Thursday, August 26, 2010

Magic Garden Update: You Bring the Bamboo, I'll Bring the Booze.

It's been pissing pouring rain for 4 days, so I haven't been able to get outside on the terrace to take any photos before now. Finally, the storm let up for a few minutes this morning and I was able to get outside and take a few quick shots.

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As you can see my mail-order bambou is happily in its home. We found these gigantic plastic planters made by some slick Danish company at the local yuppie garden center. They are super lightweight and are guaranteed to resist UV fading for a hand-full of years. I have complete and blind faith in Les Danoises.

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The same weekend we potted the Bambou, French Father-in-Law and FrenchBoy installed this lovely and colorful straw material stuff that I found on sale at Leroy-Merlin. It's synthetic, so it should hold up a bit better than the real stuff we had installed on the terrace at our old apartment. The best part, besides finding it one sale of course, is that it makes the whole space seem more defined and dare I say cozy? I mean who wants to hang out and have cocktails on a Helipad? Ok, I would, but it would need to be dressed up pretty nice first.

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You bring the bamboo, I'll bring the booze! p.s. That metal armiture to the right of me in the photo is a hammock that I might eventually use if it ever stops raining.

And just last week French Mother-in-Law called to tell me that Lidl was running a promo on lavender for less than 3 euros a plant.

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I promptly drove over to my nearest location and bought their entire stock. OK, I left one plant in the store. I didn't want to look too greedy. (My apologies to the grey-haired old lady that I drop kicked in order to score an entire case of 6 plants, but lady, you had it comin'.) When we bought the planters from the garden center, I saw the exact same size of Lavander plant for about 10 bucks per plant. I don't exactly know which type of lavander this is, but I couldn't pass up that deal. Now my only hope is that they somehow manage to survive the psychotic Lorraine winter and don't end up as 6 flower-sicles.

Anyone who has tips on how the hell to protect Lavander from frost and pissing pouring rain for months on end, speak up in comments.

Oh, and for those of you in France who want to order your own magic garden in a box, I bought my bambou here: here's the website: The selection, information, and pricing is nothing short of amazing. Order now, have your plants in 4 days. Insane!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Ask and You Shall Receive.

So, in conclusion: The best way to get what you want--Ask for it.

For those of you who have been playing interweb tag with me on and off for the past week or so, this will not be new information for you, but I'm thrilled to announce I’ve managed to find a location for the art event I wanted to organize. The event will take place September 26th in New York City. The project's official launch is September 1st, so I'll have to try to contain my excitement for another week yet. The website isn't quite done yet so I don't wanan give the URL out just quite yet.
For now I just want to thank everyone who stepped up to be a real Art Hero. I never could have pulled this off without the crazy magic of the internet. Those of you who jumped on Twitter and Facebook and spread the word about my request...well, you're just awesome.

At the same time, I’m not at all surprised. I've always had faith in the power of a small group of people to get things done. *insert off-color joke about Germany here*

More details coming soon.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Magic Garden.

One of our main goals for this year was to finally do something with the Barbie Dream House terrace. It’s been nearly 3 years since we moved in I think and we still haven’t done anything with the space. You see the problem with having a 130 square Meter terrace is…where the hell do you start? Not to mention the obvious question such as how much is this project gonna cost. In the end we gave ourselves a modest budget to work with for this year. Little by little we’ve been ordering everything on our list:

Salon and coffee table? Check!

Over-priced planters? Check!

Ginormous Parasol? Check!

Plants? Oh Fer f*ck’sakes I knew we forgot something!

So after much deliberation and research we took the logical next step. No we didn’t go to the garden center and pick up some trees; instead we ordered some bamboo on the internet. The place came well recommended by a friend of French-Mother-in-Law so I wasn’t really worried about quality. I don’t know exactly what I thought it would look like or how it would arrive. I guess I imagined it would come on a truck or something. Instead, what actually arrived was so much better:

bambou 001

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Voila! Say hello to my gorgeous little garden in a box delivered by regular express mail.

My 8 baby bamboo plants came wrapped in saran wrap and packed in white packing peanuts inside a medium-sized cardboard box. (Seriously dude. Who the hell still used packing peanuts?) Much to my delight they are in perfect health, and very, very pretty.

Bamboo in a box. Who knew?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

New Work in Progress and One Naughty Drawing.

Leave it to me to fly all the way to another continent to take a technical workshop on printmaking and encaustics, only to come home and start making sculptures. You really never know what part of your brain will get tickled when you let new info in. I can't be bothered to make drawings or paintings at the moment. I'm way too interested in making three dimensional objects that I can touch and hold. Oh, and I'm making them in concrete.

Why concrete? Two reasons:

1. Beautiful and incredibly flexible material (surprisingly enough) with so many options and ways to form it.

2. It costs practically nothing and can be bought at nearly any common hardware store.

(You know how much artists love hardware stores, right?)

3. Concrete is hard, heavy, and tough i.e., it's bad ass.

At the moment 3 sculptures are curing in my garage. They aren't done yet since I still have finishing work to do, but still, this is exciting stuff. I have no photos, but here are the idea sketches from my sketch book.

Concrete Sketch 1

Concrete Sketch 2

Concrete Sketch 3

Concrete Sketch 4

Concrete Sketch 5

Of course the actual objects look nothing like the drawings. I made the sketches before I'd ever even mixed my first batch of concrete. (Wishful thinking?) As soon as I started applying my mix to my armature everything changed. But hey, that's half the magic!
p.s. Thank You to my friend Mr. Aaron California for pointing out the perverse implications of the second to last drawing.


Friday, August 06, 2010

Small NYC space needed. Finders fee: Fancy Tea!

Dear Interwebz Friends, Roman & non-Roman Followers, Lovely Lurkers, and Countrymen,

Lend me your ears.

I’m working on a really fun curatorial project and I’m planning a cozy “one night only” preview.

I need an exhibition space in NYC for a total of 72 hours.

It could be a studio, an apartment, an office, a store-front, a lobby, a spare room, etc, etc. Any nice place where I could install artwork on walls.

- I need it preferably the first weekend in September.

- It needs to be easily accessible by public transit.

We have a small miniscule budget and we are properly insured.

Also, we’re nice people. We promise not to be naughty or be too much of a bother.

If you have a spare room we could use , or you have a buddy who does, please feel free to drop me a line at

You don't have no space? No problem! But I bet you know somebody that knows somebody that knows somebody that does.


The only questions left to ask are:
1.) Are you a "can do" or a "can don't" person? and

2.) Are you in or are you ass-out?

Friends, this is your chance to shine. Forget Charles Saatchi. The year 2010 is the year yu can become a real art hero. This is going to be... (wait for it)... LEGENDARY. *

Plus if you help me pull this off, I might just reward you with a complimentary tea at The Hotel Crillon the next time you're in Paris. (If it's good enough for Princess Di, it's good enough for you and me!)

How's that for a finder's fee?

That's what's up. E-mail me.

And most importantly, thanks for being my peeps!

*bonus cool points if you get my 'legendary' reference.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Welcome Back to New York - Part #2

Of course the main point of taking this trip to the US was to take part in the WSW Summer Arts Institute. From the level of instruction to the fabulous meals provided by WSW, the entire experience was a really valuable and constructive one.

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Tatana Kellner and Cynthia Winika are both very patient and attentive instructors as well as being really powerful artists in their own right. Having the opportunity to work with them came when I most needed it. Their level of mastery and enthusiasm for their chosen mediums was absolutely contagious. Their idea kept all of the workshop participants going on their individual projects and helped us all keep our minds off the fact that were were working with hot wax in the middle of a heat wave.

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Nothing loosens up my brain better than learning a new skill as a debutante. When I’m not expected to be an expert there is a level of play and willingness to take risks that doesn’t usually happen when I am working in a media that I call my own.

The entire experience was about learning to make art, yet not once did I feel the need to actually…make art. I was so focused on the technical aspects that honestly, I wasn’t too concerned with coming home with finished works. And since we were learning 3 techniques in just 4 days, it struck me as a bit arrogant to think that I could even accomplish such a thing.
The second day I was upstate, I went to the local goodwill to look for old books or any printed material I could incorporate as collage elements into my work. I ended up finding two very interesting, although incredibly racist books, on 'The Wild West' published in the 1920’s and 30’s. Under the influence of vocabularly such as "savages", "destiny", and "massacre", I let the text and images in the books guide me into new territory so to speak. I just responded to what was written in the books. New stuff happened.

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Oddly enough however, the 3 pieces I did actually work on look strangely like my normal work in a lot of ways. I always hope that a new medium will suddenly transform my imagery or the way I work, when in reality, no matter what I do end up looking like I made it. Whether I’m making cupcakes or paintings. Clearly I’m always me.

In other news: New stuff happening in the studio…I’ve been mixing concrete in my garage….more coming soon!