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November 29, 2012
Today’s post is on one of my favorite Cubist Artists. I have always been in love with Cubism as I am interested in the philosophy of deconstruction. When you take
a whole, and instead of bringing all the parts together, you start to take them apart. and then, what does an object actually look like once you start to take the pieces apart.
I am sure this thought is akin to how to process what happens in all of our lives. It makes much sense to me, maybe its the new train of thought for the day.
The artists definition of Cubism is as follows:
A nonobjective school of painting and sculpture developed in Paris in the early 20th century, characterized by the reduction and fragmentation of natural forms into abstract, often geometric structures
usually rendered as a set of discrete planes.
a style of art that stresses abstract structure at the expense of other pictorial elements especially by displaying several aspects of the same object simultaneously and by fragmenting the form of depicted objects
Czechoslovakian-born artist Jan Matulka is one of the pioneers of early American Modernism. He spent several years working alongside Stuart Davis, developing a new style of Cubism oriented around the distortion of form.
He exhibited in many major museums and galleries, including the Whitney Museum’s first three biennial exhibitions of contemporary American painting. His work was also strongly affected by his encounters with
Surrealism in New York and Paris during the 1930s. Matulka taught at the Art Students League and influenced several important modernists, including David Smith, Dorothy Dehner,
and Irene Rice Pereira.
After 1940, Matulka slipped into obscurity until a major retrospective of his work was mounted at the Whitney Museum in 1979.
November 27, 2012
I was looking at a review about a book about the “behind the scenes” at Hermes and low and behold!
One of the world’s most talented photographers! Koto Bolofo a South African Artist born in Lesotho in 1959 and was raised in Great Britain.
Koto has shot short films for Vogue and Vanity Fair and GQ.
He has created insane advertising campaigns for Hermes, Louis Vuitton and Dom Perignon. His eye for mis en scene coupled with his talent is very exciting.
Think to the Louis Vuitton campaigns recently, featuring very famous iconic artistis featured in very daily life.
There is a wonderful youtube video from june 15 2010 take a look.
Koto is a talent you should know if you enjoy photography.
November 26, 2012
“There are many schools of painting. Why should there not be many schools of photographic art? There is hardly a right and a wrong in these matters, but there is truth, and that should form the basis of all works of art.”
I love photography. So I am bringing you today, one of the world’s greatest photographers! His city scenes of new York are so striking and always
remind me of when I was a child and my Paternal Grandfather’s love of his work. His wife was extraordinary and I will bring you a post on her next.
Photography has not always been considered an art. In early days, photographs were considered an advance of science, not art. Cameras were machines, and everyone knew that machines didn’t make art;
people made art. But when Alfred Stieglitz made this picture he was leading a movement called Pictorialism, which promoted the photograph as art, the same kind of art as a drawing or painting. Stieglitz and other
Pictorialists understood that a photograph was created when the camera was used as a tool, like a paintbrush was a tool. And they tried to show that they were a part of the art tradition by manipulating their photos in the darkroom,
using tricks and techniques that were evidence of the human hand in the process.
There are other references to the world of art in this photograph. Stieglitz was very involved in the modern art scene and had closely followed the Impressionist movement in Europe. Impressionists were some of the first artists to look to the
city as a worthy subject for their paintings, and it was a new city they looked at. Machines and all things modern in the city were desirable subjects. At the same time, Impressionists represented these modern scenes in stop-motion glimpses,
with plenty of atmosphere. European painters chose the steam engine as a subject and a symbol of the modern city. Stieglitz would embrace the city as his subject too, but he would use photography as his medium.
Stieglitz was very concerned that photographs not look like paintings and this idea fueled his pursuit of images. Images of everyday life became the main subject for Stieglitz, thus not allowing the viewer to escape into romantic images.
There is so much to know about him and his work, I do hope that this brief introduction or re-aquaintence leads you to pursue more about him!
Have a wonderful day!
November 20, 2012
I was driving with my daughters and we passed some very austere and brutal looking buildings. My daughters asked me why the architecture and the buildings are so ugly? So I thought I would explain the ugliness in this architecture.
When I think of brutalism in architecture, I think of the movies that are filmed in Russia, of the urban communities that if one goes through certain parts of London, you will see these giant looking apartment buildings that are very sad and scary!
BRUTALISM as an architectural philosophy , rather than a style, was often also associated with a a socialist utopian ideology, which tended to be supported by its designers. Brutalism makes the style unfriendly and uncommunicative, instead of being integrating and protective, as its proponents intended. Brutalism also is criticized as disregarding the social and historic and architectural environment of its surroundings, making the introduction of such structures in existing developed areas appear starkly out of place and alien. The failure of positive communities to form early on in some Brutalist structures, possibly due to the larger processes of urban decay that set in after World War II, led to the combined unpopularity of both the ideology and the architectural style.
There are many campuses in North america that have examples of Brutalist architecture. Paul Rudolph’s 1958 Yale art and architecture Building. the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth is an example of an entire campus designed from scratch in the Brutalist style.
There are a lot of criticisms of the Brutalist style that are not only of the aesthetic, but also from the fact that concrete facades do not age well in damp, cloudy maritime climates such as those of northwestern Europe.
Brutalism today is experiencing a revival! OH NO! The 1950′s are back? The truth of the matter is that Brutalism was largely dead by the mid 1980′s, having largely given way to Strucutal Expressionism and Deconstructivism, it has experienced an updating of sorts in recent years. many of the rougher aspects of the style have been softened in newer buildings, withconcrete facades often being sandblasted to create a stone-like surface, covered in stucco, or composed of patterned, pre-cast elements. Modernist architects taking this approach in recent projects include even one of my favorites, LEGORRETA!
So the next time you see this ugly architecture you will have a better understanding and maybe an appreciation!
Have a wonderful day!
November 19, 2012
I have always loved cecil Beaton’s work and the iconic images he created. His portraits have stayed in our minds when we think of the images of certain people. Much like Madonna’s song that she sings Vogue, all of these characters were Cecil Beaton’s images.
Photography, and what I am hoping to show you, is as important a medium as a pint brush and a canvas. A lens in the hands of an artist is so stunning. Have you ever taken a bad picture? or heard the expression that the camera loves a certain person?
I love the medium, and I hope you enjoy this art form.
The man described by his on-off friend Truman Capote as a “total self-creation”, he knew that the business of being Cecil was no laughing matter, but something that needed serious application for the success he had always craved.
And the proof of that success is the influence he has had over so many younger photographers since his death 29 years ago. Mario Testino, who has captured modern society and fashion as variously as Beaton did, speaks for many when he says:
“He marked his period as if he were the only photographer around.”Another of today’s most celebrated fashion photographers, Nick Knight, praises his work “for its grace and elegance. From the touching and funny pictures of his sisters and the delicately
fragile poses of his photographs of society beauties, as if they were made of porcelain, to the memorable wartime images, he was always sensitive and poetic.”
So, what was the essence of Beatonism? He was a born outsider; posh but not quite posh enough – his family’s wealth was based on trade. Well educated – but at Harrow, not Eton. Cambridge, not Oxford. Clever but not intellectual. Good-looking but not quite handsome.
He just failed to make the grade in those things that he considered mattered. Vain – he had his clothes made one size too small to flatter his already slim figure – but never glamorous, despite an international lifestyle that brought him into contact with everyone who “mattered” for more than 50 years.
But he had a burning desire to leap the fence and browse the green fields of aristocratic privilege, still going strong in the Twenties and Thirties. Beaton was what was known at the time as a pansy. With eyes trained on the British upper classes and American plutocrats, his tendencies could have
been a disadvantage, but he capitalised on them by aiming not at the men, but at their wives.
Beaton was a very clever photographer whose early portraits reflected continental art movements in his use of mirrors, torn paper, fragments of classical sculpture and even Cellophane to create a surreal fantasy that would automatically make his sitters look much more interesting
than they usually were. They were as flattered culturally as they were physically, even if they had no idea that the original ideas were taken from the work of Cocteau, Bakst or Dalí.
November 14, 2012
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.
November 9, 2012
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.
November 8, 2012
You gotta love an artist that can make art, truly out of anything he sees. I saw a piece by Vik Muniz and was insanely curious about this artist. I enjoyed the fact that he could see he way though
what is, into what could be-so an existential view almost.
He incorporates a multiplicity of unlikely materials into this photographic process. Often working in series, Vik has used dirt, diamonds, sugar, string, chocolate syrup and
garbage to create bold, witty and often deceiving images drawn from the pages of photojournalism and art history. His work has been
His work is based on different levels of perception. Primarily, he is a sculptor who documents his work with the photography medium. After the project execution it does not matter
if the objects are destroyed, as long as the idea is captured in the photographs.
An example of how Muniz experiences perception in his work can be seen in his series ‘Equivalents’ (1993) – simulations of cloud formations, made with lumps of cotton, inspired by
Alfred Stieglitz’ cloud studies. In this piece the visitor can see once at a time lumps of cotton, clouds or an image that he sees in these clouds. But he will never see these 3 phenomena at the same time.
Muniz photographs all kind of everyday materials and creates illusionary visualizations. Material he uses are i.e. chocolate, sugar, wire, dirt, confetti, objects, thread or jam.
November 7, 2012
I’ve written about my friend Jamie Herzlinger’s work many times. We met almost 2 years ago. She was a fan of my blog and she, Erica of Design Blahg and I all went out to dinner, and became friends. At that very first dinner, Jamie told me about a plan she had to bring high end interior design to the internet, in the form of Jamie Shop. Two years later, and Jamie Shop, is a reality. As Jamie envisioned it and laid it out for us at that first dinner (I was still 8 months pregnant) Jamie Shop is an online source for trade only furniture, without the commitment of a decorator. Clients of the shop are considered clients of Jamie’s world wide network of design connections, and she and her team provide design guidance from quote to white glove delivery. This is commitment free design, without hourly fees or contracts, and at prices well below retail. And while it’s not right for every project- some homes and clients do need full scale design services- many people who want to be actively engaged in their home’s design, or don’t have the budget for a high end design all at once, will be able to source the most high end goods while under Jamie’s watchful eye.
After that first dinner Jamie and I became fast friends. She used one of my paintings in a show house, and in turn I’ve written about her many projects over the years. We get together for dinners and lunches whenever she is in town (She splits her time between NY and Arizona.) The first post I ever wrote about Jamie’s brand of minimal, elegant luxury, was met with a strange response: tons of comments, sure, but also a huge number of actual PHONE CALLS about it. Normally, phone calls about posts are nil. Her room was my favorite room in the entire Kips Bay Show house one year. And she even offered to give me a bed for Cookie after another (alas I had no place to put it).
You may have noticed that Jamie has been sponsoring many design blogs over the past few weeks, but Jamie has ALWAYS been very supportive of the blogging community, and honestly, it makes me really happy to see that when a designer – who we all happily write about for free- can benefit from online marketing, that she turns to the design bloggers who have been supportive of her all of these years and sponsors their blogs.
Anyway, congrats to Jamie for realizing this project!
Her work varies with the specific projects and locations, obviously, but its always grounded in simplicity, classicism, and quiet luxury.
Since I’ve written about her so many times, I specifically requested she send me photos we haven’t seen before on this blog, and I really love every photo posted here. So quiet. So calm.
Please check out Jamie Shop for access to high end design at below retail prices.
November 6, 2012
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I saw the work of Philip Guston in an auction catalog and was immediately drawn to it. The artist had a very difficult childhood, coming to this country at
the early years of the 1900′s,
being Jewish, and having had to face all of the anti-semtitism and re adjustment to a new way of life. His father wound up hanging himself in a shed, and Philip
was the one to find him.
America was going through so many changes and advances and Philip had the benedfit, albeit at the time, he didnt see it that way, of being part of the development
of Abstract Expressionism
and mural painting.
“There is something ridiculous and miserly in the myth we inherit from abstract art. That painting is autonomous, pure and for itself, therefore we habitually
analyze its ingredients
and define its limits. But painting is ‘impure’. It is the adjustment of ‘impurities’ which forces its continuity. We are image-makers and image-ridden.” From 1968
onwards he made
these words his motto. In this body of work he created a lexicon of images such as Klansmen light bulbs, shoes, cigarettes, and clocks. His work, in this manner
caught a lot of attetntion, some good some awful But this work really lead to opening the door to a freedom of expressionism that was not there before.
Often times we have a tendency to look at paintings as so one dimensional and when one puts the reasoning and the hisptory of that artist and what led the artist
to that way of painting, then for me, the art has a much more true meaning.
I hope you enjoy this post and have a chance to read about this incredible artist.