Friday, May 23, 2014

Art Market San Francisco

Last week I went to Art Market San Fransisco, which is our big main art fair of the year in this here town these days. I was really impressed with the range and quality of the art I saw on view. Good job art fair people! This is just the tiniest smattering of some of the things I most liked--another post may be forthcoming on another Art Friday. Above, work by the ever-wonderful Susan O'Malley.

Virtuosic portraiture (that hair!) by Jennifer Nehrhass

Two big paintings displayed in a 3D installation by Brett Amory, depicting with almost eerie accuracy the legendary Bob's Donuts on Polk Street (there was no signage to tell you this fact, either you knew it or you didn't).

Meg Hitchcock (detail of a much larger text collage)

Photo realist painting (yes! painting!) by Linden Frederick

Painting of the denuded design-language of an old Penguin book cover by Maria Park

Oh-so-pleasing color and shape compositions by Amy Ellingson

The always-witty Dave Eggers

Photograph by Cig Harvey, someone whose work has been on my radar for a while and continually delights and surprises.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Always-Ongoing Poem Saga Regarding the Events of the Spring of 2006 Continues

April 7, 2006

I have on my desk at work
these various piles of paper
And it occurred to me the other day
that perhaps only I
could ever understand
exactly why something
goes into one pile
and not into another

I mean
there is some sort of
official blueprint in place
in my mind
but it is full of exceptions
and loopholes
and things that aren’t covered and must therefore
be stuck in some random pile for reasons only I understand
Or perhaps truthfully reasons that don’t actually even exist at all

The important thing is
that everything be in a pile
I was about to say that this creates the illusion of order
(people often complement me on how neat my space looks
and I always feel as if I have somehow tricked them into it)
but really I do think that in fact the stacks create genuine order
Even if the system isn’t quite all there
just the grid-like arrangement of piles
is orderly looking
and therefore encourages
orderly thinking

image source is here

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Happy Hump Day

This morning on the way to school I said something to Mabel about a camel. She said "what's a camel?" and I said "oh, you know, it's an animal, with a hump, sometimes two humps?" She just looked a me blankly. So got out my phone and image-searched it we spent a happy ten minutes looking at pictures of camels--one-hump camels, two-hump camels, close-up camel faces, mama and baby camels, camels wearing fancy camel outfits. It was great. While doing this it interested me to note that one of the related searches Google suggested was "happy hump day." And that in turn remind me of the time a group of friends and I dressed up as office cliches for Halloween--one person was "Thinking Outside the Box" another was "Herding Cats" another was "Oh, Her Hair's Always on Fire About Something" (all of which, along with "Happy Hump Day" are phrases I really have heard bandied about my own office at one time or another). So that was pretty rad. And, while we're on the subject, here's a ridiculous corporate lingo generator, just to make your day that much more entertaining.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Marimekko / Banana Republic Capsule Collection Collaboration Launches This Week!

"Beauty is truth, truth beauty"---that is all
       Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.

--John Keats

info here

Monday, May 19, 2014

Easter Morning

Mabel really enjoyed Easter this year. I really enjoy it when you gather together several people for a group photograph, and then manage to snap the picture at a moment when they are not all looking at the camera and grinning, but rather doing something else more charming and interesting; such as the twinkling gaze between grandparent and grandchild captured above.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Helen Frankenthaler In Real Life

My growing obsession with the work of mid-century abstract painter Helen Frankenthaler (see here for a previous post featuring myriad utterly stunning paintings) was fueled considerably by visiting a show of her work Bernard Jacobson Gallery when I was in New York the other week. It was a small show in an intimate gallery space--just eight pictures, all of which are represented here (though my poor photographs really don't do their luminous colors justice at all). I made a special trip at the end of my day of meetings, in the rain, to this rather hidden away second-floor spot on the Upper East Side, and it was well worth it. Being in the small room with them, all glowing away as they do--most especially the large canvases that bookend the top and the bottom of this post--was pure magic.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Ongoing Poem Saga That Treats Upon the Spring of 2006 Proceeds In The Following Manner


April 6, 2006
Yesterday when I left work it was sunny

And everyone was walking around on the street
like they’d almost forgotten this past week
what sunny was like

It seemed extra bright
the air rain-washed clean
the sky a special deep blue
big puffy white clouds like fat rabbits
the shadows extra dark and crisp on the ground

image source is here

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Reverse Fantasy

Do you ever have reverse fantasies? I mean, instead of imagining what you would do if something good, like winning the lottery, happened to you, you imagine what you would do if something bad, like loosing your job, were to occur? It sounds odd, I realize, but it's actually strangely satisfying. Though I always have a hard time envisioning what on earth I would do if I wasn't an art book editor for Chronicle Books, in general my go-to unemployment fantasy has been of seeking entry-level work in a bakery. That is until two things happened recently. One, I came across Greg Briggs' quite beautiful photos of museum cleaners on My Modern Met (the image above, and more if you scroll further down this post). Two: I went and volunteered at Mabel's preschool on Chronicle's annual Volunteer Day--and they put me to work organizing the mess you see just below. How I resolved it is in the next photo down. And it was so very satisfying to do it. So now I can add nighttime museum cleaning person and professional organizer (yes, that's a real thing! I googled it!) to menial baker's assistant on my list of out-of-work-fantasy jobs.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Seven Months Old

Looking through an old folder of images for something else entirely, I stumbled upon these three photos of Mabel at seven months old. Sitting on the bed, playing with a wooden spoon and metal pan, teeny tiny, and in her nearly-bald phase after her newborn hair fell out. So small! So sweet! And yet already so clearly her own same self. My heart melts. Entirely coincidentally, these pictures also happen to be from the same week I started this here blog. Huh. Makes you think.

Monday, May 12, 2014

These Three

Mabel with two of her dearest friends. She's known these two sweet kids since birth (hers, she being the youngest of the three), and they are some of the only people, other than her immediate household, her grandparents, and a few key figures from preschool, that she consistently brings up independently in conversation. 

Friday, May 9, 2014

Art in New York

I saw a lot of art--and a lot of amazing art--while I was in New York last week. Here is a sampling. Much more about many of these things to come on subsequent Art Fridays, you can rest assured.

Above, Ai Weiwei at the Brooklyn Museum

Swoon at the Brooklyn Museum

Stephan Powers in Brooklyn

Julian Schnable at Gagosian Gallery

 Dawoud Bey at Mary Boone

Keith Mayerson at the Whitney Biennial

David Maisel at Yancey Richardson

Elinor Carucci at Edwynn Houk

 Robert Longo at Metro Pictures

street art

Oscar Murillo at David Zwirner (turned the gallery into a working chocolate factory)

Helen Frankenthaler at Bernard Jacobson

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Continuing Poem Series About the Spring of 2006 Continues Like This

April 5, 2006
This morning we had kind of a bad moment

where Bill forgot his keys
and then was trying to call me
from outside the front door
but I wasn’t picking up
because usually
no one calls us
on the land line
And he was stressing out
and once I figured out
what was happening
I felt really bad
for ignoring the phone
and ran out into the lobby
in my bathrobe and slippers
to give him the keys

we’d eaten
for breakfast
and when I came back into the apartment
the pink sweet-sour smell of the rinds and the juice
hit me in a gentle little wave and surprised me with pleasure

image source is here