Archive for May, 2009

Separated at Birth?

May 18, 2009

Jerry Lewis (left) made an appearance at the Cannes Film Festival yesterday to announce his role in the coming film “Max Rose.” In other news, a retrospective of painter Francis Bacon’s work will be opening at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 20. Does his canvas Study after Velazquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X, (detail, right) remind you of anyone? I thought so. But what does it mean?

Lewis photo copyright Joel Ryan/Associated Press via New York Times.



May 11, 2009

I attended BKLYNDesigns this past weekend, a show of design homegrown in our very own borough of Kings, with every expectation of seeing amazing new ideas and products. What did I find? Lots of eager but forgettable projects proudly advertising their sustainability, the buzzword of unimaginative designers who should just assume that sustainability is now a given and find something else to talk about, and a ton of wallpaper. The wallpapers, especially the selections from Grow House Grow (shown, Captain Smith) were very cool for the most part, but I dunno how long I’d be interested in living with a sea of giant squid and jellyfish. They work better as art. Maybe that’s the point?

OBJECTS IN COLOR: Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Bleu, Bialy, + Rouge

May 6, 2009


Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Trois Couleurs trilogy is not only his cinematographic tour de force, but is also a collection of well-choreographed objects. The mélange of objects that star in the film build bridges of memory through color and shape and place. Because of the blur of blue, white, and red that appear throughout, this essay employs a series of circular charts derived from the cataloguing of all of the objects that appear in the films.


Album Art: Life in Digital Tinyland

May 4, 2009

It’s 1975 and my thirteen year old peer group has just had an earth-shattering realization. After staring at the elaborately illustrated cover of Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy for most of an afternoon, pondering the question: could Elton John be gay? (news flash!) we decided en masse: of course he was! He was gay WITH Bernie Taupin! Obviously he couldn’t simply be gay on his own, and we felt very sophisticated for figuring all of this out just from studying the artwork. Worshiping the record jacket was a crucial part of the experience of listening to LPs. Album covers and liner note designs contained rich fields of information to be harvested, inviting listeners to spend hours happily searching the images to decode their meaning. Today, the visualization of music has dwindled to the size of a tiny icon in the era of the downloadable MP3. As the artwork’s dimensions shrank, becoming more like a postage stamp than a poster, its role and importance faded. Let’s face it: does anyone download songs today because they fall in love with the 240-square pixel cover on a computer screen? Very doubtful.