Thursday, February 25, 2010

Bedecked & Bejewled

We noticed a midtown jewel yesterday on the way to the subway--the Chanin Building. Built in 1927-1929 for businessman Irwin Chanin, it is one of New York's most decorated Art Deco buildings. Designed by Chanin and Rene Chambellan, the lobby boasts abstract bronze grilles that are said to represent the "intellectual and physical life." What struck us was the movement in these pieces, and the classic motifs of the time that were seen everywhere from building facades to the lapels of the era's most fashionable.

TKF Art Deco pave rhinestone clip c. 1935

Vintage 18K yellow gold, diamond and ruby sea urchin pin brooch by Tiffany & Co.

Peacock tail motif dress clip c. 1935

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

When the Day Goes "Pop"

Abandoned trailor near Taghkanic, New York

We like to think of our little weekend trips as adventures- whether we are discovering a new town or route, or rediscovering places and things we encounter daily. Today, we share photos of a little trip upstate and the machine age landmarks we encountered along the way. The Photorealist paintings of Ralph Goings help illustrate that Americana is still being served up with a hot cup of joe at little stops in our own back yards.

Five Objects, 2004

Exterior, West Taghkanic Diner

Creamer, 1999

Near Millerton, New York [1]

Near Millerton, New York [2]

Girl on the Wall, 1968

Still Life with Red Mat, 1988

Monday, February 22, 2010

The New World of Toile

Glasgow toile by Timorous Beasties (note the passed out drunk on the park bench and the gentleman relieving himself at the tree)

Our exploration of flowers got us thinking about the beautiful foliage so often used in traditional toile's. But the 18th century imagery of couples picnicking in the French countryside has evolved with the times. From the industrial water towers of downtown New York, to muggings in Hyde Park, these toile's depict a more modern reality (except of course for the one from France)...

Sheila Bridges' Harlem Toile in Hydrangea and Pink

Nolita toile by Pierre Frey

South African inspired toile for Carol Mills Fabrics

Pierre Frey's traditional French toile, Coutances Positifs

London Toile by Timorous Beasties (don't miss the mugging taking place up on the right!)

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Weight of Flowers

When we were pulling the Penn photos for Hothouse Flowers, we found the Steichen black and white studies included below. What strikes us is the visual weight of the flowers--voluminus and sculptural, striking without the aid of scent and color. So, with a few clicks, we set contrast on "high" and saturation on "low" and offer a few black and white studies of our own...don't judge us harshly alongside the master!

A window Valentine's Day bouquet in Chelsea

A coworker's Amarylis at the office

Steichen's Lotus, Mt. Kisco, New York 1915

Tulips in the East Village, NYC

Poppies through a florist's window in Chelsea

Steichen's Sunflower, 1920

Little fists of tulips in Midtown

Edward Steichen, Heavy Roses, 1914

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Hothouse Flowers

Walking through the cold and grey of a February day in New York, we were struck by the gnarled, muscular beauty of Iceland Poppies ready to bloom. If Spring is not in the air yet, it is in the warm windows of Chelsea and Midtown florists.

A tangle of Iceland Poppies through a window in Midtown

Iceland Poppy on 10th Avenue during last week's blizzard

leablum.squarespace has a lovely bouquet of poppies on her blog

Penn's Poppies from Flowers

Irving Penn's Oriental Poppy

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Journey Through Canvas

A trip to the John Davis Gallery this weekend introduced us to Iowa born artist, Yura Adams. Her work immediately made us think of the wonderful street art we see in NYC--bold, colorful, thoughtful. And when deconstructed into smaller pieces, her work takes us on an urban "Alice in Wonderland" type journey through Adams' world.

Section of Alphabet Walker, gouache, graphite, digital collage and alphabet stickers on paper, 2009

Section of Stick Walker, gouache, graphite and digital collage on paper, 2009

Section of Walking Together, oil on canvas, 2009

Section of Rabbit Life, oil on paper, 2009

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

February Landscapes / The Color of Winter

Whether we're in the city or in the country, the winter landscape and palatte always inspires us: chiaroscuro of grey, warm brushstrokes of dried grasses and scrawls of bark brown.

Pond in Litchfield, CT

A sculptural, frozen stream between Litchfield and Sharon, CT

Outside Botanicus in Hudson, NY

Moss dappled branch in CT

Field outside Taghkanic, NY

A linear grove of trees

Sidewalk on 10th Avenue, Chelsea

An unused billboard on the Westside Highway, NYC