Thursday, April 2, 2020

A Casual Reminder...

...that they are vicious monsters.

And he cancelled the Open Enrollment period, at a time when millions of people have lost their jobs and their employer-tied health insurance. CANCELLED. DENIED PEOPLE ACCESS TO HEALTHCARE. AS IN: NO, YOU CANNOT HAVE HEALTH INSURANCE. Virtually guaranteeing that even more people will die from COVID-19. Not only cruel, but intentionally malicious. Way to go, Republicans.

Empty San Francisco

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Happy National Poetry Month 2020!

"Poetry provides us with a history of the human heart."
--Billy Collins

April is National Poetry Month, sponsored by the Academy of American Poets since 1996. Over the years, it has become the largest literary celebration in the world with schools, publishers, libraries, booksellers, and poets celebrating poetry’s vital place in our culture.

How to celebrate?

Read your favorite poet again.
Read some new poetry.
Find a new favorite poet.
Write some poetry.
Leave poems for people to find in public places.
Read poetry out loud to family and friends.
Dream a poem.

Throughout April, I'll be posting poems, some by me, some by others, as well as a series of lyrics to popular songs that double as exquisite poetry.

And this year, Poem in Your Pocket Day is April 30th! Every April, on Poem in Your Pocket Day, people celebrate by selecting a poem, carrying it with them, and sharing it with others throughout the day at schools, bookstores, libraries, parks, workplaces, and on Twitter using the hashtag #pocketpoem. Considering the virus event, no one is sure if we will be able to go to schools, libraries, parks, or workplaces. If you are on a lockdown in your state or country, consider digitally sharing your poem.

Poem in Your Pocket Day was originally initiated in 2002 by the Office of the Mayor, in partnership with the New York City Departments of Cultural Affairs and Education, as part of the city’s National Poetry Month celebration. In 2008, the Academy of American Poets took the initiative to all fifty United States, encouraging individuals around the country to join in and channel their inner bard. In 2016, the League of Canadian Poets extended Poem in Your Pocket Day to Canada.

Happy National Poetry Month!

Bienvenue Avril 2020!

par Pierre Le-Tan

Monday, March 30, 2020

"In The Afternoon" by Josef Salvat

As evidenced in his song "In The Afternoon," cute Australian singer-songwriter Josef Salvat has a varied dating life. I can respect that.

Et c'est une belle surprise qu'il chante la même chose à Français. Il chante comme un vrai Français!

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Time For Art

I won't lie, the virus has me worried. Here in Northern California, we are under a stay-at-home order. I have only been out twice for food. Now, my life is normally quite full with my interior design business, and my on-camera and stage acting, as well as my home life and friends. I don't wish to minimize the severity of the current global situation, but experiencing so much downtime has been an interesting experience. It has actually been nice to have a little time to get in touch with some slower creativity (if only it could be under different, less tragic circumstances).

I was cleaning out a corner of my office where I had developed a nice stack of design and shelter magazines, and while leafing through them to see what I wanted to keep, I was struck by individual elements and textures. And I flashed on making some collage art. So I cut out what caught my eye and set to work. I made eight collages over 2 days, and I had a fantastic time doing it. It ended up almost being like meditation...I just did it all by instinct, without much thinking. It was relaxing to lose myself in the process; they sort of assembled themselves. Here are the results.

Top to bottom: The Time Is Now; I No Longer Love Death Valley; The Invention Of The Idea Of Architecture; The Secret Of All Victory; Everything That Rises Just Gets Farther Away; The Lessons Of History Are Ignored Or Forgotten; Bosky Groves Give Way; You Should Have Known

Saturday, March 28, 2020

FEATHER Wallcoverings

Regular readers may recall my main profession is interior design and one of my favorite aspects of my career is being exposed to so many new, innovative, and unique products.

And I must profess my love for the Finnish wallcovering company FEATHER, founded by friends Tom, Anne, and Oli. I'm itching to find a client who will love these patterns as much as I do.

Their company creates amazing wallpapers and murals like this gorgeous watercolor series by LA artist Stacy Solodkin.

Artist Magnus Gjoen has created several marvelous wallcoverings for FEATHER that riff on the ideas of Neo-Classical, Georgian, and Victorian wallcoverings but with a wry, modern twist.

His "Flower Bomb" paper looks like a typical design featuring a spray of flowers but when studied closely, that spray is in the shape of a missile.

Gjoen's incredibly realistic trompe-l'œil paper "Victory Over Ignorance" is startling in its depth. The red stripes actually seem to hover over the antique black and white botanical etchings below.

And finally, what self respecting Victorian would not love this florid, Flemish-flowered paper with hidden skulls.

The papers from their regular lines are just as wonderful. I love the Art Deco vibe of this design called "Ember."

The mash up of graffiti and oil paint is exciting in "Glowing Shards Blue."

Take a look at the tranquility of "Ornament," "Oslo," and "Raindrops."

And "Superabstract" is a fun homage to the graphics of the 60s and 70s while "Utopia" is pure 1980s Memphis style!

Friday, March 27, 2020

Etnia References Classic Art

I love when photographers recreate famous paintings (I think it started for me with Steve Martin's 1981 film "Pennies From Heaven" which recreated Edward Hopper paintings, and that same year Malcolm McLaren's recreation of Manet's Dejeuner sur l'herbe for his New Romantic group Bow Wow Wow, previously here in a post about Dame Vivienne Westwood) and Spanish eyewear company Etnia has recreated some marvelous classic art works for their newest collection titled Anartist.

They started with some marvelous copies of works by Klilmt. Here is their image followed by the original The Kiss by Klimt.

Klimt painted Judith and Holofernes, a piece showing Judith from the Biblical story holding the head of Holofernes. Etnia created two image based on this Klimt narrative. Note the amazing chokers, both seemingly made from waste parts of old computers...and that Holofernes' head is here a motorcycle helmet.

Klimt painted an epic wall mural--coming in at 7 feet high and a whopping 112 feet wide, covering several walls--for the 14th Vienna Secessionist exhibition in 1902 which I previously wrote about here. It was part of an assemblage referred to as a "Gesamtkunstwerk" or a "total art work" meant to unite the arts (painting, sculpture, and music). For this exhibition, the artists celebrated the idea of the misunderstood, lone hero of Beethoven. Max Klinger created a massive sculpture of Beethoven while Klimt created his wall mural based on Beethoven's 9th Symphony. Here is a detail from a section of the mural individually titled The Hostiles.

Moving further back in time to 1830, this delightful copy is of Liberty Leading The People by French Romantic painter Eugène Delacroix.

The Spanish Baroque artist Diego Velázquez painted The Triumph of Bacchus in 1628-1629...

...while 150 years prior, Sandro Botticelli painted Portrait of a Man with a Medal of Cosimo the Elder. I love how the modern photograph has the young man holding a sliced eggplant which actually does resemble the surface of the original medal!

A mash-up of two paintings--Raphael's Portrait of Young Woman with Unicorn from 1506 and Leonardo da Vinci's Lady with an Ermine from 1489--inspired this look-alike.

And speaking of da Vinci, his Salvator Mundi is here portrayed by a woman. But actually there is some controversy about whether this is an actual da Vinci...