Sunday, August 17, 2008

Henry Darger

Henry Darger (1892-1972), a creative genius, took nearly 11 years to finish handwriting his masterpiece. No one knew that this seemingly mentally disturbed recluse was creating awe inspiring work in his second-floor Chicago room. 15,145 pages long, the The Story of the Vivian Girls, in what is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion, recounts the tale of seven sisters who are princesses of Abbiennia. And as Raquel pointed out to me earlier today, "his artwork is full of religious imagery from his Catholic upbringing, his drawings, children of both sexes have penises, because he wasn't aware of the differences between men and women." The illustrations are innocently beautiful, entwined with a kind of naivete generally reserved for children's drawings. They are provoking and utterly accessible. If you haven't already, I suggest you netflix the 2004 documentary "In the Realms of the Unreal".

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

M. Graves doesn't belong in a Cemetery

M. Graves may be a tad bit creepy, but the line does creepy justice.  Just a year ago, Megan Marrin Graves began hand making her odd but beautifully unique creations.  Inspired by a 19th century doll collection, Graves creates some enviable necklaces using vintage finds.  The porcelain doll head necklaces are my own morbid favorite.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Artist Spotlight: Alex Steckly

On the aforementioned Portland vacation, I was introduced to the work of 21-year-old visual artist Alex Steckly. His large-scale paintings are described as "a take on early formalist aesthetics". While I'm not positive what that means, his gorgeous and effortless works have me itching to take an art history class to find out. His last series featured rectangular canvases painted with large circles, paint drips, and feather light lines suggesting abstract planets. All of his paintings are covered with a thick coat of resin, creating a glass-like surface reminiscent of still water. I was lucky to see some other pieces from a different series, including a beautiful cream-colored square canvas with burgundy swirls, splatters, and drops, one of which is his blood. Biological art... the next frontier?

Sometimes Catastrophes Become Trophies

While on vacation in Portland, Oregon, I was shopping at Local 35 and bought the most incredible dress by LA-based designers ANZEVINO and FLORENCE. Their newest line, "Sometimes Catastrophes Become Trophies", features supple fabrics like bamboo, modal, silk, linen, and leather. Their designs are architectural, yet inspired by and reminiscent of nature. Their palate favors black, charcoal, and cream, adding to the garments' hypermodern feel.

Their Spring/Summer 08 line also features a throwback to our childhood, something I did not have the pleasure of owning - Color Change fabric! Though we are looking ahead to autumn, I predict these neon-hued, wearer-interactive pieces will weave themselves uniquely into my ensembles.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Current Obsession: Mctega

Mctega is an amazing jewelry line, with phenomenol pieces that you might have to save for, but won't break the bank. The necklaces I like most are around $100. Expensive, but not ridiculous, especially when considering they are one of a kind..

"Using mass production techniques of industrial chemistry on a much smaller scale, they are creating one of a kind pieces out of materials known for their ubiquity."

Toxic Cosmetic

If you use makeup or skincare of any kind, you should probably consider the ingredients. You wouldn't eat behenutrimonium chloride so why are you smearing it all over your face?

A great resource for finding out just how toxic your products are is the cosmetic database.
After discovering that my favorite cleanser scored a whopping EIGHT on the toxic scale(ahem...thanks Clarins), I've been searching for some greener alternatives. Unfortunately, the new Stella Care organic line has not been rated. As always, use this information wisely, and don't be too paranoid. As Raquel pointed out to me today, just because this stuff is hazardous, it does not mean we are all going to get cancer. Be smart.
But what got me thinking about all this is the Story of Stuff, an amazing 20 minute movie that tells us where all our stuff comes from and how we can be better about using the stuff we have.

Although we here at youthquaker are all about awesome (ultimately, consumable) stuff, we believe in being environmentally conscience. This is why we love thrift stores, garage sales, and swap meets. Happy Hunting.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

I Heart Vena Cava

I've been madly in love with Vena Cava ever since I saw this heart was a-thumping(yes, I plan on using many bad cardiac related puns in this entry).

It's nothing short of heart pounding and I have to say their Spring 2007 line was my favorite. However, Vena Cava is resusitating my interest in their line with their Fall/ Winter collection. My personal Favorites...

If it doesn't get your pulse racing, you're probably dead.