Archive for December, 2008


or, if you prefer a more secular bowie,


happy christmas.


[ stefanie ]

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having recently discovered how smashingly simple it is to sew a reasonably cute dress from scratch (“scratch” being 3 or 4 yards of fabric, and also some thread and some buttons), we encourage you to visit reprodepot fabrics, where one can find many yards of super cute material.

if, having heeded our advice, you are currently sitting in front of a sewing machine wondering where to begin, try taking a prior existing dress (or skirt, or vest, or onesie) and finding all the seams and figuring out how many pieces of fabric said article of clothing is made up of (for example, my dress was one front piece + one back piece + one skirt piece). then measure all the pieces (length from waist to neckline, length of space in between shoulders, length from waist to bottom of skirt, etc) and cut them out of your chosen fabric and assemble.

or, make pillows (2 squares of fabric + socks and cotton balls to stuff them with) and distribute them as practically free yet adorable homemade holiday gifts.

[ stefanie ]

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the latest issue of interview, is superb. it is the so-called art issue. inside find interviews with richard prince (who owns the original scroll of big sur by mr. jack kerouac), jeff koons (more on him in a sec), cate blanchett (interviewed by jack white, which brings to mind coffee and cigarettes, and also the two of them are quite witty with each other), william eggleston (who is color blind?), rei kawakubo (have you gotten a chance to shop for comme des garcons at h&m yet?), gus van sant (i fell asleep during paranoid park but still claim to have really liked it), AND MORE!

jeff koons was all, “i don’t think my shit is ironic, or tongue-in-cheek” (that was paraphrased, badly, by the way) and i was all, reeeally? because you sculpted a giant balloon animal and put it in the palace at versailles… but then jeff koons was all, “living at versailles must have been like living in a fantasy, where you could go to sleep one night with a garden full of blue flowers and wake up to find a garden full of red flowers, because a staff of gardeners had been up all night uprooting and planting your fantasy, fuckin louis xiv, and my pieces relate to that fantasy in contemporary ways” (again, paraphrase-age) and i was all, hey i kinda like that, way to go jeff koons, this is the first time i’ve ever had tender feelings towards you and your art.

koons1(photo from nytimes.com)

and then i was all, happy hannuka, and stuff.

[ stefanie ]

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if you listen to


architecture in helsinki,


vampire weekend,


animal collective,


you should download (for free!) esau mwamwaya and radioclit are the very best. it is lovable. it will make you feel musically on-the-ball. and it is free music. at times, the album sounds like karaoke (like track 3, tengazako). other times, though, it is karaoke TO THE MAXXX and we mean that in the best way possible, in that the tunes are familiar but the vibe is new. even other times, the tunes are new and the vibe is new. all in all, it is worth many listens.

oh. and. green owl, the label releasing the aforementioned indiedancepop lovefest, seems pretty kewl. and if their take on sustainable music is intriguing or appealing to you, perhaps you should check out heres to the long haul, a bluegrass-y mountainous sort of band that cares about the terrible effects of coal mining.

good music, and respect for the planet, are a really wonderful combination, no?

[ stefanie ]

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Every one and their 4 year old child knows that Barack Obama is hip.  He was just chosen for obvious reasons as Time Magazine’s person of the year, which includes the inspiration for this posting.  Obama is, for many, the anthropomorphic representation of that which has been lacking in America – in politics, morals, ideals, etc, etc.  Who knew that he also represents that which America lacks overall in straight up coolness.  Actually, some of us might have thought something was up considering the now famous retro-inspired images from his campaign, as below.  The use of such imagery could have been resultant simply from the smart choices of art directors and graphic designers in an effort to appeal to young voters (who no doubt had a large impact in his elected-ness), though I’m thinking (in light of the Time Magazine photos) that this image truthfully portrays aspects of Obama’s character that are less publicized.

Time Magazine Cover

Thankfully, Lisa Jack, an old time University colleague of the current president-elect had the smarts enough to rummage through her basement and re-surface these fabulous, fashion-conscious negatives from 1980, Barak’s freshman year at Occidental College in Los Angeles.  I heard that Obama showed up to the shoot with a leather jacket, Panama hat and pack of cigarettes of his own accord.  The shoot was a chance for the photographer to build her portfolio, from what I know.

Lisa Jack Photos

Aparantly Obama mentions this time of his life in his memoir as one which he spent searching for himself and discovering his identity as a mixed-raced/ African American male, though I have not read his book myself.  I’m not sure about you guys, but some of these images scream the Tito Jackson (maybe Jermain – not sure anymore..), even a young Michael if you could imagine Obama’s young face at the tender age of 6, still surrounded by that brillianty maintained afro.


I will give full disclosure and say that Obama got my vote, for the sake that he sent the message that he understands the importance of innovative thought and a fearless approach to change.  I have high hopes that he will make great changes for our image as a country, all the details of politics that I have no interest in mentioning here, as well as (hopefully) for our political system and CULTURE.  Honestly, if he was this experiemental, fashionable and seemingly down to earth in his life at some point, my hope for those changes feels a bit more sound, if only within my own chest.

Its a Cig

Hey Obama

Abundant Confidence at 19is

80s Cool

What a hip ass dude.  …Go America.


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Not much of my own words will be in this post, mainly because I live in VA and am physically unable to see this exhibition myself.  However, I found the subject fascinating and I wish to share this with those interested.  If you’re in CA I suggest taking the time to experience this art, and artist, for yourself.

This work Ronny Joe Grooms‘ MFA Thesis Show at John F Kennedy University in Pleasant Hill, CA.  This particular campus houses their  school of Holistic Studies where they offer three degrees under their department, “Art and Consciousness.”   Each degree approaches the arts as firmly integrated with culture, spirituality and personal development.  I dig it.

Below I have pasted the excerpt for the  exhibition as listed on the university’s website.

Killing Buddha by Ronny Joe Grooms

The exhibition Killing Buddha, by artist Ronny Joe Grooms culminates his Master of Fine Art study at John F. Kennedy University Arts & Consciousness program. Grooms, son of a Vietnam veteran, and a former Army reservist who filed for Conscientious Objector status during the Gulf War, draws on those experiences and current events to explore the shadows of the warrior male. The Zen Koan, “If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him,” inspires the shows title. The koan has painful implications to Grooms as the invasion and occupation of Iraq takes on its 5th year and continues to escalate with no end in sight.

In this exhibition Grooms, a dharma practitioner and multimedia performance artist, presents an array of video imagery and sculptural environments set to dissolve the subject/object relationship. Illustrating movement and stillness as essential human languages, he presents “meditation-sculptures” that are both spiritual asanas and non-violent actions that merge the inner-work of deep personal contemplation as ritual with the outwardly expressive forms of activism and art. Evoking these personal/social processes, he has challenged his own arbitrary differentiations between meditation, art, and creativity as well as promoting meditation and radical transcendence as a public act thereby awakening creative spirit in all.


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if you find yourself in manhattan before 17 january, make sure to swing by danziger projects (521 west 26th street). the current exhibition, sander’s children, explores photography by and inspired by august sander, a really fantastic fellow who lived and worked in cologne in the first half of the 20th century.


( august sander / girl in a caravan / 1930 )


( richard avedon / bob dylan / new york city, 1965 )


( milton rogovin / untitled / from the lower west side, 1969-1973 )

when every creative venture feels like a distilled version of something that someone else did first (these days), we really enjoy an art show that doesn’t try to treat pastiche as a secret. that, and the photos are really great, and galleries are a nice free alternative to museums (but make sure you don’t go on a monday or tuesday, when visits are by appointment only).

if you don’t find yourself in new york anytime soon, it is still very worthwhile to check out owner james danziger’s blog, the year in pictures. it is nice, to feel like an art world insider at times.

[ stefanie ]

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