Thursday, July 29, 2010

Summer Trends: Elderly Women's Fashion in South Korea

"I have noticed something. Elderly women are staunchly devoted to wearing flower prints. Gaudy, chic, loud, subdued, multicolored, monochromatic -- they rock it all. I have decided to launch a photography series fondly entitled 'Flowers in Bloom' to exhibit this captivating fashion trend in South Korea."
- my favorite person Jin Ha. Haha.

Flowers in Bloom first started as a Facebook album on Jin's account; but after tons of replies and "likes" by his friends, Jin decided to take the series to the next level.

This blog is a go-to for laughs. Some (elderly women who ride the subways of Seoul) might be offended, but it's all in good humor as Jin is really just sharing his Korean love and pride with the world. Each picture is accompanied by a blurb - his prose in each is wonderully hilarious.

Next to this photo Jin wrote, "the model didn't ruin the shot by crossing her arms. She created a vanilla cream horizon upon which the sun-flame red flower could rise."

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Watermelon Salad for Summer

I love summer barbeques just as much as anybody, but if you’re cooking for a lot of people it certainly pays to keep things simple. On Memorial Day I put on a barbeque for thirty-five and was thrilled when so many guests asked me for the watermelon salad recipe. Since then, it’s been a summer staple. The chef-owners of Animal in Los Angeles and coauthors of “Two Dudes, One Pan” Vinny Dotolo and Jon Shook, deserve a lot of credit for this one. The salad is a whole lot more than your typical watermelon + feta combo because of the bitter-sweet dialogue between the watermelon and arugula elevated by the basil and mint. Prep is a snap.

3 cups cubed seedless watermelon
1/4 cup crumbled feta
8 fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
6 fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
Juice of 2 lemons
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 cups arugula
-Serves 6

Mix everything in a large mixing bowl, save the arugula and a bit of feta. Let sit for a minute and toss in those bitter leaves. Serve and top with remaining feta.

Freshness counts for this salad, and it’s also best when served immediately. Despite this, it’s still a great candidate for a potluck.

Happy summer!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Summer Trends: Clearly Super Cool

Remember how the popular shoes when we were 7 years old were those jelly sandals from Gap?
My love for this trend has been reignited recently. Although I still love the jelly sandals, I'm a big girl now so I've graduated to clear high heels and totes.

My favorite clear heels are the ones done by Prada - so elegant while still fun and summery. Am-lul's Gala Gonzales pulls them off quite well.
Not sure what she's wearing, but Garance Dore's clear heels are so pretty (especially with that nail color).
But here's an example of a clear heel gone so wrong: Taylor Momsen's stripper look.
But I think I like the clear bags even more than the shoes. I always wonder, what's the point of a bag if you have to put another bag inside it? But then I remember that I always lose things in the depths of my bags, so a clear bag might actually be perfect for keeping tracking of where my keys, phone, metrocard, etc. are in my bag.
My favorites this summer are Alex Wang's and Prada's versions.
Rocco Duffle:
Model Samantha Gradoville carrying the Prada clear bag:


She goes by Annie, Agraham, Anniegrammie, A-bel, and Bells.

Meet the lovely Annabel (that's her real name).

Dis gorl is so fyne yo.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Storm King

We spent an unconventional 4th of July at Storm King in the Hudson River Valley. We've been to Dia in Beacon before, but never Storm King. It was so much fun!!
Despite it being 100 degrees and despite that I forgot to bring the real camera, I had a wonderful time just driving through the hills and walking around the various sculptures.

I think my favorites were the ones done by

Menashe Kadishman
Mark di Suvero
Kenneth Snelson
Henry Moore
Robert Grosvenor
and Richard Serra

Storm King is definitely worth going to if you just need to get out of Manhattan. But it was especially cool to see, as with any architectural piece plopped in the middle of a natural landscape, how these spaces interact with each other.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Prinzip Zufall at Kunstagenten, Berlin

While I was in Berlin, I really got a kick out of Romeo Grünfelder’s exhibition “Prinzip Zufall” (or, “The Principle of Chance”) at the gallery Kunstagenten. I had never heard of Grünfelder before. He has an interesting bio. While he works in mixed media today, he has a strong background in film and Classical Music. The former took him all over the world, from Hamburg, to Bangalore, and to the Pacific Palisades as a visiting fellow at Villa Aurora.

The exhibition is full of art-experiments, an unusual form which I really enjoy. Each of them deal with principles randomness and chance. One of the most successful is “Untitled Experiment,” composed of two photographs, a logbook, a pen, and jars of melted snow, which documents attempts to telepathically influence the path of falling snowflakes. The smaller of two photos shows an area divided into two fields cleared of snow. In and of itself, it is an absurd and beautiful image. As snow fell, Grünfelder would try to mentally direct the flakes into the left field. The snow was methodically collected, stored, and measured in labeled jars, the results recorded by hand in the logbook. Evidence from the experiment is accompanied by a huge, glossy C-Print that captures a space-like image of snow the nanosecond before it hits the asphalt. It is evident that the snow is randomly distributed across the photograph.

In another playful series, Grünfelder telepathically communicates the contents of a found image to his mother. Both the image and her description are brought together within a frame. Some of the text is predictably inaccurate, but others are so similar that you doubt the honesty of the experiment. Such doubt is the most serious challenge to the success of the works in Prinzip Zufall. However, it does bring to light that audiences are uncomfortably vulnerable to artists.

“Eisenbahnexperiment” is perhaps the most disturbing work in the show. In it, a model train runs along two tracks, an inner and outer circle, joined at one junction point. A random number generator determines whether the train will take the inner or outer track. If it ends up on the outer track, it passes through a photoelectric barrier that forcefully reverses the direction of the train, damaging its motor. Once it reaches the switch again it is set aright on the inner circle. The most interesting aspect of the work is the data projected on the wall. Each time the train takes the inner or outer track, this is plotted on a graph in real-time. It becomes clear that the train takes the less-harmful inner track more often than not. Despite the switch being controlled by the random number generator, an improbable causal connection is implied between the train’s tendencies for self-preservation and the route it takes.

As a former researcher in the philosophy of film and media, a crucial point for Grünfelder is that all this relates back to art. In any artistic endeavor, chance plays a role. If an artist cannot justify some of his or her decisions, does this affect the way we view the art? All in all, while it was playful and absurd “Prinzip Zufall” is both a conceptual and an aesthetic success.

Prinzip Zufall is on view June 10 through July 17, 2010 at Kunstagenten Gallery.
Linienstrasse 155
D - 10115 Berlin

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Summer Concerts: Blitzen Trapper, The Morning Benders, Memory Tapes and more

June was an incredible month for the New York music scene, partly because of the Northside Music Festival and the "Gone to Governor's" free concert series on Governor's Island. Though I had a very busy month, I was able to catch Blitzen Trapper (with Moondoggies) at Webster Hall, The Morning Benders (with Wild Nothing and Freelance Whales) at the beach at Governor's Island, and Memory Tapes (with ZaZa, Dom and Twin Sister) at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. Each show was nothing short of spectacular....

Blitzen Trapper showcased their new album, Destroyer of the Void, at Webster Hall in the East Village. This was the third time I've seen Blitzen, and I have to say that they never fail to impress me. Lead singer Eric Earley's soulful lyrics really come alive on stage. Another interesting side note-- Blitzen Trapper shows tend to have the most random, mixed-bag crowds (You'll see what I mean if you ever attend one of their shows, which I highly, highly recommend). Some standout tracks from the new album are "The Man Who Would Speak True," "Love and Hate," "The Tree" and "Below the Hurricane."

Blitzen Trapper at Webster Hall

Next up-- a free Morning Benders show at the beach at Governor's Island. This was quite the experience. We took a beautiful water taxi (aka mini-ferry) ride from the financial district across to Governor's Island just as the sun was setting. It was an absolutely gorgeous night. From the "beach," we could see the statue of liberty and the skyscrapers across the water, and we watched the bands play their sets on an outdoor stage flanked by fluorescent palm trees and city lights while we danced, ate parched corn and drank lots and lots of sangria. Wild Nothing and Freelance Whales played great (although extremely short) sets. The Morning Benders blew us away; despite the band's juvenile appearance (they're all in their late teens/early twenties) they were 100% on point, and they played two gorgeous covers-- Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams" and New Order's "Ceremony" (one of my personal favorite songs). Some standout tracks from their new album, Big Echo, are "Promises," "Excuses," "Cold War" and "Wet Cement." They even gave us free stickers after the show!

a view of the city from the water taxi

the fluorescent palm trees

The Morning Benders

Here's a video from the show of The Morning Benders covering Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams":

The last show I saw (on my second-to-last night in New York) was Memory Tapes with ZaZa, Dom and Twin Sister at The Music Hall of Williamsburg (my personal favorite venue). I'd never heard of ZaZa before the show, but really got into the intense, moody coldwave off their year-old album, Cameo. Next up was Dom, a band I've been really into lately. "Dom" himself, the lead singer and guitarist, had a very interesting hairdo, but they played a great set (quite a rowdy crowd though, I must say... lots of beer spillage and moshing) complete with a video slideshow in the background that fit with the music. If you haven't heard them, I suggest the tracks "Jesus" and "Rude as Jude" from their new album, Sun Bronzed Greek Gods. Twin Sister were lovely as well, showcasing their new EP, Color Your Life, but Memory Tapes were absolutely incredible. Seek Magic was one of my favorite albums of '09, and they did not disappoint. Not only was the drummer one of the most talented I've ever seen live, but the light show in the background was out of this world. Some of my favorite songs are "Green Knight" and "Plain Material."

guitarist of ZaZa

Dom at Music Hall of Williamsburg

Twin Sister at Music Hall of Williamsburg

Memory Tapes at Music Hall... eye contact from the drummer?! Sweet

I'll say no more, but go and download some of these bands if you don't have them already! And if you're in New York this summer, don't forget to take advantage of the free concert series at Governor's Island... you won't regret it.