Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Happy Year of the Horse!

Sancai-glazed earthenware zodiac figure of a horse.
Tang dynasty, 618-907 AD
via Eskenazi of London

Friday, January 24, 2014

Face-off: Paris Vs. New York

Paris Versus New York is a collection of witty, minimalist side-by-side-comparisons of these two great cities. It is the work of Paris-based designer Vahram Muratyan, whose credits include Prada, Hermes, and LancĂ´me, to name a few. Go to his site for more Paris Vs. New York and to check out his other work.

Thanks, Amela, for going to Paris and bringing the book back for us all to see. I just ordered my own copy, which I know I'll be consulting when the inspiration for visual distillation is needed.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

eBay Eyes: Ikebana Vases

Yes, Ikebana may be described as Japanese flower arranging. But it's much more than that. It is also an art form, a philosophy, and a ritual dating back hundreds of years. Which all leads me to believe that there is probably more to Ikebana vases than what meets the eye. While I know nothing of what the specific guidelines or requisite qualities are for these presentation vessels, I do know that I keep finding myself attracted to their whimsical and even outrageous forms. As singular objects, they become miniature sculptures evoking styles from Henry Moore to Richard Serra. Come to think of it, if you combine them with bonsai trees, you could fashion a table-top sculpture park!

Another installment of “eBay Eyes,” where I present visual treats from that ever-expanding, electronic mega-marketplace. (link)

Monday, January 13, 2014

Letters from 2013

Unblogged signage and assorted typographic encounters from the last year. (Still trying to wrap up 2013.)

Spelling debacle on the contents page of Bloomberg Businessweek.

Click image to enlarge
I stood in awe before these sample alphabets by an early 20th Century sign painter, offered by Ricco Maresca at last year's Metro Show. This year's show  is in a couple of weeks. Here's another grid of alphabets from the same series.

Vintage record carrier

Papel picado with the names of the bride and groom festooned the pre-wedding fiesta, just north of the border.

The Elkhorn Saloon's claim to fame is that it is the second-longest operating bar in California. The humble, historic watering hole has been serving drinks in San Miguel continuously since 1853.

A visit to the Hell's Kitchen Flea Market on 39th St., followed by
one to the Cupcake Cafe.

I must visit Baltimore again when it's not blistering hot.

Colonoscopy humor? This evacuation-route map was posted in my gastroenterologist's office.

Works by Christopher Wool at the Guggenheim. Show closes January 22nd.

Driving through Maine

Cornell in early June. Ithaca was at its finest--rainy and lush. New, since my college days, are the safety nets now flanking bridges that cross the gorges.

On Thanksgiving morning, the clowns meet up at 81st St. and Central Park West to "Join the Parade!"

Instead of apologizing for in-store construction with "Pardon our appearance," Bergdorf Goodman tunes into their customer base with "We're Having a Little Work Done …"

The Magritte show at MoMA, which just closed, was filled with the surrealist's enigmatic use of words, carefully lettered. MoMA senior designer, Sabine Dowek, describes how she arrived at her design for the wall lettering here

EAT (top): Farnsworth Museum, Rockport, Maine

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Crafts Jamboree

The photography and fashions in Crafts Jamboree are so thoroughly time-specific, that I probably don't even need to tell you that the publication year was 1977. Why the hairstyles are date-stamps  in themselves!

So far, this has been one of the few successful instances of the "All My Eyes Catch-and-Release” program. That’s how I give myself permission to even consider bringing home a thick book like this one, that I certainly have no space for. I tell myself that I will blog about it and then back into the wild it goes. This one was easy. I know I can always find a craft or diy "tute"(short for "tutorial") online if the urge to make candles ever arises.


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