I lived in Southern California until I moved to NYC at age 27; and from ages 3 to 19 (1964 to 1980) I resided in the city of Orange. The main street in my neighborhood was Tustin Avenue, which was populated with countless fast food and casual restaurants including McDonalds, Taco Bell, Marie Callender’s, A&W (Root Beer) Drive Up, Arby’s, Jack In The Box, Winchell’s Donuts, Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlor, IHOP, Baskin Robbins and others whose memories have been lost to time.
To me it seems like the ’90s just happened, but I was recently reminded that those born in 1990 are now over 30 years old. Yeah, crazy. The passage of time takes people by surprise, which is one of the reasons nostalgia washes over us in reoccurring waves. Currently, everything old is new again when it comes to the resurgence of Nineties pop culture!
From dance trends, to toys, food, fashion, music and more — we’re consumed with inspiration that allows us to live in the past. It’s no secret that people are willing to spend more if the product reminds them fondly of a previous time, and marketers have been tapping into the trend to drive purchasing power. Just in time for Prime Day, here are a few products from the no-so-distant past that you’re probably seeing more of these days, especially on social media.
Oh, man, this sure does inspire sweet nostalgia for the happy days of the Record Listening Party! Why not sing along to 25 of your favorite horrendously inappropriate songs while rocking this awesome T-shirt design by Steven Rhodes! Devil’s Music Sing-Along T-Shirt is on sale now for just $21.95 at This Link!
It’s so funny that I was just talking with a friend on the FaceBook about the Girl Groups of the ‘50s and ’60s, and the next thing I knew, I was clicking on the link to “Rolleiflex”, the wildly nostalgia-inducing new video from 20 year-old Detroit native Blaire Alise and her band, The Bombshells. OMG, this video amazing!
Shot on Super 8 film, the video will feel instantly familiar to viewers of a certain age: like a collection of memories in a visual scrapbook, or even like a favorite dream. While watching it, I felt at times like I was back in junior high school again. This song captures a magic that has been missing from music for a long time. It’s lyrical content, melody, and multi layered harmonies are first rate, and her vocal delivery is so heartfelt that it transports the listener to a time in life when, as unbelievable as that may seem in the present time, happiness was unquestionable. Production values are excellent as well. Blaire admits that “Rolleiflex is about memories, specifically, “It’s about trying to capture all of the moments you can, with the fear of not being able to take all of them in.” I think she succeeds beautifully.
Blaire Alise is currently based in New York, where she and The Bombshells regularly perform. “Rolleiflex” can be found on their new album, My Eye, which is out now. Enjoy!
Brooklyn-based Artist Stephen Powers sure has been making the art scene a whole lot brighter since we first saw his hilarious and thought-provoking signage on display in Chelsea Art Galleries. Last summer, Powers teamed up with New York’s Department of Transportation for a temporary public art signage project, and he also increased his global profile as one of the many collaborator’s whose works appeared as part of Banksy’s Theme Park Art Installation, Dismaland . That must have been fun.
Now through August 21st, 2016, Stephen Powers responds to the visual vernacular of Coney Island in his very fun exhibit Coney Island is Still Dreamland (To a Seagull) at the Brooklyn Museum.
Coney Island is Still Dreamland is a site-specific installation of signs and paintings from ICY SIGNS — a traveling sign shop and an ongoing collaboration between Powers and other sign writers. At a time when computers dominate the industry of sign production, the project revives the art of hand-painted signs. The signs look commercial, but the combination of everyday images and pithy phrases offers only emotional goods.
Here’s a video I shot at the Museum last Sunday, which will give you an idea of the scope of the project that still photos cannot really capture. There are four, floor-to-ceiling boards full of colorful signs that you can pour over for hours! All signs are hand painted by Stephen and the ICY SIGNS crew, and you can even watch a video of the installation going up, which is fascinating.
ICY SIGNS was initially conceived with the advent of the Dreamland Artist Club – a public art project in which Powers and more that 40 other artists created custom signs for the games and rides of Coney Island. “Everyone [involved in ICY SIGNS] has an emotional investment in Coney Island,” Powers explains. “We value that by making work [that’s] as fried, greasy, sweet, cheap, fun and flashy as any other experience you can have there!”
Stephen Powers interest in hand-painted signs grew out of his early work as a graffiti writer under the pseudonym ESPO, and was furthered by inspiration gleaned from the seaside community. This is the latest of nine iterations of ICY SIGNS, which has been exhibited in numerous storefronts, museums, and galleries in both the US and abroad.
You can visit permanent locations of ICY SIGNS in Brooklyn, and in Powers’ hometown of Philadelphia.
Enamored with the unique style of painting that was born in and defines Coney Island, Powers uses the style to depict his own life and times. These paintings capture what he calls “The eternal now of New York City.”
In addition to new pieces by Powers, the installation includes works by Justin Green, Matt Wright, Mike Levy, Dan Murphy, Mike Langley, Mimi Gross, Alexis Ross, Sean Barton, Eric David and Tim Curtis.
Be sure to watch the Video where Stephen talks about the relationship between ICY SIGNS and Coney Island. You’ll get to see a lot of the art being created and it’s very interesting to watch it all come together. Plus, Stephen Powers seems like a cool guy. Near the end of the video, he says something like “As long as you can see the ocean, and get a hot dog, it’s still Paradise.” I like it.
This installation was originally scheduled to close on March 13th, but has been extended into August, so you have plenty of time to check it out!
The image of warm climate bird like a Flamingo encased inside a snow globe seems kid of perfectly dreamy to me.
If you’ve ever spent any time in LA or the surrounding area, few experiences that you can have here in NYC will imbue you with a sense of sweet nostalgia for the Southland quite like viewing this series of new paintings and photographs by artist Glen Rubsamen, which he calls Polygala.
In his second solo exhibition at Robert Miller, Rubsamen presents a series of paintings based on a project he began in 2012 to photograph juxtaposed billboards, palm trees and cell phone masts. As he explains, “it became quickly apparent that it was almost impossible to photograph a billboard in Los Angeles without a palm tree or cell phone tower, or both, sneaking into the picture frame.” Rubsamen describes the work’s static construction as an ‘accidental ensemble,’ an exercise in chance, and humorous negation of the classical principles of perspective, sequence and scale.
I loved this painting, seen above, so much that I didn’t even want to wait for these two guys to move to photograph it, because obviously they are digging it as well, so why not just bring them into the experience?
I think part of the reason I was so quickly enamored of this exhibit is the color palette he uses – gradations of purples, blues and mint greens – all set against black shadows, which definitely set a mood of either dusk or dawn, while extracting endless memories of time I spent growing up in Southern California. In other words, these paintings really spoke to me, as they did to the friend I attended the exhibit with who is also from that area. I don’t think there is any greater compliment I could offer than that. I would love to own any of these pieces.
I think these are some of the most beautiful paintings I’ve seen in a recent exhibit. I highly recommend you check out this show while it is still up, because they are even more impactful in person.
Glen Rubsamen’s Polygala will be on Exhibit Through December 21st, 2013 at Robert Miller Gallery, Located at 524 West 26th Street, In the Chelsea Gallery District. Hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 10 AM to 6 PM.