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"A verbal art like poetry is reflective; it stops to think. Music is immediate, it goes on to become." - W.H. Auden

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Split Rocker Snow Globe by Jeff Koons

January 2nd, 2014

Forget the million dollar sculptures and paintings and let’s bring things back to earth … how would you like to add a Jeff Koons to your art collection for a mere $350? Yes, indeed, it’s truly possible if you have a thing for snow globes. Jeff Koons has taken a break from high art in order to bring his art to the masses with this new piece … no word yet on whether it’s a limited edition or not, but it’s taking his monumental Split Rocker flower piece and shrinking it down to something that fits inside of a small plastic ball. Oh Jeff, what will you think of next?

Split Rocker Snow Globe by Jeff Koons


Edvard Munch is Screaming out of a Tuba

January 1st, 2014

As I was wandering through Hunt & Gather, an antiques store in Minneapolis, I noticed a small figure protruding from the bell of a tuba … and who should it be? None other than an inflatible “Scream” figure, based on Edvard Munch’s famous painting. Poor Munch, he never had any idea his painting would spawn everything from dresses to sushi rolls.

inflatible Munch Scream figure inside a tuba at Hunt & Gather in Minneapolis


Pop art and perfume at the Newark Airport

January 1st, 2014

When we went home for the holidays, we flew out of the Newark Airport. While waiting for our plane to begin boarding, I noticed a big picture window for a fragrance store, and these two items caught my attention: a Ralph Lauren Polo fragrance that had the boxes colored in bright, multi-color combinations … while these color schemes and the images were not made by Andy Warhol, they certainly mimic the look of some of his work, where he would use the same motif several times on the same canvas but with different colors. And at right we have some sort of perfume container with Keith Haring drawings on the top … I don’t have any interest in the perfume or cologne, but I wouldn’t mind having that Haring vessel to place on a shelf.

Ralph Lauren Polo perfume boxes in the style of Andy Warhol, and perfume bottle with Keith Haring drawing


The Bad Plus in concert

December 31st, 2013

Over the holiday break I had a chance to see The Bad Plus in concert at the Dakota Jazz Club in Minneapolis. It was a very enjoyable show, they played a number of their classics as well as a group of new material … my only complaint was that I wish the set went longer than 70 minutes as I didn’t want the gig to end!

If you’re in the mood for jazz and are in NYC, skip the mayhem at Times Square tonight and go see The Bad Plus at the Village Vanguard, although I wouldn’t be surprised if the show is already sold out. But they continue to play nightly gigs at the Vanguard though January 5th, and then move on for a 4 night run in St. Louis. To check their upcoming schedule, visit their website here.

And if you want to know what the kids think about The Bad Plus, check out this cartoon here.

jazz trio The Bad Plus at the Dakota Jazz Club and Restaurant in Minneapolis

The Bad Plus are (from left): Ethan Iverson on piano, Reid Anderson on bass, and David King on drums


The Face Transformer Tool

December 20th, 2013

I happened upon a nifty little online tool, called the “Face Transformer,” which was created by the computer science department at the University of St. Andrews in Fife, Scotland. Using this tool, you can upload a picture of a person’s face and transform it … you can change the person’s ethnicity, see how they might look as a baby, and many other tricks. So we decided to use their “Modigliani” transformation and see what Julia Roberts might have looked like if Modigiliani had painted her. What do you think? Then we decided to see what would happen if Miley Cyrus was transformed into a half-woman-half-chimp … scroll down to take a look at that one!

The Face Transformer Tool with actress Julia Roberts turned into a Modigliani

using a face transformer tool to change Miley Cyrus into a half chimp


Modigliani – or Akhenaton – in Madison Avenue store window

December 20th, 2013

There’s a store on Madison Avenue in NYC (near 90th Street, I think it was), which seems to like their mannequins look like characters out of a Modigiliani painting. We saw one there last March (see this comparison), and happened upon this one, below, just this past weekend. Although now that I’m looking at a comparison again, I’m wondering if she looks more like a Modigliani, or like King Akheneton? Maybe she’s the offspring of a Modigliani-Akhenaten union?

does the mannequin look like Modigliani or King Akhenaten


A puddle reminds me of a Matisse cutout figure

December 19th, 2013

As I was walking the dogs today, a small puddle on the slate sidewalk caught my attention … I thought it looked like a Matisse cutout, which you can see examples of below, flanking both sides of my discovery. What do you think? Can you see the joyful head rearing back, the left arm overhead, the right arm hanging down by the right knee, and the two legs kicking back?

It’s not the first time I’ve seen funny things on the slate sidewalks of Glen Ridge, NJ … I once found a group of “Rorschach Art” works … another time I found a Takashi Murakami head … another time I saw an Adolf Gottlieb made out of bubble gum … and last but not least, a Hokusai Wave on the sidewalk. I never realized that just walking the dogs around the neighborhood would reveal so much art!

a puddle on the slate sidewalk looks like a Matisse cutout figure


Jamming with the Festive Funk Machine, courtesy of MOO

December 19th, 2013

This is a very fun web-gadget, the Festive Funk Machine, courtesy of MOO, an online printer. All you need to do is click on one of the characters or instruments, and you can create your own song. If you would like to hear the song I made, click on these characters in the order listed below …

MOO and The Festive Funk Machine, an online music maker


DJ Logic and his “Project Logic”

December 19th, 2013

Thanks to Spotify, there’s a non-stop opportunity to discover new music … and today this jam (“Beanie Man”) came on, and I like it so much I wanted to share it here. DJ Logic (born 1972 as Jason Kibler) is an American turntablist, active primarily in nu-jazz/acid jazz and with jam bands. Kibler was born and raised in The Bronx. An early interest in hip hop led to his using the turntables. Kibler was also interested in funk and jazz music, and began collaborating with various musicians, including Vernon Reid of Living Color. His own recordings are perhaps best described as contemporary soul jazz with a strong hip hop feel.

Unfortunately, there’s no actual video, just a still shot of the album cover, but take a listen anyway and groove with it. I see that guitarist Marc Ribot and pianist John Medeski play on this album, but I can’t find out who the fantastic saxophonist is …


Dine and drink with Cindy Sherman this holiday season!

December 15th, 2013

Are you not quite sure what to get this holiday season for the art-loving member of your family? How about this Limoges porcelain 21-piece tea service in a limited edition of 75 by artist Cindy Sherman (see inset)? It’s available for only $7,000 on Art Space, get it right here. Or if you like the Sherman image on the larger plate image, below right, you can also get that as a Limoges porcelain 21-piece tea service in a limited edition of 75 for the price of $8,500 … order yours here. Both sets are based on original designs commissioned by the Madame de Pompadour (née Poisson) in 1756 at the Manufacture Royale de Sevres. Each piece is silk-screened and painted at Ancienne Manufacture Royale, then individually signed and numbered.

Okay, okay, I know those are both a bit pricey for Cindy Sherman-related gifts … if you have a more-typical budget for holiday shopping, then maybe you want to check out this Cindy Sherman pendant by an artist who goes by “twointhebush.” I doubt that Cindy has signed off on the production and sale of these knock-off images, but hey, it’s still a way to get a little Cindy for only $40!

21 piece tea service set by artist Cindy Sherman


Vincent Van Gogh at Artsology Artsology offers free online games about the arts, and delivers investigations into topics in the visual arts, music, and literature. Artsology is a good resource for fun learning about the arts for people of all ages and is enjoyed by students, homeschoolers, and adults. Follow us on Twitter or become a fan of our Facebook page. Pablo Picasso paintings at Artsology

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