Josef Albers is a German artist I am a great fan of, him along with his German-American partner and fellow artist, Anni Albers. Both were students and teachers at the Bauhaus, with Josef specializing in abstract painting and Anni in textiles.
I can only dream of the kind of youth they had, studying under Johannes Itten (Swiss abstractionist painter, color theorist and part of the Weimar Bauhaus), brushing shoulders with Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky– becoming masters of crafts.
Most of the painted layers for the square paintings were layered on from center to outwards. There were some where Albers changed up his layering process for, which was very interesting– occasionally he’ll make the smallest center square as the final (top) layer.
If anyone could help me get Josef Albers’ Midnight and Noon book (it’s sold out), I would be extremely grateful.
Very interesting in person:
There’s a small part of me that always wonders if I pursued the creative route.. what would life have been like?
What would life be like with a partner who is equally or more in love with art? What it’d be like for us to chase visions and beauty
As I illustrated these, my mind took me back to a bible verse in Matthew Chapter 4, when Jesus spoke to the men who would become his apostles, saying, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
I also illustrated an avatar of my sister with the thought that it would be nice if there was more open-sourcing of avatars and characters of multiple ethnicities (e.g. Pablo Stanley’s Humaaans project, but even more diversified). It would long term serve the greater good– in company efficiency and racial equity.
While the materials used did not pass muster, I was very content and happy with my first attempt at making a tote bag with little to no direction. I am also happy and proud of the fact that I engaged sustained effort (pretty much guaranteed need with hand-stitching) and focus into this (Even a couple years ago, I was not keep my attention on one art project. I had (still have, but less) a hard time focusing, and would always flit about to the next thing before finishing my project because I would get bored after 2 hours). This finished product is a reflection of my progress over the years in improving my ability to focus on one thing at a time.
I did enlist the help of an unused bag; what I did was deconstruct it by its panels, and study that. That must have influenced the success story above.
Learnings from Experience
I understand now why all sewers use thimbles. Sewing with a metal needle for hours on end feels like playing the guitar for hours without any calluses having formed on my fingers. It leads to a unique, unpleasant burn.
I understand fully now why totes are made often with lighter, more thin material, and things that are more structured are made with more durable fabric. It has a lot to do with desired aesthetic.
What I’d Like to Do Better
I would like to start with materials (fabric, straps, colors) that are ideal.
I would like to improve the evenness of my stitching while also getting better on time.
Seen on October 3, 2018, opening day.
Chris and I go on a lengthy art gallery hop through Chelsea, and I’d have to say this was our favorite pit-stop: David Zwirner Gallery, a stellar power house.
We had to gulp down our cappuccinos.
So happy to see works I’ve never seen before in person from artist like Max Ernst and Rene Magritte. I have a particular attachment to the Dada and Surrealist movements.
A rather tempered work of Hieronymus Bosch:
Siren-like beauties– very much like the Valentino SS 2015 Campaign. I’d say almost identical in interpretation. I’m not sure about the strength of Leonor Fini’s other works, but my goodness, to have this in my home:
Things that make my childlike soul go hop!:
Amazing mastery of painting, and the chemistry between the movement of the waves vs. the wood like whorls of the levitating mass:
The power of women:
The detailing and lifework on this was superior:
Birds and wood:
For more details of the studio gallery, check it out here.
To follow Jean Jullien’s artwork, check out his Instagram
I’ve written about my admiration for this artist here in a post extolling him as the Houdini of Illustrators and again here, featuring a kinky erotic illustration video created in collaboration with his brother!
I am sitting in a very pretty coffee shop called the Yellow Tucan.
The cafe owner decorates the cafe with bright spots of yellow: oranges, tulips, architectural chairs, and truly brightens up the spirits of anyone stopping in.
It’s been 4 days since I’ve arrived in Paris.
Outside of my meetings for work I’ve committing to a practice of solitude as that’s what I have been looking for as I chose to take this trip– to recalibrate and deepen my focus.
After a sprint of work here and finishing this letter, I will go out to meet a friend, Pierre, to do what’s perhaps some much needed socializing. We will be going to the Musee de la Chasse et de la Nature. It will be my first time, and I am so very excited to go as I know the decorative art pieces there are splendid!
It hasn’t been difficult at all to find new friends here. There have been the hiccups of having to ward off men though. …on runs, during walks between meetings. But it’s nothing.
Work is going very well, although I’m shy to share with you the details of the project I have been working on just yet. It takes a lot of preparation, a lot of risk, and sharing sometimes feels scary because it feels like I am putting all my eggs in one basket, when I myself am not absolutely sure where this heading. But this I think is the scared me talking. 🙂
Things are moving very quickly forward though. It’s enough to excite me and frighten me simultaneously.
I hope I have the courage to continue on. And if not, I hope I have the courage to take up something new again. To persevere, and also to be brazen when acting for the good things– the worthy things.
Arming myself for the days ahead.
Everyone has probably visited Miami once in their life, if not for Spring Break, or for the lovely beaches. If you’re tired of hanging out in the loud or sheltered parts of Miami, and want to venture out of South Beach and Collins Ave., here are some recommendations for you to explore the blossoming neighborhood culture of Wynwood.
Being the art lover that I am, I made it a mission to visit every mappable gallery in the design district; these are my recommendations for galleries that impressed me with their representation of artists and newness of objects that I would not see if I was in New York:
Art by God : A wonderful store and gallery that I can spend hours in. There was an amazing $4000 Queen of Congo piece I wanted to leave with on my last trip, but I contented myself with buying a small bust of an African boy made of serpentine stone and crafted by an artist from the Shona Tribe (for those interested, the Shona are a people from Zimbabwe, whose ancestors built great stone cities in Southern Africa in days long past!).
To note: It’s a pleasure to hit up art galleries in Miami because they have such a fair representation of Latin American artists, something I haven’t seen much of in concentration in Chelsea or the UES.
Ranivilu Gallery – functions as part gallery, part design store.
There was also Glottman, which was very popular amongst the people there, but it didn’t do much for me. The products it carries look like that of every other design store, but perhaps you might enjoy it.
Dasher & Crank: For ice cream tourists, this is a must.
Coffee (or avo-toast for the women):
Dr. Smood: Great interior and awesome cafe concept. Healthy, but with a twist. They offer cashew milk as an option for their drinks, and it’s a great addition to the coffees I’ve drank in New York. I think in New York the extent to our coffee explorations are Nitro brews, grass-fed butter bullets, propolis/bee additive brews, and Australian concept brews.
If anyone knows of a coffee shop in NYC that offers cashew-milk based coffee, I would love to know.
KYU: A modern asian style eatery. Good for drinks.
Coyo Taco: A very popular taco joint. If you are into tacos. Me– not so much.
Plant the Future Wynwood: Recommended by my lovely friend, Thier, and I loved it. I’m not sure if the staff knows what they were doing and I certainly did not think they had a service mindset, but the interior concept of this plant store is cute and fun to walk through. The store has everything from modern potted plants to plants potted in animation characters.
ANTIDOTE: A sustainability focused womenswear concept shop. Owned by a stylish woman who owned a boutique in France and decided to open another concept in Miami.
Night So much experimentation and fun in the 70s and 80s, I wish I was a part of it:
Complement these visuals with the 1967 track of ze Vegetables by The Beach Boys.
PSA*** Let me just say MoMA’s current exhibits are amazing (Specifically, three). This is a good month to go. I won’t spoil it for you, but there are some new, reckoning art for you to see.
Running through April 1 at The Museum of Modern Art.
Complement these visuals with the 1967 track of ze Vegetables by The Beach Boys.
How long has it been?
Up until college, I had grown up with an appreciation for fine art thanks to my parents, but it was never really something I had sought out on my own.
I knew enough “art” to maintain my sense of weird, self-righteous adolescent pride in being cultured and artsy. My interest was driven by nothing else really of nobler substance.
At 18, I moved to New York for college, and I enrolled in an art crit class on a whim during freshman year: the Art of Now course at New York University.
Fast forward to 2013, when I studied abroad in Shanghai. I decided to take on a heavier workload of art classes and immersed myself in contemporary and Asian art. I don’t remember much of the art I saw in detail, but this period of time would leave an indelible mark on me, and it was a catalyst for my passion.
I returned, enrolled in some more art classes.. a studio class in drawing.
During my time as a student, I had more time in the afternoons and between classes to do other things (doing nothing, meeting friends at cafes or for lunch in the West Village, chilling near fountains – damn life from 18-22 was so sweet) and I began exploring gallery spaces and art exhibitions everywhere! pretty intensely.
I started taking random things at home: scissors, a tableweight, a pepper from the kitchen, a rose and draw.
So newly inspired I was by the intricate beauty in all things that held form, line, and shape.
I was falling in love with art then.
I began to accumulate a larger inventory of the things I liked and disliked, formulate stronger opinions backed by a latticework of thoughts and experiences built thanks to the plenitude of art I’ve seen in the years which have since passed post- college.
For example, I prefer minimalism and modernism. I like French impressionism, and abstract expressionism.
Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele works are so luscious and rich. Contemporary movements like pop surrealism, otherwise knowns as “Lowbrow” art are so cool.
I don’t find a lot of photography art to be impressive, but I’m okay with that. Installations with various forms of media are sometimes a hit or miss for me. I like contemporary art, but I’m not particularly fond of Jeff Koons (active from 1977 – ) or Damien Hirst (1988 – , or Jean-Michel Basquiat (1976 – ). But I do love me my Toyin Ojih Odutola (2008 – , Osamu Yokonami, and Chad Wys (2011 – ) :
It’s 2018 and I love art more than ever.
I move and live every week, drinking in all the things I see, from the daily visuals of life to the more curated representations of art at institutions.
And the more I do that, the more I understand this:
Art is an instrument that instructs the way we see and live our lives. Our lives, in turn, are ripe, breeding grounds for art: new expressions and new manifestos… and who’s to say that the act of life and breathing aren’t art in themselves.
They are synonymous with one another– and I cannot see the difference.
(on my best days- taha.)
My friend Christine and I stopped by the Paul Kasmin Gallery yesterday to check out this LOUD art show, which represents the works of Judith Bernstein, a New York based artist, mainly known for her phallic symbol infused works and her ardent devotion to feminism.
Money Shot is a visual manifesto of some very explicit political commentary (truly, a no holds barred, lacking zero subtly situation). Asides from the strong messaging, the artist used fun and creative mediums like fluorescent paint and light for this exhibit to the delight of myself and the many other art goers that walked into the gallery (Exhibit A: it was fun to see anyone with hair lighter than brown with heads literally lit, and seeing men walk in with their stiff collared shirts noticing in surprise that the collars peeking out of their sweaters were brilliantly highlighted in spacey purple light).
Do I see a Darth Vadar, a skull, and a generic demon here or is it just me?
The Trinity Schlong
While this artist clearly shows her bias for the strong left, I believe this show is worth going to and seeing– regardless of one’s political affiliation, and preferably with an open mind.
It is worth mentioning and acknowledging the creative and intellectual risks this artist has made to voice out some very controversial and sensitive opinions, and the gallery that chose to represent her with this recent installation.
I applaud you, Paul Kasmin Gallery.
This show runs until March 03, 2018. @ 293 10th Ave., NY.
Helmut Newton is a photographer best known for his erotica fueled snapshots and a taste for capturing fun… stripped bare. He was regarded by many as the “King of Kink” and you can go back to so many issues of Vogue easily with his indelible footprint.
Here are a couple of my favorite works from this talented German Australian:
While I don’t appreciate all his works, I do truly think he was the best of his kind for what he did.
There is so much life and mischief captured through a single portrait– he did it so well.
Romanian visual artist Geta Brătescu
American visual artist Joan Jonas‘ riveting 3-D performance
One of Louise Bourgeois’ smaller arachnoids, perched on the wall:
Part of her exhibition, Louise Bourgeois: An Unfolding Portrait, a showcase of 300 pieces, which is running until January 28, 2018.
Indie Films to Watch
Art Shows to See
Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman & Designer, at the Met Museum on 5th Avenue
Yayoi Kusama: Festival of Life, at the David Zwirner Gallery in Chelsea on 19th St.
Say hello to the newest heavy-weight in portraiture, Toyin Ojih Odutola.
I first became acquainted with this Nigerian artist’s work during a run at the galleries in Chelsea a couple years ago. I remember being so viscerally struck by her drawings that day. They were white pencil on white paper– I had to lower my body and kneel closer to the ground to see what the drawings held. It was a moving experience to encounter the fullness of these white identities she drew out for the appraiser– very controlled and calculated.
I’ve since become fascinated by the unique mark-making techniques she employs.
The Brooklyn based artist uses whirls and lots of hairy (really that’s what it looks like in person: the wispiest of wispy hairs) detailing to create rich visual narratives that surround her already deeply contextualized subjects. If you look at her artwork in person, you’ll see all the swirls and membrane-like pieces that make up the sum of a composition of faces, bodies, and identities– so much integrity and thought put to paper face via graphite, charcoal, or pastel:
Toyin toys with anything from discussions on natural identity to more poignant POVs on say, racial profiling.
I’m happy to share that Toyin Ojih Odutola will be holding her first solo exhibit at The Whitney Museum this month, a commission that is well deserved by this outspoken wunderkind.
Check out her upcoming show, To Wander Determined, at The Whitney Museum of American Art on 99 Gansevoort St., open to the public from October 20th.
I can’t wait to see it.
Here are some shows to be excited about and below is a view of my favorite works from the referenced artists. Look out for them if you go!
Suzan Frecon’s Oil Paintings, David Zwirner Gallery, 525 West 19th Street, New York (9/15)
Campana Brothers: Hybridism, Friedman Benda Gallery, 515 West 26th St, New York
Ad Reinhardt’s Blue Paintings, David Zwirner Gallery, 537 West 20th Street, New York
Rodin at the Met, Metropolitan Museum of Art (9/16)
Formally trained in religious sculpture, Italian artist Gehard Demetz has progressed to become one of the most talented artists of our century. He wields his art technique and experience to create works, many with children as subject, that explore the dichotomies and marriages of contradiction… between that which is evocative and whimsical – provocative and contemporary. His sculptures often carry an energy verging on the socio-political.
He relies on mediums like wood and bronze and certainly knows how to make dry wood come alive.
These are my favorite works of Demetz throughout his career as a sculptor:
Personally, I would say his best works were made in 2013.
We live in a world with brands from all across the world offering international shipping, employing international influencers, and commissioning out the wildest of digital marketing tactics, desperate to reach that perfect customer. So really, what’s stopping you anymore from getting that perfect wardrobe that emblemizes you, not just a piece of the corner you, but wholly you?
Rock fashion from across the world, and support some talented designers along the way.
Here’s a couple of brands I love and support:
South Africa, Pichulik:
Colombia, Mercedes Salazar:
Buy it in the US here.
Denmark, Norse Projects:
There are a lot of talented brands out there and the ones with merit often share the same manufacturers. The ones less known among this pool sometimes have more room for innovation/testing and end up churning out some fantastic designs, and sometimes– they’re just a whole lot better, with more advanced specs and competitive prices to boot– except for the lack of exposure, branding, and marketing power.
Take this brand for example:
Thailand, Kalis Activewear:
Canada, Bronze Age:
Morrocan inspired shoes, The Babouche!
Just look at all the boss-ness reverberating from these brands’ souls.
In a world of purported connectivity, why have a brand come to you? Grab discovery by the balls and find those gems yourself. Happy shopping!
**All brands listed offer international shipping