Wishing All of My Readers a Beautiful Christmas!
Over the final weekend in April, Geoffrey and I went on an urban adventure to the Cherry Blossom Festival (aka Sakura Matsuri) at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and we had all kinds of crazy fun being outdoors in the beautiful nature, and taking many, many (read: too many) photos of the gorgeous flowering trees and other flowers and plants. Super fun!
As a tie-in with the festival, event sponsor BMW (The Ultimate Driving Machine, as it is known) created a Sakura-themed car with a custom paint job covering the car in a cheery cherry blossoms design! Spectacular!
Here is a detail of the finish, up close. If you have been around an assortment of cherry blossoms before you will observe that they have many different blossoms represented, just like they did at the Garden!
I didn’t think to look inside the car to check out the interior, since the ground was a bit damp from rain the previous evening and I was trying to stay off the wet grass as much as possible. Point being that I can’t say whether the floral design carried over to the car’s dashboard and upholstery.
A Sweet Ride, indeed!
To me, nothing says Southern California Style like a Pink VW Bus. I photographed this very authentic-looking miniature in the store called Simply Fresh, located in San Marino, Calfornia! Sweet Ride!
I saw this truck parked right across the street from the First Street Green Art Park when I was there a couple of weeks ago filming This Guy.
It caught my eye, and I thought maybe it would incite a few blog hits and also make a worthwhile Instagram post. I like the Human Hand versus the Demon Hand. Nice touch.
I’ve no idea if this design is the work of an amateur, or if it was created by an artist whose name is already associated with painting street art graffiti on cars and vans, like This Guy. If you know anything about it, please feel free to enlighten me in the comments!
If you’re in the market for a new sweet ride, why not consider the first car named for its own hastag — Volkswagen’s 2017 limited-edition #PinkBeetle? We had the opportunity to see the #PinkBeetle all up close and personal at a fun launch party earlier this week, and it looked like it was just made to be the Pink Thing of the Day, so here we go!
Fresh Fuchsia Metallic is the color of this beauty’s vibrant pink-hued exterior. The 2017 #PinkBeetle is powered by a 1.8-liter turbocharged engine matched with a 6-speed automatic transmission that produces 170 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque. The special pink designer Beetle will be available in coupe and convertible configurations when it reaches dealer showrooms this fall.
On the exterior, the new #PinkBeetle is trimmed with gloss black mirror housings and black running boards. Coupes will ride on 17-in., multi-spoke aluminum wheels and the convertibles will be equipped with 18-in., 5-spoke Twister design wheels. New bi-Xenon headlights and other LED lighting systems are standard.
The cabin of the #PinkBeetle is set up with a black dash trimmed in pink with a leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel with paddle shifters. Heated front seats and back seating are upholstered in black Pink Club cloth inserts that are plaid with pink striping.
An MIB II multimedia system is standard and comes with a 6.3-in. touch screen with VW’s Car-Net app suite that offers connectivity for all three major smartphone platforms. A rearview camera, keyless entry, and push-button start, plus a 3-month satellite radio subscription, are included.
Everyone enjoyed looking at and being photographed with the #PinkBeetle while also sampling tasty snacks and refreshing beverages!
The 2017 Volkswagen #PinkBeetle goes on sale this fall. Pricing will be announced closer to the launch date. VW says the model will be sold in limited quantities, but we were unable to procure actual production numbers.
With their Photorealism, Robert Bechtle’s works capture the essence of modern, postwar American culture. The manicured lawns bathed in sunlight, the well-kept houses, the kids, the cars . . . all of suburbia’s manifestations are explored and exploited in his works. He elevates the mundane and commonplace to something more, an anonymous yet intimate view of ourselves. It is important to remember that his works are not photographs. They are masterfully painted pieces that are touched by the artist’s ideas, vision, hand, and point of view. A photograph captures what is there before us. Bechtle takes that moment and paints it as he sees it, not merely as the camera saw it. Like the Impressionists, he shows a fleeting glimpse of daily life, touched by transient light. Painting from photographs allows Bechtle to fully examine and capture that single moment in all its infinite detail. He then interprets the moment by selecting the details that he will paint. The overall flatness of many of his pieces creates a feeling of loneliness and emptiness amidst the picture-perfect settings.
In Bechtle’s oil painting ’61 Pontiac (1968-69) the family at the center of the image is the artist’s own. Standing beside his wife, with their two small children, they are the picture of familial complacency. They fully inhabit their own world, which is visible from where they stand. The house, the yard, the station wagon – this is their domain. Their pose amidst this seems almost uncomfortable, as if they want to move but are plagued with inertia. The field of view is devoid of anything other than the family and its possessions. The painting has a flatness accentuated by the fact that all fields of the painting are in focus, unlike with a photograph where depth of field creates some areas that are more crisp than others. It is as if there is no delineation or value given to any subject in the painting—the lawn is as much a star of this work as is the car or the blonde children.
Robert Bechtle plays on American desires and dreams, poking dead-pan fun at the ultimate banality and emptiness of achieving those dreams. The stark reality of his work is that it says as much about Americans’ feelings of alienation as it does about the ongoing quest for the American Dream.
Photographed in the Whitney Museum in NYC.
I see this classic Dodge parked on the street across from my house most days. I’m not sure which model year it is, but I think mid-to-late 1950s is a safe best. Anyway, I noticed it has this cool Ram Hood Ornament. Very nice.
Check it out: what model year does this look like to you? Leave suggestions in the comments, please!
Here are a couple more shots!
Nari Ward (b. 1963, Jamaica) creates sculptural installations from materials he collects in his neighborhoods, ranging from his original hometown in Jamaica, to Harlem, where he has lived since 1983. Ward’s compositions wrestle with memory and belonging, and address topics from justice to health care.
For his High Line commission, the artist reconfigures a childhood memory. Returning to his father’s home in Jamaica after 15 years away, Ward remembers finding an abandoned car in the front yard, [which was] sprouting a lime tree. He reimagines this story for the High Line with Smart Tree; the form of a Smart Car refinished with tire treads, propped up on cinder blocks, and sprouting an apple tree from its roof.
With the car’s cinderblock base representing stasis, and its coating of tire treads suggesting perpetual movement, Smart Tree holds up a mirror to the flux surrounding the High Line itself and reminds viewers of the park’s history as a major transportation artery in Manhattan.
Smart Tree will be on view at the High Line Park Through March of 2017.
Take a long look at this Sweet Ride: A custom-painted Peace Limousine!
Geoffrey and I spotted this car parked on Greene Street at the corner of Houston, in Soho, NYC. Not only does it display the word Peace painted on both sides, but it also has the slogan“Make Love Not War” painted on the hood. Peace Limo!
Who is Sir Ivan? I think it’s This Guy.
Joss Paper is burned by the Chinese to honor the deceased. Traditional Joss Paper, or ghost money, is commonly found in the form of squares of rough bamboo paper printed with seals and rectangles of gold or silver. More contemporary forms of Joss Paper include hell notes, often with denominations of $10,000 to $5,000,000,000. There are also elaborate, faithful paper reproductions of everyday objects such as suits of clothes, shirts and ties, high heel shoes, cell phones, cameras, computers, packs of cigarettes, bottles of alcohol, toothpaste, false teeth and makeup kits. Larger Joss objects include television sets, jet planes and Mercedes Benz automobiles.
These items represent the favorite objects of the dead, and when they are burned the items are sent along with the dead into the hereafter. They are made of papier mache and waste paper from packaging, and the backs and undersides of the objects sometimes reveal the logos of the various products they originally packaged. The Joss Paper objects themselves sometime feature parodies of familiar logos, such as Kekou Cola and Halloro Lights cigarettes.