Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Monday, December 29, 2008

fancy farmers

Clare Rojas:Pennsylvania Dutch hex signs:

Yesterday I stumbled across a lovely hex sign at Ugly Luggage on Bedford Ave. I usually find super special items there, and even if I don't buy anything, I always leave intrigued and inspired. Luckily, I copped this amazing Pennsylvania Dutch hex sign, featuring unicorns, tulips, and a heart. These symbols represent peace, piety, contentment, faith, and love. Even more fortunate, the sign was made by Jacob Zook, who originated silk screening hex signs in the 1940s. Yay, printmaking!!!
Tradition has it that the Pennsylvania Dutch "fancy" farmers decorated their barns with these bright, symbolic hex signs to promote good fortune. Folk art is amazing to me. It's simple, clear, and always has a purpose rooted in daily life. I'm so happy to have a hex sign in my home and I hope it brings me lots of luck! I am excited to collect more of these pretty and inspiring objects! Plus, they remind me of one of my favorite artists, Clare Rojas.

Monday, December 22, 2008

cursed and wounded

Marci Washington's paintings should not be ignored. They are beautifully haunting images of cursed and wounded characters, frozen in the moment of their discomfort. I love her use of color. It's stark, simple, and sunless. I find peace in the tragedies of these figures, and I hope to have such an elegant death.

Friday, December 19, 2008


I'm not sure what you put on the top of your Christmas tree, but I put a ganstar on top of mine. A dear friend made it for me about three years ago during a tree decorating party I had. It's my favorite Christmas ornament ever, and it will adorn my Christmas tree every year. Happy Holidays!!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

vintage tea cup candles!

Today I had fun making these darling vintage tea cup candles. It's a super fun crafty thing to do, and easy! I bought the tea cups at Junk here in Brooklyn, found soy wax and wicks at Micheal's craft store, and added some amazing smelling oils to the melted wax so that they smell delicious. The finished ones turned out very delicate and pretty. I can't wait to make more!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

aesthetic comfort

When I went home to Cincinnati for Thanksgiving, I had the pleasure of swinging by the art museum to check out Ryan McGuinness' black light paintings. His work is always dazzling and captivating, but he really took it to the bridge by incorporating the black light. It was really psychedelic and spiritual in the room. Although I do wish I were shuffle skating around the paintings, and that there were fog machines. Because then I could go on a vision quest.
Aesthetic Comfort on view from:
October 25, 2008—February 15, 2009
Cincinnati Art Museum

Thursday, December 11, 2008

mustache key holder!

This mustache key holder is just AMAZING! It also just made my Christmas wish list. I love whimsical home treasures that keep your spirits up and keep you giggling.

Find it here on Etsy:

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

at war with the obvious

This past weekend, I went to view William Eggleston's show at the Whitney. I found the work profoundly calm, familiar, beautiful, lonely, still, and rich. The compositions were really subtle, and seemed to reveal a lot about the pure act of perception. The colors were very specific, rich, and retro. The subject matter was enchanting in a way. I found the images felt familiar, but not entirely. Eggleston said of his work that he was "at war with the obvious." His words are a sublimely accurate description of the common subjects in his work. I think the ordinary scenes become pretty zen in the aftermath of their photographed form.
I was surprised to learn that Eggleston pretty much paved the way for color photography as a fine art form with his 1974 solo show at the MOMA, which was less than favorably received by the public. In fact, one critic called it boring! I found this an interesting idea as I recalled the ordinary and quiet images I saw. In this case, I think boring is a perfectly flattering description of his work. I think we can appreciate great beauty in the everyday environment around us. Sometimes it's the only thing that keeps us going.
P.S. Interesting fact: William Eggleston is a huge drunk:)

On view through January 25, 2009
Whitney Museum of American Art
945 Madison Avenue at 75th Street
New York, NY 10021

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

sad celebrations

Richard Colman's work is really doing it for me right now. I'm a huge fan of pattern and repetition, especially when it is used with narrative. I love these drawings. They look like sad celebrations. The outstretched hands and hanging bells seem melancholy against the somber figures, but the colors and patterns seem cheerful and good-natured. I like little complexities like these. It's like being tricked.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Style and pride are inseparable.

Jamel Shabazz (portrait of the artist)
Vintage Cazal Frames

DAMN! Seriously, I can't decide which pair of vintage Cazal frames rule the world more! Run DMC made them famous in the eighties, but I want to make them legendary. Everything about these frames are completely extroverted and bold. When did we get so timid?
Fashion hasn't seen attitude like this since Jamel Shabazz's collection of photographs documenting urban street style in "A Time Before Crack." (I have a singed copy of this book that I am very proud of, which Mr. Shabazz wrote a note in reminding me "always keep your focus.") Sometimes, fashion's previous triumphs need to be celebrated. Now is one of those times. New York City's coolest kids got it right in the mid 70s and held it down for a solid decade. It's time for a revival. Before crack hit the ghettos of NYC in the mid eighties, optimism existed...and style and pride were inseparable. I'd like to think that wearing a pair a vintage Cazal's is my nod to that innocent and positive time.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Art Club Blazers

Don't be surprised if you see me and a gang of misfits bumbling around in flashy blazers like these ones from Balenciaga's fall 2007 collection. For some time, I've been a proud member of some "art club." Whether it was painting at my friend Mandee's house (her creations can be seen here: while slurping purple sizzurp, or drawing with my roommate Caitlin when I lived in lovely San Francisco, I have always embraced the idea of an art collective. And, nothing makes a collective, group, or team more solid than matching uniforms. Now that I live in Brooklyn and have a heap of fellow artists to create with, I invite all members of "art club" to fashion their very own art club blazer! The ones above are totes inspiring with their bold buttons, decorative ribbon, crests, and other royal embellishments. Being in a gang is awesome, even if you are just drawing pictures with other low lifers. Wearing a custom blazer just makes it official.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Kehinde Wiley a.k.a. painting's hero

Hans Holbein The Body of the Dead Christ in the Tomb, 1521

Recently, I went to view New York based artist Kehinde Wiley's show, DOWN at Deitch Projects. It totally moved me. He's doing everything right in an epic way. The enormous canvas' feature various young black men with impeccable sneaker taste posed loosely after Hans Holbein's Christ in the Tomb. For Mr. Wiley to to take a Northern Renaissance image and infuse it with vibrant floral patterns and completely modern figures is mind blowing to me. His technique is astounding. I have never seen patent leather Nike's look so real. Just when you think contemporary art has gone all graphic and kitsch, Mr. Wiley comes through with realism that is as breathtaking as the old masters. There's nothing more perfect than a painting that includes detailed floral patterns, gold chains, fresh sneakers, and stunning color combinations. If your an artist, you should quit because you'll never be this good.

Deitch Projects
18 Wooster Street, New York
November 01, 2008 — December 20, 2008

Being Rich is Awesome!

Being rich is awesome. Awesome pets, awesome teeth, awesome bill payments, awesome cars, and awesome notebooks. But more awesome than being rich is having awesome friends. Friends who surprise you with incredible gifts, like a handmade t-shirt with their own sweet faces on it that reads "Being Rich is Awesome!" I dedicate this blog to my amazingly creative and funny friends.