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September 11, 2014 | Posted by | No Comments

Sculpture Anyone?

Lear by Lisa Sanders on

Be honest. On a scale of one to ten, how well are you incorporating sculpture into your art collection? If your answer is in the low digits, let’s talk about some ideas together.

When I say sculpture, I’m not talking about larger than life statues of David in your living room. There are many ways to get into three dimensional art without looking like a museum. Table top sculpture tends to be smaller in scale and can be appropriate in areas such as an entry hall, living room or dining room.

Coral Star by David F Willis on

Medium size pieces or floor sculptures can also hold space well in niches or stair landings.

Muse of the Crimson Sunrise by Jan and Jo Moore on

Some sculpture sit on a pedestals so you can come face to face with its intimate details.

Italian Marble Roman Bust on Pedestal. Circa 1840

Some need a room all their own.

Anish Kapoor, Memory (2008)

Don’t forget 3D wall installations or a piece hanging from a ceiling. This all counts as sculpture too.

Indescribable by Marjorie Kaye on

Free Fall by Janet Fryer on

Whatever type of sculpture works best for your home, consider including a piece or two in your art collection. Rounding out the various mediums you have in one collection creates synergy and all pieces end up looking better because of it!


September 9, 2014 | Posted by | No Comments

Art & Fashion

Piet Mondrian, Composition rouge, jeune, bleu, et grise (1930)

Reported by Christie Chu at Artnet News: To celebrate New York Fashion Week, let’s a look at the increasingly intertwined worlds of art and fashion. Nowadays, art plays the muse while fashion gives it a different kind of exposure.

Over the last century artists and their artworks have become a popular source of inspiration for designers’ collections, and in return, through fashion, art has become more widely available—at least in terms of its price—to the public. In the 1960s Yves Saint Laurent crafted the iconic “Mondrian” day dress.

Yves Saint Laurent Mondrian dress

Marc Jacobs’s tenure at Louis Vuitton saw many fruitful collaborations with artists, including Stephen Sprouse, Takashi Murakami, Richard Prince, and, most recently, Yayoi Kusama.

After Jacobs and Murakami cemented LV as the most artful leather goods brand, it seemed as if the label had perfected the art-fashion crossover formula. The introduction of Kusama’s collection for Louis Vuitton also coincided with the launch of her retrospective at the Whitney Museum. Books were published, parties were thrown, handbags were pre-ordered, and demand for Kusama’s works was higher than ever.

Yayoi Kusama, A Pumpkin RB B (2004)

Louis Vuitton Spring/Summer 2012

On a much smaller scale, creative director Hedi Slimane—who in the past three years has spearheaded the total transformation of Yves Saint Laurent—received permission from California conceptual artist John Baldessari to reinterpret three of his paintings for his Fall 2014 collection. The results of the YSL-Baldessari collaboration are uniquely exclusive. The three dress designs, which will be sold in an extremely limited quantity of 10 each, were all hand-embroidered; one of each will live in the Baldessari archive, while the others will be scattered across YSL flagship stores worldwide.

John Baldessari, Two Opponents (Blue & Yellow) (2004)

Yves Saint Laurent Fall 2014 dress inspired by Baldessari. Photo:

Not to be outdone, Raf Simons—who is often compared to Slimane for the clear influence of punk and youth culture in their respective designs—collaborated with artist Sterling Ruby for his Fall 2014 men’s collection on his eponymous label. Slimane and Simons’s choices of artist are hardly arbitrary. Slimane lived in California for many years and the state became the subject of several photography exhibitions in which he was featured. Simons, for his part, has a deep-seated interest in youth movements and urban gangs that has glaring affinities with Ruby’s work. The recent collaborators had been in talks for several years; Ruby described his creation with Simons as a “natural thing to do.”

Sterling Ruby, EXHM (3915) (2012). Photo courtesy of Hauser & Wirth


A look from the Raf Simons-Sterling Ruby Fall 2014

And it’s not just the high-end fashion houses that are collaborating with artists. Uniqlo, which is owned by Japanese retail giant Fast Retailing, partnered with MoMA for SPRZ NY, a collection of graphic T-shirts, shorts, and hoodies featuring artworks by famous artists (see “MoMA Licenses Warhol, Pollock, and Basquiat for Uniqlo’s Newest Fashion Line“). Jean-Michel Basquiat’s primitivist paintings, Keith Haring’s idiosyncratic figure drawings, or Andy Warhol’s Lifesaver-hued Campbell’s soup can screen print can be bought for less than $20—an astronomically lower price point than, say, a real soup can print by Warhol.

Andy Warhol sweatshirt from Uniqlo's SPRZ NY collection

At NY Fashion Week, there is no doubt we’ll see art on the catwalk, but is this fashion-art combo just a new way of exploiting artists, consumers, or both? Does it get a pass under the guise of nobly peddling an otherwise unobtainable commodity, art, to the T-shirt-buying masses? Either way, both the artists and the brands are laughing all the way to the bank.


September 4, 2014 | Posted by | No Comments

10 Books For Fall

Glasses and Books by Lee Kissinger on

Now that you’re putting away your beach gear and the kids are trying to adjust to the school routine, it’s time to think about your fall book list. As you try your best to ease back into the school year, don’t forget to build in some quiet moments of reading time. It just might help you maintain your sanity as fall settles in and blurs right into the busy holiday season. Here’s a list of reads to looks forward to from Huffington Post. These are all due to be published in the first 2 weeks of September:

    • Acceptance by Jeff Vandermeer - Publishes September 2 – The third and final installment in Vandermeer’s Southern Reach trilogy follows a final expedition into the mysterious, deadly and quickly expanding terrain of Area X, an ecological mystery that scientists are struggling to understand.
      • The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell - Publishes September 2 – David Mitchell is back and as genre-bendy as ever. Describing the breadth of his latest epic as “sprawling” wouldn’t quite do it justice.
        • 10:04 by Ben Lerner - Publishes September 2 – Although the world of Ben Lerner’s latest story is indeed apocalyptic — New York City has been inundated with nonstop thunderstorms, and could soon be completely submerged — it’s not the sort of dystopia readers might’ve grown accustom to.
          • The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters - Publishes September 2 – Waters’s latest story chronicles an aristocratic British family forced to take on boarders after they lose a large portion of their wealth. A widow and her aging daughter find that there’s much to be learned from their middle-class tenants, in this exploration of London after the First World War.
            • Women in Clothes by Sheila Heti - Publishes September 4 – Sheila Heti, author of the groundbreaking “novel from life,” How Should a Person Be, has teamed up with The Believer magazine co-editor Heidi Julavits and Leanne Shapton, whose ultra-twee titles include Swimming Studies and Was She Pretty? to anthologize a slew of writers’ relationships with clothing.

              Read a Good Book by Stacy Rajab on

            • Hold the Dark by William Giraldi - Publishes September 8, 2014 – Set in an isolated Alaskan town recently plagued with wolf attacks, Giraldi’s second novel is as much a thriller as it is a poignant examination of masculinity in its rawest form.
              • The Moor’s Account by Laila Lalami - Publishes September 9 – In 1527, Pánfilo de Narváez set out for the Americas. Laila Lalami reimagines his story in her stunning historical novel, through the eyes of one of his crewman’s Moroccan slave, Mustafa al-Zamori. The Moor’s Account sheds light on all of the possible the New World exploration stories that didn’t make history.
                • In Case of Emergency by Courtney Moreno- Publishes September 9 - Reminiscent of Leslie Jamison’s essay on medical acting in her collection The Empathy Exams, Courtney Moreno’s book uses the coping mechanisms she learned while working as an EMT to color her narrator’s painful past.
                  • The Children Act by Ian McEwan – Publishes September 9 – The author of Atonement has penned a touching tale about an earnest, devoutly religious family that wishes to deny their son medical treatment due to their belief system. An intervening judge whose own personal life isn’t everything she’d hoped for finds herself conflicted on the matter.
                    • How We Learn by Benedict Carey – Publishes September 9 – Carey takes on long-perpetuated stereotypes about the ways in which we take in and absorb information. In particular, he challenges the notion that down time is detrimental, rather than beneficial, to learning. Not only does he cite scientific evidence for his claims, but he provides guidance for applying efficient methods of learning to the reader’s everyday life.
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September 2, 2014 | Posted by | No Comments

I Need A Snack

English Peas from Frank's Quality Produce by David McCrae on

I think we can all relate to a love of food. Food is both a necessity and an indulgence, and everyone has a soft spot for their favorite snack. Deep down, i think everyone is a “foodie”. So, why not bring out your inner foodie and shake up your summer decor with some food inspired artwork? Whether you’re vegan or a full­blown carnivore with the diet of Guy Fieri, everyone can enjoy a shrine of a favorite food. From colorful veggies to savory sandwiches, without further ado, here is some of the best of Ristorante Zatista:

“Pimientos” by Cristina B. Velasquez on

Veggies are an easy target because of their vibrant colors. Red and green are opposite on the color spectrum, and are also very bold jewel hues. The loudness of these colors speak for themselves, happily brightening any room. Also, who doesn’t love a juicy, spicy pepper? If not raw peppers, what is life without salsa?

“Apple Pie A La Mode” by Konnie Kim on

I have to show my inner sweet tooth some love. Ice cream is one of the most heavenly delights on Earth; creamy and sweet without being too dense. This scoop looks especially yummy and the apple pie is cut in the perfect triangle; the size of the slice is just right. The shadow it casts on the plate adds dimension to the image, and the bold, uninhibited brush strokes compliment the dripping ice cream and chunks of apple perfectly. Altogether, the deliciousness of the dessert and painting composition both earn an “A”.

“Wine for 2” by Filomena Booth on

Technically, wine isn’t a food. But, grapes are a food and wine can be a delicious accompaniment to a meal. Here, the color of the wine is beautiful, portraying it’s taste as sweet and intoxicating. It’s red without being fire­hydrant harsh or burgundy. The glasses are so full that they appear to be red in color — or maybe they are! The red shines vibrantly against the sweet pastel colors, and gives diversity to the color scheme. Overall, this gorgeous impressionist piece could compliment an already ­colorful space, or bring life to a more neutral setting.

“Pear” by Anne Lively on

Who doesn’t love a sweet, juicy pear? Pears are a hit among health fiends and junk food-lovers alike, because they are both nutritious and melt-in-your-mouth delicious. The emphasis on the ripening process is conveyed by the intense gradation, and the strategically placed dark-colored stem subtly adds drama to the ombre effect. To me, the pear’s coloring is reminiscent of fire. Also, fall is right around the corner so hanging this photo in the kitchen is a subtle, fun transition into autumn decor.

“Sammich” by Barbara Andolsek on

Nobody can pass up a good sandwich (rather, nobody should). This one looks as delicious as they come — fluffy bread, creamy mayonnaise, ripe, juicy tomatoes (and savory…chicken salad?), how can one say “no”? I also love how the bold brush strokes add dimension to the sandwich, and especially bring texture to the chicken salad. The tomatoes appear almost three dimensional due to careful shading and proper placement on the sandwich (the ends extend past the border of the bread). I can almost taste this!

“Copper Pot with Lemons” by Skeet Sirmons on

Not everyone will feel compelled to take a big bite out of a lemon. But how about lemon meringue, or lemon garnish on your beverage of choice? I feel compelled to add this piece to the list because of the amazing use of yellow. To me, the yellow used here is a perfect color—not too bright as to be neon, but not too dark as to look mustard—and it looks just perfect against the brown wood with red undertones. The knife placement is great too—the fact that the end extends beyond the table allows it too appear very realistic, along with the shadow it casts on the table’s surface. The lemon to the right looks very juicy, as if it’s just been cut.

“Peachy Cream” by Katrina Berg on

Who doesn’t love a good slice of cake? Half the fun in every wedding, birthday party, and family reunion is the cake. This cake here looks equal parts beautiful and delicious. The peachy pink and cool blues work beautifully together. The cake looks both delicate and savory. If only we knew the flavor, but the mystery makes it more exciting. I’m thinking red velvet!

August 28, 2014 | Posted by | No Comments

Lady Gaga’s Ice Bucket

Lady Gaga’s Ice Bucket Challenge.

As reported on artnetnews by Cait Munro: Just in case you’ve somehow escaped the ubiquitous Ice Bucket Challenge, here’s the low down: The ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) Association launched a viral fundraising campaign in which a person is challenged via social media to dump a bucket of ice water on his or her head. The person has 24 hours to donate to the ALS Association, complete the challenge, or do both. Once they have done so, they challenge other people in their social network to do the deed, ensuring the thing spreads like wildfire, or at least a chain letter. At this point, the trend has both spiraled out of control and obfuscated the initial purpose of the campaign, but that hasn’t stopped countless celebrities from jumping on the bandwagon.

Eschewing the typical scream-and-run-around reaction to having ice water dumped upon one’s head, Lady Gaga opted to turn her Ice Bucket Challenge into a performance art piece worthy of her pal Marina Abramović, finally putting to rest the nagging question, “Is the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Art?” In a bondage suit and jet black lipstick, Gaga perches on a chair and stares into the camera with dead eyes. She holds a giant silver bowl above her head, gracefully dumps it on herself, and remains unfazed, despite he ice cubes falling off of her, before staring into the camera once again with the same expressionless gaze. Evidently, once you’ve worn a dress made of raw meat, you must be pretty impervious to discomfort.

Gaga posted the video to her Instagram earlier this week, nominating Adele, Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino, Streamline Records founder Vincent Herbert, and Live Nation Global Music Group chairman Arthur Fogel, in return.

Infinitely more moving than Lady Gaga’s staid ice dump, meet Pete Frates and learn about the origins of the challenge in this video:


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