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11.22.2014

TIME FOR CRAFTS THAT DON'T TAKE TIME

hello all, 

as holidays approach - and i include thanksgiving (as it seems all of the marketing sector forgot about it this year) - it is a time for sharing extra love and care. as a result, just giving gifts rarely makes the cut for me. i love to craft things, or give something handmade, to the people i love, based on what they need, and i know would make them feel good, especially when they host the warmest, sweetest dinners. 

crafting however, as we all well understand needs time and this year in particular for me has left me with very little of it. well, that is why i compiled a list, as mentioned last week, of my favorite, most intriguing, diy projects that will eliminate any sense of being overwhelmed. I've included a couple we've done together and you enjoyed!

* for the sweet tooth: these remarkably tasty vegan ginger cookies by chef chloe coscarelli.

* for the always busy one: these essential oil sprays. these inspired me to do a lavender calming one, and a orange energizing one for my friend! i especially liked the saucy labels. FIY spray bottles are also available at whisk.

* for a little one: these chalkboard blocks

* for the art lover: this abstract painting inspired notebook we did earlier this year.

* for the romantic: this pretty pair of natural rock stud earrings. if you like you could pick a rock based on its characteristics and even include a small print about it in your gift.

* for the decorateur: these wonderful minimalist triangle ornaments that will remind you of teepess. so unique right? (i'll try posting these for you when i make them!)

what kind of gifts do you like giving to a hostess for thanksgiving?

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11.17.2014

SOLITUDE IN A BUSTLING WORLD

Hello there!
Midterms are finally over, and we are headed straight to one of my favorite holidays-Thanksgiving. I'm excited for it every year because aside from it being focused around gratitude and family, it is a holidayfholholiday whith extra room for creativity and making things by hand. There is not as much time now for me as there was last year but I've uncovered some beautiful crafts we can make in a short time which I'll be sharing with you in another post. But since we are on the topic of holidays, I might take the opportunity to note how thankful I am for the brief break they offer.
I read an old article yesterday from Elle magazine on the therapeutic aspects of quiet time. It went on to note an emerging trend in seeking solitude that one can find in a far away hidden-in-the-woods monastery and so on. However, it got me thinking of us less prosperous fellows, who might not be able to or even desire to close ourselves for a short time in a convent just to find solitude. Then I remembered of the tow places I go to, right in the middle of a bustling, crowded always talking New York:
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the library (preferably the Institute of Fine Arts one or the NYPL on 5th ave).
The Met you might say gets very crouded and noisy, and may wonder how on earth can someone fisolitude. Well, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. There are times (like very early in the morning, or later in the evening on Fridays) when people are either fewer or quieter. In addition, there are spots which attract less noisier crouds, like the crypt below the Great Stairs and the general area of the Modern Art section which is due to move soon. But aside from moments and areas like this, once you sit on a spot and zone out, focusing on an artwork in front of you, or the people passing by you can almost hear your heart slowing down and getting up to leave is out of the question. I can sit for hours staring at the Kouros in the Jaharis hall, or the Pollock in modern and only feel the time pass through the people who seem to come to and fro almost as shadows.
The library may be a more obvious selection.
I love getting there early in the morning, picking a spot, with a hot mug of tea and just sitting there reading. Sure, you will occasionally get that one fellow who is a bit more clutzy than even you, making noise til they settle down but you know...that's the charm of it too.
Finally, one more thing that can grant you immense calm right in the city is a rooftop at a nice warm day. I will never pass an opportunity as such.
And who could blame me with a view like this one...but I am curious...where do you seek quiet and solitude when not at home? In fact, do you seek it at all?


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11.02.2014

IF I COULD, I WOULD - "BOUQUETS" AT THE DMA

a short introduction before i go on: i had this idea the other day, that i thought you might enjoy. we'll be posting a series of articles under the title "if i could i would" which will talk about cool things, shows, events etc. taking place around the world that we can't go to, but would really, really love to. this will be a series that we encourage people to bring in ideas. so, anyone that has heard of anything art related that they can't go to (unless it is in ny) send it over and we'll blog-chat!

now to the first article of the series!

while fall is in its full glory, and winter is steadily approaching it is springtime in dallas. How you may wonder? no, it isn’t the sweet weather of the south, but rather the new exhibition held at the dallas museum of art, “bouquets: french still-life painting from chardin to matisse”.

this exhibition has on display more than sixty artworks from about thirty different artists including courbet, cézanne, redouté and pissarro. what i like a lot about this endeavour, aside from the astoundingly beautiful artworks it contains, was the idea. the exhibition maps and looks at the role and evolution of flowers as a subject for still-life art work. it certainly helps when works are of a certain aesthetic which generally accepts them as beautiful, but it is important to also see what lies behind. it is not often that you wonder about the history and evolution of the portrayal of flowers in academic painting – where it began and ended (if it did). in addition, it seems like an ideal visual opportunity to consider the changes in painting flowers in accordance with the social conditions from which each emerged.
anne vallayer’s “bouquet of flowers in blue porcelain vase” of 1776 has captured a beautiful array of colors through spectacular lighting and is expressed in a realism that is undoubtedly captivating. on a different note, works on flowers of impressionists and post-impressionists such as van gogh or manet show the viewer a very different understanding of light. it seems to me that impressionism was one of the schools that captured to the highest extent how light changes by the minute and each time can create an entirely different atmosphere. taking just these two examples into account, it can perhaps become more understandable why i think the diversity of works and painting schools in this exhibition can be a really rich experience.
{bouquet of flowers, eduard manet, 1882, murauchi art museum, japan}
nonetheless, it is a lot of information to take in. i am thus curious to hear more about how the curators, mitchell merling and dr. heather mcdonald managed to tackle this issue in the organization of the exhibition itself. a curator’s work creates a story about the works displayed. it is different if one follows a chronological order than a thematic one, it is also different if they are clustered in groups for example or splayed out into open space, or are simply organized in a linear manner. this is just another one of the reasons i would really like to visit this exhibition, as it sounds (like most exhibitions do) as a tricky theme to handle.
while contemplating, thinking about and also daydreaming about this exhibition, i caught myself taking it further than the artists mentioned on the announcement of the exhibition. it is certainly interesting to consider other's work such as utrillo's paintings, like the one above. he was an artist more known for his cityscapes - so what drove him to paint still-lifes and particularly flowers? and where does he stand beside other artists of this genre? his brush strokes are characteristically unique and full of force and movement. they are portrayed in a way that feels rather wild in contrast to the mild, soft and almost calming post-impressionist style of perhaps van gogh. additionally, it is interesting to observe the difference in the movement portrayed between the two artists on the subject of flower painting.

finally, the museum has also organized talks and lectures which sound exciting, and that can really take the viewer more steps further than just viewing the art work. one in particular i would be very keen on listening is the “gauguin & van gogh: a dialogue of bouquets”. gauguin and van gogh were both post-impressionists, but with quite a few differences in their way of expressing and handling light and paint. it will surely be interesting to delve a little deeper into such a subject.

is anyone from dallas, or nearby that is going to see it? it would be great to see viewer’s opinions and critiques on this exhibition. in the meantime i’ll go get a bouquet for my apartment.

{1} read more about the exhibition here
{2} the manet flowers painting is just an example, i have no way of knowing which of all of his flowers are on display yet.
{4} the image shown from the DMA and the Musée d'Orsay are subject to copyright, please visit their websites before using them. this article was not written for commercial purposes.



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10.30.2014

WELL, HERE'S WHAT I'M GOING AS FOR HALLOWEEN AFTERALL

as we had talked about earlier in october, there were quite a few ideas that had run through my mind reagrding what to dress up as for halloween, because there were a number of limitations (mostly the curly blond hair issue, and access to period dress).

time was flying by and i needed to come up with something art history inspired, quick and either done by a woman or portraying a woman. the latter for no other particular reason than that i really enjoy and admire this whole women empowerment movement having taken such an extent lately; it only fealt fitting to be a part of it even on this quircky little holiday of ours. there was one person who came to mind who encompasses all of the aformentioned requirements.

kusama, i have admired since i layed eyes on her work as cliché as that may sound. she takes designed space and deconstructs it into infinite space - as an architect, and art historian i find this mesmerizing. i am hooked. needless to say that as a personality she is also fantastic, uniquely and unapologetically herself, true to her work from the start and up until today. since i look nothing like her, i decided to go as one of her works - the "fireflies on the water"{1} installation (to the right).

Kusama installation for halloween
the idea above however, to be entirely honest, was easy to put together. all that was needed was a little black dress laying around in the closet, preferably of 60's or 70's style, black opaque tights, and gold stickers. i got mine from paper presentation on 18th street, which come in a pack of 216.

now what's left is to stick all the stickers on my dress, tights and wherever else looks right "with a little help from my friends" as the beatles would put it on the night of the party (i'll be getting ready at our venue aka the school). i'll probably just wear black booties or low heels for dancing purposes. as for the makeup, lacking in talent almost entirely in this field all i know is that i'll be using gold eyeshadow and eyeliner, but that of course will not suffice - we shall have to wait and see what the end result will be! same goes for the hair, although there i have something much more phantasmagoric prepared. stay tuned for the final results!

what are you going dessed as for halloween, or who? will you be getting a costume or making it yourself?

xoxo

UPDATE: pictures of the final result here and here :)

{1} the whitney museum in ny hosted kusama's installation of "fireflies on the water" in 2002, and created this video that can give you a glimpse of the experience. 
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10.22.2014

The International Fine Art & Antiques Show 2014 - Impressions and Design Love

since last friday, october 17th and until today the park avenue armory hosts the international fine art and antique show. i was very thankful and lucky to have been invited to attend, and visited this past monday. it is truly, as expected, a very interesting event, like the cross-section between a museum and a gallery.
2014 International Fine Art & Antique Show -
walking in i must say there were quite a few things which attracted my attention, some positive and some negative. i'll focus on the positive starting with the wonderful fellows at  potterdam books who went above and beyond to help me find rare books stores in new york as i have been in search for the old print of "delirius in new york" for far too long. he had a great collection himself, and took me quite a bit of time to detach myself from the booth, even though it was near the entrance and i am always eager to delve deeper into such events. moreover, marc heiremans had an ubelievable selection of murano glass. it was nearly as thrilling walking into the booth as it was walking through the met's carlo scarpa exhibit a while ago. one particular object which caught my eye was a peculiar grotesque miniature head. i apologize for the lack of photograph but it wasn't allowed everywhere. 

my favorite booth however, i must say was maison gerard who generally collect 20th century designers and works from contemporary artists such as the one you see below by maurizio galante who is actually a rather interesting designer. 
2014 International Fine Art & Antique Show
{view from the entrance}
it was a meant-to-be attraction, as the architect within me couldn't help but be drawn by their clever and tasteful combination of modern pieces of furniture and contemporary art works. 
2014 International Fine Art & Antique Show -
{maison gerard}
aside from all of the new things which i saw and admired, i had the most uncanny meeting with an old love of mine. you see, it has always been peculiarly satisfying for me to combine more decorated objects like art nouveau petit tables or 15th century french couches with strict, geometric accessories. while still in architecture school i came across a particular lamp, and it was love at first sight. oddly however, like the chance encountes one sometimes gets in new york, i never managed to learn much about its history, or its designer's history for that matter.
2014 International Fine Art & Antique Show -
{maison gerard}
it has since remained a mystery to me, and from what i found out, is a bit of a mystery to the gallery as well. i call upon whomever may be reading this article - if you know any bit of information, pray, do share it with me!
2014 International Fine Art & Antique Show -
{maison gerard}
one last booth i seemed to find difficulty peeling myself from was that of lost city arts, who also bear a wonderful talent in combining modern artworks this time with older, more ethnic styled pieces. walking about these exhibition spaces certainly left me wanting to go home and begin redecorating yet again. alas, by the time i actually got home that night the only furniture piece i showed any affection to was my bed. 

i hope you all enjoyed the little walk-through of this year's international fine art and antiques show. it was a first time experience for me. if you are in new york and have a moment tomorrow, and have of course not seen it, i highly suggest you give it a try. it is quite a unique experience, for art and design lovers or not. 


*disclaimer: all pictures were taken by me, after having been granted proper permission. this article is by no means an advertisment.
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10.19.2014

THE HAUNTED HOUSE

halloween is fast approaching and I thought:
what better opportunity would there be to talk a bit about spooky architecture?
you see, i read an article the other day about how architecture could be taught through hitchcock films and there was a tiny entry regarding haunted houses.

as you all are probably aware, hitchcock was known for the grasping unnerving feeling one gets while watching the films. you know something is off or wrong or about to happen and the suspence is held til exactly the right moment. So you might be wondering what on earth does architecture have to do with this. well actually, quite a lot.
it was often discussed especially in postmodern architecture {1} how a space could be designed for a specific function. more often this is known as the form-follows-function rule. It is not however the case only with let's say office buildings, houses, or museums which could require specific attributes, but also for more abstract concepts such as designing a space specifically for spying, or for murder even (see g. aisopo's lecture). this makes for an interesting conversation now. how could a space possibly evoke such unsettling behaviors?
among other things, i believe it has a lot to do with atmosphere, mainly of the final interior result. how is a space lighted?
do walls and furniture obstruct movent or do they create an open, free space?
now, let's take some scenes from hitchcock like in "rebecca"{2} where we are watching joane fontaine move from one room to another of a very old house where literally everything from walls to little decorative objects are detached from her (she has not participated in the decor at all) and charged with a past that is unknown to her and us. aside from the aspect of the unknown which never fails to create a sense of uneasiness, there is additional fear created with the gradual revealing of information which informs the image of the surrounding space. it slowly begins to reveal its past history, tied to death and sorrow. there is no need for an actual spirit or ghost if you like. the game that the space begins to play with our senses and mind is enough to make it haunting.
finally, buildings, and spaces, sometimes landscapes themselves seem as though to have absorbed the air of their histories, of course, from a more logical point of view, it often is just your own self intimitely aware of said histories. i was walking by the quays in dublin the first rainy day i got there, and the characteristically loud seagull sounds instantly brought to mind scenes from james joyce's novels. experiencing the city was not to be the same without them. by the same token, when you walk into a space having been influenced by preconcieved notions or knowledge it is bound to affect your experience of it. an architect and designer, or like in the case of the example above, a director and scenographer can use elements that are known to bear such preconcieved notions to them and thus aim more directly in designing a space that can haunt you. similarly, though often much less successfully, such tactics are used in the "haunted houses" so many people love to visit during halloween.

on a somewhat separate note - i am pleased to report having found that the film is on youtube in its entirety. cheers!


{1} postmodernist architecture
{2} "rebecca" was based on the homonymus novel by daphne du maurier 
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10.14.2014

UPDATES AND STUFF

so it is mid term season, and i am finally getting a good taste of the pressure, though i'll admit to enjoying the whole process of grad school so far. there is a certain amount of tolerance you gain i suppose, when you know you're at the right place to follow your dreams.
i've been walking about like my own little tribute to the celebration which seems to be taking place online now that netflix is hosting "gilmore girls". stacks of books are literally everywhere - i am starting to think this is a peculiar kind of paradice i've managed to build around my tiny living space. outside?
well, outside for those of you who aren't in new york it is officially autumn. there has been a whole hype about calling people "basic" evolving around the pumpkin spice craze. i would like to say, i don't give a single nickle, i have totally been eating pumpkin pie and gingerbread stuff for weeks already. so other than eating, reading, writing and going to work and school there is one more thing that is on my radar this year - halloween!

my school is having a party, to which i will be going, and need to find a costume. the decision however is not being reached by any means. i've been going back and forth. the root of the problem lies in the fact that all my favorite book or film characters are either not adaptable to halloween standards or just not recognizable as a costume. most of my favorite artists and architects are men, the women are mostly brunettes and/or with characteristically straight hair. that leaves me with katharine hepburn, but i lack considerable height to pull that off.
now,
let's see if i can pull a diane keaton or a phoebe buffay?
in the meantime....

laugh at this little, mischievous pup, whilst i finish my readings for class tomorrow before i pass out unconcious. its name is apparantly quite unexpexted: beer dog.
also, when i take mini mental breaks guess where my brain would like me to be
Castle, Highlands, Scotland
scotland y'all. yes, it seems i am not quite through with the celts, although that was pretty much common knowledge. speaking of which, here is a fabulous bbc period series that you simply, absolutely, must watch. i am serious. and now we all pretty much know what i'll be re-watching.

than you for hanging in, and next week i'll come back with a post that will actually be about something other than everyday nonsense.

xoxo everyone
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