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February 26, 2015 | Posted by | No Comments

Cozy-Up Your House For Winter

It’s almost the end of February and the motivation for New Year’s resolutions is fading with plunging temperatures. In the cold, the daily commute can be truly brutal. When you walk in your front door, your home should be a cozy place to thaw out. Utilizing the fireplace can help, but to get the whole winter oasis effect, here are a few ways to make your home a cozy, warm spot to watch the snow fall.

Untitled 09, from the series “Cast by reflection”, by Paul Kowalow $650 on

According to Apartment Therapy, low-hung artwork can help visually lower a bedroom’s tall ceiling, and dark colors can help make the space feel more manageable. If you have a spacious room that feels overwhelming in the cold months, adding some artwork can help make the space feel cozier. Paul Kowalow’s piece has a comforting warmth perfect for this effect. You can also add a few blankets to the foot of your bed, or a small bench with pillows to get that comfy feel.

Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 8.32.57 AM

Picture source Apartment Therapy

Lighting is also important. In the living room, make sure the lighting is not too harsh. Switch out the bright, fluorescent lights for candles and string lights. It’s the perfect curl-up-with-a-book lighting that makes the room comfortable. Open the curtains too. Snow can reflect light, making the light pouring in the window even brighter. The natural light brings warmth to the room even when it’s cold out.

Secret Garden by Christine Lindstrom $3,400 on

hot pink square bleed no. 7 by lela altman $3,800 on

Painting a room a warmer color can add to the room’s comfort. If you are thinking about changing the color of your walls, but don’t want to commit to it all year round, there are alternatives. On a large wall, PopSugar suggests adding a curtain-wall to gain some visual interest. The bulk of the fabric gives the room a cozy effect. You can also add oversized art like these Zatista pieces, above a bed or over the back of a couch for a similar effect.

In The Morning by John Pacer $725 on

The cold tile and empty walls of a bathroom can make it feel like the coldest room in the house (and in my house it is). Add some plush towels and bathmats, light some candles or add a scented wall plug-in with warm scents like rosemary or pumpkin to increase the sensation of warmth. Put art on your walls too! The bathroom doesn’t have to be plain; you can decorate it like any other room to make it homey. Now you won’t feel the need to shiver waiting for the shower to heat up every morning.

Picture source: Real Simple

Mix things up in the room. Real Simple suggests pairing soft materials with rich or hard materials to create a tactile interplay. The intriguing surfaces make you want to sit and stay awhile. You can also try layering carpets in the room to create another textural change. Plus two carpets will be warm on your feet and stop heat loss through the floor.

Get cozy! Whether it’s a snow day, rest day, or a regular Thursday, make sure your home is a comfy place to wait out the cold this winter.

February 24, 2015 | Posted by | No Comments

Art Reflecting on Society

The Blindfold by Anyes Galleani $830 on

Last Thursday, Los Angeles based artist Plastic Jesus displayed a controversial new piece of art on Hollywood Boulevard, just in time for the Academy Awards. The installation depicts an Oscar snorting cocaine with a plaque reading, “Hollywood’s Best Part.” The artist removed the statue after a complaint, but planned to display it again on Melrose Avenue, according to the NY Daily News.


Photo Source:

Known as the ‘Banksy of LA’, Plastic Jesus strives to uncover hidden truths about culture, politics and world events. This was not his only shot at the untold version of Hollywood – he erected a similar statue in the wake of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death from a heroin overdose. This ‘Addicted Oscar’ appeared on Hollywood Boulevard and got the same attention the current installation is receiving. Buzzfeed has already dedicated a post to the artist’s creation, and has been quoted saying Plastic Jesus is the artist to watch.

Art used as symbol for societal problems is not a new concept by any means. What better way to get the world to hear your concern than to make art that will permeate media outlets? Art can isolate, visualize and perpetuate cultural issue, and it has.

War On Drugs Part 2 by Johan Wahlstrom $3,100 on

Similarly, Zatista artist, Johan Wahlstrom, uses art to underline themes he thinks society should be paying attention to. His hauntingly dark paintings raise questions of privacy, the war on drugs, and governmental control. Four of these paintings have strong images of our presidents surrounded by dark gloomy faces while other pictures depict sorrow and suicide, scarcely using any color. In a Q&A with Artvoices Magazine, Wahlstrom said House of Lies explores politics, hatred, greed, poverty, wealth, envy, religion and corruption.

Are You Happy Now Part 2 by Johan Wahlstrom $6,600 on

Wahlstrom says, “My intention is clear – I want to influence people to have a better daily life. Influence people to think about what is truly important and what is less important. My series aims to illustrate the hypocrisy and corruption that defines the world and should be fought to incite positive change.”

Detached by Debbie Pacheco $1,500 on

Another Zatista artist, Debbie Pacheco’s paintings focus more narrowly on a technology dependent society. Many of her works depict those missing the art or world around them due to their captivation with phone conversations. ‘Detached’ was inspired by a woman the artist observed who remained unphased by an Andy Warhol because she was texting. In her description of the painting she says, “The contrast was amusing. The images in the painting were almost mocking her while she remained unaware.”

Captivated by Debbie Pacheco $275 on

Debbie Pacheco believes the now global community is increasingly connected by technology but disconnected to its surroundings. This disconnect in culture produces lonely, isolated individuals whom she depicts in her contemporary, abstract paintings. ‘Disconnected’ catches moments where women are entranced by technology but disconnected from the world they walk through.

Art is often thought provoking, but some art sends a very specific message. These artists carry a message throughout their art that they hope will resonate enough to inspire change. Whether you agree or disagree with the message, the art did what it was meant to do — start a conversation.

February 19, 2015 | Posted by | No Comments

Art Show Cancelled

Jeff Koons Photo: Patrick McMullan

Via Lorena Muñoz-Alonso for ArtNetNews:

Jeff Koons’s Paris outing has turned out to be a bit of a damp squib. This January, the artist was due to show a selection of large-scale sculptures in the Louvre’s 19th-century galleries, to complement his current retrospective at the Centre Pompidou (which runs until April 27).


Balloon Dog high chromium stainless steel with transparent color coating 121 x 143 x 45 inches 307.3 x 363.2 x 114.3 cm © Jeff Koons 5 unique versions (Blue, Magenta, Yellow, Orange, Red) 1994-2000

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Balloon Dog (Magenta), 1994-2000 © Jeff Koons / Pinault collection

But the show has fallen through. A Centre Pompidou spokesman involved in the Louvre display said that the cancellation was due to “a lack of funding.” Thats no surprise given that Koons is notorious for proposing ridiculously expensive installations for museum shows only to find they can’t be funded: remember the real locomotive suspended from a crane that he proposed for a public artwork on the plaza outside LACMA in Los Angeles? The price tag on that was too much for anyone to agree too.

Koons’s time in Paris hasn’t been short of controversy.

Koons MJ Monkey

Michael Jackson and Bubbles, 1988 © Jeff Koons

Last December, only a few weeks after the opening of his Pompidou retrospective (which toured from the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York), the artist was accused of plagiarism by adman Franck Davidovici (see Jeff Koons Sued for Plagiarism). A second plagiarism claim followed shortly after, related to a work from the same “Banality” series (see Second Plagiarism Claim Against Jeff Koons in Two Weeks). This isn’t the first time Koons has been accused of stealing other people’s ideas, either. He’s made a career of it, sort of.

Davidovici filed a lawsuit for copyright infringement in January (see Jeff Koons Plagiarism Lawsuit Could Top Millions). And, looking at the legal precedents here, things aren’t exactly promising for the artist: he has already lost two copyright cases brought against him for works from the same series.


Moon high chromium stainless steel 130 x 130 x 40 inches 330.2 x 330.2 x 101.6 cm © Jeff Koons 5 unique versions (Light Blue, Light Pink, Silver, Violet, Yellow) 1995-2000

For more Jeff Koons coverage, see Jeff Koons as the Art World’s Great White Hope, The Wisdom of Jeff Koons in 6 Easy Quotes, and Our Favorite Art Essay of 2014: Jed Perl’s Savaging of Jeff Koons in which the critic savages the artist’s Whitney Museum retrospective. It is about time somebody called Koons out for what he is–a circus showman peddling over-blown, over-priced tourist souvenirs.

February 17, 2015 | Posted by | No Comments

Berlin Wall With Lights


via The Cool Hunter

Via Tuija Seipell for The Cool Hunter:

New and old Berliners, together with the entire world, took to the streets last fall, on the global 25th Anniversary celebration of the Fall of the Wall in 1989.


Via The Cool Hunter

The city, its citizens and friends participated in events that commemorated the Peaceful Revolution. Among the key projects we the web portal Fall of the Wall 25 where everyone was invited to post memories, opinions and thoughts about the world-changing event.


Via The Cool Hunter


Via The Cool Hunter

Another project was a concept called Lichtgrenze by artists Christopher and Marc Bauder. It was made up of a row of 8,000 white luminous balloons creating a 15-kilometre Border of Light, that marked the former course of the Wall which divided the inner city of Berlin from Bornholmer Strasse to Mauerpark and the Berlin Wall Memorial on Bernauer Strasse to the Reichstag, past the Brandenburg Gate and Checkpoint Charlie to the East Side Gallery.


Via The Cool Hunter

I am so encouraged to see art installations such as these becoming more and more a natural part of cultures around the globe. To have such a large piece of art that the public can engage in and experience, builds community in our world, bringing groups of people with vastly different experiences together by a common thread. Art heals!

February 12, 2015 | Posted by | No Comments

Gauguin Breaks Record Sale

via BBC: The Gauguin painting has been on public display for decades

Via BBC: A painting of two Tahitian girls by the French artist Paul Gauguin has been sold for $300 million, making it the most expensive work of art ever sold.

Nafea Faa Ipoipo, or When Will You Marry?, was painted in 1892 and had been owned by a Swiss collector. Unconfirmed reports suggest it was sold to a museum in Qatar. The small oil-rich state paid the previous highest price for a painting, a work by Paul Cezanne which sold for a reported $240 million.

Francis Bacon’s Three Studies of Lucian Freud fetched $135 million in November 2013 – The triptych is considered one of Bacon’s greatest masterpieces. It sold after six minutes of fierce bidding, according to auction house Christie’s.

Before its sale, the Gauguin artwork had been owned by Rudolf Staechelin, a collector from Basel. For decades it had been on loan to the Kunstmuseum Basel but Mr Staechelin decided to sell the painting after a disagreement with the museum, US media report.

Mr. Staechelin told the New York Times he would not divulge the identity of the buyer and it was not immediately clear where the sale had taken place. However the paper, which first reported the sale, quoted sources saying the painting had been sold to Qatari buyers.

Edvard Munch, The Scream – Perhaps one of the world’s most famous images, The Scream went on sale in May 2012, sparking a 12-minute bidding war. By the end, the privately-owned pastel, one of four in a series by the Norwegian, had been sold for $112 million.


Officials in Qatar have not yet confirmed the purchase. The sheikhdom’s royal family has in recent years spent vast amounts of money on Western art. Sheikh Saud bin Mohammed Al-Thani, a former minister of culture who died last year, lavished more than $1 billion of the country’s money on artworks. Qatar sponsored a 2012 Damien Hirst retrospective in the UK which later moved to the country’s capital Doha, and has invested large sums of money financing museums of Islamic and modern Arab art.


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