Browsing Category

Art and Architecture

Art and Architecture

Street Femme

Street art by Becca in Beverly Hills, CA

Street art by Becca in Beverly Hills, CA

Street art tends to be a very masculine medium. Is this because women don’t like sneaking around in the dead of night with spray cans, because they prefer rebelling against the traditional art world in other ways, or because stuccoed walls and grimy lampposts simply lend themselves best to stark lines and male subject matter? I’m not sure what the answer is, and I had honestly never put much thought into this phenomenon until yesterday, when I spotted these ladies on the side of a building in Beverly Hills. I had been passing through an alleyway in the famous Rodeo Drive shopping district, and something about seeing these two paintings in the dumpster-filled underbelly of one of the most iconically female realms of our planet seemed so perfect and unique. There was dirty sewer water trickling down the concrete drive and the smell of chicken grease in the air, and I had a hunch that the scent of garbage and the fresh memory of Chanel shop windows were all a part of what the artist hoped people would experience when viewing her very feminine work. Although I cannot recreate the smells and sounds of that alleyway, I just couldn’t resist sharing these paintings with you…

Continue Reading

You might also like:

Art and Architecture, Inspiring Tidbits

Childless Creators

Frida Kahlo and one of her many inspiring self portraits

In preparation for a big post I’ve been working on, here are several inspiring images of some of the most amazing people I’ve ever laid eyes on. They have each brought many wonderful things into this world that bespeak something undeniable about the human experience, and yet none of these creative souls were ever parents. This just reminds me that there are so many different ways to breathe life into our world. Stay tuned for more on this topic…

Continue Reading

You might also like:

Art and Architecture, Inspiring Tidbits

Artists, Artists Everywhere

My wedding bouquet designed by Alena Jean, who captured the exact mix of whimsy and tradition that defines my style (this is referring to my good days, of course)

As I plot out a series of wedding posts to share with you over the coming weeks, one thing striking me about that happy blur of a day is the number of creative souls it gave me the pleasure of interacting with. You see, even though my love and I are a DIY couple through and through, we decided to splurge and entrust a few things to the experts (such as, photography, hair, makeup and flowers). While this achieved the intended effect of letting us relax a bit on our wedding day, it also had the unintentional result of truly inspiring me. The reason? Every single expert/vendor was a real artist – someone who approaches her/his craft with passion and works daily to make a living as a creative professional…

Continue Reading

You might also like:

Art and Architecture, Sweet Nothings

Accidental Art

Red wooden hearts and rings of excess paint creating a beautiful mess beneath them on a paper plate

My sweet and I spent this weekend doing lots of errands and little craft projects for our upcoming nuptials, so our apartment eventually felt a bit overrun with rubber cement and empty shopping bags. On the surface this was quite a mess, but when I took a step back and surveyed the staging areas for our arts-and-craft hours some of our messes actually looked quite pretty. Take these hearts for instance: although my nostrils were filled with polyurethane fumes, and my fingers were smudged in red paint and aching from the prospect of scrubbing down the counters, these wooden beauts and their mess ended up yielding a cool photo opp. This made me think about how sometimes the best parts of my writing also happen accidentally. For example, sometimes I write filler scenes that I tell myself are purely temporary and yet I end up solving huge story problems within their confines. Other times, I might be writing a simple journal entry and I realize I’ve stumbled upon a feature-length-movie premise or novel idea amidst my scribbles. Do you ever find this kind of accidental beauty within your own writing or other forms of work? I realize it’s hard to consider anything an accident when it results from countless hours of very intentional work, but aren’t artistic gems and fixes the best no matter whether you meant for them to happen or not?

You might also like:

Art and Architecture, Inspiring Tidbits

Constant Creation

Andy Warhol with a Polaroid, photographed by Anton Perich

“Don’t think about making art, just get it done.

Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it.

While they are deciding, make even more art.”

-Andy Warhol

Since I’ve had Warhol on the brain of late (as evidenced here), I figured I’d share these inspiring words of Andy’s with you on this lovely Tuesday. This sentiment is one of those phrases I’ve got scribbled onto sticky notes all over my notebooks and fridge, and it has helped empower me to keep up a constant work flow this past year. I think it is so important to create with abandon (whether you’re editing a Power Point presentation, designing tube socks or writing a novel), and Mr. Warhol is so right that you should never care too much about how your work will be received. As he says, the important thing is that you keep creating. So, here’s to having dozens of creative projects on the back burner and refusing to wait for a verdict of critical praise or panning. Some of your work will be great and some will be atrocious, but you are always a success when you’re constantly creating new things…What will you create next?

Anton Perich’s “Andy Warhol” photo from Flavorwire via Pinterest.

You might also like:

Art and Architecture, Kitsch Fixes

Kitsch Fix #41: M’m, M’m Art

Andy Warhol’s “Campbell’s Soup Can” (1962)

After a lot of jostling through time zones and international airports over the past few days, I find myself feeling particularly worn down, sick and in need of several bottomless bowls of soup, so I figured I’d serve up some kitsch along this theme today. When I write this column each week I’m constantly redefining what the words ‘kitsch’ and ‘art’ mean to me, and I imagine my interior dialogue isn’t that different from the mutterings in the art world when Andy Warhol’s paintings first showed in galleries. Some found his work groundbreaking, but others questioned whether it was art or mere imitation. These questions eventually subsided and Warhol prints are widely considered high art now, the true sign of this being the way his work is copied onto t-shirts, mugs, wind-up toys and every other possible gift-shop item. What fascinates me from a kitschaholic’s perspective is how this abundance of Warhol chotchkies (particularly of the Campbell’s Soup can) at some point gave way to artists reclaiming the image once again and making their own fine-art pieces based on the iconic cylinder of Campbell’s Soup…

Continue Reading

You might also like:

Art and Architecture, Travel

Something Old, Something New

1914 structure of the Royal Ontario Mueseum and Daniel Libeskind’s 2007 addition known as the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal

We traveled to Toronto for a wedding this weekend, which was my first time in this bustling Canadian metropolis. I got to enjoy some of the things I expected there, like sipping coffee in outdoor cafes and staring up at road signs that bore equal parts French and English, but the most delightfully unexpected part of our trip was the architecture. Toronto is a big city as well as an old one, which means it is constantly supplementing it’s 18th century architecture with modern structures to accommodate its population of approximately 2.5 million. This means the streets are packed with a blend of Gothic and Victorian brick buildings as well as new glass towers that crop up every day. My favorite such blending is the Royal Ontario Museum which features several brick-and-terracotta galleries built in the early 1900s and a recent addition designed by celebrated modern architect, Daniel Libeskind…

Continue Reading

You might also like:

Art and Architecture, Sweet Nothings

Trademark This?

This camera lens with residue of a lipstick smooch is a shot I’ve seen imitated several times – if you can’t trademark this style of photograph, why can you trademark phrases?

Last week I was contacted out of the blue by someone asking me to change one of my posts because part of the title was actually a trademarked name. This person asked very politely so I was more than happy to oblige, but afterwards I couldn’t help thinking about all the other words and phrases I might be asked to remove from this site should everyone in the world decide to vigilantly enforce their trademarks…On one hand I think trademarks are handy little things that protect artists and businesses from misrepresentation and/or getting their names stolen, but on the other hand trademarks carve a slippery slope because they’re essentially restricting the way we use words. For example, the title I was asked to change was a spur-of-the-moment concoction I came up with in the alliteration headquarters of my brain. This is a place where I frequently let my thoughts run wild when coming up with titles, and I shudder thinking of how hampered my creative process would be if while naming things or simply stringing together sentences I always had the looming fear that I had to write only combinations of words that were not trademarked…

Continue Reading

You might also like:

Art and Architecture, Sweet Nothings

Oh Baby

Gisele Bundchen and son Benjamin Rein, photographed by Patrick Demarchelier for Vogue April 2011

Images of women and infants have permeated human culture since the beginning time – from cave drawings, to the Madonna and Child, to photos of the Material Girl and her very own brood. These images have whispered subliminal messages to me my whole life, but none quite so clear as the recent photos of Gisele Bundchen and her newborn son in Vogue Magazine. These photos basically scream at me (and any other girl who views them for that matter), “Motherhood is sexy, and you are not a real, sensual or whole woman unless your womb bears forth babies.” Perhaps I’m being a tad dramatic and this isn’t exactly the message Vogue was trying to convey, but why would they have renowned fashion photographer, Patrick Demarchelier, capture Gisele bra-less and caressing her own pregnant belly (and post-baby-skinny riding a horse on the beach with a bare midriff) if they weren’t trying to sexify motherhood? Not only does Vogue’s sexification of Gisele and Child stir up an array of emotions and primal urges in me, but it makes my practical side ask this simple question: are airbrushed glimpses of motherhood really what our society needs right now?

Continue Reading

You might also like: