Category Archives: Art

More about That Incredible Wallpaper at the V&A

Here’s a bit more by and about Fallen Fruit, aka David Allen Burns and Austin Young, who created the fantastic wallpaper for the Victoria and Albert Museum’s “FOOD: Bigger than the Plate” exhibition, which runs through 20 October 2019. The artists drew their inspiration from images in the V&A’s massive collection of prints.

Detail from "Fruits from the Garden and the Field"

Detail from “Fruits from the Garden and the Field”

Here’s a video from the artists:


And here’s a PDF containing 321 pages about Fallen Fruits’ larger, long-range goals,  notes on the V&A show, and lots of amateur collages.

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Captivating Prints from the V&A

The image above is a detail from “Fruits from the Garden and Field (Rainbow)”, by David Burns and Austin Young.  It was commissioned by the Victoria and Albert Museum to celebrate the museum’s current exhibition, “FOOD: Bigger than the Plate”. The V&A’s shop is offering gorgeous, limited edition prints of some of the work.

From the exhibition notes:

“For over 175 years preceding the museum’s inception, the grounds of the V&A were filled with fruit trees as part of a historic nursery that supplied gardens across the country. Artists David Burns and Austin Young (Fallen Fruit) have foraged depictions of British fruit from the V&A collection, bringing this rich heritage back to the site once more. The artists invite us to experience the city as a fruitful place, presenting fruit as a catalyst to re-imagine the city as generous and productive and to explore the meaning of community through creating and sharing new and abundant resources.”

Here’s a compressed version of the full print. Enbiggen it as large as you can to get a hint of the amazing detail of the original work.

As I write this, the V&A site says that only six prints from the limited edition of 100 are still available.

It’s big, and it’s not cheap. The actual print is 60 by 20 inches. The price is £350 ($427), and shipping is another £30 ($37).* It comes unframed, and given its size, getting it framed will probably cost about as much as a small car.

Nevertheless, Wow!

Stunning, isn’t it?


The V&A is also selling other prints from the same artists, in limited editions of 250. These prints are 33 by 24 inches and cost £175 ($214).


Here’s a scene from the exhibition. I don’t think the curators planned for the wallpaper to dominate the room, but with that background, who can focus on anything else?

The show runs through Sunday, 20 October 2019.


*I did a little research when I was checking the rate of exchange. The British pound trades for about $1.22 right now, and it’s been declining for the last decade.

If you’d bought the print for £350 five years ago, when the pound was at $1.68, it would have cost you $588. The rate of exchange was even worse for Americans before the 2008 economic disaster, when the pound hovered around $2.00. That £350 price would have been the equivalent of $700. Viewed that way, you could claim that you’d actually be saving $273 compared to the 2008 price, and if you repeated that statement enough times, it might actually sound believable.

Or you could wait until a few weeks after Brexit when you’ll probably be able to get the print in exchange for a couple of chocolate bars and a pair of stockings.

Scott and Zelda and Gerald and Sara

On the left, Scott and Zelda Fitgerald, sometime in the 1920s. On the right, Gerald and Sara Murphy at Cap d’Antibes beach in 1923.


Last week I made a passing reference to Gerald and Sara Murphy, the wealthy American couple who played a huge part in the literary and artistic communities in Paris during the 1920s, when Paris was the center of the literary and artistic world. “Paris was where the twentieth century was,” wrote Gertrude Stein.

Dick and Nicole Diver, the central characters in F. Scott Fitgerald’s novel, Tender is the Night, are based partly on the Murphys and partly on Scott and Zelda Fitgerald themselves.

Fitzgerald thought the book was his best work. It was the last novel he completed.

I mentioned that I planned to re-read Calvin Tomkins’ 1962 New Yorker article about the Murphys and the Fitzgeralds, and posted a link. I’ve just finished it, and it’s even more impressive than I remembered it being.  It’s a beautifully written piece about some extraordinary people.

Here once again is a link for “Living Well Is the Best Revenge”, along with my highest recommendation.


“Infinite Space” at ARTECHOUSE

“Infinite Space, the first major retrospective of the work of award-winning, Los-Angeles-based, Turkish-born artist Refik Anadol, invites visitors to open their senses to the endless transformation and infinite possibilities at the intersection of man and machine.”
—from the program notes

That quote got me thinking about the endless transformation and infinite possibilities at the intersection of me and my vacuum cleaner, but perhaps I was taking it too literally.

The current environment in the main room at ARTECHOUSE suffered from a long, dull opening sequence that drove many of us from the room. It was only later that the artist gave us a taste of the mesmerizing beauty that keeps us coming back to the venue:

The walls in ARTECHOUSE’s main room are 30-feet high, so the video is best viewed full screen.

The real fun at this show was in the Infinity Rooms in the side galleries, where mirrored, angled walls created a high tech funhouse effect. Seeing two people who look vaguely familiar simultaneously approaching you from a corridor on your right and from a side hall on your left, and then realizing that they’re both you, is a wonderfully disorienting experience.*

If you wanted, you could be a one-person chorus line.

Two’s company, four’s a crowd.
Look closer. There are only four people in this picture.

“Infinite Space” will run through 2 September 2019.


The Lady From Shanghai
That Scene from Orson Welles’ 1947 film noir.


*Even though those two people are considerably older and heavier than you are.

Frank Stella! Hey, Frank Stella!

At 82, National Medal of Arts recipient Frank Stella is creating some of his best work. The Marianne Boesky Gallery in New York is hosting an exhibition of some of his recent sculptures.

Here are some pictures from the exhibition, all found on the Gallery’s website:

“Frank Stella: Recent Work” opened on 25 April 2019 and will be on view until 22 June 2019.


I’d love to go, but, unfortunately, I’ve been barred for life from attending any Stella exhibitions, all because of a minor misunderstanding at an earlier show. I don’t think I did anything wrong, but they claimed I was causing a disruption.

You can judge for yourself. Here’s the Security footage of The Incident:

Celebrity Time Travelers

I know nothing about Ard Gelinck except that he lives in the Netherlands and he creates these wonderful collages of well-known people at various stages of their lives.

Read the images any way you want. Is Gelinck just showing the inevitable results of time and gravity and living, or is he illustrating the fantasy of being able to go back in time and teach your younger self all the life lessons you’ve learned over the years?

He’s charitable in his selection of subjects. There are no Dorian Greys in his gallery. Gelinck avoids the easy but cruel choice of pairing a picture of, say, the young Jan Michael Vincent with a contemporary photo, for instance.

I found these images on Bored Panda, where you can find many more.

Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp

Madonna

Madonna

Tom Hanks

Tom Hanks

Sting

Sting

George Michael

George Michael

David Rakoff’s Thoughts on Rent

NSFW:  Language

I didn’t see the televised not-really-live performance of Rent last night, but I read some of the reviews this morning. While I was searching for them on the web, I found this wonderful old recording of David Rakoff’s thoughts on the musical.

He was not a fan.

I’ve been a fervent devotee of this passionate and humane writer since I first saw him when he was a guest of Jon Stewart on The Daily Show.

Among other honours, Rakoff won the Thurber Prize for American Humor. You can see why in his two-minute Advice to Graduates.

David Rakoff died after a horrific battle with Hodgkin’s lymphoma on 17 August 2012. This is his funny, sad, and beautiful Final Performance.