Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Face Near You



Sometimes art raises questions.
Sometimes artistic expression is political.
Sometimes art provokes.
Sometimes art conveys joy where we would not expect joy to exist.

Guerrilla art. Pervasive art. Both terms describe works by JR, a twenty seven year old French artist who was just awarded the 2011 TED prize - $100,000 and a chance to change the world. (Last year's recipient was Jamie Oliver whose wish was to change the way the world eats.)

The trailer above for JR's Women Are Heroes film (shown at the Cannes Film Festival in 2010) is intense. It explores the dignity (or indignity) of women who are often targets during conflict. This is the theme of JR's 2008 Women Are Heroes exhibition where he photographed the faces of women from different parts of Africa who had each suffered much hardship. He then posted the photos in huge format in their own cities - in the streets, on buses, on the sides of buildings. The exhibition and the film both express pain and joy in the midst of art, culture and politics.

As far as JR's exhibitions go, I would love to hear your response to the question - which is the actual art  - the original photograph or the installation? There can be no doubt that effects of each are very different.

To see more about and from JR, but not to actually see him as prefers anonymity, click here to visit his website. There are images from other exhibitions and it is a real treat.

Friday, October 22, 2010

So Very Happy Chic

I love this book from Jonathan Adler - each page is a new smile on my face. It has terrific pictures of his various interior designs and the color combos are sure to please. He also gives specific paint colors and combinations that are tried and true. So fabulous!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Making Mulberry Paper

Handmade paper - in this instant from Israel - has great texture, color and is Au Natural!
The fiber from the Mulberry plant was used to make the paper here in this video. One can throw in a variety colorful petals, leaves and other natural items to mix in with the pulp - asparagus leaves, pressed flowers for example - thereby creating an interesting canvas. Each piece is unique and I love using the paper as wrap - a wrap on an invite or as gift wrap for a present. Here in the studio we see paper used as a wall hangings, lamp shades and, of course, as just paper.

It was a lot of fun and thank you Eliana for acting as my interpreter along the way because, while English was not a problem, I am not fluent in Hebrew. And thanks to Timna Neumann, owner of Tut Neyar (in Zichron Ya'acov) for a very informative and fun afternoon, I am sure to be back.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Yes, I Love Orange

If you don't already know, orange is one of my favorite colors. It presents itself in so many ways, especially this time of year on the East Coast. While the orange exterior color below is not as vibrant as I usually like, I do wonder if they painted the building during the fall - it is such a perfect match of canvas to the trees.

Yes, I did pull over to photograph this building mirroring nature

A close up of Fall in action 
And, speaking of orange, pumpkins are not just for Halloween -

Pumpkin Soup  - Yum Yum
Recipe from The Mayo Clinic:

3/4 cup water
1 small onion, chopped
1 can (8 ounces) pumpkin puree
1 cup unsalted vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup fat-free milk
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 green onion, green top only, chopped

In a large saucepan, heat 1/4 cup of the water over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Don't let the onion dry out.

Add the remaining water, pumpkin, broth, cinnamon and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the milk and cook until hot. Don't boil.

Ladle into warmed individual bowls and garnish with black pepper and green onion tops. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Analysis (per serving)
Serving size: 1 cup
Calories 72 Cholesterol 1 mg
Protein 3 g Sodium 241 mg
Carbohydrate 12 g Fiber 2 g
Total fat 1 g Potassium 199 mg
Saturated fat < 1 g Calcium 78 mg
Monounsaturated fat < 1 g

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Town

So last weekend we went to the movies, Wall Street and then The Town. Wall Street was good but The Town, well, it was amazing - to me, one of the best of 2010. Aside from more screen time for Jon Hamm (a yummy Mad Man) there are so many reasons to see this #1 movie. Ben Affleck gives a  terrific performance in addition to directing this Heist flick.  Jeremy Renner (from The Hurt Locker) is so intense and when he is on screen you cannot take your eyes off of him and Blake Lively is an out of character surprise too; really the entire cast is wonderful. The lead female actress reminds me so much of a girl I worked with way back when - Emily M. - that I don't even want to remember that her name is actually Rebecca. I loved the story telling (1 small leap of faith I did need to make near the beginning of the movie), love the gritty cinematography, and I found the note at the end of the movie referencing the majority of law abiding citizens of The Town especially thoughtful.

Plus, the bank robber masks are a shoe in for Halloween. Like a hybrid between a mutant ninja turtle and a nun.