Friday, September 28, 2012

Last Friday Night

Eyes of Mine, 2010

Last Friday night my scheduled plans fell through, so I decided to stop by the Whitney after work to check out the Yayoi Kusama retrospective that I'd been hoping to visit all summer. When I strode up to the stacked block museum, the line to get in was already around the building (ugh), but thankfully I had brought my overconfidence and my SVA staff ID, both of which I flashed at the Membership desk. "Right this way, Ms. Cueto!" Ok, no one actually said that. I'm not Daddy Warbucks. But I did feel like a total VIP. Unfortunately, being ushered past the waiting plebs did not mean I'd get to see her mirrored twinkle-lit installation Fireflies on the Waterthose times tickets had sold out hours ago. But I did get to experience works of hers that I'd only seen in art books before. Her Infinity Net paintings were stunning up close and from far away, simple repeated strokes of white that undulated like a vast foamy sea. But it was the final room of her most recent paintings that really excited me and made me wish that photography was allowed. Especially Eyes from 2009, Secret Moments from 2010, and Eyes of Mine from 2010 (above, thanks Shamanism), all bright red on blue shapes that looked as if they were positively vibrating. Some things I learned about Kusama from the show: she and Joseph Cornell were lovers for 10 years (she was his first girlfriend when he was 60!), she also made beautiful, seamless collages, and she staged a nude happening in a MoMA fountain in 1969 that was covered in the Daily News with the headline, "But Is It Art?" 

Creepy coincidence: Yayoi was our Artist of the Week one year ago today!

- Cathleen 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Louis XIV to Paul Revere

Louis XIV and Paul Revere have one common thread that links the two men; do you know what it is? 
Check back here on Tuesday for the answer.

- Grace

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Four Favorites

18k Gold Turquoise Ring
$379 from artemer on Etsy

9 Factory Spools

7 Creme Brulee Lollipops

13.5cm Silver Corn on the Cob

Four of my most recent favorites, hunted and gathered on Etsy

- Cathleen 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

You Are What You Eat Off Of

This extraordinarily simple yet elegant line of ceramic dish-ware has been circulating the internet over the past few days and I couldn't resist posting.  

Available in red, blue, and dark blue, the Abbesses Ceramic Set will make every meal feel chic and can be purchased here

I wish this set was mine, but it's a little expensive for moi. Currently I use and LOVE the Buffalo ceramic set from Williams Sonoma. 

- Grace

Monday, September 24, 2012

Artwork of the Week: Relic

Relic is one of my newest sculptures, cobbled together just in time for open studios at the beginning of this month. It's actually something I wanted to make when I started grad school four years ago (yikes!), but it never quite fit with whatever theme I was working on. This piece was inspired by several ideas, namely the story of StThérèse the "Little Flower" of Lisieux, the spontaneous stigmata of Padre Pio, relics that hold a mystical power, and epidermodysplasia verruciformis, a skin disorder that manifests itself with a proliferation of hard, scaly growths on the hands and feet. I learned about that last bit watching this video of the Treeman on Youtube. Amazingly his nearly lifelong crippling affliction was cured with a simple regular dose of vitamin A. 

- Cathleen

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Extra! Extra! Read All About It!

Photo via LiveScience

This past week in southern Turkey this gorgeous floor mosaic was unearthed. Measuring 1600 square feet (that's about the size of all the livable floor space in my house), the floor was in a bath house and exemplifies the influence of Greco-Roman designs and motifs during the 3rd and 4th century AD. 

What I find most fascinating about this new piece is that the motifs are still being used today. This floor looks like it could be supplanted into an expensive bathroom renovation today and would be at the top of high style. 

More information on this exciting discovery can be read here

- Grace

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Artwork of the Week: Dear Fork

Letterpress Card 

Perfect for framing over the breakfast table. 
Careful you don't choke on your toast crumbs while reading. 

- Cathleen 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Ken Price: Ceramic Master

Los Angeles-based American artist Ken Price creates astounding ceramic sculptures that beg to be contemplated and evoke emotion rare from such a humble material. 

Out West




L. Blue

Untitled (Two Parts)

Price's variety of work (more can be viewed at illustrates his high level of skill. His ability to master both biomorphic as well as geometric shapes creates a wide range of work all bearing his signature. 

What do you think? Do you like Ken's work? Do you think his work is fine art or craft?

- Grace

Monday, September 17, 2012

Kicking Glass

Quartz Cluster Stained Glass

Ha·lo·na Glass makes gorgeous stained glassware for hanging in windows and catching the light, or sitting on shelves and catching the eye. Based in Brooklyn, NY, Michelle Levy takes the traditional leaded glass art to new frontiers with modern shapes and fresh colors that customers can customize! And for the animal lovers out there, she even does pet portraits. Her work has already been featured on numerous design blogs, but you can check out her full line of products on

Stretched Simple Arrow Tail

Beveled Stained Glass Diamond Planter (plant not included)

Bevel Starburst

- Cathleen

Friday, September 14, 2012

Artwork of the Week: Popcorn

Popcorn, 2011 
porcelain and gold glaze
by Pae White

A small, simple sculpture. Popped to perfection. 

- Cathleen

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Sense of Touch in Art

The Back Series
Henri Matisse
1908 - 1931
On View at MoMA

When I was an undergraduate student, I had a professor who had achieved great accomplishments in art history. She had great experiences and great stories to tell us. 

One story she told us affected the way I approach art to this day. 

She taught an art history course to a group of blind people. The more you think about this, the more impossible and challenging it seems. She got special permission from the Museum of Modern Art for her students to feel Matisse's four-panel The Back Series. The students all touched the art and felt Matisse's hand-work and his manifestation of the Fauve style. Upon reconvening as a group, the students all agreed that for the first time, as blind individuals, they really understood what art was. 

- Grace

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Legs Two Ways

Leather Heart Leggings

Ombre Tights in Fuschian Violet
$40 from BZR on Etsy

- Cathleen

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

New Baby in the Family!

I have a new baby to introduce! 

Yep, there she is, my new living room sofa. Found and bought off Craigslist for $700. 

It's down-filled and upholstered in high-quality linen. 

When I first saw it I was planning on reupholstering it right away, but when I saw it in person, I realized the fabric was in better condition than the owner's picture showed (score!!) so I'm going to keep it until I destroy it by lying all over it all day long. 

What do you think of my badass find? 

- Grace

Monday, September 10, 2012

Ghost Malls

Abandoned malls. After discovering these photos on Death and Taxes a couple weeks ago, there has been something about the images that I haven't been able to shake. The fact that these meccas of consumerism, these temples to consumption, once teeming with shoppers and the hot pretzel sellers who fed them, now lay dormant, just catches in my chest. Dry fountains devoid of glittering pennies, empty benches where families once agreed to meet in an hour, the dead neon signs and funky 80s and early 90s architecture. I love and loathe it all. 

- Cathleen

[Shout out to Jenny Morgan for spotting this one first.]

Friday, September 7, 2012

Kukstis Woodcarving

When we vacationed in Kennebunkport the past two summers, I was in awe of the beautiful New England architecture. I had always heard people say New England was a special place, but for me it took seeing to believing. 

The private homes are so gorgeous. 

The blend of American colonial style and neoclassical makes for a style that is uniquely American. 

I wanted to try and bring the Maine flavor back to Maryland with me. One of the houses' elements that 
is easily replicable back home are all the gorgeous hand-carved house number plaques. 

Kukstis Woodcarving in Massachusetts can help you with all of your woodcarving needs. 
In addition to a wide variety of carved number plaques, artist Paul also makes and sells business signs, gorgeous carved eagles, fierce whales and I'm sure anything else you ask him to carve for you! 

I am such a fan of his work and as soon as I scrounge up the bucks I will be ordering a new house number for our home. 

- Grace

Thursday, September 6, 2012

How to Polish Silver - The Definitive Guide

That's right, I said it: The DEFINITIVE Guide (Cue dooming music).
My Survey of Silver professor is renown for her expertise in all things silver. Here is her guide to taking care of the delicate silver you may own.

When you've found that your silver is in need of polishing use an old white linen tablecloth and a chalk based polish like Wrights or Goddards. Once you've finished polishing the silver give it a nice rinse in distilled water.

Never put your silver in a dishwasher!
If you see that you need a brush to polish your silver don't use an old toothbrush, use a horsehair bristle brush. This is the most gentle on easily dent-able silver.

Remember, silver polish is a mild abrasive so when you polish you are actually removing some of the silver molecules.

Always handle silver with gloved hands. Never rubber gloves! Rubber is toxic to silver. Wear nitrile gloves. Latex and vinyl are also rubber so don't expose your silver to either of these materials.

If you have an old piece of silver and you notice that is has little black splotches on it- this is a good thing! It means your silver is old. The silver is so old that the silver has been worn away in some places. Treat silver in this state with extra caution and whatever you do - don't get new silver electroplated over the piece.

So---if you've read this far, you're nuts!!

Any tips or tricks you may have when keeping your silver in tip top shape?

- Grace

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


This weekend my studiomates and I are participating in GO: a community-curated open studio project. Both Saturday and Sunday, September 8th and 9th, from 11am-7pm, we will fling open our studio doors and show off what we've been working on. Over 1800 artists from all over Brooklyn are participating and hoping for the chance to show in a group exhibition at THE Brooklyn Museum in December. Visitors to the studios must first register at, then they can vote on up to 3 artists that they think should be included in the exhibition. Lucky for them, we've got 3 amazing artists all in one place (studio #407 at 253 36th St, Brooklyn, NY)!!! Here's a link to my artist profile so you can see a little of what I'll be showing (but there will be more for those of you who stop by in person!), and I'll post more after the event. Hope to see you there! 

- Cathleen

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Books That Shaped America - An Exhibition

All images via

The Library of Congress is hosting an exhibition titled Books That Shaped America which consists of 88 books that the LOC deems influential to our contemporary American culture. 

The goal of the exhibition is not to list the best books of American literary history but instead to compile a list of books that have shaped our current way of thinking. 

The complete list can be found here. 

What do you think of the list? You can vote for the books and suggest titles the library may have missed. 

The exhibition runs through September 29, 2012 (better hurry!) and is located in the Southwest Exhibition Gallery, Thomas Jefferson Building. 

I think this is a fabulous way to look back at our contemporary culture and ponder the literature that has shaped our personhood. 

- Grace

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