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Don’t Miss Storefront for Art and Architecture’s Irrelevant Yet Critical Halloween Party

Costumes from Storefront’s 2013 “corporate avant-garde”-themed Critical Halloween included, from left: Christian Wasmmann as “The Idea Man,” and Hayes Slade and friends as “Jeff Koons Retrospective.” (Photos: Cameron Blaylock)

Mere days stand between you and Storefront for Art and Architecture’s Critical Halloween—do you know where your costume is? The theme of this year’s highly anticipated art and architecture costume party, set for Friday night at 80 Greenwich Street in downtown Manhattan, is irrelevance (but if you interpret it as “i-relevance,” you can totally shave your head, throw on a well-fitted t-shirt, and go as Jony Ive).

“Considering the dark powers of our increasingly digital world and an online culture that propels banality to stardom, this year’s event asks artists, architects, writers, and citizens to address the concepts of ‘irrelevance’ and ‘relevance’ within contemporary culture and contemporary digital platforms,” say the Storefront spooks, who have lined up live music by Hessismore, DJ sets by Sergio Rebelo and DJ N-Ron, and a photo booth for costumed critical thinkers.
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Mediabistro Course

Mediabistro Job Fair

Mediabistro Job FairLand your next big gig! Join us on Janaury 27  at the Altman Building in New York City for an incredible opportunity to meet with hiring managers from the top New York media compaies, network with other professionals and industry leaders, and land your next job. Register now!

Happy Birthday Andy! EarthCam, Warhol Museum Stream Live from Artist’s Grave

(Image courtesy EarthCam)

Raise your Warhol-themed bottle of Perrier, because Andy would have turned 85 today. We think the artist would have gotten a kick out of one morbid, panoptical take on a birthday party: live-streaming footage from his elaborately landscaped Pittsburgh gravesite. The footage–which is also available in high-definition 16-megapixel and pop art-style formats–is a collaboration among EarthCam, the Andy Warhol Museum, and St. John Chrystostom Byzantine Catholic Church (home to a temporary “ChurchCam” in honor of the birthday boy, who was baptized there). “I think my uncle would have been jealous. He would have said, ‘I should have been at Marilyn’s gravesite filming everything,’” said Donald Warhola, Warhol’s nephew, in a statement announcing the birthday grave webcam. “It pays homage to one of his most famous and controversial projects, the ‘Death and Disaster’ series.”

Quote of Note | Lena Dunham

“I’m just so fascinated with what the approach to theme will be–is it about a punk attitude? Is it about the specific time period referred to as punk? I think there are a lot of mysteries to be unveiled. And we can use it as an excuse to spit inside the museum…just inside a cistern of some sort, any old Greek cisterns we might find.”

-The delightful Lena Dunham on her expectations for last night’s punk-themed Met Gala. She attended with Erdem Moralioglu, who designed her dress, complete with upper back-bearing “tattoo window.” The two had a transatlantic fitting via iPad. Added Dunham, “My dog ate a safety pin during the fitting, which is punk.”

Surreal Soirée: Performa to Party Like It’s 1924

“One must go through life, be it red or blue, stark naked and accompanied by the music of a subtle fisherman, prepared at all times for a celebration.” Words to live by (say what?)–and a line from a prose poem penned by Francis Picabia during his Dada phase. One of the most fiercely wacky of the Surrealists gets his due this evening as the visual art performance biennial Performa hosts a Hurricane Sandy-delayed gala. The bash is a tribute to “Relâche,” the 1924 ballet that Picabia created with his eccentric composer buddy Erik Satie, and Performa has tapped artist Ryan McNamara to re-envision the performance (we hear that a certain well-known arts patron will make a cameo, as will aerial acrobats). After a dinner inspired by Magritte and Dali, guests will be treated to a screening of René Clair’s “Entr’acte,” the short film (watch it below) that played during the intermission of the original Relâche, followed by a performance by pop songstress Sia–a 21st century version of Picabia’s subtle fisherman? Gala-goers can ponder this while sketching Exquisite Corpses and waiting in line for the “time machine” photo booth.

SO-IL Wins Best Metaphorical Costume at Storefront for Art and Architecture’s ‘Critical Halloween’ Bash

(Photo: Naho Kabuto)

Cotton Balls. Man on the Moon. Picket Fence. Mayonnaise. You probably recognize these as some of Benjamin Moore’s palest paint colors. Brooklyn-based architecture firm SO-IL saw their potential as Halloween costumes. Principals Florian Idenburg (dressed as Gray Owl) and Jing Liu (as Marilyn’s Dress) led a group that included Indian White, French Manicure, Antique Lace, and American White to victory at Storefront for Art and Architecture’s “Critical Halloween: On Banality, On Metaphor” costume competition, held Saturday in Brooklyn.

An estemeed jury that included Princeton School of Architecture dean Alejandro Zaera Polo (dressed as a cosmonaut) and Charles Renfro (as a voting booth) awarded SO-IL the award for best metaphor of the night. Snarkitecture nabbed best urban metaphor for their sartorial ode to the Manhattan Grid, while Shan Raoufi and Greta Hansen received art props for their delightful On Kawara-style costumes (each sported a black sign in the artist’s signature typeface with Halloween’s date followed by their birth year). You can check out some of the most memorable costumes thanks to Domus, which is running an online competition through November 11. The winner(s) will receive a one-year subscription to Domus.

Tonight’s Costume Institute Gala Will Be Webcast

Will Anna Wintour wear a zany Schiaparelli chapeau and Prada cat-eyed shades? Will Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, one of the evening’s honorary chairs, spread his infectious laugh from one end of the red carpet to the other? Will attendees be forced to swap their bejeweled clutches for shiny new Kindles? Who will stumble in their Prada racecar shoes? Find out for yourself this evening as the Metropolitan Museum of Art webcasts the arrivals to the Costume Institute Benefit that celebrates “Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations.” The livestreaming fun begins here at 6:30 p.m., when Vogue-approved hosts Billy Norwich and Elettra Wiedemann will chat up gala co-chairs including Wintour, Carey Mulligan, and Miuccia Prada, along with whoever else swans past them in a sufficiently whimsical and/or impossible ensemble. Special pre-taped segments will offer a sneak peek at the exhibition, which opens to the public on Thursday, as well as the history of the gala benefit. Look hard and you might just spy Pentagram’s Abbott Miller, who designed the exquisite catalogue.

Bright Lights, Big Designers, and Monumental Hats: On the Scene at the AIGA Awards

The annual AIGA Awards are a little like the Oscars, but with better kerning, bolder eyeglasses, and much less Botox. At this year’s gala celebration, co-chaired by Pentagram’s DJ Stout and Su Mathews of Lippincott, guests were encouraged to wear hats shaped like buildings (make your own with this handy template). We dispatched graphic designer Prescott Perez-Fox to lash a cardboard Eiffel Tower to his head and scope out the scene.

From left, AIGA medalists Ralph Caplan, Robert Vogele, and Elaine Lustig Cohen with AIGA executive director Richard Grefé; reveling designers strike a pose in the urbane photo booth. (Photos: Angela Jimenez for AIGA; Denise Ginley and Steven Robinson)

Much like the return of migrating birds and an elevated pollen count, spring brings with it the design industry’s very own prom, the annual AIGA Awards. Last week’s event, entitled Bright Lights Big City and held in Manhattan at the Altman Building, didn’t make use of the pastel ubiquity of April, but instead opted for a deco-inspired architectural theme, where the entire event was set in black-and-white, referencing the Beaux Arts Ball of 1931 in which architects dressed in costumes of buildings they had designed. This year’s guests were invited to design and create hats in the shape of their favorite buildings, bringing some unexpected wit and levity set against the relative severity of black cocktail attire.

However, the focus of the evening isn’t fashion, it is to honor the newest recipients of the prestigious AIGA medal. This year’s honorees were not simply accomplished design professionals in their own right, but together represent four of the essential archetypes of design. Ralph Caplan represents The Observer, following his career as a design author and having gained the unique ability to find perspective and turn that into something informative and enticing. Elaine Lustig Cohen comes to us as The Artist, creating groundbreaking work in typography and illustration, and raising the status of the designer and of design as a whole. Armin Hoffmann is The Mentor, demonstrated by the generations of design students he taught directly, and the enduring popularity of the Swiss style so closely linked to him. Finally, Robert Vogele embodies The Entrepreneur, demonstrating that classic American story of a regular Joe who created a scrappy upstart that became a thriving business and influential design practice. To the younger designers in the audience, it was inspirational—our challenge is how to embrace these qualities in our careers and become the next archetypes of design.
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Dwell‘s NYC Soiree

Michela O'Connor Abrams, president of Dwell, poses with James Russell of Bloomberg Media.

Dwell has landed in New York City, and to announce its newly expanded East Coast office, the magazine staff held a coming out party Tuesday night. A constant stream of dazzling architects, designers, retailers and media floated into the private Greenwich Village townhouse where the party was held to congratulate the newest executives publisher Brenda Saget Darling and executive editor Amanda Dameron.

The modern architecture glossy had been based in San Francisco, with editors flying back and forth from both coasts for the past 12 years. Although it has always had a strong presence in Manhattan, Dwell has now moved into its new offices in Midtown. According to Dwell President Michela O’Connor Abrams, a New York move has always been in the stars for the designer glossy. The plan was shelved, however, with the company being no exception to the economic downturn of the past four years. But now, Abrams declared, “We’re here, and we’re ready.”

Dwell founder and owner Lara Deam flashes a smile.

Owner and founder Lara Deam (who looked stunning in her hard-to-miss Stella McCartney blouse and Marc Jacobs skirt) shared her excitement for this change with the same Dwell DNA, stating, “It was time to develop deep roots in this city and begin to grow real relationships.” The staff got a great start at the soiree, as they were in great company all throughout the night.

Guests including designer Thom FiliciaDon Weinreich, of architecture firm Ennead, the Rich Brilliant Willing trio, and Robert McGarry of GCAM toured the 8-story townhouse renovated by Eric Kohler.

While munching on hors d’oeurves and sipping on Ketel One vodka, champagne and wine, visitors gave their two cents about the magazine’s expansion. While McGarry called it a “good move,” Weinreich expressed “curiosity” about the publication’s goals.The guys at Rich, Brilliant, Willing were already excited for Dwell‘s upcoming events, as well as the glossy’s change in flavor.

More glamorous events are something New Yorkers can definitely look forward to, according to Dwells newest digital accounts manager Ralston O’Neil. Congrats Dwell and welcome to the Big Apple!

More event pictures after the jump: Read more

Around the Art and Design World in 180 Words: NYC Events Edition

  • Is it data or is it art? Find out tomorrow evening at the New York Public Library, where Manual Lima will discuss his gasp-inducing new book of information visualualizations, Visual Complexity: Mapping Patterns of Information (Princeton Architectural Press). The interaction designer and information architect will sign copies after the talk, but we’re planning to ask him to whip up a quickie chart of the library’s collections in lieu of a traditional autograph.

  • More line blurring is on tap for October 1, when the Society of Illustrators hosts “Illustrator as Designer,” a gallery talk with John Hendrix, Chris Silas Neal, and Jennifer Daniel. The three-ring circus of a presentation (and we mean that in a good way) will explore designed images, drawn text, and the creative process.

  • The American Federation of Arts will honor artist Marina Abramović and Earl A. Powell III, director of the National Gallery of Art, at its Gala and Cultural Leadership Awards on Wednesday, October 26. Approximately 200 artists, museum directors, art collectors, and philanthropists will dine, dance, and jostle for collectible raffle prizes: works by April Gornik and Richard Bell.

  • Around the Art and Design World in 180 Words: Midsummer Edition

  • Is summer really half over? The Parrish Art Museum suggests as much tomorrow with its annual Midsummer Party. We hear that Chuck Close, Ross Bleckner, John Chamberlain, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, and Donald Sultan have RSVPed “yes” to the bash, which begins with cocktails and a viewing of the museum’s Dorothea Rockburne retrospective (her “Narcissus” of 1985 is pictured at right). The artist will be on hand to accept compliments and mingle with the night’s honorees: the Parrish Founding Partners, a group of art patrons that have helped to make the musuem’s expansion a reality. The new Parrish, a 34,500-square-foot showplace designed by Herzog & de Meuron, is slated to open next year.

  • As if you needed another reason to stop by the Bard Graduate Center’s terrific Knoll Textiles exhibition, the Center’s gallery will celebrate the release of the exhibition catalogue with a special book signing on Wednesday, July 13. Amsterdam-based graphic designer Irma Boom—who we hope signs her name with tiny explosions where the o’s should be—will be signing books from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Bard Graduate Center Gallery in NYC.

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