Tag Archives: 2013

Eye On Design: Washington Skeleton Side Chair By David Adjaye

washington skeleton side chair photo by gail worley
All Photos By Gail

The Metropolitan Museum of Art does not often invite visitors to sit directly on the art, but they have made an exception for these Washington Skeleton Side Chairs (2013), designed by Ghanaian-British architect David Adjaye, which can be found in the gallery where the 2020 Holiday Tree is on display.

washington skeleton side chair photo by gail worley

These delicately balanced, precisely engineered chairs emerged from the design process for the façade of the National Museum of African-American History and Culture, which opened in Washington DC in 2016.  David Adjaye developed an intricate lattice form that was an investigation of the geometry, materiality, light and shadow.

washington skeleton side chair detail photo by gail worley

Both functional in its shading role, and poetic in its abstract visual qualities, this screen borrowed from African design patterns but also paid homage to the history of enslaved blacksmiths and their ironwork for ornamental gates in southern cities such as New Orleans and Charleston.

washington skeleton side chair photo by gail worley

Utilizing the smaller scale of furniture as an agile testing ground for these architectural ideas, Adjaye produced what he describes as a “narrative about skin, form and structure.“ Here, he shapes the skeletal, ribbed surfaces to mimic the form of a seated person, resulting in a cantilevered, ergonomic silhouette that almost disappears when in use. Made of die-cast aluminum, then powder coated and copper plated, the chairs are manufactured by Knoll International.

washington skeleton side chair photo by gail worley

Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

washington skeleton side chair photo by gail worley

Eye On Design: Mattia Bonetti’s Liquid Gold Cabinet

Liquid Gold CabinetLiquid Gold Cabinet
All Photos By Gail

The Swiss-born designer Matia Bonetti is known for his irreverent, eye-grabbing, and (often) dazzlingly shiny functional objects. Bonetti enjoys playing with both organic and geometric forms rather than adhering to a consistent style. Created from Gold-plated bronze, cast aluminum, and rock crystal, the Liquid Gold Cabinet combines the two aesthetics, the designer offers, “because it’s quite straight in line, but you have all these ripplings that are more informal. They could be called Baroque, with their guiding and the richness.”

Photographed in the Paul Kasmin Gallery, NYC as part of the Indoor Outdoor Exhibit in 2013.

Liquid Gold Cabinet
Liquid Gold Cabinet Shown Here with the Arctic Raft Side Table to the Left

Eye On Design: Mattia Bonetti, Lucky Side Table or Stool

Lucky Side Table or Stool
(“Get Lucky” (All Photos By Gail)

Swiss designer Mattia Bonetti scores again with Lucky (2013), a stainless steel Di (get a second to make proper pair of dice) which measures 18.62″ H x 18.6″ W x 18.62″ D and can be used as a stool or side table. Available in an edition of 100.

Lucky Side Table or Stool

Photographed in the Paul Kasmin Gallery in NYC.

A Critical Analysis of David Bowie’s Crotch Bulge in Labyrinth

David Bowie Labyrinth Costume
David Bowie’s Jareth the Goblin King Costume, Wig and Props from Labyrinth (Photographed By Gail at Seattle’s EMP)

All of this very sad David Bowie news is the only thing that is making people click on links this week, it seems, and we are all in need of a serious laugh, as a respite from our endless weeping. So, here you go, just in case you missed this brilliant piece of alternative film criticism by Rob Bricken when it was originally published at This Link in April of 2013:

A curious movie watcher [asks]:

I realize that you may not be able to answer this question in the same way that ladies and gay men would be, but in your professional opinion as a nerd and movie watcher, which had the greater visual impact in their respective films: David Bowie’s pants in Labyrinth, or Sting’s eagle-shaped codpiece in the Dune movie? In both cases, I felt strongly that their respective directors filmed them in such as way as to convince me that [their crotches] were completely independent, possibly sentient entities. If so, do you think they should have also received separate acknowledgement during the end credits in their films?

Well, you’re right in that I might have a different answer than some, so consider this my opinion, and nothing more: I say the Bowie Bulge in Labyrinth had more visual impact than Sting’s Stinger in Dune, and here’s why:

Sting Dune 1984

First of all, Sting’s underwear in Dune — while winged and containing a massive bulge — doesn’t really show off a lot of detail. Obviously, Sting’s packing something down there, but the underpants themselves cover a volume of space, which Sting’s junk could be contained with room to spare, or fill to the brim. The underpants are solid and opaque, so there’s no way to know for sure.

Meanwhile, Bowie is wearing tights in Labyrinth that show off his Diamond Dog in stunning detail, so we know it’s enormous. It might — might — be smaller than Sting’s package if it truly maxes out its container, but I say the visual proof of Bowie’s gargantuan batch beats Sting’s potential.

But that’s not all; Sting is only in his skivvies for one scene in Dune, while Bowie is strutting around in his Pants Magic Pants for almost the entirety of Labyrinth. More importantly, the way Lynch made Dune, the film — well, Sting’s near-naked duel makes sense, visually and conceptually, within the film’s style. It has a visual impact, but it’s an impact on par with things like the Sandworms and Baron Harkonnen and all that.

Meanwhile, Bowie’s package is the sexual tyrannosaurus hiding in plain sight in what is supposedly a fun kids’ fantasy-adventure movie. While technically more subtle, this half-hearted attempt to hide it is like trying to hide an elephant in your closet — it just makes the elephant a lot more obvious. And most importantly, remember, Labyrinth is about a teenage girl trying to rescue her baby brother from goblins — and the fact that the Goblin King has a massive, massive dick adds this weird, omnipresent sexuality to the entire movie, which I’m not 100% sure wasn’t included on purpose. I say Bowie’s bulge definitely had the bigger impact (so to speak). Also, I am 99% sure Bowie’s penis has its own SAG card.

Should I mention that “Postal Apocalypse” is my favorite thing I do at io9, or does the fact that I got to write 300 words about David Bowie’s crotch in Labyrinth make it go without saying?

david bowie crotch bulge

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Pink Thing of The Day: Nir Hod’s Genius Nicolai (Pink)

Nir Hod Genius Nicolai Pink 2013
Photo By Gail

PK SHOP is pleased to introduce an exclusive new edition by Nir Hod. Inspired by the artist’s Genius series of paintings of precocious and portentous children, the 11 1/2 x 7 1/2 inch chrome-plated sculpture is produced in editions of seven in four bold colors: gold, pink, and two additional colors that will be announced at a later date.

A meditation on beauty and loneliness, Hod’s poised and alluring young geniuses dwell in a world of paradox, where their cherubic cheeks contrast with their scornful expressions and lit cigarettes. Philosopher Roy Brand describes them as “…little demons without disguises. But they are also yearning, beautiful, and charming, and their narcissism is more a sign of internal happiness than of vanity.”

Entitled Nicolai, the series accentuates the vulnerability of these child prodigies by pairing the knowing expressions and eerie self-possession of the painted geniuses with the sculpture’s three-dimensional diminutive body. Referencing the seductiveness of luxury materials, Hod implements chrome for the first time with this series. The shiny high-polish of the chrome is transformative; the cutting edge medium transforms the traditionally-rendered sculpture into an object of the modern world. The mirrored surface of the work appeals to the viewer’s inner narcissist, while the rich colors reflect the vivid imagery of contemporary life.

Disco Ball Caught in a Bear Trap

Disco Ball Caught in a Bear Trap
Photos By Gail

Check out this fun sculpture by Joel Morrison! Disco Ball Caught in a Bear Trap (2013) is constructed of Stainless steel and measures 28 x 30 x 36 inches (71.1 x 76.2 x 91.4 cm). Edition of 3. Photographed by me at the Leila Heller Gallery on West 57th Street.

Disco Ball Caught in a Bear Trap

Fun Video: Ithaca Ice Wars Competiton!


Every winter, world class carvers travel to Ithaca, NY to show off their sculpting skills in a national ice carving event known as Ithaca Ice Wars. Sculptors spend an entire day transforming giant blocks of ice into breathtaking pieces of frozen artwork. You can see how the entire town gets involved in the spirit of finding a way to have a good time while freezing your butt off.

The event at which the above video was filmed took place in late December of 2013. So, while it doesn’t get really freezing in Manhattan until at least January, you can see that folks upstate are already finding ways to turn their suffering into wild adventure at least a month ahead of us.

This looks like an amazing event.

Ithaca Ice Wars 2013