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Takashi Murakami

The controversial Japanese artist Takashi Murakami is best known for his ability to blur the line between high and low arts. His sculptures, prints and other fine art creations are simultaneously tacky yet poised. In 2001, Murakami published  his “Superflat” theory in the catalogue for a group exhibition of the same name. The theory discusses the idea that there is a legacy of flat, 2-dimensional imagery which has existed throughout Japanese art history (such as wood-blocking) and continues today (in manga, hentai and anime). This style is wholly Eastern and emphasizes flat planes of color.  His pieces represent an amalgam and synthesizing of Buddhist accents, highly sexual Japanese fetish art, psychedelic sixties iconography, satirical exaggeration and childish linear drawings. The highly commercial artist has collaborated with such renown brands and celebrities as Marc Jacobs, Louis Vuitton, Kanye West, Pharrel Williams and in floats for Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, or as a game designer for Hasbro’s Monopoly.

Takashi Murakami Room / The Walkup

A painting by Takashi Murakami, a Guy de Rougemont cocktail table, and a pair of Leleu bergères in the living room; Manuel Canovas fabric curtains. 

Photography by William Waldron for Elle Decor. Serious and very fifth avenue, yet with a touch of humor. 

Takashi Murakami Room / The Walkup

A New York City apartment by John Beckmann of Axis Mundi offers wham bam glam! Image via Desire to Inspire.

Takashi Murakami Room / The Walkup

Statement pieces by artists Bert Stern, Takashi Murakami, and Alex Katz line this jewel box living room giving it punch and power. The color play, vertical stripes and expertly mismatched patterns continuously draw the eye to new places.

Sid Bergamin’s Brazilian retreat ala Robin De Groot Design and Architectural Digest. 

Takashi Murakami Room / The Walkup

Nigo’s Bedroom replete with Louis Vuitton bedsheets and Murakami Cushions on the floor. Eat your heart out pop culture, brand addicts. Image via The Ski Club. 

Takashi Murakami Room / The Walkup

Yours truly at the  Takashi Murakami at the Palace of Versailles exhibition in 2010. When in doubt; floral, happy-face wallpaper and carpeting does the trick. 

Takashi Murakami Room / The Walkup

Takashi Murakami Room / The Walkup

A funky brooklyn townhouse incorporates David Weeks lighting, contemporary prints (such as Murakami), a glossy white lacquered table, a Jason Miller Studio Antler Sconce and mid-century accents to create a bright and clean space. 

Takashi Murakami Room / The Walkup

This lounge space is half underground club and half secret treehouse. Painted over pressed metal walls, lucite chandelier, and Murakami print keep the relaxation space feeling fresh. Image via GummyGoose.

Takashi Murakami Room / The Walkup

The Arne Vodder credenza, the 60’s Ecuador chair, the bright orange sofa, a cow skin rug, and the angular floor lamp have a midcentury, cowboy vibe, but the Takashi Murakami and the Kaws Sorayama figure on the Saarinen table make this room ultra modern. Image created by Pastolux using Ebay finds. 

Takashi Murakami Room / The Walkup

Miami-based interior design and architecture firm Errez Design‘s curated update of a 1910 cottage in Coconut Grove, FL, which belongs to a contemporary art collector. The client has an extensive collection of artwork, including pieces by Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, Takashi Murakami, Banksy, Swoon, and David Bowie, as well as rare antique Biedermeier furniture, antique textiles, and crystal chandeliers. Images via Casa Sugar.

Takashi Murakami Room / The Walkup

Design by Vicente Wolf. A Takashi Murakami painting dominates one corner of the living room. African masks rest on a Chinese-elm cocktail table, an African stool serves as a side table, and a Louis XVI console stands by the window; all are from VW Home. The armchairs are covered in an Edelman leather. Park Avenue apartment via Architectural Digest.

Takashi Murakami Room / The Walkup

A space dominated by circular design: an oval print, an oblong sculpture, a rounded chair. Designed by D’Apostrophe, this Paris Mansion is friendly, organic and bright. Family room image via Houzz.

Takashi Murakami Room / The Walkup

Who said contemporary art is only for grownups? Definitely not me.  This kid’s room is airy and rainbow filled – no unhappy campers allowed. Design by Designed by D’Apostrophe for a Bond Street, NYC triplex. Image via Houzz. As they say in Japan, “Kawaii”!

Takahashi Murakami Room / The Walkup

A sneak inside Cordelia de Castellane’s artful Parisian home reveals a master bedroom painted with Farrow & Ball’s Light Gray. The four poster bed is kingly, almost stately, yet childish with it’s Murakami pillows. Photography by Roger Davies for Elle Decor.

Takashi Murakami Room / The Walkup

A London home’s mantle provides a focal point for artwork and first-edition James Bond books. The painting above the fireplace is by Chen Ke, and sitting on the marble is also a hyper sexual nurse (or waitress?) sculpture by Murakami. Image via House to Home.

Takashi Murakami Room / The Walkup

Dark navy exposed brick walls allow a white-bright Murakami piece to pop. 

Takashi Murakami Room / The Walkup

The bed, very seventies, surrounded by works of art: from left to right, a painting by Robert Delaunay, a vase by Ettore Sottsass for the Manufacture Nationale de Sèvres and a sculpture by Takashi Murakami. Image via Architectural Digest France.

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The Armory Show

Every March, like the migration of strange Monarch butterflies, artists, galleries, collectors, critics and curators from across the globe make New York their destination during Armory Arts Week. From March 7-10, 2013, stationed at the Chelsea Piers 92 & 94 overlooking the Hudson, a hangar’s worth of creativity bustles in the largest NYC art fair. The fair has changed locations since its inaugural 1913 debut – from the East Side to Chicago to the Cincinnati Art Museum to Amherst College – ultimately that its coming back to its roots. The piers at the Armory Show, now designated as Contemporary and Modern, are devoted to showcasing the most important, notorious, and emerging artworks of the 20th and 21st centuries.
Erica and Max

My friends Max and Erica enjoy a Pain au chocolat, muffin, Diet Coke and Coffee in the VIP Lounge fitted by Roche Bobois.

The Armory Show 2013The Armory Show 2013

The Hudson River on the West Side of the island was once central to to the city’s trade and transportation infrastructure. With the success of the auto industry, American’s reliance on waterways diminished and all-but-halted. Businesses at the piers closed down and many structures were left to decay. The desolate, vacuous spaces could be dangerous territory but also offered temporary homes to various artist projects, the most illustrious, perhaps, being Gordon Matta-Clark’s iconic Day’s End on Pier 52 in 1974.

The Armory Show 2013

The Armory Show 2013

The Armory Show 2013

Samsøn Projects of Boston had a booth arrayed with bongs, Carl Sagan and retail price tag fastener, featuring the works of Todd Pavlisko. 

The Armory Show 2013

The Armory Show 2013

Peter Liversidge, Ingelby Gallery London.

Peter Liversidge’s presented by Ingelby Gallery, London. Etc, 2011, neon.  Remember the seen from The King and I? Etcetera, Etcetera, Etcetera!

The Armory Show 2013
The Armory Show 2013 Destined to be a new Penguin ClassicLove Kicked Me Down (Where I Belong) by Harland Miller. 

The Armory Show 2013

The “Day’s End” Champagne Bar at the Armory Show Contemporary section. Little did you know that this Pommery Champagne bar is steeped in art history. The special light-bulb sculpture Day’s End, 2013, is site-specific installation by Peter Liversidge that references an eponymous work by Gordon Matta-Clarke on pier 52 from 1974-75; and Marcel Duchamp & Ulf Linde – Posterity Will Have a Word to Say, a special tribute to the 100th anniversary of the 1913 Armory Show, curated by Jan Åman. Drink up.

Cary Leibowitz Cary Leibowitz Cary Leibowitz

Cary Leibowitz’s  installation from Invisible Exports was a little too on-the-nose with its pessimistic yet honest take on pie charts, cliches and children’s rhymes.

Kevin-Harman_ForeverKevin Harman, Forever, 2012, mirror, carved oak frames, padlock 137 x 88 x 26 cm. INGLEBY GALLERY.

James-Hugonin-Binary-Rhythm-III-2011James Hugging, Binary Rhythm (III), 2012, oil and wax on wood, 189.5 x 169 cm.  INGLEBY GALLERY.

The Armory Show 2013

Brian Calvin, Can With A Landscape (Robin), 2009.  The otherworldly, martian quality of the artist’s portraits is ominous. Alex Katz’s influence on Calvin seems obviously delightful.

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LEGO Bricks

The ubiquitous primary colored blocks and construction toys known as ‘lego’ were invented by a carpenter from Billund, Denmark, who began making wooden toys in 1932.  The company used to refer to the concept as “Automatic Binding Bricks”. The term ‘lego’ itself comes from the Danish phrase leg godt, which means “play well”. Indeed these blocks do play well, not just as toys but as home decor. Something about the square lines, the bright colors, and the whimsy of childhood help LEGO designs to be ultra modern and clean. The company has been known to branch its brand into video-games, clothing, robotics,  movie franchises, cartoon characters, books, magazines, retail stores, and theme parks; however the world of LEGO interior design is still new!

This charming rendition of Rothko’s No. 5/No. 22 was put together by John Wilson, it seems the staff members at MoMA (the Museum of Modern Art) had a very sleepy Friday afternoon, it seems.

The LEGO storage bins featured above are available for purchase via this store. Why not store your LEGOs inside of a LEGO? That’s so meta...

Introducing the 20,000 brick apartment; Photographs by Thomas Loof/Art Department of NY Mag.

“Play is the building block of childhood learning, and this romper room, collaboratively designed by Lena Seow, Vrinda Khanna and Suzan Wines of I-Beam Design, is an architecturally inclined child’s wonderland. LEGO boards cover a wall of this room, from floor to ceiling. “Children can build with or against gravity,” says Wines, adding that the child’s ability to impact the basic architecture of the play area by building on the wall is a large part of the appeal.”

55,000 bricks and one year later the genius men at NPIRE, a small agency in Hamburg, Germany completed this 3 foot wide Lego wall divider. For further information, go here.

This board room table consists of22,742 pieces clicked together with traditional lego construction techniques (no glue), a 136mm grommet is located in its center. It sits on a polished Stainless Steel square hollow section structure built by B.A. Engineering of Prussia St and is topped with a 10mm sheet of toughened glass manufactured by Action Glass. Photography by studioseventyseven, for further information go here.

Brick by Scirocco uses oversized Lego replicas to make modern day radiators and radiator covers. Definitely a vast improvement over unseemly rusting pipes!

The modern Lego brick was patented at 1:58 P.M. on 28 January 1958; bricks from that year are still compatible with current bricks. Technically those “vintage” blocks still play well with their ultra contemporary polymer counterparts. I am particularly proud of the LEGO brick because its patenting falls on the date of my birthday, yours truly.

When in doubt, just aim to live in the glossy and commercial world of a LEGO brick. Brazilian artist and photographer Valentino Fialdini‘s creates vacuous miniature Lego rooms, more here.

Modern day British graffiti artist Ame72  (pronounced ‘aim72’) is also known as Jamie Ame. He has a background in graphic design and advertising. In the three images above he uses stencils to re-appropriate the look of “the Lego man”.

LEGO Kitchen and Chairs by Munchausen, a duo formed by Parisian designers Simon Pillard and Philippe Rosetti. More images here.

Artist and Lego enthusiast Jan Vormann went around the quiet town of Bocchignano, Italy filling in dilapidated walls with lego band-aids.

LEGOhaulic built this midcentury-modern style house. For more images visit the builders site or go here.

This is from a project done in cooperation with the LEGO company and Scott Sternberg of the Band of Outsiders clothing label. The room is located in a clothing store in Hollywood called Opening Ceremony. It was made to showcase the new LEGO inspired men’s line from Band of Outsiders. Check out Scott’s site and more pictures at: playwell.bandofoutsiders.com or in this photostream.

Etsy creators and artists never fail to amaze me! Check out this “I Will Never Lego” print here.

© Lego via Flickr Moose Greebles’ photostream

Feminism, pride, opportunist, acceptance – where did ads like this go? This 1981 LEGO ad pulls at my heartstrings. Remember, anything is possible with LEGO, your only limit is your imagination. What will you build?