Saturday, May 15, 2010

Art School Weekend - Ghada Amer

I adora Ghada Amer and am extremely excited to be able to feature her today:

Ghada Amer (born 1963 in Cairo, Egypt) is a contemporary artist living and working in New York City. She emigrated from her birth country at age 11 and was educated in Paris and Nice. Much of her work deals with issues of gender and sexuality, particularly the representation of female nudes in art history as ideal objects rather than human beings with a sexuality and eroticism of their own. She is represented by Cheim & Read Gallery.

While she describes herself as a painter and has won international recognition for her abstract canvases embroidered with erotic motifs, Ghada Amer is a multimedia artist whose entire body of work is infused with the same ideological and aesthetic concerns. Her oeuvre includes examples of painting, drawing, sculpture, performance, and installation.

Amer's multiple geographic relocations are reflected in her work. Her painting is influenced by the idea of shifting meanings and the appropriation of the languages of abstraction and expressionism. Her prints, drawings, and sculptures question cliché roles imposed on women; her garden projects connect embroidery and gardening as specifically "feminine" activities; and her recent installations address the current tumultuous political climate. Despite the differences between her Islamic upbringing and Western models of behavior, Amer's work addresses universal problems, such as the oppression of women, which are prevalent in all cultures. The submission of women to the tyranny of domestic life, the celebration of female sexuality and pleasure, the incomprehensibility of love, the foolishness of war and violence, and an overall quest for formal beauty, constitute the territory that she explores and expresses in her art

Friday, May 14, 2010

Trashy Talk

Back in college I met a very nice guy. Everything was going great until I called his dorm room one night and asked what he was doing. The response: "I'm hanging garbage on my wall."  Well my roommate and I figured he meant garbage facetiously but when we got to his room, sure enough there he was taping up balled up pieces of paper, empty pizza boxes, soda bottles, gum wrappers and more.  Above it all was a big sign that said "Cleanliness is Next to Godliness." Three days later the room smelled, the relationship was over and until yesterday the entire incident had slipped my mind.

But yesterday my desk area was a mess- covered in papers and wrapping and boxes and a co-worker reminded me about cleanliness' proximity to Godliness. And then I read an article on recycled Outsider Art and I thought, "maybe that guy was on to something..."

For today's Art-Full Friday I have created a mini showcase of those who are able to see the art in garbage:

Artists Tim Noble and Sue Webster create amazing installations using light projected onto piles of household trash. Absolutely amazing.

Trashy People - part of the Persian Gulf Environmental Art Festival Courtesy of River Art.


The rusting tire and burned out car are just two examples of the many beautiful photographic images of garbage seen on

I don't know if I find this beautiful (like a man made valley) or so horrifying (for all the environmental reasons), but I do know that no one but Edward Burtnysky could create such a stunning photo of a pile of tires. 

The Naka Incineration Plant in Hiroshima is probably the most artistic and architecturally gorgeous trash-related building in the world.  Architect Yoshio Taniguchi calls it his "Museum of Garbage."

And finally....

Beautify your street corner with these Goldfish Trashbags created by Wieden & Wendy.  I think it would be funny just to see the waste management crew's reaction to them. Each bag is 14 gallons, sturdy and printed to look like there are real goldfish in them.

For more Trash Talk follow me on Twitter:

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Prickly but Perfect

Sorry for the lack of a post yesterday. Work and life got in the way but today I am back with the cutest blog post that has ever existed.

Last week Bing posted a photo of a baby hedgehog. I can't find the actual photo they used, but look how adorable they are:

Since I feel like my dogs would probably eat it, I will not be getting a pet hedgehog. However, I am excited to show you all of the fantastic hedgehog items on Etsy for today's Treasury!

I love literature. I could spend hours in a library or book store and don't even get me started on old book smell - I'm in heaven lol.  So of course I can't resist this "Mine All Mine" Print by Trafalgar's Square.

Tiny and totally irresistable. This little guy measures 1.75" and is made of mohair and wool. He is one of many eco-friendly toys from MuddyFeet.

Can you wear this and not smile? I think not.  Happy Hedgehog T-shirt from Rainbow Swirlz.

I want these felt coasters by SeaBreezeStudio for my next summer get together! They are just soooo sweet!

Gotta love a stand-up bass playing hedgehog. This print by barking bird art is precious. 

I am digging this Animalia Pendant by Pannikin. He might be around my neck soon...

And of course, you can't talk about hedgehogs without mentioning the top guy in the hedgehog world - Sonic! Etsy is full of Sonic the Hedgehog items but I wanted to throw a little something in here for the men! Spice up your wardrobe with Sonic Cuff Links!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Products So Good They Will Make Your Tassels Twirl

Thanks to modern pioneers like Dita Von Teese, Dirty Martini, Jo Boobs and other performers, burlesque is everywhere these days and it couldn't be more exciting for a lifelong cabaret lover like myself. If you were to turn me into a pile of materials it would consist of feathers, sequins, glitter and well...anything pink and sparkly.  And so as it happens every once in a while, I am suddenly trendy. 

Burlesque Painting as seen on Bellydancing by Elaine

Christina Aguilera's movie "Burlesque" is coming out and amazing new troupes are popping up every day-including Delray Beach's own Modernesque Burlesque, celebrating a year of tantalizing shows and incredible performances. Burlesque is popular again!

People are even decorating their homes, events and weddings in retro burlesque fashions:

Wedding Photo from

Burlesque Wallpaper as seen on The Gin Lady

Put some tease back into your life with these great products, style inspirations and burly-q goodness
so good they will make your tassels twirl: 

It's almost summer time - let your inner pin-up girl shine with the "Skipper" Nautical Bikini from one of my favorite places to shop Pin Up Girl Clothing. Check out their site- I promise you won't be disappointed!

On the beach, at the grocery store, craft store or even the office - this sexy seamstress Tote by 6Prints is a fun way to lug around all your stuff.

This beautiful headband by Tragic Veil is pure burlesque heaven.

Burlesque Beauty Pendant by Queen Bean Jewels on ArtFire

More removable than a stripper pole. Bring a little sexy sass into your home with this wall decal by beepart.

Make your bedroom your own red light district with a lingerie clad Tramp Lamp.

Finally, burlesque is all about the tease - and there is no tease unless something is left to the imagination.
Key to every performance is the perfect pair of pasties. Here are some of my favorites:

Candy Pasties by Fleur du Mal

Awesome Sushi Pasties. Photo by Fractured Frame Photography.

Music Note Pasties by Manuge-et-Toi Burlesque as seen on Trend de la Creme 

Pac Man Pasties as seen on Forever Geek.

 If you are local to the Delray area, don't forget to check out Modernesque Burlesque's June 5th Midnight Show.  See Pulp Pin-up at its finest at Respectable Street.  Find out more and buy presale tickets for only $5 at

Follow Pretty. Useful. Stuff. on Twitter at

Monday, May 10, 2010

Windmill Mania

I fell in love with windmills when we took a tour of Amsterdam's countryside to see tulip fields, a cheese auction, clog makers and huge, powerful and absolutely beautiful windmills.  I guess many other people are fascinated by them as well because today is

  Of course the Netherlands aren't the only ones with windmills. As a matter of fact, according to the U.S. Energy Information Association reported that as of 2008 the United States ranked first in the world in wind power capacity. Here are some items that celebrate windmills in all shapes, sizes and locations:

Such a cute mug by Bella Joy Pottery. On the flip side are skyscrapers and they call this their "Are you a city mouse? Or a country mouse?" mug. 

This card by einnej is definitely for a country mouse but it is such beautiful papercut art that even a city mouse would find it chic.

Promote alternative energy with this Wind Farm Shirt by Happy Family.

Pamela J's Vintage Windmill Pendant is gorgeous. I love the look on the lady's face and the rainbow of colors make me smile. 

Blow away the other throw pillows with Dwell in Style's Hand Printed "Wind Power" Pillow.

And finally here are some of my favorite windmill paintings:

Van Gogh's “Le Blute-fin Mill”

Windmill Painting by Steve Fazzio

Windmill / Bastrop Paintings by C.M. Henderson