October 31, 2008
October 30, 2008
October 28, 2008
Who can say what it is that causes that jolt of electricity and recognition when you connect with a person, place or idea on such a cellular, cosmic level. Whatever it is, Duane Michals' work does it for me.
Madame Schrodinger's cat:
Or this one: "No American has the right to impose his private morality on any other American."
Or this one from his recent book, a biting satire "how photography lost its virginity on the way to the bank" a send up of some of the biggest photography art stars going (many of whom I really quite like). Who is Sidney Sherman?
The accompanying text: "Sidney paints his fingernails shocking pink a brilliantly audacious gesture that exposes the dis-corraborative gender bias of Revlon's vacuity, while trenchantly confirming lipstick as a phallic ploy of alpha males vis-a-vis Derrida's strategies of dis-corraboration."
His tattle-tales from the land of fauxtography includes such gems as:
- Never trust any photograph so large it can only fit inside a museum;
- The announced demise of the decisive moment is premature; and
- Museums should never exhibit photographs of visitors looking at art in museums to visitors who are looking at art in museums.
October 27, 2008
October 26, 2008
Factor in the 20 kilo weight restriction imposed by SAS and another email received today from a friend visiting Scotland who advises warm weather gear and wellies, and the dilemma really takes hold.
October 25, 2008
October 24, 2008
Today was a good day. After months of hesitation and false starts, I finally took the difficult first step towards making the transition between the images I've been seeing in my mind and the ones I want to bring to life. A baby step, but a step nonetheless.
I also made a happy discovery - these uber groovy Mad Men illustrations by nobodysweetheart. With the season finale looming large this coming Sunday, I hope she keeps these little dittys coming to see us through the long wait til season 3. More on my love of all things Mad Men in another post.
October 23, 2008
October 18, 2008
Case in point - the Case Study House program that began in post-war US as a challenge to designers and architects of the day (think Eames, Killingsworth, Neutra, Saarinen) to come up with thoughtful, efficient and inexpensive model homes to meet the growing residential housing demands of the day.
Ok, ok, granted some of the designs like the famous #22 are pure fantasy (for an excellent article about the making of this iconic Julius Shulman photo check this out) and there's a reason why california modern hasn't caught on in say, Wisconsin or Saskatchewan or the Yukon for that matter, but they do point to the possibility of a different way.
Elizabeth Smith's survey of the CSH program, at 440 pages complete with blueprints and sumptuous photography, is a lovely reminder of a time in (north) american history when affordable, thoughtful design and family-friendly were not considered mutually exclusive concepts.
For our own impending addition,
I've got my heart set on something along the lines of Charles and Ray's #8 - we made a special trip to the pacific palisades last year to check it out in person.
Now my friend and (hopefully) builder-to-be tells me that as soon as I get a load of the estimates, I'll be singing a different tune, but wouldn't it be great if our local architects and builders would be inspired to aspire to efficient, cost-considerate homes that do our surroundings and ourselves proud?
Is it asking too much not to have to stare at a wall of identical vinyl clad monsters with protruding garages and, hey here's a thought, maybe even leave behind a tree or two?
October 17, 2008
Anyhoo, so after Martha does her thing, out comes this dorky irish guy with a beat up guitar and a waify little euro-hippy chick and the crowd goes wild. They blow the roof of the place. We've been hooked ever since.
You've probably seen their little indie flick, Once or maybe seen them perform and win for this song at the Oscars. Boomp3.com
In a few short weeks we'll be following them to Copenhagen to see their show at the Pumpehuset. At least I think we got tickets, my danish is pretty abysmal.
In preparation for the series I've been re-reading a number of Tom's classics and am struck by how relevant his writing remains "in these troubled times". First there's Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas set during the calamitous aftermath of a stock market crash. Then, Skinny Legs and All, where Tom waxes poetic on art, the hidden life of inanimates and the rising threat of evangelical christianity (bring on the rapture y'all yee haw). I've just moved on to Jitterbug Perfume, a time bending tome about our collective obsession with immortality, the origins of scent and the death of the mystic at the hands of organized religion.
here are a few lines from the opening paragraphs:
"The beet is the most intense of vegetables. The radish, admittedly is more feverish, but the fire of the radish is a cold fire, the fire of discontent, not of passion. The beet is the melancholy vegetable, the one most willing to suffer. The beet is the murderer returned to the scene of the crime. The beet is what happens when the cherry finishes with the carrot.The beet was Rasputin's favorite vegetable. You could see it in his eyes."
In other news, I've been experiencing an ungodly craving for borscht of late.
October 15, 2008
Who was it (maya angelou, oprah, uma?) who said "when you know better, you do better." Come on Canadians - we should have done better. If not for ourselves than for the truffula trees and the swamy swans and the brown barbaloots in their barbaloot suits.
Shame on us.
October 8, 2008
October 6, 2008
1 oz. Brandy
1/2 oz. Brown Creme de Cacao
2 oz. Cream
Combine in a shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into a cocktail glass.Top with Nutmeg.
October 5, 2008
I. Thou shalt not put one color before another.
III. Do not consider thyself an artist: For the Lord thy God hath made men according to their ilk. That be makers of art, according to their ilk, shall be served by those that are decorators, according to their ilk. The one shall paint, and the other shall frame that which was painted, even for its sake. And if a decorator call himself artist, he shall surely die; but if any artist goeth by the other’s name, I say let him watch out.
IV. That the Lord thy God made the Sun to be the greater and the Moon the lesser light, and hath caused night to follow day, of that shall ye be mindful in lighting thy rooms. Let night bring forth pooled lamplight and pits of darkness where day doth gladden in every part. Verily, he who kindles the hearth to throw fleeting shadow is blessed in my sight, whereas whoever installeth recessèd lighting has committed an abomination.
V. Thy room shall be like unto a box. Trifle not with straight walls and right angles, for the Lord thy God hath made them so. A fool who thwarts my will with juggling curves shall draw the curtain of his bed wracked with boredom and waken with a yawn.
VI. Honor thy edges. Consider the marble floor, yea, even linoleum tiles and the least of them that are trodden: unto each is given a figure, and these shall find their thoughtful end is given a figure, and these shall find their thoughtful end and margin. Whoever neglects his wallpaper at its edges has committed an abomination.
VII. He who clothes not his decorating in humor shall surely die, saith the Lord.
IX. Covet not that which thou needest not; let each thing thou hast account itself or be no more present. To mirror thy walls, making increase of every thing, is an abomination, but whoever mirrors his ceiling commits an abomination above the rest: Nor should such a one trust in his reflected image, for it will not yield refuge, on the day of reckoning.
X. This above all else: delight in the look of thy facing as thou lovest thine own self, looking back from polished bronze. For if the finger of thine eye cannot tell calfskin from onyx, or silk from the bristles of a she ass, verily thou art no decorator.
October 4, 2008
The search came to an end last month when I stumbled upon a supplier of vintage deadstock restaurant ware on a trip outside. Dozens upon dozens of never used dusty, but perfect Duralex glasses just sitting there in their original packaging. Designed in France in the 1930's duralex glass used a revolutionary "toughening" process that makes their tumblers some 5 times stronger than regular glasses and able to withstand hot temperatures to boot. The picardie - aka the classic french bistro glass - is the most beloved duralex design among people who care about such things. (It's listed as #375 in the Phaidon 999 classic design objects series.) I picked up a few dozen basic tumblers and stackables (not picardies, but similar to picture) for $8 total. Who says good design needs to cost a fortune?
They're happily ensconced in the cupboard now, next to these quirky but less practical Revol "crumpled" porcelain cups we picked up a few years ago at the MOMA design store.
On to the next search.
October 3, 2008
October 2, 2008
I've had this one in my i-tunes for a while now but just came across the video on boob tube the other day. George Westerholm, witty and talented as he is, was the only celebrity to turn down my friend request during my short lived but oh so sweet (i'm talking to you Chris Isaak) MySpace phase last October.
October 1, 2008
There's an old and oft quoted expression in the art & literary worlds: "there is no more sombre enemy of good art than the pram in the hall." Maybe it's true and maybe it isn't. I admit, there was a time when I lost more than a few hours sleep pondering it but that's neither here nor there for the purposes of today's favourite things posting.
Without further ado, a few of my favourites ranging from the horrifying to the hilarious to the sublime brought to us by Diane Arbus, Martin Parr, Simen Johan , Loretta Lux and Ruud van Empel.