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March 8, 2008

'Blossoms' — by Ana Juan

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The Style issue, at newsstands everywhere.

Great articles on Isabel Toledo and Rick Owens.

March 8, 2008 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Peanut Butter Squeeze Tube — 'Lose the knife'

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What planet have I been living on, that the first I learned this product existed was reading about it in the new (Volume 13) Make magazine?

My crack research team tells me this stuff came out five years ago.

Anyway, put me down for a couple tubes next time I go Krogering.

March 8, 2008 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

The genius of Bert Rodriguez: Could he make the phrase 'starving artist' obsolete?

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I think so.

After reading Susan Dominus's story in yesterday's New York Times about the 32-year-old Miami artist — whose installation (above), part of the 2008 Whitney Biennial which opened Thursday in New York City, consists of a large white box in which he provides therapy to a series of clients (by appointment only, thank you very much; no walk-ins, please) — it seems to me only a matter of time before artists everywhere adopt this nifty idea.

I mean, why just sit there by yourself staring out the window when you can do the very same thing for money while you listen to people pour out their troubles?

Just don't fall asleep.

And if you do, don't snore or fall off your chair.

Sort of takes away from the therapeutic experience.

Here's the Times article.

    Artist as Therapist Burrows Into the Psyche of New York

    All day on Wednesday, men and women wandered hesitantly around a large white minimalist box on display at the Park Avenue Armory. They usually stopped for a moment on the far side of the box, which had a door. They tried to peer inside. They put their ears to the wall. Sometimes they knocked, loudly.

    In Los Angeles, the door on the minimalist white cube might have been an unmistakable reference to the inaccessibility of the formal art world. In New York, the circle of people hovering outside the cube inevitably transformed the piece into a metaphor for real estate. Here is an impossibly small white box of a living space. Here are the people, desperate for entree, jockeying to peek through a sliver of access between the door and the wall. Is there recessed lighting? A closet? Where is the broker? Why is the broker always late?

    “It’s all about access,” the artist, Bert Rodriguez, a 32-year-old from Miami, said of the installation, part of the 2008 Whitney Biennial, which opened to the public on Thursday. So there was another never-ending New York struggle encapsulated: get invited to an exclusive, members-only opening of the Biennial — hey, you’re in — and suddenly you’re smack up against another door. The spectators took their chances with strategy, either asking anyone handy if they could enter, bravely exposing uncertainty, or trying to barge right in.

    If they succeeded in pushing open the door, they found themselves abruptly inside an intimate space: a therapist’s office, complete with leather armchairs, potted plants and a tissue box.

    They also found themselves face to face with Mr. Rodriguez, who typically stood up and explained, with evident annoyance, that a therapy session was in progress. For five hours a day, until the end of the Biennial at the armory on March 23, Mr. Rodriguez is seeing patients inside his box at the armory, an installation called “In the Beginning... .”

    There were rules to getting inside, but just finding the rules required some insider know-how (in this case, patients signed up on the Whitney’s Web site in advance for sessions, all of which are now booked).

    “I figured that’s the thing about New York — everyone has a therapist,” Mr. Rodriguez said on Wednesday, sitting on a couch in the waiting area, in the same room as the box, before the sessions started. “I thought, I’ll be the therapist.”

    As far as he could tell, New Yorkers could use all the help they could get. “My friends who live here, no matter what they do, it’s always in the back of their minds — there’s something they could have done better,” he said. “They’re always thinking, this sandwich I’m eating, it’s all right — but if I’d gone one block farther, I could have found a better sandwich.”

    In Miami, he said, no one goes to therapy. “They just go to the beach and get drunk.”

    Standing outside the box late Wednesday afternoon, Veronica Chan, a 20-year-old studying art at N.Y.U., waited, a little giddy, for her session to start. She said she didn’t have any pressing issues to resolve. “I just thought it would be interesting to participate in the Biennial,” she confessed. Mr. Rodriguez opened the door — revealing the nubbly wool carpeting, a cactus, some warm dim light — and invited her in. The door closed behind them.

    Forty-five minutes later, Ms. Chan emerged from the room. She said it wasn’t what she’d expected, which was that they’d talk a bit and then do an art project, “like he’d tell me to take some Popsicle sticks and make animals out of them.” Instead, she’d found herself opening up about her general problems with indecisiveness, particularly around her future career (textbook New York second-guessing, Mr. Rodriguez might say). “He told me a little about his own decisions,” she said, “and talked about how when it comes to me, it should be a natural thing.”

    All day it had been like that, said Mr. Rodriguez — New York women (yes, all were female) coming into a small space and expanding it with their inner thoughts. Once they get past all those barriers, people in this town have a remarkable gift for forgiving whatever was keeping them out, letting their own guard down at the first opportunity.

    Mr. Rodriguez, who considers himself a bit of a wiseguy, was surprised to find he was also a wise guy. One woman confided that she’d felt oddly calm when her grandfather, a Buddhist who’d helped raise her, recently died. Mr. Rodriguez pointed out that her grandfather had probably been preparing her for his passing his whole life and would have been proud she accepted it so well. “It was like I was channeling something that just happened because of the space — which is what a lot of artists say about their art,” he said.

    On Tuesday, at the end of the press preview, Adam Weinberg, the director of the Whitney Museum of American Art, stopped by the installation. “So how do I get a session?” he asked Mr. Rodriguez, who was sitting on the couch, a little bit tired from a long day of listening to himself talk. “Sign up on the Web site,” the artist called out.

    Mr. Weinberg paused for just a moment. “I have to sign up on the site?”

    Mr. Rodriguez nodded.

    “Could I get a double session?” Mr. Weinberg asked.

    “Let’s see how the first one goes,” said Mr. Rodriguez. He watched as Mr. Weinberg waved and walked away. “Who is that guy?” asked Mr. Rodriguez.

    Someone attached a title to the name. Mr. Rodriguez shrugged. Maybe he’d squeeze him in. Maybe he wouldn’t. It’s all about access.

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Artist-in-a-Box — I like it.

March 8, 2008 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Toy/Housecleaning Mashup: Hobby Horse Broom

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Designed by Gavin Coultrip.

"Get the kids to do the cleaning with this broom/hobby horse."

Made from poplar, birch plywood and coco.

Small: 95cm x 25cm (£25); Large: 140cm x 25cm (£29).

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Both here.

March 8, 2008 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

NarrativeMagazine.com: 'A reader's dream come true' — T. C. Boyle

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If it's good enough for Boyle, it's good enough for me.

Oh, yeah, I almost forgot: free, the way we like it.

March 8, 2008 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Faucet-to-Shower Converter

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From the website:

    Faucet-to-Shower Converter

    Great for easily washing your hair or even washing your pet in the tub.

    Convenient way to bathe for the elderly or disabled.

    48" flexible rubber hose attaches instantly to most sink and some bathtub faucets.

$7.99.

March 8, 2008 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Screen-Vac — Episode 2: 'Clean your hat without removing it*

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*You'd best be wearing the hat pictured above, part of Yohji Yamamoto's Fall 2008 collection shown recently at Paris Fashion Week.

$7.99 (for the Screen-Vac [below],

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booboo; you want the hat, stop by any Yohji Yamamoto shop).

March 8, 2008 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Martin Puryear Pan Scraper

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One of the world's greatest sculptors turns his attention to the culinary space.

From the website:

    Martin Puryear Pan Scraper

    This Pan Scraper accompanies a major 2007-08 exhibition of Puryear's work at The Museum of Modern Art.

    The ergonomic shape of the handle makes it comfortable and easy to grip, while the 360-degree rotational blade can be easily disassembled for cleaning.

    This simple yet effective tool for the kitchen draws on the utility of the woodworking tools essential to Puryear's sculpture.

    The Pan Scraper's nylon blade scrapes effectively yet will not harm nonstick pans.

    The blade and ergonomic handle rotate in an infinite number of positions.

    Downward pressure secures it at the desired orientation during use.

    Nylon and stainless steel.

    3.5" x 6.25" x 2.25".

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This is the only Puryear you're ever going to be able to afford.

Trust me.

$12.

March 8, 2008 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

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