SoMe Sky

some sky

I’ve run across alot of people recently who are just worn down, exhausted and overwhelmed by information and social media. Is disconnection and a realignment of hands-on priorities the solution or just a few days in a warm climate dipping our toes in the surf? A change is as good as a rest…

Life imitates Art imitates Art imitates Life

gazoo graffiti

I’m always fascinated by the elements that make up some of the larger murals splashed around Montreal. In this three-story high piece, there’s a very literate and informed conversation going on between artist and viewer but I’m not actually sure how many people are picking up the thread, how many passers-by are aware of the references (age, interest and culture probably being a deciding factor) and how such iconic images are woven together in a greater commentary.

Walk on by or stop and think about it for awhile.

Two Cents Tuesday Challenge: Abstract – Week 2

ear art 2

I did this with my ear and thought you might like it

Across the Bored is sure that at some point in all our lives we have looked at our pets and wondered what was really going on in their heads. We look at people and think the same thing so it’s not much of a stretch to extend it to those furry partners we wander through life with.  Reams of paper have been filled with wise words and theories about the nature of the way we reason, be it concrete or logical, creative or emotional but the subject of animal cognition is still a subject of debate.

We know for a fact that our own smelly dog wishes he had squirrel superpowers – we can tell by the way he stares wistfully out the window when they taunt him from the lawn and the way he leaps up the side of the tree when in hot pursuit. Such desire is evident in the way his paws flex and rotate in very undoggy-like fashion when he lies dreaming upside down in our favourite chair.  If he had opposable thumbs things might be very different around our house and that he forces us to stop what we are doing and stare deeply into his eyes until we know exactly what he wants would certainly indicate that there is more going on in his fuzzy noggin than “eat, sleep, bark, pee, eat, sleep, chew on something…”. The Two Cents Tuesday Challenge theme this fortnight, therefore, puts forth that – Abstract – thinking is not solely the realm of those who stand upright. 

Last week we pondered “What is abstract for you” – A concept or theory, an artwork or query, a math problem, a description, philosophy or music, the very universe  …

We would love to see your vision.

For all those who are new readers to Across the Bored, some great entries and the guidelines for this fortnight’s challenge can be found here. Need more info or want to browse past themes? Have a look at HOW DOES THIS WORK.

Two Cents Tuesday Challenge: Abstract

abstract

Rorschach’s field day

Across the Bored likes nothing better than to walk around in art museums contemplating the collections. What pleasure to work our way from the ancient to the modern in a few hours, lingering over the Renaissance, idling near the Impressionists, pondering the Cubists… but there are, depending on the curator’s choice of selections, some rooms we pass through at a brisk clip. Those walls where big, expensive panels glare at us in Webster’s best definition of art “expressing ideas and emotions by using elements such as colors and lines without attempting to create a realistic picture” and leave us, essentially, wondering why?

We do recognize most forms of artistic endeavour but there is a trend on many of the sites we visit online, both photographic and otherwise, that elicits the same reaction. One might assume by the number of purple leopards and fragmented flowers in the more purely conceptually dedicated galleries that there were a few who were asleep in Art Appreciation 101. A lot of people don’t get it, don’t care or just refuse to colour that boldly outside the lines. Does there have to be some reference point, some readily identifiable thing that puts it all into perspective and generates that “aha” moment where our brains are more comfortable being led to a conclusion? Or is it just easier?

We much prefer drifting along the stream of consciousness. With no man at the oars as it were, we are often spectators to the unusual, the unasked for, the unexpected.  The waters can be idyllically calm or we hit the rapids with such force that it knocks the wind out of us – there are times when we feel like a man overboard but there is always the consolation that we can swim to shore with the best of them. This fortnight the Two Cents Tuesday Challenge guesses that an enjoyment of most things – Abstract – depends on where one has been before and perhaps even how far one is willing to go.

“What is abstract for you” – A concept or theory, an artwork or query, a math problem, a description, philosophy or music, the very universe  …

We would love to see your vision.

For all those who are new readers to Across the Bored, here are some guidelines for the challenge: HOW DOES THIS WORK?

  1.  I will post some commentary on a random topic that pops into my head (such as the above) and then ask you to respond on the same.
  2. Your point of view on the current week’s challenge can take any form: a quote, a motto or saying, an essay, poem or opinion of yours or attributed to someone else, a piece of music, a song, a video, a work of art, photograph, graffiti, drawing or scribble – but it has to be about the topic!
  3. Please, don’t just link to an old post… challenge yourself.
  4. The Challenge will be open for 14 days (there will be a reminder post at the 7 day mark) after which I will post another.
  5. ENJOY, have FUN and TELL your friends and fellow bloggers.

 SO – Create your Two Cents Tuesday Challenge post

  1. Then add a link to your blog in my comment box.
  2. To make it easy for others to check out your post, title your blog post “Two Cents Tuesday Challenge” and add the same as a tag.
  3. If you would like your reader to see what others are presenting for the same challenge, add a link to the “Two Cents Tuesday” challenge on your own blog.
  4. Feel free to pick up your badge on the Two Cents Tuesday Challenge page
  5. Remember to Follow My Blog to get your weekly (hopefully) reminders.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Selfie

routine

I care not
for value judgements made
on the colour of my hair
the whiteness of my teeth
or height
of my heels
i would rather
let my art
tell the story
and
be everyman
someone’s child, parent, lover
confidante
muse
safe
and happy
in my anonymity

Find out a little bit more in the original posting of this photo
on the Two Cents Tuesday Challenge.
Discover how we see ourselves in the Weekly Photo Challenge: Selfie.

Two Cents Tuesday Challenge: Painting

painting

no drying time

Art – you either love it or hate it, want to hang it on your wall or throw it in the dustbin, mortgage your house because you absolutely have to have it or wonder why someone would pay a nickel for it. It’s all a matter of taste… Our first round of post secondary studies at art school were spent with the idea that the milieu itself would drive us to create works of such beauty and resonance that the critics would fall swooning at our feet. The reality was somewhat colder – yes, we did produce a few good pieces but truth was, at that time, most of the really good artists we saw were young and starving, or old and starving, and the thought of spending the next 20 years following in their footsteps paled to the opportunities presenting themselves in the wonderful world of advertising. So off we went and putting our visions on canvas became a hobby rather than a career.

The years passed and so did our focus.  Today those projects which would have taken days, if not weeks, of toiling away can be accomplished in far less than an afternoon, sometimes instantaneously. We have the luxury of technology at our fingertips and switch with ease from one editing application to another, a few swipes and saves here, erase there, rework, restore, recombine and voila, we are very pleased indeed. Our masterpieces may never hang in the Met but we should at least get bonus points for creating them in less time than it takes to properly wash a good set of brushes…

From fingers to spatulas, the Two Cents Tuesday Challenge knows that everyone everywhere has, at one point or another, tried –  Painting. 

“What does painting represent for you?” – Graffiti on a wall, framed flowers in the hall, a masterpiece old or abstract bold, the sides of a house, finish on a car, commercial or couture …

We would love to see your vision.

For all those who are new readers to Across the Bored, here are some guidelines for the challenge: HOW DOES THIS WORK?

  1.  I will post some commentary on a random topic that pops into my head (such as the above) and then ask you to respond on the same.
  2. Your point of view on the current week’s challenge can take any form: a quote, a motto or saying, an essay, poem or opinion of yours or attributed to someone else, a piece of music, a song, a video, a work of art, photograph, graffiti, drawing or scribble – but it has to be about the topic!
  3. Please, don’t just link to an old post… challenge yourself.
  4. The Challenge will be open for 14 days (there will be a reminder post at the 7 day mark) after which I will post another.
  5. ENJOY, have FUN and TELL your friends and fellow bloggers.

 SO – Create your Two Cents Tuesday Challenge post

  1. Then add a link to your blog in my comment box.
  2. To make it easy for others to check out your post, title your blog post “Two Cents Tuesday Challenge” and add the same as a tag.
  3. If you would like your reader to see what others are presenting for the same challenge, add a link to the “Two Cents Tuesday” challenge on your own blog.
  4. Feel free to pick up your badge on the Two Cents Tuesday Challenge page
  5. Remember to Follow My Blog to get your weekly (hopefully) reminders.

 

AAA – Challenge

AAA medieval

As An Arrow through the heart
Angelic luminance Assaults
making us Abandon All
our preconceptions
Automatic Abbreviations
Avowed illusions
About Art
for the Averted gaze
Asks us to Abdicate
Awestruck and Astonished
the Awkward visions
and rise Above
this Anarchy of the soul

to Awaken

Amble through the entries of Frizztext’s AAA – Challenge.

Two Cents Tuesday Challenge: Bold

bold

a glorious gift of colour

A meal at our house where we all manage to sit down together can range from the awe-inspiring to the downright incredible – it is not the quantity or quality of food but rather the tone and variety of conversation that bursts forth as if it has been bottled under pressure and kept hidden in a cool, dark cellar until it was worth savouring.  On a good night our witty banter is a fine champagne, measured and inspiring with just the right amount of kick to keep things titillating yet civilized but on others…. discussion erupts with all the force of a can of soda pop shaken and sprayed over an unsuspecting audience by some guffawing, miscreant five-year old.

Not to say that we don’t act appropriately when the occasion calls for it but the personalities that make up this particular family unit are large, they take up copious amounts of space and if one can get a word in edgewise then the game is truly afoot. The range of subject matter and the rapid-fire pace of exchange can bewilder unassuming guests who thought they were in for a nice quiet meal. Miss Z and the Professor know instinctively that anyone they choose to break bread with better be able to hold their own and with flair, no less….

The best of shared times are like the flowers that grace our table – vividly dynamic, impressively coloured and delightfully engaging so The Two Cents Tuesday Challenge lays out it out that we are  – Bold.

“What shape does bold take for you?” –  A flash of chrome, the walls of home, an umbrella bright or neon light, a favourite font, fishing cat or fearless brat, challenging or conspicuous, brave or brassy …

We would love to see your vision.

For all those who are new readers to Across the Bored, here are some guidelines for the challenge: HOW DOES THIS WORK?

  1.  I will post some commentary on a random topic that pops into my head (such as the above) and then ask you to respond on the same.
  2. Your point of view on the current week’s challenge can take any form: a quote, a motto or saying, an essay, poem or opinion of yours or attributed to someone else, a piece of music, a song, a video, a work of art, photograph, graffiti, drawing or scribble – but it has to be about the topic!
  3. Please, don’t just link to an old post… challenge yourself.
  4. The Challenge will be open for 14 days (there will be a reminder post at the 7 day mark) after which I will post another.
  5. ENJOY, have FUN and TELL your friends and fellow bloggers.

 SO – Create your Two Cents Tuesday Challenge post

  1. Then add a link to your blog in my comment box.
  2. To make it easy for others to check out your post, title your blog post “Two Cents Tuesday Challenge” and add the same as a tag.
  3. If you would like your reader to see what others are presenting for the same challenge, add a link to the “Two Cents Tuesday” challenge on your own blog.
  4. Feel free to pick up your badge on the Two Cents Tuesday Challenge page
  5. Remember to Follow My Blog to get your weekly (hopefully) reminders.

iPhoneography Monday: Black and White

knight

knight – no white satin

Shot with the iPhone 5 native camera, edited in Snapseed, WoodCamera and Camera! for iPhoneography Monday: Black and White.

Have a look at Frames & FocusLens and Pens by Sally and Watching the Photo Reels to see the originators of this challenge and their interpretation of the theme.  You may also join the challenge by clicking here.

iphoneography-monday

F is also for Friday: Counting on the Rabbit

From the cover of a 1922 ladies magazine - Image courtesy of The Graphics Fairy

From the cover of a 1922 ladies magazine – Image courtesy of The Graphics Fairy

Across the Bored has been rousted from hibernation, caught off-guard by the sudden arrival of 2 sunny days in a row. A larder in need of replenishing and a largish holiday weekend entailing some unexpected guests over the next 72 hours means intellectual pursuits will have to be put on the back-burner.  Time to dig out the Easter baskets and pysanka….

Back to F is also for Friday next week.

F is also for Friday: Roz Chast

univInGrainSand

the sound of gears turning

It is doubtful if anyone in the last three decades has more prolifically caricatured the odd and interestingly recognizable events of everyday life than Roz Chast. David Remnick, editor of the New Yorker, does not hesitate in calling the 58 year-old cartoonist “The magazine’s only certifiable genius” and the evidence is easily found in the watercolour-washed and inked panels that have graced its pages for the last 30 years.

R.Chast_Stuff_A2Zwe are all guilty

The appeal in the shaky, quirky style lies in its urban icons – the message is not lost in any perfect graphic portrayal of the parts, we instantly recognize the whole whether it is a situation we have faced, something we may have seen or just random stuff and nonsense that flies out of left field. In a black and white framed snapshot of the absurd, multiple panels spread out over a few pages, a magazine cover, even a hooked rug or pysanka, most of Chast’s work is self-explanatory, readers either laugh or just don’t get it.

5-deconstructing-lunch

don’t even think about starting with dessert

Chast has admitted that she is an anxious person, sometimes suffering from insomnia but rather than letting this have a crippling effect, it informs her cartoons and books with all those bits that we hate, have phobias of, secretly know and hide or have thought about while tossing restlessly around in bed at 3 AM.  Like the best social commentary, she lays it out like a royal flush for all to see – these kinds of reflections on existence are far from pedestrian, Ms. Chast’s style creates a neutrality, a world where we are all a little off and most of the time just as strange as our neighbours.

41_1pick one – or add your custom card to the collection

Life, whether it is domestic, family or work, provides sufficient material for Ms. Chast and more than enough to fill the pages of over a dozen books: one can lose many hours glued to the pages of the Theories of Everything: Selected Collected and Health-Inspected Cartoons, a compilation of the cartoons published in The New Yorker, Scientific American and the Harvard Business Review.

chast_theories_04

this is the aftermath of a bad mom

This cartoonist’s perspective is as genuine as the characters portrayed in her work – the typical glossy “author photo” on the dustcover would seem inappropriate and so a cartoon of a woman much like Roz herself smiles quizzically back at us.

We find ourselves in Roz Chast’s cartoons for we are her “everyman”.

Read more on:

Roz Chast
Roz Chast at the Julie Saul Gallery
Roz Chast appreciates Art

F is also for Friday: A Comically Fine Line

hoe

when communication leads in two different directions

Depending on the occasion, anyone one with younger members in the household will know how difficult it can be just to speak to one another in the same language. Inane bits of conversation ranging from “how was your afternoon” to “please put your boots on the mat” can lead to fiery flare-ups, snorts of derision with rolling eyeball accompaniment or the best of the bunch, the snappy answer. From either party involved. It was one of those days and the best option was not to say anything at all because if we did it would have been, inevitably, much worse.

A moment’s solitude was in order and we happened to be in the vicinity of the local greenhouse which we hadn’t stepped foot into since our own monsters were small and in need of some winding down. In our own childhood, the place had seemed enormous with exotic plants hanging off raised beds and a banana tree with fruit dangling within a monkey’s reach tucked in a wing off the back. As recently as 20 years ago the glass house, as the Ghost liked to call it, had a heavy warmth filled with the sweet perfume of tropical flowers in the dead of winter and a koi pond whose occupants would swim up to the surface in the hopes of being fed. Today the door opened upon nannies with strollers seeking their own few minutes of peace while their under-fives bent over a rather sad display of non-descript between-season blooms.  The air wasn’t as close and wet as we remember, the koi had been moved, their pond now filled with pennies and the dark water where they now hid from prying eyes didn’t invite closer inspection. The plants looked as though they had been donated by apartment dwellers with black thumbs – those that had once been green and fresh in some florist’s shop with all the promise of growth and sun and plenty of water had shrunk to shadows of their former glory, leaves a bit brown around the edges with blossoms trying vainly to shout colour into the wilderness of the hothouse.  Evidently the man who used to take such care, who had a gift for nurturing his green charges was long gone and his apprentices had learned little, didn’t care or perhaps just didn’t know any better. Two nurseries once filled with odd-shaped plants from far corners of the world were closed – hopefully they are filled with seedlings and bright buds for the upcoming Easter exhibition.  It took all of ten minutes to make the rounds and as much as we wanted, not even one photo opportunity presented itself – the iphone stayed sleeping in our pocket.

The library attached to this small botanical garden is in much better condition – clean and quiet in the adult stacks, a little more boisterous and chaotic in the children’s section, it boasts a lovely sitting room with floral scrollwork hand-painted around the edge of a coffered ceiling.   People come and spread out their books on the massive oak tables, study, look through thick art tomes or just breathe a sigh of relief in one of the comfortable, green leather reading chairs. That is exactly what we did.

chast new yorker coversitting quietly seems to have helped

More on visions of life as we know it by Roz Chast next week.

F is also for Friday: Views of Castel Gandolfo


John Robert Cozens
 the18th century British painter of romantic watercolour landscapes often visited Italy finding the tranquil vistas, and that of Castel Gandolfo in particular, inspirational to his work. Although John Constable considered him “the greatest genius that ever touched landscape” his work was rejected by the Royal Academy, no doubt contributing to the nervous breakdown which eventually led to his hospitalization at the Bethlem Royal Hospital Asylum. In June 2010 Cozen’s Lake Albano (c.1777) sold at a Sotheby’s auction in London to David Thomson the Canadian media tycoon for £2.4 million, a record for any 18th-century British watercolour and quadruple its estimated price.

Lake Albano with Castel Gandolfo

The above detail of Francis Towne‘s panorama (1781) is a lovely example of a watercolour-tinted drawing: soft tints of colour are layered over the dark ink wash with the details picked up in pen and ink to sharpen and highlight the details of the foreground. Unlike Cozens, who inspired William Turner and other English contemporaries, Towne’s more lithographic and antiquated style seems to have had little influence (apart from perhaps John Varley and John Sell Cotman) on the succeeding generation of romantic artists. His elegant loose drawing style and almost abstract wash designs nonetheless convey the serenity and warmth of the region of Lazio.

Lake RemiSelf-taught landscape and portrait painter Joseph Wright of Derby is best known for his canvases capturing the spirit of the Industrial Revolution. Some twenty years after Cozens, he must also have felt the call of warmer climes and the less frantic pace of the countryside surrounding Castel Gandolfo. Although a frequent contributor to exhibitions at the Royal Academy, he declined becoming a full member due to a slight he believed had been directed at him by members.

Like many other French painters of the early 19th Century, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot journeyed to Italy in 1825 to refine his skills. He was extraordinarily productive completing over 200 drawings and 150 paintings during his three-year stay.  Corot made two return visits to the country where he had been so prolific and each time returned to the same spot to capture once again the scenery of that had so entranced him as a novice.

Castel Gandolfo

The American painter George Inness spent almost eight years in Italy in the 1870s perfecting his picturesque and panoramic style.  Influenced by the old Masters, Nicolas Poussin, and the Hudson River and Barbizon Schools, his  paintings are meticulously composed, saturated with colour and include precise detail. The wide open skies and views from the hillsides surrounding Lake Albano seem to have nurtured his predilection for the theology of Emanuel Swedenborg for upon his return to America his work became infused with a more abstract, mystical component. Inness died in 1894 in Scotland where, according to his son, he was enjoying the setting sun when all of a sudden he threw his hands into the air with the exclamation “My God! oh, how beautiful!”, upon which he fell to the ground and passed away minutes later.

A multitude of artists, past and present, famous and unknown, have set up their easels and balanced sketchbooks on their knees to capture Lake Albano and Castel Gandolfo – though the details of the landscape may change with the passing of the years and man though managed encroaches, its beauty like the art it inspired remains timeless.

Read more on Landscape Art here…

F is also for Friday: A tradition of Sanctuary

the-goatherds-of-castel-gandolfo-1866

the goatherds of castel gandolfo
jean-baptiste-camille corot – 1866

Benedict, Pope Emeritus, awoke this morning to look out on Lake Albano one of the flock rather than the shepherd.  Gone is the life in a style to which he had become accustomed, the weight of the world as it were lifted from his shoulders, the red shoes and the Ring of the Fisherman accessories no longer in his service to the Church. Castel Gandolfo will be his place of respite until an awkward return to the monastery Mater Ecclesiae in the Vatican when a successor is elected.

The small coastline town southeast of Rome, which Benedict is no doubt familiar with, has a history long associated with not only the papacy but the European artistic community as well.  Painters, many considered Old Masters, from the French, British and Italian schools found a source of inspiration in the area’s rolling hills and classic vistas. It provided all the elements that more northern climes could not –  a softness of light from mediterranean skies that kissed the ground with warmth, dusty variegated greens that knew little of seasons with snow and the requisite peasants with their animal charges seemingly dropped by the muses into an idyllic setting waiting to be immortalized on canvas. The Castel Gandolfo is often small and blurred in the distance, an architectural feature that is the only hint at man’s imprint on the face of nature.

It is has been for centuries a place of sanctuary, a bastion of solitude in a world torn by war and strife  – may it bring to Benedict, as it did to generations of artists and writers, divine inspiration.

More on Castel Gandolfo in art next week.

Two Cents Tuesday Challenge: Graffiti

graffiti

many hands make light work

A few decades ago musicians playing a gig in the city would roll into a little motel with an exotic name just off the highway. It was far enough away from the downtown core that they could kick back after a show with a bottle, or something more nefarious, and make some noise long into the night without incurring the wrath of any neighbours or a visit from the police. Originally built to resemble its classic American counterparts complete with two-tier attached guest rooms, lots of parking and the requisite umbrellas and beach chairs around the pool, it never seemed to attract the wholesome family tourists its architecture aspired to. As the years passed it came to be known as that seedy place at the end of the strip where businessmen in ill-fitting suits with bulging breast-pockets, card sharks and other creatures of the night could skulk in and out in quiet anonymity.

At one point, the motel was taken over by new management but a change of name and a taller sign by the side of the road did little to change the sketchy nature of the place. With the passing of the seasons things got a little more run-down, the paint on the guest room doors started to fade and peel and the little restaurant that had once boasted a “home-cooked” breakfast served its last cup of coffee – we knew the end was near when we could see mattresses stacked against the walls of the now empty party room through the long-unwashed windows. From one day to the next it closed – no fanfare, no hue and cry from the long-time residents who had been swindled out of their trust funds, the shady ladies long-past their prime or the substance abusers with no where else to go. Like so many landmarks it just faded, still visible on the perimeters but a hollow shell of another more prosperous time. Various plans to convert the boarded-up buildings into a small hotel or condominiums never materialized and soon it was completely abandoned.

Or so most people thought. The squatters and vagrants found their way in, the homeless kids with their dogs, the junkies unable to get any further, all found a room for the night or in some cases, longer. The sheets of plywood covering the doors and windows must have seemed like a canvas in search of a saviour for one day the first tag appeared in bright, roiling cursive. It wasn’t long before each door and window was covered in spray-paint, its bold colour reclaiming the urban landscape as invasively as the weeds in the asphalt of the parking aprons. It began to look somehow … better and while waiting for the lights to change at a newly installed intersection we would peer across trying to pick out which new tag or message had appeared overnight.  In what the insurance companies like to call an Act of God, the motel was struck by lightning and went up in flames like so much kindling.

What’s left will soon be demolished – construction on an overpass progresses slowly as the cold concrete threatens to take over the last bits of green but already the first aerosol artists are laying claim to their very own Two Cents Tuesday Challenge with – Graffiti.

“What does graffiti look like to you?” –  Political comment, die-hard declaration of love or mash-up missive to the world, cursive or abstract, community code, floral ode, tag on a train, scribble near a drain, Art or eyesore…

We would love to see your vision.

For all those who are new readers to Across the Bored, here are some guidelines for the challenge: HOW DOES THIS WORK?

  1.  I will post some commentary on a random topic that pops into my head (such as the above) and then ask you to respond on the same.
  2. Your point of view on the current week’s challenge can take any form: a quote, a motto or saying, an essay, poem or opinion of yours or attributed to someone else, a piece of music, a song, a video, a work of art, photograph, graffiti, drawing or scribble – but it has to be about the topic!
  3. Please, don’t just link to an old post… challenge yourself.
  4. The Challenge will be open for 14 days (there will be a reminder post at the 7 day mark) after which I will post another.
  5. ENJOY, have FUN and TELL your friends and fellow bloggers.

 SO – Create your Two Cents Tuesday Challenge post

  1. Then add a link to your blog in my comment box.
  2. To make it easy for others to check out your post, title your blog post “Two Cents Tuesday Challenge” and add the same as a tag.
  3. If you would like your reader to see what others are presenting for the same challenge, add a link to the “Two Cents Tuesday” challenge on your own blog.
  4. Feel free to pick up your badge on the Two Cents Tuesday Challenge page
  5. Remember to Follow My Blog to get your weekly (hopefully) reminders.

F is also for Friday: Antonio Lopez

missoni lopez

The original enfant terrible and darling of couture royalty, Puerto Rican born Antonio Lopez was a graduate of FIT in New York and parlayed a talent for dazzling illustration into a lucrative career and heady lifestyle.  Incorporating the current trends in art into his depiction of fashion in the late 60s, he was not averse to mixing media within the same piece sometimes using a combination of pencil, pen and ink, charcoal and watercolour to achieve the desired emphasis on detail. His life in Paris in the 70s was the gateway to the beautiful people and served as inspiration for much of his work – credited with having discovered Jerry Hall, Grace Jones and Tina Chow, when he wasn’t drawing he was a more than willing participant in the riotous extravagance that was the dawn of the disco era. gowns_for_anna_piagi_vanity_66830406_north_545x

Gowns for Anna Piaggi Vanity

Lauded during the 1980s as one of the foremost fashion illustrators, Antonio’s highly stylized work integrated echoes of iconic artistic genres, a vibrant palette and sculptural dimension – capable of pushing the envelope in terms of acceptable sexuality, he captured the heroic attitude and excess of the times in his models’ proportions and poses while maintaining an aura of accessibility that drew the viewer into the fantasy.  Adept at tailoring graphic styles for individual designer’s campaigns, the prolific Lopez counted Norma Kamali, Yves Saint Laurent, Valentino, Missoni and Versace among his clients.

missoni 2 lopez

It is twenty-five years since Lopez passed away from complications related to Kaposi’s Sarcoma during the height of the AIDS epidemic and fitting that both a retrospective exhibition, “Antonio’s World”, at Suzanne Geiss Company in Soho and a book by Rizzoli, “Antonio: Fashion, Art, Sex, & Disco”, are presenting his work to the generation that had forgotten of his existence and those who never knew of his incredible legacy to the art of illustration in the fashion world.

For more on this illustrator visit:

Antonio Lopez
Slideshow: Antonio Lopez Opening

F is also for Friday: 1980s Fashion Illustration

antonio lopez

we were young – heartache to heartache we stood
antonio lopez for missoni

In another lifetime every living breathing minute was devoted to fashion, art and the pursuit of activities that were somehow design related – it was the 1980s and everyone we knew, or at least the ones we admitted into the sphere filled with such rarified air one walked at least a foot above the ground, was oh-so-cool and doing something big, bold, shocking and usually public.  It was the beginning of the glorification of brands, of celebrities becoming the poster children for trends and the public developing an unsatiable appetite for the latest thing that has brought our credit-dependent economy to where it flails about bloated and helpless today.

We’ve had some discussions recently with the Ghost and Miss Z about how much of what they see, hear, wear and take for granted comes out of the 80s – not to say that this was the most fabulous era, for many of us there are great chunks of it missing from our memories, but it was one in which extremely creative people thrived and produced and influenced others without the bonus of readily available internet. Sometimes it is hard to imagine that we ever got so much done…

Print media was huge and we spent more than our fair share on glossy publications from Europe and the States to feed our cravings. Loaded with enough inspiration for a hundred lifetimes, these magazines also made us fall in love with those who were capturing the essence of the era. Antonio  Lopez, a prolific artist with an unfortunately brief but meteoric career, was one such object of adulation: he changed the way the world saw art, design  and clothing as inextricably intertwined and some say, singlehandedly revived the art of fashion illustration.

More on the work of Antonio Lopez next week.

F is for Friday: Pavel Sinev

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Garten Kunst – coiled garden hose sculpture

Always fascinated by up and coming contemporary sculptors, Bulgarian artist Pavel Sinev certainly fits the bill – young, european and original, he has the knack for taking ordinary materials and transforming them into recognizable objects that easily stand on their own merit. As realist media goes, it reminds one of the sculptural work of conceptualist Marcel Duchamp and Subodh Gupta, both of whom elevated the ready-made into art. Given enough time, Sinev may achieve their notoriety.

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E-Gitarre – a truly electric guitar

Tightly coiling a single length of electrical cable into the desired shape, Sinev’s electro-art sculptures are held together with the help of zip ties. Ranging from the mundane pop bottle, vases of flowers and pairs of shoes to the more “social-statement” driven works like religious figures, Cleopatra in a gas mask and children’s toys, the artist succeeds in upending the viewer’s notion of what these everyday items should look like but more importantly, what we are used to seeing.

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Ich speile nicht mehr mit … Played with no more

It is no small feat to achieve a precision of line and accuracy of form with basically what amounts to limited materials, two hands and an idea – that the artist is as prolific as his catalogue demonstrates is impressive.  This may be one to watch…

For more electro-art visit:

Pavel Sinev sculpture slideshow
More of Sinev’s work

F is for Friday: Electro-Art

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pavel sinev, 2012 – coiled electrical cable sculpture
OR – what could have been this afternoon

Those who have been reading for awhile may remember that a few months ago Across the Bored was embroiled in the marvelous Miss Z’s room reno which entailed not only repainting but much of an upgrade stylistically in the furniture department. With the general ambience settled into a cool blue zen vibe and minimal “stuff” to clutter what was to become a fresh start on many fronts, it has for the most part and as much as can be expected from the age of the occupant, remained relatively intact – except for one little detail.
In our haste to not paint over the halogen light fixture, it was removed without any thought about which wire would eventually have to be reconnected to which. Now on most days we are a bit of a stickler about organization whether it appears outwardly so or not, and if we had been working alone little bits of coloured tape would have been attached to the respective wires so we would know what was what – but, someone was rushing us and it just didn’t happen… the plan was to replace said ceiling light with something more befitting the new improved space but 4 months, 8 hardware/big-box stores and at least that many debates about style later, no new lamp.
Winter days in this part of the country can be grey at best and the floor lamp and mood lighting just weren’t cutting it so a drastic decision had to be made – the halogen would go back up until a new source of illumination was found. Anyone who has ever played this domestic game will tell you that taking a fixture down is infinitely easier than getting it back up – the first is usually a one-person operation whereas the second involves 4 hands, a step ladder, much cursing and minimal visibility. Miss Z being suspiciously unavailable for reinstallation purposes, we were forced to ask the Professor for help…
Not a good idea.
We usually do anything house/tool/craft/repair-related alone.
With good reason.

Lucky the breakers were off – let there be light….

Perhaps more on art and electricity next week.