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Saturday, January 30, 2010

HEAD

Alpaca beanie by textile designer Siu Yin Chau from Opening Ceremony in Soho. This piece is unbelievably soft, and incredibly warm - this is a good alternative to wearing fur.

Opening Ceremony is an aggressively hip shop where there seemed to be more sales people than customers prowling the floor to get their commission.

The jewellery was kinda lame considering there were $1500 pieces of luggage placed in the same room.

I think they are currently pushing some kind of late 80s LA cocaine couture vibe. The Rodart teeshirts were cute and if I wasn't shopped out I might have considered some of the menswear - more flannel shirts and ironic polar fleece.

They also had the Comme Des Garcon perfume line but NOT Series 3 which  all the especially cool shops seem to have.

SCARY

SERRA

After a series of epic misadventures I made it to Dia Beacon,  in Beacon in upstate New York, which has a phenomenal permanent collection.

The centerpiece of the collection is a series of monumental sculptures by Richard Serra, installed where the rail sidings used to be – Dia:Beacon is housed in a converted Nabisco packaging factory.


Serra has bent and torqued enormous slabs of Cor-Ten steel into high tech elipses that fold over themselves creating dramatic negative spaces. The direct sunlight casts shadows that draw you deeper into the sculpture.

Serra’s most recent sculpture, 2000, spirals slowly and its walls are pitched at  widening angles to the final sweep of steel hangs some five feet away from its base. It feels like entering a gorge - you keep wondering what lies ahead and how the sculpture will resolve itself. This creates a tension between you and the sculpture that is only released as you enter it's interior.

The amazing thing about Dia Beacon is the experience of sunlight in a contemporary art space. Works that are site specific play with this. These elliptical torques offer the most sublime experience of light as you wander inside them.

The days I visited Dia Beacon were absolutely freezing (I arrived during a wind/snow storm) so I sought out any work sited near solid patches of sunlight and just stood there trying to thaw out my tiny ass. This is so rare in a gallery where considerations of conservation need to be factored in but at Dia Beacon with it's wildly oversized sculptures made to last an eternity this convention is flouted. There is sunlight streaming in everywhere.

Friday, January 29, 2010

DUFFEL

This is my favourite thing I have bought on my trip - a current season Burberry Duffel coat. I love the slim fit, the long arms, unfinished hem, the check lining and especially the deer horn toggles.

It says everything I want to say right now - low key but preppy.

My friend Patrick very unkindly said that Burberry is a 'chav' label and that you can't get into clubs in England if you are wearing it

WOOD

Wood shingles on cottage in Cold Springs, NY which was oddly picturesque and peopled by the nicest gentle folk in the world.

RAM

Bought this Ram's head necklace in Cold Spring, NY.
Everything was really cheap there and it was so pretty.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

DROOG

Went to the Droog shop in Soho. This is a wonderful retail space - more gallery than shop. Really good design is just playing, so this shop is a delight in terms of the space given to largely non-commercial work. There is alot of humour in the work in this shop - from rubber leaves fitted with super magnets that turn any pole into a tree through to crazy statement pieces like this log couch by Jurgen Bey


Other big pieces that excited me where the AVL work-skull and this inspired bundle of drawers by Tejo Remy. I have always loved this design so it was some kind of endpoint actually seeing it. The version at the Soho shop had a solid resin drawer in the centre encasing a ring, some diamonds, something that looks crystal meth and a golden gun. Of course!


I bought my cousin Tord Bjoonte vase as a present but I think I might just keep it.



















This is all the stuff you see in I.D. magazine (International Design not the ID the English Fashion magazine) in Real Life. It was like a cathedral to contemporary industrial design. Even the acoustics were incredible - that was the first thing I noticed when I entered the space. The sales girl played the Beach Boy's Pet Sounds and it sounded amazing in that space - echo-ey, deep and rich

BITTER


KNIFE


This is one of my favourite finds in NYC - a tiny fully functional pen knife made from sterling silver. I am sure it'll save my life one day.

LOVE


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

VEGAN


I wanted to have a Truly Authentic Williamsburg Experience so I ordered the Vegan Super Burger at Super Core on Bedford Avenue. How good does it look? There is some very onion-y potato salad hiding behind the salad greens.

I love the textures of vegan food - the burger was crunchy on the outside and light and creamy on the inside. The homemade bread was chewy and moist. This meal made my mouth happy.

This place felt and smelt so good as soon as you walk in. The menus were super cute hand drawn cartoons so you know they were hitting some key references. There was tonnes of Japanese and Korean treats on the menu and the staff all seemed to be Japanese.

I watched a beleagured hipster mother with her two overly energetic sons order the most amazing feast of vegan pan-cultural treats. I kinda wanted to film them - they looked so cool. The boys had little hoodies and post-ironic mullet-y hair.

This place was crazily affordable - this cost $4.50US.

DINER



Went to Diner in Williamsburg. I loved it! It's a sweet cafe built inside an old traincar. We got to sit in the cosiest wooden booth - I love sitting in booths, it feels like you are in your own little cubby house. It was in downtown Williamsburg so it was basically like swimming in a sea of flannel shirts. Not even the sulky service from the sub-hipster ginger waiter could dampen my experience. He desultorily ran through the specials and then looked peeved when I zoned out. I mean the whole schtick of him writing down the specials on the butcher's paper table cloth seemd a bit arbitrary when I couldn't make sense of whatever it was he had scribbled there. He wasn't even a cute ginger.

I ended up getting fish soup - which was just piles of fresh, high quality seafood served in broth. That's pretty much ground zero for me in terms of food. It wasn't very filling but I hate feeling bloated after a meal anyway.

Diner, Williamsburg NY: Two thumbs up.

GRIT


This is the sequel to my FOOD post about Japan.

Today I tried to have the most American breakfast possible. I went to a lovely cafe in Williamsburg called Egg and ordered Country ham with biscuits served with homemade fig jam, Grafton cheddar cheese and grits.

Grits turned out to be like mash potatoes made out of polenta. Did not like.

Biscuits are like big, dry buttery scones.

The whole experience was pretty intense - very salty, heavy and greasy. The fig jam was a nice surprise. It wasn't probably what I would ever crave, want or enjoy but I wanted to have a Truly Authentic American Experience.

I bought so much crap in Williamsburg by the end of the day I could hardly move. There are some of the weirdest shops I have ever seen there, maybe I'll blog about them later. I think I'm bit sick of looking at indie jewellery.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

BRANT


Trophy wife by Maurizio Cattelan.

An art work of Stephanie Seymour Brant owned by Peter Brant. Kinda want to go to the Brant Gallery in Greenwich.

I mean this sculpture is grotesque but so is the story and that's what makes it interesting.

FAMILY


I think this is old but it I enjoyed it

YSL

YSL 010
NSFW
WTF

Saturday, January 23, 2010

ANNA

  Here I am in front of Anna Wintour's house in the Village.



She lives one block from where I am staying.

FLEA

Went to the Brooklyn Flea. It was in the Brooklyn Music Conservatory - three floors of flea market-y goodness in the most beautifully decrepit old building. I experienced some ghost whisperer-esque vibrations in there - especially in the basement.



There was delicious food - I had fish tacos - best invention ever.

So far I've found NYC pretty lacklustre for clothing - no I'm not a 20 year old hipster, no I don't want to do my take on Cold Mountain couture and to tell you the truth I am kinda sick of flannel. Having said that the indie jewellery here is excellent.  I bought this sterling silver ring from Species of the Thousands.   I have been following her work for a few years so it was interesting to meet her.























I bought this sea horse ring from Jeweller/ artist Anne Arden McDonald.





















The upper mezzanine level was lit by the winter sun streaming through stained glass windows splaying the softest, warmest light everywhere. I found a teeshirt label there I am going to stock...The guy seemed impressed by the Corky business card - the foiling always catches people.

I also bought a huge painting of the Manhattan Skyline done in 50s folk style. Gonna have fun getting that home. Also there was this cool stall that had all curated weird civil war era bric-a-brackish jewellery. Creepy memorial pins with dead soldiers, arrow heads, crystals. I bought a tiny bear and a solid silver miniature pen knife. I have bought so much crap now, its like I'm trying to physically drag as much of Manhattan back to Melbourne.

It seemed like everyone wanted to chat - people in NYC are so friendly, especially at the Brooklyn Flea.

Friday, January 22, 2010

PEACE


Dear *****
this year for your birthday I got 
you inner peace in a box
love 
Christopher-Hussien

Bought this  cute stamped silver necklace from this lovely shop called Blue Tree .

I've spent the last six weeks going to every gift shop in the world but this was definitely in the top three. The staff weren't that friendly but its on Madison Avenue, everything is extra T.O.N.Y., you kinda want them to be rude to you.

The interior was light and airy - lots limewashed wood. And the product mix was interesting and varied - non retarded hand made jewellery through to high end ceramics and some sweet japanese toys. There was affordable stuff and then there were necklaces for a couple of hundred dollars.

It was all cute and not cheesy. Whoever chose all this stuff has amazing taste.

PS. The worst gift shop I went to was called DOM, in Berlin. The jewellery was diplayed in black cages. There was laughing crocodile on a rope that sounded horrible. All the giftware was cheap and nasty. The owner seemed slightly menacing. And the exterior is covered in gigantic spangly sequins.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

ICE


The lake at Central Park was getting icy, some of the edge was already frozen. Reminded me of that Madonna song.

fuck i love shiny shit

MOMA

Went to MOMA. It was like the Red Carpet of celebrity art - every painting or sculpture you've studied in Art History one after another. Couldn't really take it in after awhile.

I liked this work "Sleeping" by Jenny Holzer.

Or maybe I was just excited seeing it because when I was very young she was the first artist I found on my own that I thought was amazing.

TONY


If I had a fiancee called Tony I would buy him this to wear on our wedding night. Just to make everything clear.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

TRIP






Took the F train as far as I dared and tried to make my way back to the village without a map. Ended up on Smith Street, Brooklyn which is like Smith Street, Collingwood if you replaced the heroin with crack. The aesthetic was post apocalyptic, like I was in Cormac McCarthy's The Road or something.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

CODE

Went to the Dress Codes exhibition at ICP.  It was an interesting exploration of fashion in contemporary photography/video.

It had some big ticket items like new works by Cindy Sherman and Barbara Kruger. The Sherman fashionista pieces were funny, it really feels like she is still hitting her stride. Kruger - dunno, they just kinda look like 90s skate culture advertising? Yeh, I get it, that's her intention but it didn't make me feel anything.




Melbourne artist David Rosetzky’s video portrait of Cate Blanchett was interesting. The focus sharpens and blurs and she constantly moves so we never get a very clear picture which is some kind of meta narrative about the difficulty of portraiture, but for me, I found her voice-over about the craft of acting the most fascinating aspect of the work.




I also liked the installation by Thorsten Brinkmann, who disguises himself with costumes made from everyday objects.  His face is always obscured making him seem like he is either growing out of the furniture or interior.

It kind of looked like hard rubbish heaven which made me feel a bit nauseous. Imagine how much crap he would have had to collect to make his work. The aesthetic is so right now (random, recycled, ornate, worn & warm looking) it looked a bit like the interior of some hip bar in Brooklyn or at least it will be soon.

I really enjoyed the video work of Kalup Linzy. It was laugh out aloud funny. The newer works have higher end production values, costuming by proenza schouler and cameos by Chloe Sevigny.

I wanted to buy the catalogue but they had sold out. Instead, I listened to some handsomely tatooed hipsters bitching about how their friend would never make it as a poet. 

Diane Arbus: “Everybody has this thing where they need to look one way but they come out looking another way, and that’s what people observe.”


COPY

I am currently reading Malcolm Gladwell's 'What the Dog Saw' which is a collection of articles he published in the New Yorker magazine. I always enjoy Gladwell's writing, he tells his stories so leisurely but you know he's always working to some punchline.

I guess the essay I found most interesting was his discussion of intellectual property and whether 'plagiarism'is always counterproductive or whether it can be considered some kind of 'dialogue'. As an example he shows us that Nirvana's "Feels Like Team Spirit" is pretty much a direct copy of Boston's "More than a feeling" but argues that despite the 'plagiarism' Nirvana created something new "brilliant and urgent" that was a real step forward in "the evolution of rock". 



Thursday, January 14, 2010

BERLIN

It was entirely fitting that the taxi driver was playing o fortuna:apotheosis as we drove out of Berlin.
ps go to 2.33 if you just want the drama and humour

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

SCHNEE

Saw this massive mural in Berlin. I haven't even photoshopped it - the whole design just bled into the sky and the snow-covered ground. It was quite startling.

STEIN

I've always wanted a Lea Stein fox brooch and I found one at an antique shop called Kundelbeleg in Friedrichstrasse.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

SCHWER


So, if I were a chubby chaser I would casually hang out at Wehr-Meister where they stock sizes XXL - XXXXXXXXXXXL.

TIEF

There should be a verb that describes being lost and not caring. The most fun I have had so far have been when I have been so lost I just surrendered and let the city take me wherever it wanted.

That was how I found the Holocaust Memorial Sculpture.

The power of the sculpture is that from a distance it looks like a pedestrian plateau - a topographic trompe-l'œil aided by the snow that covered the surface.

However, as you get closer and then enter the space, everything becomes deep very quickly making the experience totally immersive - you can't understand the massive scale of it until you are inside of it.

SCHLAG


Had a super fancy lunch at the Nationalgallerie. It was absolutely lovely.

The front of house staff all look so insanely handsome and preternaturally well groomed it was like walking through a *Wallpaper Magazine editorial. I imagine it's the job you get when you've been at art school for ten years, and there'd be a million applicants so whoever hires there would just choose the most modelesque alpha human applicants.

DEMAND




Went to the Thomas Demand exhibition at the Nationalgallerie, aptly titled Nationalgallerie. I think it was the best thing I have seen so far on my World Tour 010. It set my brain on fire and made me understand Germany more.

The exhibition was designed specifically for the National Gallerie, the famous "temple of light and glass" designed by Mies van der Rohe. To block out the light that streams in from every angle Demand has framed this exhibition in miles of heavy felt curtaining hanging some 15 metres from the ground. It creates a theatricality that heightens the eerie 'not quite not rightness' of the giant dia-sec C prints.

For those not familiar with Demand's work - he creates life sized models of imagery he takes from photography and then rephotographs them using a medium format camera. The models are made from card board and there is no digital retouching. Every single component of the image is created from scratch.

Demand deletes humans, text and other details from his installations adding to their universality. Supposedly it makes it possible to read the images in many different ways.

For me I found the textual fragments that accompanied the imagery especially evocative. It was written specifically for the exhibition by dramaturgist by Botho Strauss.

"The image, after all, are like seals placed upon the invisible. But in some images there are empty spaces where the invisible has made notable inroads. It is present"

It is exactly the missing elements from Demand's work that make his imagery so 'present' and potent.

Monday, January 11, 2010

ANGST


SCHMUCK


Found this gigantic antique market in Friedrichstrasse. It was an endless labryinth of internally lit jewellery cabinets full of weird stuff. It kinda looked like Corky Saint Clair taken to a ridiculous end point. It really didn't make sense anymore.

I bought a tiny carved deer from this weird shop that was like a fortress made out of glass, protecting this nasty old gas bag smoking perfumed cigars.

It was super expensive and the horrible man didn't wrap it properly so the antlers broke off. Like, the piece was tiny and delicate wouldn't you put it in bubble wrap or a f***ing box? The antlers are still kinda beautiful. I guess.

Customer service was a million times better in Japan. People were just alot nicer there. Everyone here seems to be on the verge of a breakdown.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

MARTIN

Check out these awesome porcelain Martin Luther brooches I bought.


One of my favourite stories ever is Martin Luther nailing his '95 Theses' to the door of the Castle Church of Wittendburg publicly decrying the Catholic Church's sale of forgiveness for Sins to rich people.


Some of the theological concepts which Luther raised still divide the Christian Church today. These questions plagued Luther, who often resorted to mortification of the flesh so as to attempt to be perfectly contrite before God.


On the evening of 13 June 1525, Luther married Katharina von Bora, one of 12 nuns he had helped escape from the Nimbschen Cistercian convent in April 1523, when he arranged for them to be smuggled out in herring barrels. This paved the way for protestant priesthood to include marriage.


The brooches are matte and would look amazing on the lapel of a jacket or the chest of a duffel coat. I have a bunch of them which I will put into Corky shop when I get back to Melbourne early February. 


I've bought heaps of new jewellery in Tokyo & Berlin - some of it is AMAZING.

ROSSI


These Sergio Rossi walking boots make me feel like a medieval trend spotter. I mean, what is even the reference here? They take a bit of effort to get on but once you're in, they are the most comfortable thing you've have ever worn.

KUNST

Went to the Kunst exhibition at The Berlin Museum. My favourite work was by Rebecca Horn. It was a video of her simultaneously cutting her thick red hair with two pairs of scissors. There was a thrill in wondering if she would cut her pale skin in the process. Intercut with this imagery was a monologue by a red headed man talking about snake reproduction - it can take up to 23 hours to reproduce!



The whole sequence seemed so Edward Scissorhands. Tim Burton must have been influenced by this imagery.

1974/75 
Berlin (10 Nov. 1974 – 28 Jan. 1975) – Exercises in nine parts: Dreaming under water of things afar, documentation of eight performances with an epilogue: Touching the walls with both hands simultaneously, Blinking, Feathers dance on the shoulders, Keeping hold of those unfaithful legs, Two little fish remember a dance, Rooms meet in mirrors, Shedding skin between moist tongue leaves, Cutting one’s hair with two pairs of scissors simultaneously, When a woman and her lover lie on one side looking at each other; and she twines her legs around the man’s legs with the window wide open, it is the oasis; 16mm, color, sound, 42 minutes; Production: Helmut Wietz; with Rebecca Horn, Guido Kerst, Lisa Liccini, Otto Sander, Veruschka von Lehndorff, Michel Würthle


PS the image to the left isn't in the exhibition - this is another short film from the same period called Fingergloves - yet again mirroring Edward Scissorhands.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

SEELE


I saw the words 'soul food' which I have learnt means 'home cooking' which for me travelling and eating odd, dry salads means 'very good'. So I went down this weird alleyway covered in decades of stinky, angry street art. Alas the 'soul food' turned out to be an indie film showing at a tiny indie cinema at the end of the alley. There was also a hip hop bar and The Anne Frank Museum. 

In this tiny indie microcosm the best thing of all was a strange printed matter shop - Neurotitan. Imagine Sticky without the jolly ladies and weird indie boys - but with bitter, funny magazines, books, posters and tshirts. And the owner was smoking - that's always a sign of hardcoreness when a shopkeeper smokes in their own shop.

Yeah, more than anyone I understand your shop is actually your home but its a really confident move imagining people are OK with smoking in their presence. The vibe in the shop was weird. I kinda wanted to ask the owner why there was no music then I realised he was playing the strangest 'noise' music - guess trance wasn't gonna cut it there. (Why do all shops in Berlin regardless of how cool they are play endless eurotrance - it is deeply disturbing!)

I bought a supercute screen print of an alien playing an animorphic keyboard that seemed to be experiencing an ecstatic moment at having the right keys played, a book printed in two colours that seems to be about the forest raping humans, and a poster of a naked lady with different weird drawings of icons around Berlin, animals and Michael Jackson.


SCHNEE

Guess you'd be a happy snow man too, if you were parked in front of the world's gayest cathedral. Why does all the architecture in Berlin look like it was designed by Karl Lagerfeld in a bad mood?

um...walking through a snow storm with headphones on was one of the best experiences ever!

SCHNEE


Berlin is icy and beautiful - like a fairytale winter wonderland - everything old, ornate and covered in ice. My eyes wanted to see everything, and my legs loved stretching out, my lungs loved the frosty air but in the end my little fingers couldn't stand it anymore, they felt like they were going to break off.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

REISEN


FROM MOVERN CALLAR THE ULTIMATE TRAVEL MOVIE

BENZOS
HEADPHONES
TRAVEL

FOOD


I have this theory that you should try every food once. Remember that movie Lorenzo's Oil when Susan Sarandon's disabled child got cured by eating olive oil? I think that if you try everything you might ingest some nutrient your body has always needed.

Look at me - I even tried Japanese Breakfast! Imagine eating this at 9am.....

Clockwise from the top
1. Grilled Salmon - not too fishy, but with that smacky, oily texture
2. Pickled Radish salad - nice and tangy, the acidity was the perfect foil for the general fishiness of the meal
3. Chicken roll with burdock - not sure what this but I think it was chicken rolled around something like asparagus
4. Rolled omelet with fish paste - kinda sweet obviously made with flour - imagine a stiff fishy yorkshire pudding.
5. Pottage of Arum Root - nice, firm texture like a gummier agar with a rich, earthy taste. I liked this alot.
6. Roll of Tang - I don't know what this was but it was super intense - I think it was seaweed wrapped around a morsel of pork. Very gamey ocean flavours, not for the faint of heart or people not used to fishy flavours.
7. (in the centre) Pickled Herring Roe - tightly packed grainy roe with intense, sweet fishy flavours.

SURPRISE
I had so many SURPRISES eating here not being able to speak Japanese.
1. Ordering a salad and it came with complimentary French toast with cream and bluebarry sauce. WTF
2. Realising I was eating curried liver on a stick
3. Taoyaki. This was like eating hot clag with tentacles in it, sprinkled with fish dust and bonito flakes. Absolutely disgusting.


DELIGHT
Ok there were some good surprises
1. Strawberry Oreo bars - so very good and pretty too
2. Prawns in everything, tiny shrimp, big shrimp, deep fried shrimp - it was everywhere!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

BOOM


Hey everybody checkout our new BOOM BOX necklace that Louis designed. It feels as nice as it looks. It is made from highly eco-friendly bamboo. Bamboo a sustainable wood.

I want to work out a way to put a tiny MP3 player behind it - how cute would that be?

The funny thing is if I saw this in Harajuku I would totally buy it.

There was some super cute shop in La Floret that had an entire wall made out of 80s speakers. It was kinda mind blowing.

STARS



LISTEN

Monday, January 04, 2010

HERMES


The WHY (Wally Hermes Yacht). It has a private swimming pool in the deck and a private beach at the stern.

Those black reclining panels are photovoltaic cells making this luxury yacht the most eco-friendly cruiser in the world.



Yes that is a tree growing in the lobby.

If you can, get the youtube clip to work, it is kinda unbelievable.

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I like rainbows, crystals, coloured pencils, swimming, manifesting, visualising, poetry, going out for breakfast, graphic novels, air conditioning, miniature anything, clothing made from synthetic fabrics, travelling, travelling, staying in nice hotels, headphones, husbears + soft hands. I don't like people who make me feel tired.

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