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Quote of Note | Frédéric Malle on Home Fragrance

“A home fragrance is first and foremost a good smell. It doesn’t have to mingle with the skin. Furthermore, it doesn’t have to last and evolve in the same way. Home fragrances are more one dimensional. The most technical aspect of working on a home fragrance is to develop a perfume that marries itself well with the supporting base, for instance the wax.

In other words, when working on a home fragrance one just concentrates on beauty and on comfort which is simpler than doing a perfume. However, evaluating candles or perfume guns is a tedious and long process. You can only smell one at a time (or one per room), rather than smelling four of them on your arms!” -Perfumer Frédéric Malle

Stephen Colbert Lauds Amateur Fresco Restorer’s Pluck, Entrepreneurial Spirit

Whether at the slap-happy climax of a local news broadcast, amidst a sea of chuckles on a morning show, or via the unceasing stream of “Oddly Enough” clickbait, it has been all but impossible to escape the story (and the cringeworthy evidence, pictured above) of the botched restoration of a 19th century fresco that was once the pride of the Sanctuary of Mercy Church near Zaragoza, Spain. The world pounced on the freshly disfigured Jesus Christ in “Ecce Homo,” once so skillfully rendered by Elias Garcia Martinez, after its fumbled “restoration” at the hands of a well-meaning parishioner. BBC Europe correspondent Christian Fraser compared the ruined portrait to “a crayon sketch of a very hairy monkey in an ill-fitting tunic,” and it wasn’t long before the swollen Christ emerged on Twitter (“Washed my head! Big mistake!” tweeted @FrescoJesus) and spawned a Tumblr: the Beast-Jesus Restoration Society. But leave it to Stephen Colbert to offer a fresh take on the story. In a recent segment, he turned the focus on the 80-year-old restorer, one Cecilia Gimenez, naming her his “Alpha Dog of the Week” (past honorees include JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater, Silvio Berlusconi, and Domino’s Pizza) in spectacular narrative fashion:

New to DVD: Gerhard Richter Painting

“Painting under observation is worse than being in the hospital,” Gerhard Richter tells filmmaker Corinna Belz, shortly after she has installed herself and a small crew in his bright, clutter-free studio outside Cologne, Germany. Fortunately, the artist agreed to endure several months of scrutiny as he went about what he describes to Belz as “a secretive business”: painting a series of giant abstracts in the spring and summer of 2009. The result is Gerhard Richter Painting, a mesmerizing documentary that made its U.S. debut last December at Art Basel Miami Beach and is out this week on DVD. “My interest was to show Richter at work,” says Belz, who first convinced the artist to appear on camera in her 2007 short, Gerhard Richter’s Window (fingers crossed for a trilogy). “How he moves, how he applies paint to canvas, his compelling squeegee technique.”
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Quote of Note | Michael Graves

“Years ago I was sitting in a rather boring faculty meeting at Princeton. To pass the time, I pulled out my pad to start drawing a plan, probably of some building I was designing. An equally bored colleague was watching me, amused. I came to a point of indecision and passed the pad to him. He added a few lines and passed it back.

The game was on. Back and forth we went, drawing five lines each, then four and so on.

While we didn’t speak, we were engaged in a dialogue over this plan and we understood each other perfectly. I suppose that you could have a debate like that with words, but it would have been entirely different. Our game was not about winners or losers, but about a shared language. We had a genuine love for making this drawing. There was an insistence, by the act of drawing, that the composition would stay open, that the speculation would stay ‘wet’ in the sense of a painting. Our plan was without scale and we could as easily have been drawing a domestic building as a portion of a city. It was the act of drawing that allowed us to speculate.”

-Michael Graves in his recent New York Times op-ed, “Architecture and the Lost Art of Drawing

Quote of Note | Betty Edwards

“In early childhood, children develop a set of symbols that ‘stand for’ things they see in the world around them. You may remember the childhood landscape you drew at about age six or seven. You probably had a symbol for trees (the lollipop tree), the house with a chimney and smoke coming out, the sun with rays, and so on. Figures and faces had their own set of symbols. I believe that this system of symbols is linked to acquiring language, and is rightly viewed as charming and creative adults.

Children are happy with symbolic drawing until about the age of eight or nine, the well-documented ‘crisis period’ of childhood art, when children develop a passion for realism. They want their drawing to realistically depict what they see, most especially spatial aspects and three-dimensionality. But this kind of realistic drawing requires instruction, just as learning to read requires instruction. Our schools do not provide drawing instruction. Children try on their own to discover the secrets of realistic drawing, but nearly always fail and, sadly, give up on trying. They decide that they ‘have no talent,’ and they give up art forever.”

-Betty Edwards, author of Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, now available in a revised and updated fourth edition from Tarcher/Penguin

Quote of Note | Doug Aitken


A view of “SONG 1,” an installation by Doug Aitken that was projected nightly (from sunset to midnight) on the façade of the Hirshhorn from March 22 through May 20.

“My first studio in New York [was] the most miserable studio in the world. It had no windows, no heating or cooling, these dirty wooden floors, 400 square feet or something, and I’m trying to make work there. One day I noticed a piece of plywood nailed to the brick wall. I figured, wow, maybe there’s a window. So I pried this filthy wooden thing off and behind it there was a space with air blowing through. There was no window. There was this aperture, and then one foot further was the brick wall of the building behind it. Only one foot. And no light came down the shaft. A few days later, I was on the street and I found a window out by a dumpster, and I carried it back and I mounted it in there, and suddenly I had a framing of the outside world, even though my depth perception was one foot. I never forgot that, because it made me recognize the importance of cropping. In the films I make, I have never been able to relinquish control of the camera. I shoot everything myself. I need to be in the lens because framing is the editing of the image. Narrative is what is left out. Creating an image is an exorcism of choices.”

-Artist Doug Aitken in a conversation with architect Brad Cloepfil that appears in the gorgeous monograph Allied Works Architecture Brad Cloepfil: Occupation (Gregory R. Miller & Co.).

Recently on UnBeige:
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Quote of Note | Wes Anderson

“[As a kid], I wanted to be an architect. I don’t even know where I got that idea from. I think I was told ‘you should be an architect’ somewhere early on, and I just latched onto it. My idea of being an architect was envisioning variations of what my room could be, split-level secret chambers, transportation in and out, that sort of stuff. I guess that’s why I enjoy getting to build these fantasy locations.

My house in New York is pretty spare; it’s sort of organized, but it is very simple. I do have some old telephones, but they are touch-tone. Everything else I use is all Apple. In a movie, if someone is going to listen to music, nine times out of ten I have them put on a record, which I myself never do. It looks so much nicer to me, to see this thing spinning and put a needle on it. It is what I grew up with, but it is also just a more beautiful object and it does something, you know – it spins. At the same time that is a little bit like fetishising this stuff. I met this guy in Italy who wanted to take me to this place where he has his collection of reel-to-reel tape recorders, because he thought I was obsessed with them. Well, I’m not obsessed. I don’t own a reel-to-reel tape recorder, but it does look nice when it spins and you film it.”

-Filmmaker Wes Anderson, in an interview with Tim Noakes for Dazed & Confused. Anderson’s latest film, Moonrise Kingdom, is in theaters Friday. Click below to watch the trailer.
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Quote of Note | Ralph Rucci

“I don’t pull [a Chado Ralph Rucci collection] together until very late, because I keep on adding—and editing. It doesn’t all come together until the fittings are finished, and then I line up for the show, because I don’t work with a stylist. I don’t understand how I possibly could, for two reasons. Part of my work, after I design the clothes for consumption—for the buyers to pull apart and buy for their locations—is also to make a presentation that tells a story for the press and for the history of our profession. And so how could a stylist know what’s in my psyche? And after having this huge period of solitude of just working with my friends [to design, construct, and edit the collection], how could I sit down with a stylist and talk about all of that? Perhaps a psychiatrist that I’ve worked with, but not a stylist to put together clothes! The other part of that is that I find that the formula that has occurred in our industry in the past however many years while I’ve been in this business, where a stylist prepares it for the press so that all the messages read somewhat the same, I can’t do that. I would choke.”

-Fashion designer Ralph Rucci, in an interview with modaCYCLE (video below). Rucci will receive the André Leon Talley Lifetime Achievement Award this evening at the Savannah College of Art and Design’s annual fashion show. An exhibit of his work opens today at the SCAD Museum of Art.
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Quote of Note | Juergen Teller


Juergen Teller, “Pettitoe, Suffolk, 2011,” a photograph from his “Keys to the House” series exhibited earlier this year at New York’s Lehmann Maupin gallery.

“I can achieve something in a very quick moment. But it does get very personal. I think I open up a lot too. I don’t come around as the archetype fashion photographer dude, playing the big guy with the horde of assistants. I let them know I’m also nervous or insecure. Then I let them relax. The way I photograph is quite hypnotizing. I found a way to hide my insecurity—I have two cameras and I photograph like this [mimes cameras in each hand moving hypnotically] and this helps me to figure out what I should do, where they should go…it’s so intense, so psychologically draining, it’s like my brain works on overdrive in those minutes—or hours or days—I’m photographing. That’s why I can’t do it so much because I’m really super-concentrated. Other people think it’s a stupid snapshot—I get that a lot—but it’s very precise. And it has to be very fast because if I’m on a job or something, I can’t just doodle around and days go past and I take a picture. Sometimes there’s a lot of money involved and I have a responsibility to the client to get the fucking thing done. A lot of other people say, “Stand like that, stay like that,” and they do a Polaroid and everyone—all the assistants, the hair and makeup, everyone—stands around looking at the Polaroid or nowadays looking at the screen, then they say, “Let’s do it, shoot,” by which time the model is so tense the Polaroid is better than the end product. I ease that up where they don’t feel necessarily, ‘This is the big decisive moment.’”

-Juergen Teller interviewed by Tim Blanks in the fall 2012 issue of Style.com/Print

Quote of Note | Urs Fischer

“Everybody likes objects; everybody likes different objects. It comes down to what objects you want to put in your art. [Jeff] Koons and [Claes] Oldenburg both seem to have their agendas with their objects. So do I, I guess. I like them all: high, low, used, new, whichever works. I don’t know if the Lamp/Bear has anything more to do with Koons or Oldenburg than all three of us and everyone else have to do with [Marcel] Duchamp’s liberation of the real thing. Before him, it seems objects appeared in, or maybe as, still-lives. Duchamp’s the guy, the legend, who liberated objects from being second-class citizens. Even if his greatness lies in our imagination and how he built himself to make us imagine his work as we imagine it. His objects are often not very satisfying to spend time with outside of the fictions he created for them.”

-Artist Urs Fischer, whose solo exhibition at François Pinault’s Palazzo Grassi opens Sunday

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