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Chau and B.J.'s notes from Space City

Archive for March, 2009

 

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PESQUEIRA TM 09 from Joakin Fargas on Vimeo.

I found Pesqueira via fieldguided, and I fell in love immediately with the company’s aesthetic.  The designer has a lot of Yoshitomo Nara‘s work hanging up in the main store, and the clothing and accessories have a similar childlike feel minus the menacing factor. Unfortunately there are only a few stores outside of  Argentina, and I have had no luck finding things online. The prints looks awesome, and the clothes seem youthful but appropriate. *swoon*

 

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I saw this awhile at Gap and its much better in person than the picture. It’s super light and delicate, and the pleating provides just enough coverage. I’m not much of a pastel person, but this was hard to resist. As much as I love gray, its time to add some color into my wardrobe. After I bought it, I saw it was on sale. Tempting…

This masterfully arranged Grizzly Bear track is wonderful on several levels. First, there are those ghostly vocals, which come from all four members, gently melding together their very different voices. You have Chris Taylor’s high notes, you have Ed’s lower register, which also seems to have a faraway quality. In particular, the wavering, wordless harmonies on the chorus pack in plenty emotion without leaning on language. Second, there is Christopher Bear’s understated drumming that, with nary a peep from the bass drum, whispers only on the upper frequencies, carrying that unbearable lightness even higher. Third, there are the great instruments: the Guild T-50 SB and the toy sampler Yamaha VSS-30. Fourth, the whole crazy architecture: the guitar’s flowing melody, the odd tuning, Dan’s chord changes.

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On the cover of the latest issue of the New York Times Book Review. The photo editor on the image:

Eggleston is considered one of the pioneers of contemporary color photography. His 1976 show at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, of work done in Memphis and northern Mississippi, where he lived at the time, was MoMA’s first ever solo exhibition of color photographs. In the show’s catalog, the MoMA curator John Szarkowski called Eggleston’s photos “irreducible surrogates for the experience they pretend to record, visual analogs for the quality of one life, collectively a paradigm of a private view, a view one would have thought ineffable, described here with clarity, fullness, and elegance.”

As the Book Review’s photography editor, I work with my colleagues to find images that can stand on their own as evocative of lives and places but that also connect to what both the reviewer and the author are trying to convey. “Wells Tower makes me think that nothing bizarre someone might dream up could ever be as strange as American life as we live it,” White writes in his review. “The ‘beyond’ that the Surrealists talked about so much, the au-delà, is America itself.” For both me and the Book Review’s art director, Nicholas Blechman, Eggleston’s image perfectly captured the feeling of this passage. It has that quality of isolating the commonplace and rendering it in such a way as to evoke the nuance of our uniquely American sense of the possible, simultaneously with our memories of a past that can never be recovered.

I’m procrastinating right now. :) We spent most of this weekend downtown, and I’m sad it is going to end soon. On Friday, BJ and I went to Oporto Cafe, a tapas spot, where we had no trouble finding delicious non-meat dishes. Afterwards, we had a little bit of time to spare, so we headed to the Rice Village for dessert at the Chocolate Bar, a stop to buy old-school candy (remember the zebra gum with tattoos!), and a quick browse through Half-Price Books. BJ bought “the best” book on depression, a book by one of his favorite film critics, “the best” book on Italian Cinema, “the best” history of the Civil War, “the best” documentary history of Abstract Expressionism—I’m not sure when these will be read, but… :). I bought an illustration book filled with 5000 high resolution animal drawings. We ended the night at Red Door for a friend’s birthday. Pretty good for a Friday night huh?

I just picked up the 40h Monome kit. Yes, I actually have to solder this machine together. Let’s just that it’s the understatement of a lifetime to say that my electronics skills are a little rusty. (Not to mention my woodworking skills.) But what better reason to polish them? Enjoy the video and then try to tell me it’s not worth it.

 

Hellen Van Meene

Hellen Van Meene

One of my favorite photos by photographer Hellen Van Meene. I studied a lot of her work in college, but I haven’t revisited them in awhile. I’m falling in love all over again with her use of colors, poses, and the picture plane. There something more poignant and appropriate about her subjects’ expressions and physical state then when they are similarly adopted by fashion models. This photo also reminds me a little bit of the Frida Kahlo Self-Portrait with Cropped Hair that we recently saw at the MOMA. In both pieces, hair becomes symbolic and animated, taking on a life of its own. One standing for conflict and stuck between two worlds, another signaling freedom? Kind of makes me want to paint split ends again. :) NY update coming soon!

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BJ recently won a bid on Ebay for 3 old polaroid cameras. The first one I tried had a light leak, but the second one is doing okay! The only problem is when I need to close it, the top gets jammed and it requires a little bit of muscle. I’ll have to buy more film and test out the 3rd one. One of these will travel to New York with us, and hopefully we’ll have some nice shots to post.

Doesn’t Igby look so adorable? That’s the face she makes when I say “treat.” She loves to sun bathe on the gazebo next to her gnome friend. Sadly, he’s missing an arm.

Moving Forest

The second image is a shirt I printed using silk screened stencils. I’ll post a detail shot once I have time.  The bear, which one of my students helped me draw, is carrying a forest where bunnies and mushrooms live. I think I may develop a series out of this print. I’m also debating whether or not to add a second color over the first print.

One more day…