Friday, May 29, 2015

Art | Polly Morgan’s Artful Taxidermy

The Internet is a wondrous place! The remaining Luddite in me is having a little tantrum now. I will let it till it tires itself. One two three … ten. What makes it wondrous is the access and exposure it can give to those of us who do not have access to, in this case, BBC Four. BBC Four has had a fantastic series – “What Do Artists Do All Day?” – billed as “Intimate, observational portraits of leading artists, revealing unique insights into their working lives and creative process.” Glee! Right now, the episode I want to refer to, is available for a month through BBC Four web site, but do not fret – as long as copyright folks do not pull a plug – YouTube channel Art Documentaries has some episodes, too. And this is how I got to know of Polly Morgan and what taxidermy can be.

I have not had much liking for taxidermy. It’s a strange and often dusty substitute, better at a museum and only when the local zoo does not have the real thing. It’s downright creepy inside of any house except maybe when it is a lodge. I am not judging. It’s how I respond to it, and I cannot see it at my place. However, what Polly does may make me change my tune. The creepiness is still there, but the faux art snob that I am is attracted to this different presentation. Take “Rest a Little on the Lap of Life”. It’s a friggin’ rodent exulted to a dessert puff, sleeping below a chandelier, presumably peacefully under that glass case! I can see this piece having a prime spot chez moi. Seeing Polly at it and talking about it adds a contextual dimension I can totally saddle next to. Check it out when you can.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

At Home | Rick Owens’ and Michele Lamy’s Paris Home

Oh thee cult inspiring Interesting Couple! Not exactly a style I would want to copy or live in, too ascetic for my feigned minimalism although I can see how it would salve after hedonistic adventures. I am inspired by its details and quality. When it comes to Rick and Michele, the consistency of their presentation to the public is supreme, despite Rick Owens brand not exactly playing the fashion marketing game. There are legions (did I mention the word “cult”?) that surface what it might be like in Owens-Lamy world through photos, interviews, articles the couple and the brand seemingly do not chase but nevertheless oblige. In the interviews, they are calm coolness, and seeing these photos of their home, it makes sense. They know who they are and what their aesthetic is. The way they present themselves and the way their home is are in sync.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Photography | Josef Koudelka

Josef Koudelka comes to me as a triptych: a photographic window into lives of Gypsies in Slovakia and Romania, a photographic document of the crushing invasion of Prague by the military forces of the Warsaw Pact, scion of the legendary Magnum agency. See a selection of his work at Josef Koudelka: Nationality Doubtful – I wish I was timelier and posted this when the exhibitions were still on (either at the Art Institute of Chicago or Getty Center in Los Angeles), but exhibitions have a time limit, Koudelka’s photographs don’t, no matter where you see them. Although photography pins a moment in place by its very nature, in the eye and hands of a master the results live forever to show us what we were not witnessing, and to inspire with the craft.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Design | This is the World of M. Šašek

Not exactly his world, because I am not attempting to surpass the biographies of M. Šašek that have been written already, but this is my token of appreciation shored up as a “Hey, remember seeing these? Lookie here.”

This will give you an idea of how long it takes for me clean up bits that I have ferreted away: well-into-the-spring cleaning surfaced a 2014-calendar of M. Šašek’s “This is San Francisco”. And I just had to share. And no, that is not my worst calendar hoarding offence. That is a 2004-calendar of Gaudí’s Casa Batlló purchased in 2003 at Casa Batlló, so I suppose Gaudí will surface as a subject of a blog on another occasion. Aren’t you glad I got that out of the way?

M. Šašek.

“M. Sasek was born in Prague in 1916 and died in Switzerzerland in 1980. He worked as a painter and illustrator for most of his life.” – This is M. Sasek

His illustrations check off what is vital for good design: evocative, simple, attractive, effective in communicating and stirring interest. Your tot will thank you for it, little do they know – yet. After seeing, what to my surprise is a plethora of prints covering more than requisite Paris, London, Rome, and New York you will typically see in stores, do not be surprised if your tot will want to travel and see it all themselves. As a matter of fact, you might be inspired to make a travel dream come true. And for that M. Šašek deserves to be featured.

Monday, May 25, 2015

At Home | Inger McCabe Elliot Pops of Color

The New York Times Magazine published photos of Inger McCabe Elliot’s colorful abode – an insight into how long standing creatives live, and can inspire our own spaces. Inger is a textile designer born in Norway. She left Norway at 8 years old when her family had to resettle, eventually finding its way to United States. Chinese and Javanese colors of batiks that she ended up working with no doubt influenced the vibrancy of her rich but by no means stifling domicile. There are rules (“I believe you should have dark colors with books”) and practical concerns (“She favors semigloss paint because it’s easy to wipe clean”) that her décor abides by, keeping – what potentially could get out of hand – slick and organized yet inviting, homey, and very alive.

PHOTO via THE NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE FROM “A Collected Home forInger McCabe Elliott”

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