Cloud Gate (aka The Bean), Chicago

Anish Kapoor, a Turner Prize winner, was selected from over 30 bids to design the new sculpture for London's Olympic Park. It will no doubt be a huge draw for the Olympics in London, for an art geek such as myself, perhaps an even greater draw than the games. It's said to be taller than the statue of liberty and constructed of steel, and is called ArcelorMittal Orbit after the steel tycoon who is footing the bill. Some preliminary drawings can be found online as well as more info on the piece.

I'm not a huge fan of the design but people are ranting and raving about it so maybe I'm missing something. It's also a little onminous if he really did take inspiration from the Tower of Babel, doesn't he know how that story ends??

I was so bummed I missed Memory while in New York. I especially wanted to see it after multiple strolls through Richard Serra's Sequence and Band at LACMA and falling in love with the colors and texture of the material (cor-ten steel) and how organic it felt with the design. I love the Serra's but wanted to see what would happen with a less fluid application of the material, since it really imposes a certain narrative and timeliness to the work than other materials, in my opinion. All the pictures I've seen of Memory looked way too cool so I could only imagine how amazing it would have been in real life. Kapoor also designed "the bean", pictured above, which sits in Millennium Park in Chicago. I've still never seen it despite having lived there during it's construction and unveiling. It's always on my to do list whenever I go back for a visit but somehow it never happens. I blame it on the weather. :)

The Warlords

Just came back from a screening of The Warlords directed by Peter Chan and starring Jet Li, Andy Lau (sigh) and Takeshi Kaneshiro (double sigh) at Leammle's - thanks Giant Robot! Some people call this a martial arts film but I don't agree. Just because there are Asian people fighting doesn't make it a martial arts film people! There were some good moments during the fight scenes but overall nothing compared to the real old school Chinese films or even House of Flying Daggers for that matter. That's fine by me as I get a bit squeamish when there's too much violence and this was just barely crossing that line.


"@" @ MOMA

If you haven't already heard, MOMA has aquired "@" as part of their collection. My friend Laura who first told me about it wrote in her email that she wasn't sure what to make of this. It was a wee bit early for an April Fool's joke and I certainly didn't think it was a real news item either. Then I got in my car to head home and turned on the radio only to hear one of the curators on NPR talking about this very thing! It's a little nutty but it does provide a nice starting point for discussion, which is what has happened. It does raise some questions though, such as the significance of design vs redesign since they attribute it to the man who redesigned/reappropriated it. Also, if it's important as a design element than what about typography and all the designers for all the different fonts, since it did after all start out as the letter "a"? I still think it's a bit out there but I also think that it was a great move on MOMA's part.

It's still in the public domain so no worries about copyright issues next time you tweet or write an email. :)



Maurizio Cattelan, All, marble, 2007

My arty friends are in love with this man and his work but so far I have yet to find a piece of his that really draws me in - until now. This piece completely does that in a way that is more subdued than his other works. I find his other sculptures to be too brash or over the top but this piece has a quiet power about it that is much more interesting to me than Hitler kneeling in prayer (Him) or the Pope being hit by a meteorite (La Nona Ora). If I had to put things in boxes, I would put him and Jeff Koons into the same box. It's the box for artists whose ego gets in the way of their work. It's also the box for artists who have way too much time and money on their hands. It's the box for artists that I will give a nod to more for their technical excellence than anything else. It's also just not my cup of tea. I do love that he is self trained though. What do you think?

I spy with my little eye...

 Betsey Johnson Eye Spy Mid Shopper

Got a new bag this weekend. It's the perfect size to carry around my usual load of a notebook, a planner, whatever book/books I'm reading, other essentials (wallet, lip balm, etc...) with plenty of room to spare. I can probably even fit my D700 in there too. Love it!


A4 vs Letter

Letter sized paper template - Click to open and save

I love paper. But I'm also picky about what size my paper is. I prefer smaller notebooks/journals or huge sketchbooks. I hardly ever buy standard letter sized items. It's just not a good size for me. I can't visualize the space on letter sized paper the way I can with other sizes. But letter sized paper is everywhere! It's all we use at work and it's the size that HP 32 lb paper* is. So, being the huge nerd that I am, I decided to make my own paper template. 

I cannot stand wide ruled paper. The smaller the lines the better! Your needs may vary but this is perfect for me. I have PDF and AI versions as well so holler if you want it! I didn't lock the layers so you can change them to whatever size you like. I had to adjust my printer margins/bleed to get it to print correctly so I imagine you'll have to do the same. Unless your printer can print full bleed, mine can't. I love it because now I can print HP 32 lb paper double sided so when I fold it in half I get four pages of perfect sized writing space! I might try another one using the Golden Ratio, we'll see. 

Also, I incorrectly assumed that A4 and letter were the same size. The logic behind A4 paper is so brilliant! It makes so much sense and is so simple and practical. Check out this article to find out why. C'mon America, get on the A4 bandwagon already! 

*HP 32 lb paper is a premium laser paper available at any office supply store. A tad expensive at nearly $18 for one ream but it responds incredibly well to fountain pens and is a cult favorite among fountain pen users. Other 32 lb papers are available but I've never tried them.


Oh Nancy...

Easy on the bo', Nancy...easy on the bo'...

So the Health Care bill passed today which is great but what I can't take my eyes off of in this picture is Nacy Pelosi! She is like Obama Super Fan #1. Is it me or does it seem like at any moment she'll just start weeping and implode from all the Obama love? I could barely watch the State of the Union address, I wanted to be like "Nancy, slow your roll." I'm all for Obama and I voted for him but her enthusiasm is a little embarrassing and makes her an easy target for the reds.


Yoko, etc...

Chicken Katsu. 

Yesterday was a heavy driving day for me, I think I spent more time in the car than with people. Note to self: you CAN NOT get from Ontario to Buena Park in 30 minutes! I ended up being late to dinner but my lovely friend Wonnie ordered for me so the food was ready when I arrived! We went to Yoko which serves Korean Katsu and it was delish. I think next time I'll get the pork though. Also, funny story, Wonk and I traded a piece of her pork for one of my chicken and the first bite made me regret my chicken katsu, but after a while I looked down and the pork piece was gone. I had eaten the rest of it and not even noticed it was pork! The regular meal is pretty large and I loooove that they serve it with kimchi radish and pickled jalapenos, yum. Next time I want to try the soba, it looked really tasty and Jeff said the noodles were nice and chewy. Pretty cheap too considering how much food you get, I dropped $12 including tax and a generous tip.

Also, I must share this picture. We played games after and Wonk and I got our asses kicked by the boys (playing girls vs boys is sooo not fair with these guys!) but the one BRILLIANT moment of the night was this mind meld, so perfect!
Same places, same order! The mind meld topic was shopping malls :)

Speaking of shopping, I totally failed at trying to spend less money. I did however, use my Gap Give and Get coupon so I feel as though I can justify it since part of the money went to charity? I bought a couple of my absolute FAVE v-neck pocket t's, a really cute floppy beach hat (the first hat to actually look good on me), and some basic tanks in anticipation of summer. Some charity out there is getting 5% of that :P I also bought a cute new clutch and a small wallet for my ever expanding collection of plastic. I used my 30% off coupon* at Coach so it was a great deal!

*coupon only valid at Coach Factory Store locations.


Art and Tacos

Chile Verde, Al Pastor, and Carnitas tacos from Taqueria la Mexicana. Yum.

Met up with Hanna mid week to catch up and talk art. My house is a mess with all the renovations and slow purging of things that should have been tossed/donated a long time ago, so we met up at Portfolio in Long Beach which is becoming one of my favorite places in the LBC. It was nice to talk art again and we left with lots of good ideas about future projects and some goals for the rest of this year. It's nice to have a sounding board to bounce ideas off of and also nice to be able to come at an issue or idea from two different perspectives since we both have a tendency to be too much inside our own heads. I'm excited about a new photo project that developed out of a conversation about "religious" art, the politics of domestic space, and the Big Man Upstairs view of God propagated in religious imagery. A lot of things to think about. I also realized I need to take better notes since my memory is notoriously bad.

Another perk of meeting in Long Beach is that Taqueria la Mexicana is right down the street from Portfolio! Their tacos are sooo delish, I can't go to Portfolio and not stop by for a taco or three. :P If you're ever in the area, make sure to swing by and pick up a Chile Verde taco, so good! Although, they can be a little hit or miss sometimes.



Ran into this piece by Know Hope in Chelsea. I'm a huge fan. The first Know Hope piece I saw was in Tel Aviv; a lovely surprise on my way out of a Chinese Restaurant. :)
Yum. Gorilla Coffee.
Leandro Erlich pool at P.S.1

Epi inside. 
Also saw some excellent video art, lots of old favorites, and the James Turell piece, although it was disappointing since I had to be somewhere later and didn't stay long enough to watch the sky change color.

I dig it.
A blurry Yoshitomo Nara. He was speaking at Princeton the day after I landed in NYC. Fortuitous timing. Love him.

Nara at the podium, shot of some new pots he's working on. They are amazing!

Manhattan at night, as seen from BK.

Epi and the BK Bridge.

Grimaldi's. Yum. Drank too much wine.

Trees near Central Park. 

Hanna looking fab. We went to St. James earlier to hear Rev Desmond Tutu speak. He was just too adorable when he gave the children's homily.

Lunch at Zabars after. 

Lentil soup, Nova on health bread, coffee. Yum.

Moonshine, aka Shiner, aka the cutest cat on the planet.

Sheena (looking fab as always) and Indian food, two of my faves! I forget the name of this place but it is AMAZING. On Flatbush a block or two from the Parkside Q.
 Impromptu portrait session with Epi. She is just too gorgeous - this is a raw pic, no editing! Such excellent natural light too.

Don't have any pics because I am such a bum, but also caught up with Ethan, another one of my faves, and Fran, who took us to Ippudo for the most delish ramen. I lost my Momofuku pics, but that cereal milk soft serve is seriously like crack. No joke, I could eat that all day long. Fran, you are like my dealer...my Momofuku cereal milk crack dealer. :)



I'm moving into a different room in the house and I'm on a mission to make it a space all my own and a place that I want to spend time in. The first thing I did was buy new sheets for my new bed, 600 thread count sheets in a dusty brown like the picture above. I love them! I loved my old 500tc Ralph Lauren sheet in an awesome bright canary yellow but by no means did I want to spend that much money on sheets! I got mine from Ross which put me back $30 for a queen sized set, not bad for 600tc! Also picked up two new bookcases from Ikea that were on sale for only $15 each. I tried to paint them white but that was a total disaster. Note to self: spray paint can not fix everything.



No pics up yet, feeling a bit lazy lately. I did however, want to write about two books I finished last week.

The first is Picasso's War which was only OK. I say this because it is the kind of book that tries to marry narrative with history and most of the time it comes across as lacking in both. It did however, give me a more in depth look at a painting I knew relatively little about, especially in terms of how complicated the political history of the time was. Reading this book it was impossible to not think about the current war and what my role is as an artist. I had a hard time trying to figure out if my current lean toward public art was due to all the amazing Otis Public Practice events (among many other LA art talks along the same lines) I've been going to, or this book, or a little bit of both coupled with a deep hidden desire that has only recently made itself known. Anyway, back to the book, I'm not a huge Picasso fan to begin with and this didn't do much to change my mind but it was a worthwhile read. Information I probably should have already known but who remembers much from those hazy undergrad days, eh?

The other book I finished was The Pilgrimage by Paulo Coelho. I picked it up used at the Brooklyn Flea (which is amazing, albeit overpriced and run over with hipsters; what did you expect?) and finished it a few days later. His style of writing is very easy to read and the promise of a modern day search for ancient wisdom was too enticing to put down. I kept reading and wondering if this really was non-fiction, or if he was making stuff up. Turns out he actually did walk the road to Santiago de Compostela, about 20 years ago in the 80's. Nowadays the trek is much more user friendly with many hostels and sign markers. Also, this year, 2010 is a Jubilee year since the Feast of St. James falls on a Sunday. Kind of makes me want to go but then again, I'm not much into indulgences or being outdoors for that matter. :P My only problem with this book was that it read much like The Alchemist, in that many of the same themes are iterated over and over and over...but hey, you can never be told to follow your dreams to often right? I guess he wrote this before the Alchemist though, which makes sense.

I also started The Unbearable Lightness of Being, another Brooklyn Flea buy and recommended by Elly but I'm not quite done with it yet. The last 50 or so pages of any book I either devour or suddenly move at a snails pace reading. Sometimes it's because I don't want the book to be over, other times it's because I lose momentum. This is definitely the latter. I blame it on no more trains to ride. :)

Also, due to my JetBlue points expiring, Christmas gifts, and other factors, I came home to a TON of magazines in my mailbox! They are all magazines I like, but it can get overwhelming when you are a month behind on the New Yorker, Interview, Wired, The Atlantic, and The Economist among many, many others. Sigh, my reading pile keeps getting taller and taller...not a bad problem to have though.


Almost Home

Sitting at JFK waiting for my return flight to LA. After a long, cold, but very enjoyable week in NYC I am glad to be returning to the comforts and warmth of home.

Pictures to come soon...


Martha Rosler

Last Thursday I went to a lecture/presentation with artist Martha Rosler at 18th Street. During undergrad I took a documentary photography class, and saw The Bowery in Two Inadequate Descriptive Systems at a gallery and it completely blew my mind. It made me re-love photography and believe in documentary work again. 

During the talk she went over her various works over the past few decades with a focus on public works (the event was put on by Otis' Public Practice program). One of the things I loved was something she said during her talk. She curated a show (one of many) on homelessness and during the process she opened it up to other artists and organizations, with one rule: no pictures of men on benches. I thought that was a great rule and really speaks to how documentary work can fall into a rut, buying into the same cliche images instead of really investigating the matter at hand and finding compelling ways to interact with those you are photographing and not merely be a passerby who happens to have a camera. When she said it, I thought it would be a great compulsory exercise for documentary classes, to write it over and over again on a black board, Bart Simpson style. 

She also spoke about her reading room project which included books from her library. Unlike other similar projects by other artists, she actually let visitors pick up and read her books! She even had copy machines in the spaces! I love sharing so I totally dig it. She's also really entertaining to listen to. I must admit, I didn't know all too much about her before I went, but I have so much more respect and a much better understanding of her work now. She is a phenomenal artist and so prolific and doesn't give a shit and it's great. :)