« March 31, 2007 | Main | April 2, 2007 »

April 1, 2007

Thomas Chimes — Adventures in 'Pataphysics


Currently up at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, through May 6, 2007.

From the museum's website:

Thomas Chimes: Adventures in 'Pataphysics

This retrospective exhibition celebrates the life and work of Thomas Chimes, arguably one of the most important and influential artists to have emerged on the Philadelphia art scene in the past fifty years. It includes approximately one hundred paintings and works on paper, many previously unseen, along with extensive biographical and archival material.


Of Greek descent, Thomas Chimes was born in Philadelphia in 1921. In 1939, the artist enrolled at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, where he studied with Daniel Garber and Francis Speight, but his studies were quickly interrupted by the outbreak of World War II. Chimes served in the United States Army Air Force during the war years, before returning to his studies in New York in 1946. Under the G.I. Bill, the artist studied philosophy at Columbia University, and painting and sculpture at the Art Students League, where his teachers included Reginald Marsh and John Hovannes.


During his three years at the Art Students League, Chimes became acquainted with such contemporaries as Tony Smith, Barnett Newman, William Baziotes, Michael Lekakis, and Theodore Stamos. His own paintings from the 1940s and early 1950s reveal a strong debt to the dominant artistic trends in New York at that time, especially the gestural abstraction of Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, and other painters associated with Abstract Expressionism. In 1953, however, Chimes made a conscious decision to return to Philadelphia, much to the bewilderment of many of his friends and colleagues in New York. Inspired by the artists and writers whose names have become associated with the city of Philadelphia, most notably Thomas Eakins and Edgar Allan Poe, Chimes began to formulate an intensely personal and highly original iconography that often drew upon childhood memories and dreams.


Tracing the stylistic evolution of Chimes's idiosyncratic art, the retrospective will provide a comprehensive — and long overdue — examination of the artist’s remarkable career. The diverse body of work that the artist has produced since the late 1950s — which includes crucifixion paintings, metal boxes, a celebrated series of panel portraits, and the more recent white paintings — reveals his remarkable ability to periodically reinvent himself, and underscores the conceptual nature of his artistic practice. Chimes has found inspiration for his evocative imagery in the writings of Alfred Jarry, Antonin Artaud, James Joyce, and other literary heroes, as well as in the art of Henri Matisse, Vincent van Gogh, Thomas Eakins, and Marcel Duchamp. The works of these artists are strongly represented in the the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which Chimes first visited in 1931 and today considers his second home.

April 1, 2007 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Volkswagen Bus in a Ball


It was created in 1999 by artist Lars-Eric Fisk of Burlington, Vermont, and featured in Phil Patton's story in today's New York Times, which follows.

If the Vehicle Is Round, Wheels Are Unnecessary

It looks like a Volkswagen Microbus, the sort that starred in last year’s film “Little Miss Sunshine,” somehow squeezed into a sphere six feet in diameter.

The ball is the work of the artist Lars-Eric Fisk of Burlington, Vt., who specializes in sphere-shaped sculpture. His work has been shown in museums including the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park in Lincoln, Mass., outside Boston, and the Dartmouth College museum.

In the catalog for the DeCordova exhibition, he called the sphere was a “simple, seamless form expressing movement and the concept of endlessness and timelessness without a beginning, without an ending.”

“Everyone gets it,” Mr. Fisk said of his use of the sphere in a recent interview.

He completed the VW ball in 1999. “I don’t know why, but the VW ball keeps surfacing every few years on the Internet,” he said.

The VW ball is in a private collection. Mr. Fisk, who was born in Vermont in 1970, has made other balls with auto themes: a school bus,


a green John Deere tractor,


a drab brown U.P.S. truck and a white Mister Softee ice cream truck, complete with lights.

“A U.P.S. guy saw the U.P.S. ball and stopped by the house of the owner,” Mr. Fisk said. “He thought it was a package ready for shipping.”

His spheres come with windows and steering wheels. He does all the work using metal and glass fabrication skills he taught himself. He has also sculptured a street ball, a sphere of asphalt marked with painted dotted lines. Mr. Fisk’s barn ball, with wood painted red and a window, was used for the cover of the Phish album “Round Room.”

He has moved beyond the balls into new modes of sculpture. “The new theme for some reason seems to be garbage,” he said. Among his latest pieces, shown at the Taxter & Spengemann Gallery in Manhattan, is a sculpture of a garbage can and another of a garbage bag.

April 1, 2007 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Spider-Man Week


It kicks off precisely four weeks from tomorrow, on Monday, April 30, 2007.

To commemorate the May 4 opening of "Spider-Man 3," New York City is sponsoring a week-long tribute of exhibits and events highlighting its latest favorite son.

Scott Bowles wrote about the upcoming festivities in a March 30, 2007 USA Today story, which follows.

    New York City welcomes world-famous web-slinger

    New York has been bitten by the "Spider-Man" bug.

    The city, which has played home to Peter Parker and his web-slinging alias, is commemorating the May 4 opening of "Spider-Man 3" with a week-long tribute of exhibits and events starting April 30 — a rare city-sponsored campaign for a commercial film.

    The city's American Museum of Natural History is installing a spider exhibit shortly before the film opens. New York's Botanical Garden will host workshops on baby spider plants. The Children's Museum of Manhattan will honor the villain Green Goblin with a display of the original Goblin outfit and a mask-making workshop. The Central Park Zoo will host a Spider-Man scavenger hunt and a "Bugmania" show.

    Although movie studios and city officials have historically had a sputtering relationship — primarily over how the city is going to be portrayed in films — New York has increasingly embraced Hollywood. Following the release of last year's Ben Stiller hit "Night at the Museum," the Natural History Museum improved attendance by hosting late-night flashlight tours of the building.

April 1, 2007 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

World's first dishwasher-safe Swarovski crystal chandelier


Just out, it's the Da Vinci (above) from Schonbek.

Eileen Schonbek Beer, creative director of the 137-year-old company, told Maria Puente, in a March 30, 2007 USA Today story, "We tell people not to put crystal in the dishwasher, but now we're encouraging it. This grew out of our desire to create a chandelier that was a perfect sphere, user-friendly and gorgeous to look at."

From the website:

    New Da Vinci™ crystal chandelier is dishwasher safe

    Da Vinci is not only remarkable for being perfectly round. It's also the world's first dishwasher-safe crystal chandelier.

    The dishwasher-safe feature was an outgrowth of a unique design exploration.

    Thousands of crystal octagons of different sizes are precisely positioned to achieve the perfect roundness of Da Vinci, and to radiate an incomparable brilliance.

    But since a round crystal chandelier is a new idea, a new cleaning method had to be invented as well. And so Schonbek designed the chandelier to come apart in sections that would fit into a standard dishwashing machine. The smallest Da Vinci can be cleaned in one cycle. Larger sizes will take several loads.

    Da Vinci should be washed by itself, in a regular cycle. After washing, your Da Vinci will look brighter than new, the crystal dazzling, the stainless steel frame gleaming.

    Although a trip to the dishwasher may not sound compatible with fine crystal, Da Vinci is in fact composed of the finest crystal in the world: Strass® or Spectra® crystal by Swarovski®.


Watch a video here.

The Da Vinci comes in four diameters ranging from 10 inches ($3,000) to 24 inches ($15,000).


At Schonbek dealers everywhere.

April 1, 2007 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Found Magazine Gone Virtual


It's here.

If you're not in the mood to venture out to see what you can see, Found's internet incarnation (is that an oxymoron — or just the wondering of a moron? But I digress...) will do your heavy lifting for you.

All you have to do is open your eyes.

There's also News of the Found, right here.

Lots more where that came from — you could probably spend your whole day noodling around.

But that wouldn't be right.

Would it?

Hey, don't look at me 'cause you're asking the wrong guy.

Me, I just work here.

April 1, 2007 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Instant Washcloth


Remember those tiny shrimp or suchlike to which you added water, and suddenly they expanded a billion or two times while you watched?

Same idea.

Just don't confuse them with your Alka-Seltzer.

From the website:


    Keep a washcloth always on hand!

    No washcloth in your hotel room?

    No problem.

    Just splash a little water on these 1" diameter tablets and they unfold into full-sized disposable white washcloths.



    Package dimensions — 5½" x 2¾" x ½".

    Great for home, auto, camping and travel.


A pack of eight is $2.99.

April 1, 2007 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

On getting back to sleep at night


Though I don't know where I read it some ten years or so ago, the advice was to keep your eyes closed from the moment of awakening, during the trip to the bathroom, and then on the journey back into bed.

Don't even open your eyes for a second.

It takes a little practice at first, but then becomes second nature.

I do believe it helps a lot, especially if you're the type who, once up and about for any reason, has a devil of a time getting back to sleep.

I believe the theory behind it is that once the eye and brain perceive light, activation of pathways related to consciousness causes the brain to shift its functioning into an "awake" mode, difficult to short-circuit once begun.

Can't hurt to try it, what?

April 1, 2007 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Clo Cap: End Makeup + Clothing Interactions — Forever!


From the website:

    Clo Cap® — No More Makeup Stains

    This light, sheer, see-thru shield protects clothes from makeup and makeup from clothes during a garment change!

    It keeps your outfit, hair style and face undisturbed, fresh and smudge free.

    Includes matching velour pouch.

    One size fits all.

    Made in the UK.



"Made in the UK", huh?



April 1, 2007 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

« March 31, 2007 | Main | April 2, 2007 »