September brings forth the fourth installment of Tools for Living’s Artist Window Series. We invited Alex Merto to illustrate thee windows in his unique style. Alex chose a beautiful illustrated cross-stitch pattern with “Home” as his theme. I asked him why he chose it: He said he wanted to make an image composed of tiny little pieces, every piece contributing to the overall.
88 posts categorized "Art"
September 30, 2009
August 21, 2009
August brings forth the third installment of DWR: Tools for Living's Artist Window Series in SoHo. This month we invited French graphic designer and illustrator Fanny LeBras to showcase her unique sensibilities. Choosing "trees" as her theme, Fanny's meticulously rendered design is understated and elegant – a perfect complement to TFL's product assortment.
August 20, 2009
King Kandy, Lolly and Princess Frostine helped to transform the crooked street into the land of Candyland in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the game. By 10 this morning, the famous section of road had become a color-blocked path for a life-size game, ready to be played by teams of excited children.
The natural landscape of hydrangeas and shrubbery became fields of lollipops and cotton candy (at least to those in the crowd of onlookers who still have an active imagination). While looking on and resisting the urge to pluck and eat a hydrangea, I couldn't help but think about Vertigo – both the sensation one feels as they experience this section of Lombard Street as well as the 1957 Hitchcock film. Jimmy Stewart's character, Scottie, lived only a block away – and this section of Russian Hill often conjures up images and moods of the mid-century film. But today's setting and game couldn't have felt more opposite to the mood of that film, and today's events didn't have any unexpected twists, just the turns.
The teams came running and winding down the hill as their color cards were drawn, from square to square. The yellow team from San Francisco Children's Hospital took the win. Participants celebrated the fun afternoon with plenty of candy and their very own Candyland boardgame to take home, play and enjoy for the next 60 years.
July 15, 2009
The Tools for Living June window was such a success, that the storefront has become a favorite spot for a quick NYC flick for tourists, bloggers and even the occasional tweeter. For the month of July, we asked Mike Perry to do a piece inspired by the word “Home.” Mike’s signature line-drawn style, with his bright spray paint splashes and black Sharpie-drawn houses and keyholes, is the perfect interpretation of the theme for our SoHo community. Mike’s work is modern and hip without being pretentious – and that’s what Tools for Living is all about.
June 10, 2009
Last weekend's inaugural installation of the Tools for Living SoHo Artist Window Series had tourists and tried-and-true New Yorkers alike stopping to gawk on Wooster Street. Running with a “Summer in the City” theme, artist Damon Johnson decked out the Wooster Street windows with huge cartoon pigeons and thorny, technicolor roses. His signature “Urban Surrealism” packs the perfect punch to set off the summer season in SoHo.
June 02, 2009
Chicago artist Nick Cave (not to be confused with the Australian musician of the same name) merges his background in dance and his passion for clothing design to create his Soundsuits. The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco now has the largest exhibit of his work to date, on display through July 5. I checked it out this weekend and was, well, kind of speechless. Part sculpture, part fashion, part other-worldly surrealism, the materials Cave chooses are startling. Everything from human hair to thrift-store knick-knacks, crocheted doilies to bejeweled sweaters (Golden Girls thoroughly evoked). Each of these utterly unique creations is displayed on a mannequin, bending all ideas of gender and even species. The resulting exhibit is a trip-tastic wonderland of found objects.
August 28, 2008
Art speaks to everyone regardless of political inclinations. Knowing that, MoveOn.org, the progressive website, challenged its members to create art celebrating Barak Obama’s presidential candidacy. Chosen from over 1,000 original works of art submitted, the 31 finalists are now on display at the Manifest Hope Gallery in Denver, coinciding with the DNC convention. While Obama may not be your pick for president, I assume most would be hard-pressed to not find beauty in many of the finalist’s work. It is a welcome change to the traditional political imagery crowding magazines, newspaper and websites.
August 11, 2008
The illustrator Robert Fontanelli had an all-too-quick show in Chelsea last week that I, unfortunately, missed. A friend sent me pictures on his iPhone of Fontanelli’s drawings which led me to his site. His work is a combination of fashion illustration and homoerotic imagery mixed with the fetishism of all things mid-century modern. Some of the images are sexy (“Storage”) while others are, somewhat, disturbing ("Rape of Red Eames Chair #1"). All of them are, in my humble opinion, brilliant.
July 29, 2008
July 23, 2008
For 40 years, Faith and Edward Deming Andrews collected Shaker art, amassing what is believed to be one of the most comprehensive collections of Shaker materials ever assembled. The Andrewses’ story, from acquiring and ultimately disposing of their collection, is the subject of a traveling exhibit, “Gather Up the Fragments: The Andrews Shaker Collection.” In addition to showing more than 200 objects, some of which have never been on display before, the exhibit examines the Andrewes’ involvement – as scholars, collectors, and dealers – of Shaker art.
The Andrewses have been credited with being among the first to recognize the unique contributions of the Shakers to American culture. “The story of how they acquired and eventually disposed of their collection is a fascinating tale of intrigue.”
April 08, 2008
The above image, I’ll admit, caused me to wince. I thought, “who would do such a thing to such a perfect design?” The answer is Mark Wentzel, an artist in Georgia represented by Project 4 Gallery in Washington, D.C. His “XLounge” is a conceptual piece focusing on the “masterful design of the Eames Lounge Chair and its significance today.” It is a statement on the chair and America’s consumption of products.
February 06, 2008
How fantastic are these city maps by Ork Posters? I’ve always been fascinated with maps and their designs and colors. These maps, created by Jenny Beorkrem, reinvent the city map as graphic and modern art. And while two of the cities I’ve called home (SF and NYC) are included, my hometown of Baltimore, regrettably, has not made the cut. Hopefully, their collection will expand. At $27 a screen print, they’re affordable and a perfect gift, whether you’re representing the Tenderloin or Brooklyn.
October 04, 2007
I just had to share this picture of a DIY project my partner and I took on, to make a headboard out of designer skateboards. I started with a Min bed, bought at a DWR warehouse sale, and collected decks to go with the colorful theme of the room. Featured are three limited edition Jeff Koons boards for Supreme, a Ryan McGinness board, a Donny Miller board and a purple deck my mother got me at Colette in Paris. Yes, that’s Prince and Michael Jackson. The result is a perfect pop of fun for any young boy’s room, or in this case a room for a man longing for his youth. If you have any DIY headboards we’d love to see them. Send the blog team an email.
September 11, 2007
If you’re in Los Angeles this fall and want to see Takashi Murakami’s work, don’t fret if you cannot get hold of Kanye for a private home visit. The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA will run a three-part show of the artist’s various creations from October 29 through February 11. The 20,000 square-foot exhibit will house painting, sculpture, installation and film.
According to MOCA “the first portion will be an immersive, theatrically lit environment, recreating the annual ‘Wonder Festival’ comic market convention. It will feature many of Murakami’s acclaimed large-scale otaku-inspired figure projects of the late 1990s, including a new version of Second Mission Project Ko2 (2000-07). The second section will comprise a grid-like shelving display of all of Murakami’s merchandise, including multiples, collectibles, and maquettes, among other items. The final section will trace Murakami’s artistic development since 1991, including early works that engage branding and the evolution of his signature character, DOB.”
Louis Vuitton will be setting up a shop selling the artist’s handbag and accessories collaborations with the venerable luxury brand. Surely, they’ll not be included in the price of admission.
August 15, 2007
Design Within Reach has always had a significant gay following. That goes without saying. So of course we fell in love with Don Florence’s “100 Homos” exhibit at Boltax Gallery in Shelter Island when we read about it on Towleroad. The pop portraits depict 100 name homosexuals, many of whom are famous in the art and design worlds: Jonathan Adler, Andy Warhol and Todd Oldham all made the cut. They’re great pop for $1,800 a pop. PDF of the portrait list is available here. [pdf]
July 26, 2007
Molly Peck just sent me a link to something very strange and beautiful, two of my favorite adjectives. The French artist Hubert Duprat shies away from traditional artist tools and creates his work with much more interesting materials: gold spangles, turquoise, opals, diamonds and caddis fly larvae. Yes, he makes art with bugs.
Cabinet magazine has stunning photos of the work and an interview with the artist up from their Spring issue. In the wild the flies create larvae casing from spun silk and found particles of sand, fish bone and the like. In Duprat's world the extremely adaptive buggers (ha, ha) play with finer materials resulting in living jewelry. It’s avant-garde art not for the squeamish.
July 20, 2007
Last week I headed over to Piedmont with a colleague from Design Within Reach to attend an art talk. The talk was with Lucinda Barnes, Deputy Director, Programs and Collections from the Berkeley Museum of Art and Andrea Zittel, a contemporary artist with an impressive catalog of work. Zittel’s sculptures and installations transform everything necessary for life—such as eating, sleeping, bathing, and socializing—into artful experiments in living. Blurring the line between life and art, Zittel’s projects extend to her own home and wardrobe. Andrea’s A-Z roots date back to the early 90’s when a friend hired her to help him find a boyfriend. She gave him pointers on everything from home decorating to what shoes to buy.
We were invited to the talk to hear about BAMs newly acquired trailer from Andreas’ show commissioned for the SFMOMA in 1995. Andrea is such an engaging and interesting artist, I won’t begin to try and put her words in here, but please check out more about her here. She’s just starting up a stint at the Headlands Center for Arts and I can’t wait to see what she does next.
May 23, 2007
The New York Times has a piece this week about Christoph Buchel, a Swiss artist best known for his conceptual pieces and large-scale installations. Collaborating with Mass MoCA in North Adams, Massachussetts, the installation has been going on since last fall. Roughly nine months of work and still the entire installation is not finished! In fact the process has been halted due to increasing budgets and increasingly complex demands from the artist. (Like burning, and then hanging, a fuselage from a 767 from the ceiling. How on earth does one “plan” for something like that?)
So, what to do about an installation that’s close to done and taking up the museums largest exhibit space? Well, Mass MoCA has figured that out (maybe). They’re opening up the doors to share the unfinished show, but they have decided to cover it up with tarps. Viewers will be allowed to wander amongst the art, but will have to rely on their imagination to fully appreciate the show. Their intention is to show the public how museums work with artists as well as to show their risky nature. It all sounds way cooler than my desk job. Such a unique dilemma, I’d really love to see the show for myself.
April 04, 2007
One of the best parts of living in NYC is the fact that art is everywhere. Many of the world’s greatest museums are housed here, many major artists and galleries reside here and you cannot escape art even if you tried in Manhattan. A Lichtenstein tile mosaic is housed in a grimy subway station and graffiti art abounds on sides of trucks and building walls.
When you find art in a nontraditional setting it can be quite a revelation. This happened to me recently in a tattoo parlor of all places. Troy Denning and his wife own Invisible New York, a tattoo parlor that masquerades as an art gallery. Their current exhibit features the work of Damion Silver, a Boston-based graphic artist. His work uses “recognizable found images,” such as BART cards, and encompasses “paintings - both traditional and custom cut, illustrations, etched glass, and screened wood.” It is definitely worth checking out. Getting a tattoo, that one’s up to you.
March 20, 2007
Last night I was invited by SECA to an artist talk with Los Angeles based artist Karen Kimmel. This was my first time seeing her work but now I'm definitely a fan. Her art is collaborative, conceptual and crafty. Last night we learned about the different artists (needlepointers, crafters, engineers, art schools, etc) that she's worked with, saw some of her past work and heard about her collaborative process. At a past show in LA she made stencils out of plexiglass that were then affixed to the wall of a gallery. These could be pulled off the wall to be used as a paddle in an art auction. After the auction the stencils were then taken and an Ikebana style art piece was made with the flowers coming out of the cutouts in the stencil. Wow, for sure. One of the highlights last night was seeing a partner of hers creating floral, wearable art and then giving them out. I got to walk away with a laser cut, stenciled wristband with unique flowers woven through it. It was tied to my arm with a suede strap that had her initials stamped on it. Karen, with her amazing attention to detail, is a woman after my own heart.
Her most recent project was working with the artists at Creative Growth, a gallery in Oakland. Creative Growth Art Center serves physically, mentally and developmentally disabled adult artists, providing a stimulating environment for artistic instruction, gallery promotion and personal expression. You can see their art here. Her next project is to work with a school for the hearing impaired in Scottsdale. I can't wait to see what comes out of this collaboration. There's so much to Karen and her art, read more about her here.