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.

ACCIDENT OR INSPIRATION: DID THIS ARTIST CREATE A MASTERPIECE BY SPILLING RED WINE AND BEET SALAD ON A CANVAS?

It’s a question you have to ask, right? Look at this painting! It’s a masterpiece of post-modern art. The painting is a major work of abstract expressionism by artist Helen Frankenthaler. (You can find it in the permanent collection of LACMA in Los Angeles.)

Titled “Renaissance,” it’s a beautiful mix of juicy, sultry red hues like crimson, burgundy, and scarlet, to name a few.

But look carefully, gentle reader, and you’ll see that it is plausible that Frankenthaler simply knocked over a few bottles of red wine and maybe a bowl of beets onto a canvas to create this artwork.

So how did this happen? Perhaps it happened like this: In a fit of painter’s block, the artist took a lunch break. On a table nearby sat a selection of wine bottles. She dined on beet salad (an unusually large beet salad!). As she dined and sipped an earthy Cote du Rhône from a glass, she thought about her painting and her vexing drought of ideas.

Suddenly in an act of frustration she upturned the dining table like a Real Housewife does a table flip. Wines and very unusually large beet salad went crashing onto the canvas as it lied on the floor. Her work was done.

If only this is how it happened. But alas the process was probably very different. And way more complex.

DYING TO KNOW: IS THE “THE BLUE WHALE” THE POSTER CHILD OF LATE MODERNISM?

Is this building the poster child for late-modernism? No, it isn’t. But maybe it should be. It’s certainly one of the boldest, loudest manifestations of late modernism. (A more agreeable candidate for this distinction of “poster child” might be the Citicorp Building in New York City.)

The building pictured is known as “the Blue Whale.” Officially it’s the Center Blue building of the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, in Los Angeles. Unlike many late-modernist style buildings, which sprung from the legacy of sleek, glass-skinned, minimalist International Style office towers and architect Mies van de Rohe, the Blue Whale is not a tall, slender tower. It’s a relatively low-slung structure with a long footprint many times greater than its height. It’s so long that it appears as if the it’s a skyscraper turned on its side.

And then there’s the color. As its name suggests, it’s blue — A bright, confident primary blue. The building possesses a neat, restrained, urbane swagger, at once cool, “designery” and unabashedly unconventional. It’s a landmark that immediately would stand out in a police line-up of late-modern buildings.

CLASSIC, VINTAGE, CREEPY AF VAN

We saw this van parked in the far corner of the sprawling parking lot at our gym in Los Angeles yesterday. Is this not one of the creepiest-looking vans you’ve ever laid your eyes upon? The vehicle seems like a late 1970s or ‘80s make. It’s likely from an American automaker or brand like GM or Chevy. Needless to say, it’s a classic. The van would perfectly fit into a period film like Boogie Nights or Fast Times at Ridgement High. In any case, it’s creepy AF. Furthermore, its sketchy circumstances give it a kind of serial-killer vibe. However, in the right hands, with a little cleaning-up, it could be a spectacular retro-hipster surfer wagon. In a few short weeks it could ready for #vanlife Instagram glory. Wonder what the owners would sell it for?

EPIC! MARK BRADFORD’S “160 PORTRAIT TONE”

This epic painting is by Los Angeles-based artist Mark Bradford. Its title is “160 Portrait Tone.” LACMA is showing the painting in a place of prominence. When you see it at first, the artwork hits you full force with its giant scale. Its gritty aesthetic — bold, typographically distressed sans-serif words — overwhelms you when you enter the museum’s sprawling Resnick Pavilion.

YOU HAD US AT “HELLO…”

The artist Roy Lichtenstein is a giant of post-modern art, and, more precisely, the pop-art era of the 1960s. His iconic body of work is mostly comprised of paintings that took the visual language of newspaper comic strips and playfully re-contextualized the imagery and style of comics, literally reframing them with starker, deeper — and funny — readings. It seems like every modern-art museum collection in the world has at least one of Lichtenstein’s iconic paintings. Not to sound dismissive, but sometimes it’s feels like if you seen one, you’ve seen them all. But one of his best and atypical comics painting is the one posted here. “Hello…” happens to be on view as part of the permanent collection at LACMA in Los Angeles. It’s one of our favorites and, like all these artworks, open to interpretation. The viewers can read into the artwork what they will. To us, the woman’s “Hello” suggests a kind of loneliness and search for human connectivity.

ESSENTIAL LIGHT BEDTIME READING

The latest issues of the magazines Monocle, the Surfer’s Journal, and — most exciting — Juxtapoz with photo of recent artwork by KAWS. Got the bases covered here: Art, design, and surfing. Only thing missing is a cup of espresso, but we try to avoid coffee before bedtime! Haha! 😉

“NOH”

“Noh” is a poster designed by Los Angeles-based Japanese designer Takenobu Igarashi. Using a mix of Roman and Japanese characters, and referencing the traditional Japanese noh theater genre, Igarashi’s design looks like graffiti art at first glance. The poster was designed for the Asian Performance Arts Institute at UCLA in 1981. The aesthetic was way ahead of its time and has a futuristic dimension that was prescient of design trends to come in the decades that followed.