Monthly Archives: February 2019

THE SUBLIME MANIPULATOR: THE ART OF MATTHEW STONE

British artist Matthew Stone‘s paintings are not really paintings. His epic images look like paintings but look closely at the canvas and you’ll notice something is off. Things are not what they seem. Stone’s pictures are really digitally-manipulated and printed images, pre-composed and affixed onto linen canvas.

The images themselves are compelling, surreal distortions of photo-real human bodies, incomplete and segmented parts of bodies, partially clothed or bare. Images rendered as if cut-out from Renaissance painting and re-composed in blank space without context. It’s a neat trick that that in and of itself is not enough, but here, coupled with Stone’s stunning vision and imagery, the artwork sucks you in.

The painting in the photo posted above was recently on view at New York gallery The Hole‘s space at the Art Los Angeles Contemporary art fair. The painting is part of the “Neophyte” series at Stone’s show at the Hole in NYC last year.

A MADMAN RETIRES: THE MAN BEHIND APPLE’S ICONIC COMMERCIALS CALLS IT QUITS!

Lee Clow announced his retirement last week. Who? What? Who again? Ok, so you might not know his name  — It’s not a household name, but if you work in the advertising or marketing world, and especially in an advertising agency and have done your homework or have a passion for creativity, then you will have heard of him.

For nearly five decades, Clow was the creative force at a global ad agency called TWBA. And he was the visionary behind Apple’s iconic commercials and ad campaigns, including a Super Bowl ad often cited as one of the greatest TV spots of all time known. The ad is often referred to as “1984” and it first introduced the Mac. 

Clow is a self-described pirate, and he was a product of Los Angeles’s counter-cultural surf culture. He was a surfer and to this day the TBWA agency’s sprawling L.A. office is decorated with dozens upon dozens of surfboards. His rebel worldview shaped his approach to advertising and creativity.

MINIMALISM FOR $95,000.00!


This small smoked-glass cube by artist Larry Bell is a classic of minimalism. And now it can be yours for a mere $95K. The cube is a signature of Bell’s body of work, though much smaller than most of his cubes on display in almost every significant museum collection of post-modern art. This one titled “SMBKWDEN #6” recently was on view at the Pete Blake Gallery at Art Los Angeles Contemporary 2019.


GO GET ‘EM TIGER! FEROCIOUS FELINE STALKS URBAN JUNGLE!

This street art mural of a tiger in Los Angeles is cleverly placed behind two dumpsters. The effect is of the tiger crouching, hiding behind the trash bins, ready to pounce, as if surreptitiously stalking prey. Photo by the incomparable art director and musician Raymond Hwang (@raymadethat on Instagram).

RESPECT THE HUSTLE

Mr. D. At the agency office in Los Angeles with another one of his awesome typographic tee shirt. This one reads: “Demand the impossible, Respect the hustle, Keep it 100.”

STYLE ICON & DESIGNER KARL LAGERFELD DIES

We woke this Tuesday morning to the news of the passing of a fashion legend. Karl Lagerfeld died after being admitted to a Paris hopsital Monday night. He was 85, and until recently still hard at work at the helm of several luxury clothing brands, most notably the legendary French brand Chanel.

Lagerfeld was a giant of style and the global fashion business. His influence and imprint can’t be overstated. In the 1980’s he took over the design and creative stewardship of Chanel. As a result of his tenure, the storied fashion house went through a reinvention and emerged as one of the leading and most profitable luxury fashion brands in the world.

To the general public and the world outside high-fashion’s tight-knit community, Lagerfeld might have been a mystery. At a distance, his image appeared to fit with the stereotypical “crazy” fashion industry and media and its pantheon of eccentric characters and style freaks. But Lagerfeld had an uncompromising aesthetic vision of style that transcended mere clothing. 

If you haven’t seen it, we highly recommend the 2007 documentary film “Lagerfeld Confidential.” The movie is fascinating and revealing, and provides a behind-the-scenes-like glimpse into the Lagerfeld’s rarefied lifestyle, as well as the inner workings of the fashion business.

The man was an icon in the surest sense of the word. As the New York Times reported in its obituary, Lagerfeld once said “I would like to be a one-man multinational fashion phenomenon.” He was precisely that.


WHY DO WE NEED 230 NEW EMOJI?

We need more emojis, and we need these 230 newly released emojis pictured above. Why? Because the previous full set of emoji lack the visual vocabulary for some important things and ideas that are part of our contemporary lives and need to be expressed. Furthermore, these new emoji give us a sharper communications tool set to not only express a thought or emotion, but to express identity and talk about a broader, more diverse and realistic variety of persons in more visually specific ways. Most notably there’s an entire new subset of emoji depicting persons in wheelchairs, with physical or sensory disabilities and prosthetics, service dogs, and same-sex couples. These icons are long overdue.

FAKE NEWS? YOU CAN’T MAKE UP THIS HEADLINE!

God bless the New York Post. Love it or hate or both, as many New Yorkers do, amusing, pun-filled headlines like the one pictured above are almost a tradition at the Post. Journalists and editors dream of news stories that might warrant such a funny yet legitimate headline.

In this case, “Bezos Exposes Pecker” is a brilliant double entendre. Amazon co-founder and CEO Jeff Bezos literally exposed his … er, “pecker” when he took a selfie of his … er, “junk” (a.k.a., a “dick pic”). The photo was allegedly from his cellphone and leaked to the National Enquirer, whose owner is named — and here is where the stars really aligned for the Post — David Pecker.

Bezos then publicly revealed that the Enquirer allegedly tried to blackmail him, using the release of the dick pic as leverage. In doing so, Bezos literally exposed David Pecker’s alleged scheme. He exposed Pecker.

Fakes news? No, You can’t make this stuff up. It’s real news. And real funny.

THE ANTHONY BOURDAIN MURAL

The much-beloved American writer, television show presenter, foodie and former chef Anthony Bourdain passed away in June last year in a an apparent suicide. Bourdain was in France at the time. The news shocking. We were fans of his books, as well of his food and travel TV series “No Reservations” and “Parts Unknown.” The latter was still in production for CNN when Bourdain died. Within days a mural of Bourdain was painted in tribute to him by artist Jonas Never.

The artwork is on an exterior wall of the Gramercy, a restaurant in Santa Monica, in Los Angeles, and it has become a local landmark. You can find it on 25th Street near the southwest corner at Wilshire Boulevard.

Murals of homage and tribute are not new. Portraits of movie stars and rock stars as well as grass-roots political leaders have often been painted in remembrance of their talents and greatness after their deaths. But a celebrity chef? Rare.

Granted Bourdain’s celebrity was attained near the tail end of his hands-on culinary career. He wrote his bestselling memoir “Kitchen Confidential” while still in the employ at the New York City restaurant Les Halles. The book made him a small “c” celebrity in the world of food and foodies.

He wrote several more successful books and became a fixture on cable-TV cooking shows a la the Food Network. Later, his own TV shows transcended the cooking genre and became more about travel albeit with food at its center. These were travelogues. Each episode was in essence a mini-documentary about a country, its culture and cuisine, its history and society.

We lived vicariously as Bourdain shuttled by plane, boat, train, car, horseback, etc., from one destination to another, from one cultural landmark to the other, sampling both the sublime and the touristy, while also sampling an incredible array of local restaurant fare. As a result of CNN’s “Parts Unknown” popularity, Bourdain had practically become a household name.

UNVEILED! A NEWER MoMA TO RE-OPEN IN FALL 2019!

The Museum of Modern Art in New York is set to close for four months starting in June for the completion if its final phase of renovations. The museum will have spent about $400,000,000 on the changes, which includes the incorporation of adjacent properties with the main museum building. It’s not just architectural change that’s happening. The renovations will also bring changes to the way artworks are presented in the galleries — and where — and the on-view collection itself.

DEATH STARES: WHEN CONTEMPORARY ART DARES YOU TO BLINK!

This artwork by artist Urs Fischer’s boldly stares at you with an equally bolder collage of photographic and graphical colors and patterns. Large art installations and sculptural objects are more typical of Fischer’s body of work, though more traditional, flat 2D images that hang like paintings are part of his catalog too. This one is titled “16 Handles” and is on view as part of the permanent collection at the Marciano Foundation of Art in Los Angeles.