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Artbound

Zorthian Ranch

Artbound's editorial team has reviewed and rated the most compelling weekly articles. After putting two articles up for a vote, the audience chose this article to be made into a short-format documentary.
 
Nestled in the foothills of Fair Oaks Avenue up a windy dirt road, lies the infamous 48-acre art junkyard Zorthian Ranch where resident artists milk goats and make cheese, and hundreds of notable people (including Andy Warhol, Bob Dylan, Charlie Parker, Segovia, Richard Feynman, and many more) have gathered to exchange ideas and celebrate life and times with its erstwhile proprietor, Jirayr Zorthian.
 
It was 10 years ago in January that Jirayr left his legacy the self-built "Z Ranch" in the hands of Alice and Alan, his children from his second wife, Dabney. Today, the ranch is less like a wasteland of art history, and more like a constant work-in-progress. In 1992, on Zorthian's 81st birthday, Jirayr said he had "Forty more years of work to do here, so I would have to live till 120 years old. I don't have time to die." He believed that art was not life, but a religion. "Art becomes more important than ourselves," he expressed in videos and interviews that overfill five milk crates at the Zorthian home. Jirayr was prolific, creating and building until three months before he died in January 2004. When asked if his father's work has been finished, Alan quickly responds, "No, I really haven't finished his work. It's like Gaudi's 'Sagrada Familia.'" It's a constantly evolving process.

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