It’s time again to do our Spring Cleaning, so maybe you’ve noticed (or maybe not) that we underwent a recent facelift in the form of changing WordPress themes after using the same one since our last upgrade in 2013! Wow, it seems like just yesterday. The new theme is a continuation of our ongoing site improvements that we announced on our 17 year blogiversary last June. Aside from a font change, you’ll notice that those site features formerly residing on the right side of our home page have moved to over to the left, leaving us with an expanse of new real estate to develop — yay! Who knows what will come next? I can only promise that it will be excellent. Have a look around at our new design and let us know what you think in the comments!
If you think the ‘Green Juice’ smoothie that your coworker gets from the juice truck is disgusting — because it is — wait until you check out some of the ingredients inside the crazy concoctions comprising Josh Kline’s refrigerator-case sculpture, Skittles (2014).
Fifteen different smoothie flavors line the shelves of Kline’s light box-encased commercial refrigerator. Each bottle lists the unorthodox ingredients contained within, including inedible items such as latex gloves, duct tape, Ritalin and fragments of Google Glass eyewear.
These high-tech materials, synthetic chemicals, and organic substances evoke specific locations as well as contemporary lifestyles, industries and brands. With varieties like Big Data and Supplements, the indigestible ‘drinks’ inside this glowing cooler clearly illustrate the ways in which our bodies have been engineered, chemically altered, and transformed by technologies of consumption.
Which ‘Flavor’ is your favorite? Take closer look, below!
For patients suffering from dementia, the benefits of listening to music are significant, both for quality of life and for improving cognizance and lucidity. The design of this Simple Music Player (2014) — a pre-loaded MP3 player — is radically simplified for ease of operation, and it appears non-threatening and recognizably familiar.
Once pre-loaded with the individual’s favorite music or an audio book, the user can activate — or stop — play by simply lifting the lid.
Designed by Lyndon Owen, Maurice Thompson and Bruce Barnet. Photographed in the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum in Manhattan as Part of the Exhibit, Access and Ability.
These Hot Pink custom boots, designed to mimic a pair of cat’s paws, were worn by pop star Katy Perry on her 2014 Prismatic Tour. Created by NYC-based design house The Blonds, the boots were part of a Pink Leopard-Print, Stretch Velvet Catsuit (seen below) worn by Perry onstage.
Photographed in the Grammy Museum in Hollywood, California.
British artist Nick Walker painted this mural of his signature Love Vandal character in a parking lot at the southwest corner of 17th Street and 6th Avenue back in the fall of 2014, and it still looks great!
Updated July 6, 2019: Here’s the piece on a Saturday with no cars in the way!
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.
People don’t normally equate childhood with a kind of battlefield, where the very process of growing up is an act of unqualified heroism, but then again not everyone has seen the Asia Argento film Misunderstood, where the lone soldier/hero is a nine-year-old girl named Aria. Set in Rome in the mid-1980s, Misunderstood is an exceptionally well-crafted (though not always easy to watch) film which focuses on a pivotal year in the life of Aria (played by Giulia Salerno), who has the misfortune to be the child of self-centered parents who are just on the verge of divorcing when our story begins. Aria lives with her parents (played by Charlotte Gainsbourg and Gabriel Garko), a famous concert pianist, and a Screen-Idol actor respectively, and two half sisters; the oldest being the spoiled child of her father’s previous marriage, and the middle daughter belonging to her mother from a former relationship. What is evident from the beginning is that Aria, a beautiful, bright and talented little girl, is part of a family where she has virtually no one is on her side. Fortunately, she does have a tight and affectionate relationship with her best friend, Angelica (Alice Pea) and a beloved pet cat, Dac, which she dotes on throughout the film.
At school, Aria excels in composition, and is more of a wallflower than a victim of bullying. Aria and Angelica have a sweet and fiercely close friendship, and the two call each other by the same pet name, and get into quite a bit of harmless mischief together. As the story progresses, however, Aria’s relationship to her peers spirals downward and draws parallels to the plight of the character Dawn Wiener from Todd Solondz‘ merciless black comedy, Welcome to The Dollhouse (1995). Eventually, the cumulative affects of casual abandonment, neglect, and betrayal seemingly squash Aria’s indomitable spirit, and she takes unexpected actions in the face of her bleak circumstances.
Misunderstood is being billed as a comedy, but most of the comedic moments stem from feelings of absurd discomfort, in which her bickering and oftentimes cruel mother and father treat their shared child as if she were a bargaining chip or a mere inconvenience to be pushed off on the other as a form of revenge. We’ve seen this parental cruelty and indifference in films like What Maisie Knew (2013), and Fish Tank (2009), and it is never easy to watch, especially since Aria is such a charming and gentle child, who only wants what she deserves; her parent’s unconditional love and acceptance.
The acting in Misunderstood is excellent all around, featuring possibly one of the best performances I’ve seen from Gainsbourg (who is no stranger to playing unsympathetic characters) and a fantastic, finely nuanced performance from Giulia Salerno, (whose resume already includes half a dozen films). Gabriel Garko (best known for roles on Italian television) is also well-cast as Aria’s almost cartoonish and completely clueless, egomaniacal father. The film also features an exceptional soundtrack that mixes period appropriate, deep-cut pop songs with classical pieces and original compositions, all of which were obviously chosen with a great deal of insight and care.
A few write ups on the film reveal that Misunderstood is highly autobiographical, based on the director’s early life as the daughter of actress Daria Nicolodi and Gialo/horror film director Dario Argento – and it’s easy enough to find out that Argento’s given name at birth was Aria – but the filmmaker claims this is not the case. I don’t think it really matters if Asia Argento suffered through a childhood similar to Aria’s or not, all that matters is that she’s managed to tell a story that successfully touches the viewer emotionally, and feels very real, even when at its most surreal.
In Italian, English and French, with English subtitles, this film is unrated and has a runt ime of 103 minutes. Misunderstood is released to theaters and On-Demand September 25th, 2015. In Manhattan, you can see it at the IFC Center, located at 323 Sixth Avenue at West Third Street. Click Here for Showtimes
The Worley Gig Gives Misundertood Five out of Five Stars.
Watch the Trailer Below: