Category Archives: Art & Culture

Too Good (inspired by Toogood)

Faye Toogood is a stylist who designs sets, interiors, and exhibitions.  I love the way she deals with space and objects in space and color. Everything’s tinged with notions of the past, yet generously modern and very very 2010.

Mind-bendingly brave color explosions combining complex large and small-scale color textile patterns.

Muted neutrals in vintage sepia and rose pinks, powder blues and soft grays are anything but old-fashioned.

Making magic out of simple materials such as foam and plywood blocks, corrugated cardboard and mirrors.

Modern, rational angles, lines, circles and shapes evoke Bauhaus movement.

Her awesome website is chock full of examples of her work. Once again Sight Unseen has unearthed another inspiration.

Designer Love

Eero Saarinen’s note to his wife Aline. A post from my new favorite blog, Sight Unseen.

Buenos Aires – Need a place to stay?

In 2004 I got an awesome birthday present: my friends Kerry and Ann traveled to Buenos Aires with me. We rented a beautiful apartment in Recoleta, and spent 10 days exploring the cosmopolitan city. Kerry literally fell in love with it, and decided to stay for a few extra days, so she could look into purchasing some property there. One thing led to another, and she not only bought a condo, she met her soul mate, Gonza. I was lucky enough to visit the city again for their wedding in 2006.

Between the wedding, and dealing with immigration, it took a while, but now their apartment has been lovingly remodeled and furnished. Kerry is a talented stylist who works with some of the top advertising photographers in NYC. Her unique sense of space and color and amazing taste is evident in every room of this light filled, charming condo.

While Kerry and Gonza spend a good portion of their time living in Brooklyn, NY, their BA apartment is available for weekly or monthly vacation rentals. The apartment is located in San Telmo, the most oldest and most romantic neighborhood in BA.

Whether on your way to an eco adventure in Patagonia, visiting the estancias for grass-fed beef , or just looking to shop and dine (on the cheap) in this world class city, do consider staying at Casa de Kerry and Gonza! If you are interested, please contact their agent.

The cinema design of You, the Living

It comes as no surprise that Swedish film director Roy Andersson spent 25 years directing TV commercials. You, the Living (2007), is comprised of 50 loosely connected short vignettes that could easily stand on their own.

The sets are living still-lifes, precisely choreographed and meticulously designed. At the bus stop, commuters  huddle gloomily in downpour, and cars slowly creep in city traffic as a lonely foghorn moans in the distance. Inside, the dull pastels are beautifully highlighted with a splash of orange hair, red cocktail, or shiny brass tuba. The characters are illuminated in “a light without mercy”, and we chuckle at the dark humor of our hero, “Mr. Nobody” in his natural, shadowless habitat. His truth is told in these rooms.

Shot in deep focus and wide angles, Andersson’s humans are composed neatly in a big world that leaves them vulnerable to their expectations, their dreams, and hope for satisfaction. Without any close ups, we can fully empathize with their confusion, irritation and loneliness.

This film held all sorts of associations for me: The plotless meanderings of Linklater’s Slacker, the quiet alienation in the paintings of Edward Hopper, Jacques Tati’s art direction and bumbling humor, and the deadpan comedy and minimalism of Jarmush’s Stranger than Paridise.

Give art this year

Dream

Peach Plate

Dinner Party

I got these mini paintings for around $20 each. Each pint-sized picture contains an endless multi-layered dreamworld. Painted by local SF artists Sandra and Crockett or SCUBA, you will find their work in unlikely places. Their precious yet sturdy paintings might turn up in an impromptu gallery on the sidewalk in Hayes Valley, or propped up on a storefront windowsill at an evening neighborhood block party. In sponsored events the talented pair painted their cute creatures on TOMs Shoes  – you buy the shoes they paint them for free. Makes great gifts, although you might not be able to part with them, once you get them home.

McSweeney’s San Francisco Panorama arrived today

It was scattered across the porch, but no matter. A delivery person’s vigorous toss would have been needed to loft the hefty stack up two flights. I can’t wait to dig into this juicy Sunday-sized newspaper’s words, images, and design. The paper was created by McSweeney’s to, “…demonstrate the unique possibilities and appeal of the American newspaper.”

By formatting their latest edition as “a one-time newspaper prototype” McSweeney’s provokes a discussion around the usefulness and relevancy of newspapers, books, and magazines in the age of the internet and electronic book readers. I haven’t had a newspaper subscription probably since I left Chicago! However I do enjoy reading the paper, whether its the free daily’s for reading on the bus or train, or checking out the New York Times left in the lunch room. It has, however, been quite some time, since I actually paid for a printed newspaper.

I highly recommend you go to the McSweeney’s store and buy a book or a subscription to support these innovative publishers who are constantly pushing the envelope in contemporary art, literature and design.

The women’s crusade

Imagine if women in developing countries had more money and more education and more power. We would live in a world where disagreements would be settled diplomatically (not by the ravages of war), children would be educated and fed (not sold into slavery), and communities would flourish – regardless of religion or political beliefs. Change is happening with micro-loan operations.

Nicholas D. Kristof is a New York Times Op-Ed columnist and Sheryl WuDunn is a former Times correspondent who works in finance and philanthropy. This essay is adapted from their book “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide,” which will be published next month by Alfred A. Knopf. You can learn more about “Half the Sky” at nytimes.com/ontheground.