March 31, 2012

March 30, 2012

this is beautiful

Iva BittovaNe nehledej / concert with Bang on a Can Allstars

March 27, 2012


Ariele Alasko's Brooklyn home/studio is an extraordinary space filled with fascinating treasures & beautiful things she built by hand. Preferring natural materials & pieces with a history, her gorgeous, sculptural reclaimed wood tabletops & leaf sculptures (including the incredible wall in her studio) reside cozily with found rusted metal bits & vintage art finds. Weathered glass doors & windows separate her studio space from the living area, letting sunlight stream through & making it feel spacious. The colors, patterns & patinas make for such a serene & personal space. Ariele is my new hero...

check out the restaurant she designed & built here
via here

March 23, 2012

happy weekend

Enjoying, with some reserve, the odd summer-like temperatures that have caused trees to start budding & leafing out, & garlic & lilies to spring up from the ground. Everything has been fast-forwarded about two weeks, but with temperatures dipping back down toward normal next week, everyone's eyeing their gardens & trees with some trepidation. Hold on, little plants & buds!

Until then, laundry on the line & morning coffee on the back patio in the gentle air have been nice reprieve...

March 22, 2012

live work

Fay Andrada's home/studio strikes the perfect balance of casual & stylish. I love the way she broke up space in her living area with a wall of window frames behind the bed, while book cases & a slatted wood wall carve out the kitchen & bedroom areas, giving a soft sense of separateness which allows light to come through. That painted over bit of mortar & brick in her kitchen is brilliant.

Her jewelry designs are simple, architectural & elegant, further exemplifying her eye.

from here

March 21, 2012

feeling bleu

I foresee many renditions of mendiants in my future; the possibilities are endless, & as pleasing to the eye as they are to the taste buds. Yesterday I was inspired by a combination of lavender, honey almonds, fleur de sel & blueberry: perfume-y, astringent, sweet & crisp. I find myself obsessively dreaming up new combinations...

more here

March 16, 2012

happy weekend

reaching out, branching out...

March 15, 2012


Mendiants are traditional French chocolates, usually made around the Christmas holidays, decorated with dried fruits & nuts representing four monastic orders: Franciscans (figs), Augustins (hazelnuts), Carmelites (almonds) & Dominicans (raisins). One need not approach these with a denominational or religious bent; beautiful as well as delicious, they are a simple way to explore endless flavor, color & texture combinations, as well as a great way to create lovely gifts & favors.

My latest rendition starts with a bittersweet chocolate medallion, studded with dried Turkish fig, homegrown fresh rosemary sprigs, fleur de sel, & pecans candied with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, creating a delectable combination of sweet, salty, crunchy, bitter/astringent & nutty. It's all I can do not to eat the whole batch...

more here

March 14, 2012

shadows & light


Azerbaijani artist Rashad Alakbarov uses the shadows & reflections created by ordinary household & decorative objects to orchestrate fantastically detailed cityscapes. 

Painting with light, Alakbarov's precise arrangements of translucent objects, suspended & backlit, create meticulously choreographed landscapes & portraits.

Sanford Biggers' installation, The Cartographer's Conundrum, now on view at Mass MoCA, uses translucence & light to a different effect.

Inspired by the art of his late cousin John Biggers & Afro-futurism, Sanford Bigger's piece incorporates different elements to create a rich & complex dialogue: a mystical mural by the elder Biggers, floor tiles arranged as reference to the sacred geometry upheld in African & Egyptian societies, musical instruments, & reflective & translucent objects. The ever-shifting light that bounces off mirrored stars strewn about the room & streams through colorful "stained glass" window panels, & through church pews which become luminously hued & translucent as they lift off the ground & lay swaths of color on the floor, gives one the transcendent feeling of having stepped into an other-wordly cathedral dedicated to a rich & many-faceted history.

We attended Biggers' opening at the museum, arriving early enough to sit & take in the changing light as the sun slowly set, taking photos of the room as it slowly filled with guests & patrons.

According to Biggers:

The thing about it is, the way this is set up, different things happen during different weather conditions, so you’ll never see the same show twice. You know, the reflections, the shadows, the light, the pacing of all of that changes daily.

The artist, at left in a white turtleneck.

via here, here & here

March 9, 2012

March 8, 2012

tantric modernism

At first glance these might appear to be newly discovered works by abstract master Robert Ryman or suprematist maestro Kasimir Malevich. They are, in fact, Tantric paintings by Hindu devotees from a tradition dating back as far as the 1600s. Franck André Jamme, French poet & traveler, began collecting pieces of this nearly forgotten artistic tradition while on expedition in India in the 1980s. Tantra Song, available at Siglio Press, is a published collection of Jamme's finds, uncannily modern feeling works with timeless devotional & spiritual qualities.

In Jamme's words:

Perhaps rarely in the universal history of painting have works at once so mysterious and simple, yet so powerful and pure, ever been produced – a bit as if, here, man's genius had been able to assemble almost  everything in almost nothing.

from here
book here
interview here

March 6, 2012

this is beautiful

Man Ray's portraits, many of them taken in his Paris studio after his arrival in the 1920s, are both testimonial to his uncanny abilities at portraiture, and cultural record of the times. Formal, yet juxtaposing odd & compelling details, they are beautiful portrayals that offer more clues into his subjects' personalities, many of them artists & performers who made up the vibrant dadaist & surrealist circles of the time, than a more traditional approach to the art.

from here