Step Inside

Cordero Studios/www.corderostudios.com

Ken and Sandy Tokita live on a pleasant cul-de-sac in Irvine, Calif., in a home with the manicured landscape and buff-colored Mediterranean architecture that one encounters on most every block of this rigorously planned community. It makes the experience of stepping inside their home all the more stunning. Across the threshold, an enormous black-and-white canvas nearly vibrates with uncontrolled power in the small foyer; it is Dushay, a monumental work by the Los Angeles abstract expressionist Ed Moses that has hung in the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Once you recover your equilibrium, you find that is only the beginning: The Tokitas live in a home absolutely crammed with contemporary art. Moses’s works, along with pieces by Roy Lichtenstein, Ed Ruscha, and others, cover nearly every inch of wall space. VGA, a saturated red canvas Moses filled with fat, looping strokes (shown), hangs in a sitting room lined with so much of his work, the artist has dubbed it “the Ed Moses Chapel.”   

More Moses canvases spill out of closets and lean stacked together in a spare bedroom. It takes a while to register the absence of sunlight: The Tokitas have covered every window with heavy draperies, thick blinds, or even large pieces of furniture “for the art,” Ken Tokita says with a shrug. The couple owns more works by Moses than anyone except Moses himself, the result of what has become a lifelong friendship and mission to create the definitive collection. We explore both in “Driven to Abstraction” and in a special video visit to Moses’s studio in Venice, Calif. And if you would like to experience the art firsthand, the University of California, Irvine will debut Ed Moses: Cross Section on October 11, followed by a show of Moses’s drawings at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art early next year.   

We also have a debut to celebrate this month: This is the first issue of the redesigned Collection, and you will find changes throughout the magazine, ranging from a fresh new logo and a splashier design to new features such as “Opening Bids,” an expanded auction section at the front of the book; “Expert Eye,” a department for news and analysis on a broad spectrum of collecting; “The Enthusiast,” a feature highlighting extraordinary experiences for collectors; and “Obsession,” a look at a single favorite object from a noteworthy collector (this month, a nobleman farmer and his prized 1936 Super Landini tractor, in “Iron Hearted”.)  

Tell us what you think about the changes, and what more you would like to see in the magazine. In the end, we think of our group of editors and readers as something of a collection of collectors, and we want to give everyone prime display space.

Michalene Busico, Editor