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Thursday, Jun 24, 2010
"Bespoke: The Handbuilt Bicycle" / The Museum of Art and Design / New York / May 13 - August 15, 2010

Casual cyclists and confirmed bike fanatics alike will appreciate (and yes, probably drool over) this spare, beautifully curated exhibition featuring handbuilt bicycles. 


Bike builders include Sacha White of Vanilla Bicycles based in Portland, OR, Italian designer Dario Pegoretti, and Peter Weigle of JP Weigle Cycles in Lyme, CT. 


The bicycles shown are gorgeous (luscious powder coats, hand-tooled leather seats) but also represent technical innovation in the shape of ultra-lite frames, unique cargo solutions, and specially designed off-road tires. The exhibition carries a healthy dose of whimsy: a favorite piece is the Delilah Sue tricycle, designed by White for his young daughter. It isn’t difficult to see why Vanilla Bicycles currently has a five-year-long waiting list. 


Bespoke reminds us that bicycles can serve many functions. They’re an extension of personality, a purely practical way to get around town, or a statement about energy consumption. Yet above all, this collection of bikes represents the most appealing aesthetics in two-wheeled design.


[Gallery]


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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

This fascinating collection presents strange projects that have attempted to “bring out the sonorous landscapes of moaning pillars, roof-beams, haunting bells and perhaps an eek of startled mouse, or two”.


David Byrne’s wonderful “sound installation” tops the list. Titled “Playing the Building”, the project utilizes practically every part of an empty to create haunting, clanking music: air blows through pipes for strange flute-like sounds, while motors trigger pieces of metal to strike various parts of the structure. There are also some amazing photos of the mind-boggling, Tom-Waits-ian, steampunky piano-thing that controls the music. [via Dark Roasted Blend]


David Byrne explains his latest musical project, “Playing The Building”


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Thursday, Mar 18, 2010

Lapham’s Quarterly shows how artists of all stripes reside pretty far down the wages totem pole. Great writers from the past like T.S. Eliot and William Faulkner would likely be double-timing as Starbucks baristas or selling paint at Home Depot in this day and age to pursue their craft. Just goes to show the vast lot of the artistic set is about as far removed from the Wall Street baron class as one can get. After you take a gander at the chart below, head on over to Lapham’s to check out their full Spring 2010 edition.


[via Lapham’s Quarterly]


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Wednesday, Feb 17, 2010

Dark figures before bonfires in open fields. Vampires that may or may not be Halloween costumes. Animals with an extra-sentient malice in their toothy snarls… These are glimpses of “The Birthday Party”—works by Scott Daniel Ellison on display at the Clampart Gallery in NYC. These small, folk-style paintings bring together imagery from Scandinavian folklore, heavy metal, and contemporary horror to create a landscape where satanic, or at least decidedly pagan wickedness seems to be the natural state. Viewing Ellison’s work one gets the feeling of being drawn into the logic of folktales and pulp supernatural, the familiar plot line of accidentally witnessing the occult and being caught in its’ machinations. As the title of “The Birthday Party” implies, this is a world where social rituals are transformed into dark magic and seemingly innocent encounters are full of dire implications. 


Ellison is also a musician and the complexity that comes from the meeting of his visual and musical output enhances both. The folk elements that infuse his paintings with menace take on a gentler, more melancholic tone in his songs. Sweetened by guitar, banjo, and sharp harmonies, his lyrics shift from mythic imagery in pieces like “Northern Girl” and “Strange Weather” to the down-home domestic in “Raccoon Song”. In his song “Wilderness”, he asks that his heart be taken “downriver in a dug-out canoe… to a bonfire that burns the whole night through.” After viewing the works that make up “The Birthday Party”, the lyrical, traditional mood of this song is haunted by that vaguely Ozzy Osbourne figure in fringe, skulking by the flames in the painting “Bonfire”. It’s this uncanny tracing of the interactions between folk form and pop reference that makes Ellison’s vision a rich and relevant addition to the contemporary, rural gothic genre.


Scott Daniel Ellison – The Birthday Party is on display from Jan through Feb 20, 2010 at:
Clampart Gallery
521-531 West 25th St
Ground Floor
New York


Songs by Scott Daniel Ellison available on iTunes or from Beatrice Records.


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Wednesday, Feb 17, 2010

There’s an intriguing Haiti benefit coming up this Thursday in Los Angeles centered around PopMatters #1 film of 2009, Inglourious Basterds. Quentin Tarantino and the Weinstein Company are partnering with Upper Playground to present “The Lost Art of Inglourious Basterds” from 6:00-9:00pm. Artists were commissioned to create 13 limited edition posters that will be signed by the director and sold for Haiti relief. Only six reproductions of each poster will be made, so these will be highly collectible indeed.


The gallery will be open to the general public from 6p – 9p on Thursday February 18th, 2010 at Upper Playground Los Angeles located at 125 East 6th Street in Downtown LA. The installation will remain up for four (4) weeks. Attendees will have the opportunity to purchase the limited edition prints for $300. The prints are only available for purchase at Upper Playground, Los Angeles. Phone orders and web orders will not be accepted. Prints will be sold on a first come, first serve basis. The purchase of prints will be limited to one per buyer.



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