The LoUniverse Gallery
All About LoU…
LoU Zeldis was born in NYC in 1944. From an early age he had an affinity for the performing arts and when his family moved to California, he began a formal study of ballet. His father, a pathologist at UCLA, researching the effects of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima, moved the family to Japan when LoU was in high school. These two years in Japan exposed LoU to a culture that would inform his sensibilities for the remainder of his life.
By 1963 LoU was back in the USA, working on Broadway under the direction of Bob Fosse in ‘How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying’ and dancing beside Ann Margaret in the film rendition of ‘Bye Bye Birdie.’ In 1965 LoU traveled to Vietnam performing for the troops with Mary Martin in a touring production of ‘Hello Dolly’
As LoU explained, by the late 1960’s he was so immersed in psychedelic drugs and mind expansion that Broadway held little interest for him. He became a world traveler; diving into experimental theatre with such luminaries as Andre Serbin, performing for the Shah of Iran and working with iconic director Peter Brook, where he and Helen Mirren became close friends as they toured the African continent in Brook’s ‘Conference of the Birds’
Influenced by his exposure to medicine men from indigenous cultures and a growing curiosity for primitive and ancient jewelry and ornamentation, Lou moved to Peru in the 1970’s where he created a body of work in the realm of personal charms. “Some magic is carried from the object through the construction of the piece to the owner, and then to the owner’s world. These mystic charms are created by way of intelligent beauty, worldly interest and unique honesty.”
As LoU’s theatrical endeavors moved him far and wide across the globe he began to anchor himself at the residence of La MaMa, an experimental theatre club in downtown Manhattan. Here, he gathered together a collection of artistic treasures and creations; by now his jewelry was in high demand, being exhibited and selling throughout the world.
Enchanted by Indonesian culture, he began to spend six months of the year in Bali and the surrounding islands. “Modern Eyes, Ancient Hands” is how he described his approach to his art. On the island of Sumba he found wood workers and ikat weavers, creating a collection of contemporary ikats using natural fibers and dyes while working closely with the gifted artisans of the region. On the island of Java, he created an extensive body of batiks. In Bali he discovered the art of intricate basketry and developed a contemporary line of woven products. Added to this, his imaginative creations in sterling silver, wood and 22k gold jewelry took form as he worked alongside masterful metalsmiths.
Soon, he was shipping container after container of these treasures to his New York, La MaMa warehouse, filling his Los Angeles space and all the while maintaining his studio in Bali. Eventually consolidating the entire collection between Los Angeles and Bali, while supporting countless artisans and their families, enamored by their supreme mastery and innate talent. At this point, LoU could not help but create and create and create.
LoU Zeldis was an artist, a collector and a supporter of all things beautiful, mystical, ancient and new. The body of work manifested in his sixty-eight years is staggering; it is the product of genius. A shaman, a wizard, a magician, a dancer, a performer, a down to earth and wonderfully eccentric human being…. LoU created timeless magic.
Physically departing the planet in 2012, LoU left his amazing collection in the stewardship of Penny in Bali and Liz in America, leaving this world a more beautiful place… LoU Zeldis… artist extraordinaire….
The items here are all original and authentic, chosen from the LoU Zeldis Collection of Wonderful Things.
P.S… when they’re gone, they’re gone.