Saturday, May 8, 2010

Weekend Art School: Feliz Gonzalez-Torres

Felix Gonzalez-Torres (November 26, 1957-January 9, 1996) was a Cuban artist who grew up in Puerto Rico before moving to New York City. Gonzalez-Torres had his first one-man exhibition of his early text pieces in 1988 at the Rastovsky Gallery (560 Broadway) in Soho. He dreamed of moving to Las Vegas.

Perfect Lovers

His work was the focus of several major museum solo exhibitions in his lifetime and after his death. Retrospectives of his work have been organized by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York (1995), the Sprengel Museum in Hannover, Germany (1997), the Serpentine Gallery in London (2000), and the FLAG Art Foundation in New York (2009).

Untitled by Gonzalez-Torres (known as Go-Go Platform)

Gonzalez-Torres was known for his quiet, minimal installations and sculptures. Using materials such as strings of lightbulbs, clocks, stacks of paper, or packaged hard candies, Felix Gonzalez-Torres's work is sometimes considered a reflection of his experience with AIDS. He was also considered within his time to be a process artist due to the nature of his 'removable' installations by which the process is a key feature to the installation. Many of Gonzalez-Torres's installations invite the viewer to take a piece of the work with them: a series of works allow viewers to take packaged candies from a pile in the corner of an exhibition space, while another series consists of stacks of ultrathin sheets of clear plastic or unlimited edition prints, also free for the viewer to take. These installations are replenished by the exhibitor as they diminish. The most pervasive reading of Gonzalez-Torres's work takes the processes his works undergo (lightbulbs expiring, piles of candies dispersing, etc.) as metaphor for the process of dying. Other readings include the issue of Public vs. Private, Identity, and participation in contemporary art. One of his most recognizable works, Untitled (1991) was a billboard installed in twenty-four locations throughout New York City of a monochrome photograph of an unoccupied bed, made after the death of his lover, Ross, to AIDS.

Untitled 1991

In one interview, he said "When people ask me, 'Who is your public?' I say honestly, without skipping a beat, 'Ross.' The public was Ross. The rest of the people just come to the work."

Gonzalez-Torres died in 1996 due to AIDS related complications. In May 2002, the Felix Gonzalez-Torres Foundation was created. In addition to serving as the official Estate of Felix Gonzalez-Torres, the Foundation hopes to "to foster an appreciation for the work of Felix Gonzalez-Torres among the general public, scholars, and art historians." The U.S. representative for the Felix Gonzalez-Torres Foundation is the Andrea Rosen Gallery, which heavily exhibited his work both before and after his death.


In 2007, he was selected as the United States' official representative at the Venice Biennale. (The only other posthumous representative from the United States was Robert Smithson in 1982.)

** Information from Wikipedia

Friday, May 7, 2010

Ten Unique and Art-Full Advertisements

Advertisements can be informative, interesting, funny and beautiful...and sometimes, they can be downright weird. Those are my favorite kinds!

Here are ten strange and creative advertisements for Art-Full Friday:

Amazingly innovative ad idea for IWC

Cute bench advertisement from Denver Water

This ingenious marketing for 3M's Security Glass featured real money inside of a bus stop terminal.  

Bloody, multi-dimensional and a definite traffic stopper. Such a great ad for Kill Bill.

I have no idea what I am looking at here in this Ben and Jerry's ad...but it's definitely unforgettable!

This water safety fixture is totally upsetting but a great visual effect. I wonder how many people try to save the child before realizing he is fake?

Phenomenal effect in this Miele Vacuum billboard

Thanks to the Kitsch Bitch for this one. She said it best..."Um....Happy Earth Day?"

This ad for KayaKing Peanuts just makes me laugh.

And last but not least....

Gillette's totally disturbing and strange painted ad for safety razors, apparently safe enough for babies??? 

What is your favorite crazy advertisement?

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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Turning Frowns Upside Down

Everyone seems to be dragging this week, and I can't imagine today is going to be any different with all of last night's Cinco de Mayo celebrations. Keeping that in mind, today's Thursday Etsy Treasury is all about keeping things bright, happy and fresh.  These items put a smile on my face - I hope they do the same for you!

Big bow - check. Bright color - check. Durable denim - check. I think I might have to buy this purse by MyTIDA

While I may not be the handiest in the kitchen - I know how to look good in one! Next time I burn banana bread I hope I am wearing something as cute as this apron from Pretty Little Pearl.
I am in looooooove. He is pink, cuddly, handmade - and looks like he is up to something. This Amiguri Monkey by Cute Designs might be my handcrafted soul mate. 

I can't imagine the time that went into creating this bowl by Lucky Luly. I wouldn't have the patience to make it, but it is so bright and pretty I definitely have the desire to buy it!

Sometimes you just have to go bold and this ring by Everyday Diamonds makes it impossible for your hands to go unnoticed. It is half girly, half goth and totally irresistible.

Popcorn shaped soap that smells like cotton candy by LoveLee Soap!
This would make a perfect movie night guest gift.

And since you can't eat the popcorn, I had to include these gorgeous Chocolate Mint Chip Cookies by Meg's Cookie Jar. They remind me of Tiffany's so now I want food and diamonds....


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Fiesta Infusion

I love Cinco de Mayo -  Mexican traditions, vibrant colors, music you can't help but dance to, tons of delicious food you can't help but eat and an excuse to drink margaritas in the afternoon....I wonder if Seis de Mayo has an inferiority complex....

Why limit the fun to one day? Below are items to help you infuse a little fiesta in the other 364 days of the year.

This vintage 70's Mexican Embroidered Dress from Hellhound Vintage is fantastic.
Her shoes are spot-on too. Love them.

This piece by Savi is crafty and cozy and glitzy and beaded - like a drag queen grandma made me a necklace. I absolutely adore it. there anything better than a penguin in a sombrero? Even the baby with half a face can't deter from the cute factor of this Cinco de Mayo Toddler Shirt from Zazzle

Wholesale Bar Supplies sells Glassware inspired table and chair sets.
Imagine 365 days of Margarita Magnifico in your kitchen.

From the flower in her hair to her great rack, AnitaMargarita by Details Art is fabulous.

And of course, I can't talk about Mexican art without mentioning the Goddess of all things Glitter:
Kathy Cano-Murillo - The Crafty Chica. Kathy is an artist, a writer, a creator and an inovator.
I could go on for hours about her blog, her books, her crafters cruise - but if you're looking to add a little Mexican flair to your home - look no further than the incredible Crafty Chica Etsy store which features products by Kathy and her husband Patrick.

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tweet Things Are Made of These...

Twitter is an obsession. It is addicting and powerful and an incredible tool for networking, pitching (for PR), brand building, research and socializing. It has also been an inspiration for designers and so many Twitter products have hit the market that it would take hundreds of 140-character tweets to tell you about them all. 

I first noticed it when @dkny and others began tweeting about the "Follow Me" Twitter Tights on Etsy:

From there I went Twitter crazy and found some incredibly creative and fun items, many featuring their adorable blue bird icon (name unknown though I have heard him called Ollie, Kweet, Tweeter and others)
Survival of the Hippest creates chic custom made Twitter Name Necklaces.

Check out Threadless' huge line of shirts based on popular Tweets.
Tweet-Ups (real life meet-ups with people from Twitter) are so much fun. I would love to host one and use this table runner from Dining Out as part of my decor. 

And nothing makes a cuter Tweet-up hostess gift than this kitchen towel by Shop Memento.
(Hint, hint

Geeky Gadgets showcased this adorable Twitter pillow. So soft looking too...
Yummy! Twitter Cupcakes as seen on All Things Cupcake.

Last but not least, I might have to get this Hand Cut Card by Storey Shop for my husband...

And of course (shameless plug!) if you are on Twitter- follow me @EmilyOnTheAve

Monday, May 3, 2010