Friday, May 31, 2013

Foot Fetish Friday -- Chinese Sandals Part 2

Yangtze Plastic Sandals
Cat St.
Hong Kong China
I stocked up on more of these on my 2nd trip to HK.
Black, green, red, purple.
Black are wearing out
Need another trip to HK!

Two weeks ago, I showed you my studio sandals. When I returned to Hong Kong in 2004, I grabbed all the black pairs and an assortment of the other colors from a vendor on Cat Street.
purple: 2004, 1992
I really wish I could find them in the states.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Happy Memorial Day, with Ruth

Ruth joined me at the Granny Squared reception. She dressed in true holiday spirit.
Here is her description of what she wore (I have translated her abbreviations):

Elvis tee totally American. 
Purple skirt across the amber waves. 
Red hat. 
Flag shirt. 
Argyle socks. 
Oh they stare as if I am in the Zoo and not real! 
Argyle socks equal American to me
Blue key chain 

Purple mountains majesty
To all my US readers, have a wonderful holiday.

A huge THANK YOU to all our men and women in the service.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Granny Squared

What do you wear to the inauguration of the largest yarn bombing project in town?
Granny squares!
YarnbombingLA covered the facade of the Craft and Folk Art Museum with crocheted granny squares.
the official hashtag, yarnbombed: #grannysquared
Outside/ inside
Darlyn Susan Yee, one of the organizers
Iridescent crochet skirt
Yarn people
Inside the museum. "Skirt" converted to "cape"
Read more about the project here.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Art Crawl: Just For the Pun of It
Hanksy and Alexis Smith

I went to two art shows recently that both dealt with visual puns.
The first, Hanksy at Gallery 1988, opened last night. The second, Alexis Smith at Craig Krull, closes today. Both are very amusing.

Hanksy is riffing on Banksy. He has taken Banksy's signature style and applied it to pop culture and celebrity.
Such as, "Pee Wee Merman" 
Or this trio of potty humor:
"Gatspee" | "fl-Usher" | Poolander"
The work is online at Gallery 1988 here.
The show will be up until 6/15. Find it by cruising Melrose and looking for the giant rat with Tom Hank's head.
Read an interview with Hanksy here.

Alexis Smith too enjoys playing with words, images, and meanings.
I went to her artist talk that was held last week and got to hear about her process and some of her obsessions.
Alexis Smith, "Against the Grain" 2013 [source, Craig Krull]
In "Against the Grain", she's taken two found objects: a postcard and a hand-drawn paint-by-numbers outline. She positioned the card to line up the visual elements with the underlying drawing of the bird.

She says she likes to change the meaning of things through the act of collage. She waits for the right combination to manifest and lets her pieces "sit around in heaps for a really long time" before deciding that they're finished. She has no secret art agenda and gears her work for "the regular person" -- albeit skewing to an older crowd who can remember the cues.
this gent needs to stand next to these pieces all the time
 Mixing and matching and playing with words makes for fun art that tickles the brain.

Friday, May 24, 2013

My Personal Punk xPerience


The reported dilemmas of How to Dress Punk for the Met Costume Ball have elicited some eye rolls and sarcastic snorts over here on planet SpyGirl. So many of the attendees had no clue! They either weren't yet born or ran in a more [cough cough] elevated crowd when Punk reared its ugly head in the 70s.

I never was a punk, just punk-adjacent. Although I lived in Manhattan in 77/78 and went into the city frequently in the early 80s, I never made it to CBGB. I DID sell DIY jewelry on the street as one of my last "jobs" before exiting the city, which is more wannabe-punk. And the fact that I got a street vendor's license negates any possible punk cred.

Surely somewhere there is a chart differentiating New Wave and Punk. I was New Wave. It was happier.

I moved to the greater LA area in the fall of 82. I'd say this this was the Rococo Era on the Punk timeline. The X was friends with one of the Perkins brothers, owners of Perkins Palace in Pasadena. He "helped out" in the concession stand (mostly throwing beers onto the audience) during many a punk show.

Here is my souvenir tee:
"A bill made in hell!
The Cramps with...
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds,
plus Die Schloflosen, Saccharine Trust
Perkins Palace Fri 22 Jun '84"
For your amusement, here are a few NYT links reviewing the Met's exhibition "Punk: Chaos to Couture": 1, 2, 3. [thanks to Ruth!]

Have you seen the show? What do you think?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Crazy Quilt SpyGirl Hits the Road
June Gigs in Brooklyn, Toronto, Providence, Portland ME, Montreal, Atlanta

The quilt in my van, June 1994. Car camping in Strafford, Missouri.
"Check out" my sketchbook at these venues in June!

This sketchbook can be found with call# 204.14-5 
or under my name: Anne M Bray

Jun 1
Brooklyn, NY @ 3rd Ward
3rd Ward 7th Birthday Celebration

June 7- 9
Toronto, ON @ The Distillery Historic District
9 Trinity Street, Suite 200
Toronto, ON M5A 3C4
June 7 | 4:00 - 8:00pm
June 8 | 2:00 - 8:00pm
June 9 | 12:00 - 6:00pm

June 13 
Providence, RI @AS220
115 Empire Street
Providence, RI 02903
June 13 | 4:00 - 8:00pm

Jun 14
Portland, ME
@ Space Gallery
538 Congress Street
Portland, ME 04101
June 14 | 4:00 - 8:00pm

Jun 16
Montreal, QC
@ Darling Foundry
745 Rue Ottawa
Montreal, QC H3C 1R8
June 16 | 12:00 - 6:00pm

June 26-27
Atlanta, GA
@ The Goat Farm Art Center
1200 Foster Street
Atlanta, GA 30318
June 26-27 | 5:00 - 9:00pm

hours are subject to change -- check with the venue before embarking

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Design to Reality

As many of you know, I design prints for underwear for one of my day jobs.
Sometimes I also work on prints for the company's loungewear.
Yesterday, I saw a rack of lounge pants in the warehouse with my print on them:
Using this design created almost a year ago:
Something about seeing a rack of multiples vs a single random sample -- so gratifying!

Once they get shipped, I can tell you where you can find them.
For now, it's "on the QT and very hush hush" [as James Ellroy writes in L.A. Confidential].

Monday, May 20, 2013

Red Sneakers

Lately, I've been drawn to wearing sneakers.
Perhaps I finally realized that they're comfortable.
This pair is new, Mossimo from Target, $15. Keds cheap cousins. I had to size up one size.
A whole lotta matching going on!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Olowu Shirt, Act I: Sleep With the Fishes

I finally took The Shirt out on the town. I wore this on Friday to see The Great Gatsby. I went with Ruth and we ran into Heather. For such a large metropolis, LA can be a village! I'll discuss Gatsby later. I'm still cogitating on it.

Now fasten your seatbelt, I'm introducing you to my favorite new app: Tiny Planets [for iPhone, 99¢, for Android, $2.99].
It takes a photo and bends it into a sphere.
I'm using it for my #ootd shots now because it is so stellar!
Inside the net of fishes lies the Planet Olowu!

If your head is spinning, jet on over to Patti's Visible Planet.
She'll cure what ails ya.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Foot Fetish Friday: Chinese Plastic Sandals

Yangtze Plastic Sandals
1992  Monkok, Kowloon, China
I use these as my studio shoes. Some of the straps are broken. They [are] good for gardening too. 

These are 20 years old? WHAT?
Here I'm standing on some studio garments.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Providence Map Sketchbook That Wasn't -- Benefit Street

I think it was winter of 77, before I moved to NYC, that I stayed with Wendy at her apartment on Benefit Street. I'm fairly sure she lived over Geoff's. In her junior year at RISD, she was heavily into stained glass. I was at loose ends. 
My family, 2/77  MacDuffie School, Springfield, MA
I still have that scarf (I wove it in high school and my mom has a mate to it) and the puffer jacket (studio garb for those rare winter art residencies).
the jacket label
This is the first spread of a sketchbook project that I never got going on. My concept just wasn't doing it for me. The general Sketchbook Project theme was Mysterious Maps [more info]. I intended to draw maps of every place that I lived (or hung out) in Providence, RI with an outfit from the same time frame. It was supposed to be completed and postmarked yesterday. Last Saturday, I got stuck on the third entry -- I couldn't remember what I wore in the late winter of 79 when I lived on Trenton Street. And I was unable to find any photos of me from that particular time.

There is procrastination and having the creative juice to push and get a project finished. Then there are those road blocks that are often indicating the idea is not worth pursuing or that the format isn't quite right yet. I like the idea of mapping where I've lived. But what I'm remembering more strongly is the art I made and the music I listened to. I'll give this idea more time to jell and see what transpires. I'm not giving up, I just haven't figured out the best way to present my memories. Maybe revisit the "Letter to a Place I Lived", which I did for my NYC apartment. That might work -- a scrapbook of letters would be cool, AND FUN TO DO!

We interrupt this post to bring you this bulletin from RoadTrippers:
This Memorial Day weekend, jump into a jalopy and plant your foot on the gas. Wherever you are and whoever you're with. Go somewhere new, go somewhere you love, heck, go where you always go, just experience the freedom of the road, and have fun!
There is nothing to lose on this one, folks. You see, I am really, really terrible with money, and I love road trips so much that I literally want to pay for yours! All you have to do is create your Memorial Day trip on and share it on the internets for all to see and marvel at.
So click here and see my virtual Remembering RI Road Trip map.
The more clicks, I might get a prize -- woohoo!

This may be the catalyst to get this project jump started!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Art Crawl: OTIS 2013 Senior Show

I attended the massive Senior Show at OTIS last week.
After a bit of socializing with fellow alumni and industry peers, I explored the Fine Arts building.

My two photos of student work both involve altered photographs.
Mona Sheybani, ink jet print on translucent paper, light box
image an enlargement of an altered 35mm slide
Paul Ulukpo, folded pigment print, wooden frame, plexi
The galleries were situated in the [cleaned up] senior studios.
I was enthralled by this vestige of wall art. Was it an installation? Definitely looked deliberate.
I loved this treatment on the side of the Galef Center building --
playing with the "punch card grid" of the Ahmanson Hall building
(which you can see reflected in the windows).
I then went over to the Ahmanson Hall building and went directly to the Communication Arts floor.
There was a lot of cool environmental alteration which caught my attention.
The lockers were covered with post its. Lockerness completely camouflaged!
Look at these painted stools!
Then mother nature drew me to the window...
[still searching for grad's ID]
I had to get out there -- nature won.
I was conveniently parked on the roof of the garage. I took many panoramic shots.
Here are two:

Apologies to the grads for bailing!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Fantasy and Reality

Here's another combo that I thought of yesterday:
Olowu plus City Scribble tunic.
Arm still bad, so this outfit is only in my dreams.
What I'm actually wearing.
And looking at these two photos,
I think the dot scarf goes nicely with the shirt too.

Major good outcome of experiment:
I can wear my Mary Jane clogs again.
The mysterious top of foot pain is gone.


Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Duro Olowu x JCP Shirt Goes for Its Audition

Remember Jan in her Duro Olowu shirt?
[Jan won the "longest legs" prize in the April sketchathon, btw]

I was entranced by it, but couldn't buy it online ("sold out").
Imagine my glee when Jan said she'd pick me up one when she was next "in town".
Jan lives near Fort Smith, Arkansas so there was lots of Olowu inventory at her JCP.

Eventually, the planets aligned and it arrived on my doorstep.

Next, what to mix it with?
I have matching socks!
I piled some candidates next to it...
Then I tried things on.
#1, the Calvin Klein bubble dress (07 sold as a swim coverup)
with yellow tights -- looks good but problematic:
very warm, dress won't stay in place
#2, 80s neon yellow bubble knit and the socks
I'd probably wear this with burg/brown/black capris or tights added
#3, for giggles, I tried it with my Indian jingle jangle skirt.
Looking a bit lost in all that fabric.
The legs win!

Alas, my right arm is swollen, and the right shirt sleeve is skin tight, so I'll have to wait to wear this. BooHoo! This just might inspire me to get back to taking care of my arm issues. I might think of some other combos in the interim as well!

Jan, thank you again for the shirt! I adore it!

Linking up with Patti's Visible Monday, in a virtually visible sort of way