Thursday, May 27, 2010

Lanvin's Menswear S/S '10 ads: Crazy Cool

For this year's spring/summer menswear line, Lanvin has come up with some of the strangest, coolest and artsiest images I've seen recently in the sphere of high-fashion ad campaigns. Not sure if they make me really want to buy these clothes for my boyfriend/brother/dad/guy friend, but something has to be said for the ad team's originality. They definitely give Marc Jacobs a run for his (avant-garde, normal-people, low-res, tongue-in-cheek) money in the ad realm... Thoughts?

the boyfriend of the female image I posted a few entries below...?

This one reminds me of a Van Gogh..

(Is it just me, or is this last one the grossest/weirdest fashion ad ever?!) sort of harkens to the last entry's image of the Abramovic/Ulay "swapping breath" session...

...aaaand this one just reminds me of The Ring....

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Skin Fruit/ The Artist is Present

What better to do on a slightly-cloudy spring Sunday in New York than a little museum-hopping? Today I made it to two: the New Museum's "Skin Fruit," curated by Jeff Koons, and MoMA's "The Artist is Present" by outlandish Yugoslavian performance artist Marina Abramović. Both exhibits left a lasting impression on me-- and really got me thinking about what defines art in this day and age. Though I draw and paint, I could never in my wildest dreams imagine creating anything like the pieces I viewed today.

"Skin Fruit" showcases a plethora of often bizarre, utterly modern, mainly sexually-themed pieces from the collection of Greek billionaire Dakis Joannou, including a basketball suspended in the middle of an aquarium filled with chemically-treated water by Koons himself, and two live-performance pieces (in one, a male model changes into a loincloth behind a screen, then climbs a ladder to hang himself on a wooden cross suspended on the gallery wall; in the other, a museum guard sings "This is propaganda, you know, you know" as visitors enter the room). These are the tamer of the works-- most of the others are overtly sexual and even sometimes a little disturbing (a ClayMation video of a woman having her way with a tiger, a sculpture made entirely of male sexual organs, etc).

Some of the less graphic pieces from "Skin Fruit" at the New Museum: Rodin... The Thinker (1977) by Chris Ofili, Aluminum Girl by Charles Ray (2003) and Noodles (2009) by Urs Fischer

an interesting piece from "Skin Fruit"....

"The Artist is Present" was another story entirely-- though no less shocking. In her groundbreaking, often boundary-testing performance artwork, Abramović explores the relationship between performer and audience, the state of consciousness of the performer and her own physical and psychological limits. Her past performances have included placing herself at the mercy of others and sometimes even in grave danger (for one of her pieces, she provoked a poisonous snake and then mirrored its actions; for another (arguably her most famous piece), she allowed audience members to inflict their will upon her with various items that she laid out for their usage, including knives, nails, hammers, shards of glass and a gun with a single bullet). Her exhibit this spring includes a chronological installation of her past work in photographs, video and "recreations" of performance pieces, using live models (an example: visitors must pass in between a nude man and woman, standing facing each other in a small hallway, to get into the final room of the exhibit). In addition to this, Abramović herself is, as the title would suggest, present: she sits in a chair, staring straight ahead, for the duration of the museum's hours, inviting visitors to sit across from her and stare into her eyes.
Marina Abramović in the early 1970's, testing the boundaries of trust with Ulay, a German performance artist with whom she often collaborated

...and another performance collaboration with Ulay, in which the two artists "breathed each other's oxygen" (They soon lost consciousness).

A link to exhibition site (Watch some of the interviews with the artist; it's fascinating to hear her talk about her work and the motivation/inspiration behind it):

I recommend both exhibits, but with a caveat: suffice it to say that you might be exposed to a few more pieces of "skin fruit" than you bargained for...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A lot.

So many things to blog about. Starting now. From Hinoki and stopping myself at A. Mellon.

Hinoki is a Japanese tree; it was used by traditional Japanese architects to build palaces, temples, shrines. When I lived in Japan, I used to love the smell of Hinoki. I had forgotten the smell after I moved to New York, but was reminded of it many years later. In Santa Fe. Random? Could go on about Santa Fe forever, but must refrain... There it was: a piece of my Japanese childhood at a spa in the mountains of New Mexico. The Ten Thousand Waves Spa in Santa Fe carries their own line of Hinoki scented products.

Even better though is the Hinoki perfume by Comme des Garcons. They always know how to make things right, don't they?

I recently bought this perfume for a friend of mine as a gift. Awesome perfume for an awesome person. And Thalia is clearly awesome:

This picture of Thalia was taken by a mutual friend of ours, the talented Angela Mellon. Angela has been a friend of mine for ten years now. And I've always loved both her and her photography.

Some more of Angela's photos:

Love all of her pictures. She's kind of all over the place/world right now. The best way to really keep up with her is by following her blog at

OK, dunzo... for now.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

worth contemplating on a rainy day in New York

Some of my favorite random photographs and drawings that have found their way into a magical folder on my desktop:

a drawing of mine circa 2005

a shot I took of the 10 West in Los Angeles, a few summers ago

not quite sure what this is or where I found it, but I like it.

Timothy Leary in Los Angeles in the 60's, photo by Jay Brown

hibiscus Polaroid by Jay Brown
film still of Johnny Rotten performing, from a documentary by Jay Brown

Warhol polaroids by Jay Brown

my brother Charlie taking a nap with his dog in the early 80's

a "calligraph" in the shape of the Eiffel Tower by Apollinaire. My shoddy translation: "Hello world, of which I am the eloquent tongue, whose mouth, O Paris, sticks out and always will stick out at Germans" (written during the German occupation of Paris, obviously..)

no explanation necessary

a doodle I did, circa 2004

my mother outside a cinema in France, circa the early 90's

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Is your favorite indie band selling out?

It's come to my attention as of late that one of my favorite so-called "indie" bands, Grizzly Bear, has been seen and heard frequently in several different un-Grizzly Bear-esque places which smell a lot like selling out. To name a few of said places... they recently composed a song just for a (somewhat trippy) Washington State lottery ad; "Two Weeks" played during the opening scene of last week's episode of Gossip Girl, and "Slow Life" was originally written for the soundtrack of Twilight: New Moon. It's always a bittersweet feeling when a somewhat lesser-known band you enjoy suddenly becomes widely known and begins selling their music to car commercials, angsty teen dramas and the like (cough cough.. Phoenix... Passion Pit... Vampire Weekend... cough..). Not sure whether to be proud of Grizzly Bear for "making it" or scorn them for giving in to The Man. I still dig their music though, and must add that they killed it at Coachella.

A link to the aforementioned lottery ad, just for kicks: