The Beauty Fools is the tale of Blake Kennedy, a young cynic who says “Why? Why? Why?” until the charming Eliot Dejan and beguiling Miss Peaches teach him how to say “Why Not?” and whisk him away on a wild jaunt. Eliot and Miss Peaches, who embody the adage that living well is the best revenge, soon introduce Blake to Doctor Kookie, a tarot card reader and slick street mystic who guides the group on a crazed trip to the Mexican desert. The story – about being young and having fun – takes place against the backdrop of famous (and infamous) New Orleans landmarks: the Sazerac Bar of the Roosevelt, the Victorian Lounge at the Columns Hotel, Jazz Fest, Commander’s Palace, Orpheum Theater, Moonwalk, Napoleon House, R-Bar, Rocky & Carlo’s, and ends tragically on Mardi Gras in the Royal Street courtyard that is now Café Amelie. A tale about learning to fly – and flying too high.
“I’m constantly fussing that contemporary novels are always 50 pages too long, and this story was no different. Late one night at John Paul’s Bar, I wagered a friend that I could make this glorious mess into magic. I always wanted to be Max Perkins. And I finally found my Fitzgerald”
–Timothy Alan Weeks
“We wanted to explode all the possibilities in a gesamkunstwerk exhibition that draws from all the textual and visual elements of The Beauty Fools book and its story.”
– Timothy Alan Weeks and Lala Rascic
The Beauty Fools project began as a literary venture of editor Timothy Alan Weeks, who in 2009 received a manuscript in the mail at his Lower Garden residence in New Orleans from an anonymous source, later dubbed Kid Author. Over the next five years, Weeks whittled away 100,000 words as he sought to impose form on this fascinating yet sprawling “Southern Baroque” tale that follows its protagonists through celebration and collapse in 1990’s New Orleans.
For Rascic, who later married Weeks, the manuscript served as a guidebook to a city that she was in the process of discovering. Using New Orleans friends as models, Rascic began to create illustrations of scenes involving the characters at the Blue Room in the Roosevelt, Palace Café, Napoleon House, and the Piazza D’Italia. Afterwards, the award-winning Croatian design studio Hamper was contracted to create a book “too beautiful to download.” Once this sensual feast for the eyes and fingers had been printed, Ken Capone graciously made his Coup d’oeil Art Consortium on Magazine Street available for an exhibition.
“The overall idea was to represent the iconic New Orleans with its famous checklist of places, but also a rebellious, fun-loving, and sometimes melancholic youth set loose on the Crescent City and beyond.”
– Lala Rascic
Timothy Alan Weeks is an editor, analyst, and project manager for a virtual company with numerous Fortune 500 clients. Weeks was previously a financial analyst and editor for both a Dutch and Belgian startup, and before that covered EU central bank policy while living in Germany. Besides writing sundry freelance articles for European business and lifestyle magazines, he edited and published the English edition of a Swiss travel book. Weeks is also the publisher of the Wise Mullet children’s books series, which are based on the Gulf Coast.
Lala Rascic is a multimedia artist working across disciplines that include performance, video, installation, and painting. Her work has been exhibited internationally and is part of both private and public collections, including Croatia’s Museum of Contemporary Art. Rascic was awarded artist residencies at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam, Platform Garanti in Istanbul, KulturKontakt in Vienna, and Cité des Arts in Paris, and in 2013 was the recipient of a Future of Europe award in Leipzig. Rascic divides her time between her native Sarajevo, Zagreb, and New Orleans, where she is a member of artist-run Good Children Gallery on St. Claude Street.