushing all 454 horses to the limit. See, Maserati’s “sports” engagement alters the vehicle in five key areas simultaneously. They say this one optimal setting works for their customers. Others may beg to differ since drive style is so random from person to person. But whatever your preferred driving style may be, one thing is certain—the GranTurismo effectively combines sports car and style. Pricing starts at $129,500 after a destination and gas-guzzler tax.
Pamper Your Pup At These Luxurious Pet Boutiques
With bakery treats and luxe toys—plus the city’s top dog hotel—it’s hardly the ruff life at these groomers and pet boutiques.
November 12, 2012
This pampered pooch is ready for her close-up.
One of the few pet hot spots in town that focuses on holistic care, Barking Dogs aims for optimum wellness with all-natural pet food, pet aromatherapy, and herbal supplements. (Even the products and beds are eco-friendly.) It also offers both full-service and self-wash grooming services; the HydroSurge BathPro 5.1 bathing system makes self-washing easier and faster than ever and gives pets a tantalizing massage that keeps them tame thanks to reduced scrubbing. 9325 S. Cimarron Road, 702-247-9274
“One-stop pet shop” best describes Bogart’s Bone-Appetit. The grooming and pet-training services ensure dogs will behave as well as they feel. With three locations including Summerlin and Southern Highlands, there’s no excuse not to get a custom canine birthday cake and many other all-natural treats from the bakery section. Three locations
The Dog House
The Dog House manufactures its own organic dog food (think grass-fed beef) and jerky treats from the Good Dog Food Company. Some of the boutique’s items are locally made for doggie needs, including sweaters, beds, and pillows. The walls are decorated with the works of local artists, who can be commissioned to do custom pet portraits. Town Square, 702-750-0033
Flea Bag’s Barkery and Bow-tique
With everything from “doggie couture” to accessories and an impressive treat bakery, this gem at the District at Green Valley Ranch offers an extensive array of fashionable brands for spoiling Fido, including Haute Diggity Dog and Up Country. Choose from luxe rhinestone collars, clothes, and custom-made dog tags. The District at Green Valley Ranch, 702-914-8805
LV Dog Resort & Daycare
Dogs may not want to go back home after the kind of pampering they get at this luxury doggie daycare and boarding destination. Founded on the concept that different dogs have different needs, the hotel offers pristine suites with swanky dog beds, chandeliers, and in-room televisions. Training, professional grooming services, pet photography, and the only cage-free boarding facilities in Las Vegas make this a pet’s best bet. 6810 W. Sahara Ave., 702-560-7387
The Paw Spa Pet Salon and Boutique
One of the few places in town that offers celeb-favorite pet brands Pooch Outfitters, Oscar Newman Luxury Pet Couture, and Hip Doggie, this pet paradise spoils rascals rotten with a plethora of exclusive spa services. Its luxe offerings include massages, wraps, facials, and a full array of grooming services. Feeling frisky? Dog nail painting and hair-color dyeing is available here, too. 11115 S. Eastern Ave., Henderson, 702-685-8000
Prince & Princess Puppies & Boutique
“Pooch-anistas” unite at Prince & Princess Puppies & Boutique, where there is a huge selection of dog clothing, pet jewelry, custom rhinestone-letter collars, and bows in every color. No puppy? No problem. Specializing in quality small-breed puppies (without using puppy mills), the boutique has an easy adoption process—plus veterinarian services. 6870 S. Rainbow Blvd., 702-260-9300
Sniffany & Co.
Need a recommendation? Ask Holly Madison: She brings her pup to this South Rainbow Boulevard hot spot, which is filled with doggie gifts and treats like Puppy Love Cookies baked fresh in-house, plus options for pets with allergies. Grooming services include the popular Mohawk style—at no extra cost. 6115 S. Rainbow Blvd., 702-248-7643
PHOTOGRAPHY BY THINKSTOCK
Richard Grieco Goes Solo
Actor Richard Grieco’s intense Void of Emotion painting anchors his first solo art showing in Vegas.
November 08, 2012
Richard Grieco’s Void of Emotion
At a time when digital works, heady conceptual art, and large-scale installations are dotting galleries and museum exhibitions, an actor known mostly for his role as Dennis Booker on the original 21 Jump Street is going full-throttle, old-school Abstract Expressionism with a collection of drip paintings that will be rolled out this month at the Wyland Galleries inside Planet Hollywood.
Amid his collection of paintings is the “Void” series, the product of a contained approach with paint rather than a Pollock-esque chaotic splattering. In Void of Emotion’s square center (the starting point of the void), black, with its absence of color, represents apathy, from which emanate wispy blue shoots of strength, love, electricity, physicality, and emptiness.
Grieco, who has been painting for 22 years but only recently made his works public—first via Facebook—is up-front about his approach to painting: tapping into “unbridled emotion” rather than a mathematical or intellectual approach. “I paint from the subject of the consciousness,” he says, “not from a literal point of view.” The actor-turned-painter incorporates coins, bamboo, die-cast aluminum cars, and fabric (even a pair of jeans) into his artwork, at times mixing the elements directly with acrylic and oil paints before it hits the canvas. Fans are eating it up, some snatching up the colorful paintings after only seeing them online.
Grieco isn’t the first actor to assay the visual arts: Sylvester Stallone, Jane Seymour, Anthony Hopkins, Martin Mull, and the late Dennis Hopper have all tried their hand at painting, with varying degrees of success.
Grieco, who’s also executive producer of Showtime’s hit Gigolos, which is shot in Vegas, admits that he’s a little nervous unleashing his abstract emotionalism in a solo show. “It’s like going in there with a secret,” he says. “But I’m painting from an emotional tangent, from where it’s pure. So then there’s no mistake. There’s no right or wrong. It just is. Wyland Galleries, Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. Richard Grieco will be on site November 2 and 3.
photography courtesy of richard grieco