Monday, September 29, 2008

Art Books or Book Art?

While shopping in Anthropologie today, Rachel and I stumbled upon the incredible world of Book Art! It began with ingenious decorating ideas, and a Google search soon turned up really fascinating artwork created by manipulating books.

Artist Su Blackwell makes "Book Cut" sculpture. Shown below: The Secret Garden, 2006.

Brian Dettmer creates "Book Autopsies", which he enhances with mixed media.

Scottish artist Georgia Russell is responsible for the next image. To me, it is like a car wreck. I'm so fascinated yet utterly disgusted. (I have a very difficult time looking at finely shredded things, or tiny holes.) Russell uses a scalpel to cut book jackets, texts, record covers, maps, photos, you name it.

One of my favorite examples of book art was installed by San Francisco artist Chris Cobb. He organized all 20,000 books in his friend's bookstore according to color. (The link is to an interview on McSweeny's where Cobb discusses different pieces. He made sculptures out of mashed potatoes. It reminds me of the time I made a bust of George Washington out of masking tape in the sixth grade...)

What did we learn today, class? Books are good for more than just reading, bonfires, and self-defense. Let's hope this doesn't close the chapter on literary art.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Cloaked Out

Fall has officially arrived. While our fair city of San Diego doesn't see the changing of the seasons the same way other climates do, it does get chilly, and I find it comforting to wrap myself up in capes, scarves, and coats when the weather turns cold. With Lindsey Thornburg's appropriately named line, I can now add Cloaks to that list.

Thornburg hails from Aspen, studied philosophy in Santa Barbara, and moved to New York City in 2003. For her latest collection, she traveled to Peru and derived inspiration for her cloaks from the inhabitants of the Machu Picchu region. Her designs are available in several patterns of wool, all lined with silk, for the most luxurious wear. She presents in this line three lengths of cloak, from Mini to Full Length, a dress, a satchel (not out yet), and even a Druid Hood. These pieces are truly beautiful and beg to be loved. Cloaks, I hear your cry.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Travel Destination: Napa, California

This past weekend, I took a little trip to Napa, which is no longer just a sleepy town where my grandmother lives in a house with two shih tzus who, after 10 years, are still not house broken. No, no, Napa is a place where you can get drunk for cheap (or free!) on good wine and enjoy some really delicious food. Yum. The view from inside the Hess.
I know there are about 2 billion vineyards in Napa and so I'm only going to talk about 1. My favorite (not that I have much experience in this field being legally allowed to drink for all of 13.5 months) is the Hess. And their wine was good, but not great. The Hess is my favorite because it is housed on some breathtaking land and it features some amazing pieces of art from a couple Francis Bacon pieces to Leopoldo Maler's Modified Typewriter, a constantly burning typing machine.

Sweetie Pies features some of the most delicious treats in town. I recommend getting there early and ordering a couple sticky buns. They are ridiculously yummy.

I ventured to the Oxbow Public Market for the first time this weekend and I can already tell I'll be spending a lot of time there on my next visit. The market boasts organic ice cream, a phenomenal cheese & wine shop, an enchanting array of spices, an oyster and seafood shop, and so much more! And it's mostly grown local and sustainable, which means it's expensive, but worth it.

So go to Napa. If you need a place to stay, just let me know, you can have the shih tzus' bed.

Faye Dunaway is the grooviest fake serial killer I can think of.

Faye Dunaway as Bonnie Parker in the 1967 Bonnie & Clyde is absolute perfection. Whether she's languidly rolling around her bed or brandishing a gun, she's glamorous and painfully cool, which is why I'd like to pay homage to her...

Ruth Asawa

Back in January 2007, I happened upon the Ruth Asawa exhibit at the de Young in San Francisco. Asawa's sculptures seem lighter than air as she weaves metal into seemingly impossible shapes, creating a lace-like appearance from crocheted wire. The sculptures appear deceivingly organic and are endlessly intriguing. Asawa's own life story augments the beauty of her work.
Asawa in her home surrounded by her sculptures.
Interned at 16 in a camp in California, Asawa honed her art skills among the droll of the internment camp. She then studied at the experimental Black Mountain College, where she gained confidence in her work and eventually met her husband, artist Albert Lanier. They married against the wishes of their families (interracial dating was still frowned up in the 40's, tisk, tisk) and had six bouncing babies while struggling as starving artists. Gradually Asawa began exhibiting her work and experimented with wire and other mediums. An advocate for the arts, she has also championed various public art schools. She is one progressive, incredibly talented lady. And I think everyone should know about her.