Sunday, November 29, 2015


"'Jorka' is the story for those left behind. For those who still feel the presence of the dead and who try to make sense of what happened."

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Inverted Spaces Wallcovering

I love using wallpaper in projects for my interior design clients. Those of a certain age shudder at the mere mention of wallpaper, having mental connections to mom's foil-covered powder room or grandma's floral kitchen. But current wallpaper is artistic, expressive, unique, luxurious, and interesting. Read the product description below from the website of Brooklyn-based Calico Wallpaper about their "Inverted Spaces" wallcovering.

"Created in collaboration with Amsterdam-based design studio BCXSY, Inverted Spaces is a non-repeating wall mural conceived from archival NASA space photography. The concept is an exploration of celestial spaces, both imagined and real, and celebrates the fascination of the infinity that has surrounded us since the dawn of mankind."

This gorgeous, completely bespoke product comes in six colorways. Each order is custom printed to fit project dimensions and is seamless and non-repeating when installed

Friday, November 27, 2015

"Delilah" by Florence + The Machine

The incredible, powerful visual odyssey from Florence + The Machine continues with this installment, "Delilah," (part 6) from Florence Welch's most recent album "How Big How Blue How Beautiful."

Before you watch, make sure you see the other pieces that lead up to this chapter: "What Kind Of Man (Part 1)" and "How Big How Blue" here, "St. Jude (Part 2)" and "Ship To Wreck (Part 3)" here, and "Queen of Peace (Part 4)" and "Long and Lost (Part 5)" here. They contain clues and share a remarkably expressive language of motion and emotion embedded in the choreography. In each chapter where Florence and her doppelgänger wander through different time periods and locations, we seem to be witness to an age-old story of not only male oppression of women, but of interpersonal strife (and sometimes physical violence) on an individual and family level, the inability of so many people and cultures to say what they mean and to really use the time we have here instead of squandering it on petty hatred, grudges, and misunderstandings. Like Florence so aptly and chillingly observes in both parts 1 and 6, "I suppose if you've been through something catastrophic, if you've been through, like a storm or an earthquake together or something horrendous, it would bring you closer together...but what if they are creating the disaster within themselves?...There's this big storm and it's all around us and we're in the middle of it and it's calm, but I can feel it, like it's everywhere..."

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving 2015

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson


Thanks, Jesus...2015

As we eat our Thanksgiving meal, let us thank not an imaginary figure in the sky but those who are TRULY responsible for bringing our food to our tables, through their numbingly long days of low-wage, backbreaking work.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

BEAUTY: Painting--Carlos Ramirez

I love the floral abstract canvases of Carlos Ramirez. He renders his dreamy, moist images of plants, trees, bushes, and blooms in a color palette that is pleasingly retro--the hues carry a sort of early 1960s vibe.

Top to bottom: Floating In The Pool; Path To Third Street Beach; Red Laquered Room Park Avenue; San Path Through The Garden; The Dawn Wall; Window Box Blooms

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

"'fō" by 'fō

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the music of singer-songwriter-musician 'fō (Josh Cooke) (here). The two songs I posted, "North" and "Sleep," are little gems. Since then, his debut album was released (on November 10, 2015) and now that I have had a chance to listen to it in its entirety, I am even more amazed and smitten.

Using a palette of guitars with a restrained sprinkling of bass, piano, and violin, 'fō has managed to create a soundscape that is, on the surface, something akin to folk music. But not trendy "indie folk:" upon closer inspection, the simplicity of the music is actually hiding a sensibility that reflects a great deal of emotion and import. A seething sense of foreboding blankets this collection of ten songs--under the folksy veneer is something waiting to happen...something waiting for you. And this is achieved not only with his smooth voice (which is heavy with inflection and meaning--his acting experience clearly helps with this) but with the sparse yet incredibly effective orchestrations. The result is a spooky, chilling anxiety. These songs let the wind blow through them, making a gentle, howling sound. They are mournful but not impotent with sorrow, far from it--there remains a sense that these songs could reach out and grab you with a cold hand. They, and he, mean business. "Pay attention," they whisper to you, "...or else..."

In a collection of goose bump moments, there are a few which really stand out. The album opens with a seemingly innocent song called "String:" as 'fō sings, "You've got somebody to love/you've got it all/...You've got the world on a string/you've got it all/You've got the world on a string/you've got the man by the balls," random piano notes meander under the guitar until a glorious but brief string section blooms forth. The effect is startling and electrifying.

A keening violin and bass are anchored by the somber, faraway explosion of a bass drum in "Blue Room."

"North" seems like a swinging little ditty until it is punctured by eerie, skittering strings (a genius touch).

There is some delicious tension in "Chase" with a controlled but fed-up outburst: "Wanna go to sleep/give it all a rest/but you wanna change the world/wanna be the best...and you smile like a crook/smash the window out/and you're just out of reach/oh yes, you're worth your weight in gold/it'll be great, just great, really great."

"Faded" features arresting, insidious percussion and breathtaking vocal work, particularly some swoon-worthy, off-kilter harmony near the end of the song.

Comparisons to Nick Drake are inevitable and while I love Drake and the sadly small catalog he left behind (only three albums before his untimely death in 1974, either by accidental overdose of anti-depressants or deliberate suicide), the music on 'fō's eponymous debut is what I always yearned for Drake's music to be: immediate, commanding, dire, and understanding not only of melancholy, but of what lies beyond it and what it means to be able to "go there" and return, at will.

Here, again, is the stealthy, crafty "North."

And the hypnotizing "Sleep."

The album is available on iTunes. Visit 'fō's official website for more information:

Monday, November 23, 2015

BEAUTY: Painting and Drawing-- Adriana Varejão

I will confess that I have had a recurring dream for most of my adult life about places like saunas, large public bathrooms, spas, and pool areas. The common element, of course, is tile.Often these places are underground (almost like subterranean caves and grottoes). In Jungian psychology, water may represent the subconscious. I have spent time in inner life in many environments that are completely tiled and Brazilian artist Adriana Varejão really taps into my visual dream language with her fascinating Saunas and Baths series of drawings and paintings.

Top to bottom: Green Sauna; Mme. F.; The Dreamer; The Mystic; The Obsessive; The Seducer

Sunday, November 22, 2015

BEAUTY: Painting--Liza Lacroix

The large abstract works of Liza Lacroix are so musky and earthy. Her appealing, rusted canvases look as if they are smeared with feels appropriate for this time of year.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Friday, November 20, 2015

The New Colossus of Rhodes

When an earthquake struck Greece in 226 BCE, it destroyed the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. At 98 feet, the Colossus was a magnificently towering statue of the god Helios erected to celebrate Rhodes' victory over Cyprus.

But now an international team that includes architects, civil engineers, an archeologist, and an economist (!) are planning to build a modern version of the Colossus of Rhodes to be used as a cultural center, a library, a restaurant, an exhibition hall, and a lighthouse. Legend--and drawings and etching from hundred of years after its destruction--has it that the original statue straddled the entrance to the port of Rhodes, but this is now generally accepted as false. But the modern Colossus, will straddle the port mouth in a stunning feat of construction and tower over the city at 492 feet. Unfortunately, the project has yet to be funded... but if it ever is, look at how awe inspiring it will be:

Visit the Colossus of Rhodes Project website for more information.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

BEAUTY: Installation--Konstantin Dimopoulos

Sculptor and performance/installation artist Konstantin Dimopoulos has created a moving, site specific art installation called The Blue Trees in which the trunks of groups of trees are painted a saturated blue. His natural water based pigment has colored trees at spots around the world including London, Vancouver, and various cities across the United States.

From Dimopoulos' Artist Statement:
"I think of the Blue Trees as a project that has a strong regenerative aspect to it, an organic artwork that is continually changing and evolving from site to site. From season to season the trees grow through the cycles of nature and the colors also begin to change and disappear. There is a sense of time as a part of the concept. Time that determines our own existence is measured through these trees."

Here is the installation in Houston, Texas showing the trees during the different seasons. The blue trunks look spectacular against the orange and yellow leaves of autumn.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Futuro House

Originally designed in Finland by Matti Suuronen and built in 1968 to function as a portable ski chalet, The Futuro House was an extension of Modernism from Northern Europe, and the intense interest in both the Atomic Age and Space Age at the time. The pods were licensed to be built around the world but many of them have succumbed to age and the elements. Thankfully English artist Craig Barnes has restored one of these retro mid-century gems and rents it out for events. It is currently on a terrace at the University of the Arts London Central Saint Martins for their program "Slivers of the Future." Through this coming April of 2016, Craig Barnes will hold presentations about the house, its history, and its restoration. Visit the link below for info and tickets:

A very personal note: when I saw these photos, I had a visceral reaction and a flashback to a dream I had when I was in my late teens/early 20s. I was reading a lot of C.G. Jung at that time and naturally, he and his writings made a tremendous impression on me. In the midst of this Jung exploration, I had a dream in which I entered a vehicle of the same size and shape as this Futuro House. And as is usual in dreams (or at least my dreams), I understood a fact without being told: this machine was invented by Carl Jung. Inside was an arrangement of seats around the perimeter, just like in these photos. I sat. The vehicle moved by spinning, being powered by some kind of elemental force in the universe. As it spun and moved forward pressing down into an ocean, into the earth itself, the passengers, meaning myself, were pressed back. And somehow, the spinning of this structure made a whirling sound which grew in intensity the more we traveled. The whirling was like music, like every string instrument playing every note and chord at once, a sound like every sound in creation, a glorious, beautiful circular sound that was literally transformative, transcendent, and metaphysical...bridging those physically present with that which is beyond the physical. It was quite an overwhelming dream, one I have not forgotten and probably never will. You see, I am still waiting for that kind of transformation and transcendence...

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

BEAUTY: Painting--Heiko Müller

I love the animal paintings of Heiko Müller. He says, "My art comes from an urge to explore. I like the countryside. I like a good view. And once I’m face to face with a lovely scenery, I feel immediately tempted to find out what it’s concealing. The dark goings-on behind the façade of nature, you might say, or the hidden machinations of the animal kingdom."

Top to bottom: Australopithecus (Deeply Moved); Caught; Friends; Guard; Monkey Forest; Standing Cat In A Sheepcote; Twisted Deer; Untitled (Way To School)