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Art in a Box

11 Sep

This piece by David Fullarton is just one example of art that could arrive at your door.

Perhaps you have the taste, time and money to decorate your apartment with style and panache. Sadly, I do not. That’s why I’m intrigued by Art in a Box, a subscription-based art delivery service. For $50 a month you can receive random works by artists from the San Francisco Bay area. The website explains it like a CSA or wine club—but instead of getting veggies or vino, you get art.

While you can’t choose exactly what you want, you can indicate preferred mediums: painting, printmaking, photography, mixed media, watercolor, drawing, collage, ceramic or  sculpture. (Everything arrives in a  11″ x 17″ x 3″ box.) You can also describe your taste in three adjectives, which the company uses as a general guide to make your selections. Check out the gallery of artworks shipped in August.

Picasso this stuff is not, but it’s still a way to support local artists and make your friends jealous. And I LOVE that you never know what you’ll get. How many true surprises are left in life?

No more mommy guilt! Turn your kid’s artwork into a photo book.

28 Jun

You love your kid. You love his paintings/drawings/collages, but they take up space. Of course, you can’t bear to toss them.

Make your life easier by letting Plum Print turn your kid’s art into a coffee table book. Like this.

All you have to do is mail your little Picasso’s pieces to Plum Print. You’ll get a proof back to approve; the book comes six weeks later (along with the returned art—but you’re throwing that out, right?). Prices start at $85 for a 20-page book; cost varies according to dimensions, page count and hard/soft cover.

Cut clutter AND create something memorable. Your husband will thank you now and your kid will thank you later.

I didn’t draw this as a kid but if I did, my mom might have put it in a Plum Print book.

Amazing work, sad story

18 Apr

Of the Pulitzer Prize winners announced this week, the feature photography series Welcome Home is incredibly poignant.

Craig F. Walker of The Denver Post (second Pulitzer in three years!) introduces us to Scott Ostrom, a Marine who returned home from Iraq with a severe case of PTSD.


Support the children of a photojournalist killed in Libya

11 Apr

On May 15 at Christie’s,  photojournalism prints will be auctioned off in memory of Anton Hammerl, a South African photojournalist killed in Libya last year (around the same time as Tim Hetherington). For 44 days his family was led to believe he was in captivity, when it truth he had been killed by Gaddafi loyalists. He left behind three kids ages 11, 8 and 1; the auction will raise money for their education costs.

One of his final images

Leading contemporary photojournalists have donated their work to the auction, which is the first of its kind at Christie’s. Please consider attending, bidding or donating to the family of this talented man who was left to die in the desert.

Learn more at

Read a piece from The Atlantic last year.

Photo: flickr/sodaniechea

Faces of Addiction

29 Feb

Check out this incredible flickr photo stream, Faces of Addiction.

During the week Chris Arnade is a 46-year-old trader for Citigroup. On weekends he is an amateur photographer who can be found documenting disenfranchised New Yorkers—homeless, addicts and prostitutes—in Hunts Point in the Bronx. I love that he develops professional color prints for his subjects and returns a few weeks later to give them their photos. Sometimes he can’t find them.

While the photos themselves are amazing, I was also moved by reading about people’s lives as captured by Chris. He writes, “I post people’s stories as they tell them to me. I am not a journalist. I don’t verify, just listen.”

One question he always asks his subjects is, “How would you like to be described?” It’s in their responses that you’ll find the most humane and soulful art.

See the NYT City Room blog post about Chris and his project.

Strip poker art exhibit opens tomorrow

11 Nov

Artist Zefrey Throwell‘s I’ll Raise You One is a seven-day public strip poker game—in a SoHo storefront window. Seven players will gamble away their clothes as a commentary on small stakes capitalism and winning/losing. “Guilt-free voyeurism,” promises the exhibit’s website. See for yourself. November 12-19 from 10:30 am-6:00 pm at Art in General (709 Walker, near Broadway).

Photo: © Zefrey Throwell

Every Person in New York

20 Oct

 Jason Polan has many art projects, but this one especially is brilliant and ridiculous and a little cramazing.  It’s called Every Person in New York. He draws people he sees all over the city—on streets, corners and trains, in parks, museums and fast food joints. In fact, his goal is to draw as many people as he can—maybe someday, every single one.

Drawing by Jason Polan

I fell in love with Bill Cunningham

26 Sep

This weekend I watched Bill Cunningham New York and it is quite possibly one of my favorite documentaries about a single subject.  I think I am in love with this slightly bizarre and immensely talented and very funny 80-something-year-old man who still rides a bike around the city streets. (If you don’t know, Bill has been a photographer for the New York Times for the last 30 years, chronicling fashion both high and low.) This movie is not just a love letter to him and to syle but also to life in NYC. I couldn’t stop smiling.

Photo: First Thought Films / Zeitgeist Films

100 Faces of War

12 Sep

Jeffrey Michael Lucey, Marine, Lance Corporal Convoy Driver in Iraq, 1/03 - 7/03

This is an incredible art project by Massachusetts-based artist Matthew Mitchell. He tells the stories of men and women—military personnel and civilians—who have been to war in Iraq and Afghanistan by painting their portraits. Alongside the portraits hang placards in which the subjects describe their experiences in their own words. Mitchell’s vision is a work in progress; 50 of the 100 portraits (some posthumous) have been completed at this time. It is an important and affecting idea and really worth a look.

See the Portrait Gallery.

Watch the artist explain his project in this short video.

Painting: © Matthew Mitchell 2008

Muppets and Arepas in Queens

16 Aug

Perfect weekend excursion: Take the short trek to Astoria and get nostalgic at the Museum of the Moving Image, where the temporary exhibit Jim Henson’s Fantastic World features puppets, drawings and storyboards by the creative genius. Learn how Henson got his start in commercials and later found inspiration for The Muppet Show, Sesame Street and Fraggle Rock. The museum’s permanent collection of artifacts is also noteworthy: old movie projectors, famous costumes, special effects props, etc. Or time your visit to catch a screening—a Gus Van Sant retrospective starts in September.

On your way back to the subway, pop into Arepas Cafe for some Venezuelan corn goodness filled with anything you can imagine (um, like shark meat). Even during brunch you will not be disappointed by the plain arepa with scrambled eggs, plantains, slices of avocado and huge chunks of queso. Just remember to douse everything in the special green sauce! Wash it all down with Polar pilsner or sangria at happy hour.

Because not all of us can go to the Hamptons.