here’s another one of my favorite Dining By Design Installations from this year’s DIFFA event, which features carefully curated dining vignettes that raise awareness for individuals impacted by HIV/AIDS. Gensler New York’s 2019 design concept, titled You Are Beautiful, served as a celebratory reminder to all those individuals living with HIV/AIDS that they are Beautiful, both inside and out, they deserve enduring happiness, and, most importantly, they are not alone in their fight.
In partnership with Knoll, EvensonBest, and MillerBlaker, the free-standing vignette embraces the idea of joyful inner beauty too abundant to be contained. The raw and honest space, flanked by stained plywood, reveals the cut-out and applied “You Are Beautiful” message luring guests to peer inside.
A warm color palette informed by the branded red color of an AIDS ribbon articulates the vibrant interior, featuring furniture and tabletop accessories by Muuto and Filzfelt.
Finally, a series of colorful, transparent Beach Balls dance above the table, representing playfulness and lighthearted respite to spark conversation and empower the values of enduring happiness.
Hey what’s up. I hope that you are enjoying your weekend. Now that we have done some cursory bonding, I would like to say that with today’s Video Clip of The Week, which is for the awesome song “Middle Of The World” from LA-based trio Flights Over Phoenix, it is my hope that I am exposing you to a potential ear-worm that is powerfully addictive enough to supplant Ed Sheeran’s quasi-pervy, aural seduction device, “Shape of You” — which, I am sure we will all agree, simply cannot be resisted. You’re welcome.
Filmed on location at Soggy Dry Lake, in the California desert, and visually styled in the manner of, say, a John Varvatos photo shoot, “Middle Of The World” features the band performing on an arid plane punctuated only by inflated black balloons tethered to the dry earth like bobbing, mutant cacti. And speaking of cacti, the protagonist of our story is an anthropomorphic cactus who finds a picture postcard of California and decides to take a cross-country journey to the beach — trading one sandy environment for another, but with a few essential differences that change his world completely. In this way, “Middle of The World” serves as a powerful metaphor for breaking free from your restrictive comfort zone to find what you need in order to attain a state of true happiness, or something like that. Heavy.
Aurally, “Middle Of The World” is guilt-free ear candy. The lyrics convey a universal message of self-empowerment and lead singer Keith Longo has a voice like butter. The band explains that, “‘Middle Of The World’ is a song that explores the feelings of isolation through imagery that one might experience in a dream of that nature. In writing the song, we wanted it to feel like a journey, and so we wanted the music to be up-tempo and have a lot of movement.” Mission accomplished.
“Middle Of The World” can be found on the band’s newly-released EP, Where I Comedown. Like them on the FaceBook at This Link! Enjoy!
Flights Over Phoenix are Chris Santillo, Jordan Nuanez and Keith Longo.
To have experienced The Back Door, Martin Creed’s interactive art exhibit installed throughout the Park Avenue Armory, was like walking into and exploring an authentically disquieting dreamscape version of Disney’s Haunted Mansion for adults who dig weird art.
As the most mainstream-accessible part of The Back Door, two collections of small-canvas paintings can be found in the Armory’s first floor Board of Officers Room. It got much less-safe from there.
Crossing all media including painting, drawing, music, dance, theater, film, sculpture, fashion, and more, Martin Creed’s practice considers our everyday existence and the visible and invisible structures that shape our lives. Creed continues his ongoing exploration into rhythm, scale and order in The Back Door; the artist’s largest installation in the US to date, which is a survey of his work from its most minimal moments to extravagant, larger-than-life installations.
Utilizing both the Wade Thompson Drill Hall and the historic interiors of the building, Creed re-imagines the space with opening and closing doors and curtains, a slamming piano, and a room full of balloons, among other new works made for this exhibition. These materials and situations, when grouped together, create a playful spectacle within a framework that provides the viewer with a fascinating way to counter our visually overloaded, choice-saturated culture.
The most popular work in the exhibit is called Half the Air in a Given Space, which is a room filled half-way to the ceiling with large, inflated white latex balloons.
It was recommended that you queue up for this room as soon as you arrived, as there might be a wait of 10 minutes or more. They only let six or so people enter the room at one time. This is why:
Once you squeeze your way into the room, the balloons, which are about 17″ in diameter, will be over your head, and you will need to gently bounce them upward and away from you in order to navigate your way to an exit on the other side of the room, which is marked by a red Exit sign. I wouldn’t recommended this experience to anyone who is prone to panic attacks or who has claustrophobia, or for a small child, but otherwise it is quite fun and there is no need to freak out.
As you can see, I was able to get these fun photos while submerged in a sea of Balloons! When would you ever have the chance to do this again? There were assistants at the room’s exit door, to help you get out.
In the above video, I am in a room called The Parlor, in which the overhead lights flash on and off at one-second intervals for a piece called The Lights Going On and Off. The door on the other side of the room opens automatically, so it is impossible to be trapped in there. Again, no need to panic!
Next, I entered the Wade Thompson Drill Hall, which is a massive room the size of an airplane hangar. There is a screen suspended from the ceiling about midway into the room, which shows nearly static film clips of people doing mundane things like sitting and staring.
This is a woman sitting in a room.
This is the room she is sitting in. There are six short films ranging in length from 1 minute 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
Across that room to the right, you will see the above sign with an arrow. Follow it to an open door and enter an entirely new space.
You are now in a long corridor that extends the length of the building, which is divided into 9 small kiosks, each showing a different short film. The first one shows different people crossing the same street, one at a time, while demonstrating a “funny walk,” as the famous Monty Python sketch would call it.
Another film is this naked man standing in a room with occasional close-ups of his ass.
This video clip is from a film that shows a numerical countdown.
This one is called Fuck Off. Either there was no video, or it just wasn’t working, for this audio-only clip of someone using the F Word, a lot. (Warning: NSFW)
I didn’t stick around long enough to find out why she was squatting.
When you see this sign, you are about to watch a video of a penis going from flaccid to erect, and back again. Hashtag-trying-too-hard.
These Roving Musicians are fun to stop and listen to as they wander through the various rooms. Those curtains they are seen walking through open and close by themselves, and constitute a separate artwork called A Curtain Opening and Closing.
The Veteran’s Room
A Large Piece of Furniture Partially Obstructing a Door
In the Field and Staff Room, you will see chairs stacked on top of other chairs and tables stacked on other tables, a row of small cactus plants in front of a mirror (lower right in the above photo) and a video installation.
I felt like I was back in the ’60s.
Abstract Painting in the North Corridor
Even if art is not your thing, you would probably have enjoyed its distractions as you explore an amazing historical building and imagine what types of ghosts must inhabit this obviously haunted space.
Find out more about Martin Creed’s The Back Door, which has now closed at This Link!
We passed by the Balloon Saloon — the store dominates the northeast corner of West Broadway and Duane Streets in Tribeca — on the way to dine at The Odeon Bistro, and just had to stop and take a few photos. Balloon Saloon, which sells all kinds of inflatables, and also delivers every configuration of balloon clusters that you can imagine, was evidently voted The Most Fun Store in NYC; and you don’t even have to enter the store to see why. Because look at all of these Balloon-type Things that they have right out front!
They have kiddie wading pools as well! Get yours now before summer is over!
Also, you need this Pink Flamingo to float around your pool on! (Cocktails not included)
Balloon Saloon is Located at 133 West Broadway, at the Corner of Duane Street, in Tribeca, New York City. Visit Them Online at This Link!
While I was at this year’s Architectural Digest Design Show, I saw and fell in love with so many cool and beautiful things, but never really had the time to distill the day’s many photos into a proper wrap up of the event as a whole. Fortunately, it’s never too late to find a way to feature some of a my favorite photos from the show; in this case, several items I saw in the booth hosted by Chesterfield Gallery, who specialize in fine glass art.
Hangry is a hand-blown glass hippopotamus affixed to a copper wire with a steel base, and it’s part of American glass artist Chris Ahalt’s balloon animal series.
There is a cool Pink Elephant also.
And another Pink Hippo, who seems less “hangry.”
Chesterfield Glass Art is Based in Northampton, Massachusetts.
Over the Columbus Day weekend, I went up to the Berkshire Mountains area of Massachusetts and spent a few glorious days enjoying the gorgeous natural surroundings and taking assloads of photos of the just-starting-to-turn fall leaves. Gorgeous! And since we are just getting into fall, and also close to Halloween, I not only saw a lot of Pumpkins but also stuff decorated like Jack O Lanterns. For the purpose of this post, a Pumpkin and Jack O Lantern will be considered the same thing. Please enjoy my photos!
This is the backside of the really humongous pumpkin you see in the first photo. I saw this amazing colossal pumpkin at the Harvest Festival in the town where we were staying. I think you were supposed to guess its weight, but seriously, I think it weighed a ton. That’s about as specific as I could get.
These cheerful Jack O Lantern Planters were spotted out front of the Big Y Supermarket.
Jack O Lantern Balloons, how cheerful!
This is a candle holder that would look amazing in the dark with a burning tea light inside! Spooky!
Two Witch Pumpkins!
These are sort of Jack O Lantern/Pumpkin/Witches on Sticks! Because, Halloween!
Painted Pumpkins and their unpainted companions! Also, gourds!