Thursday, December 27, 2007

motel gallery closes. (sad emoticon goes here.)


i was so saddened when i clicked on over to motel a few weeks ago and saw the goodbye letter form the proprietress jenn armbrust.  i was never able to visit motel in person, but it was a frequent link for me, hell i had it in my toolbar.  i first heard about motel about 5 yrs ago.  in that time span i have been introduced to so many new artists and products, thanks to the amazing curatorial eye of jenn.   just to name a few: megan whitmarsh, jen corace, carson ellis, ryan jacob smith.  below are some of the pieces motel has had in past shows.  it will be sad to have that hole here on the web and in real time.  but from the sounds of jenn's open letter it sounds like she has many more, wonderful endeavors in her future.  goodbye motel and good luck jenn!


the ossining house.  carson ellis.


at the waters edge.  marci washington.


fodder for the slaughter.  rachel sumpter.


kime buzzelli.


the apathetic america and the absence of contemporary protest music.  chris duncan.


holding on.  jen corace.

placenta is the new black: pinar yolacan's maria.


one of the major reasons i love art (and why i write this blog) is for the very fact that art moves me.  whether it is amazingly beautiful or god awful or just plain disturbing.  art almost always elicits some sort of a response w/in my visceral, emotional being and if it's done a really good job, my cerebral, thinking side as well.  it gets me talking, thinking, wanting to discuss w/ those around me.  pinar yolacan's exhibit maria has done that to me recently.


maria, is a group of 22 photographs of afro-brazilian women dressed in clothing made by pinar and inspired by local architecture.  however, not all the fabric is man made, each woman is outfitted  somehow in animal flesh, placenta to be exact and it blends in almost perfectly w/ the effervescent velvet.  the photos are equally stunning as they are disturbing.


i've become really enthralled w/ this exhibit.  many things come up for me as i look at the photographs online, subjects such as race, class, beauty and fashion are amongst some.  the women themselves are from itaparica, bahia, an island off of brazil, not far from one of the biggest slave ports in the world.  you can read the press release here to read in pinar's own words her inspirations.  her ideas behind it are all very interesting.  i'd love to hear what others think on this exhibit.


rivington arms has extended the show through january 10th.  i hope to get down to nyc to see it.  i am really interested in experiencing the photographs in person.  they are quite large and i imagine really demand one's attention.


** all images used courtesy of the artist and rivington arms.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

the small FACTORY: maxwell loren holyoke-hirsch on etsy.


truth mountain.

oh thank god.  YES.  maxwell loren holyoke-hirsch has brought christmas early this year (hanukkah is already here peeps, duh.), he's open his very own etsy shop called the small FACTORY.  prints are going fast.  you should also check out his shop on his website, as there is a different array of stuff over there. i'm sleeping at the wheel over here and should have posted this earlier in the week...but hey, better late than never.  if you don't know maxwell's work, get acquainted cause he's up and coming and well, basically he's arrived, so there.


karma compulsion.


knotted and dense.


holy tree.

Friday, December 07, 2007

hidden habitats: saelee oh & jill bliss rockin it.


collaboration between artists is always exciting.  hidden habitats is the latest collaboration between saelee oh and jill bliss.  tomorrow at giant robot in la, hidden habitats opens.  the show will expound on the concept behind oh's and bliss's third calendar  of the same name.  the show will feature collaborative and individual illustrations, soft sculpture and more all depicting dwellings, homes, habitats and structures w/in nature that house real and imagined creatures.

saelee oh has always been one of my very favorite artists.  her use of craft in her work has always been impressive to me.  often combining many different techniques, including paper cuts, sewing and illustration, saelee's work has a magical feel.  her pieces often depict sleepy girls in the midst of a story.  nature, femininity and animals play a huge role in her illustrations.  her pieces are special in so many ways.



a self proclaimed "jill of all trades,  jill bliss is the creative force behind blissen.  an artist as well, everything jill touches turns to beauty, quite literally.  she specifically uses recycled, found, collected objects, sustainable fabrics and materials.  her work is colorful, happy and delightful.  her images often consist of flowers, repetitive designs and nature abounds w/ in them.  i've been a recipient of many a blissen item and have always been delighted.  jill's artwork also leaves me feeling happy.  her mural outside a store on haight street in san francisco always makes the fog there seem a little less dense, and on sunny days only makes the day brighter.



the collaboration between these two artists is a show not to be missed.  if you can't make it to the show however, there are hidden habitats items on blissen.  but you snooze you lose, they are already selling click on over!


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

take to the woods: analogue books.


opening flyer by nigel peake.

analogue books is a bookstore and gallery in edinburgh that for the love of god i wish it were here.  just looking at their shop online i get all drooly.  there are quite a few books on their site i've had my eye on...and now i've just added more to the list of want.  for instance, a time before crack by jamel shabazz.  hot damn i need that book.


susy q - skulls and owls.

oh yeah, so anyway...analogue stocks some great books.  they also make some great little zines under the name running amok, w/ guessed it...great artists.  i'll be posting about one of their 'zines later in the week.


nigel peake - a shelter from the wind and the rain.

in 2005 analogue added a gallery space and now showcases wonderful artists.  this coming thursday, analogue has their first group show called "take to the woods.".  and yes, smarty pants you guessed it, the theme of the show is the woods and the artists take on the title.  how'd you get so smart? 


robert hanson - tree chase.

analogue asked 30 of their favorite artists to show w/them, some have shown at analogue before, some have not.  there will be a booklet under the same name that will be launched at the show.  be sure to check their flickr page in a few days to look at photos of the show, or just check out the many shows they've had in the past.  oh, and they have a  blog that's pretty stellar as well.  the images in this post are just a few of the pieces that will be in the show.


matt sewell


simon peplow

**  all images courtesy of the artists and analogue books.

Monday, November 12, 2007

kokeshi dolls and you.


miss mindy - chicken boy friend.

i've got the perfect gift for you to give to yourself this year.  cute, different, unique, and collectible.  sounds good, yes?  yes, it most certainly does.

kokeshi, a show that opened on the 3rd, at subtext gallery in san diego, is a group show w/ 85 custom kokeshi dolls by 70 artists.  featuring some great peeps, like catherine campbell, susie ghahremani, jen corace, audrey kawasaki and the list keeps on going...

guaranteed to be an institution in the art  world, the show will be a yearly event.  curated by christina conway, a big fan of the limited edition vinyl toy world, it's her girly twist and contribution to that world.  in her words:

"the designer toy market is what inspired me to put the custom kokeshi show together but i wanted to influence the scene with a little more femininity, something a little softer. but don't worry, some manly pieces managed to work their way in there... something for everyone."


one of stampede's favorite artists: catherine campell.


audrey kawasaki.

be sure to check out christina's blog, where you can read a great interview about her love of kokeshi and why she put the show together.  oh and head on over to her flickr page so you can pick out an original piece of art, your very own kokeshi doll.


jen corace - girl.


susie ghahremani - suzume.


lorena alvarez - urashima taro.

** all images used courtesy of christina conway.

Friday, November 02, 2007

giant robot biennale: 50 issues.


giant robot is celebrating their 50th issue of their bi-monthly magazine this month.  what started out as a 'zine back in 1994 has now grown to a dynamic and creative force w/in the art community.  giant robot has always been a champion for new and upcoming artists.  one of my favorite things to do when living in san francisco was to go to their store and pour over all of the great books they stock, many of which they help to publish.


saelee oh.


souther salazar.

to celebrate their 50th issue, eric nakmura owner, editor, curator, restauranteur, blogger and super all around  renaissance man, has collaborated w/ the japanese american national museum to kick off the museum's new series salon pop; giant robot biennale: 50 issues.  the exhibit will have work from david choe, souther salazar, saelee oh, adrian tomine to name a few.  the exhibit opens tomorrow w/ a reception starting at 6pm - 10pm, and runs through january 13 2008.  you can find out more info here.


masakatsu sashie.



** all images: GIANT ROBOT.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

"i'm on your side & we're always right. it's perfect & we're worth it."*


if you are in boston on sunday head down to mass art and check out punk rock flea market.  there will be over 40 vendors, dj's, baked goods and lots of great stuff going on.  it's only a buck to get in...less than a coffee and way more inspiring than any coffee buzz.  check out the myspace page here.

* punk as fuck by the american analog set

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

"no one is the savior they'd like to be."*


"i'm too sad to tell you." is a project that was conceived by jessica williams.  it was inspired by a 1970 black and white 16mm short film, w/ the same name by dutch performance artist bas jan ader crying uncontrollably w/ no explanation.  the project originally began w/ jessica documenting herself crying but soon opened it publicly.  an open call posted on flickr asking people to submit self portraits of themselves crying. 


there is now a website w/ over 100 images, each connecting the viewer to the subject's respective website or flickr account.  the images are often beautifully sad in their moments of grief.  i was reminded of one of my favorite photographs by diane arbus, a child crying.  like arbus' portrait of the young child, the emotions in many of these photos are clear and it's hard to not have strong empathy for the crying subject.  yet a healthy distance considering we are only given what the subject wants us to see, the tears.

there are hopes of a book this fall.  please check out the website here.  sadly, no more images are being accepted.


lovesong of the buzzard by iron & wine.

** all images used by jessica's sweet and kind permission.  (images of sofia sjoholm, dee, rina drescher.  chris mcveigh, nina coloso, natalie sorensonchris gauthier, margaret milne and andriew budiman.   

Monday, October 08, 2007

"when routine bites hard."*


i saw the darjeeling limited on saturday night.  it was a great way to spend a jet lagged saturday evening w/ my san franciscan buddies.  i totally recommend it.  it's bit long, but the boys make it all worth while.  and as always wes anderson delivers w/ great little visual surprises and an awesome sound track.


i always love the previews before the movie, although recently...has anyone noticed that there are commercials and tv shows in some of the major theatres in their previews?  what is up w/ that?  anyway...i was so excited to see the preview for CONTROL, a film about ian curtis from joy divison.  it looks soooooo good.  one of the very first lp singles that i bought was joy division's love will tear us apart, when i was 15.  who doesn't have a ton of memories associated w/ that song?  it totally brings me back.  i know that often all the right editing can make a preview of a film look amazing...but i have to say that i was almost more thrilled by watching the three minute trailer than the entire film i went to see.  i'm not hating on the darjeeling limited, it was great.  but watching CONTROL and hearing the music conjured up so many memories for me.  i also felt bittersweet knowing that just sitting in that theatre w/ my friends was creating more memories as my move back east creeps closer. 

i can't wait.


* love will tear us apart by joy divison
** film images gleaned from joy division central.  love will tear us apart album cover image from some random place on the web.  i forgot.  please forgive me.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

souther salazar at gr2.


one of the many things that i love about souther salazar's work are his lil chunky, nebulous, men that inhabit his work either by paint, collage or clay.  his work Nebuluslilguyinballon always has a bit of an outer space world meets dr. seuss  w/ colorful cuteness all around.  he has a broad imagination that comes across fully in his work.  his paintings, collages and installations seem like just a portal into an amazingly colorful, dynamic world.

one of my favorite magazines and stores, giant robot is also a big fan of souther's work.  they host a blog that souther and his gf, salee oh,  take turns writing.  it's called peanut butter & jelly.  oh the cuteness.  anyway, the great peeps over at GR2, the los angeles store, are having an opening on october 13th, for souther called make it real.

"make it real was inspired by a long drive and wandering mind. souther imagined stories, scenes, places, and things that made him feel positive and constructive. these thoughts are manifested in six large paintings: five 30" x 48" landscapes and one 48” x 48” square."

if you are in la, be sure to check it out.  the show is only up for two and a half weeks, and then some of the paintings head over to the japanese american national museum to take part in a giant robot curated show.

all images used w/ permission.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

"i built this balustrade to keep you home, to keep you safe from the outside world."*


i started writing this blog to write about things that inspire me and instill passion in me.  everyday, i find more and more that i want to write about.  i always have an ongoing list in my notebook of things i want to write about, it seems like there is a never ending list of inspirational things.

tonight when i got home my sister told me about this artist, michael townsend that was recently arrested in a providence mall for having built an apartment w/in the parking garage.  apparently he had been living in it off and on for the past 4 yrs, w/ seven other artists.  i laughed out loud when she mentioned the four yr part.  how awesome is that?


i was instantly intrigued by his reasoning behind it, and his goal in creating an apartment in the mall that would be a performance piece. 

michael watched the mall being built from his own, actual home from 1997 to 1999.  during that time he found a space in the parking garage of the mall that was used for supplies.  this would later be home to his 750 sq. ft apartment,  it was during the christmas season of 2003 that michael was inspired by advertisements on the radio that talked about "how great it would be to live" at the providence place mall.

Dishesfordinnergueststhat became the backbone of his piece, his new home.  for the next four yrs he and seven other artists would live in the apartment for up to 3 weeks at a time to try and gain a better understanding of malllife, as the project was soon to be called.  they documented hours and hours by video, and only 6 photographs.  as he so simply says in his explanation on his website:

"Life from within the mall was committed to the pursuit of normalcy and the purchase of objects and clothing that would help define me an active participant in the great things the mall has to offer.  The apartment was a superb space for hosting guests and I only regret that we didn’t have a working toilet."

equipped w/ furniture, lamps, rugs, china closet, breakfast nook, paintings, a waffle iron, a tv and of course a sony play station the apartment was becoming an actual abode.  perhaps basic, but livable none the less.  sadly the playstation was eventually stolen during a break-in sometime last spring.  the irony of a fake apartment being burglarized is pretty priceless and not to mention casts an ironic light on the project.  although the artists were no doubt bummed that their games were gone, i don't think they could have planned a better addendum to their project.Allamenitiesincluded

sadly this all came to an abrupt end when michael was apprehended outside the apartment recently by mall security.  and what began as a social experiment in mall living has now turned into criminal trespassing. michael has plead no contest and got off w/ probation.

i personally think this story rocks and want michael to be my friend.  it's inspirational on so many levels.  what i love about it is the genuine sincerity that comes across on his website about what it was he was trying to do.  he has a thoughtful stance how in hindsight he feels a bit badly about taking up people's valuable time.  i also really love the length of time it went on for.  that in and of itself is just downright hilarious and not to mention some what epic in an age that things come and go like the weather.  i will say that it's really sad how the mall spokespeople reacted.  chalking it up to a childish prank, and acting as if they had been taken advantage of.

you can check out michael's  website here.  and read more about this story here and here.  also be sure to check out michael's other projects.

grainy photos of apartment used w/ permission from michael townsend.
home sweet home map used w/out permission from the providence journal.
* here i dreamt i was an architect by the decemberists.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

benefit for kime buzzelli owner of showpony.

Bummerforkime on october 18th, at the echo in los angeles there will be a benefit for kime buzzelli.  proceeds go to help kime cover costs of an upcoming surgery to have a tumor removed.  unfortunately, her insurance company will only cover half of the costs.  FORTUNATELY, kime has some amazing people in her corner who are throwing this benefit for her.  lavender diamond and becky stark will be performing along w/ a whole slew of other people.  there is also promise of special surprise guests.  along w/ an art auction, through out the night hit + run will be silk screening kime's art on to t-shirts for guests.  sounds like an amazing night for a real worthy cause.

kime buzzelli is the proprietor of show pony in echo park, an amazing illustrator and has a great blog to boot.  i personally check kime's blog on a daily basis, perhaps like an addiction or perhaps as someone who is just enamored by a true doyenne.  kime, in my opinion embodies true visionary.  she's always pulling out great stuff to put up on her blog.  she has an amazing eye and is a clear trail blazer.  i've never visited her store, but i've been hearing about it for yrs.  her illustrations are something else.  i wrote a blog post on her a while back and it pretty much sums up how i feel.

you can read more about kime's benefit here.  also, there is word on the post that there will be an online auction for those of us who won't be able to make it, but want to help.  i will post here on my love for you... as soon as i find out anymore.

i wish kime all the best, and i am grateful that we have this world of blogging to help get the word out.  spread the word if you know of kime or if you just want to do good.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

my favorite teacher's pet.


so i have a confession, i have kind of a sick weakness for  the sitcom king of queens.  i know.  i don't know what is happening to me, unemployment may be the death of me.  i don't know what it is.  i just get this sick purge of joy when i see it's on the cable guide in the early evening.  i'm not proud, but i just needed to get it off my chest.  ok, phewww.

perhaps i can redeem myself w/ the following...

about five years ago i contemplated opening a store.  i had a few vendors/artists/crafters that i had my eye on that had not been saturated in the san francisco area.  one of those artists/crafters was this one woman show susie ghahremani who's company's name is boygirlparty.  she had these adorable little pouches, w/ cut out circles w/ an adorable litle drawing.  it was the beginning of the diy craze, and these were so well made.


anyway, needless to say my store never came into fruition for many reasons.  however, susie's art has taken off!  her style is sweet and colorful, w/ a broad range of browns, greens, blues and yellows. she has a passion for animals, including bears, owls, cats and her favorite, finches.


this saturday susie has her first solo show at giant robot in nyc.  it looks like it is going to be a great show!  she will be there for the opening and there is a mention on her blog of perhaps giveaways!  if you aren't able to make it to the show, be sure to stop by her shop.  i just purchased a sweet little tote for the sum of $10!  which is an absolute steal (even on the non-existant budget of the unemployed!  no coffe for a week!) from such a cutie.  also, it's in my favorite


i sent susie an email yesterday asking her if i could glean photos from her sight and she responded instantly w/ attachments of photos of the actual show.  i was so touched at how down to earth and cool she was.  this girl is definitely one to keep an eye on.




here is the postcard for the show w/ all the details.


Friday, August 03, 2007

you are beautiful.


the main reason i started this blog was to write posts about all things i found wonderful.  one of my favorite projects that has been on the web for a few years is you are beautiful out of chicago, illinois.  it's a small project that has grown out of the shear greatness of a simple idea.  the project has been spread all over the world.  just three simple words: you are beautiful.  plain, simple, positive.



as their statement qualifies...

"You Are Beautiful is a simple, powerful statement which is incorporated into the over absorption of mass media and lifestyles that are wrapped in consumer culture.

The intention behind this project is to reach beyond ourselves as individuals to make a difference by creating moments of positive self realization. We're just attempting to make the world a little better.

Intention is the most important aspect of the You Are Beautiful project in its idea of purity. Nothing is sacred. Everything that has a perceived value becomes commodified. We work extremely hard that this message is received as a simple act of kindness, and nothing more.

Advertising elicits a response to buy, where this project elicits a response to do something. The attempt with You Are Beautiful is to create activism instead of consumerism.

You Are Beautiful uses the medium of advertising and commercialization to spread a positive message.  Projects like these make a difference in the world by catching us in the midst of daily life and creating moments of positive self realization."


if you want your own stickers to put out in the world and to help spread the message, all you have to do is send a s.a.s.e to the address  on their website.  or you can put a loved ones name on that envelope and have them get the packet in the mail.  which in and of itself is spreading the message.


another way you can get involved is by making your own "you are beautiful" piece.  the people at you are beautiful just ask three things of you...

  1. you do not sell what you make.
  2. you do not make any products (even given away or free of charge)
  3. be respectful of your installations.

i can't think of a better way to spend a day.  you can check out their website for inspiration.