Ah, California at Christmastime is a singular experience, filled with visions of kidney-shaped swimming pools and oversized Pink Flamingo statues.
Because, why not?
If you haven’t yet been to the Gene Autry Museum of the American West, you need to add that to your list of cool things to do when you are in the Los Angeles area, because the place is just amazing (bonus: the museum is located directly across a shared parking lot from the LA Zoo.). I had the chance to explore this history-rich landmark in December, when I was visiting family for Christmas, and I had all kinds of crazy fun.
During my visit, I took these photos of Manchester (2014); a horse sculpture made out of random car parts, created by American sculptor Doug Owen. In a career spanning four decades, Owen is an artist whose entire oeuvre consists of sculptures of horses. And whether he is using car, tractor, or motorcycle parts, Owen’s choice of medium imbues his sculptures with a touch of humor and of irony, as his horses are constructed out of the very material that ultimately replaced them.
I think his work is super cool. You can read more about Doug Owen at this website, Doug Owen Art Dot Com.
A couple of weeks ago, we made a run by Chamber on West 23rd Street to check out their newest collection of functional, limited edition artworks and home goods. As usual, more than a few items piqued our interest. We especially like this lamp by London-based blown glass artist and designer, Jochen Holz.
The Neon Desk Light is a unique, freestanding light sculpture made of free formed borosilicate glass tubing. Each is one of its kind and part of a small edition. Says Holz about this creation, “I am using much bigger tubing diameters and wall thicknesses to create shapes which couldn’t be achieved with conventional neon making. The forms play with the light emitted by the different rare gases, the undulating tube subtly manipulates the light, softening and intensifying it in turns. There are no coatings or filaments, just the pure light radiating from within the tube. The lights have an estimated lifetime of about 30 to 40 thousand hours.”
This fun modern lamp also comes in Red. Contact the store at firstname.lastname@example.org for pricing.
There is no delicate way to put this: when you share a home with other people, maintaining the quality of the bathroom “atmosphere” is an ongoing consideration. It’s easy enough to light a match or spray some room fresher into the air, but when a solution that’s both discrete and longer-lasting is desired, I’ve got just the thing for the occasional malodorous situation: POTTYMINTS.
I discovered POTTYMINTS at the recent New York Now home show, when I was trawling the aisles fro free stuff and was charmed by their attention-grabbing booth display, featuring a toilet with an extravagant bouquet of flowers extending from its bowl to the ceiling. Very impressive! I stopped to talk to POTTYMINTS representative, Matthew Grobman, whose sister and business partner Suzanna Grobman, invented the product after taking a vacation (my guess is they went to Mexico) with her then-boyfriend-now-husband. You can read an abridged version of what I assure you is an hilarious story here.
Matthew gave me a few sample packets of POTTYMINTSto try at home and here is what happened next.
Behold, the POTTYMINTS displayed on the seat of my toilet! Please note that correct use of the POTTYMINT involves waiting until after the flush (#theafterflush)!
After flushing, drop one POTTYMINT into the clean water and watch it go!
The POTTYMINT will effervesce and dissolve, leaving the air sweet smelling for, not even kidding, a few days! POTTYMINTS are sold in assorted sizes, including a small packet perfect for traveling or just keeping in your purse or bag. All packaging embraces a minimal-yet-elegant design aesthetic — like something you would find in the bathroom at a very fancy hotel and want to take home with you! POTTYMINTS come in two very appealing fragrances: Arancia di Capri (Citrus) and La Fleur (Light Floral). These varieties are effective and impart a fresh and enduring scent without becoming cloying, as some sprays or atomizers can be.
Find out more about POTTYMINTS, and get a 10% discount on your first purchase, at This Link!
While recovering from a mental breakdown at a hospital in Saint-Remy, Vincent Van Gogh created this depiction of the Alpilles, a low mountain range in the southern French town. Van Gogh‘s characteristic heavy impasto and bold, broad brushstrokes activate the terrain and sky. In his letters, the artist wrote: “I rather like the ‘Entrance to a Quarry’ — I was doing it when I felt this attack coming on — because to my mind the somber greens go well with the ocher tones; there is something sad in it which is healthy, and that is why is does not bore me. Perhaps that is true of the ‘Mountain’ too. They will tell me that mountains are not like that and that there are black outlines of a finger’s width. But after all it seemed to me it expressed that passage in [Edouard] Rod’s book [Le sens de la vie, 1889] . . . about a desolate country of somber mountains, among which are some dark goatherds’ huts where sunflowers are blooming.”
Photographed in the Thannhauser Collection Galleries at the Guggenheim Museum in NYC
What could be more appropriate for the Sunday morning of long weekend than a catchy tune that mines a rich vein of ’80s Electronic Dance Pop, with lyrics that you don’t have to think too hard about, and a video that’s pleasantly akin to an acid trip blowing up in your face? Honestly, I can’t think of anything. This week we are featuring Danish art rock band Mew, and a clip for the song “85 Videos” — the upcoming single from the band’s seventh album, Visuals. New Things! Yay!
The hallucinatory visuals for “85 Videos” were directed by Mew’s front man, Jonas Bjerre — who made his debut in this capacity on the group’s 2015 album +- (plus minus). Speaking about the new clip, Bjerre reveals, “I’ve been working a lot with kaleidoscopes lately. You have an image, or a sequence of images, and you snip out an angle, mirror it, and repeat it in a 360-degree angle. It’s a beautiful thing, because almost no matter the state of the original image, it ends up a beautiful, symmetrical, indefinable something. A picture of your messy desk turns into a strange flower. I like that you can’t really envision what it will look like until you see it. I think our music is a bit like that too, even as we’re working on it.” Fascinating.
He continues, “I made a bunch of sequences and crafted them into these ever-changing ‘faces’ that I then video-projected on to our actual faces. It’s like wearing a mask made out of photons. You can say a lot of philosophical stuff about masks – but don’t worry, I’m not going to.” Visuals is Mew’s first new music since their 2015 release. A press release calls “85 Videos” a “…dream-pop landscape of pop sensibilities enveloped in swathes of 80s-influenced synths. From the outset, “85 Videos” exudes a familiar expansive backdrop, lush instrumentation coupled with rousing vocals and a euphoric pop brilliance that is part of Mew’s DNA. Twenty years into its career, Visuals sees the band retain the irrepressible ebullience of a band working on its debut album.” Nice. Visuals is set for release on April 28th, 2017 on Play It Again Sam Records. Enjoy!