There are serious protests happening in North Dakota and at Dump Tower (see next post) that are no joke but we all need a break in these unfunny times. These signs are some of the best one-liners on cardboard you’ll see, but my all-time favorite isn’t here…
“I’m so mad I made a sign.”
(via Sad and Useless)
For a few hours, Emperor Cheeto‘s golden skyscraper in Manhattan went through a bit a rebranding, courtesy of some hacker that has my own heart as well as many others.
Trump Tower was renamed Dump Tower on Google Maps Saturday and the change garnered lots of attention on Twitter.
A spokesperson for Google has disappointingly said it has been changed back. Let’s hope something this humiliating can happen to the Tangerine Nightmare every single day for the next four years.
(via USA Today)
Yes, according to news reports, Emperor Cheeto is angry at NBC News for using this photo of him. This makes me SO happy. This was my go-to photo for the entire election when I needed a goofy pic to post about something stupid Agent Orange said. It thrills me to no end that I might have contributed to his unhappiness, even a little bit.
The original is a screen grab of a low-quality video feed that Rob Beschizza at Boing Boing said that he
“…opened it in a proprietary “Blow Up” app, added some grain to conceal compression artifacts, and interpolated it to 2048 pixels wide to get a better look at what president-elect Donald Trump was angry about… promise not to use this image anywhere else, as it would be unseemly and unmannerly.”
I agree, so PLEASE don’t repost this endlessly for the next four years –that would be SO impolite to the POTUS.
OMG, a Hipster Nativity? I know. Eye roll. Three wisemen on Segways bearing gifts from Amazon!? Gluten-free feed for 100% organic cows and a sweater-wearing sheep. And Mary with a Starbucks next making a duck face for her selfie being shot by Joseph (no doubt on an iPhone 7) It’s all very, very 2016… and awful. (And kinda perfect.) And it’s ONLY $129.99!?
(T/Y Randy; via Dangerous Minds)
Robert and Cortney Novogratz are lifestyle designers that famously have 7 beautiful kids. They used to live around the corner from me in NYC and now they have a castle in L.A.. They’ve kindly bought my work for projects before and just commissioned a painting for a new Greenwich Village townhouse they designed that I delivered last week. I just saw them at their book signing at Rizzoli in NYC where I picked up my copy of their latest project. It’s a lushly illustrated book called Beachside Bohemian all about their beach retreat in Trancoso, Brazil. Robert has said about the place and house,
“Years ago, a design friend brought me to Trancoso. It was such a magical place. Beautiful. Not over developed and with amazing beaches, nature and wonderful people. It was so different and felt instantly right.
The tree house is probably the best part of the house. It is very unique in comfort and design as well as more private than the rest of the home. I am also pleased with how the stone shower turned out.”
We try go to the beach everyday. Nothing is better than a fun lunch on the beach with a bottle of wine or two. Just hanging out with family and friends and soaking up the beautiful surroundings and atmosphere.“
Looks like heaven to me. This is the same area of Brazil (and the same builder) where Anderson Cooper has his place too, you know. (See pics here.) So, now is it becoming a hot spot? Well, before it’s gets TOO overrun, I should take a look, right? It says right there on the cover of their book “for family and friends” so, do you think it’s tacky if I hint in public about an art trade for a little beach time at Casa Novogratz? Nah. That’s what friends are for…
Photographer (& paramedic) Chris Porszspent hours walking around the city of Peterborough, Cambridgeshire in the late 70s and 80s, taking shots of punks and policemen and everything in between. Three decades later, Chris has reconstructed these photos from his collection by spending the last seven years tracking down the people and talking the them into posing again. The pics are the subject of his new book, Reunions.
These are charming and they remind me of Michael Apted‘s amazing Up documentary film series a group of Brits from age 7, in some cases, up to their deaths. He’s on 56 Up now…
Getting older is NOT for sissies, kids.
(via Design You Trust)
So, when my book launch for Yes: Transform Your Life with Color By Number was planned, the date November 8 was picked and no one seems to know why…? I embraced the idea, thinking the day would be historic and a double-celebration. But it didn’t EXACLTY play out that way….
I was happy to have a cushion day in between the election and the party, which was Thursday the 10th, but honestly, if it hadn’t been my party, I might not have gotten out of the house. But I have good friends who always come out to support me, even though they might not have been in a festive mood on Thursday, lots of planning had already gone into the night, so we had a party! (On the way there my Uber was stuck in traffic for nearly an hour trying to cross Fifth Avenue near Trump Tower protests… annoying and inconvenient but I was happy they were happening.)
My friend Sandra Hansel is an exec at Design Within Reach and she offered their New York flagship store to host the event and what a great place for a party. Chic, open and lots of places to sit. VDKA 6100 was kind enough to enlist their brand and expertise to help me create “Cocktail By Number” which I will say was what we all needed. Delicious cocktails! The book features four of my prints produced by artist’s platform, Twyla, and curator Heidi Lee Komaromi brought along my new Exactly print to show off.
Lots of pals, from curator Natalie Kates who brought along the Whitney's I.D. Aruede, to photographers Ruben Natal-San Miguel, Johnny Rozsa and Idris Rhuebottom + Tony Craig, to Vogue‘s David Byars (whose own new book, Our Time at Foxhollow Farm is in it’s second printing already) Regan Arts publisher, Judith Regan and her crack team were in full-force selling books and making things run smoothly.
My dog, Lamonte (which I share with my ex, art director Roswell Hamrick) is in the book and stars in the Paw By Number video (below), so he made a guest appearance and I have to say, he was kind of the hit of the party. Look at that face!
Besides signing books and drinking, there were two coloring tables with flower and Statue of Liberty blanks to color along with a chalkboard and giant blow-up to get creative with. I was happy to hear that the art therapy aspect of my book actually works. Idris told me the next day he went home that night and colored for hours.
Big thanks to everyone who made it a fun night, especially Alex Smith who captured the fun in these great pics. And that’s not the end of it. DWR is hosting another book signing during Art Basel Miami Beach next month and then two more in L.A. and Austin.
And stay tuned Wowlebrties and World of Wonder fans, there’s more exciting news coming with regard to my book too…. that’s all I’m saying.
(Photos, Alexander Kushak Smith)
...there are no words. I'm at a loss –and so is America.
I’m not going to add anything to this text which was taken from promotional material from Bob Dylan, The Beaten Path on view at Halcyon Gallery in London from November 5 through December 11.
“For this series of paintings, the idea was to create pictures that would not be misinterpreted or misunderstood by me or anybody else. When the Halcyon Gallery brought the idea of me doing American landscapes for an exhibition, all they had to do was say it once. And after a bit of clarification, I took it to heart and ran with it. The common theme of these works having something to do with the American landscape—how you see it while crisscrossing the land and seeing it for what it’s worth. Staying out of the mainstream and traveling the back roads, free-born style. I believe that the key to the future is in the remnants of the past. That you have to master the idioms of your own time before you can have any identity in the present tense. Your past begins the day you were born and to disregard it is cheating yourself of who you really are.
My idea was to keep things simple, only deal with what is externally visible. These paintings are up to the moment realism—archaic, most static, but quivering in appearance. They contradict the modern world. However, that’s my doing. The San Francisco Chinatown street stands merely two blocks away from corporate, windowless buildings. But these cold giant structures have no meaning for me in the world that I see or choose to see or be a part of or gain entrance to. If you look half a block away from the Coney Island hot-dog stand, the sky is littered with high rises. I choose not to see them either. Down the road, across the highway from the Cabin in the Woods is a manicured golf course. But it has little meaning compared to the seemingly worthless shack which speaks to me. The Alabama Side Show is surrounded by woods in all directions. The side show happens to be in a clearing and you go there by dirt road. I chose to paint the side show instead of the endless woods. There are countless other works where this is also true.
All the iconography is used in a semi-conscious way. I chose images because of the meanings they have for me, and patterns can be seen in the repeating images—roads, shacks, piers, automobiles, streets, bayous, railroad tracks, bridges, motels, truck stops, power lines, farmyards, theater marquees, churches, signs and symbols, etc.—all establishing a certain type of compositional value. I would say the purpose is plain, non-experimental or exploratory.
Some of these works have much complexity of detail. Some are less demanding . . . in some cases my hand couldn’t do what my eye was perceiving. So I went to the camera-obscura method. The camera obscura was a primitive camera invented in the 1600s which projected an image upside down so the painter could work from it. This was a real camera, but the image was not printable. It could only be seen and filled in. Caravaggio used this in about all of his paintings and so did Van Eyck and Vermeer. These days you don’t have to go to all that trouble. You can use a real camera. I put a 58-mm 0.43x wide-angle conversion lens onto a used Nikon D3300 Af-p on quite a few paintings, Downtown Bank, Katz’s, Nathans, Russ & Daughters, Roy’s, Blue Line, among others, and was able to get the desired effect. If that didn’t work, I used a convex Plexiglass RCA 24 x 20 television screen that can be found in old junk shops and looked at the world through that. On Curry Road in Arizona, I used an old movie frame, and I did that on a couple of different paintings, too. In just as many others I drew it straight on. Topanga Ranch, Ice Cream Factory, Truck Stops, Flat Top Mt. Diner, and Del Rio Cantina. The method with the particular altered lens was used for fullness of effect. In a lot of the other cases, all I needed was a straight edge, compass, and a T square going on a case-by-case basis without abandoning tradition or adhering to any conventions or aesthetic doctrines.
The watercolors and acrylics done here purposely show little or no emotion, yet I would say they are not necessarily emotionally stringent. The attempt was made to represent reality and images as they are without idealizing them. My idea is to compose works that create stability, working with generalized, universal, and easily identifiable objects. Throughout, there is the attempt to depict scenes of life and inanimate life for their own sake (Ice Cream Shack, Arcade, Threatening Skies). Da Vinci paints a blurred picture—you see no lines but clouds that fade into one another with different color schemes. An opposing view would be Mondrian and Van Gogh with strict lines that define the volumes of space. In the middle somewhere would be Kandinsky and Rouault. And these paintings would probably fall into that category.
An attempt was made to depersonalize the works—strip them of illusion. All the work is exclusively placed in non-exotic settings within a rationally defined space. The focus points are important and sometimes unusually placed. Background and foreground not easily defined. In Amusement Park Alleyway, the focus point is the Ferris wheel in the background. The orange Chevy truck might be centered in the foreground but it’s not the focal point. In Morning in Pittsburgh, the focal point would be the bridge in the background instead of the larger warehouse in the foreground. Just like in the Flat Top Diner, the focal point might actually be the green trees.
I tried to create the two dimensional image using a mathematical system. At times, the background and foreground converge. Natural scenery is always the main feature. These are not crowded compositions. They are using basic structures to express feelings and ideas. Perfect proportion and logic instead of emotion. The nature of beauty, the lines, forms, shape, and texture that emphasize the recognizable create harmony where natural scenery is the main feature.
I restricted myself to traditional subject matter, viewing nothing as shallow or gaudy. A simple hot-dog stand can have classical features, and I view it as such (Donut Shop, High Wire). Whiplash curves, flying buttresses, pointed steeples, arches, and waves. They are all there, reflecting any time period, purposely trying to stay away from dramatic or theatrical lighting effects, bringing naturalism to the forefront.
In some paintings, the brightness of reflected light was brought forth in evident brushstrokes. Sometimes sunlight hitting certain places would contrast deeply with areas of shadow (Sunset on the Prairie, Threatening Skies). I tried to avoid skewed perspectives or man-made light, yet sometimes it couldn’t be avoided. An expert painter is a master in color theory, which means he can turn white into black using a complex value system of colors and hues like a Mark Rothko. “The Beaten Path” however, reflects explorations in color, sometimes using colors that become less pronounced and outlines that become less precise. Other times tipping toward the monochromatic (Oil Rigger’s Shack, Twilight After Dusk).
Flowing or curved lines form another visual vehicle, suggesting a far distance in a landscape painting. Architecture itself is always a vital source of ideas and inspiration, but, always, “The Beaten Path” tries to return to the traditional methods of perceptions—things that are perceived in the visible world—taking the three dimensional into a two dimensional format using contrast, location, isolation, and convergence.
If there is a soundtrack to this compilation of paintings, I would say it could be recordings by Peetie Wheatstraw in some places, Charlie Parker in others, Clifford Brown or Blind Lemon, maybe Guitar Slim—artists that make us a lot bigger when listening to them. It would have to be that way. Absolutely.
There was a conscious attempt to dismiss consumer culture or popular culture, including mass media, commercial art, celebrities, consumer or product packaging, billboard signs, comic strips, magazine advertising. “The Beaten Path” works represent a different subject matter from the everyday imagery of consumer culture. There is nothing to suggest these paintings were inspired by the writings of Sigmund Freud or that they were based on any mental images that occur in dreams, no fantasy worlds, religious mysticism or ambiguous subject matter. In every picture the viewer doesn’t have to wonder whether it’s an actual object or a delusional one. If the viewer visited where the picture actually existed, he or she would see the same thing. It is what unites us all.” –Bob Dylan
(via Vanity Fair)