Saturday, 31 December 2011

Happy New Year!

image credit: Hussein Malla/AP
A massive Xmas tree in Beirut, Lebanon, decorated with
”Happy New Year” greetings in different languages in this
inside shot taken by renowned photojournalist 
Hussein Malla of Associated Press.
May you have an overjoyed year ahead!

Friday, 30 December 2011

the timekeeper

image credit: Emilio Naranjo/EPA
This gripping image looks like a movie frame yet it's
utterly true to life: master watchmaker Jesús López-Terra
inspects the monumental machinery behind the clock 
in Madrid's Puerta del Sol tower that tomorrow 
night will mark the beginning of new year 
starting up the traditional tolling of the bells.
Taking care of the clock installed back in 1865
means to raise the weights of chiming and movement,
to grease and check all transmissions in order to be
accurately on time for the thousands of people 
eating twelve grapes and sharing cheers.
Counting down the time until midnight tomorrow.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

goodbye bubbly designer

photo © by Fabian Bimmer/AP
New York-born and based pop artist James Rizzi
also known as ”the guy who draws the buildings
with faces” died at his Soho studio/loft a few days ago.
The prolific designer, sculptor and painter who conceived
and developed the idea of 3-D multiples while studying 
at Gainsville University of Florida is known for his 
childlike drawings and he also designed the 
cheerful 'Happy Rizzi House', an office building 
in Braunschweig, northern Germany.
We'll surely miss the happiness and 
buoyancy of his nature.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

dancing geometry

”In my life I made a lot of mistakes,
if I could go back in time...
I would have made much more!”

Leopoldo Terreni

Several years ago (ars longa, vita brevis disgracefully) I shared
a studio with a gifted, sagacious painter, a real virtuoso 
who can draw everything from sharp-witted comic strips 
to large frescos or true-to-the-original reproductions of 
oil paintings of the great masters of Italian Renaissance
with scrupulous attention to detail.

The name of this versatile artist is Leopoldo Terreni,
born in Terricciola, a small town on the pleasant hills
of Tuscany home of fine wines and strawberries,
he showed his talent in drawing ever since a young boy
covering the community's piazza with colored chalks
(driving the whole hamlet insane, though).

Leopoldo is a true iconoclast writing corrosive or delicate
lyrics who made a living by painting as well sketching zany
caricatures for daily papers in Italy and abroad, who came
to develop throughout the years his naif, self-ironic 
geometric shaped human figure with triangular head 
he christened as 'Pirotalco' which briskly became 
the symbol of his distinctive style.

Caustic, sharp two-dimensional characters and imaginary
animals with a surprising mimic expressivity often hiding cryptic 
messages or play on words and arrière-pensées criticizing
power and the lack of civic pride in contemporary society.
Leopoldo paints carefully, with the true ability of a craftsman,
his strokes are always neat, every single line is drawn by hand,
every texture rendered in detail thanks to his own technique
in oil painting which requires lots of time and devotion being
made of several layers of turpentine-diluted color.

It's small wonder his solo exhibitions always bear sardonic titles  
such as ”Consciousness of Ambiguity” or ”The Certainty of Doubt”
like the latest one I came to visit, called ”Thirty Paintings, Thirty”
in which he put on display works from the last couple of years
where his shaky, dancing geometries are fenced by 
architectural frameworks and vibrant blue hues.

Leopoldo invented the rocking paintings by placing his suggestive
artworks upon a wired metal structure able to sway to and fro
reviving Duchamp's lesson in his own aesthetic irreverent code,
an improved form of 'emotional engine'.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Erdem's flowers & tobacco

Erdem Moralioglu definitely knows how to dress a woman
and the plaudits he receives show beyond doubt his 
unique talent in fusing sharp, forward tailoring 
with fanciful shapes and bold colors.

Raised in Montreal, Erdem studied fashion in both Canada
and London where he obtained his master's degree from
the Royal College of Art, moved to New York to work 
for Diane von Furstenberg before coming back to 
London to establish his eponymous RTW label 
which is now sold worldwide.

Shooting the lookbook with photographer Boo George
and Scottish supermodel Kyrsty Hume he showed his
representative knee-length tight sheaths in brilliant florals
and delicate lace appliquéd, his spruce trenches and the
expert use of prints and embroideries in an alluring fall 2012
pre-collection bursting with tangerine and ”tobacco” 
tones fused with royal blue and chrome yellow.

A really sumptuous collection bearing the brand's signature
know-how in prints and lace and its youthful approach 
to embroidery in which structure and drape join forces 
to create masterfully matching twinsets.
I know what I like and I like what I know in Erdem's graceful
clothing which is once more wearable and unpretentious 
yet extremely elegant, isn't it?

> all images © by Boo George/Erdem, 2011 <

Sunday, 25 December 2011

merry Christmas!

photo © by Jo Yong-Hak/Reuters

Friday, 23 December 2011

warm knitted greetings

Christmas approaches so let's extol its mood by knitting
together my warm greetings to you all with the awe-inspiring
'Christmas Lynx' artwork by Sandra Dieckmann, a gifted
East London-based freelance illustrator originally from
Germany whose skills have been applied to a wide array
of subjects, mostly animals she deeply loves besides
being a part time manager of RSPCA.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

out of Africa

I always smile with pleasure at appraising the work of young
British designer Felicity Brown (check her full name tag 
to see her previous collections) who doesn't lose focus 
on her artisanal approach to tailored fashion with her 
latest collection for next year's spring-summer.

Inspired by Victorian lady adventures in Africa and moreover
by legendary writer and explorer Mary Henrietta Kingsley
who played a part in shaping the European idea of Africa
traveling back and forth the so deemed 'Dark Continent' 
in quite an unsuitable role for a Victorian woman, the 
collection remains true to the designer's layered aesthetic.

Felicity's deep fascination with Africa and broadly for tribal
costumes is once again reinterpreted through deconstructed
patterns in hand dyed silk jersey tubes while the whole
collection shows a sublime Victorian tailoring with nude
silk tulle dresses, puff-sleeved cotton tops and frayed
edge skirts in cunning, more wearable outfits.

A sense of timeless elegance with graceful pre-Raphaelite
echoes is powerfully conveyed by the collection's exquisite
lookbook in which her gorgeous pieces are skillfully exalted
by the pristine images taken by fashion photographer
Oskar Cecere with Elite's model Georgie Wass.
A real marvel collection, done up brown according to
Felicity's perception of upscale modern dressing.

> all images © by Oskar Cecere <

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

talking textiles ahead

'Little red riding hood' by Laurence Couraud, 2010
The announcement has been made a few days ago
by trend forecasting pioneer Li Edelkoort: a new edition
of ”Talking Textiles” will take place in Stockholm's
new venue of Designhall from February the 3rd till
April 15, 2012 showing once again creative and innovative
textile techniques ”highlighting the importance of
creativity and education at a time when the global
market has put many textile mills in danger 
of disappearing” she rightly stated.

'Fold-unfold' by Margrethe Odgaard, 2009
'Blood' by Studio Job, 2011
'Why not bergere' by Bokja, 2011
Li (Lidewij) Edelkoort is the Dutch-born trendsetter
graduated in fashion and design from Arnhem's
School of Fine Arts whose work has evolved throughout
the years into publishing (View on Colour, InView, Bloom),
teaching, humanitarianism and curatorship 
skillfully delving into art and design.
Named by Time magazine as one of the world's 25 
most influential people she supports craft and 
design curating exhibitions around the world.

'Ready-made' by Borre Akkersdijk, 2010
'Once we were warriors' by Anthony Kleinepier, 2011
'Tutu' by Lenneke Langenhuijsen, 2010
”Talking Textiles” will show a large selection of
designs inspired by the craving for tactility as a
reaction to the increasingly digital landscapes of
our lives, a wistful longing that led international
designers to reconsider once more the role of fabrics. 
Heralding the revival of textiles and the brainy 
way to reinterpret them anew, the showcase
looks quite amazing with exclusive artworks 
and fabrics of any kind.

'Kawakubo' by Rodrigo Almeida, 2009
'Hunt for high tech' by Bart Hess, 2011
”...The near future will see the overwhelming return
of textiles in our interiors, covering floors, walls and
furniture in an expansive and personal manner.
These textiles will speak out loud and clear and
become the fabrics of life, narrating stories,
designing patterns, promoting well-being and
reviving the act of weaving.” she proudly wrote
and knowing her unique talent in sensing upcoming
lifestyle trends I'm doubtless glad!

'Circus rug' (part.) by Fernando & Humberto Campana, 2010 
all images courtesy of Edelkoort Exhibitions

Sunday, 18 December 2011

goodbye barefoot lady

photo © by William Klein, Paris, 1999
Cesária Évora, ”la Diva aux Pieds Nus” passed
away yesterday in her native Mindelo, on the 
island of São Vicente, Cape Verde.
She sarted singing as a teenager in bayside bars
achieveng international fame only late in life when I
had the chance to see her show: despite the small
audience not understanding Portuguese she swiftly
gained love and admiration thanks to her unique 
voice and her unpretentious manners.
I'd like to pay tribute to her with the amazing portrait
made by William Klein, one of the most influencial
photographers who, though American by birth, has
been living and working in Paris since his teens.
Adeus Miss Perfumado.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

golden Caturday

© Maiko Takeda's 'Cinematography' collection 2009
Winter shyly stepped in this Caturday morning with the
first snow of the season elegantly shadowing the mountain
tops with golden reflections in the shafts of sunlight and
thinking about wearing shadows as jewelry I suddenly
evoked Maiko Takeda's finest works.
From the amazing 'Cinematography' collection of 
the London-based Japanese high-end jewelry designer
I took the excerpt of this gripping cat face jewel whose
shadow unless ephemeral is entirely part of the piece
to wish you all a golden wintry weekend.

Friday, 16 December 2011

lace in place

Annie Bascoul's 'Moucharabieh' and 'Jardin de lit'
Let's get lost in Birmingham today, lost in... lace.
Lost in Lace” is the amazing name of a gripping exhibition
currently on display at Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery,
BMAG, exploring the relationship between lace and space
through dramatic sensitive installations made by 
twenty UK and international artists.

Chiharu Shiota's 9x9 meter black thread web
A place where you can walk into a world of lace gazing at
its unique language, patterns and techniques through large
scale installations theatrically arranged to involve visitors
into open-ended spaces divided by exciting threadworks
pushing them to deal with blurred and shifted boundaries.

Atelier Manferdini's 'Inverted Crystal Cathedral'
”Lost in Lace” is a parntnership event with UK's Crafts Council,
actually the first programmed through the Council's biennal
'Fifty' and artists include designers and makers from many
different countries and a wide range of issues, from personal
narratives to geo-political works: check out the 
comprehensive list of artists and artworks here.

Piper Shepard's with BMAG's historic point de gaze
upper: Diana Harrison from UK exposing the underlying structure
lower: UK Michael Brennand-Wood works on a wall constellation-like pattern
BMAG displays its own historic lace collection for the very
first time letting visitors able to find out its history as well 
to see different types of laceworks while increasing public 
awareness of contemporary craft. 
Get laced with lace!

> all images © Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery, 2011 <

Thursday, 15 December 2011

sampling the history of image making

” practice is a constant search for beauty...” says
Australian artist Miranda Skoczek who came to create
an ideal opus where different cultural backgrounds
found common ground: inspired by nearly everything
from the history of visual art she celebrates what's
beautiful and good providing a new key to look at
the way humankind decorated and embellished their
surroundings from the beginning of time wisely suggesting
that there's always something new to discover.

She creates artworks with flora and fauna motifs in
which different cultural references are clearly detectable
yet looking self-expressive by sampling and remixing
traditional decorative iconographies skillfully reinterpreting
embroideries, folk patterns, Chinese and Japanese prints,
Mughal miniatures, Islamic facets, street art, 
textiles and architecture.

Miranda gave form to her own symbolic 'art-time-machine'
nullifying any distance between past and present, high
and low art, east and west, concept and depiction,
design and painterly with her physical artworks to which
calligraphic markings and layering of paint add a cloth
like surface as well an haptic sense of history.

”My work speaks of a desire to create sanctuaries for the self.
It gestures towards fantasy and a space where new
meanings are actualized, and the everyday exoticised.”

she wrote on her website's 'bio' page and that's what 
I like about her, not making grand statements about art
or society but simply offering... food for thought.

> all artworks from the artist's website <