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Archive for December, 2009

December 22, 2009 | Posted by | 1 Comment

Happy Holidays!


On behalf of everyone at Zatista, I’d like to take a minute during this holiday season to thank all of our fantastic artists and art enthusiasts for a great 2009. We continue to be amazed at the great response from people discovering us for the first time. Thanks for being part of our growing community!

Happy Holidays!

Pete Borowsky
~ Founder/CEO, Zatista

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December 18, 2009 | Posted by | No Comments

What's On Your Wishlist?

If you are a bit like me, you are always on the lookout for an original. Whether it’s original art, original design, or original vintage items, I find real value in items with lasting quality.

Here are some originals that top my wish list this year…

Amaury Poudray's Airs 2 Aquarium
Vintage Seltzer Bottles on Etsy
Photography by Zatista Artist Jim Larimer
Pashley Guv'nor 3-Speed Bicycle
Michael Fitts' Original Art on
Almond LumberJack Surfboard on Corduroy
Brush Away The Germs
Aigle Wool Jacket
Vintage Tennis Racquet Collection  on Three Potato Four

When shopping this holiday season, consider giving something unique, well designed, or one-of-a-kind. You’ll be glad you did and so will the person you gave it to.

Share with us what is on your wish-list…

December 17, 2009 | Posted by | 1 Comment

Mapping a Route to Original Artwork

We’re all familiar with the routes in our lives—the streets we drive along on our way to work, the trails we trace as we move from one home to another, or the maps we gaze at as we plan our vacations. Art reveals itself in these patterns, as shown in this clean, graphic representation of New Orleans created by Zatista artist Fred Doyle:

New Orleans, LA, by Fred Doyle — Digital on Canvas, 24.0 ” x 36.0 ”

New Orleans, LA, by Fred Doyle — Digital on Canvas, 24.0 ” x 36.0 ”

Some artwork based on maps uses novel media. This map by Aaron Koblin shows the contours of the United States through commercial airline traffic:

Aaron Koblin’s “Flight Patterns” shows a real-time image of the aircraft flight paths over the United States. Courtesy of the Victoria & Albert museum

Aaron Koblin’s “Flight Patterns” shows a real-time image of the aircraft flight paths over the United States. Courtesy of the Victoria & Albert museum

Or this artwork by Simon Elvins, which used blind embossing to depict the quietest parts of  London, using data from a British government agency that maps noise levels in order to adhere to European Union noise regulations:

SILENT LONDON by Simon Elvins Blind embossed etching - 735x500mm - Edition of 10

SILENT LONDON by Simon Elvins Blind embossed etching - 735x500mm - Edition of 10

Others show places reimagined in very personal ways:

SIMON EVANS Home Country, 2008-9 Paper weaving 58 5/8 X 42 1/8 inches courtesy of James Cohan Gallery

SIMON EVANS Home Country, 2008-9 Paper weaving 58 5/8 X 42 1/8 inches courtesy of James Cohan Gallery

Or produce accurate renditions of actual places in novel ways. Here, a rolling stamp of Santa Monica that produces a map of the city on the sand:

Santa Monica Art Tool by Carl Cheng

Santa Monica Art Tool by Carl Cheng-photo courtesy of jdlasica via Flickr

You can see more examples in The Map as Art: Contemporary Artists Explore Cartography by Katharine Harmon (Princeton Architectural Press; 2009)

Courtesy of the Princeton Architectural Press

Courtesy of the Princeton Architectural Press

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December 10, 2009 | Posted by | No Comments

Pick a Style…Any Style

Pick a StyleQuestion: If you were stranded on a desert island and could only listen to one song for the rest of your life, or read one book, what would it be? But wait, there’s more: If you could eat one food for the rest of your life, what would you eat?

Oh the torture! I can never answer those questions. At the banquet of life I’m a buffet person. I’m not much for routine; I like trying new restaurants rather than going to the same old standby every weekend. So, it may not come as a surprise to hear that in my opinion, picking one style of art to collect is not always easy, or necessary. But we are in muddy waters here as picking a style is subjective and is a very personal preference.

If you haven’t already done this, take note of your stylistic tendencies by briefly looking inward at your life, stylistically speaking. Is your house an eclectic mix of furniture or do you have the avid collector’s gene? Is variety your spice of life or do you have a long time hobby that naturally shapes your sense of style? Perhaps you are really into architecture, travel, history, or fine crafts? Whatever your natural taste is, that is the direction to pursue. Most importantly, whether you want to buy all black & white photography,

zatista tracy mewmaw photo

only sculpture,

zatista hugo cruz sculpture

or a mix of woodcuts, textiles, and ceramics,

zatista ellen brook watercolor on silk

zatista david page woodcut

there is really only one nugget of advice I would offer: be discriminating, collect thoughtfully, and build a dynamic collection.

Here’s a cautionary tale from my own experience. I recently had a client with a large, brand new house and many empty walls. Quickly, she fell in love with one artist and we commissioned a painting from him. Before that painting was complete, she wanted to start another commission and then another! At this point, I had to ask if she was truly going to be happy when she looked up from her checkbook and saw that the only 5 paintings she owned were by the same artist. I encouraged her to break free from her tunnel vision long enough to build a strong blend of artwork as a base for her collection and continue commissions by favorite artists down the road, if still desired. I didn’t want her to be married to this style without living with it first.

Ultimately, you’ll want your individual pieces to work in concert together and create synergy. Make your collection a delight for the eyes, a feast for the senses! Not in a haphazard way, but with the intention of creating layers of intrigue and transitions in content, shape or color. Ask yourself: What combined action or interaction is present among the pieces in my collection? Is there a resulting energy that is greater than the sum of the parts or does the combination of these works create an enhanced effect? When considering a new purchase, will the addition of this artwork add a compelling new layer of interest to this group of artwork?

Below are images of an art collection which happens to illustrate the best of both worlds: picking one style in some rooms and mixing styles in others. I find this to be a thoroughly dynamic and inspirational collection.





Worst case scenarios: 1) you’ve gone overboard on a particular style leaving you with a one-dimensional collection, or 2) you have total chaos! Not to worry, it’s all fixable via a discriminating and thoughtful exercise of adding or subtracting artwork. As my favorite style guru Tim Gunn would say, “Make it work!”

Photos: From Tracy Mewmaw photograph, Hugo Cruz sculpture, David Page woodcut, Ellen Brook watercolor on silk, and Martin Tessler for The New York Times/Douglas Coupland Residence, Vancouver, B.C.
December 9, 2009 | Posted by | 1 Comment

Gift Ideas and Design Candy

In honor of the holiday season, I have compiled a few of my favorite things to share. Perhaps they will give you some inspiration for gift ideas!

Madsen Bicycles

Madsen Bicycles

Madsen Cycles gives us just one more reason to keep the current cycling movement going– these bikes are beautiful, practical and come in some delicious colors.

Optimist by Tracy Mewmaw from

Optimist by Tracy Mewmaw from has a new artist Tracy Mewmaw that I really like. His mostly abstract photographs have a great use of color and composition. They are extremely affordable and are fairly large in size.

Blackbird "Fly" Twin Lens Reflex Camera

Blackbird "Fly" Twin Lens Reflex Camera

Blackbird Fly is a vintage inspired camera that uses 35mm film from Japan’s Superheadz. They are inspired by medium format Rolleiflex cameras that originally used 120 size film.

Paulette's Macarons

Paulette's Macarons

Paulette Macarons makes the most gorgeous little sweet French Macarons. This is my latest food obsession to replace the cupcake craze a few years back.

domsai terrariums

domsai terrariums

Domsai Terrariums are hand cast and hand blown little planters that are produced in a small town in Italy called Nove. Planters disguised as space men, brilliant!


I am a huge fan of Korres products. Their formulations are among the most environmentally friendly and skin compatible, it smells amazing and the packaging is beautiful too!

bunnies copy

Picnica brings you this portable rabbit shaped eco-friendly tote-bag. When you aren’t using the bag, it is stored in the belly of the rabbit, pull it out and its a bag. Fun stocking stuffer!

Eleni's Cookies

Eleni's Cookies

Eleni’s creates amazing finely detailed cookies for all kinds of occasions. Packaged beautifully for gift giving, they are not only lovely but also delicious.

Focus Line Art

Focus Line Art

Tracy Melton is a full time artist based in Knoxville, TN. He takes wood from dead elm trees and paints the tree rings with vibrant colors. Very modern and rustic at the same time! You can find his work on Etsy.

Share your favorites with us!