Monday, February 28, 2011

Balloon Man - The Artwork of Jason Hackenwerth

I often post here about how much I love looking at the store windows as I walk around Midtown Manhattan. I am always surprised by the breadth and scope of the creativity (and the work involved) for stores like Barneys, Anthropologie, and Bergdorf Goodman. Currently at Bergdorf's, there is one of the wildest displays I've ever seen featuring the balloon art of Jason Hackenwerth.

Are these sea creatures? Perhaps the prehistoric lamprey or a macro-view of a life-sized anemone. Are they from outer space? Or are they cellular forms that have been blown up into grand scale? What could be better than combining such colorful creatures with high fashion? Genius.
For more of Jason's work, check out his website - guaranteed visual enjoyment.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

New York Fashion Week - The Blonds (Fall 2011)

Ever hear of Lady Gaga? Sure you have. Ever wonder where some of her outrageous outfits come from? Their clothes may not be everyone's cup of tea, but the Blonds put on one heck of a lively show - a real treat for anyone who's become bored with de rigeur fashion.

The show started with a short video, then a salute to Chinese New Year with two dragons performing a dance for good luck. Even before the show, many audience members proved to be just as interesting. It's easy to feel somewhat plain next to the likes of Sex and the City stylist, Patricia Field, Eve, Amanda Lepore, and various folks from America's Next Top Model. I lived out a small dream imagining this is what New York must have been like in the 1980s with all the crazy nightlife contained in a single room.
The Blonds' over-the-top style of tinsel, sparkle, fringe, and super-saturated color immediately had me in glitter heaven. The clothes are about having fun simultaneously proving that shiny can be any girl's favorite color. (Thanks, Mimi!)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

New York Fashion Week - Anna Sui (Fall 2011)

Baby doll dresses, long chunky necklaces, velveteen vests, eye-catching prints, school girl innocence, the rock n' roll/bohemian look of the 1970s - this is the formulaic combination that we've come to know as Anna Sui. It's deja vu all over again. We've seen this all before, but always with various twists on a theme to keep the collection somewhat fresh. Or maybe, we actually have seen this before - with a couple of re-issued pieces pulled from the "archives" especially for Anthropologie this year, and a retrospective book there's not a whole lot really new here. Speaking of my favorite store, I was certain there would have been an influence loaded with colorful ethnic prints from the televised excursion to Syria with Anthropologie's Keith Johnson (on Sundance). Instead, Anna was blatantly self-referencing. Even the backdrop was classic Sui evoking the downtown New York SoHo store.
To mix things up a bit, a couple of accessories were neon, with large, Mad Hatter-esque slouchy fur hats and jackets, and strangely-placed animal hats that added some adorable refreshment but were more like a speed bump non-sequitor in a sea of sexy librarians. In an effort to do something different (like the Cynthia Rowley show), three girls rather than one were sent down the runway to open and close the show.

Yes, we've seen it all before, but we must absolutely love it. Otherwise, the Sui show wouldn't be one of the most packed shows during Fashion Week. And we wouldn't keep coming back for more, now would we?

Monday, February 14, 2011

(Anti) Valentine's Day - He Loves Me....Not

He Loves Me...Not (from the "It's Not You" Series), acrylic and mixed media on canvas

And so, another year has passed, and it's not all roses and chocolates. This painting from a few years ago reflects my sentiments on this holiday that only fills singles like me with anxiety and resentment. It was created as an anti-Valentine made from vintage childrens' Valentine cards with decorative floral hankies. By the title alone, the saccharine sweetness of the materials were obliterated with  a sarcastic tongue-in-cheek statement on how I really felt about romance at the time....and sometimes still do.

I guess there's always hope for next year?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

New York Fashion Week - Cynthia Rowley

Last night, I went to the Cynthia Rowley show at Lincoln Center. This was one of the most unusual runway shows I've seen yet. Underwear models (pictured left) walked back and forth from stage left to stage right throughout while the clothed models each took their turn out on the length of the perpendicular catwalk. The hair was simple, making way for the eyes to take in the clothes- also quite different. Several models strutted color blocked 3-dimensional cube Op Art pencil skirts with a deep peek-a-boo slit up the side. Others showed the simple long dresses with plunging necklines that you can see above. My favorites were the gaucho-legged pants and blousy tops sewn together as billowy uni-suits resembling something commedia dell'arte's Pulcinella character. (Thanks for the invite, Mimzy!)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Artistic Quotables

Over the years, I've clipped some quotes about art and hung them on my wall of inspiration in my studio. Some of these are helpful when I need a visit from the muses. Others are beneficial in order to get over that hump when it's just you in that studio and the intimidating blank canvas is staring back at you. Each one of them has something special to offer. Some of my large paintings from over the years are scattered in between each little nugget of wisdom.

Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.

Cells on the Horizon, oil on canvas, 38" x 108"

We have art so that we may not perish by the truth.
-Friedrich Nietzsche

Only through art can we emerge from ourselves and know what another person sees.
-Marcel Proust
Medieval Rhythms II, acrylic on paper, 10.5" x 7" each

 An artist is not one who has solved life's problems. He is one who accepts life's problems.

Art is a line around your thoughts.
-Gustav Klimt
Weeping Blue, acrylic and collage on paper, 45" x 73.5"

Artists are better at finding a way to kill their time.
-John Baldessari

Artists to my mind are the real architects of change, and not the political legislators who implement change after the fact.
-William S. Burroughs

Art is about paying attention.
-Laurie Anderson

Evolution, 18 separate pieces, acrylic on paper, 10.5" x 7" each

The artist should never try to be popular. Rather the public should be more artistic.
-Oscar Wilde

Art is never chaste.

Art is making something out of nothing and selling it.
-Frank Zappa

Becoming an artist is a lifetime process- a process which begins with the way you see things, the way you feel about things, and the way you express what you see and feel. Becoming an artist means always trying something new.
-Unknown, from an art school catalog

Bubble Grid, acrylic and collage on paper, 25 pieces, 60" x 60"

Everyone has talent. What is rare is the courage to follow the talent to the dark place where it leads.
-Erica Jong, author, The Artist as Housewife

Art is an experience, not an object.
-Robert Motherwell

Art is everywhere, except it has to pass through a creative mind.
-Louise Nevelson

Fez, acrylic and collage on paper, 50" x 50"

What is art anyway?
-Georgia O'Keeffe

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Blog Feature - Elysian Studios

Erin Fickert-Rowland from the Elysian Studios blog featured my work along with three other of her favorite artists as a wishlist of original artworks for Valentines under $100. As a painter herself, she has plenty of her own work around, but admires the work of others for inspiration and affordable gift-giving. Check out the post and the other artists here!