Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Don't Give Up

(Photo of Mike Mills' home by Ye Rin Mok.)
(I believe I am talking to myself here...)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

House of Flowers

Raf Simons just replaced temporary creative director Bill Gaytten after John Galliano's demise at Dior. This is his first collection and it is a perfect mix of Dior tradition and Simons' angular, modern minimalism. But oh my god, LOOK AT THE WALLS--covered with living flowers!



I stepped on the brakes as it flew over the street, over my car, over the brown field. It hovered like a great dark cloud and swooped down, talons outstretched, grabbing, grabbing, grabbing, gliding, just a few more inches, down...
(the mouse: gotta get away get away get away get away get away get away get away get away get away)
It sat like a lawn statuette, eating.

I was in a grocery store and saw the tank of them, “Maine Lobsters”—I’ve been to Maine, Bar Harbour, Cadillac Mountain—they were alive of course, heaped in a corner, backed away from the air jet pummeling the glass. Rubber band-bound claws, like paraplegics laden with useless limbs, heavy, clumsy...and one sat on top of the heap, staring at me, bubbling, nodding, begging. Every now and then, he would rear up, like a trumpeter heralding, dragging his bandaged armor...
(the lobster: get me out take me with you set me free get me out take me with you set me free get me out)

I tried to think:
If I took it with me
where would I
set it free?
Not in the infected
ocean here.
I would have to drive far
to find a suitable sea…

I thought of:
My epicure aunt
who would boil
live lobsters
and we would hear
their shrill screams
as they tried to knock
the top off the kettle…

I feel like a circus bear, juggling the balls, catching the pins, riding the bicycle, riding, riding, riding around the ring, the bright lights, tongue slipping out in concentration...
(the bear: i’m trying i’m trying i’m trying i’m trying i’m trying i’m trying i’m trying i’m trying)

And when I live in the black forest
with nothing but a kettle and a cow,
how will I live when I am dying?
My silent companion, my bovine friend,
what can I do when milk is not enough?
You have watched with warm watery eyes
as I fought a false, barren land,
not fallow but sick and infertile
and you let me take your milk and love
as you chewed your cud and your innocence.
I see those same brown eyes
when I am Shepherd in a sterile slaughterhouse,
holding you close, stroking your soft fur,
weeping in your large flap of an ear,
“It’s all right, you know what must happen...
you’re a good cow and you know your fate”.
(me: forgive me forgive me forgive me forgive me forgive me forgive me forgive me forgive me)

So when I eat my heart out,
someone, somewhere, is setting a place
and they’re eating with forks and knives,
clinking utensils together with a silver glint.
But I take only what I need and I’m aware
that everything before me was once alive:
some fruit juice from the swollen ovary—
a piece of meat, cooked, disguised with spices
but once moving and breathing and dividing cells—
the stalks of asparagus and leaves of lettuce
that pumped precious chlorophyll
and expelled oxygen for us to breathe—
the woven table cloth that spread in fields
beneath white southern skies,
little tufts of cotton bursting forth like snowballs—
the plate of bone china, delicate marrow,
manufacturing slick red blood cells—

the wind hears you,
plants watch you,
the ground can read your mind.
You’re never alone.
The animals know your real name.
Please remember that
you’re always being watched.

©JEF 1985

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Friday, July 20, 2012

BEAUTY: Art--The Sketching Backpacker

I have been meaning to post about The Sketching Backpacker for quite a while now. I marvel at how this wildly talented young man, with only pens, pencils, watercolors, and a Moleskine notebook so deftly and artistically captures his impressions of the cities he visits. His sketches are so lovely and crafted, but I imagine that for someone with this talent, it is nearly as simple and quick as pushing the shutter on a camera, but with such infinitely more precious results. Creating a travel journal is such a participatory thing to do, and creates an instant and deeper relationship with the host city. What an incredible souvenir to create on a journey. Visit his blog linked at bottom to see more of his gorgeous portraits of places, cities, and monuments.

BEAUTY: Illustration--Eurydyka Kata and Rafał Szczawiński

Graphic artists Eurydyka Kata and Rafał Szczawiński of re: studios have created some amazing, minimalist images representing a variety of cultural and pop cultural phenomena. By using just a few key images, they are able to conjure artists, television shows, and films.

First, their iconic artists series tickles me. It is wonderful to recognize an artist, and his life and work by a few little visual hints. (Answers at bottom.)

Their images for recent television shows are pretty fun too. (Answers at bottom.)

And finally, here is their simple take on a few Disney classics.

(Answers: Artists = Pollock, Warhol, Mondrian, Van Gogh, Magritte, David; TV shows = "Mad Men," "House MD," "Lost")

BEAUTY: Illustration--Mattson Creative's CBS Posters

Along the same lines as the last post, Ty Mattson at Mattson Creative has made a delightful set of posters for CBS Television celebrating some of its most classic shows. Using just a few limited but key images, he has captured some of the most iconic television shows in TV history. I grew up watching many of these shows and have a warm feeling for the memories these posters generate.

(For those too young to decipher what these images mean, from top to bottom, we are looking at: Gillligan's Island, I Love Lulcy, Lost In Space, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, M.A.S.H., and The Twilight Zone.)

"White Light" by George Michael

After his harrowing health ordeal and coma last year, George Michael has recorded a song seemingly about close calls, randomness, life, death, and fate. Kate Moss plays Lady Luck in the video. She tosses a coin to see if you will live or die... powerful image. And the music is equally as powerful. I like how Michael's music over the years has gotten more complex and darker (listen to "Cars and Trains" about suicide, or "Precious Box" about the isolation of modern culture, both from his album "Patience") while still retaining its dance-music usefulness.

Ya can't argue with that

Thursday, July 19, 2012

BEAUTY: Art--Robert Montgomery

Artist Robert Montgomery's chilling poem billboard installation in Bristol for Brandalism.

BEAUTY: Man--Tom Bull

Tom Bull represented by:

BEAUTY: Interior--Sixteen Doors House by Incorporated

Manhattan architectural and design firm Incorporated created a sleek "cabin in the woods" in upstate New York that is a fascinating eclectic, modern take on rustic. I love how the materials and objects reference a traditional cabin but with a great amount of style and whimsy.

Incorporated's site talks about the shape of the house itself:
"This is the first of three residences in rural Upstate New York that emerged from the study of the traditional loft like cow barns that populate the landscape of the local farmland. With glazing on the two long sides of the structure, the small 1350 square foot interior is literally “in" the landscape. The absolute limits of wood frame construction are realized without the use of any steel with the lateral stability of the structure facilitated by four feet of solid wall only on the extreme ends of the building. Programmatically organized around the social structure of the inhabitants, a single room for living, dining and cooking occupies the center with baths and utilities providing a buffer and privacy for the two bedrooms that flank the 'great' room. Thus the building is symmetrical but with a solid center, non-axial."