December 21, 2009
One of my favourite songs this year, Just the Same But Brand New, by St. Vincent. Apt for a farewell and to wish you a happy new year. See you in 2010 and thankyou for all the kind comments and emails. And, thankyou so much to Lonely Hearts for the knickers we got as Christmas presents! You guys are the best.
December 19, 2009
the catastrophe of my personality
to seem beautiful again,
and interesting, and modern.
The country is grey and
brown and white in trees,
snows and skies of laughter
always diminishing, less funny
not just darker, not just grey.
It may be the coldest day of
the year, what does he think of
that? I mean, what do I? And if I do,
perhaps I am myself again.
Carmen Herrera is 94 years old. She is a painter, but she only sold her first painting five years ago. Aren't they beautiful? You can read more here. For some reason, this story makes me very happy.
“To bloom into full glory at 94 — whatever Carmen Herrera’s slow rise might say about the difficulties of being a woman artist, an immigrant artist or an artist ahead of her time, it is clearly a story of personal strength,” Mr. Zugazagoitia said.A minimalist whose canvases are geometric distillations of form and color, Ms. Herrera has slowly come to the attention of a subset of art historians over the last decade. “Paintings speak for themselves,” she said. Geometry and color have been the head and the heart of her work, she added, describing a lifelong quest to pare down her paintings to their essence, like visual haiku. At a long table where she peers out over East 19th Street “like a French concierge,” Ms. Herrera, because she must, continues to draw and paint. “Only my love of the straight line keeps me going,” she said.
December 15, 2009
December 14, 2009
I really like the idea of 'bedroom galleries'. I read an article about it here, and I kind of want my own, although I'm not sure how my housemates would feel about it. But, wouldn't it be great? None of the pretension sometimes involved with traditional gallery spaces, a revolving cast of beautiful things for your home and lots of people over for cups of tea.
Mr. Gartenfeld and Ms. Marshall, both of whom have day jobs in the art world (he’s the online editor at Interview and Art in America; she’s the assistant curator at the Swiss Institute), are part of a new wave of gallerists who for a grab-bag of reasons — economic, philosophical and purely pragmatic — are turning their homes into art galleries.
Some are creating roving galleries, this year’s version of the “Happening” for the post-grad set, or one-night events in other people’s homes, like the Apartment Show or Parlour, which are put together by young artists or curators, and romp from living room to living room and neighborhood to neighborhood like punk bands “touring” suburban basements.
Even at the high end, established dealers like the glamorous Palm Beach, Fla., gallerist Sarah Gavlak are opening their homes: through Dec. 19, Ms. Gavlak’s one-bedroom pied-à-terre, in a prim ’60s white brick building on 57th Street, is given over to the paintings of Christopher Milne, an artist who creates stylized images inspired by women’s magazines of the “Mad Men” era.
Like 17th-century salonistes, home gallerists use the intimacy of their homes — or other people’s — to incite discussion and forge a deeper connection to the art.
I love short stories. My attention span is limited, perhaps that's why. My favourite is Hemingway. He once said that his best work was the following:
December 13, 2009
December 10, 2009
“She felt very young; at the same time unspeakably aged. She sliced like a knife through everything; at the same time was outside, looking on… far out to sea and alone; she always had the feeling that it was very, very dangerous to live even one day.”
- Virginia Woolf
“One must have... the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function. One should, for example, be able to see that things are hopeless, but be determined to make them otherwise.”
- F. Scott Fitzgerald
Anyway, while we were doing it, Modular was in the throes of curating this amazing project called Circa 1979: Signal to Noise. It's part of the Sydney Festival 2010 and brings together Australian post punk, avant garde and experimental music from 1979 to 1985. I've seen a couple of the things that will be shown, and it's so great. If you're in Sydney or can be around that time, and you have an interest in the above... You have to go. John Cale is doing the opening address, for god's sake, and there are several concerts, exhibitions and events across the duration. The website here has all the details and some content to delve into.
December 9, 2009
December 8, 2009
December 7, 2009
This is such a great article about magazine design, as seen through the eyes of iconic graphic designer George Lois who thinks magazine design nowadays sucks. (These are some of his old covers for Esquire). There are of course plenty of beautifully designed magazines, but when it comes to mainstream magazines, he may be right. Be warned: he swears, a lot.
"Very few magazines do you look through - and I'm not talking as a designer, I’m talking as a normal person - do you look through something and you open a spread and it takes your breath away a little bit. Vogue will do their normal full page photograph of fashion, but when they get into any kind of a story it's like jam, jam, jam, jam. I'm just kind of suffocated when I look through them."
"I saw this happening as an effect of the Internet, by the fact that you've got information all over the place. And people think you've got to have as much information in the magazine as when you go to the Internet. It can’t happen. That's not the name of the game anyway."
By the way, the title of this post comes from a short film Joseph Gordon Levitt made about the paparazzi - it's funny, watch it here.
New York magazine has done a great overview of the decade, from key cultural moments to mini fashion trends to examining the "rise of the professional nobodies". You should read it, here.