Ba Restaurant on York Boulevard was filled with patrons of the arts on Monday night, all of whom hoped to spend a little time with documentary film producers Jake and Tracey Gorst.
The Gorsts have spent nearly a decade gathering historical information about Antonio Corsi, the Northeast Los Angeles resident who in the early part of the 21st century considered the world's most famous artist's model.
"I prefer to act my parts on a painter's platform. The actor dies and is forgotten. I live for hundreds of years--maybe thousands--in the famous paintings in which I appear," Corsi said in 1912.
Though the inspiration to some of the early 20th Century's great artistic masters like John Singer Sargent, Pierre Auguste Cot and James Earle Fraser and heralded by the Los Angeles Times as "the world's greatest living artist model," he's now barely mentioned among the names of other notable Highland Park residents like Lummis, Judson and Browne.
Born a Gypsy and subject to dramatic financial losses and gains, Corsi's life ended at the age of 56 in 1924.
A meticulous self-archivist, many of Corsi's artifacts remain and in-tact, and are helping the Gorsts revive his legend.
After raising funds, chasing anecdotes and traveling along side-roads of apocraphyl history, Gorst said he is ready to begin filming.
"At this point, it's time for production," Gorst said on Monday evening.
Corsi:The World's First Male Supermodel is not the Gorsts' first documentary to peer into lost pages of American history.
In 2005, they produced Leisurerama, a film documenting the "typical American homes" designed by Gorst's grandfather Andrew Geller. A leisurerama home was used as the location of the kitchen debates held by President Richard Nixon and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev in 1959.
Gorst, who won an Emmy in 2006 for music composition for the TV documentary Farmboy, said that the greatest reward of making Leisurerama was reintroducing the homes to a world that had either forgotten about them, or never heard of them in the first place.
He hopes to do the same through Corsi.
"That's what it's all about," he said.