Saturday, November 21, 2009

Heaven Can Wait (Beck and Charlotte Gainsbourg)

Deliciously creepy and beautiful and absurd.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Frugal Traveler (on printmaking)

My sister, living in China (and probably thinking a lot about the pros and cons of souvenirs herself these days), recently sent me this essay by Matt Gross from the Frugal Traveler, discussing the merits (and pitfalls) of bringing home travel souvenirs.

Prints have, for hundreds of years, had a close relationship with travel. The 18th century Italian printmaker and draftsman Giovanni Battista Piranesi popularized the modern-day postcard by creating a series of etchings showing views of Rome (Vedute) for middle-class and wealthy travelers to take home and show to their friends and family.

There is a wonderful little ode-to-the-print in the essay, towards the end. I've copied it here, below.

Art, however, is a tricky keepsake. Too often, paintings are unwieldy to carry, expensive to ship home and of questionable value overall. That’s why I usually go to flea markets and seek out prints: etchings, lithographs and woodcuts (preferably signed and numbered). First of all, they tend to be cheap. But making prints requires a degree of effort and focus — they’re never tossed off like drawings, or as sloppy (sometimes) as paintings. Printmakers have to commit, or risk wasting time and money. So even though the tiny print of baby chickens that I bought in Campo Santa Margherita in Venice for 10 euros is extremely simple, it also represents the tradition of craftsmanship I associate with Italy. Plus, I like the idea that somewhere out there, 19 other people have the same odd little thing hanging on their walls. It connects us, whoever and wherever we are.

Piranesi, Giambattista, Illustrationi di antichità romane (The Arch of Titus), 1748.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Ruth the Acrobat

Sometimes life is just like this. Your name is Ruth, you're an Acrobat, nobody makes shoes that fit you right, and no one's willing to really look you in the eye when they're talking to you.

Thanks, Library of Congress. You really show me some neat stuff sometimes.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Fables by The Dodos

A clear, bright voice, and lilting harmonies. I'm big fan of The Dodos.

...and I want to be a curator?

Lindsay Pollick of Bad at Sports noticed an article on CNNMoney: Stressful Jobs That Pay Badly, and wrote about it here.

Guess what's right up there in the top fifteen worst ones? Curators.


Gilbert & George

Photos from Designboom.

Gilbert & George: OH GOD they are the cutest.

Those matching ties turn me into a puddle of I-want-to-be-your-best-friend-oh-please-oh-please.

Designboom ran a story about a show -- Jack Freak -- of G&G's in Brussels that just closed. The Jack Freak photos and article can be found here.

I am simultaneously intrigued and bored by their recent work. Conceptually, I really like the images, but I'm really not into that plastic, digital, just-discovered-Photoshop aesthetic. The Gilbert & George show at the Milwaukee Art Museum last year was really quite good, despite my reservations, but I liked it more because I could see their earlier work in comparison with the new stuff.

Sweet: someone blogged about my work at the Chicago Diner!

Now if only John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats will remember that he wants to buy one of the paintings...(!) Fingers crossed.

Alright Sans

Check out this new font, Alright Sans, posted on Diggin' it! (Those SMALL CAPS, especially!)

The "t" is a wee bit distracting, however.

The font was created by Brooklyn designer Jackson Cavanaugh (such a name! Oy!) and his digi-foundry, Okay Type. I'm drooling over his personal website design, too, by the way:

Click to view larger, or just go to his website.

It's perfect! I've been trying to find good examples of artist websites that adequately merge all of these multi-varied sources of information outlets that we use all of the time (blogs, Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, etc) and Cavanuagh's website just what I'm looking for (except I would need more portfolio-type images).

Broken Embraces: Almodóvar and Cruz

The New York Times recently ran a story (titled Cinematic Soulmates) about the working relationship between writer-director Pedro Almodóvar and actress Penélope Cruz, and the article has a little bit of info about Almodóvar's new film, Broken Embraces, which I'm excited to see in a couple of weeks (opens Nov. 20th).

There is also a 2.5 minute video (an interview between the two) accompanying the article.

This is a charming tidbit:

The chemistry Mr. Almodóvar, 60, and Ms. Cruz, 35, share would almost seem romantic if he were not one of the world’s best-known openly gay directors and she were not linked in the tabloids to the actor Javier Bardem. (Asked if a wedding is in the works, she said, with a pleasant smile and eyes of cold steel: “You are a writer for The New York Times, yes? I think maybe you are not supposed to ask that kind of question.”) Their easy, affectionate rapport has developed over half of Ms. Cruz’s life — she was 17 the first time she met the director, who rejected her for the role of a 35-year-old woman in his 1993 comedy “Kika” but told her he’d call her in a few years.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

"Jiggle it a little"

This Saturday Night Live sketch, Fran & Freeba, can crack me up, without fail, every single time I watch it. There are so many good one-liners!

Good for the morning giggles.

Saturday, November 7, 2009


apple from Colin Nusbaum on Vimeo.

Watch full size if at all possible.

This is a stunning short film made by Colin Nusbaum, his submission for the TRUNK SHOW. The photograph shows how the film was displayed during the opening night. His artist statement appears below.

Nusbaum, Colin 08, originally uploaded by JuliaVHendrickson.


Colin Nusbaum

Video, found suitcase, clothing, magazines, toiletries

This video installation fixes the camera’s eye on scenes of Brooklyn and New York City. By climbing on bridges and sneaking on rooftops, I was able to see the city through a lens from high above. The actual aerial images were captured in sunlit high definition and focused in a tilt-shift technique to shrink space and virtually magnify the spectator.

Like much of my work, this project was designed as a sincere documentation and playful invitation to turn the camera on oneself. apple inspires reflection from a new perspective as it gazes at movement through city space. Specifically, the montage celebrates transit and motion itself, without regard for destination—showing people in mid-gallop. The video makes the big city small before us, so we can might scrutinize and innocently indulge.

I was initially drawn to the scenes because, when eyed from above, locomotion appears both mechanically trivial and yet utterly graceful. Ironically, it was not until I finished shooting the project and descended back to ground level that I began to feel disoriented and dizzy with vertigo.

Chris Ware's self-portrait

So I dropped the ball on getting to so many good Chicago Humanities Festival events this year, but I'm happy to say that this afternoon I'm headed to Lincoln Park to see The Not-So-Funny Situation of Alternative Comix, a discussion with Chris Ware, Lynda Barry, Matt Groening, and Jules Feiffer. So many of my favorites in one room! My head might explode.

Also, I just saw on The Chicago Reader's Free Stuff listings that Mount Eerie is playing for free at the Reckless Records on Broadway on Sunday!