Saturday, September 30, 2023

BEAUTY: Painting--Hiroshi Sato

The engaging work of Hiroshi Sato reminds me of the wonderful California Figurative artists from decades back, like Richard Diebenkorn (previously here) and Wayne Thiebaud. I love Sato's color choices as well as his composition. His story is fascinating as well, and informs his the video below.

Friday, September 29, 2023

BEAUTY: Sculpture--Patrick Bergsman

Sometimes an artist will hit upon an idea that seems so crystal clearly obvious that one wonders why no one thought of it before. Perhaps it is because people tend to overlook what is right in front of them...

Dutch artist Patrick Bergsman hit upon a genius idea to show bonsai trees growing too large for and bursting out of Asian ceramic containers. This thrillingly unique idea speaks to the unstoppable power of nature, even in something so deliberately diminutive as a bonsai tree...just how a weed grows up through a crack in cement and splits the material in two, these bonsais are determined to live their lives. It is an inspiring idea. And to make sure that these creations stay illustrated just how he wants, Bergsman actually crafts each realistic-looking bonsai out of coconut fibre, polymers, kaolin and quartz. Amazing.

Thursday, September 28, 2023

"Skipping Like A Stone" by The Chemical Brothers with Beck

This song, "Skipping Like A Stone" by The Chemical Brothers with Beck on vocals is good but it is the video that is of interest here...I love The Stone of Justice. If only it were real...

From their new release "For That Beautiful Feeling" out now.

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Currently listening to...

...this utterly simple but profoundly moving song written by English singer-songwriter Lesley Duncan. She sings it here with Elton John on his album "Tumbleweed Connection" from 1971. While the lyrics represent something positive and uplifting, the melody and chord progression give this piece a weight and a plaintive sadness, as though Duncan and John are pleading for this world to have a perspective that probably won't happen...underlined by the addition of the sound of waves and people enjoying themselves but far away, out of reach...

Monday, September 25, 2023

BEAUTY: Man--Maximiliano Patane

Not only is professional model Maximiliano Patane gorgeous with that long hair and beard, but his personal style is incredible. I love the loose, flowing, ethnic silhouettes and artistic jewelry he sports in exotic locations like Tulum and Marrakesh. I would love to find where he gets his wardrobe and see what I could snag...especially that beautiful African mudcloth kimono in image #7 below.

Check out his Instagram for more clothes and beautiful locales.

Sunday, September 24, 2023

BEAUTY: Interior--Corey Damen Jenkins

Interior designer Corey Damen Jenkins created an incredible primary bathroom for a home in Minneapolis. Divided into three zones--a foyer, a sink/shower center, and a domed library with concave bookcases around a tub at the rear--Jenkins chose a very unexpected and delicious avocado green to accompany the Calacatta Gold marble flooring and walls. The combination is stunning and makes the colonial revival architecture and molding truly sing.

Saturday, September 23, 2023

Currently listening to...

...a nostalgic moment for me: a track from the original motion picture soundtrack to Paul Scharder's "Cat People" starring Nastassja Kinski. The soundtrack was already composed and recorded by Giorgio Moroder, the producer who practically invented Italo-disco and was responsible for the highly electronic sound of some of Donna Summer's greatest songs like "I Feel Love" when Schrader asked David Bowie to collaborate. He wrote the lyrics for the Moroder-composed theme song "Putting Out Fire (With Gasoline)." But for another track, Moroder created a version of the theme song with Bowie's vocalizations only, no words. Called "The Myth," this track recalls the ancient, exotic world in the film where the Cat People come from.

I loved this soundtrack when the film came out, but I loved this track in particular. I was and still am a huge fan of electronic music and at that time, in 1982 when I was a young man of 18, I was still enraptured with Moroder's work with Donna Summer. I was also a lifelong Bowie fan, so the music had a lot going for it to hook me. I had this on a cassette and would pop it in to my Walkman and just drift off...

Friday, September 22, 2023

Happy Birthday "Oh, By The Way" 2023!

Congratulations "Oh, By The Way," you are fourteen years old today!

Fourteen years ago, I had a dream in which I started a blog called “Oh, By The Way.” When I woke up that morning, I went to the computer and promptly started a blog called “Oh, By The Way.” Seriously--it was the first thing I did that morning, and yes, I often act out in waking life things I have dreamt.

"Oh, By The Way" is my digital scrap book of things I like, things I would share with a close friend and say: “Oh, by the way, do you know of this artist/clothing or interior designer/model/singer/actor/gorgeous man… or, have you seen this video/photo/film... or heard (or do you remember) this song/band... or, read this book/poem/inspiring quote... or, visited this place/ restaurant/ famous building... or, have you heard of this amazing new scientific discovery?”

Followers and regular readers: thank you so much! I hope you find this blog fascinating, beautiful, interesting, moving, inspiring, informative, and uplifting. Welcome to the birthday party. This year I am virtually serving a gorgeous cake topped with incredibly realistic buttercream flowers from Atelier Soo in South Korea. Enjoy!


Happy Autumnal Equinox 2023!

Today is the official start of autumn, when our planet begins to tilt the other direction, tipping the northern hemisphere away from the sun. The days grow shorter, nights grow longer, as we move indoors and into ourselves for hibernation and introspection. Autumn is a time of harvest as the earth moves into hibernation as well. It is a beautiful time, a spiritual transition, a doorway between summer and winter.


(And for our friends Down Under, Happy Spring!)

Thursday, September 21, 2023

"The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar" by Wes Anderson

A new film by Wes Anderson...on Netflix? YES PLEASE! "The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar" is based on a Roald Dahl story about a rich man who learns about a guru who can see without using his eyes, and then sets out to master the skill in order to cheat at gambling. This trailer shows a classic, charming, quirky, and beautiful Anderson creation! Apparently this 39 minute film is the first of a four-part series of short films adapted from Dahl's short stories, including "The Swan," "The Ratcatcher," and "Poison."

The film debuts September 27, 2023 on Netflix. I can't wait!

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

BEAUTY: Clothing--Mithridate

Mithridate, the label founded by Chinese designer Demon Zhang, creates collections that are simple and ornate at the same time (previously here). For her SS '24 collection at London Fashion Week, Zhang chose to set her catwalk outside in a lovely garden and the collection statement explains why:

"MITHRIDATE’s Spring/Summer 2024 collection delves into the themes of searching for inner peace and ‘The Cure’ on an oriental island; considering ‘to cure’ as both the result and the process. Creative Director Demon Zhang took thematic and design inspiration from her heritage, exploring concepts and prescriptions of traditional Chinese medicinal techniques including the key 24 different healing herbs, all conceptualised into sophisticated, romantic designs.

The collection is flooded with radiant yellow, soothing cyan, earthy salt pink and soft jade, arranged from organic and remedial fabrics such as silk, cotton and linen. In keeping with MITHRIDATE’s dominant moth motif, this season introduces the ghost moth. With healing properties, the moth is interspersed through enticing patterns, layered accessories, hand embroidery and winged silhouettes. Demon Zhang fuses traditional with modern through oriental cutting designs and Southwest China’s bean dye technique alongside laser cutting and hydraulic spray painting. Infused with her signature maximalist style, the collection plays with flowing textures, as well as depth of light and layering to embody healing energy."

I love how this collection expresses almost feels like an Etro creation, back when Kean Etro was director of menswear. The cumulative effect is sumptuous and a little looking at a cabinet of curiosities and wanting to lean in to examine each detail. The burnout velvet in chocolate brown/brass/copper and jade is stunning, the paint splatters on the slashed olive pieces read as embroidery, and the moth jewelry and dragonfly closures are just gorgeous. And while it may seem obvious, the use of cyanotype, a medium traditionally used for capturing images of botanicals in sunshine, feels elevated and fits perfectly.

Watch the video of the co-ed show to see the corresponding women's looks which are even more lovely...and to hear the dreamy, ambient soundtrack.

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

BEAUTY: Clothing--Paolo Carzana

Yet another designer is on my radar now, thanks to London Fashion Week. Welsh designer Paolo Carzana is a wonder, sprung from the head of Zeus. When he was promoting his previous collection for Fall Winter '23 entitled "Queer Symphony," he said, "It’s mainly related to this idea that everything I was ashamed of as a kid is now my strength. Up until I was 17, I would literally pray every night to wake up straight, and pray to be normal. And every single day, I was bullied in school, when I didn’t even know who I was."

It is a shared story among many of us in the gay community, one I have heard many times...surviving emotional, psychological, and often physical abuse to emerge on the other side, despite or probably because of it all, with a hunger and drive to create something beautiful, to express a force that could not be taken from us. I can attest to the truth of this from my own personal experience. So I feel great tenderness for and interest in the creations of Paolo Carzana.

In a preview for his current SS '24 collection shown at London Fashion Week, The Guardian said:
"Welsh fashion designer Paolo Carzana’s bespoke work is a balance between strength and fragility, using antique fabrics hand-dyed with herbs and spices. He is a recipient of the British Fashion Council NewGen award and is an artist in residence at the Sarabande Foundation established by Alexander McQueen. His SS24 collection, My Heart is a River For You to Bend, explores the resilience of the heart after loss. Hats by Nasir Mazhar are decorated with flowers given to Carzana by Sarah Burton, Alexander McQueen’s outgoing creative director, after his first show."

The delicate fabrics tied and stitched together seem like creations from some other dream world, as if the models should be lounging around on marble terraces in bright Pre-Raphaelite splendor, or in a lush production of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream." There is a hushed beauty to the silhouettes and construction of the garments that casts a spell.

Monday, September 18, 2023

BEAUTY: Clothing--Kyle Ho

Thanks to London Fashion Week, Kyle Ho is now on my radar. He titled his Spring Summer '24 collection "Les Amoureux" which means "The Lovers" in French. The Romantic title is reflected in the clothing: traditional tailoring is loosened and twisted, proportion and scale are reimagined, and pieces are cut out or missing. The styling recalls almost a Dandy-fied sensibility with the tall hats, appliquéd flowers, and butterflies...while the statement from the designer says:

"For Spring | Summer 24, Kyle Ho reveals his latest menswear collection, the word - "Les Amoureux", meaning "The Lovers". This collection boldly traverses the realm of masculinity in fashion, celebrating the beauty of homoeroticism and delving into the intricate realm of homosexual lovers. The collection reflects on human connection and a narrative that encapsulates the essence of love, desire, and attractiveness through the interplay between dominance and submission."

The lookbook is shown only on model and dancer Jonathon Luke Baker but the official video shows the collection on Baker, and models Gareth Valentino, and Matthew Howard.