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The Wonderful Wizard of OZ

Meet OZ. OZ lives in Milan. OZ is an illustrator who rides a tiny red bike. OZ sends postcards and likes the Beatles in India. OZ drives a Yellow Fiat. OZ reads the news upside-down while wearing stripes. OZ hates blue ink pens. OZ is a nickname for Olimpia Zagnoli Zagnoli was born in 1984 in northern Italy. 

Olimpia Zagnoli as Featured by The WalkupThis young illustrator has adopted a clear line and a retro curvature and color palette. She has exhibited her work and published her illustrations throughout Europe and the USA. Her clients include The New York Times, The New Yorker, Air France, Adidas Originals, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, and The Harvard Business Review. 

Olimpia Zagnoli's Clodomiro as Featured by The Walkup

Together with her father, Miro Zagnoli, a photographer, Olimpia created Clodomiro. The duo’s family-run online shop features everyday objects which appeal to their taste. Their first project is a series of fine bone china plates with erotically-inspired imagery, conceptualized in Milan and produced in Stoke-On-Trent in the UK. Care for strawberries atop a vagina? Or Adam & Even with some spaghetti?

Olimpia Zagnoli as Featured by The Walkup

Above are excerpts from Zagnoli’s Last exhibition at Galerie Michel Lagarde and the launch of the book Monsieur Horizontal & Madame Verticale written by Noémie Revah and illustrated by the artist. In 2013, she was presented the Communication Arts Award of Excellence for a series of illustrations done for Italian newspaper La Repubblica. On the bottom right, is her illustration for The New York Times Sunday Review “It’s Not Mess. It’s Creativity”. On the top left, an excerpt from Flying Marina Abramovic, 2013.

Olimpia Zagnoli as Featured by The Walkup

Top left, an illustration for La Repubblica about censorship and a zebra. Give that poor Zebra her stripes back! Far right vertical, The New Science of Mind – The New York Times Sunday Review. The notebook features sketches by OZ from the Summer of 2013.

Olimpia Zagnoli as Featured by The Walkup

Top Left, a Sunday illustration for La Repubblica about picking the right kind of information. In this instance, the right kind of information also coincides with the right kind of butterflies. Top Middle, a 100% silk scarf designed for Clodomiro. Top Right, an illustration for La Repubblica about astronomy and the dark side of the matter. Bottom left, Zagnoli herself, in the studio, getting work done! Could we steal those glasses? Bottom right, Neuroliterature, a piece for La Repubblica on how neurosciences are trying to explain the feelings activated by literature.

Olimpia Zagnoli as Featured by The Walkup

Zagnoli is part punk, part mod, and highly saturated! At the tender age of 29 she has already made a name for herself in the international graphic design scene. On the Right is her illustration Italian magazine Internazionale urging people to support record stores not just on Record Store Day. Most importantly, they have a Record Store Day in Italy! 

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My Week in Snapshots: 4/23/2012 – 4/29/2012

I am surprised I did not need to be rolled to this computer in order to write this post. But really, this week was basically dedicated to gustatory delights and rich cuisine! Here are a few photos taken straight from my iPhone so that you can see the calories through mine own eyes. At the start of the week I was visiting my new nephew Zachary Fionn (and helping to change diapers, feed babies, empty the dishes, and make food for the family) , and during the rest of the week I was back in NYC at my new JOB.

  1.  My sister’s kitchen is simple, clean, and a little rustic. The layered candles, rattan chairs, and mirrored sconces help to create an inviting space. However, my absolutely favorite piece is the Mason Jar Chandelier, found HERE. No longer are canning jars just for pickling!
  2. We had not one, but TWO dinner parties, this week in the Chelsea walkup. Apartment 9 was bustling with the smells of the kitchen, the laughter of friends, and a lot of wine. On Saturday night, our guests asked if they could bring dessert – OF COURSE WE SAID YES. Lydia and Marcia brought this phenomenally decorate caked purchased at The Riviera Bakehouse in Ardsley, NY. My savory tooth is usually much stronger than my sweet tooth, but the icing on this cake was perfectly done – not too overly sweet. How adorable is that chocolate bee buzzing on a flower petal?
  3. While bored one night I decided to paint my nails in an ombre palette of colors – baby blue, navy, and Prussian blue. Inspired by THIS.
  4. Michael and my good friend Joanna is leaving the auspices of NYC in order to make it big in LA! She is going to be a a famous comedy writer! She also blogs, interviews, and was the Photo Gallery Editor for the New York Daily News. She is generally snarky, loves puppies, and is television enthusiast.  This Saturday morning was her going-away brunch at Esperanto! This $11.95 prix fixe brunch comes with coffee, a mimosa, and an entree (above is the Huevos Rancheros). YOU CANNOT beat that. Straight from Jo’s twitter account, she writes – “The last brunch (where’s Jesus?)”:
  5. For your viewing pleasure, my Benjamin Moore Paint Chalk-wall, side by side. Number 5 is Friday’s Shabbat Dinner menu: Russet Potato Medley, Red Snapper in Moroccan Salt Rub with White Wine Sauce, and Mustard Seed and Panko Crusted Shrimp (how kosher). We also played CRANIUM until the wee hours of the morning.
  6. Number 6 is Saturday’s menu: Charcuterie, Garlic Bread, Lemon Ponzu Asparagus, and Chicken Puttanesca! This dinner actually beat the dinner from the night before, according to unanimous voting.
  7. I have an olive addiction. Recently I have tried to cure my own olives (with salt not lye) but have failed miserably. Anyone have any good recipes and suggestions? The green olives in the forefront are my favorite varietal, Cerignola, from Italy.  Did you know that all olives are technically green and only change color (to black or purple) because of sun exposure, nutrient richness, and maturation? If you scratch off the skin of ANY black olive, you will find some green hiding underneath. ALSO, never ever ever eat a freshly picked olive…blegh.
  8. I don’t think I have ever turned down the chance to eat Nutella on anything. The giant jar in this photo is $90 dollars and is filled with 11 lbs of Nutella. These photos are from Bar Suzette Creperie.  They even have TRUFFLE CREPES.
  9. My sister was craving some major comfort foods so I made a tuna, mac, cheese, peas, carrots, and breadcrumbs casserole! It tasted like a take on a Shepherd’s Pie. Don’t you love those bright cast iron pots? My favorite is Le Creuset Cookware.
  10. This carved wooden artwork was part kitsch, part tiki, and part Coney-Island. It had a goofy sense of humor that kept me amused. In the East Village, Esperanto is  decorated colorfully, with Latin-themed pictures, ornaments hanging from the ceiling, and a faux sheet metal shack with random cruise-ship doors. I wish I knew what artist made this hysterical wall ornament!
What did YOU do this week?
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An Assemblage

A mosaic is merely an assemblage of tiny elements or small pieces that together form a complete and unified whole image. Normally, these small pieces are made of stones, marble, mirror, glass, and shells, but can be done with any materials (e.g.photographs, bottle caps, bubblegum). According to Wikipedia (and a few matching citations) –  “The earliest known examples of mosaics made of different materials were found at a temple building in Abra, Mesopotamia, and are dated to the second half of 3rd millennium BC.”

(A modern take on mosaics in a Harlequin Patterned wall. The use of only a few silver, white, and grey tones allows this luxe space to still feel minimal. Bisazza Mosaic in Chester White.)

In fact, mosaic tiling has been around for so many thousands of years that an entire nomenclature has been able to develop! The materials and small bits used to create the image are refereed to as Tessera (plural: tesserae) and can sometimes be called an abaciscus (plural abacisci) or abaculus. The original etymology of the terms comes from the Greek and Latin words for “boards”, “cube”, “die”, and “four” – most likely because antique mosaics were only constructed of square components.  There are even specific ways to place tiles – horizontally aligned (Opus regulatum) , in a geometric shape (Opus sec tile), in extremely small patterns usually for jewelry (Micromosaic), grid (Opus regulatum), vertical rows (Opus tessellatum), and finally “crazy pacing” (Opus palladium).

Enough academia! Enough antiquated Latin! The reason mosaics have such specific terminology and such an enduring quality are because of their everlasting beauty! They can show images of ANYTHING and thus can stylistically evolve as easily as an artist can manipulate his/her paints. 

(This yellow damask pattern, midcentury chair, lush carpeting, and ornate chandelier allow this room to transcend any one time period or style while still feeling lighthearted. Bisazza Damasco Oro Giallo)

Mosaics are not relegated to any one particular country but instead have been found in several continents, throughout multiple religions, and spanning decades and cultures (Persian, Christian, Byzantine, Jewish, Arabic, Islamic, Persian, Brazilian, North African, Albanian, Greek, Italian, Roman, Baroque, European – they literally come in countless versions and styles). In a way, mosaics are a peace pipe extended to all cultures – something most peoples share.

“Each of us puts in one little stone, and then you get a great mosaic at end.” – Alice Paul


(No your screen is not pixelated! This image is not blurry! Those are mosaic tiles! Silhouette Mosaic by Bisazza.)

(Floral meets geometric is unexpected! Morris Oro Giallo Mosaic Design by Bisazza.)

(Most mosaics are designed by architect, artists, and mosaic pioneer – Carlo Dal. Bianco)

(From the Bisazza Design Studio , clouds – comes in two separate patterns.)

(Bisazza floral mosaic)

(Since the mosaic pattern itself is usually extremely colorful, it is probably best to stick to solid furniture and accents. Mosaic Decoration: Morris Oro Giallo by Bisazza)

Bisazza is one of the most authoritative luxury design brands, and a world leader in the production of glass mosaics for the decoration of interiors and exteriors. They have even won an Elle Decoration International Design award for their amazing designs. Bisazza flagship stores are located in the main capitals of design: Barcelona, Berlin, London, Los Angeles, Milan, New York, Paris, Rome, Moscow, Antwerp, Tokyo, and Chicago. I first discovered this store quite by happenstance while I was walking around lost in Milan. It was raining, the streets all blended into a brown color, and the stone buildings were all monotonous. Then, all of a sudden, AHA! Through glass window displays I viewed bright reds, mosaic sculptures of trapeze artists, patterned walls, and shimmering mirrors. It piqued my interest from the street level, and continues to do so via the Internet. They believe in the future of contemporary art and mosaics so much that they even set up a foundation to display and collect latest forms! Buono! Bello!