Monday, April 30, 2012

Artist of the Week: Simon Schubert

Simon Schubert is a German artist who does lots of things, but his folded paper drawings are the most mind-boggling. I really get excited by art made from unconventional materials, and I especially like this work because the marks of these particular drawings are made without pencil or pen, but rather by folding the paper at various points to create a recognizable image that somehow doesn't end up a hot crumpled mess. Call me impressed.

- Cathleen

[Images courtesy of]

Friday, April 27, 2012


Have you guys seen the "new" issue of domino magazine that hit stands last week? I put new in quotes because it's actually full of old photos and old content pulled directly from the old pages of old dominos. I know because I have saved and treasured every issue I ever bought of the once beloved-then shuttered-now resurrected(?) shelter magazine, lapping up their "inspiration for small spaces!" and "tips for organizing your clutter beautifully!" features, tagging all of my favorite things for future use when it came time to decorate my dream home. And because I have a pretty good visual memory for awesome stuff. So trust me, they have taken a bunch of old hats, shined them up as a "Special Edition!" and slapped a whopping $11 price tag on it so that the fans who weeped for its sudden loss years ago would come out in droves to snatch them up. And snatch them up they did. I went to THREE stores looking for it, only to be told it was sold out at every turn. So when I finally found it, I snatched up two copies (Ok, one was for my mom) only to discover that they were basically two copies of magazines I already own, still neatly displayed in the IKEA Expedit bookcase I bought for my first apartment after seeing it in domino years before. In some ways I get it. It's not like Conde Nast would go through the hassle of hiring a bunch of writers, photographers, and designers to come up with new content for a defunct magazine that will only be coming out in special editions probably twice a year. Nor would they bother to go to the trouble of trying to woo back the people who made it so great in the first place who have, of course, moved on to bigger and better things that are totally successful in this new age of the magazine (coughLonnycough cough). And while I do want to support the brand BECAUSE I REALLY WANT THEM TO BRING IT BACK! I was pretty disappointed to have paid so much (twice!) for their greatest hits. You've let me down again, publishing bigwigs. It's times like these when I wish these big companies would just ask me! I could tell them how to fix everything, how to make everyone happy, and how to get people buying their stuff again. (You hear me, Gap?) Annoyed sigh.

- Cathleen

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Herbert Bayer + Universal

When Bauhaus first opened its doors in 1919 in Weimar Germany one of its first students was the Austrian Herbert Bayer. Bayer went on to become a teacher at the art school and created his Universal font in 1925. 

Bayer stripped typography of all superfluous elements and reduced it to its bare essentials. Bayer got rid of upper case letters and set the rule that letters could only be formed from straight lines and circles. 

In contemporary terms Universal was used for the credits on the show The Jeffersons, and Roseanne

Ignore that arrow pointing to the mug in the Roseanne image. 

One important element of Bauhaus that is often forgotten was its revolutionary fonts and ability to create convincing, unforgettable, and completely unique posters and advertisements. 

Can you think of anywhere you've seen Universal font in a contemporary setting? Let me know in the comments section. 

- Grace

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Design Always Repeats Itself: GPS Edition

The Plus Four Routefinder circa 1920's, designed to be worn on the wrist with miniature maps on wooden rollers which the user was to turn manually while driving. 
-courtesy of Retronaut

Modern day GPS. 

- Grace

Monday, April 23, 2012

A Touch of Glass

Glass Chainmaille Necklace, $160 from andtheparade on Etsy

Glass jewelry is so elegant and delicate. I received the bubble necklace down below as a Christmas gift from my grandma a few years ago after admiring it in the jewelry cases of the MoMA gift shop for years. I'm half afraid to wear it because I imagine the worst: someone going in for a hug hello and the whole thing smashing against a major artery and making a real mess of things. Of course that'd probably never happen. With that in mind, I've rounded up some particularly pretty baubles that are perfectly safe, their makers assure us. Here's to overcoming fears for the sake of beautiful accessories everywhere!

Glass Pocket Ring, $45 from Sarahdee on Etsy
(you can put any small object you want inside!)

Ariel Necklace, $120 from MoMA

Coke Bottle Top Earrings, 

- Cathleen 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Missing the Days of Yore?

Then you need to buy this USB Typewritter. Just plug in your Mac, PC or IPad Plus (not sure what the plus version is but whatevs) and get to work remembering what it felt like to clack clack away at a typewriter. 
Pretty cool!

- Grace

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Not a Cloud in the Sky

I'm a total sucker for charts. Groups of things collected and identified? There's really nothing better. And when that information is presented in a crisp and visually pleasing gray and white? Umm. You had me at cirrocumulus. 

 Cloud poster, 13"x 19" giclĂ©e print from ink illustration

$20 from wondercloud on Etsy

- Cathleen 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Logos- Simplified

Graham Smith's website Unevolved Brands is a blast to comb through. He's taken famous and easily recognizable logos and reduced them to just circles. I've posted a few of my favorites which also happen to be some of the easiest to guess. Check out his website and let me know what you think in the comments section.

- Grace

Monday, April 16, 2012

Artist of the Week: Amy Brener

Glowstick, 2012

Born in Victoria, British Columbia and now based in New York City, Amy Brener is a mixed media artist whose most recent body of work looks as if it were created in a mad science lab with super high tech equipment and giant lasers. Or! In some deep dark crystal cave in the Andes mountains. Or! Maybe on another planet made entirely of ice and unobtainium! These futuristic-looking light-sensitive sculptures are produced by layering resin, glass, and Fresnel lenses, a type of lens that was developed for lighthouses to conduct a beam of light over great distances. Boy, what I wouldn't give for a piece of this psychedelic rock candy. Amy is currently a 2012 Bemis Center Fellow in the Artist-in-Residence program at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha, NE. 

Cipher, 2011

Jag, 2012

Switchboard, 2011
Switchboard detail

Wing, 2012

- Cathleen 

 [All images courtesy of the artist's website:]

Friday, April 13, 2012

Art Show of the Week: Ladies & Gentlemen

Ladies and Gentlemen, a one night only group exhibition organized by the beautiful go-getter Maria Jose Duran Steinman (Cote!) featuring the work of yours truly and a bunch of other amazing talented artists (many of whom are recent graduates of SVA MFA Fine Arts), will be taking place in a gorgeous loft in Tribeca this Saturday night, April 14th, 2012 from 6pm-10pm. If you are in the city, you should come check it out! If you are no where near the city, here are some sub par photographs of the two pieces I submitted for the exhibition.

Blood Bath, 2012, ink on paper, 8.5 x 11"

This one was inspired by the idea of a water birth; how blood, usually synonymous with violence and death, signifies life in this instance. The drawing I made with red ink on the other side of the paper bled through to create the image you see here. 

Growth, 2012, fingernails, plaster, wood, glue, stain shellac, 4"x 4"x 3"

Yes, these are all my own fingernails. And yes, it took me a long time to collect them all to make this piece. "Growth" can be a positive word for many --- to "grow" as a person means evolution, progress --- but a growth on your person is another thing entirely. Something one would have removed, reviled, discarded. I like the idea of this growth being turning into a trophy, perhaps. Like a horn. Or a relic. A disgusting little relic. 

- Cathleen

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Cover Me

I am totally late to this party, but I have to share a song that I've had on permanent repeat the last two weeks. "Somebody That I Used to Know" by Gotye featuring Kimbra, only the video above is a clever cover by Walk Off the Earth that might be almost better than the original. Either way, this song has gotten me through a pretty-tough-stress-full-too-busy couple of weeks. Have a listen! Hope you like!

- Cathleen

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Phrygian Cap

I just finished the book Queen of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution for school and I'm not going to lie by the end of the book I was in tears! Of course I knew Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were guillotined but I wasn't aware of all the details that surrounded the execution. 

The piece of history that most brought me to tears was that the guards at the Temple, where the royals were imprisoned, took absolutely everything away from the Queen that they could. Marie Antoinette's husband had just been executed and those in charge decided to take the last thing from her that mattered, her son Louis Charles or Louis XVII. 

Louis Charles or Louis XVII
Painting by: Alexander Kucharsky

The young boy, only 8 at the time was ripped from his mother's side. Marie Antoinette was so opposed to his being taken away that it took the guards over an hour to to remove him from her. The young boy was then placed into the hands of a fanatic revolutionary, alcoholic cobbler who was tasked with deroyalizing the boy. 

The drunk cobbler, Simon, made Louis XVII drink, beat him whenever he called for his mother, and made him curse the monarchy loud enough that his mother could hear him in her room above his. Marie Antoinette was not allowed to see her son but could sometimes catch glimpses of him through a crack in her wall. Louis was clothed in filthy rags and wore a phrygian cap or liberty bonnet on his head. 

Phrygian Cap Above. 
Photo Credit: Jon Goldstein
18th Century French Liberty Bonnet. 

The phrygian cap has a long history. The cap's meaning originated in Ancient Rome where it was used to signify freedom earned by a slave of war. The caps were cheap and easy to make. 

Phrygian caps can be spotted on various decorative arts throughout history but you will see it used religiously during the French Revolution. 

It sits atop the head of Liberty in Delacroix's Liberty Leading the People.

It appears center-stage on this coin from Ancient Rome. 

It even adds a splash of red to this French gravy boat. 

It should be noted that during the French Revolution that phrygian cap became such an important symbol of the revolution and revolutionaries that if you weren't wearing it or other revolutionary inspired accoutrements you could be murdered on the spot. Children as young as eight lives where taken because of trigger-happy revolutionaries. 

Louis XVII died mysteriously 2 years later in the care of the Temple guards. He never saw his mother again. 

Source: Queen of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution. Caroline Weber. 2006.

- Grace

Monday, April 9, 2012

Star Light, Star Bright

Ursa Major/Big Dipper Gold-plated Silver Necklace, $100.83 from Twinklebird on Etsy

Zodiac Embroidery Kit, $20 from Miniature Rhino on Etsy

Constellation Duvet Cover, $69 from Urban Outfitters

Tiny Stars Earrings, $16 from June Designs on Etsy

Terrestrial Celestial Poster, $48 from AGC916 on Etsy

Great Bear Constellation Navy Blue Hoodie, $40 from Zoe's Lollipop on Etsy

- Cathleen
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...