Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Color Me Bad

Odili Donald Odita, Give Me Shelter, 2007, Venice Biennale
Acrylic Latex wall paint and Colored Pigment.

This week I was feeling nostalgic about my college years, so I decided to do a post on a fellow Ohio State Alumni, Odili Donald Odita. Odita, a Nigerian born Ohio raised contemporary artist, is well known for his large scale paintings and installations. Odita describes his work as abstract painting that deals with pattern and design which come from African textiles. His paintings have been called "internal geographies" a phrase the artist can relate to because of his internalization of Africa the landscape space that he was born in yet never lived in. This merging of cultures plays out in many of Odita's works. In the past Odita has dealt with imagery such as identity and the exploitation of the black body in pop culture. He now focuses his attention on the merging of color fields like the picture above, which seem to mimic his multicultural upbringing. His successful compilation of African, European, and American Art is interestingly played out on canvas, walls, as well as in photoshop-manipulated imagery. Odita makes strategic references to multiple cultures and converges them to produce cohesive, thought-provoking imagery. Personally I can relate to Oditas curiosities about popular culture the idea of looking at an image and into an image seem to confront me on a more regular basis with the current onslaught of social media and technology. His paintings provide and interesting representation of that notion. Odita is currently living in Philadelphia and is represented by Jack Shainman Gallery in New York City.

What to Wear- When I first saw these multi-colored knit shorts by Missoni all I could think about was how much they reminded me of Odita's Venice Biennale representation. I cant help but feel artsy in Missoni. The graphic print and bold color make them seem like you could take the fabric, drape it over a canvas and frame them. The shorts are the obvious link to the painting but the bodysuit is my favorite part of the outfit. Its totally slimming and extremely sexy, while still maintaining a sense of demureness. This outfit is bad (think michael jackson) I wouldn't add too many accessories the shorts are a fairly bold print, a large turquoise or Lucite ring would be pretty interesting though, this outfit is for a very polished, well-groomed hippy. Perfect for a dinner date in the city...if you're at the beach swap out the black top for a white one and add flats or cork wedges.   

Asos Wrap Bodysuit


Missoni Ocean Multi Color Zig-Zag Knit Shorts

Badgely Mischka Fierce High Heel

Monday, June 13, 2011

Gondola, Gondola?

Raphaella Spence, Il Canale di San Marco, 2010 oil on canvas 21.5 x 47.25
The Art- This photorealist painting by artist Raphaella Spence is impressive. I have a strange obsession with Italy, I fully intend on traveling the world yet somehow I always end up going back to Italy whenever I have free time (or money!). There's something especially captivating about the city of Venice. The aqua green water, the multi-colored buildings, the narrow stone streets, the old world architecture. The city of Venice successfully transports you to the 13th century, its like walking into a text book or a historical novel...if you like to fantasize go to Venice its impossible to grasp the reality of how beautiful that city is. Ahem, back to the art, this photorealist selection may seem strange juxtaposed with the more abstract paintings in this blog but I decided to change it up a bit. This painting is on exhibit at Louis K. Meisel Gallery in NYC. Meisel, the man who coined the phrase "photorealism" meaning it cannot exist without the photograph, and is then systematically transferred to the canvas requiring great technical skill and attention to detail. While scenic and portrait artists are typically seen as substandard I enjoy this painting because of the memories I have of Venice. The realistic quality of the painting and the colors are so spot on it efficiently transports me back to the narrow streets of Venice at Tre Piedi eating the largest calamari I've EVER had. If a  painting can take me back to that glorious moment...then nothing about that painting or that artist is substandard. 

Gli Vestiti- Recently on a trip to my local grocer I noticed a few magazines seemed to have Portofino,Italy as a point of reference for inspiration for a lot of their summer looks. Portofino, which is a riviera like town, is depicted in these spreads with a retro 50's glam spin. I like to do the glamorous thing from time to time but when I am on vacation 9 out of 10 times...its about ease, relaxing, enjoying the sights, and having great food not stressing about what to wear. For me warm weather (and cold weather for that matter) calls for Crisp white and stark contrasts. I love white with black or really bright colors  or for a more sophisticated look white with blush, camel, or gray has a totally modern ease to it. On vacation everything should look easy especially if youre taking an Italian vacation. The most chic people in Italy have this ability to make everything look totally effortless...and make the most casual outfit seem like its always appropriate. This outfit is my interpretation of that aesthetic add some gold bangles as a finishing touch. A passport,a pair of sunglasses, a great tan and a good attitude is all you really need on vacation, this outfit below goes fabulously with all three of those, Buon Viaggio!    

Theory Lynie Shorts

Vince Silk V-neck blouse

Tod's Heaven Leopard Loafer

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Red Hot American Summer

Anselm Reyle, Untitled
Anselm Reyle is an intriguing artist to follow. His works are, in my humble opinion, extremely visually appealing with their bright colors and glistening ephemeral quality. However, his reference and focus on art historical value makes it blatantly evident that this penchant for high gloss, larger than life color and texture is a clear ironic reference. Nevertheless it serves its purpose in being shiny and getting my attention. In this group of  works Reyle used foil covered canvas surrounded by 1 foot deep boxes of plexiglass. Its an interesting dichotomy to make an in your face tactile kinestetic work and cover it with a plexiglass box. I think it gives the viewer an opportunity to reflect on consumption. Doesn't the fact that its surrounded by the box make you that much more excited to see it without the box? Just like the items below for some of us the more unattainable something is the more desirable it is. Not an unusual theme in art but definitely an important one.

Clothes- The clothes are a literal interpretation of the work. Colorful, bright, shiny, bold and tactile. Some of you may recall this dress from the movie Sex and the City 2. Carrie rocks this dress barefoot on the beach in morrocco and it looked stellar. This Halston Heritage dress is seen in many forms throughout the movie, not surprising since SJP not only designs for the brand but has an equity stake in it as well(kudos on that genius product placement miss parker). This dress conjures up images of bianca jagger at Studio 54 dancing and sipping champagne on a shiny dance floor. However,paired with the clog platforms and some tribal inspired bangles it takes on a little bit less of a glamorous feel
 and a little bit more of a bohemian vibe. An orange silk, accordian pleated floor length dress just oozes jetsetter. *Helpful Tip:If you fly coach while wearing this dress you will burst into flames.  

Halston Heritage Iconic Pleated Long Dress $299.99

Zigi NY Kat Clog $49.95

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Millions of Peaches, Peaches for me

Piotr Uklanski Untitled (Agnes) 2002
The Art- Piotr Uklanski's Untitled work is one of my favorites.  Untitled (Agnes) is a piece that is done with crayon shavings and plexiglass. This work makes me nostalgic for those days in art school when we had a free day to do whatever we wanted and somehow everyone ended up melting things...and for me that always meant crayons! I think this ties into what makes Piotr Uklanski's work really exceptional. His ability to mix something seemingly mundane like crayons into fine art is what makes his art intresting and actually fun to look at. This work tiptoes the line between painting and sculpture as well which adds to the complexity of the work. The crayon shavings also add a sense of whimsicality to the work, the tiny bursts of color just make this piece burst with energy and vibrance. This picture does not do the actual piece justice and it (obviously) needs to be seen in person and hopefully this post will inspire you to do so. Uklanski whose interests lie in film, pop culture, and history has a diverse portfolio of work yet they all seem to mesh well. Uklanski's ability to combine high and low and take ordinary and make it unusual and avant garde is what makes his work interesting.

The Duds- Peach, peach peach! I'm in love with colored jeans...however, the highlighter colored jean trend that came and went a while ago didn't really work for me but I am in love with these pretty pastel jeans. I think this outfit like the art above tiptoes a line, with the switch of a few items the outfit can go from casual to dressy very easily. The color palette while very muted stays bold with the fun Missoni pattern. The simple nude shoe is a tad more interesting with the gold flecks which mimics the red flecks and pops of color and sheen in the piece. Add a cute clutch or go hands free with Gisele waves for a chic and polished bohemian look. Whimsical and free just like the beautiful piece above that inspired the outfit!

Golden 1/2 Sleeve Lurex Cardigan
Missoni Golden 1/2 Sleeve cardigan

Cheap Monday Coloured Skinny Jeans 
Marissa Flat Sandal
Mark +James by Badgley Mischka
Marissa Flat Sandal

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Baldessari and Leopard Booties

John Baldessari
Raised Eyebrows, Furrowed Foreheads
(Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Violet), 2008
 The Art- John Baldessari, Raised Eyebrows Furrowed Foreheads (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Violet) 2008. This work by Baldessari is one of my favorites. Its important to note that this is not a painting and that Baldessari did, in fact, denounce painting in 1970 declaring the death of painting in his body of work. He later used photography and pulled images from mass media since he declared in the title of his first print that he would "Not Make Any More Boring Art." Many of the images in Raised Eyebrows/Furrowed Foreheads use famous faces yet they are shielded in annonymity. His use of color in the photo helps add to the mystery of the faces as well as to the humourous qualiity of the photo. His addition of color to the black and white photos  takes a moody photo and makes it instantly interesting. It is important to note the size and scale of this work is much larger in person and that the eyebrows appear above the surface while the furrows are 3/4 of an inch below the surface, influencing the texture and feel of the work. The highlite on the eyebrows and forehead accentuate the defragmented aspect of the work and accentuates Baldessari's concern with the idea of the part and the whole.

The Duds- This outfit is one that I actually wore this weekend and was inspired by this work of art. The color pairings in the photo and the restrictive yet well composed quality of the main theme of this work inspired a look that reflected the same minimal yet impactful quality. I know to some this may seem like a pretty out there outfit and not exactly minimal(yellow, blue, and leopard), but for my wardrobe my neutral is definitely leopard and blue and yellow is a standard color combo for me. I accesorized this like with a tan clutch and a skinny navy blue patent belt.

Gap Chambray Shirt
Sparkle and Fade A-Line Ponte Skirt

Charlotte Olympia Alice Leopard Booties.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

America, F#$@ Yeah

© Anthony Anabile, Americana 2001, 30" x 72", oil on canvas

The Art- This painting Americana by Anthony Amabile is so moving and was to me one of the most interesting pieces of art to come out of the plethora of fine art inspired by the September 11th tragedy. The artists aim to create the sense of helplessness the victims and heroes felt at that time is undeniable. The figures with the covered faces and bound hands emulate that sense of shame and humiliation that I think we all felt as a human race that day.  I don't think it was until this year that I realized what the world was really about. I remember September 11th and where I was and now I remember where I was when Bin Laden was announced dead. Growing up I was quite interested in the music and times of the 60's and 70's. The social change, civil rights, the music the clothes it all seemed so important and substantial. Compared to those times it didn't really seem like my generation had anything that monumental going on. Now, with the state of our country I realize that this is the struggle of my generation. The growing gap between the rich and the poor, an obsession with pseudo "celebrities", a war on terrorism, consumerism, and seemingly the middle class. These are the issues of my generation. This is what I thought about when I heard the news on Sunday evening. I would be lying if I said I was not slightly happy but I think I was more afraid of what is to come. The artist says about the painting "The type of prison inflicted by terrorism and acts of violence may not have walls, cages, or shackles in a physical sense but the effect on the spirit is similar." I would have to agree, but even with that said there really is no better place to live than the USA (cue the God Bless America tape now please).  

The Duds- Classic American sportswear with a hint of military influence to rep all the troops that pulled off the (no longer) impossible in Pakistan over the weekend and over the last few years. Add a lightweight silk blouse and cuff the sleeves to pull this outfit together. Accessorize with your camera and take a picture of the beautiful and spacious skies.

Trench Flak Vest jcrew.com

grey shorts-true religion keira short in stone grey
True Religion Keira Short zappos.com
River Island Safina Ankle Western Boot us.asos.com

Monday, May 2, 2011

Lay Off of My Blue Suede Shoes

Sam Francis Blue Balls, 1960
The Art- Sam Francis is an American Abstract Expressionist born in San Mateo, California. His series of  Blue Ball paintings were done between 1960 and 1964. I decided to discuss this painting today because of what a gorgeous spring day it is outside. The cloud shapes in the sky reminded me of this particular painting. I love how Francis focuses the color around the edge of the canvas a rather different choice that I believe gives the painting a more complex visual stance. The position of the amoeba like blue shapes suggests fluid movement as if they are slowly radiating off the canvas. This is a serious contrast however from the inspiration used by Francis for this painting. Sam Francis was suffering with renal tuberculosis which caused him to have dysfunctional kidneys and enlarged testicles. This series of paintings was a reflection of the actual pain he was going through. Before his move back to the states in 1961 Francis lived in Japan where he was said to be influenced by Zen Buddhism, perhaps this is what helped him through the pain of his illness and is a reflection of the calm we find in this painting. 

The Duds- This painting is simple and beautiful and its dealing with space is complex and interesting. This Versace dress is no different. The dress is impeccably made and with its knee length sheath its quite conservative. The cutouts, however, are definitely worth of blue balls. I love how it mimics the painting with the interest being brought to the outer edge of the dress (the cutouts). I'm a minimalist type dresser so I opt for one absolutely amazing accessory with a really cool detail or in a very rich color, I would accessorize with a bold blue bangle and killer heels (blue suede shoes to be precise). Should you encounter any problems while wearing this dress just remind him a cold shower should do the trick.  

Versace Cap Sleeve
Cutout dress versace.com

blue bracelets-kara by kara ross belted python cuff
Kara by Kara Ross
495.00 bergdorfgoodman.com 

blue shoes-emilio pucci 706984
Emilio Pucci 906.50