Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Christmas DupliCowl

Holiday gift-giving can be oodles of fun (oooh, what would they not expect that'd make them smile?) or oodles of terror (holy shit, this is going to end up at the bottom of a closet and they're going to shamelessly lie to me about how much they like it...). Fortunately for me this year, the Gentleman Caller and I were together when we discovered his perfect wintry gift: a beautiful, double-thickness knit neckwarmer from his favorite store, A.P.C. featured on their website.
Neck warmers, otherwise known in the universe as cowls, have become quite popular recently--A/W '08 there was a hint of them, and now you can find them in such commercially popular places as Urban Outfitters and American Apparel. It took A.P.C.'s version to convince the Gentleman Caller that cowls are a-ok, so we decided to duplicate A.P.C.'s as his Christmas gift.

A.P.C.'s Cowl: 100% camel, fringed ends (claims the website, not that it looks that way), 11" x 12.2"
Christmas DupliCowl: 100% baby alpaca (which, as I've said before, feels like kittens), 13" x 12"

I bought 4 total skeins of Cascade Yarn's Baby Alpaca Chunky in "Storm Twist" (see pic on Purl's website, though it's acutally more neutral, not green) and quickly got started. I'm working in the round and currently have a 13"x 14" tube going (and working in the round is a plus because I don't have to worry about the edges curling under) We're going for a total finished length of 12" or so, so I've got to keep going until I reach around 24"; at that point I can bind off and stitch the open edges together. It's already working up nicely to be extra thick, warm, and just like A.P.C.'s scarf (which, by the way, is already sold out online).

And since Christmas is approaching, I'll be finishing up in the next few days, ready to post pics of the final piece. In the meantime, checkout the items featured above: 1. Neck Warmer, A.P.C. 2. Atsuko Cowl, Explosive Kiwi (me!!!), 3. Unisex Circle Scarf, American Apparel, 4. "Cold Day in the Sun" by Erika A. on lookbook.nu

Monday, December 14, 2009

Snag it! Tabitha Scarf in pink!

Last night I voyaged to Soho in the dark and rain, maneuvering my way around puddles and unpredictable taxi cabs to get to my favorite yarn store, Purl. I was greeted by their bright lights and delicious yarns--rich, saturated colors everywhere and a fun variety of fibers everywhere. I ended up purchasing some skeins of baby alpaca (in the corner by the cash register AND the cashmere...so dangerous!), and fondly remembered the day I purchased the bubble gum pink baby alpaca to make the Tabitha scarf.

SO, in honor of how miserable last night was outside, and how awesome it could have been if I had been wrapped up in the Tabitha Scarf, I'm offering 20% its original price in our Explosive Kiwi Etsy shop. Check out the Tabitha Scarf, and snag it for yourself!

Monday, December 07, 2009

Site to Follow: P.S.-I made this.

Living in New York City is mad expensive, and so is attempting to look like you're from there. I've been told many times you should "dress for the job you want," but even emulating an intern in this city leaves you feeling pretty poor.

Erica Domesek, on the other hand, has discovered how to repurpose seemingly useless miscellany (that's either lying around the house or dirt cheap to buy) in order to mimic accessories and objects found in high-end magazines. Ms. Domesek started P.S.-I made this, a blog in which she patches together mood boards of inspirational images, then figures out how to make them on the cheap. She also updates pretty regularly, showing you how to make budget-friendly versions of accessories and home goods.

I'd certainly be sure to visit at least once a week, as her projects are stylistically relevant AND include do-it-yourself directions. Visit P.S.-I made this yourself, and visualize yourself with a baller, New York-type job!

Monday, September 07, 2009

Swooning Over: Lots and lots of chains

I've come to terms with the fact that I am stereotypically girly: I'm the first one to jump on pastel, rainbow-colored anything, I've got a marching band of Hello Kitties at my desk at work, and I still squeal with delight whenever I thumb through my Sailor Moon manga (that's "comic book" for you non-nerds). However, there's another part of me that wants to slap on holsters and raid some tombs like Lara Croft, wants to hang out with (and dress like, mostly) those vampires from "Underworld", and wants to nonironically dress up as one of Sylvia Ji's catrinas for Halloween.

Where, exactly, is the overlap, and how does this actually pan out in the day-to-day? Fortunately for me, it manifests itself in a recent obsession with super-feminine items coupled with cascading chains. Hurrah! Pieces like those picture on the left are the perfect meeting place of femininity and a harder edge, signaling not only a love of shiny things (mmm...metal...) but also a level of multi-facetedness in this somewhat ironic pairing.I decided I had to be a part of it, too, and made the Cotton Candy Purse (pictured above). It's super soft, with rhinestones and ric-rac, but that chain just sneaks up on you, all subtle-like. Check out more pictures or snag it for yourself at the Etsy shop, then check out the helpful image guide and matching links below for more cool items I'm craving.

1. Cotton Candy Purse, Explosive Kiwi (and available for sale and on sale at the shop!) 2. "Locked Heart" retro vintage multi-chain bracelet, by La Belle Savage 3. "Jessabella" triple chain in fleur, by RockLove 4. Style No. 6FCB01, from the Marquis & Camus Collection by Sarah Kang

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Do we smell a sale?

There's been a relative radio silence over here at Explosive Kiwi because of uber amounts of work at the agency, but tonight puts an end to that. We're instating a sale, Explosive Kiwi's first ever, over at our Etsy shop, starting with some older pieces from EK's debut.

Check out the shop in the coming days as more and more sale items are added!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Special Project: Kindle Case

"Manly Kindle case" was the assignment. The same guy with the "Babies suck" cross-stitch was now in need of a case for his beloved Kindle, so he hit me up to make it happen. An obscenely long time later I sat down to put it together, and based the design on his "Big Wooly" (an iPod case made of super thick felt, which means I can keep both my dignity and pride).

I started a few weeks ago, having to hunt down the nearly impossible-to-find 3mm grey felt. As the felt was too thick to go through my plebeian sewing machine, I had to hand-sew that bad boy, removing all sensation from my fingertips. Feeling it was a little plain with just the grey felt and contrasting brown thread, I decided to add a felt icon to it. I asked Mike what "manly" icon could satisfy him (again, stressing that it be G-rated), and the answer came: robots or skulls. I chose the latter. I cut it out, sewed it on, tried making it darker, and accidentally fused paper to the felt when I was heat-setting it. Horror!

After recovering from a mistake I thought would be fatal, I ripped the old skull off and decided to give it another go. Predictably, I used the last of my brown felt on that first skull. I found felt easily through the help of etsy.com, and it's made from recycled plastic bottles (bonus points for my karma). Tonight I sat down with it, cut out another little skull, and finally finished!

See the results of that overly-complicated process below, or check out my flickr page for more images.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Oh, Anna!

As previously reported, the near-goddess Anna Sui has designed a collection for us penniless day-laborers, available at Target starting in mid-September. Images have come out of that collection, and I flipped out over most all of them. Check out the full slide show from NY Mag's blog, The Cut.

However, Nylon Mag later reported that several of these looks are borrowed from past Anna Sui shows. Is it just me who's left feeling a little cheated? I mean, the woman says she's using the ladies in the Gossip Girl cast to inspire her collection, but she just rummages through stuff she's already done in order to find pieces that are vaguely reminiscent of her alleged muses? Let's not lie, I'm excited to buy ALL OF THOSE PIECES and have my own (affordable) versions from her ready-to-wear lines, but where's the design challenge in that?

I'm left disgruntled and sans any satisfactory conclusions. Thoughts?

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Renegade Craft Fair, Bklyn style

250+ vendors who work in a variety of media and employ a variety of styles, gathered together in a park on a sunny Saturday and Sunday? Yes, please!

McCarren Park was a sea of bright white tents and was thick with the smell of hipsters. I entered the fair with high hopes, and slowly made my way around to every tent. There were adorable felted animal heads by Cherry Box, beautiful chain necklaces by Tilly D'Oro, and adorable porcelain figurines from kg + ab.

I'd have to say though, there seem to be comparatively fewer gems each year. Each progressive fair sees its number of vendors go up, but the overall number of sellers with a strong design point-of-view stays the same. A fair that once answered a variety of niche demands has seen over saturation; you now see many duplicate screen printed tee, hand sewn bag, and headband stands. It takes an increasingly unique perspective and an obsession with detail within each niche to stand out, like Giant Dwarf's headbands do. Compare this vendor experience with Bust's Craftacular, in which a limited number of participants were hand-selected, featuring vendors seemingly at their game.

This observation didn't stop me from feeling inspired, making a few purchases, visiting some recent friends at Mean Cards, enjoying the sun, and deciding that I'll jump on the vendor bandwagon next year (if only for the chance to play with cute puppies all day).

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Site to follow: Zara Illustrates

I recently joined yay!everyday, and visit the site a few times a day to see what new posts will get my mind turning. About a week ago I found an image that instantly made me smile, and begged me to find out more about its creator. After a quick hunt I discovered the culprit to be Zara Picken, a London-based illustrator whose simple designs are fresh, youthful, colorful, and my very favorite--whimsical.

Each of her works feels like a 50s-era poster, when all the elements of a print piece were layed out with grids, pencils, tracing paper, and an industrious pair of hands. She weathers each piece, transforming something flat into something with texture and character. It doesn't hurt that there's a strong undercurrent of cheer and optimism in virtually every piece, translated through pallette and subject matter.

After you check out these next few images, do yourself a favor and check out her website, quickly followed by her blog, where she's got a larger inventory of all the work she has done. Her body of work is just so damn wonderful, you must check it out. (And if I haven't sold you yet, reread that last line in a pretentious English accent. It works every time.)

(Click on this link for the larger image, for who couldn't love a pug drinking tea?)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Latest cowl-making venture

A few months ago I journeyed with Adette to Purl Soho in search of some quality yarn, hoping to challenge myself by sticking to Pantone forecasted colors for spring. The trip was quite a success, as I picked up some luscious "Road to China" yarn in "Grey Pearl" and "Citrine," both of which are a baby alpaca/cashmere/camel/silk mix. The colors look fantastic together, and I felt validated in my decision after discovering Monique Lhuillier's gorgeous S/S09 collection (though my picks ended up being a loose translation of the forecast).
I knew this yarn was destined for a cowl, and its sport weight (which I don't usually use) seemed great for springtime, as it has a delightful drape. So began attempt #1: a tube with one row of contrasting purls in a sea of knits. Fail. Attempt #2: an all-knit tube with a grey acrylic, to give it body. Fail. Attempt #3: pictured above, with a 5x4 rib at the base that turns into a regular tube. Win. I'm super stoked about it, and can't wait to finish. HOWEVER, I seem to have misplaced a small sampling of the yarn in both colors, and I'll have to find them to make this cowl the perfect length...I hope they turn up soon...

In conclusion, Pantone has not led me astray, Peru deserves props for some of the softest yarn I've ever held, and I need to keep better track of my yarn stash.

1. Two beautiful ensembles, Monique Lhuillier S/S09
2. Final cowl in process
3. "Citrine" and "Grey Pearl," Road to China

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Bust Spring Fling Craftacular

One of the amazing perks of living in the NYC is having so much crafty, quirky and whimsical stuff available almost anywhere you turn. And today, my friends, was an event that brought it all together in its full indie glory: Bust's Spring Fling Craftacular.

This year, the Craftacular was "Garden Party" themed with demos on vegan cooking, clothing and accessories made from all-natural and organic resources, and tons of kitschy floral decorations. A select number of vendors, the creme of the crop, I'd say, from showings like the Renegade Craft Fair, were tightly packed into The Warsaw in Brooklyn, a space vaguely reminiscent of a dimly lit school gym during a science fair. Elaine (my partner in crime for the day) and I trolled the aisles and found fantastic jewelry from Erica Weiner and Ach Ach Liebling, fanciful perspex necklaces from Brookadelphia, a crap-ton of screenprinted anything-you-can-think-of, showgirl-style headbands, and the cutest freaking cupcakes from ninecakes (chocolate and rosewater?! Wha?!).

My favorite purchase was from Digby & Iona, an emerald cut beauty in sterling silver and gunmetal (check out the sexy pic from their site on the left). I've been stalking them since I saw their stuff at the New Designer's Market in SoHo, and was determined to make one of their rings mine. Is it wrong that I didn't actually know how much I paid for it until I got the credit card receipt via email after I got home? WHATEVER, I had my eyes on the prize.

And I got a free tote. I win!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

It's like the gods are smiling down on us

I have inappropriate love for Anna Sui: I kept the merch bag from that ONE time I bought something at her boutique, use any variety of her products on mood boards I assemble (almost regardless of what that product is), and obsessively check her website in the hopes that her web developer will have gotten a clue.* I also don't hide the fact that if she and Betsey Johnson had a lovechild, that person would be my soulmate.

So imagine my unbridled joy when I read an article on High Snobette declaring that Ms. Sui would be collaborating with Target on a collection for Go International launching in September. 'OISC'C PASOD;LUKJA'S VL!!! Quoting Sugar Rock Catwalk's article, "Sui used materials such as metallic jacquards, herringbone, silk and chiffon and detailing with tulle, lace and sequins." All my favorites!

Someone out there really is looking out for me.

*After reading the article I quickly rushed to Ms. Sui's site again in the hopes that it will have been updated, only to discover that it has been completely redesigned! Double bonus!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Snag it! Demetria Legwarmers in grey

I'm not sure about anywhere else in the world, but the weather here in NYC has been wack. Two weeks ago we had 60 degree weather, and the next day it snowed. Yesterday, too, was BEAUTIFUL, and then today was chilly. Why, God, why?!

As winter refuses to go away completely, I'm releasing my last pair of legwarmers for the season, the Demetria legwarmers in 2 tones of grey. Now, usually Demetrias are slouchy, but this pair is more tight-fitting. I ALSO tend to go for brighter colors, but I wear so much black with pops of color, I figured I might as well make something that can match nearly anything. Ergo, I present you with this pair. Check out their listing on etsy, and snag them for yourself!

In related news, the Alexandria legwarmers are in today's showcase! Look at them go!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Snag It! Alexandria Legwarmers in dusty rose

I'm super stoked to present the latest addition to the legwarmer family, the Alexandria legwarmers in dusty pink! A few posts ago I talked about the new colors for spring, and I got so excited about dusty rose that I immediately ordered some yarn in that color. Here's what came of it!

Adette and I were able to sneak outside today and take a few photos, so I'm excited to finally post them on Etsy. She says these legwarmers remind her of strawberry shortcake, and I fully support that description. They fit quite nicely and are oodles of fun to wear. Not to mention they make your lower legs warm and cozy, particularly in this schizophrenic weather!

Check out our Etsy listing for these Alexandria legwarmers, and snag them for yourself!

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Swooning Over: Jumpsuits

At first I didn't understand, and then they started cropping up everywhere. The more I saw them, the more the cuter ones started rising to the surface, and now, I see them everywhere. And you know, that's not a bad thing.
Born in the 60s and revived in the 80s, the resurgance of the jumpsuit makes sense, as it seems the latter part of this decade is all about probing the 80s for anything that HASN'T already been milked for all it's worth. It can also be referred to as a playsuits, and there's a version called the catsuit (which is skintight, and I'm still deciding if I'm ok with that).

It takes certain body types to successfully pull off jumpsuits, and I'm comforted by the fact that the likes of Freddie Mercury and Goldfrapp have donned them. A few weeks ago I hung out with Lani, the co-author of Sugar Rock Catwalk, a fashion/style/cool-stuff blog, and she, too, was wearing one, giving me faith that normal people can wear them with confidence, too! And hey, with affordable options like those from I'm Your Present, I'm hoping a jumpsuit is in my near future.

The images above are from all over the internet, adding to my conviction that these things are two seconds away from blowing up (the fact that Lani was already wearing one proves she's a psychic). Here's a guide to those pics:

1. I'm Your Present's Polka Dot Playsuit 2. Lani's outfit the night I realized jumpsuits deserve a thumbs up 3. Frilly jumpsuit care of Shona Joy 4. Navy jumpsuit by Valerie Dumaine

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Obsessed with Twitter

For all those people addicted to Facebook status updates, God has given us Twitter, an even stalkier way of checking out what people are up to. Such fun people are on it, like the writer of the blog Cake Wrecks, Project Runway winner Christian Siriano, and comedian Michael Ian Black (who is excessively amused by poop jokes).

I joined about 107 updates ago, and am still going strong. I recently added some TwitThis functionality (check out the helpful visual above) so that if you like one of the posts here at Explosive Kiwi, you can click the button and post it, via Twitter, to the world. So come on, let's be Twitter peeps: visit Explosive Kiwi's tweets at www.twitter.com/explosivekiwi.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Site to Follow: Rebecca Miller

I've got mad respect for good photographers, transforming what is literally right in front of my eyes into something emotional, layered, and beautiful. I've got even MORE respect for photographers who can do all that while also making normal life into something whimsical. I recently discovered Rebecca Miller, a photographer who does exactly that.

I'd love to style my life with the imagination of a Michel Gondry music video or the colors of a Sophia Coppola film, and I think Rebecca Miller would fit right in as "Official Life Photographer". Some of her photography is playful, cheerful, and vibrant, while other images are moody and quiet. Above all there's a child-like honesty and optimism that I absolutely love.

Visit her website here, and her blog here. Will I have to convince you with these pictures?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Silk painting for the children

After two years of working to get food on the proverbial table and letting art supplies gather dust, I picked up the paintbrushes and applied dye to silk again. I've been working for a few weekends on it, and am finally done! The silk painting, a medium I have been so excited to connect with again, will be donated to Spiro Art's 2nd Annual Arts Auction and Gala: Bringing Art to Life. The event takes place this coming Friday, March 20th, and the silent auction and par-tay are going down in Park City, Utah (HQ of the Sundance Film Festival). Money raised goes to help fund their artists' residency programs, a check plus in my book. My friend, Adam, first told me about it and also donated his own work. Check out his piece, as it kicks a good amount of ass.

Below are pictures from the past few weeks, and check out my flickr account for more.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Pantone Spring '09 Colors

A year in advance, the people over at Pantone forecast what they think will be the season's biggest colors, allegedly helping guide designers when creating future lines. Though many companies will give their predictions for next year's colors, I only pay attention to Pantone's forecast (as a designer-by-day, my allegiances must lie with Pantone). I did some digging around and found this season's colors, many of which seem like surprising choices.

I've always been a fan of what Pantone is calling "Palace Blue," or any immediate cousin of that color. It strikes me as a little bold for spring, though, along with "Fucshia Red." You'll also notice two of my favorites, "Salmon Pink" and "Lucite Green," which are very similar to the coral and teal I mentioned in my last post. Inspired by "Rose Dust," I went ahead and ordered some yarn in a similar color to make some new Alexandria Legwarmers.

Questionable choices are "Super Lemon" (which would seem to loud if not tempered by more neutral tones), "Vibrant Green" (which I would argue isn't very vibrant at all), and "Slate Gray" (which seems more blue than gray). A few of these colors remind me of glazed ceramic-ware from a few decades past, and I'm not sure I'm ok with those making a comeback.

In general, I'm excited to see if these colors do indeed crop up. During a trip to H&M today at Herald Square I saw some some lucite green and fuscia red, but no strict adherence to Pantone's predictions. Download the full forecast here, or compare these to last year's colors here.

Let me know if you spot them in stores or on the streets. I'd love to finally see if blindly following Pantone is a mistake, or if they're like the Oracle at Delphi, proclaiming a fume-induced future.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Swooning Over: Coral and Teal

A few hours ago I posted spiralbound_ as a site to follow, and mentioned my appreciation for its use of coral in that site's design. I just went to check my Hotmail account and got an email from Sephora with the same coral, contrasted with teal, a current color combo obsession. I've seen this pairing cropping up quite a bit, and am excited to introduce those colors into Explosive Kiwi merch in the future. It's such a spring combo, and it's exactly what we need to shake off a cold winter.

Aside from being a horribly executed email (violating all sorts of email best practices), the colors are so gosh darn pretty! Click on the pic for the larger version, and use the code to score free shipping on orders over $25 at sephora.com.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Snag It! Tabitha Scarf in pink

I'm so pleased to unveil the Tabitha Scarf! It's a scalloped, crocheted scarf made of ridiculously soft baby alpaca in bright, bubblegum pink. Woven in the scallops (mmm, scallops...wrapped in bacon...), is a tattered ribbon in a graphic floral pattern. It's super cozy, and I'm super excited about it!

I'm also working on a second Tabitha Scarf in a rich teal, and I hope to have that in the shop soon :)

In the meantime, check out the Tabitha Scarf and snag it for yourself!

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Off on vacation!

Starting this Wednesday, I'll be taking a greatly anticipated vacation to beautiful Belize with the roomies. Ergo, the shop will be closed, and I'll be back with new merch when I get back!

In the meantime, here's a preview of some of the springtime items in the coming lineup:

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Site to Follow: YesStyle.com

I am Puerto Rican, look white, and am slowly becoming Asian. I live with a Filipina, a Korean girl, and as good as live with a Chinese girl. Whenever I need to get anything, from illegally reproduced door keys, to hair cuts to lady doctors, I inevitably end up in a shady store in Chinatown, talking to a hairstylist who is befuddled by my mass of thick hair, or listening to a receptionist greeting me in Japanese. And so I took one, wholehearted step forward in my transformation when I discovered YesStyle.com.

YesStyle.com is a compendium of Asian brands (Korean, Taiwanese, Chinese, Japanese, etc.) with pages upon pages of versatile clothing for pretty damn cheap for NYC (think a mix between H&M and Mango). Not only are their models hella cute (and completely epitomize the youth-obsession I've come to love/hate), but their styles of clothing are so all-purpose and layerable, so the possibilities are endless!

The hair accessories are a little questionable, and I'm a little over seeing page after page of alleged "tulle" skirts, but this is one of the FEW online shops that has more than 3 things I like. I've literally got 8 tabs open in Firefox right now with different pieces I'm seriously considering buying. 30 pages of just dresses? Yes, please!
Here's a list of items featured above: 1. Black Queen, Sequined Dress 2. Haegal, Convertible Hem Plaid Skirt 3. Romy, Buttoned Jumper Dress 4. Puffy, Cowl Neck Tunic Dress 5. BeccGirl, High Waist Balloon Skirt

The site totally reminds me of the fashions featured at lookbook.nu, another site I've talked about before, so prepare to lose hours of your life by checking out YesStyle.com.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Swooning Over: Old-Timey Insignia

I'm a sucker for any kind of military insignia or old-timey regalia, and the older looking the better! This love of military paraphernalia, regal stampings and honors has something to do with my idealized notions of royal French courts, ridiculous hairstyles with naval battles perched on top, and royal coffers brimming with rarely-worn jewels (completely glossing over the strict class systems, the restrictions that bound women to men, and how much everyone smelled). I lurv reading lit like Antonia Fraser's Marie-Antoinette: The Journey, and Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, and love Friday nights snuggled up with popcorn and movies like "Becoming Jane".

So I guess it makes sense that I want to physically OWN pieces of this, and that I scour the internet for such sources. Some of my favorite vendors on etsy.com cater to this obsession of mine, and fortunately for me, this seems to be a style that is always appropriate. Great pieces are timeless, and the old-timey military and royal insignia always cater to the ever-recurring blurring of the feminine/masculine line. I'm a huge proponent of the cyclical nature of fashion anyway, and the masses will clamor for it again if you wait long enough.
If I've piqued your curiousity with these pics, here's where they're from: 1. Image from the "Wonderland" shoot, art directed by Kattaca, www.kattaca.com 2. Silver brooch featuring the Insignia of the Order of St. James, found at St. James Cross Revisited 3. Royal Duchess Beaded Necklace, from RedHeart13 4. Military-style jacket, found on We heart it

Friday, January 23, 2009

Snag It! Pink Sugar Heart Purse

A fitting tribute to the upcoming holiday in celebration of the alleged St. Valentine, EK is re-listing the Pink Sugar Heart purse. I found the fabric and fell in love: It's in a delightfully loud heart pattern, stylized to be reminiscent of that red cowboy pattern. Because hearts on the fabric alone would not satisfy me, I added a collection of mismatched buttons, in hearts and circles, along with some sparklies, on the black band.

If you have any love for love, you'll check it out in the Explosive Kiwi etsy shop, and snag it for yourself!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

James Jean's "Kindling" in NYC

He makes you question why you would even bother picking up a pencil when he can kick graphite's ass. James Jean, whose website I've referenced before, is an amazing artist and painter, and doesn't take a shabby photograph, either. His beautifully fluid lines, mastery of tones and moods, and visual compositions make other people with hands cry in shame.

And finally, he brought his beautiful, jealousy-inducing work to New York City! In the short time that I've been following him, he (as well as other bad-ass artists like Audrey Kawasaki and Tara McPherson) has stuck to the West Coast. However, last night was the gallery opening for his show "Kindling" at the Jonathan Levine Gallery in Chelsea, here in NYC.

Adette and I, devoted followers, towed our friend Dan to the event. We decided to arrive late, at 830 (ended at 9), in the vain hopes of spotting Mr. Jean (whom we have no visual reference for). There was a slew of people there (of course), and it was difficult to maneuver around all the works. We saw a variety of paintings on paper (and some on canvas), as well as a slew of preparatory drawings. I've got mad love for sketches, particularly ghost images, as they have a hugely different, and I think more human, feel than finished pieces (take DaVinci's work, for example). However, his lines and strokes translated pretty damn well across media, and I was left pretty amazed, awed, and dumbfounded.

We didn't manage to see him, but I JUST found out there was an afterparty, to which he gave explicit directions on how to get there in his blog. Talk about dashed dreams!

At the end of this post you'll find some more pictures, though the full set will be on the flickr page (including some that will be stolen from Adette). Check them out, but more importantly, check out "Kindling" if you're in the area!

"Kindling" by James Jean
Jan. 10-Feb. 7
The Jonathan LeVine Gallery, 529 W 20th St (btwn. 10th and 11th)
Tuesday-Saturday, 11am-6pm

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Special Delivery

I finally got word that the blanket did indeed arrive, and Mia has already been engulfed in it. Her mom loves it, and sent over pictures. Check out Mia, and her new baby blanket!

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