Thursday, January 31, 2019

"EPOCH" and "Arena"

Irish twin brother animators and directors Kevin and Páraic McGloughlin created two short films that are awe-isnpiring not noly because of their meaning, but how they were made. Using thousands and thousands of images from Google Earth, they pieced together an abstract view of the world, both natural and man-made.

Here is Kevin's film "Epoch" His describes it:

Epoch is a visual representation of our connection to earth and it's vulnerable glory.
Our time here is esoteric, limited and intangible.

The fragility which exists in all aspects of life is one thing that is certain.
We are brittle, and so is Mother Earth.

And then the accompanying twin version from Páraic is called "Arena."

A brief look at the earth from above, based on the shapes we make, the game of life, our playing ground - Arena.

Created using Google Earth imagery.

Pearse McGloughlin and I collaborated on the audio resulting in something between music and a soundtrack.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Just Pictures

“Open your eyes at last and see... now I will open the book of the world for you, there are no words in it, just pictures.”
--Oskar Kokoschka, artist (1886 – 1980)

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Food Fortunes

Apropos of my past post about my collection of Tarot and divination cards here, I would like to share with you the hilarious Food Fortunes divination deck by illustrator and artist Josh LaFayette. It is a tongue-in-cheek version of the classic Rider-Waite Tarot deck, drawn in the same colorful style. But its purpose, according to Lafayette, is to be able to divine what to have for dinner!

The deck can be purchased from the publisher, Chronicle Books.

Monday, January 28, 2019

BEAUTY: Painting--Claire Milbrath

Claire Milbrath's idyllic, almost childish images of gay men in pensive intimacy are lovely. Her presentation reminds me so much of the marvelous art one often finds in children's books, particularly GOODNIGHT, MOON. Indeed, some of her rooms look like the little bunny's room in that classic book while her figures--especially faces--recall the flowing lines of Cocteau.

Top to bottom: A Tussle: Garden Scene; Garden Scene 2; Goodnight Gray; Jungle Scene; Pool Scene; Unrequited Love; untitled

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Palácio Chiado, Lisbon

A new restaurant in Lisbon, Portugal is housed inside a stunning, painstakingly restored, ancient palace. Palácio Chiado boasts six restaurants featuring seven different, distinct types of cuisine (including a tapas bar, and a charcuterie with meat and cheese pairings), two Bars (the Dawn Bar and the Junot bar), and a pastry shop! The website explains:

Once upon a time there was an elegant Palace, built in 1781, where the aristocracy and bons vivants danced, enjoyed lavish banquets and admired new works of art. A different Palace, with its graceful architecture and its history and experience, that hosted a number of irreverent figures associated with curious expressions in Portuguese, such as “farrobodó” and “à grande e à francesa”.

Quintela Palace has been reborn in the hands of three partners who realised that it was a unique business opportunity, where they could develop an original concept never before attempted in the capital. It was a challenging and lengthy project due to a number of conditioning factors, taking more than a year and a half to be completed, supported by excellent partnerships.
The first priority was to restore the paintwork and stained glass, maintaining the original characteristics, remaining true to the palace’s historical past. The architect, Frederico Valsassina, conceived a design in which classical and modern are harmoniously combined. The decoration was designed by the architect Catarina Cabral, who sought pieces in a restrained and timeless style to be integrated into the atmosphere of the palace without overwhelming the grandeur of its details and frescos.

Renovation is the key-word when talking about Palácio Chiado. In September of 2018, Palácio Chiado goes under a few refurbishment works and reopens in October, with new gastronomic concepts, albeit with the same diversity and originality it has always had. With exquisite gastronomic and artistic curatorships, this is the FOOD & ART spot of Lisbon.

After you ogle the flying lion, take a look at the video at the bottom for a peek at the extensive renovation process!

Saturday, January 26, 2019

"Hello Happiness" by Chaka Khan

I never thought we would see a new Chaka Khan release and I am thrilled to see this new song, "Hello Happiness" by the lovely--and ageless--Khan. I adore the Chic-like bass line, the funk groove, and disco synth boops and swoops. But there is an unmistakable world-weary contemporary sound to it all, a touch of life experience...

And what can be said of the mini-film video except: that is one busy little motel!

Friday, January 25, 2019

Thursday, January 24, 2019

"Seventeen" by Sharon Van Etten

Singer-songwriter and actress Sharon Van Etten's new song "Seventeen" sees her moving in a new, electronic-focused direction and it suits her very well. This song is ragged and melancholy with a very touching video. I've thought a lot over the years about time and aging and charting the trajectory of one's life. If I could go back and visit myself at ten years old, at seventeen years old, even at twenty-five or thirty years old, what is it I would want to say? What tenderness, what bittersweet joy? What loss, what fulfillment? And what would my self, much older than this moment, say to me now? What continuity, what thread? The thought of this is enough to make me...

I know what you wanna say
I think that you're all the same
Constantly being led astray
You think you know something you don't

Downtown hotspot
Halfway up this street
I used to be free
I used to be seventeen
Follow my shadow
Around your corner
I used to be seventeen
Now you're just like me

Down beneath the ashes and stone
Sure of what I've lived and have known
I see you so uncomfortably alone
I wish I could show you how much you've grown

Downtown hotspot
Used to be on this street
I used to be seventeen
I used to be seventeen
Now you're a hotshot
Hanging on my block
Sun coming up
Who is my shadow?

La la la la la la la

I know what you're gonna be
I know that you're gonna be
You'll crumble it up just to see
Afraid that you'll be just like me

Downtown hotspot
Halfway through this life
I used to feel free
Or was it just a dream?
Now you're a hotshot
Think you're so carefree
But you're just seventeen
So much like me

You're just seventeen
You're just seventeen

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

BEAUTY: Clothing--Misc. Paris Fashion Week

Well, our fashion month is wrapped up and here are a few little details from the '19-'20 FW collections at Paris Fashion Week worth mentioning...

We saw a collage of his usual leather/corduroy/patchwork/Carhartt's vocabulary, but Junya Watanabe is certainly dedicated to presenting mature models. Kudos!

And the Milan Hundredth Monkey moment continued to a certain degree with more animal prints! Sacai showed jaguar on tops and bottoms.

BEAUTY: Clothing--Thom Browne

For his FW '19-'20 collection at Paris Fashion Week, Thom Browne once again used traditional menswear as a springboard to a very philosophical performance art piece. In the past, Browne has played with the idea of an ensemble at different stages of time. See his amazing FW '16-'17 collection here: set in the aftermath the Great Depression, members of a gentleman's club returned to their former meeting place to reflect and remember. Each look came out in three different forms: 1) a Depression-ravaged, dusty, threadbare version, 2) a slightly worn version, and 3) a pristine, crisp, new version, which taken together, represented a journey back in time for these men, a journey back to before the Depression, when things were younger, cleaner, newer. He has also played with ensembles at different stages of physical physics, you can only know the speed or position of a particle but not both! For his Fall-Winter '17-'18 show here, Browne sent out outfits again in groupings of three: the first a sort of Frankenstein-esque iteration where the components of each garment were exaggerated like sleeves trailing the floor; the second iteration contained the kernel of reality, the actual suit; and the third contained a two-dimensional representation, almost Cubist in nature, in which the components of each ensemble were exploded away from each other and presented in a flat perspective.

So for his current FW '19-'20 show at Paris Fashion Week, he opened the show with a procession of models wearing bubble wrap followed by a colorless version, a template if you will, of what was about to unfold.

And here we have the magic triad again (there is something both off-kilter and satisfying at the same time about using groups of three). 1) The actual core outfit, made up of suiting separates including Browne's short trousers (now in a wide leg!), handsome coats and jackets, and an occasional skirt (not a kilt!). 2) The exact same outfit but instead of made up of individual pieces, the pieces were printed, in a trompe l'oeil effect, onto a sheath dress, so the result looked the same but was in actuality a single garment. 3) Once again, we have the idea of an outfit being exploded into parts but here they are stitched back together in whatever random order they fell, creating something not male, not female...

Even though Browne has been showing men in skirts and dresses, albeit in a menswear vernacular, for years, he spoke about the deepening concept in this show: "I think almost a feminine womenswear approach is interesting for guys nowadays. It was interesting for me because the shape of the jackets and the corsetry underneath it look really, really good . . . and I love the idea of all of the pieces coming into a trompe l’oeil dress. And I love the idea of guys wearing dresses. I think it’s an interesting time, that guys are really open to so much more right now."