Allied Member, ASID
Licensed General Contractor
AZ ROC 287314
March 27, 2015
You know, its a funny thing when I hear writers talk about writers block. Designers, whether it be a fashion designer or an interior designer, get design block. Why I bring this up? I was on a project, that for the life of me I could not get a vibe on nor get started. At the time, my eldest daughter, who was three then,was in love with a book called,
Swami on Rye! and Ohh-la-la-so, that is where Maria Kalman comes in. I just caught her exhibit at the Jewish Museum in New York, and it is fabulous!
I am grateful, as my inspiration for this clients entire house was because of her colored illustrations. Just to fill you in, the client wanted her entire home in shades of purple! I hope you have the opportunity to view this fabulous exhibit!
Maira Kalman was born in Tel Aviv and moved to New York with her family at the age of four. She has worked as a designer, author, illustrator and artist for more than thirty years without formal training. Her work is a narrative journal of her life and all its absurdities.
She has written and illustrated twelve children’s books including Ooh-la-la-Max in Love, What Pete Ate, and Swami on Rye. She often illustrates for The New Yorker magazine, and is well known for her collaboration with Rick Meyerowitz on the NewYorkistan cover in 2001.
Recent projects include The Elements of Style (illustrated), and a monthly on-line column entitled Principles of Uncertainty (2006-07) and The Pursuit of Happiness (2008-09) for The New York Times.
According to Maria Kalman, ”it’s wonderful to wash dishes when you’re trying to write a story.” Trying to live in an unordered house would make her nervous, she says.
But Kalman, an artist whose humor and candid sensitivity have made her a fixture in American illustration, lives, like the rest of us, in a very unordered and chaotic world. In fact, she’s built an artistic career out of making sense of, and editing, and even celebrating, the chaos. An exhibit of her work,
“Maira Kalman: Various Illuminations (of a Crazy World),”
is currently on show at the Jewish Museum in New York.
Like many cartoonists, Kalman straddles high and low art, her unique writing voice and drawing style adept at addressing a wide audience across a range of forms. Her illustrations appear steadily in prominent newspapers and magazines. She has published many children’s books and an illustrated edition of Strunk & White’s classic composition guide,
“The Elements of Style.” She created two ongoing visual blogs, for the New York Times’ website, later published as books. And her work has graced many a cover of the New Yorker, including a famous image that mapped the various tribal areas of the city (Pashmina on the Upper East Side, Taxistan in Queens,
Khandibar in Brooklyn) a few months
after September 11th, while the city was still shaken up, but intact in its diversity.
Kalman’s first blog for the New York Times, “The Principles of Uncertainty,” was a meditation on questions of happiness, purpose, loss and her own personal history. Photographs, paintings, and loopy, handwritten text interrogate legacies of the past. Kalman moves from an illustration of an older
woman with three bobby pins directly
to a painting of a library flattened during the London blitz, with the following caption:
Then the all-clear sounded. And people returned, hope undiminished. They returned, so elegant and purposeful to the books. What does this have to do with bobby pins and radiators and Kokoshniks? One thing leads to another.
Kalman’s second series for the Times also explored history and philosophy, but she focused intentionally on a topic she knew less about: American democracy.
“I was sent on this assignment because I didn’t know anything about politics, so I would bring a naivete, but also a sense of optimism and a sense of curiosity to the subject,” she says.
Kalman handles large questions about leadership and patriotism by focusing on the daily routines of the Founding Fathers and the objects that gave texture to their lives. She becomes fascinated by Abraham Lincoln and asks Ruth Bader Ginsburg about where she gets her robes
and lace collars (some are from Paris). The result is a deeply empathetic
treatment of justice, citizenship and American politicians past and present.
This past year saw the first major museum survey, which showcases the range of her illustrations. In addition to 100 works on paper, the exhibit features embroideries and photographs, as well as an installation of belongings that have been immortalized in her work.
March 23, 2015
I was introduced to the work of Grayson Perry who is an amazing potter, and tells his life story via his art. He is also a cross dresser with an alter ego that I found very interesting!
Grayson Perry, winner of the 2003 Turner Prize, uses the seductive qualities of ceramics and other art forms to make stealthy comments about societal injustices and hypocrisies, and to explore a variety of historical and contemporary themes. The beauty of his work is what draws us close. Covered with scraffito drawings,
handwritten and stencilled texts, photographic transfers and rich glazes, Perry’s detailed pots are deeply alluring. Only when we are up close do we start to absorb narratives that might allude to dark subjects such as environmental disaster or child abuse, and even then the narrative flow can be hard to discern.
The disparity between form and content and the relationship between the pots and the images that decorate them is perhaps the most challenging incongruity of Perry’s work. Yet, beyond the initial shock of an apparently benign or conservative medium carrying challenging ideas, what keeps us drawn to the work is its variety.
Perry is a great chronicler of contemporary life, drawing us in with wit, affecting sentiment and nostalgia as well as fear and anger. Autobiographical references – to the artist’s childhood, his family and his transvestite alter ego Claire – can be read in tandem with debates about décor and decorum and the status of the
artist versus that of the artisan, debates which Perry turns on their head.
Born in Chelmsford, Essex in 1960, Grayson Perry lives and works in London. Perry was the winner of the 2003 Turner Prize, and has had major solo exhibitions at Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg (2008), 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan (2007), Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh (2006),
Barbican Art Gallery, London (2002) and Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2002). Grayson Perry has also curated two exhibitions - Unpopular Culture, de la Warr Pavilion (then touring) (2008) and The Charms of Lincolnshire, The Collection, Lincoln (2006).
March 18, 2015
Richard Pettibone’s small construction/paintings of the 1960s — appropriations of work by Warhol, Stella, and Lichtenstein — were a defining aspect of a peculiarly West Coast current of “Conceptual Pop.”
His earliest works were shadow-box assemblages addressing his interest in model making, especially toy trains and airplanes. In the 1960s he found his voice in diminutive “copies” of newly famous New York pop artists.
Always framed and constructed upon miniature stretcher bars, they are usually presented in single-image replication.
By the 1970s, Pettibone was combining and juxtaposing different images, introducing monochrome areas and gestural scribbles into these combinations, and experimenting with the simulation of photo-realist techniques.
The Brancusi sculptures from the 1980s are various sized versions of such iconic works as Bird in Space and Endless Column. In a conflation of modernism and modernist “taste,” the Brancusi simulations are often presented in
combination with his beautifully crafted homages to the pared-down forms of Shaker furniture. Pettibone’s visual punning and aesthetic elegance is evident in his simple juxtaposition of an elegant Shaker table with a minimalist,
In the late 1980s to the present, Pettibone pursued an obsession for the poetry and criticism of modernist Ezra Pound (another great appropriator) and created a group of paintings based upon the original covers of Pound’s publications.
In the 1990s, he engaged the work of Piet Mondrian, whose paintings he both replicated and “reduced” in sculptural constructions. But without doubt, his most insistent andunifying theme has been his ever-expanding colloquy with
two paradoxical giants of 20th-century art, Marcel Duchamp and Andy Warhol
March 13, 2015
You didn’t think I was not going to introduce you to more of my newest art crush! ILYA BOLOTOWSKY-wonderful abstract expressionist whose paintings you may befamiliar with. I think his work is tremendous, and I hope you enjoy this post!
Bolotowsky is considered to be a leading early 20th-century painter in abstract styles in New York City. His work, a search for philosophical order through visual expression, embraced cubism and geometric abstraction.
Bolotowsky was a painter and sculptor of Russian birth. Having moved first to Constantinople (now Istanbul) and then in 1923 to New York. Inspired both by Surrealist biomorphic forms and geometric abstraction, his first non-objective work was in 1933.
During the Depression of the 1930s he painted numerous abstract murals under the auspices of government-sponsored art programs. By the late 1940s, when he taught for two years at Black Mountain College, he was concentrating on a color diverse variant of Piet Mondrian’s Neo-Plasticism, the style that characterized both the painted columns Bolotowsky began to make in the 1960s
March 9, 2015
March 6, 2015
Pierre Alexandre Claudius Balmain 18 May 1914 – Paris, France, 29 June 1982) was a French fashion designer. Known for sophistication and elegance, he once said that “dressmaking is the architecture of movement.”
Balmain’s father, who died when the future designer was seven years old, was the owner of a wholesale drapery business. His mother and her sisters operated a fashion boutique. Balmain studied architecture at theEcole des Beaux Arts,
but did not complete his studies. He spent his time there designing dresses. While attending the Ecole des Beaux Arts, Balmain went to Molyneux, who promised to give him a trial. Balmain then left his architectural studies to work for the fashion
designer Edward Molyneux for whom he worked from 1934 until 1939. After World War II and opened his own fashion house in 1945. The house showcased long bell-shaped skirts with small waists – a line which later became popular as Dior’s New
Look. In 1951 he opened branches in the United States selling ready-to-wear clothes. During the 1950s, Balmain popularized the stole for day as well as evening wear and created a vogue for sheath dresses beneath jackets. His talent as a designer
lay in his ability to make simple, tailored suits as well as grand evening gowns, all with the same aesthetic of slender and elegant lines. Balmain also designed the iconic uniform of the Singapore Airlines Singapore girl , which is very reflective in the collection today!
Balmain also created perfumes, including Vent Vert (1947), his first successful scent and one of the best-selling perfumes of the late 1940s and early 1950s, Jolie Madame (1953), Ivoire (1979), and Eau d’Amazonie (2006). His first perfume,
launched in 1947, bore his company’s Phone Number, Elysées 64-83.
Balmain’s vintage couture gowns remain chic, sought after and popular among the international jet-set, movie stars and socially prominent women, and have been seen on Angelina Jolie Penelope Cruz Kate moss and Kristin Davis
February 24, 2015
David Hammons work is a true statement in art meets a sociological experiment. I had the pleasure of seeing a few of his works in new York the last time I was in. And I am glad to bring him to you today. I have always liked the question of where art evokes
emotions and particularly where it influences sociology This is true of every art form. Including Interior design. What Designer one uses, the renown of said designer and the notoriety it will bring. What status does it afford the homeowner?
The same is true of works on canvas, or installation art.
enjoy David Hammons work and consider the sociological impact. Have a great day!
What do you call a basketball hoop set 30 feet up on a telephone pole? Conceptual art? Sculpture? An installation? A joke? Yes, and no — to all.
A lot of Hammons works are brushy, oil-on-canvas abstractions, reminiscent in style of de Kooning or Gerhard Richter, which have been overlaid with obscuring materials: black plastic garbage bags, torn industrial tarps and worn-out blankets and towels.
We think Modernism, but we also think street people, construction sites, trash.
Mostly, the plastic is hung or draped in layers over the canvases, leaving the painting visible only around the edges or through tears in the sheeting. A blanket glued directly to the surface of a painting has a kneaded, twisted texture,
like the aftermath of a struggle. A piece of gun-metal gray plastic stretched tight over another surface looks agonized, as if it were being ripped apart.
A comparison with Rauschenberg, at least, is not inapt. Like him, Mr. Hammons makes art out of everyday life, though he has often gone for grungy, don’t-touch stuff (hair, bones, liquor bottles). If Abstract Expressionism is about the
preciousness of the painter’s touch, Mr. Hammons’s arrangements of raddled plastics and frayed blankets are about the touch of ordinary bodies laboring, sweating, sleeping, trying to stay warm.
This isn’t to say that his new work adds up to a sociological statement. Mr. Hammons is allergic to these. But it does seem motivated by his understanding that the art world, which he is part of even if he’d rather not be, is a microcosm of the real
world, and that he feels bound to keep a critical eye on it.
February 18, 2015
In honor of Black History Month, I would like to introduce a prolific and amazing photographer and poet, artist and poet, GORDON PARKS! Parks used his prodigious, largely self-taught talents to chronicle the African-American experience and to retell
his own personal history.
You know I am a huge fan of photography and I have just been introduced to the works of this genius! The depth and breadth of his talents are truly awe-inspiring. I hope you enjoy this post and marvel as I do at his talent!
Gordon Parks was the first African-American to work as a staff photographer for Life magazine and the first black artist to produce and direct a major Hollywood film, “The Learning Tree,” in 1969.
He developed a large following as a photographer for Life for more than 20 years, and by the time he was 50 he ranked among the most influential image makers of the postwar years. In the 1960′s he began to write memoirs,
novels, poems and screenplays, which led him to directing films. In addition to “The Learning Tree,” he directed the popular action films “Shaft” and “Shaft’s Big Score!” In 1970 he helped found Essence magazine and was its
editorial director from 1970 to 1973.
An iconoclast, Mr. Parks fashioned a career that resisted categorization. No matter what medium he chose for his self-expression, he sought to challenge stereotypes while still communicating to a large audience.
In finding early acclaim as a photographer
despite a lack of professional training, he became convinced that he could accomplish whatever he set his mind to. To an astonishing extent, he proved himself right.
Gordon Parks developed his ability to overcome barriers in childhood, facing poverty, prejudice and the death of his mother when he was a teen-ager. Living by his wits during what would have been his high-school years,
he came close to being claimed by
urban poverty and crime. But his nascent talent, both musical and visual, was his exit visa.
February 13, 2015
In the continuation of celebrating Black History Month, today’s post is on an amazing artist of mostly assemblage pieces. Assemblage has always been on of my favorites, as it is the intellectual dialogue of
found pieces coming together to make a new experience!
I hope you enjoy this post and have a fabulous day!
Betye Irene Saar is an African American artist, known for her work in the field of assemblage. Her interest in assemblage was inspired by a 1968 exhibition by Joseph Cornell, though she also cites the influence
of Simon Rodia’s Watts Towers,
which she witnessed being built in her childhood.
She began creating work typically consisting of found objects arranged within boxes or windows, with items drawing on various cultures reflecting Saar’s own mixed heritage .
In the late 1960s Saar began collecting images of Aunt Jemima, Uncle Tom, Little Black Sambo and other stereotyped African American figures from folk culture and advertising. She incorporated them into collages
and assemblages, transforming
them into statements of political and social protest. In the 1970s Saar shifted focus again, exploring ritual and tribal objects from Africa as well as items from African American folk traditions. In new boxed assemblages,
she combined shamanistic
tribal fetishes with images and objects intended to evoke the magical and the mystical.
Saar was a part of the black arts movement in the 1970s, challenging myths and stereotypes. In the 1990s, her work was politicized while she continued to challenge the negative ideas of African Americans.
One of her better-known and controversial
pieces is that entitled “The Liberation of Aunt Jemima.” It is a “mammy” doll carrying a broom in one hand and a shotgun in the other, and placed in front of the syrup labels. Her work began with found objects
arranged in boxes or windows.
The items would reflect her mixed ancestry.
February 9, 2015
Older Posts »
An artist, can’t get much more successful than Kerry James Marshall! Museums everywhere own his work. (The Corcoran was one of his first buyers. And the Baltimore Museum of
Art is displaying his “Ladder of Success,” a recent purchase.) In 1997, he won the $500,000 MacArthur “genius” award, an ultra-prestigious invitation to Germany’s twice-a-decade
Documenta show and a place in the Whitney Museum’s biennial.
Success, after success, after success, such as few Black American artists have ever had. And not nearly good enough. Marshall says that he has yet to measure up to certain of his
best-known rivals: “Leonardo, Michelangelo and Raphael. . . . They represent the core of the historical pantheon of great artists, recognized worldwide. And a big part of my objective
is to be listed in the history among those artists.”
It’s about “a longing to be fully a part of the story of some system you are deeply in love with,” says Marshall
And it’s about the certain knowledge that, in art at least, no black person has ever truly reached that goal.
Until quite recently, Afro American people have barely even been the subjects of pictures.
Marshall has set out to correct that imbalance. Some of his pictures portray the living rooms of the black middle class. There are also paintings of street toughs, dead before their time.
Marshall has painted inner-city housing projects and black lovers by the sea. He’s also worked a bit in installation art, photography, video and even puppetry. But whatever the subject,
or the medium, his works balance celebration and critique of Black America; it’s impossible to come to any simple reading of his pictures’ point of view. Marshall may be today’s most
eloquent artistic chronicler, and most compelling analyst, of the African American experience. His success beyond the black community means that he’s also opened mainstream eyes to it.