east, meet west

These Buddhist monks couldn't have found a better match for Mrs. Siddons's cinnamon-toasted frock fabric—not even if Tim Gunn had given them the challenge and sent them off to Mood.

(Images will appear larger IF YOU CLICK ON THEM. Presto Change-O!)

Of interest: Sir Joshua Reynolds's portrait of the famous English actress, Sarah Siddons, was hailed at the time of its first exhibition in 1784 as one of the greatest portraits of all time. Analysis of the original work reveals a complex series of changes made to the painting by Reynolds, particularly to the color of Siddons's dress, which was originally blue, but ultimately changed by Reynolds to the warm yellow-brown seen today.

How would YOU describe that luscious color?

:top image alexander antonyuk; sarah siddons as the tragic muse, huntington art gallery, san marino


don draper returns

Mad Men, with its intoxicating styling and set design, launches its second season tonight at 10 on AMC. Find my post from January about this smart, funny and tremendously attractive series right here.

:images nytimes

new york story

Long wait for the E train. 7th Avenue Station. NYC.

:natalie.a flickr


Good weekend, everyone. Wherever you may be.

:image courtesy of the captivating yasu at a a a


on the horizon

I'm up and away again for a few days. Looking out over the field of future posts, I see more Joseph Cornell goodness, Abbey Ryan brilliance, Jasper Johns wisdom and a blast of Superhero couture.

You know I love you. Thanks for dropping by.

:joseph cornell, navigating the imagination


Stunning visual entertainment: luminous color and great graphic composition from James Welling.

:james welling, c-prints mounted to plexiglas at david zwirner


ceci n'est pas un nuage

Since, apparently, I am still knee-deep in the Surrealist ooze, I thought I'd post an homage pic of my own.



hello, dalí

The Salvador Dalí show at MoMA, Dalí: Painting and Film, is a kick. The exhibition brings together more than 130 paintings, drawings, scenarios and films by the artist. A super-sized treat awaits you in one of the galleries: an enormous projection of the dream sequence Dalí designed for Spellbound, Alfred Hitchcock’s 1944 suspense classic starring Ingrid Bergman and Gregory Peck. Crazy fab.

And please enjoy the following excerpt from the museum's July/August exhibitions & programs listing. It's great fun.

After exhibiting his Surrealist art at New York's Julien Levy Gallery in 1934, Dalí concluded that his audacious brand of hyperrealistic paintings would inevitably be welcomed by the Hollywood community—the manufacturers of "hallucinatory celluloid." In an exuberant message to André Breton, he declared, "I'm in Hollywood where I've made contact with the three American Surrealists, Harpo Marx, [Walt] Disney, and Cecil B. DeMille. I believe I've intoxicated them suitably and hope that the possibilities for Surrealism here will become a reality."

Dalí had been introduced to Harpo Marx in Paris in 1936, and he was convinced that the mute, curly-haired performer was a kinsman in the Surrealist movement—Harpo's silence was considered by Dalí to be an anarchistic form of rebellion against modern society. In Disney, Dalí envisioned an avuncular ally who rendered childlike imagination into popular culture and was creating a worldwide brand. Finally, and perhaps most curiously, the inclusion of DeMille signals Dalí's own preference for epic historical and religious motifs that teeter on the line between daring modernity and drippy kitsch.

:la rêve (the dream), 1931 - you won't find this painting in the moma show. it belongs to the cleveland museum of art's permanent collection. as fate would have it, i saw the painting in a touring exhibition (monet to picasso) while away on vacation last month; frames from spellbound via dave & bry's flickr


Good weekend, everyone. Wherever you may be.




I woke up this morning with visions of Brigitte Bardot dancing in my head. Go figure.

:top image from shalako; no worries - no one else has heard of it either.


surreal fashion

Last year, the V&A devoted an entire exhibition to Surrealism. Gems such as Schiaparelli's Skeleton dress and Dali's Ruby Lips brooch were presented with 300 (or so) other iconic paintings, photographs, films and objets. I've gathered images of the original Surrealist works that inspired some of the V&A fashion shots - so you can see them sidled up to each other.

The term 'surrealism' was first coined in 1917 by the art critic and poet, Guillaume Apollinaire. In 1924, French writer and poet, André Breton, wrote The Surrealist Manifesto (Le Manifeste du Surréalisme) to describe a politically radical movement that aimed to change perceptions of the world. It became the bible for a literary and artistic movement which professed that harnessing dreams and uninhibited thoughts and feelings was a vital part of the creative and philosophical process. In exploring dreams and the irrational, the Surrealists used 'automatic' techniques to draw images from the realm of unconscious process.

During the 1930s, Surrealism escaped the bounds of a radical avant-garde art movement and transformed the wider worlds of theatre, design, fashion and advertising. For some, Surrealism's assimilation into the commercial world was to be celebrated, while for others it went against the political principles of the movement.

Artists such as Dalí, Magritte and Miro embraced these beliefs wholeheartedly and gave the movement a more visual slant. In turn, these weird and witty images soon caught the eyes of designers and couturiers keen to inject a little fun and cleverness into their own work. Vogue and Harper's Bazaar heralded the arrival of Surrealism with Dali-designed spreads; Man Ray and other photographers turned models into Surrealist masterpieces.

:(inspirations - from top): horst p. horst, the mainbocher corset, 1939; rene magritte, the future of statues, 1937; v&a photo of model next to giorgio de chirico's costume designs for the ballet, le bal, 1929; meret oppenheim, table with bird's feet, 1939.


eames went postal without me

The Eames stamps have been available since June 17. Way back in January, I blathered on about the upcoming release. So how did I miss it? Who knows.

I think I'll head over to the USPS site and order a few panes, tout de suite. Are YOU delighting friends, family and your gas & electric co. with some mid-cench style on outgoing mail? I bet you are.

:many things eamesian


Good weekend, everyone. Wherever you may be.

What's playing on your screen these days?

:hiroshi sugimoto, union city, 1993.