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Monthly Archives: January 2010

Today I tried to calibrate the monitor on my screen with the help a handy eye-one gadget by Gretag Macbeth.  It is not yet perfect, but it is better.  Color makes all the difference in the world, and doing ‘homework’ at home and not in the computer lab at school is the cherry-colored cherry on top of a Sunday like today! (even though it’s too cold to eat a Sunday today.)

The images above are from this site.

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The Pleasure of Tiny Things: The moments that make up a lifetime. That’s all life is isn’t it?   Lots of little moments that slip by us in between the seconds of tweets, Facebook status updates and tumbler posts.  As Emily in Our Town says, “…It all goes so fast we don’t have time to look at one another…”  Artists have the understanding that time moves faster than we are able to comprehend.  One of my favorite sayings by one of my professors at Pratt is, “Artists bring the public to the private, and designers bring the private to the public.”  This is true more of less, but like many professions and objects these days the line is blurred more and more.  I aspire as a designer to have people stop and look a little more with the world and people we come into contact with.

Above are simple and iconic objects sculpted by Diem Chau.  With the working of the crayons the meanings of the crayons have completely changed.  They went from an object that could be used to write a fun note to a loved one to being an art piece.  As a work of art their three and a half inches have been given monumental status by being placed on platforms and have become individuals within a group- away from their original part in a boxed series.  Each color takes on a new meaning and very much their own personality and stands on their own- very literally.

If I just look at the work here for the beauty and simplicity that it is I see a great deal of insight in Ms. Chau.  The sensitivity to a tiny object, seeing past an everyday object to find an inner beauty and re-appropriating the Humble Masterpiece into this work of art which one can not use for anything other than an object of appreciation.

Diem Chau’s current work opens on Friday in a group show, By A Thread at The San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA).

A week or so ago I received a phone call from my dear friend Koos van den Akker. I interned for him when I was a senior in college at The Fashion Institute of Technology and then worked for him after I graduated.  Koos and I have remained great friends over the years, so last week when I received a phone call from him asking if I could try a few things on for him I arrived at his studio as soon as I could.  Koos is working on his Spring collection right now inspired by African textiles, the new movie Fantastic Mr. Fox and his usual flare of  his own creative genius.

In the studio I spotted a bright blue vinyl garment hanging from the rack of clothes, and asked what it was.  Koos said it was something that didn’t work out.  I tried it on and quickly protested that there was a great deal of potential here.  I also mentioned there was an event the following week and this would be something really fun to wear.  Koos offered to finish the coat for me, but I might not get a lining, and I didn’t care.  A blue raincoat would come in handy some of the globally warm January days.

Yesterday, I went to go pick up the coat on the way to the Rowena Reed Kostellow Award Ceremony at Knoll.  It was fully lined in fabric from his new collection, as seen above the the third photo.  He has taken special care to the cuff area for extra comfort when wearing.  He also started a yellow silk/linen version of the blue vinyl coat which was just as stunning as the blue one.  In the viedo link I’m wearing the yellow coat and his current intern is wearing the blue one.

With the blue coat on, I shoved my big puffy olive coat in a sleek black plastic bag and was off to coat check for a little bit.  I met a few people as they entered into the event, and everyone loved my new blue coat.  I was happy to see Ruth Shuman of Public Color who is very familiar with Koos’ work.  One of my greatest joys in life is when the people who I know and love from different areas of my life have a cross-pollination of interests and knowledge.  Their connection is one of them.  I only know Ruth through others at Pratt, and I know Koos through others at The Fashion Institute of Technology.  I have also virtually sold the jacket off my back to a professor at Pratt, Karen Stone I do hope she get s coat like mine!

I was released from coat-check duties just in time to hear Tom Patti receive his award.  A friend took the first photo above- strategically placed by Breuer’s chair for Kandinsky. It was a fun evening to realize the great community where I am in school.  So many Pratt graduates have moved on and are working in great places as well as establishing names for themselves at designer.

After all the coat checking and schmoozing I was in dire need of something to eat.   Vanessa Marie Robinson and I called up Lys in the west village and asked if we could come over.  We chatted over chamomile and lavender tea and lite bites we got on the way.  Lys took the last photo of the evening, above of me on her couch with Wally, the most lovable little cat I’ve ever met.  The amazing Vivienne Westwood shoes missing in this photo are from Alter in Greenpoint- now of sale!

The trip home was extremely cold.  I piled on my olive puffy coat on top of the new blue vinyl one, not terribly chic, but warm and wind proof, and at that point it really didn’t matter.  The evening was a sucess and the trains were on my side and I was home quickly.

If there aren’t enough reasons to curb our spending these days, I just found more.  3,615 more reasons.  Three-thousand-six-hundred-fifteen  pounds is the amount of textile waste created by New Yorker’s every 5 minutes, according to Derick Melander. His work most definitely creates an emotional reaction with the viewer.  All the stuff that we consume.  I am almost speechless.  His work is important so that we are visually stimulated at the three-dimensional graphic representation as a sign of our times.  On the other hand, I want to know if his works are temporary and that once an exhibition is over are the clothes donated to a shelter- or now Haiti?  Where does all of our stuff go?

A few weeks ago I purchased some paint and some wine glasses.  My vision was to make a collection of glasses of striking colors that with liquids added would create beautiful color combinations with the drinks  inside the glasses as well as with the surroundings of the glasses.  Last night I invited a few un-expecting guests over to test out my ideas.  I invited my good friend George to document the event, which have resulted in the stunning photos seen above.  There were two glass casualties during the event, so I think that meant that people had a good time.

I am so grateful for my lovely friends to have participated in this fun event.  Thank you to everyone for feedback as I take this project forward into the rest of my thesis.

graphic by Stephen Von Worley

graphic by Kathleen Scully

graphic by Kathleen Scully

My good friend, Vanessa Marie Robinson sent me the link to the first chart above.  It is encouraging to know that I am not the only one re-visiting my love for Crayola Crayons in adulthood.  Since my visit to the Crayola Factory this past Summer, I have referenced their site for lots of tidbits of trivia that I find of interest.  I have worked on some graphic images of Crayola as well, the most recent iterations are the latter of the graphics above.  They are based from America’s favorite (Crayola) colors.  I have done research in Prospect Park, Brooklyn and quickly found out that my results were much aligned with Crayola’s.  Blue was by far the most common response to: “What is your favorite color?” For my research I added to the question, “Why?” The most thought-provoking response was ironically the first, “Gray, because it’s kinda neutral, and I try to live, not in the black and white areas, but the areas in between.”  Could not have asked for something better.

The striped graphic to the above left shows the descending order of America’s top 50 Crayola Crayon color choices.  In the graphic on the right I have grouped the colors together by primary hue.  The big winner with seventeen out of fifty of the crayons is, you guessed it- blue!  The next closest is purple, with ten out of fifty of the colors falling into this hue.  Brown, black, yellow, and silver metallic all have one out of fifty.  I then played in illustrator with this information and took the images and blended them.  I really enjoy the three-dimensional effects that are created.  The circular graphics make me think that they are projecting off the screen and offering themselves to be manipulated further.  They are moving towards morphing themselves into new colors!  I hope that Stephen Von Worley is right and that we will have more Crayola crayon colors by 2050, but I would like even more than 330.  I don’t think I’m greedy, but it’s just what is in the air now.  Crayola is coming out with lots of new games and products these days, for the young and the young at heart, but they also need to check out the competition!  500 Colored Pencils has a lot to offer- they all have descriptive names, AND stories!  What would an info graphic look like for them?  I suppose we will have to wait a couple years to see how they develop longevity as Crayola has.

Ever have a plastic cup and don’t know what else to do with it besides line a trash can with it?  Well, Sveta Sebyakina decided it could be a pen.

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us – Emerson

A theme that I have looked at for years is how similar we all are on the inside.  Our outsides project lots of color- the result of a mixture of our ancestry, exposure to the sun, and what we choose to put on our skin and wear.  Sometimes when we want to get to the heart of the matter, we might say, we need to take a good look inside ourselves.  When we do, we see that we are all made up of the same parts and structures.  In the image above Ian Walker offers us the opportunity to truly see inside ourselves, and see the beauty that we all have.  This is an image of Cholesterol with a blue acetate overlay to show off the structure of the fat molecules.  D’arcy Thompson , the father of morphology, whose life work was on growth and form, found structural relationships in all things nature down to geometric shapes-of-sort displayed here.  These forms are found in bubbles, sticky drops of honey, rain drops and crystals at the molecular level.  Abstract art is often best viewed from far to understand the full picture.  In nature sometimes it is necessary to look very close up to get a full understanding of what is happening, or to understand how beautifully complex it is.  Neither is better than the other, just different ways of looking at the world.

The below image is of copper, also by Ian Walker.  Nature is amazing.

On the way to work today I heard this speech, and I was sorry that I had not thought to post something in honor of this day earlier.  Better late than never.

In the radio introduction of the speech, they said Dr. Martin Luther King asked us to not be color blind, but only to see- each other.  Our eyes can see the truth, if we let them.

The collaboration between Edouard Adam and Yves Klein in 1955 was to work towards creating a new blue paint of “unnerving vibrancy”-a color the was “absolute”  that resulted in International Klein Blue.  It was a special synthetic recipe that has been a continued source of inspiration for artists since its inception.  In the first image, he has made his bold proclamation, “I believe in the future, people will start painting pictures in one single color, and nothing else but color” in 1954, which started The Blue Epoch.  Actually he was not the first to do so, but we’ll let that go for now.  He expanded on his application of IKB in the following works.  He applied his blue paint directly on human bodies to try to visualize the blue’s human force. The third image is his table where encapsulated the pigment, loose and in all its glory.  Look but don’t touch.  Is an art piece and an item of function.  A Renaissance man of the mid-twentieth century with influences still seen today.

Blue Man Group is unabashedly inspired by Yves Klein.  During the performance, the blue men take an audience member and recreate one of Klein’s human force paintings (clothed). (don’t worry I didn’t ruin it for you, if you haven’t seen it.)

The last image is a self-altered iconic image of today.  It was only when apple the i-pod nano in a beautiful cerulean blue that I decided that I needed to have one.  Can’t wait to get my hands on a colored apple.  Color changes everything.