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friday photo

Friday Photo: Goodnight Moon Green Room


(Photo: Jonathan Blanc)

It’s the summer of children’s books in New York. The Society of Illustrators is celebrating the creative legacy of Maurice Sendak with an exhibition of more than 200 Sendak originals, and his beloved wild things can also be found rumpusing at the New York Public Library as part of “The ABC of It,” a show that examines why children’s books are important, what and how they teach children, and what they reveal about the societies that produced them. Among the books and objects on view through March 2014 is this recreation of the great green room of Margaret Wise Brown‘s Goodnight Moon, complete with a red balloon and a picture of the cow jumping over the moon.

Yeezus Lives! Kanye West Pops into Design Miami Basel


(Photo: Seth Browarnik for Design Miami Basel)

When last we saw Kanye West, he was wandering the tulip-lined halls of the European Fine Art Fair (TEFAF). His latest appearance on the international art circuit (Gray hoodie? Check.) was at Design Miami Basel, where, in the wee hours of Thursday morning, he gave an impromptu listening party for Yeezus. The album, due out on June 18, is expected to sell 500,000 copies in its first week of release.

Some 2,000 guests (Hans Ulrich Obrist? Check.) gathered–amidst a few Rick Owens chairs–at the center of the Herzog and de Meuron-designed Hall 1 Sud at Basel’s Messeplatz to sample West’s latest, including a track produced by Daft Punk and an a capella rendition of “New Slaves,” which includes a shout-out to Alexander Wang. The decision to appear at Design Miami Basel makes perfect sense considering that West has moved on from George Condo to…Le Corbusier. In a recent interview with Jon Caramanica of The New York Times, he pointed to architecture as influencing the pared-down vibe of Yeezus:

You know, this one Corbusier lamp was like, my greatest inspiration. I lived in Paris in this loft space and recorded in my living room, and it just had the worst acoustics possible, but also the songs had to be super simple, because if you turned up some complicated sound and a track with too much bass, it’s not going to work in that space. This is earlier this year. I would go to museums and just like, the Louvre would have a furniture exhibit, and I visited it like, five times, even privately. And I would go see actual Corbusier homes in real life and just talk about, you know, why did they design it? They did like, the biggest glass panes that had ever been done. Like I say, I’m a minimalist in a rapper’s body. It’s cool to bring all those vibes and then eventually come back to Rick [Rubin], because I would always think about Def Jam.

At Frieze NY, Mondrians Served by the Slice

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s Blue Bottle Rooftop Cafe has become famous for its art-inspired treats, including a fudge pop based on an Ellsworth Kelly sculpture and confections frosted to resemble those painted by Wayne Thiebaud. It’s the slices of colorblocked Mondrian cake (pictured) that are the sweet treat to be seen with at Frieze New York, where Blue Bottle is one of the many providers of edibles and drinkables. Can’t make it to Randall’s Island? Pastry chef Caitlin Freeman reveals her recipes (and step-by-step assembly instructions) in Modern Art Desserts, new from Ten Speed Press.

Friday Photo: Snowflakes in Freefall

Spring has finally sprung, and so it’s possible to gaze upon snowflakes–or at least images of snowflakes–without shivering. These fine specimens were photographed in 3-D as they fell by a high-speed camera system developed by researchers at the University of Utah and its spinoff company, Fallgatter Technologies. “Until our device, there was no good instrument for automatically photographing the shapes and sizes of snowflakes in freefall,” says Tim Garrett, an associate professor of atmospheric sciences. “We are photographing these snowflakes completely untouched by any device, as they exist naturally in the air.” In addition to taking the first automated, high-resolution photos of snowflakes, Fallgatter’s Multi Angle Snowflake Camera measures how fast the flakes fall and according to Garrett, “collects vast amounts of data that can be used to come up with more accurate and more representative characterizations of snow in clouds” for improved weather forecasting.

Friday Photo: Wish You Were Here


A photo by Corey Arnold that will be included in “Wish You Were Here,” a group postcard show that opens April 25 as part of Month of Photography Los Angeles.

On the global art and design calendar, April is dominated by Salone del Mobile, which gets underway–in a flourish of directional chairs and modularity–on Tuesday in Milan, but stateside, there’s a focus on photography. The AIPAD Photography Show is on through Sunday at NYC’s Park Avenue Armory, and over in Los Angeles, the photo-themed fun runs all April long as part of the Lucie Foundation-sponsored Month of Photography Los Angeles (MOPLA). Now in its fifth year, the citywide program is expected to draw nearly 15,000 attendees with the 2013 theme, “Wide Angle: Exploring New Photography from Los Angeles and Beyond,” and will go out with a bang on April 26-28 with Paris Photo Los Angeles, the inaugural U.S. edition of the famed Paris fair. Among the must-see MOPLA happenings is “Wish You Were Here,” a group show of 30 photographers from Los Angeles and beyond, curated by Stephanie Gonot. Admission is free but it’s bring your own stamps: the work will be presented on a series of postcards that can be purchased and mailed from the gallery space. The exhibition will be on view through April 30 at the MOPLA Pop-Up Gallery in downtown L.A.

Friday Photo: Can’s (and Koons’) Best Friend


Photos: Canstruction New York and Kevin Wick Photography

Create a Jeff Koons-style balloon dog out of 3,500 tins of crab meat? Can do! The team fielded by Gensler and WSP Flack + Kurtz created this canine, “Can’s Best Friend,” who perches atop some 400 cans of veggies, for Canstruction, the international charity competition that returned to New York City this month to challenge teams of architects, engineers, and students they mentor to design and build giant structures made entirely from unopened cans of food.

“We wanted the focus of this sculpture to be on the children of New York, who make up one-third of our city’s hungry population,” said Gensler’s Joseph Fulco, one of the team’s co-captains. Alas, a rule-breaking Masonite board support took the puppy out of the running for the title of Jurors’ Favorite, which went to “Topping Hunger” by the team from Leslie E. Robertson Associates. All of the Canstruction projects are on view through Monday at Brookfield Place World Financial Center Complex. Admission is free, but be sure to bring a can or two of food to donate–it will join the rest in going to City Harvest.
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Friday Photo: Crocodile Eating Ballerina

“My job as a portrait photographer is to seduce, amuse, and entertain,” said Helmut Newton, who succeeded on all three counts with “Crocodile Eating Ballerina,” in which a member of Pina Bausch’s Tanztheater Wuppertal company is swallowed by a crocodile. The 1983 photo is an enduring crowd pleaser, whether in digital reproduction (Instagrammers and Pinterested types can’t get enough of the image) or analog–an original gelatin silver print fetched $31,250 at Phillips a few years ago. A signed platinum print is among the 50 photographic portrayals of nudes up for sale in Artnet’s “Fifty Shades” photography sale, an online auction that also includes works by Robert Mapplethorpe, Diane Arbus, Richard Avedon, and Chuck Close. Bids will be accepted through the morning of Thursday, January 31.

Friday Photo: Studio 54 Memories for Sale

In 1977, all of the special people spent Halloween night at Studio 54 to celebrate Liza Minnelli‘s buzzy Broadway turn in The Act. Oscar Abolafia snapped this photo of a group of post-show revelers that included Andy Warhol (clutching a Playbill), Diana Vreeland, and Steve Rubell. The following year, Vreeland, then in the Costume Institute phase of her legendary career, joined Rubell to celebrate his 35th birthday and followed up with a thank you note that rather mysteriously enthused about his “adorable children.” The note and photo are among the Studio 54 memorabilia that will be auctioned tomorrow by Palm Beach Modern Auctions. In addition to photos from Rubell’s personal collection (including some Warhol Polaroids and the artist’s bronze dollar sign sculpture, estimated to fetch $30,000 to $50,000), there are V.I.P. drink tickets, party invitations, and a guestbook from the famed nightclub. The auction house has also studded the sale with some glam design pieces by the likes of Paul Evans, Vladimir Kagan, and Milo Baughman, whose sleek 1970s sectional comes with a revolving cocktail table: drink up and boogie down.

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year


“Living Room Corner Arranged by Mr. and Mrs. Burton Tremaine, Sr.,” a 1984 photograph by Louise Lawler. (Courtesy Philadelphia Museum of Art)

This holiday season, deck the halls with delightful juxtapositions à la Louise Lawler. The artist and photographer was granted full access to the home of 20th-century art collectors Burton and Emily Hall Tremaine in 1984, just a few years before much of their collection was dispersed at Christie’s. Armed with only a 35mm camera and a sharp eye, Lawler captured pairings such as a Jackson Pollock canvas and an elaborately decorated soup tureen, and this living room scene, in which a Roy Lichtenstein sculpture-turned-lamp appears to grab the attention of Stevie Wonder, all under the watchful eye of a Robert Delaunay disque painting. The festive trio goes on view tomorrow at the Philadelphia Museum of Art as part of an exhibition of photographs from its permanent collection.

Behold, Slate’s New Photography Blog


A composite image by Shawn Clover.

Shrinking newspapers are putting the squeeze on photojournalism, but some online media outlets are moving to pick up the slack. Slate recently launched Behold, a photo blog that aims to feature the “best, funniest, most inspiring photography projects around.” The site, which has a companion Tumblr for the truly text-averse, is a delightful mix that ranges from archival images (long lost Robert Capa shots, Bill and Hillary Clinton as youngsters) to hot-off-the-proverbial-presses fare (photos of the devastation wrought by Hurricane Sandy) and even artful combinations of the two: don’t miss Shawn Clover’s composite photographs that blend shots of San Francisco in the wake of the 1906 earthquake with present-day street scenes.

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