New to my site? Here are a few of my favorite posts that you should definitely check out:
1) Synesthesia in Art and Fashion:
What if when you heard a sound, you saw corresponding shapes and colors? And that, in part, is what synesthesia is. Synesthesia is a neurologically-based condition in which stimulation of one sensory pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory pathway. Synesthetes, those that have synesthesia, will see colors when they hear sound or touch objects. Click here to read the rest of the post
2) Movies, Boobies, and Ideal Beauty:
A response to the casting choices of Pirates of the Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides. It reminded me of when I was looking at a photography exhibit at the Hammer Galleries in Los Angeles. There were lots of nude photographs of women, and something wasn’t quite right about them. The women just didn’t look normal. Perplexed, I took a few laps around the room, trying desperately to discover what was wrong with them. Then, it hit me. They didn’t have breast implants. The victory of solving the riddle stung. I had become so entrenched in the prosthetic ideal beauty of our time that I thought there was something wrong with natural breasts. Click here to read the rest of the post
3) Madame de Pompadour
The 18th Century indulges two of my biggest interests: Enlightenment philosophies and Rococo fashions. The French court was centered at Versailles, and many historians would focus on the debauchery taking place there. (Did you know that Louis XV had FIFTEEN different mistresses, four of which were sisters???? I’m sure hearing this kind of gossip back then was the equivalent of watching the Kardashians today. . . ) Debauchery aside, the 18th Century marked an era of new and liberating virtues: intellectual curiosity, patronage of the arts, and liberation from religious dogma. And who better to united these virtues and influence the king than fashion icon Madame de Pompadour? Click here to read the rest of the post
4) How to Speak Fashion, Part I
Looking through fashion periodicals and books is exhilarating. Finding that perfect accessory or dress is a magic moment. You see it, you read the text. You have to have it. Now, you are on a mission to make it yours. After a little internet research, you make a phone call. Maybe you call a friend to tell them about your newly coveted item. Perhaps you are researching something for a major presentation. Or you could just be calling Neiman Marcus to place an order. But the inevitable moment happens. Your elation turns to panic. How do you pronounce the designer???? Fumbling, your confidence goes down.
“Do I sound like a complete idiot???”; you think to yourself.
5) Fashion Critics – The Writing is on the Wall
Ever wonder why art critics venomously slander fashion exhibitions? The real contention revolves around defining fashion. Is fashion art? Is fashion a serious discipline? Is fashion worthy of investigation on an academic, social and cultural level? These questions have been addressed by great philosophers including Socrates and Foucault, yet the debate persists. But why?
Fashion exists in a perpetual duality: it is as serious as it is superficial. Creating clothing requires creativity, mathematical expertise for a precise fit, and a continual quest for innovation in fabrication and silhouette. On a micro level, fashion choices communicate individual identity. Non-verbal communication accounts for about 90% of an individual’s message. Clothing, therefore, speaks for you. On a macro level, clothing signifies economic, social and cultural groups. Aside from personal identity, clothing also gives wearers a sense of communal belonging. Click here to read the rest of the post
6) Rene Gruau:
Fashion illustrators are some of the most overlooked artists. Constant research on fashion history has led me to discover several magnificent illustrators that make me swoon. My current favorite is Rene Gruau (1909-2004). Click here to read the rest of the post
7) Art Improves the Quality of Life
Some critics say that fashion could never be considered art. It has no body of criticism; it is too associated with the market and consumers; the value of the work is lost in mass production.
But then I wonder, are the critics contradicting themselves?
There is a body of criticism – those that say fashion is not art. Click here to read the rest of the post
8) Feeling Blue
Working in the fashion industry, I saw many parallels to the artist’s studio. Naked bodies are every present in the atelier – fittings, dress rehearsals, runway shows. After the initial shock value faded, I noticed that the constant exposure to nudity made me a connoisseur of the human form. In fashion and art, ideal beauty changes with time. (For more on this, you’d love my previous posts Moovies, Boobies, and Ideal Beauty and A Return to the Ideal) The only constant is the human desire to display the body in an appealing way. Click here to read the rest of the post
9) Sunshine on a Cloudy Day
The fall season always ushers in gray, rainy days. Baring a tempest, I enjoy these days quite a bit. The reason rainy days are so interesting to me is observing the change in my environment. Everyday, I pass by the HSBC tower and look at a painting called Hefer Valley by Yadid Rubin.
It’s a massive canvas depicting the sun shining down on a field being plowed. I always enjoy walking by this painting. The bold colors are rhythmically applied, and almost seem to vibrate off the canvas, out of the lobby, and onto the street. Undoubtedly, Hefer Valley is an impressive piece. Yet it seemed absolutely transcendental as I passed by in the rain.
The absence of natural sunlight allowed me to see the luminosity of the colors in the painting in a different way. Luminosity is the measurement of brightness and radiance. When ambient lighting changes, our eyes adjust and perceive luminosity differently. Click here to read the rest of the post
10) There’s No Place Like Home: Silk in the Lehigh Valley
The Onondaga Silk Company was extremely active in creating fashionable textiles. However, they are best known for their American Artists prints in the late 1940s. The silk company collaborated with six American artists to style unique fabrics. The collaboration was described in the New York Times:
Onondaga’s aim . . . was not to turn the painter into a textile designer, but rather to make intelligent and expert use for fashion of the motifs, coloring and style expressed by his special talents . . . to catch the spirit of the fine painter’s work on fabric is a real contribution to modern American fashion. (New York Times, December 17, 1946. Page 41.)
11) Looking at Buddhist Art
Since I’m an avid practitioner of yoga, I have a strong interest in Buddhist and Hindu art. Yet as a westerner, I don’t really see or understand many of the subtle messages communicated by the art objects. After visiting the Rubin Museum of Art, that changed. Click here to read the rest of the post
12) I Voted. Did you?
If you’re interested in understanding my political beliefs, please read this post.
13) Significant Others: Jasper Johns & Robert Rauschenberg
“He and I were each other’s first serious critics. Actually, he was the first painter I ever shared ideas with, or had discussions with about painting. No, not the first, Cy Twombly was the first. But Cy and I were not critical . . .But Jasper and I literally traded ideas. He would say ‘I’ve got a terrific idea for you,’ and then I’d have to find one for him. Ours were two very different sensibilities, and being so close to each other’s work kept any incident of similarity from occurring.” (197)