Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Art of Suicide

Yet another awesome flickr set by Gunther Stephan. This Berlin-based "image jockey" has 4,838 Facebook friends for a reason. Go here to view the entire set, and here to check out his other sets on flickr.

Margaret Bourke-White, Suicides of Germans in Leipzig City Hall, 1945

George Tooker, Cornice, 1949

A nice Word add-on

George Frederick Watts, Found Drowned, 1867

Edouard Manet, Le suicide, 1877

Christoph Niemann, My Life with Cables

Roy Lichtenstein, Drowning Girl , 1963

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

African Portrait Cloth

Kanga, (East Africa), or pagne, (West and Central Africa) are the roughly 5 ft. long, rectangular, printed textiles used for everything from wrapping one’s head to carrying a baby. The pictorial fabric, which also traditionally include text, are often printed to commemorate a specific event--funeral, political campaign, visit by a world leader—in which case one or multiple portraits are incorporated into the design.

Long Live the President! Portrait Cloths from Africa, at the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam, has over 100 examples on display to August 29, 2010. To learn more about these cloths that are such an important part of African textile culture, visit Adire African Textiles online. There, you can view much of the collection from which many of the exhibit's pieces are on loan. Find additional information about kanga here, here, and here.

"Amitié Franco Gabonaise," “Franco-Gabonese friendship,” is printed beneath portraits of President Georges Pompidou and President Omar Bongo on the occasion of Pompidou’s visit to Gabon in February 1971.

Ahmadou Ahidjo, President of Cameroun, 1960-1982.
Two cloths: top, circa 1963, bottom, circa 1970.

Abdoul Diouf , President of Senegal, 1981-2000.
Cloth is from the election year, 1983.

Albert-Bernard Omar Bongo, President of Gabon for 42 years,
1967-2009, when he died in office. Cloth dates from 1971.

Funerary cloth for Marien N'gouabi, President of
Congo (Brazzaville) from 1969 to 1977.

Francois Tombalbaye, President of Chad
from 1960 to 1975. Cloth is circa 1970.

Leopold Sedar Senghor, President of Senegal, 1960-80.
Cloth marked his 90th birthday in 1996.

Mobutu Sese Seko, President of Zaire, 1965-97.
Cloth is circa 1992.

25th anniversary of the death of Thomas Moulero, 1888-1975,
first priest of Dahomey (Benin), 2000.

Nelson Mandela, South Africa, in 2001.

Michael Jackson, Tanzania, 2009.

Pope John Paul II's visit to Benin in 1993

Masai women wearing Barack Obama kanga, 2009.

Kanga for Bush's visit to Tanzania in 2008. (via D.C. Diary)

Photos from Tropenmuseum and Adire African Textiles.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

A.M. Cassandre for Harper's Bazaar

In 1936, MoMA held an exhibition of Paris-based A.M. Cassandre’s poster work. That’s when Harper’s Bazaar art director Alexey Brodovitch, contracted Cassandre to create the numerous surrealistic covers he would produce over the next three years.

Among the handful below, the first two are definitely the trippiest. For a few more, go here.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Betsey Johnson Does Opera

Betsey Johnson: Juliette, Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette

… well, on her sketchpad she does, and it’s a wide-eyed, leggy, jean-clad, midriff-baring Juliette from the opera Roméo et Juliette. Johnson and a group of other fashion elite agreed to embark upon a truly delectable flight of fashion fancy--to reinterpret the classic-opera character of their choice. The results, which have all been generously donated for a most worthy cause—The New York City Opera--will be auctioned, tomorrow, Thursday May 20th, at the annual DIVAS Shop for Opera benefit event.

Organized by the New York City Opera Thrift Shop (declared NYC’s best thrift shop by Vogue magazine), the Divas Shop for Opera is one of the city’s most anticipated shopping events by fashionistas everywhere.

Visit ‘Soul Stylist’ Lori Sutherland’s blog for details of some of the incredible vintage and designer deals to expect. This is serious stuff—Pauline Trigere, Zandra Rhodes and Issey Miyake, to name a few—at stunningly low (cue for diva to faint) prices.

Here are a handful of about two-dozen designer “reinterpretations” to be on view and auctioned at the event. I’m not sure if it is sold out yet, but you can check here for tix.

threeASFOUR: Queen of the Night, Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte

Christian Lacroix: Cilea's Adriana Lecouvreur

Victoria Bartlett: Puccini’s Turandot

Narciso Rodriguez: Cio-Cio San, Puccini’s Madama Butterfly

Austin Scarlett: Poppea, Monteverdi’s
L’incoronazione di Poppea

Jason Wu: Verdi’s Aida

Behnaz Sarafpour: Puccini’s Tosca

Illustrations: Courtesy of the designers/NYC Opera via Style File

Diaper Jeanie

Huggies Little Movers Jeans Collection. Jeanius.

(via T. Rosen, AME’s official Target correspondent.)

ICFF Takes

I had the opportunity to do a brief cruise through the International Contemporary Furniture Fair at the Javits Center. Thought I’d share a few visuals.

This one, you’ll see everywhere ...

The Sheet Seat folding chair is so appealing in its clever simplicity, that the Hoboken (via Turkey) based designers, Ufuk Keskin & Efecem Kutuk, have multiple manufacturers interested in producing them. Cut from a single piece of wood laminate, with very little waste, they store flat, and even look great hanging on the wall.

Draw with regular Sharpies to customize your Umbra OH chair. Just remember that you'll be sitting permanently on those mindless doodles.

Let’s say you decide to go to Holland because so many people there speak English. You, of course, speak no Dutch. And let’s say you are alone in a train station and this (bottom) is the only clock. Your iPhone battery is out, so you can’t use the translation app. You would have an incredibly ironic, post-modern experience, but you’re screwed as far as knowing the time (8:20). Not fun if you should be running, instead of walking, to make a train. It’s great looking, but let’s hope the Qlocktwo doesn’t catch on in too big a way.

Check out Metropolis magazine for lots more on the ICFF.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Photochrom Landscapes

The landscapes, as promised. Are you thinking schmaltz? Treacle? Saccharine? I think they are dreamy.

Praekestolen, Geiranger Fjord, Norway.

Kongen og Dronningen, Bispen, Norway.

View towards Merok, Geiranger Fjord, Norway.

The Seven Sisters, Nordland, Norway.

Midnight sun, Bell Sound, Norway.

Midnight sun in Advent Bay, Spitzbergen, Norway.

Maderno, Lake Garda, Italy.

Emerald Lake and Van Horn Range, British Columbia

Inspiration Point, Yellowstone, Wyoming.

Grand Canyon, Arizona.

Sunset on the Oklawaha, Florida.

Devil's Bridge, Aberystwyth, Wales. (I've been there!)

See previous post for details about Photochrom prints and read a good explanation of the process here.

See many more scenic Photocroms at the Library of Congress photostream on flickr.
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