Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Louise Bourgeois

Louise Bourgeois has got to be one of my all time favorite artists. Not only does her work have conceptual depth and striking beauty, she's also a feisty 97-year-old feminist full of spirit and spitfire. So, needless to say, it was such a treat to discover her "Crouching Spider" sculpture just a few feet from the San Francisco Ferry Building during my recent trip to California. Last year the Guggenheim mounted a huge retrospective of her work here in NYC and, after making a stop at the MOCA in Los Angeles, it's currently on view thru May 17th at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington DC. If you're in the area you MUST check it out. Can't make it to DC? Get a jump on the crowds and add "Louise Bourgeois: The Spider, The Mistress and The Tangerine" to your Netflix queue. Available in June on DVD, I promise this documentary will make you love Louise as much as I do. Any older woman who can pull off haughty in a pink faux-fur coat and sequin newsboy cap is an automatic icon.

The Blind Leading the Blind, 1947-1949

"My emotions are inappropriate to my size."

Le Défi, 1991

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Book Cover Archive

Sorry for the lack of posts but I've been visiting family in California for the last two weeks. Taking off for weeks at a time is one of the few benefits of being an out of work magazine editor. Right before I left I ordered some new personalized stationary and business cards after spending the better part of my Saturday agonizing over the color of the paper, the font (color, size, placement), and on and on. The possibilities are really endless. Then in a free moment a couple days ago I decided to check one of my favorite blogs, Oh Joy!, and discovered The Book Cover Archive. WHY!!! This website is the most incredible source of typeface and layout inspiration ever. Each little clickable cover reveals the designer behind it, as well as the typeface used. Above are two of my favorites but the website boasts over 1,000 covers. I'm haunted by the spectacularly unique and inventive stationary I could have designed after a few hours perusing this site. Oh well, next time. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Tea Time

Smith & Mills

Three of my favorite downtown restaurants, MorandiSmith & Mills, and Bobo are all using vintage inspired tea towels in lieu of fancy dinner napkins - a coincidence I discovered when I had breakfast at one, lunch at another, and cocktails at the third. The fact that these unassuming linens work perfectly in a rustic Italian trattoria, a former horse stable decorated with industrial salvage, and an eatery named for Bourgeois Bohemia, really attests to their versatility. 

When friends drop by for dinner I usually break out my white linen hemstitch napkins, a classic choice, but, let's face it, more likely to be used for a delicate dab as opposed to an honest to goodness wipe. Next time I think I'll give everyone their very own tea towel. I don't know if it's the fact that they have the word towel in the name, but something about them just demands they get dirty. On a recent trip to IKEA I discovered a lovely version with a great hand, and the best part - they're only $0.49 each!!! Take THAT recession. Here's the little gem, along with a few of my other favorites:
TEKLA Dish Towel, $0.49 each, IKEA.COM

Purple Stripe Vintage Towel/Napkin by Transylvanian Images, $19, GRDNBKLYN.COM

French Country Napkin by Libeco Home, $60/set of 6, John Derian, NYC

Saturday, March 7, 2009

City Dreams

There are innumerable reasons why I love living in New York. Yes, it can sometimes feel oppressively over-crowded, a bit dirty, and somewhat lacking in natural beauty, but a recent trip to Film Forum reminded me of what New York has that no other city can match and why, despite all of the above, people flock here daily. Our City Dreams is the new documentary by filmmaker Chiara Clemente that chronicles a year in the lives of five female artists, among them Kiki Smith, a personal favorite. The film was a reminder of just how much creative energy is flowing through these crowded streets and that every day, people all over the city are dreaming up new ways of expressing themselves. Even in these tough times, inspiration is always free. Check out the film's website for a screening near you. 

On a side note, one of my all-time favorite Domino stories was the entertaining piece on Chiara Clemente and her boyfriend Waris in the October 2007 issue. His laid -back but luxurious Indian bazaar table, her traditional Italian recipes handed down through the fabulous Clemente clan for generations - amazing! The recipes are still available to savor on Domino's website.