Saturday, March 29, 2008

Longitude and Latitude Revisited

I'm definitely digging Paula Scher's paintings. Much of her work depicts entire continents, countries and cities that have been n recent headlines. For example, her "Tsunami" piece focuses on the region affected by natural disaster. Using text, image, shape, and color, she is able to evoke the tragedy's effects (grief and violence in a swirling image that mimics he storm's path).

Do you see all of the detail?
I just think these pieces are overwhelmingly complex.
Oooh: adverb (I must like this work if I'm using adverbs).



Here's an excerpt about it from the Maya Stendhal Gallery's website:

Israel (2007) presents the country and bordering countries including Egypt, Palestine, Jordon, Syria, and Iran. Text representing cities and regions is written in varying, haphazard directions communicating a visual sense of conflict and discord.

Israel (in detail)



Rollercoaster, of loveeeeeeeeeeee

I want a rollercoaster bed.Yeah, I know: I haven't really matured past the age of ten. Aside from my own silly desires, I think this is a great idea. As a piece of art, I really enjoy how the artists have taken something linked to domestic spaces and re-imagined it.

As envisioned by Los Carpinteros (Marco Castillo and Dagoberto Rodriguez):

Source via Apartment Therapy


I like this, oh yes I do. I wonder if I could manage to use this without splashing and making a mess of things. Still, for less awkward lit. lovin' folk, this bookcase has got to be a dream.

It's a Tit Bit ...You KnowYouKnow

I'm really digging The Nipple Project. Oh dear: is the word "nipple" NSFW (i.e. not suitable for work). Oh wellz: it's the body electric (yeah, I know that doesn't really make sense: I just like saying it). All photos are from the project's website.

I just think the project's parameters and inspiration (and how that inspiration has shifted along with the perspectives/motivations of those who've submitted work) is really interesting and creative. I think the materials are especially interesting. There are some sample submissions listed on the site. I've included some samples some below.

What is The Nipple Project? No, it doesn't involve prepubescents tweaking, heckling, or HaHaing. Instead, artist are asked to "Submit a hand-made artistic interpretation of your nipple or of someone’s nipple you love.” Submissions will then be part of a group exhibition called, "Enclosed, Encased & Enrobed" (a collaborative project to be displayed at the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art in The Artist Village in Santa Ana, California from June 5 - 28, 2008).

Now, you may be asking why nipples and why this project. Yeah, I asked the same thing. The answer:

"Initially, we were inspired by the release of the IPEX bra by Victoria Secret. Advertisements for this bra espoused quite blatantly that it provides 'maximum nipple coverage!' This bra epitomizes the eradication and androgenization of the nipple. We find this ironic in an era where breast augmentation is done in order to gain a "more feminine look." So we wanted to reclaim our natural femininity and counter this strange phenomenon.

But as our project came to life, we realized we had touched something deeper. Women responded to our call for reasons we had not intended. We began receiving submissions breast cancer survivors. Their beautiful creations are an both an artistic and cathartic. Also, women who have lost a family member or friend to breast cancer have taken this opportunity to express their grief and respect to their loved ones. We have also received submissions from women who have recently become mothers and are inspired by the joys and rigors of nursing!"

The deadline for your nipple creations is May 1st, 2008. Check out the website for more details.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

A New Take on Bedtime Stories

I'm a writer and an avid reader and a lover and a fighter (uh oh: I sound like a Meredith Brooks song). I also have a number of friends who work as librarians, teachers, tutors, and in non-profits. I can't tell you how many days I've spent pondering the age-old question of, "How do we promote literacy? How do we get people to frolic forth to the libraries and coffee shop poetry readings?"

I've long thought reading needs to become of everyday life (as does art), and that we have to knock down all those walls and ideas about reading. Ooooh: can you see my soapbox? It's collaged Liberal Arts Poet style!

Seriously though: I think this product could really be something wonderful. I kind of want to make my own.

What they say:

"Once upon a time there was a blanket. This blanket had several sheets containing a traditional bedtime story. Each "page" adds a layer of linen making you warmer (or cooler) and comfier hopefully guiding you and your partner into a pleasant night’s sleep."

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Goosebumps! Goosebumps! Oh My!

Goosebumps, a book series I was both in love with and afraid of as a child, is coming back back back. Maybe now I can handle them: I should go check out my local GoodWill for some old copies (they have an excellent selection full of old-time favs.). I can't lie: I also liked his Fear Street series, but then again, I was a bookworm of the Matilda sort and just read whatever I could find (before the teenage years where I spent far too much time brooding: see, now you have a brief synopsis of my formative years).

“'That’s when I started to scream' may be the most frequently used chapter ending in the hugely successful children’s horror series 'Goosebumps,' which a decade ago catapulted Mr. Stine to prominence. Now, for the first time in eight years, during which Mr. Stine tried his hand at creating other series, he is back with a fresh 'Goosebumps.'”

My favorite part of the article (aside from hearing about the comeback kid) was the following:

"Mr. Stine got his start writing funny stories, not scary ones. Under the name Jovial Bob Stine, he was the author of dozens of joke books in the 1970s and ’80s. Influenced by the surprise twists of Ray Bradbury’s novels and devoted to comic books, he came to appreciate the way some writers were able to combine humor with the macabre."

Read more via The NY Times

Here's the Comeback Kid!

This Makes Me Look Like a Fan Girl: Oh Wellz.

I know what this looks like: fandom. I could try and be a pretentious MFA kid and talk about metaphors in the Harry Potter series and how the books could be a guide to activism, but I won't even bother.

I want this desk.

I think it's beautiful. If I had $1,200 (and didn't need to buy a car), it would be hard
not to buy this piece. I think it's beautiful.

You all should visit STILL SIMIAN's Etsy shop.


Before the updated VW Bugs came back on the market, I had a thing for the vintage version. I think it must have been because I watched the The Love Bug films with my pops (Props to Herbie!). Nostalgia takes root and it’s hard to shrug off. I still like the old-school Bugs (especially when they're reworked or painted in Technicolor-like shades).

This version (by metal art workshop Vrbanus) is especially amazing.

Can you imagine the work it must have taken to accomplish all of this?

They also have a gloriously reworked train (another obsession of mine).

Color me impressed.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Junk Mail Revisited

I know war is a complicated phenomenon that divides people (politically, literally, etc.). No matter your political beliefs, I think any art lover should marvel at the abilities of Burtonwood and Holmes. Why do I care about their art? Well, because they use junk mail to create their sculptures. The metaphors are hilarious and thought-provoking, and the execution is flawless. Visually, I think they're interesting. When I first saw the tank (first photo), I couldn't stop looking at it, and this was before I knew its materials. These are pieces of an installation: go to the website to see more work.

They talk about their mission better than I ever could:

“Burtonwood and Holmes are a collaborative team working in a range of media to produce work that challenges mainstream ideas about warfare and consumerism. Their large-scale installations attempt to “bring the war home” to audiences on different levels. Illustrating the consumptive aspect of warfare and defining “materielism” (sic) as an integral part of the global economy.”

These images are from the Consuming War pieces these artists have constructed.

“Focusing on the U.S. conflict in the Middle East over the past 10 years, Consuming War addresses the ways the American media and consumer culture have manipulated and influenced our perceptions of war, often turning it into a spectacle for American consumption. While war is an underlying theme in all the works, each addresses the concept of war, and our relationship to it, from a variety of angles, creating pieces that range from political cartoons to sculptures that recreate the archaeological artifacts looted from the National Museum of Iraq and large suspended papier mâché bombs made from sale advertisements. Timely in its subject matter, Consuming War offers an innovative platform in which the complex and multifarious connections between war, capitalism, American consumer culture, and our everyday live can be re-situated and critically examined.”

There's even more to look at on the website!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Superhero Cupcakes: Don't Mess with the Best

Batman is my favorite superhero. I've long loved people who "fight the good fight." How can anyone go wrong with superhero cupcakes?

You want some Sugar, Sugar?

I think this is pretty self-explanatory:
cinderblock sugarcubes.


Well, as most of my friends know, I’m pretty into this year’s Primary/Caucus/Election for White House fame. I watch too much CNN/Fox News/MSNBC/etc. and read way too many blogs about the situation. So, when I saw this highly detailed replica of The White House, I have to admit I was a little too excited. I’m a fan of things in miniature and creative ways of approaching the dollhouse phenomena (oh dear: I’m making bad puns in my head that I’ll keep to myself). Jan and John Zweifel have created this highly version:

“This model is meant to replicate the White House as it is today. John and Jan Zweifel and a dedicated corps of family and friends have spent more than 500,000 hours over 38 years building this 50-foot replica. On a scale of one foot to one inch, every piece of furniture is hand carved, every rug is hand stitched, and every wall is hand painted.

John Zweifel strongly believes that the White House belongs to American citizens. He has spent decades collecting measurements, matching upholstery colors, and memorizing architectural details, hoping to make an accurate replica of the White House available to the millions of Americans who have never travelled to Washington to see the original.

Since 1976, an estimated 43 million people in America and around the world have seen-in miniature-many of the White House rooms that are not included on the public tour. The Zweifels update the decorative details in their White House miniature to reflect changes made during each new administration.”


What's not to like about Lego-like Bookshelves that slant but are functual and come in Bubbalicious Pink? Yeah: nothing.
Source via here

Book Autopsies! For Realz.

37 Signals posted about Brian Dettmer and I am in awe of his technical prowess and mad skillz. Seriously though: this is not only a great and logical concept, but it is one that is executed with precision and care. Kudos Mr. Dettmer. I bow to you.

You Want My Number? I'll Show you NUMBAS!

We all have visions of smarmy people giving out business cards while networking with a mouth full of buzz words. It's kind of nauseating. Right? Well, I have to say, if anyone gave me the following bizz cards, I think I'd be far more receptive to chat time. What about you? Do you like?

Sourcing is Spectacular: Creative Bits via