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November 8, 2019

GLASS PETAL SMOKE

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The self-description of Michelle Krell Kydd, grand panjandrum of this blog which has been running since 2007:

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Fair warning....

November 8, 2019 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

9-year-old Scarlett Johansson reading for a part in 1993

Wrote Anthony Lane of this 39-second clip in the New Yorker:

... the self-consciousness is frightening; not that she is clenched or maladroit, but that she seems like a child impersonating a child, and a spoiled one at that — finding everything a drag and a bind, batting away time with a slow blink. (She still does that, and it always gets results.) For someone of that precocity, adulthood is not another country, many leagues distant, but just around the corner.

The audition was for "Jumanji," a 1995 film: she didn't get the part.

November 8, 2019 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

"In the shadow of Freud's couch: Psychoanalysis and interior design"

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From Wanderlustmind:

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Sometimes an office is just an office. But if you're a psychoanalyst, the presentation of your work space has to be impeccably thought out, designed to foster a sense of sanctuary and privacy.

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Since Sigmund Freud's Victorian consulting room, with its Oriental rug-draped couch, analysts have learned to use interior design as a therapeutic tool.

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In his series "In the Shadow of Freud's Couch," Mark Gerald, who's both a photographer and a psychoanalyst, offers a look inside the offices of analysts all over the world."One of the things I’m interested in with this project is showing the diversity within the field of psychoanalysis," Gerald told FastCompany.

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"'Not every analyst is a bearded white man with a European accent in a Park Avenue office. Though there are certainly some that are like that.'"

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Exemplars from Gerald's series of the offices of analysts from around the world appear above and below.

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November 8, 2019 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

"Mound of Butter" — Antoine Vollon

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I'd never heard of this artist until I read Sebastian Smee's appreciation in the Washington Post; it follows.

"Mound of Butter" is one of the most popular paintings at the National Gallery of Art.

Its cult status is unlikely, given the stellar company it keeps (all those celebrity impressionists!) and given that not even experts in 19th-century French art tend to know much about Vollon.

But he was a star in his day.

A specialist in still lifes, he was, "perhaps, the greatest painter living," according to one contemporary critic. "He can paint with anything. The brush, the palette-knife, the finger, the coat-sleeve... each is employed where it alone can do the work."

It's a description I love.

It makes Vollon, who moved to Paris from Lyon in 1859, when he was 26, sound like a handyman or roustabout, always willing to dive in, using whatever tool is at hand to get the job done.

Émile Zola hailed Vollon as the first "worker" painter to come along since Gustave Courbet.

But what about the butter?

Accustomed to 4-ounce sticks, Americans aren't used to seeing butter piled up like a greasy sand dune.

But in Vollon's day, this was how it came.

The cream skimmed from cows' milk was allowed to age until it soured slightly (becoming "cultured"), then lightly churned to shake out the butter in tiny lumps.

The lumps were kneaded by hand or worked with a wooden spatula to squeeze out residual milk. (Milk turns rancid more quickly than fat, so the more milk that was expressed, the longer the butter's shelf life.)

The resulting pile-up would be wrapped in cheesecloth and kept in a cool place.

Here, the cheesecloth has slipped from the mound, like a loose nightgown.

The two eggs at the base of the mound provide a counterpoint — a sense of contained and purposeful form against the random mass of the butter.

But it's the creamy yellow of the butter to which your eyes adhere.

In a kind of alchemical voodoo, Vollon has pushed — you almost want to say smeared — the illusionism we associate with great art into new territory, like a visual version of onomatopoeia.

November 8, 2019 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Flashlight Pen

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From the website:

Write day or night, with or without light.

This refillable ballpoint pen features an LED light tip to write in low-light conditions.

Keep it on your nightstand in case inspiration strikes.

Batteries included and replaceable.

$6.

November 8, 2019 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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