Phantom from Friends with You, Miami, FLI went downstairs this morning and found that some furry friend had stolen the turkey breast (cooked and frozen from Thanksgiving) and taken it somewhere. I found the wrappers but the carcass is no where to be seen. Turkey Burgler. You never know where the meat will end up. She hides things like little bags of dried milk behind pillows in the living room or odd groceries in the spare bedrooms. One Christmas she snuggled up with a stick of butter in her black watch plaid fleece dog bed (complete and never even nibbled). No, the bird was not in the standard places. No wonder Shady was so blissfully happy and a tad thirsty this morning when she greeted me. She has more bounce in her step than the double pork roast fest she had earlier in her life with us. She has been slinking around in her guilt…but its pretty funny despite it all. The cats are oblivious but they could be party to these antics once Shady does the big deed of the grab. We will all need to keep our eyes peeled for the bones. I guess we are not having leftovers for dinner.

The inflatable above is part of an adorable installation by Friends With You. Friends With You had a sweet little space covered in polka dots on a white ground, with a big white inflatable, snowman type creature. Alex noticed someone coming out of a hidden door which we went through to see more art, things to buy, and the corporate offices of the Miami Friends With You (complete with their terrific collections of toys and collectables). Check out their work and ideas. They are a bright team with a lot of good ideas and even better methodologies to bring attention to their work, fuse art with commerce and license. Smart and sweet.

Detail Decorated Mini Coopers, Art Miami, Q. Cassetti, 12/03/2011Miami seems to be a great incubator for the fusion of art and advertising. Remember the slew of decorated Mini Coopers in front of Art Miami? What about the decorated trucks promoting Coconut Water (big deal down there) and handing out samples to all that strolled by? There were the girls in pink wigs and matching clothes promoting having your hair blown out “a catwalk quality blowout” with pink buttons and a funny tagline. There were trucks filled with real coconuts to promote some other coconut flavored products. Where art melds with commerce is where interesting things happen. We are not talking the zone Warhol lives in…where art imitates brand…it is more that the brand becomes art. Curious.

New week on the horizon

scherenschnitte1. Q. Cassetti, pen and ink, 2011Old week coming to a close. Since we spoke last, I have cooked up a storm, visited with people, shopped in Corning and in Waterloo, searched for shoes, and tried to sleep in between. We have had visitors from both sides of the family and lots of wonderful time with our dear girl and darling boy.

So the cooking started late Wednesday afternoon in prep for Kitty’s arrival. It was dinner and a few little things. She arrived around ten at the bus station—so Rob and I went to get her. She came home and ate a phenomenal amount of food…talking and chatting, laughing and opinionizing. Delightful. But it got late and we all had to put our heads down. Alex had friends over, so they listened to music and watched movies (which they always do).

Thursday, it was up and early. We had a dinner to put on the table, “wheels up” by 4. Everything was defrosted. The brined breasts washed, the salad compiled, the maple walnut layer cake iced and decorated. Table was set. Placecards made and placed. All went without a hitch. New refinements to this year’s even were: 1) preheat the premade gravy in advance. Use the hand/emersion blender to froth up before serving. You can add a bit more parsley at that time to freshen things up; 2) Second type of cranberry. I make the raw orange/cranberry/bit of sugar in the food processer so its chunky kind. This year I mulled some cider (about 3 c. cider, 1 seeded orange cut in  half (put 4 cloves in each half (skin side), squeeze the juice into the cider, 2 cinnamon sticks…and boil.) then, I put 2 bags of fresh cranberries into the cider (you can sweeten/ I didnt) and let them pop… What with the pectin in the fruit, it makes a lovely change and alternative to the raw stuff); and 3) prior to the early gravy making with the early stock making (turkey legs and wings from t he cheap parts section of the turkey aisle at the store)—make a TON as you do use it). Stock is key to Thanksgiving. I should have put a number at each placesetting to force people to change partners at dessert…and need to remember this for the next festa. Only downside to the party was that a family member was out of line with his behavior which soured the event for me. Better planning in the future to manage this behavior is needed. Nice thing is that this misbehavior is consistent. It was silly me to expect better. Next time.

I fully engaged the boneyard moments after the Thanksgiving festivities were winding down. The full carcass of the 19 lb. organic, natural, loved turkey, and Mr. Purdue’s fresh natural breast were boiled away after roasting to yield me three enormous containers of stock for the next Turkey fest after the 25th of December. Plans are in place to have a family party of kids and their friends for more of the same…We will see.

Eddys and Cassettis, November 25, 2011Friday, my brother Tom, his wife, Jenny and three wonderful kids came to visit on the way home to Boston. It was great to see them, albeit a bit short as we were just beginning to get warmed up.  They arrived in an enormous truck, something Hagrid from Harry Potter might have driven, the “Raptor” with my nephew who has grown to way over 6’ tall and the girls lovely and chatty. I loved seeing them. What a treat. So we had pizza and gabbed and laughed. I said wicked things to prompt them to join in, but they were so well bred, they snickered but didnt take the bait the way team Cassetti always does. The day was gorgeous…vernal with green grass, bright orange sunlight and a blue sky. It was November in SoCal, not Central New York. But we will take these blessings as they come…hoarding them as jewels. Rob and I did a quick strategic strike at the Black Friday Corning Museum of Glass sale. It was remarkable by 3 p.m. how much merchandise had been cleared out of the museum and the big auditorium with the big ticket items. I bought some drinking glasses, some glass jewelry and a few presents to add to mypile….for a great price. The big things they had were a huge selection of Waterford drinking glasses, example of Iittala Toikka Birdstumblers, wine and water glasses, a huge selection of Riedel glasses, and a huge selection of the Iittala Toikka Birds at very good prices. Everything was 20% off across the board with deeper savings throughout the boutiques. It was amazing…and hopefully it will all bode well for the Museum of Glass financially. High class stuff for good prices is hard to beat and next weekend is the fabulous Studio Sale which I recommend anyone in the area to make a visit for. Well worth the trip. We will not be here, so listen…and you will hear my teeth gnashing from down south! Go and hit the dollar table…the interesting experimental drinking glasses will make your morning orange juice something to celebrate or at least, notice. Latticino spun plates and bowls, some lovely cast glass….and so on. Too fun. All one offs.

We bought new dancing shoes for Kitty and a plaid shirt for Alex at TJMaxx to their delight. Kitty was giddy with her new shoes…for contradancing and the costume shop (her new reference points). Alex, as usual, was “hitting it” and working on the new look for Fall Winter Alexstyle. We are going to take some pix for fun and put in an application for Ford Models for  A. He wants to do it, and I can take the shots…why not? The worst thing would be that nothing would happen. No change from today, right? And in the tradition of our house, you should try and try and try. You never know.

Today, we went to the Waterloo outlets to get pants for Rob. This week is Art Basel Miami and Design Miami. Rob will be speaking at Musecon on Tuesday and doing some business/ meetings this week until  A. and I show up on Thursday and Friday to take in some art and happenings. So we needed to get some things so that Rob could look like the grown up he is. Costuming is complete. Now for the packing for him (Florida and Manhattan, from swimwear to formal wear…sounds almost Miss America-sh). He has lots of work in front of him, but if things happen postively, 2012 will be far more interesting (and diverse/complicated).

The sky is paynes gray grading to cream to light pink to paynes grey again. We have had some spectacular sunrises and sunsets in the past few SoCal days. It would be great for things to quiet down a bit so I can put some ink down and then settle in for an hour or so of Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert Massie (who I have loved from his other biographies, particularly that of Nicholas and Alexandra). But just time with my pens would be lovely.

I hope you gave thanks with friends and family…surrounded by the people that get you revved up and going. I love this holiday of gratitude. We should have more of them. The count the blessings holidays. I am thankful we just have the one we have…but a monthly one would be great too. There will be lots to talk about in the next week. Stay tuned!


These hands have nothing to do with Christmas. Just trying to work off a bit of steam from my love of all things indian. Saw some amazing ceramics at Art Basel/ Design Miami of objects inspired by things asian. They had an enormous, silk covered box with those lovely ivory sliders (the sort of box that you might get a very special doll, or vase or something packaged in as a gift (the object is made specifically to be a gift)--Well, this box was a zillion times bigger (5 ft tall), and it was opened and had drawers and shelves inside with these amazing, ornate and detailed white (must have been porcelain given the detail and finish) objects--one a dragon, another a little building etc. Surrounding this box on shelves around the walls were more ceramic objects with my favorites (if I had to pick) being a hand (about 14" wide) and the others being these very delicate coffee cups with eensie weensie hands that were massed together as the saucers (very Kali, hindu goddess of death and her with her skirt made of arms, her long and scary tongue....I digress). Anyway, love the hands in the miniatures that I have been staring at in the evenings in the bathtub (seems to do the trick as I have not needed to solve the world's problems recently, but maybe because that is why Obama got the job, not me!)

These are snapshots from Design Miami. Thought you might enjoy. I love em. These little twiddles are getting my head back in the game. I need to put a lot of ink down on the paper before the picture making vibe happens. Until then, these little spots.

We had the annual holiday band and chorus concert at the school last night. Nary a sour note nor off key straggler. Very good, actually with great energy and spirit. High Schoolers are almost its not quite the clap and sway/ herding of cats program the Middle School is. It was great to see A. so engaged. Two more days to finish up what needs to be finished up along with shepherding the organization and change of the present closet apres the weekend deluge due to the toilet running over. All is dry and seemingly back to normal...except for the closet where I cache all sorts of stuff I collect over the year to "give to people" which has, lately, gotten a bit out of hand. Now, thanks to the flood, I know what is in there, what I can give away and what is just not making it. Onward!

Snow is being announced for tomorrow. Southern Tier of New York (Corning/Elmira) getting the brunt of the storm (15" or so)--so we will definitely be part of that mix. I sent all the packages of little things to go to school with K in the expectation that Christmas break may actually have one more day in it this year. That would be great as the team can convene at the walkable pizza shop and while the day away with pals. Isn't that what High School is about...? Plus all of last year's seniors are back, so there is lots of exclamation and hugging and catching up that could happen. I think I might, like K does, wear my pyjamas inside out to will the snow day to happen.

What do you think?

Fairfield Porter ((June 10, 1907 - September 18, 1975)

"The presence in a painting.. is like the presence a child feels and recognizes in things and the way they relate, like a doorknob, the slant of a roof or its flatness, or the personality of a tool. Art does not succeed by compelling you to like it, but by making you feel this presence in it. Is someone there? This someone can be impersonal." Fairfield Porter.

An older artist than either Pearlstein or Welliver, Fairfield Porter was a more reticent realist, and with no link to Abstract Expressionism. He was largely self-taught. From the mid-1950s on he stayed away from Manhattan, preferring to paint on Long Island and on Great Spruce Head Island in Maine, which his family owned. This didn't put him out of touch with "the scene" - Porter was a gifted and lucid art critic as well as a painter - but he needed to be in constant touch with his motifs, especially American light and the still expanses of coastal field and sea. Porter rejected the piety that the empirically painted figure or landscape was dead. It simply didn't accord with his deepest convictions about how art relates to experience and conveys its "density" - a favorite word of his. from artchive>>

Automotive Miami

There was an automotive side of our trip to Miami. First off, the big splashy Audi that was the jewel in the crown of the Design Miami pavillion during the Art Basel week. It was way over the top with the aforementioned amazing lighting, models, huge sparkly silver bags (as a give away), all beautiful and bright in a brilliant white environment in a brilliant white building. A moorish tent to this wonder. Zillions in marketing materials somehow speaking to a lot of the well heeled at this fair. Somehow it seemed odd given the "bail out" and the stupidity the US car industry has so aptly earned in the decades of greed and selfishness, bad design and decisionmaking around the products design out of step with the world. This Audi display was sort of the cherry on top of this sort of thinking. I used to admire Audi as it seemed somehow smart and thoughtful...but this representation shifted my thinking.

However, while the hot glass team was whipping out the wonderful work, R peered over to a dark street corner opposite the automotive palace of greed...and there, quietly parked with a sole person leaning up against the side was a Tesla. This is the jewel. The silent jewel being marketed brilliantly. No printed materials, no flashy lights, no give aways...just there with a smart, Tesla representative ready to talk about his electric car (250 miles on one charge like a cell phone to keep it charged...only 4 hrs to charge from empty). It was a beautiful car, good design, totally believable.

The funny mirror car was parked by Design Miami too. It was being raffled off for an art foundation.

And, on the street was this great shagilicious greenmobile which A. said upon seeing "how perfect for Miami"!

Kaikai KiKi

After Red Dot (an aside, at Red Dot they actually posted prices unlike other venues we visited which was educational as the top seemed around $25,000 to a little business card with a drawing on it for $45. with quite a few pieces ranging around $1500-$2000/, we went back to GlassLab and met up with Steve. Grabbing Steve, we went off to Kartel to look at the nice outdoor sofas and side chairs they had and on to see the Takashi Murakami showroom. Well, that crazy Murakami had enormous to small plush balls of the happy flowerface along with a selection of silver jewelry, a sofa set covered in his fabric. It was very simple but very tangible to concieve of his work in your house. The big plush floral balls were a hoot (and I will post some pictures for your viewing pleasure) and outside of the gallery environment (note post last December on the LA Temporary Contemporary show we saw) it works in a cute and warm way. I think this guy is brilliant. More later>>

Friday: Art Basel Miami

Yesterday was filled with art, head spinning art, design, cool stuff and books. It had friends--old and new, friends we bumped into and just being friends (Q&R). It was, as mostly, a perfect Miami day with sun, a bit of humidity and clouds, but few. We started at the Convention Center to be there when the doors opened by noon--and we could only do about 2 and a half hours before both of our heads were buzzing, and eyes ringing. I did a solid five hours last year by myself--where I was going deep, taking notes about everything and not having as social and pleasant as it was with R. It was more like work--looking, seeking, comparing for ideas, approaches and confirmation with the death stuff I was on. It was also my November school get away as I was neither at Hartford or Syracuse. This year, stimulation is not as craved as I have plenty from all I was there to scoop up bits, see some trends, exclaim over the funny, profane or amazing. That was my goal. So, what did we see that was great:

Sparkles. They are everywhere. Applied to 2D stuff. Sequinned and rhinestoned 3 D stuff (I think triggered by Damien Hirst's Diamond encrusted skull)--from antlers, to strings of glittery glimmer to, diamond studded teeth in mink encased in lucite...Everywhere. Somehow signalling the end of the fat times--or maybe just the exclamation point before the fog of recession settles in.

Antlers: Everywhere.

symbols of consumption: Chanel double Cs, golden guns, exotic animal prints, gold plate everything. Very Paris Hilton, or Phat in the styling. I find it repulsive and not funny, but I think some think its funny. I think it is sadly telling about our culture.

Artists I saw and Loved:

R. Crumb drawings of Aline. Funny but somehow poingnant out of the R. Crumb spinning tale graphic novel approached.

Alex Cerveny's watercolors and small paintings using beautiful gradients, a consistent thin warm red border around his works. Lots of floating heads, twisting people and imagery that reflected a real understanding of medieval manuscripts. He used type on his images, sometimes creating halos with words. Beautiful florals. He is represented by Casa Triangulo, Sao Paolo, Brazil.

Alice Neels's painting of James Hunter Black Draftee, 1965 was startling and beautiful. Neel masterfully, and simply sketched the whole seated figure on a light neutral field and then went about painting the face boldly. This piece was breathtaking.

Steven Conroy's work shown through the Marleborough Gallery stopped me dead. His painting of JKIII, 2008 was a strong, simple portrait that was commanding in the confidence Conroy shows in the way he handles his paint--socking in the big stuff and then boldly using a dark line to delineate areas. Felt very Leindecker in its huge scale, simple blocking and tackling, memorable. I need to see more of Conroy's painting as it is masterful and was a teaching image for me.

Big year for Botero in numerous galleries. There was a lovely sculpture of a man astride a horse in a stone that sparked making the sculpture look as if the equestrian and horse were carved crisply out of a block of sugar. Since his work he did on Guantanemo that we saw a few falls back at the Marleborough Gallery, I found I loved him for his work and his thinking. Prior to that, I loved him for his approach, style and sweetness. He is back to sweetness with many new images being chubby acrobats, women riding horses in the circus, clowns (Comedia Del'Arte inspired versus "bring in the clowns" clowns). Very inspired by the work of Picasso. What was intriguing beyond the paintings which are looser...are his simple line drawings he tinted lightly with watercolor. I took notes. I can do this. And it looked good...snapped up some relatively ordinary drawings.

Russian artist, Stas Volyazlovsky's Magic Mirror was drawn on tea stained fabric> some of them looking like old runners with lace on the end, drawn with black and blue ballpoints. The style was very informed by russian tattoos or even street art. Volyazlovsky parodied religious and political theme weaving crowns, and symbols for the devil in with portraits of George Bush and Hitler, linking the Oscars with the Oskars--marrying western and eastern language and type forms....amazing.

Kehinde Wiley's portrait of Luis Carlos Neves Reis Study II,2008--oil wash on paper was outstanding. His portrait was bold, big (head must have easily been 18" tall) with flat fabric patterns behind and in front. Chad G. would have loved.

Greyson Perry's Map to Nowhere at the Paragon Press is a showstopper. It is a big engraving (pieced together), an edition of 15 with all sorts of religious, anatomical, political, geographic symbology with wonderful hand lettering saying the funniest and sobering things all together chock full of meanings and messages that only viewing it can accomplish.

Book Notes:
Taschen was there. These are keepers by Taschen:
Illustration Now (people to research later>>Ben Goss, Olaf Hajek, Christoph Nieman, Jordin Isip, Jody Hewgill, Melinda Beck, Craig Frazier)
Graphic Design Now
Wiener Werstatte
Guidelines for Online Success

Visionaire was there. Visionnaire does art projects with artists. To see more>>

Art Metro was there with books on Matt Leines (of Juxtapoz fame) for one. Also hade a series of books written by Hans Ulricch Obrist on artists (R Crumb interview for one.)

Art a tremendous resource.

Then we went back to Design Miami and walked the Design Miami Pavillion. I need to take a moment and talk about the real hit of the show, the lighting. There is this very intense highly focused lighting that is the rage. I went into a gallery with a bunch of Hans Arp drawings and small paintings and the talk in the room after the gasps was not about the art, but the framing projectors used and the intensity of the light used. Same in the Design Miami Pavillion that featured an opulent Audi with these impressive lights focused on it. Made 3 D seem dull.

There was a ton to see at Design Miami--actually surprisingly refreshing from the din and sheer volume of art from the Convention Center. Standouts were books, a splashy single chandelier that changed color from Swarovski--very Las Vegas, very Celebrity Cruises--and in the context of a big white space, kind of funny and sweet in the showgirl brazeness it has.

designer: Studio Job
manufacturer: Studio Job, The Netherlands
marquetry in natural Indian Rosewood with iconography in dyed African Koto, Pama, Tulipwood, Ash, Bird's Eye Maple, Aningeria, Madrona Burl, Birch and Red Gum
exclusive to Moss produced in a limited edition of 6 pieces

However, I almost passed out from the "Bavaria" collection of work Murray Moss had on show from Studio Job. It was the battlecry for all of us decorative illustrators waiting for new things to do! Marquetry on simple benches, tables, cabinets, mirrors using imagery near and dear to the members of Studio Job, the dutch life of farming. Symmetry, color, flat tones, a sweet story that any grown up or child would embrace. Among all the sophistry and chic, these whimsical illustrations were in your face, demanding (as with the Sheik of Chic) you pay attention, and while you are at it, be charmed. This collection of furniture came out of bigger farm based project called, "Farm". Now, could I live with this stuff? probably not. But, its a wonderful world that we can know that this sort of work is commissioned and sold to those who are as charmed as I am.

We had a nice sit and a drink in the HSBC lounge (for those with the right badges)--in an environment created by the Campana brothers, sort of a tiki chic thing with winding benches with rattan knit pillows and the Campanas loopy red chairs. There was a video extolling the Campanas and there as we were sipping or cool ones, strode the men themselves, the Campanas, celebs there to meet friends and have their pictures taken. We later saw the Campanas at Al-Sabah 's posing with the al Sabah himself. Al Sabah had moved some furniture as many of the pieces we saw on Friday were replaced with new ones...and he had lovely women in arab garb, more men in the same with plates of falafel, and inlaid boxes open with pieces of baklavah and other treats being offered about. More gigantic pyramids of dates, and dishes of pistachios.

It was fun seeing Tim Dubitsky work on with the GlassLab team to create 2 tattoos three dimensionally (one a flaming heart with a dagger, the other a sword with a rose) that were truly tour de forces to create on site (from blowing to at bench flameworking) to putting a significant number of truly developed forms onto one piece without thermal shock. Impressive. And, the pieces were remarkable too. This all ended around 9:30.

We strolled down the street (amazingly developed since last year this time) walking by Genius Jones (a great kids store) and no end to kitchen supply, tile supply, furniture and gallery shops to Pacific Time, a restaurant you need to pencil in for dinner the next time you come to Miami. Chef and owner, Jonathan Eismann is married to an old friend of the Cassettis so we needed to go and support the team and see this wonderous place. Pacific Time was a buzz--every table filled, all ages, sizes and shapes...turning tables and taking another seating even at ten. We had fish and wonderful sides of eggplant and another of swiss chard which made me consider being a vegan might not be the hardest thing to do. The real deal is to do as our knowlegable neighbors did which was to have the "whole shebang"-- one of every "small plate" offering that have to share for the table. Watching this go down was like really getting a visual and smell based review of the menu. From what I saw and sniffed...everything was beautiful, imaginative and distinct not to mention amazing.

Must go, the day is getting away from me.

Thursday: Miami touchdown

Got into Miami and met the airport in a very nice white rental Kia. We zipped into town famished, and decided to have lunch in the Design District and check in on the team. And So we did. They were all in fine form and after a great deal of hi-ing and helloing we had a lunch of yellowtail grilled and this wonderful escarole. Off to the new celeb's shop, "the Sheik of Chic", Majed J Al-Sabah's shop who was debuting two collections of furniture art which was enough for me just to say that I had seen the best and I could go home.

Al-Sabah in his brochure in his tribute says about his collections:

To deliver my Middle Eastern design message to the world. Being faced with a lot of ignorance til this date, I wanted again to show the world how beautiful our region is.

Highlighted were selected works by Huda Baroudi and Maria Hibri and Pieke Bergmans. Baroudi and Hibri started Bokja taking artisanal ttraditions and sensibilites of the east in crating contemporatry furniture and fusing them with a medley/patchwork of iconic middle eastern fabrics. Fabulous. Bergmans collected middle eastern furniture, decorated with a riot of mother of pearl and inlay and laid hot glass forms on the surface of these pieces, scorching the furniture and fusing the organic glass shapes with the rigid decorative pieces to wonderful results. To top it off, if the work wasnt great enough, they perfumed the air with spicy incense and had trays of enormous dates and nuts offering generous hospitality and warmth to all of us who visited. I highly recommend visiting.

Back to the glasslab, a little time to relax and do emmail and then dinner with the team at Garcias. Early night. I hope the convention center this morning.

making a list

All ancillary, move aside. Its Christmas insanity today along with prep for my trip and then a healthy dose of redo work (rescaling the holiday card for a client for the Chairman's exclusive 250 piece order) and a RFQ (Request for Quotation) on a big, wiggly photography project that we need to get funds for, but no one has wrapped their head around it. We will need to get this RFQ out tomorrow so as to have numbers early (Mon) next week so as to be able to roll that into a big budget request by Wednesday. Didn't I say it was the end of the year? So, no House of Health as I need the time for laundry,dishes, writing schedules, getting money and working. No rest for the wicked.

Did I mention how much I love Facebook? I joined Facebook for the same reasons I joined MySpace (and promptly quit MySpace)--to see how it works, to see the tone and feel to better understand and monitor my kids, the world they are living in, the attitudes and talk amongst the friends etc. And, because of that, I love Facebook as much as they do, have a better appreciation of what and how they are communicating and catching up with people I had lost touch with. I am jealous of my kids as the friends they have now, will continue to be friends with the ability to always catch up, snippets of chat, the hi howyadoin' being something easy and fun with community sites like Facebook, cellphones and the computer, email and gmail and snail mail. And to be honest, there is a lot of stupid talk amongst that set, but least they are talking, writing and reading (which is all good). Now, why do I love Facebook?

Well, I can do all the same things my kids can do--meet new people (or people you kind of met, and now you have a friendly jokey relationship), look at people's pictures etc, and actually use the chat function to talk live with pals like I did with the illustrious, illustrator and all round nice guy, Don Kilpatrick, Syracuse MA Illustration alumni (a class ahead of me). Don, as usual, was full of bounce and wasn't going to get a chance to see his piece in the KNOW show that Mark Murphy was sponsoring at Art Basel Miami in one of the satellite shows. (Note: if we get there, take a snap for Don). He is working very hard with teaching in Michigan but says the climate of the Big Three (Car companies) not doing well really makes the environment quite tough, quite tough indeed that the tenor and tone is hard at this time.

Well, the tribe is here. David Burke and John Whiting are opening up the door from the old historic kitchen into the current (1940) kitchen which was formerly the servant's dining room. We are opening the area to make way for a new kitchen which right now has the lovely hot cricket, the tiny woodstove that packs a punch that will help both rooms stay warm/warmer. There are projects to do, stains to touch, suitcases to empty, letters to write. More later.

Chilly, blue sky day.

R up at 4 a.m. to get a plane to Philadelphia to connect with one to get him to Miami as start of Art Basel Miami. He is back in NYC on Wednesday for a meeting and then back to Miami for the remainder of the week. The first half of the week has the Vernissage, an event practiced by the Europeans which wiki frames up this way:

A vernissage (varnishing, from French), also known as a preview, private view or simply opening, is the start of an art exhibition. Guests may be served canapés and wine as they discuss with artists and others the works in the exhibition. Critics and press may also be present, or invited to separate private viewings.

At official exhibitions, such as the Royal Academy summer exhibition, artists, in the past, would give a finishing touch to their works by varnishing them (J M W Turner was known for making significant changes to works on varnishing day while his fellow academicians were simply varnishing). The custom of patrons and the élite of visiting the academies during the varnishing day prior to the formal opening of the exhibition gave rise to the tradition of celebrating the completion of an art work or a series of art works with friends and sponsors. Nowadays, for commercial shows it is an opportunity to market the works on sale to buyers and critics.

There also is a comparable ceremonial ending of art exhibitions, called finissage. Larger art exhibitions also may have such an event at half time of the exhibition (midissage).

This vernissage is the culmination of some of the work the Hot Glass team at the GlassLab will be producing with the designers they have invited to work with them. Should be great. Vernissage is something that the Museum of Glass introduces as part of their programming with their hot glass outposts. Every time is wonderful, interesting and often pressworthy.

So, I am a bit tired getting up early. There are things to do here, reservations to be made, money to be gotten, appointments to be made. I shot images of K last night which I plan on using instead of a classmate for the NYC or work with a photo project from Hartford. I want a portrait of K and one of A and this is the opportunity to do it. I will check with mentor Murray to get clearance on that. I have a picture of my dog that has gotten published. Maybe this year its my kids? I have always felt that I couldnt do their portraits and have shied away from it. But I think with the black and white chops I have gotten with the vector work, this is something that is possible and quite possibly nice. If I could get one/both done for Christmas, what a present that would be.

No news from the Society of Illustrators on whether I got into the 51st show. Friends have heard if they havent gotten in...but I haven't heard if I have. I wonder if I should call or wait and let the busy people at the Society catch up? Nothing from Illustration West either. I just got certificates from last year's show last they may be running a bit slow on this one. January and February are another rash of entries. I will post.

Getting the snows put on the Wonderbus. The rain/snow/ice/slush fun that we had yesterday makes me very nervous. Thus this shoe change for the car. Too scary without the right traction.

gotta go. work awaits. I have to plan out a few weeks of a photoshoot in order to communicate it to 3 photographers to quote by mid week/next. Lots of chutes and ladders and trap doors that need to get sync'ed.

No turkey today.

a patchwork of disconnected pieces

Giant Planet, 2007 Cassini Imaging Science Subsystem (PIA08358) Photograph courtesy of NASA/JPL/SSI/Cornell

From the Johnson Museum website:
Spectacular Saturn: Images from the Cassini-Huygens MissionSeptember 20–January 4

This exhibit displays over fifty images of the planet Saturn, its rings, and its satellites. This selection, by Cornell members of the Cassini project, was made from almost two hundred thousand images that have been transmitted to Earth since the Cassini spacecraft arrived at Saturn in 2004. It also includes a few images taken by Huygens, a companion lander that parachuted through the dense atmosphere to the surface of Saturn’s intriguing moon, Titan. The stunningly beautiful images were chosen to emphasize the dynamic nature of the system and the interactions of moons and rings, as well as to explore Titan and Enceladus, two satellites with environments that might be hospitable to life. A spacecraft model will also be on view as well as historical books about Saturn from the Kroch Rare and Manuscript Collection.

A façade projection of images from Saturn will be seen on the east side of the Museum from sunset until 11:00 p.m. between October 2 to 26.

We saw this show along with a lovely collection of Surimono images collected by the Becker family at the Johnson Museum at Cornell prior to our going to see a movie, changed from proclaimed to "happy go lucky". These Saturn images were much so that it really raises the bar for our friends the science fiction illustrators as now so much that had to be imagined, reconstructed or modelled is now reality in these images. It was a small collection of photographs produced by a collaboration of people and groups from NASA, to the leadership of Steve Squires (Mars Rover Project) and his team, to University Photography to sit at Cornell to raise our sights and imaginations. The images were very fine, not a lot of pixelation which portrayed Saturn's rings in some with detail and measurements in the captions that really made me take a step back. Additionally there were images of some of Saturn's moons, images of methane and the methane cycle (which K clearly detailled for me>> methane moving in a cycle much the way we have water>> gas> liquid> solid and then gas again...). If you are near the Johnson, it is worth the trip.

Totoya Hokkei
Japanese, 1780–1850
Kintoki Exorcising a Demon at the New Year, ca. 1820s
Woodblock print
Collection of Gloria and Horace Becker
Colored in the Year’s New Light:
Japanese Surimono from the Becker Collection
November 8–January 4

This collection of prints from a NYS family was prompted by a show in recent past of different Surinomo prints. I have the book of the the former show and was very excited and pleased that the Johnson Museum considered another show furthering our understanding and interest in this very specific area of Japanese prints.

These Surinomo woodcuts were amazing in their sheer size and technical prowess. These Surinomo images were produced and collected in the mid 1700s-- with many of them being about 8" x 8" in size. With the affordability and size, you can imagine the popularity they had with topics ranging from food, to religion, to everyday scenes, landscapes--the range. These small images twinkle with strong design (of course, silly, they are Japanese prints!), the somber but lively palette, the fine-ness of the line and gradients pulled with a woodcut, and the use of blind embossing as another color/texture to take these prints beyond the expected. I had seen images from this show as photographs before, but this change in the architecture of the paper, this quiet detail to put emphasis in an image, to add hair to a seemingly white dog, to enrich the pattern and drawing of water is the reason to see the show. This caught me off guard to my delight. According to their registrar (who had late Thanksgiving with us), in a few weeks, those images on display will be changed out of their frames and a new set of around 100 images will also be shown. Another reason to go back.

One of my favorite things at the Johnson is their works on paper section which often has current work of emerging artists. That's where the real jolt comes beside the wonderful video installations that they sometimes have. The is the stuff that you can just gulp down without rhyme or reason, without history or sociology,just imbibe and integrate. There were quite a few thoughtful images from big linoleum cuts (36"x 48") to digital output with added/glued detail. I am so happy that giclees were happily at home with these other print media as, for me, it justifies it as a fine media/ fine image making approach. My favorite image was a black and white ink drawing from Laylah Ali "...the exhibition will include a recent ink drawing by Buffalo native Laylah Ali, part of her ongoing Typology series, in which she examines the many ways identity is manifested while referencing issues of race, class, gender, and power." I first saw Ali's work at Art Basel Miami last year and flipped. Her imagery is strong, her messages extrodinary and her decorative approach speaks to this novice. Need to learn more about this fine artist. PBS did a documentary (and their usual great job of writing bios/ getting sidebar information) on her as part of their Art 21 series.

Its snow raining. Everyone is working on their own thing from eating and movie watching to planning for the week. I am predictably blogging by the stove (on minime) with hope to whale a bit more on my paper and get back to some drawings...We need to get back to Tburg from the grey lake to pack Rob, do laundry and unload the pile of leftovers we will chug through this week to K and A's disappointment. Turkey may not look so good after three days! I am roasting turkey carcasses with a chop of celery, carrots, onions and a few soft turnips which smells pretty great and then will boil with water to make a very nice rich stock. The roasting is key.

More later. Maybe a picture?


Whenever possible, delay. Put off, procrastinate, dawdle (like I am now), consciously ignore those deadline driven things until the pain or lack of sleep drives you to them. I have a paper due on the 15th of December. Christmas is half wrapped. Cards are ordered. Lists need to be updated (maybe the teenagers can help with the list updating for cash). Thanksgiving was pushed off to today (I must admit, everything is done except the turkey breasts (4--3 to serve, one for show), the gravy, snipping off the ends of the green beans and peeling potatoes (I have teenagers--they are getting pressed into the peeling and snipping brigade if I offer them delights for lunch or scones for tea?).

Must buckle down in the next few days and shed some of this personally driven stuff. Another looming deadline is the ever fun, end of year, prep for taxes, project end of year sales, losses etc. And did I mention the push pull of what transfers to the next year and what doesn't? Should we lease a piece of equipment December 24th or January 2? And, I almost forgot, sign up for the SATs in Biology and French for K. Oh, and what about long term care insurance? Need to get on that too. Tick Tock it gets more expensive as we wait. Get on it, girl.

So,if I can knock off the paper (and edit next week) that would be great. Also, with Christmas half wrapped, I can finish that Sunday and get in the mail. Work is ramping up with end of year "whoops, it's December" or "we need this first week of January" (forgetting the printing world stops around December 15th)--that sort of shenanigans.

But, the frivolity continues. I am off to Miami this Thursday through Monday to go to Art Basel Miami and Design Miami. I am, of course, Mrs. Cassetti (wife of Mr. Cassetti, who is with the Corning Museum of Glass). The Museum is involved in a project with friends from the Vitra Design Museum, in developing an interest in designing, using and helping leading edge designers get comfortable in the world of hot glass and hot glass making. This project is called GlassLab (logotype designed by yours truly). The Museum takes their portable shop down to Art Basel Miami(and has done the Sofa Show in Chicago, Art Basel as well as the Vitra Museum, the Design program at Boisbuchet etc), they set up the stop, put up the fly/tent and work with some of the leading lights (young and old) to bring glass to the forefront as a wonderful material to work with.

Here is what the Museum says about GlassLab along with their schedule:

GlassLab @ Design Miami/Art Basel Miami
Oak Plaza, across from the Design Miami Pavilion
December 3 – 6, 2008

GlassLab is an innovative program from The Corning Museum of Glass that pairs the Museum’s master glassmakers with some of the most creative minds in design, using a unique mobile hot glass studio.

Schedule of Design Performances

Tuesday, December 2
1:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. Michele Oka Doner
4:00 p.m. – 6:15 p.m. Ladd Brothers
7:00 p.m. – 9:15 p.m. Tim Dubitsky

Wednesday, December 3
11:00 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. Miami Design and Architecture Senior High
2:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. Tim Dubitsky
5:00 p.m. – 7:15 p.m. Guest Artist (TBD)

Thursday, December 4
11:00 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. Michele Oka Doner
2:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. Ladd Brothers
5:00 p.m. – 7:15 p.m. Yves Béhar

Friday, December 5
11:00 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.
2:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. Ladd Brothers
5:00 p.m. – 7:15 p.m. Tim Dubitsky

Saturday, December 6
11:00 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. Yves Béhar
2:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. Michele Oka Doner
5:00 p.m. – 7:15 p.m. Guest Artist (TBD)

So, there will be art and illustration (posing as art) to be seen. Mark Murphy has a space in one of the smaller venues and has a show he has developed and curated, "KNOW" exhibition. Here is what Mark says about his show:

“KNOW” featured at this year’s Gen Art Vanguard Fair is an exhibition comprised of many inspired artisans that represent a diverse cross section of the fine art world. All of the work has been created specifically for the “KNOW” exhibition and hopes to introduce you to emerging and known talent who have no fear when incorporating digital painting, mixed media, comics, traditional painting, rendering and photographic styles into their work.

I made a point to see Mark last year and was surprised at the smallness of the works but the extrordinary quality of the paintings all at a very reasonable price.

I hope to visit Aqua, a very funny and cute, totally Miami Beach hotel which (as many of these quirky places have happen) have the rooms emptied, and galleries move their work into each room and set up shop. Aqua often has some nice, Juxtapos-y type galleries with often interesting new artists (check out the link--I see that Billy Shire from Culver City will be there...and actually, Aqua was where, last December, I saw Adam Baumgold Gallery (he reps Chris Ware, Steinberg, Charles Burns, Jules Feiffer etc. check him out) I adore going to the Convention Center which is jammed with galleries with everything from Picassos to films, from works on paper to works on canvas. Enormous C prints. An installation of enormous foil wrapped santa chocolates (real chocolate and everything). Funny made over cars, furniture and interesting lighting. Buildings made out of guide wires and agricultural fiberglass panels. Free drinks to get you to try certain liquors or wine. Maybe we will have the time to really go deep in the Taschen Store. Or sit in on some of the "Art Conversations" which are engrossing conversations that an artist and interviewer have on a topic. And, as I am Mrs. Cassetti, free passes into the VIP cool places. As you know, I will have my camera and the silver powerbook. Minime is staying home as I can park the computer and do not need to schlep it. So, maybe, just maybe, there might be some undercover photographs posted just for us.

So, it will be fun. Really fun. There will be swimming, art and hanging out with the glass guys (home team is the best) along with packing a bunch of stuff into the grey matter and seeing what sticks. Something better. I cannot wait!

Time to stop procrastinating.


Know Exhibition

"Know" featured at this year's Gen Art Vanguard Fair is going to happen real soon. Mark Murphy, Murphy Fine Art Editions is working hard to post information prior to the show dates of December 4th through the 7th. Syracuse Alumni, Don Kilpatrick is one of the artists in this show. To find out more, here it is from Mark Murphy's Scribble 08 Blog>>

> Image is Don Kilpatrick's entry for the Know show.


I think there is a stylistic link between what Leger does relative to the puritan spirit effigies and they way they are realized. The whimsey and looseness of Leger's women and the circus performers (with their naive placement of arms, legs etc) fits with the funny spirit heads, which in some cases are equally naive and disproportionate to that of Leger. Granted, what the brush can do against the chisle on stone is slightly different--but what with what some of the calligrapher cum gravestone designers can do...align nicely.I should try to fuse them together to see what happens. If I were Gary Kelley, I might take a leap and work them together. Gary is a fan of working art history into images/illustrations (for me, bring it on as I adore art history). It will take me a bit wider on where I have been going..but worth spending a few sketches to test the waters. Maybe a little looksee with the projector?

A few more hours needed on the second Memento Mori book. Love the new format (square--7.5" x 7.5" as it is a good shape and also its on the creamier, uncoated text paper with the good, rich blacks). I should be able to get it to Lulu by Thursday this week. Book Three began January 1 (-March 31)--so,the Hartford Texas trip noodles will be in this piece. Am giving it some thought to perhaps reconfigure the first volume to this square format so I have a stack of books when they are done.

Another idea: When we were at Art Basel Miami, there were some nice shops in the Miami Convention Center (Taschen book, Davidoff, the Cartier Foundation, and some other art book shops). One of the art book shops had mini bound portfolios with small editions of one color (black ink on cream paper) prints in a little casebound portfolio. When I say little, they were about 5" x 7"finished size. Perhaps I need to spend some time with Joe Seppi at Pioneer press to see if he can do that sort of thing. I am thinking a small portfolio of letterpress images (maybe on a luscious paper like a high rag content Rives either cream or tan?) or even some on black paper with white ink(or matte foil) as another way to get the work out. I have even thought it might be fun to try it out with a valentine?(that is letterpress imagery). Need to get rolling if that is going to happen.

Onward to a toughcat.

Meet Louis Olson

Meet Louis Olson, glass artist, glassblower, batch engineer and marketer, annealer maker and marketer and all round the most energetic person I have met in recent past. Louis is Noslo Glass. Louis was with the GlassLab in Miami--working with the celebrated designers to help them work out their designs and realize their design intentions. And, I had a chance to talk with him over a few dinners and lunches, poolside and on his birthday. If we weren't talking to Louis directly, we were talking (with amazement) about Louis. He runs his own glass business, didnt like the glass batch offered in the market so he started to make his own. Now he does that in addition to glassmaking-- he makes and sells batch and also annealers (the GlassLab has one of Louis' and it is excellent according to the team). When he isn't working, he is playing equally hard. When we were all snug in our beds, Louis found the hottest spot in Miami and was entertained by salsa dancers on the bar and the scene. He got into his snug bed around 3 a.m. to be fresh and ready to go when the rest of us, the slug a beds were rousing. He is an inspiration and a good sport. Whenever we went out with him, we made every night his birthday...and he played our howls of laughter. Louis is amazing, intuitive and inventive. Plus, Louis has some very good ideas and concepts. His brain is always working.

Why do I introduce you to Louis? Louis saw my Memento Mori notebook while we were in Miami and suggested we get together and make some forms in black glass and sandblast the illustrations (probably reversed--per my new knowledge from Steuben) into the glass. That would make the whites matte and white and depressed into the glass (slightly) and the blacks shiny and slightly raised. Or, what if you worked in clear glass (say a flat bottle) with the front plane and back plane interacting in an interesting way? I think that is a very cool idea and plan to pursue this. Why not? Matt Haber (of the other night's conversation about Mark Murphy) has bottles ( Lambrusco or some cheap stock bottle) painted. I can design the bottle or vessel, do the move (that is 3 D art direction with a glass team) and provide illustration etc. Maybe introduce some sewn or woven neck treatment in the case of a bottle. Or maybe, to keep it simple, just huge spun out platters/rondelles to get the illustration up big? I could see what happens. If good things happen, do more-- and maybe enter them into New Glass Review (remember, get the work out there?)...and work until it gets boring...or too much time/money is burned in the experience. I think there could be a market for this stuff (even for the Ithaca Art Trail etc.). New Year promises new avenues.

What do you think?

Mark Murphy, designer, illustrator and entrepeneur

We met Mark Murphy at the Art Now Show (Claremont Hotel) during Art Basel Miami. The Art Now space was very run down and worn out (much like old college dormitories) with long, unbroken, dark hallways without windows and with steel doors. The place seemed dirty and haphazard. So, we followed the breadcrumbs and found Mark in a sparkling and bright corner space (he admitted that he cleaned and cleaned the space to the shock and surprise of the cleaning staff that his space never looked this good). His work was beautiful and presented in a very methodical way--with a bookshelf of his self published publications, his Known show (as promoted on his blog) and his big,smart and happy personality filling the space. Mark told us all about his books and love of doing it right--all archival and well designed. Mark is proud of his relationships with his illustrator friends and encourages them to take their work as far as it could go--and it shows in the beautiful, case bound books that he produces.

I was taken by Matt Haber's delicate head (see above), Marc Burckhardt's Harlot, Cathy Bleck's inspiring scratchboard illustrations and the animal head from A. J. Fosik which was well crafted and had a great design and color sense. For collectors, Mark Murphy's little gem of a space within the dingy confines of the Claremont is the ticket. One can pick up gorgeous originals from celebrated illustrator/artists on the upswing of their careers. If one had $20M to spend, you could buy yourself a collection with Mr. Murphy along with starting a little limited edition library as well (more on the books here>>).

I am so taken with Cathy Bleck's work, I have pulled out my scratchboard tools and may start scribing some black boards tomorrow. Lets see if it's fun, it works, and if it's quicker than ink.
Mark Murphy says she is now creating her own boards along with rubbing pigment into the coating. I think I would opt for photoshop helping our with the color and image manipulation.

Mark is a very strong and positive force for illustrators, designers and the space in between. He has a great design sense and passion for everything he does--and I admire his energy, personal mission, sense of quality, drive for excellent art and production and love for his work. It is a remarkable thing. It has rubbed off a bit on this person.

You go, Mark!

From Mark's blog on the image above: Matt Haber celebrates the narrative tradition of cartons and comic books. Matt’s character-driven works and doll-like characters are small pawns in his constantly evolving storybook. Mr. Haber has worked as a Disney animator in the past and currently works for Fox animation studios, working experiences that has evolved his love for rich storytelling. You can see his latest painting, entitled, “Mask,” at

love these little kites

Superliner - 2007
acrylic, paper, dacron, wood
165 x 395 x 18cm.

Jacob Hashimoto was represented by the Mary Boone Gallery at Art Basel Miami. There was a lovely installation that was very inspiring I thought I would share him with you.I love how decorative his work is using tying, knotting and little kites to create this magical world you can live in...even if its for a short time. says about him:

jacob hashimoto is one of the most interesting young activists in the contemporary art scene. what he does with paper creates real magic -a ravishing cascade of cloud white paper shapes flowing from ceiling to floor like a waterfall frozen by winters icy breath. viewing the piece fills you with a deep and profound stillness.

jacob hashimoto is perhaps best-known for his installations in which he creates large-scale sculptural forms out of thousands of 'kites'. drawing on the tradition of kite making, he creates each of the kites by hand, using bamboo rods, string, and offset prints. or all of their exquisite lightness and ethereality, the sculptures are expression of air, light, and space.

More on Jacob Hashimoto at his website :Studio La Citta>>

Think about it. Live from Art Basel Miami

TITLE: Bat Love
ARTIST: Gabriel Acevedo Velarde
MATERIALS: silkscreen
SIZE: h: 100 x w: 140 cm / h: 39.4 x w: 55.1 in
STYLE: Contemporary (ca. 1945-present)
PRICE*: 4,000 US$ (Convert prices to your currency with our Currency Converter)
GALLERY: OMR +52 (0)55 5511 1179 Send Email
ONLINE CATALOGUE(S): Art Basel Miami Beach @artnet Dec 6 - Dec 9, 2007

Kind of begins to validate the stuff I have been doing. Don't you think?

more on Art Basel stuff

Bari Kumar was at Art Basel and I love his work! He was part of a group of really interesting and talented Indian painters that take eastern ideas and marry them with a western perspective. I love the way Kumar also introduces a very moody Indian inspired palette, a painted digitization/digital artifact and western symbols to create a very mixed and interesting message.The Indian artists and indian art magazines were one of the interesting categories that inspired me. Anishen Avini uses bleach on giclees of Indian imagery--erasing faces and details to create interesting new images. Galleries from New Delhi were very much in evidence.

Other observations include:
Black and white/ inked drawings are acceptable. Chris Ware's original inked layouts are being sold alongside Steinbergs etc. Great gallery (Adam Baumgold) in Aqua specialized in this sort of thing. Donald Urquhart, Herald Street Gallery London, is doing some whimsical, almost sixties-ish fashion brush drawings with very loose, scripty writing.

New technology: Karin Sander created these interesting little 3 dimensional people figures (about 8" tall in paper) that were 3D body scans that were output by a 3D inkjet printer. The laser cutter for flat pieces of paper was very much in evidence and unfortunately looked too predictable and too hallmark-y to be successful. For a laser cutter to be effective, one needs to build flaws and inconsistency into the image to have it feel genuine versus gimmicky. An artist at the Mary Boone Gallery, Che Fueki did an image called "Owl" with regular paint on canvas and then built up layer upon layer of puff paint to take the picture to the maximum with decoration and detail. Very cute and original. Another painter took pictures during her morning walk and translated the color fields to these soft, very very smooth gradients on stretched polyester (very shiny and not much texture) that seemed to take the idea of airbrush to a whole other place.

Joe Coleman, Barbara Kruger and Nedko Solokov are using words, phrases, personal narrative or biographical narrative as integral to their work. The neon guys doing complete lines of copy were impressive. The Deitch Galleries/Projects used hand painted sign making and vinyl signmaking using copy/type and illustrations to great effect. Type independant of image is less so...but integrated is very much in evidence. Charles Krafft's "Sharing is loving" pair of delft inspired bunnies in porcelain flanking a huge hypodermic needle (illustration to just give you a glimmer of it's wonderfulness)

Organs and parts very hip. Barbara Kruger and her brain. Sigga and her glass organs. There was this wonderful artist doing penance for his partner's illness. He created an outline of the body in coloraid paper (to size), with selected systems called out in other cut paper (all of it put down with matte scotch tape)--with a chalky multicolor heart, lungs, circulatory system in the hands, the brain etc. Very evocative.

Then there is old technology made new. Matthew Brannen, an artist that makes these very simple layouts--letterpress with polymer plates that he makes one saleable piece and one artist's proof. He did a great piece with suntan lotion bottle and stone crab claws. But my all time favorite was a stacked piece showing a shark as a shape with a turquoise water (expressed with a thin, turquoise woodgrain) and the pooor shark's stomach holding skeleton hands and wine bottles. It also had the shark's small digestive tract and equally small brain complemented with price tags and manila's little tags as well. Totally perfect.

Huge Scale.
Walton Ford's fabulous tiger. Huge C prints of landscapes that totally suck you into their vortex and their rich, rich evocative state. The color and saturation framed up either as a slice of a luscious landscape or an elegantly overdetailed Baroque court salon that transports you to another place and time. The big size and deep color takes you to an entirely different place. Oversized is great.

Work inspired by Velazques. A wonderful compliment of images and figures in the park inspired by the Infanta in Miami. Also, the Felipe IV inspired Velazquez by Manolo Valdez was a reason to pick up a paintbrush or in the case of this sculpture, a knife. Gorgeous.

more later>>

Joe Coleman is amazing

There were many outstanding images at Art Basel, but a real showstopper and one I spent time with was this image "Behold Eck, 2006" by Joe Coleman. As I googled for this image, it turns out that the NYTimes has done a writeup on Joe Coleman's recent show that I will forward to you for your enjoyment before I start my yammering>> I had seen an interview of Joe's work in Juxtapoz and didnt really understand his work until seeing this singular picture which captures the best of graphic novels with a Bosch/Breughel aesthetic in truly an american and almost victorian view. With these portraits or pictures, Joe Coleman tells you the story of the person's life from different viewpoints and little snippets from rendering little gargoyles to exemplify a personality trait, to tiny little newspaper clippings (all rendered copy in less than a single hair brush with such control and dexterity--he matches any medieval monk painting marginalia). The printed version of this painting does not even begin to show the freshness and subtlety that Coleman expresses in the original. His work is extrordinary, original and thought provoking--and as illustrators, we should all take a look at someone really using the two dimensional plane to tell a story beyond the picture and weave a complex depiction of the personality, life and deeds in a truly rich and thoughtful way. There is a book out on his work "Internal Digging" worth pursing.

More later>>