Bon Weekend!

To jumpstart your weekend, a few photographs by Elliot Erwitt, whose images capture such a wonderful joie de vivre...

Here's to a weekend of such moments...

Back to It's Compicated for a minute...

I didn't include the bakery from It's Complicated in the post about Meryl Streep's character's house, and it's seriously wonderful, so I thought I'd go back to it for a minute...

Based on Dean & Deluca, it has that wonderful fail-proof aesthetic...  Chalkboards, marble counters, shaker cabinets, warm neutral palette, hand-written signs on everything, baskets of breads and pastries and produce... to die for.

The bakery at night...

Loved that they made chocolate croissants on their date... so cute.

Images courtesy of Universal Pictures

Torsos, with a twist >> Federico Uribe

Artist Federico Uribe reimagines the torso, a classical art staple, simply by switching up the medium.  It's amazing how the medium not only changes the visual effect, but also the connotations of the form.  

Whether intentional or not, it's difficult not to imagine what a female form made of bullets, or locks, or lips, might mean...

Click through for more images...


Styling Brilliance >> The Appeal of the Unmade Bed

Generally, bedrooms are photographed with a crisply made bed, complete with layers of matching pillows, sheets, blankets, etc.  But sometimes, it's the unmade beds that look the most appealing, especially when the whole bed is crisp white.  

There's a wonderful suggestion of lazy, indulgent mornings...

...especially effective with morning light streaming through the windows.

first four images via MaraisUSA


For when you need to strap a growler to your bike...

Or really, when you need to strap anything to your bike, but the growler adds to the overall effect...

A great product by Walnut Studiolo out of Portland, the leather "Strap Down" is a both functional and attractive addition to your bike... but then again I pretty much love anything that combines leather and buckles and/or stitching, and when it involves a bike, it becomes even more charming.

They also make aweseom handlebar wraps, available in two different color ways...

I personally like this one:

...and you might as well get a clever "can cage" for your pbr, or what-have-you, while you're at it.

I'm pretty sure if you have a cool bike and you trick it out with these accessories, you're automatically accepted in Portland...

Walnut Studiolo here.


Listening To >> Francis and the Lights

This song, and Francis's voice, grew on me the more I listened to it... and now I really really like it.  Interestingly, they just performed with Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, who I featured back here.

And the video, which was directed by the keyboardist, is a great example of what you can do with basically no budget if you get creative-- the whole thing is a single-take live performance, and the use of light is killer (looks way better in full-screen).

Especially love the dance sequence at about 1:50, so watch that if nothing else, it makes you happy to be alive.

Listen to the whole album streaming on their website here (I have a feeling this album is about to go into heavy rotation for me), along with more videos.  The video for "The Top" has some pretty amazing dancing by Francis...

Discovered via Black*Eiffel.

LustList >> Limited Edition SS '10 Bensimons

I have a bit of an obsession with Bensimon tennis shoes.  I think they're fantastic with just about everything, and even though I already have three pairs, (there's a really good justification I promise), I'm pretty sure I really need these SS '10 limited editions.  They've never done this natural linen color with the darker piping, and I'm mad for it!!  

Sadly, the site where I found them is sold out of my size (37), so if anyone knows another place to find them... well, my birthday is on Tuesday.  Just sayin. 

Sentimentia + Typography >> Field and Sea

Loving Field and Sea's tiny note cards-- their straightforward messages are perfect examples of the kinds of things you just might rather say in a note than in person...

Also love the ones that say "You're right, I'm wrong," "You're an amazing human being," and "I have lost the right words, will these do?"  Many more here.


Seeing is Believing >> Markus Georg

In Markus Georg's new exhibit, "The Power of Images", he uses highly straightforward, even banal-looking images to remind the viewer of, ironically, the power of the imagination.

In his artist's statement, he proposes that imagination is a forgotten currency in our highly empirical world, and that he wants these pieces to "resocialize imagination," which he says is "a fundamental prerequisite for both producing art and its reception." 

Hence, out of highly ordinary materials, which appear at first to be nothing more than exactly what they are, he creates motifs that are just familiar enough to trigger some level of recognition, but not quite literal enough to be understood without the employment of one's imagination.

Markus Georg website here.
via StumbleUpon.

The Look >> Strawser & Smith

I like the looks of this new store in Brooklyn...

Huge surprise, I know... I like yet another combo of brick, wood, old leather furniture, and industrial lighting and accent pieces... but it just works every time for me!

The store, Strawser & Smith, specializes in refurbished American industrial relics-- many from Rustbelt cities like Detroit and Youngstown. ...Love the American slant.

Store info here.


Soy Cuba - "I am Cuba" - 1964

I just discovered the film Soy Cuba, from 1964...  I'm sure any film buff already knows of it, but for me it was such a treasure to find!

The film has a really interesting history.  It was filmed in 1964, after the Cuban Revolution, and the resulting US isolation, when Cuban filmmakers had starting reaching out to Soviet companies to help them produce their films.  It was directed by a Georgian, Mikhail Kalatozov, and attempts to show Cuba at the time from four different perspectives-- luxury, poverty, vagrancy, and revolution. 

At the time of its release, it was rejected both by Cubans and Soviets, for different reasons, and went unknown outside of those countries.  It wasn't until 1995, when a Cuban co-director of the Telluride had it screened, that it was re-discovered. 

It then garnered the interest of both Martin Scorcese and Francis Ford Coppola, who both realized its incredible cinematographic merit and decided to lend their names to its re-release.  Beyond its plot (which is not its strong suit or even its main focus), and its propagandistic nature, its hard to deny the amazing visual qualities of the film, which have influenced many famous American movies.

(Most directly, the scene above, which goes from a rooftop beauty pageant down to a hotel pool and then underwater in the pool, was used in Boogie Nights, but many other films have borrowed more loosely from Soy Cuba.)

One of the main things the film is noted for is the use of long tracking shots-- which were done with a handheld camera.  In the clips at above, the camera goes up or down entire stories of buildings simply by being handed off from one crew member to another-- no cranes or anything mechanical involved to create these incredibly long takes.  Pretty amazing.

In the shot above, which follows a funeral procession, the camera goes up four stories and then in through the window of a cigar factory and back out again.  The effect of leaving behind the coffin as the focal point and smoothly transitioning into a setting so iconically Cuban is pretty awesome.  Unfortunately the only clip of it I found doesn't have the original music, but it's still pretty amazing visually.

(The scene above isn't that noteworthy, I just really loved the song, and the panning of all the women at the bar.  The second half, with the Russian overdubbing, gets really weird though.)

I was so spellbound by the visuals in this incredible (even if totally biased and/or cliche) look at Cuba, from the very first moments of the clip at top, that I just had to share... check them out when you have a minute to soak it up.  I feel like I just time-traveled back to 1960s Cuba.

Buy the re-release of Soy Cuba / I am Cuba here.

A New Kind of Trompe-L'oeil >> Alexa Meade

Did you think this was a painting?  This is actually a photograph of a person covered in paint...

From the early Renaissance until the beginnings of Impressionism, the goal of art, and in particular painting, was to imitate life.  The emphasis, subject matter, and techniques varied over time, but the general idea was to present a naturalistic, believable view of the world on a two-dimensional surface.  Then Impressionism hit, and everything changed, kicking off Modern art movements that routinely rejected the goal of presenting real life on a flat surface.

Now, along comes Alexa Meade, who actually takes real life-- ie, real people-- and paints literally directly on top it, turning the 3-d, real life subjects into a 2-dimensional-looking "representations" of the actual people.  Her medium is acryclic and flesh.  

Then, she photographs them, making the ultimate medium photography... that looks like a painting... of a person... that is actually a photograph of a painted person. 

Click the jump for lots more work from Alexa Meade...


I Love a Monogram on Almost Anything >> Why Not Lamps?

No seriously.  Ok yes, a monogram on a lamp could be way too Martha Stewart if it were on a pastel cloth shade with a painted wood base, but on this sophisticated brass number, the monogram comes off as irreverent and cool in my opinion...

Designed by the aforementioned Partners & Spade in collaboration with lighting company Roll & Hill.

Who doesn't love a good heist? Especially an art world heist?

I feel like as an art and art history lover, I should find these kinds of heists offensive and sad, but I can't help myself.  I'm intrigued by them, and particularly by the theories as to the motive for the heist.  It's commonly known that it's very difficult to sell stolen works of art, especially ones so famous, which always leads to the theory that the heist was sponsored by a private collector, and the idea that someone would be so in love with certain pieces of art as to have them stolen solely to allow unlimited viewing, is somehow romantic, no? 

The £100 million modern art heist

A single masked raider has carried out "one of the biggest thefts in art history" during a dawn heist at a Paris gallery in which he stole works worth hundreds of millions of pounds.

By Peter Allen, in Paris, and Stephen Adams
Published: 7:24PM BST 20 May 2010

Click through for the article from the Telegraph and images of the stolen pieces...

(Still Made Here) >> Hand-Painted wall ads in NYC


  Up There Film
- Watch more Videos at Vodpod.

This video about the hand-painted billboards on the sides of buildings in New York, and the people who paint them, has a really magical quality.  It sort of feels like when something starts with an image of the world from outer space and then zooms in and zooms in and zooms in and you finally land on one tiny detail on ground level... here the detail is the little world that revolves around the tiny and dying industry of hand-painted billboards.

It's one of those things you might stop to think about for a brief moment every once in a while-- "Who painted that?  How long did it take?"-- but then you never really get answers so your mind never wanders very far.  In this really well-done (love the cinematography and the editing) short sponsored by Stella (brilliant move), you get a close-up peak at this world that not only gives those answers, but also puts human faces to the signs that seem to magically appear around town.

If nothing else, watch the the thirty seconds at the end between  about 12:00 and 12:30... you miss out on the story but the visual is still awesome.


Random Acts of Creativity >> Hi-Jacked Classifieds

This is pretty great.  I'd be stoked if my classified ad turned up looking like this...

"The Type Directors Club in conjunction with Cardon Copy has asked some well-known designers to find a classified/personal newspaper ad from their local community to “hijack” typographically. 

When redesigned, the once banal and disposable classified ads will be reinterpreted by the designer into a one-of-a-kind collectible poster. 

Each poster will be auctioned on Tuesday evening, May 11th (starting at 6:00 pm), with proceeds to benefit the TDC Scholarship Fund." The selection above is by Gail Anderson.

LustList >> D'Aosta D'Aosta Luggage

It's official.  I'm a freak for pretty luggage.  I already knew that I liked beautiful luggage (old and new), but when I came across D'Aosta D'Aosta's luggage and had an actual visceral reaction to the corner details, the nailheads, the straps with buckles, etc., I realized that my response to leather suitcases and trunks might not be normal.

The other clue that my love for luggage might be tipping towards obsession is that fact that luggage is that kind of thing you really don't need a lot of.  When you travel, you can really only bring one or two pieces-- one to check, and one to carry on.  And it's not even smart to check a nice piece of luggage, since it's like a big target on your luggage for thiefish baggage handlers and it will probably get destroyed on its first trip ever anyway.  Conclusion: one nice carry-on is really enough.  

So here's the freakish part.  I already have a leather suitcase that I'm in love with, and yet, every time I see stuff like this, I actually consider whether I should ask for it for my next birthday/Christmas/can-you-ask-for-presents-for-4th of July (?).  Even though I have NO need for it.

Luckily, there's an excellent loophole to this law of limited justifiable demand for luggage.  Suitcases and trunks look sharp as decor accents and also function as storage!  Perfect excuse for me to collect more luggage than I could ever take with me on a trip...


Tastemakers >> Partners & Spade

...And so my fascination with the Spades continues.  

Just stumbled across Partners & Spade, apparently another company of Andy and Kate Spade, though it's difficult to figure out exactly what it is/does or the exact structure.  There's a storefront, which as far as I can gather is a collection of things Andy Spade thinks is cool, with a sort of cheeky twist.  Given the credibility the Spades' taste has achieved, I'd say that's probably a viable business model.  And, given the profitability that has resulted from this credibility, I'd say he's got room to risk the cheeky twist.

Best Made Co.'s handmade-in-New York axes.  Apparently, nice axes are becoming a thing.  The point is lost on me, but I will say I like the paint job on this number.

Maybe the most humorous item in the range, a burglary kit-- everything one needs to burgle, all in a cool rucksack.

I approve, Andy, I think cartography is cool too.

Here's what I really like... Apparently they host events and "exhibits" at the store, like this one:

And this one...

And this one...

Cheeky is the perfect word, right?  Love the idea of having events like this at the store.  Seems like Andy has a lot of fun with this project...

What I didn't realize, was that Partners & Spade's "studio," which seems to be an outlet for co-branding on outside projects, collaborated on the design J. Crew's Men's Store.  By which I mean, I didn't realize the Spades were in any way involved with J. Crew, or more specifically the Men's Store, until I discovered the existence of Partners & Spade.  The coming together of two major tastemakers...

And so the Spades continue to conquer the world...
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