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Girl on Fire

The leggings (straight from dance class, no pants meant no changing), the dangling door-knocker earrings , the bleached cropped hair, the kohl smudged eyeliner – these are the components of Edie Sedgwick that become stuff of legend. Emulated a hundred times over. Her fashion and style. Her speed-induced, lithe “je ne sais quoi“.

This troubled “It Girl”, early Warhol muse and trust-fund socialite lived a life so filled with her emotions, so spotted by her troubled feelings and so intense that her star went super nova, burned, collapsed in quick succession. The aspiring actress once  auditioned for Norman Mailer’s play The Deer Park, but Mailer thought she “wasn’t very good… She used so much of herself with every line that we knew she’d be immolated after three performances.” Her life, allegorically, was lived much like said audition.

What is not often discussed are her surrounding – not the people – but the furniture.

Edie Sedgwick's Apartment

Edie, originally from Santa Barbara, California, grew up on a ranch. She loved horses and could ride  from a young age. An excerpt from Patti Smith’s Just Kids, “‘The lady’s dead.’ Bobby called from California to tell me that Edie Sedgwick had died. I never knew her, but when I was a teenager, I found a copy of Vogue with a photograph of her pirouetting on a bed in front of a drawing of a horse. She seemed entirely self-possessed as if nobody in the world existed but her. I tore it out and put it on my wall. Bobby seemed genuinely stricken by her untimely death. “Write the little lady a poem,” he said and I promised I would. In writing an elegy to a girl like Edie, I had to access something of the girl in myself. Obliged to consider what it meant to be female, I entered the core of my being, led by the girl posed before a white horse (176).”

Featuring Jonathan Adler's Rhinoceros

For someone so avant-garde and on the cusp of the pop-culture world of glitz and glam, Edie’s stately room was subdued. It reeked of her socialite, New England-drenched upbringing. In a way, it seemed almost grandmotherly.

Shop by the Numbers:

  1. TargetThreshold™ Exploded Floral Toss Pillow in Blue. Threshold is the new Target Home rebrand and features an assortment of entertaining essentials, accents and well-designed, decorative accessories. Riding and equestrian influences are everywhere in the collection, from the leather handles on a hammered silver serving buckets to a horse silhouette on an outdoor rug.
  2. Target – Threshold™ Floral Sham in Beige. Go crazy for paisley.
  3. CMQ Studio – An 8×10 Giclee Print of an Arabian Stallion horse. The ink sketch is titled Wild Stallion. The illustration features a loose sketch technique.
  4. One King’s Lane – 1970’s Mark Hapton Chintz Sofa. The Charming chintz sofa is from a Washington, DC home designed by Mark Hampton, covered in a chintz fabric of his own design. It’s kitschy yet comfortable, muted yet loud.
  5. Jonathan Adler – Pets without the responsibility! Jonathan fell in love with these Rhinos while traveling in England. They make a great footstool or occasional seat or a great topic of conversation the next time you entertain. These animals are handcrafted from top quality, full grain leather and no two animals are exactly the same.
  6. Lamp’s Plus – Wrought Iron Pavilion Wall Candle Holder. Edie once almost burned down her apartment because she left candles unattended. A wall sconce is an easier (and safer) way to be a bit careless. The flowing curves of this candle holder will brighten up a room even before the candle is lit. Made of sturdy wrought iron in a natural looking rust finish.

It’s not that I’m rebelling. It’s that I’m just trying to find another way. – Edie Sedgwick

 

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Ben-Day Dots – An Artist’s Dwelling (9)

The Ben-Day dots printing process, named after illustrator and printer Benjamin Henry Day, Jr. and is similar to Pointillism (Think of  Georges Seurat‘s The Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte and how it changes from an amalgam of tiny dots to a fully shaded image based on one’s proximity to the canvas). Depending on the effect, color and optical illusion needed, small colored dots are closely spaced, widely spaced or overlapping to create the illusion of shadow, color, and dimension. These dots differ from the printing process in newspapers (ever notice those little dots on the edges of a page) – those are halftone dots or dot gain – and differ from the Ben-Day dot in that they come in many sizes, circumferences, spacing and diameters. Ben-Day dots are able to express an image while all dots on the page remain the same size.  Most people are familiar with Ben-day dots without even realizing. Why? The simple answer is Western-style comic books from the 1950’s and 1960’s.

Puma 917 – Popart Pack – Roy Lichtenstein

Hi! I am a Ben-Day dot, all the circles above are the same size!

Hi! I am a Halftone dot, I help to create images with dots of different sizes. 

Pulp comic books used benday dots in primary colors to inexpensively create the secondary colors such as flesh tone. The dotting technique was also an inexpensive way for artists and printers to create shading and depth. Ben-Day dots were considered the hallmark of American pop-artist Roy Lichtenstein, who enlarged and exaggerated them in many of his paintings and sculptures. In addition to appropriating comic books’ melodramatic content, Lichtenstein manually simulated the Benday dots used in the mechanical reproduction of images. One is not supposed to actually “see the dots” in images however, in Lichtenstein’s paintings the dots are over-sized and a central tenant. In this way, the painter is taking something robotic and manual (and hidden) and forcing to be the organic, man-made focus of the canvas.

 Roy Lichtenstein, Drowning Girl, 1963

The artist himself explains, “I was interested in the fact that the cartoon faces and so forth were so unreal and that we took them, generally for realistic. If you go through the magazine, the girl looked pretty in the picture, you know. Then when you really look at what you’ve got—black lines and red lips—that there isn’t anything in this picture that’s real. I was interested in say, the style of, say, a pretty girl in a comic book, or a hero, whatever it was manufactured out of a kind of idealism as to what people should look like, modified by economies of the printing process.”  There is also a dark-humor inherent in Lichtenstein’s ability to make-fun of a character’s death, or the dramatic narrative of a comic book, by oversimplifying it in large format.

ROY LICHTENSTEIN’S STUDIO, AS PHOTOGRAPHED BY HORST; TAKEN FROM ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST’S “CELEBRITY HOMES II”, 1981.

Comic books and printing techniques are often very focused on properly recreating a human character by using mechanical means. However, I am more interested in how these “dots” can recreate the oeuvre and warmth of a living space. In Interior Series by Roy Lichtenstein the idea of a “home” is explored and mocked. The prints of the Interior Series are banal domestic environments inspired by furniture ads he found in telephone books. The Interiors are based on advertisements, most of which Lichtenstein cut from the Yellow Pages – further challenging the idea of and blurring the lines between “low art, commercial art, and high art”.

 

Photographer Laurie Lambrecht worked as a part-time assistant to Pop artist Roy Lichtenstein from 1990 to 1992, helping him to inventory his studio in preparation for his 1993 retrospective at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan.

The Interiors, one of the artist’s major final series, portray colorful magazine spreads of rooms for purchase. With the artist’s usual dry wit, they depict domestic spaces, occasionally occupied by Nudes from his other late series. his body of colorful paintings and prints reflects the excess of the 1980s. I was lucky enough to view one of these LARGE format paintings in person at The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and let me tell you they are massive, mural sized pieces. They are almost the size of the room they are trying to portray and give the effect of actually being in a real room (which is incredible seeing as though they are all on a 2d plane). They hit you in the face like Whaam!

La Sortie by Roy Lichtenstein. Image found HERE.

Image found HERE. 

Roy Lichtenstein’s Interior with Skyline. I spy a Saarinen design.

Wallpaper with blue floor interior by Roy Lichtenstein. Image found HERE.

Modern Room by Roy Lichteinstein. Image found HERE. I spy mid-century modern and an homage to Warhol.

The Den by Roy Lichtenstein. Image found HERE.

Image from Roy Lichtenstein: Interiors, by  Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Fitzpatrick, Dorothy Lichtenstein printed by Hudson Hills, 1999., pg. 58

The Living Room by Roy Lichteinstein. Image found HERE.

Roy Lichtenstein – Interior with Red Wall – lot 47 – $7,026,500, est. $8 to 12 million via ArtNet. Roy Lichtenstein’s 10 foot tall Interior with Red Wall (1991), as seen above, sold to a telephone bidder for $6.2 million ($7,026,500 with fees) against a pre-sale estimate of $8 million-$10 million. I spy lots of Knoll inspired design items. Zap! Bang! Whoosh!

So how can you live in this mechanically produced Ben-Day dot world of excess, consumerism, pop and color? Have no fear! Zing! Swoosh! Zap! Hint: stick to CMKY or RGB tones, meaning Yellows, Reds, Green, Blue, and other primaries. Look here:

 

Shop by the Numbers: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11a / 11b / 12