Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Where Childhood Meets Adolescence

Published November 25, 2009 by Molly



With just the right amount of creative license taken, artists Ruets, Spurn and Ewsoe exacted a Wild Things mural in Los Angeles. Good work on Max’s sneer, guys!

Oh So Pretty

Published November 19, 2009 by Molly

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We’re suckers for letterpress. There’s something about the old-tymey (15th century!) process that lends a sense of craftsmanship to what otherwise would be produced on shimmering machines in sterile conditions. You can feel the handwork involved, even in something as simple as a notebook or thank-you card.

Brooklyn-based outfit Letters Lubell prints their cards on an antique press, and the teeny imperfections that result lend to the charm of the paper goods. We especially like this card, which exists at the unexpected four-way intersection of Tetris, Navajo textiles, Space Invaders and Rorschach blots.

Fernando Mastrangelo

Published November 3, 2009 by Molly


Psychedelic hubcaps? Jungian mandalas? Aerial views of Photoshopped crop circles? NO! Just some freakishly detailed pieces of art by New York’s Fernando Mastrangelo made of black beans, cornmeal, sugar and chili.

No, you may not poke them.


I Like Your Work

Published October 23, 2009 by Molly

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Miss Manners, aka Judith Martin, began writing her syndicated column in 1978. Emily Post was penning etiquette advice as early as the 1920s. Both provided reliable guidelines on how to act politely in this complicated modern era––neither, unfortunately, had much of an interest in the contemporary art scene.

This is where I Like Your Work comes in. Art journal Paper Monument has produced a tiny (but information-dense) booklet with features from 38 artists, critics, curators and dealers on the “sometimes serious and sometimes ridiculous topic of manners in the art world.”

Tuck it in your own back pocket or slide it under the studio door of someone who really needs it.

The Final Fort Submissions!

Published October 13, 2009 by Graham

We Love You So readers, we really love you so. You’ve created such flabbergastingly fantastic forts! We wish we could include all of your images and stories in this post. Because there are so many great entries, we’ve decided to give out additional prizes, which will be revealed– along with the winners– before long. Sadly, the time for submissions has come to an end. But don’t let that stop you from fort-building in the future! Forts forever!!

Print’s Not Dead: n+1

Published October 8, 2009 by Molly

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“Just when you’re thinking you’re intellectually alone in the world, something like n+1 falls into your hands,” wrote Jonathan Franzen in The New York Observer, and the description is a pretty accurate one.

n+1 is a twice-yearly print journal devoted to the best writing and thinking of our time. Sounds like a robust claim, but then again, the magazine delivers big-time. Mingling all-star contributors with stellar unknowns, the magazine’s editors combine a sharp sense of humor with bone-crushing smarts and a flair for the unusual. Don’t be fooled by the magazine’s super lo-fi website––they keep it that way on purpose. The magazine itself is a beauty.

Past topics have included the concept of hype, a philosophy of pop music, the internet, hedge funds, neoliberals, dating, Bolaño, and a summer in Uzbekistan. No telling what the future will bring, but it ought to be good. Anyone who thinks that our country is getting dumber should get themselves a subscription, stat, and correct the impression.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs Storm Austin

Published October 6, 2009 by Graham


The Yeah Yeah Yeahs headlined the Austin City Limits festival on Friday night, and the New York Times had this to say, in a story entitled “Austin City Limits: The Yeah Yeah Yeahs Deliver.”

…the Yeah Yeah Yeahs delivered a stupendous set, even stronger and more focused than the very good show they played in Brooklyn earlier this week. Karen O, the band’s front woman, approaches every stage as a frontier to be conquered, and here she was both impish and imperious. In the guitarist Nick Zinner and the drummer Brian Chase, she has something much more than support: their output, which came in surges, was often enveloping.

Sounds about right. Photos via flickr users danfun and aclfestival.



Wonka Redux

Published September 21, 2009 by Molly

Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was published in 1964. The movie starring Gene Wilder (tag line: “It’s Scrumdidilyumptious!”) came out in 1971. A second version hit theaters in 2005. Which is all to say that the story of a loony inventor revealing his sugary trade secrets to a bright young kid holds a certain perennial appeal.

Part of this allure lies with the story’s masterful structure: part mini-bildungsroman and part fairy tale, it combines adventure, supernatural phenomena, moral perils and a grand journey. Some of the story’s greatness is also due to the inventive genius of Roald Dahl. And part of it––a large part––stems from the concept of magical candy. Who doesn’t love magical candy?

Katrina Markoff is a real-life Willy Wonka of sorts, if Wonka was a globetrotting woman who trained at Le Cordon Bleu. Markoff’s company, Vosges Haut-Chocolat, specializes in exotic candy bars meant to be nibbled in the tiniest of savoring bites (no Violet Beauregards allowed.) The Black Pearl bar––speckled with ginger, wasabi and black sesame seeds––tastes like the result of Wonka running wild in a sushi restaurant. The Habana bar is crunchy with plantain chips (Wonka-Goes-To-Cuba), and the Enchanted Mushroom bar, with Reishi mushrooms and walnuts, is like a chocolatey trip to the forest floor.

If it all sounds weird––well, it is. And that’s definitely not a bad thing.

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Legends: Archie McPhee

Published September 14, 2009 by Molly

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Speak the words “Archie McPhee” and you’ll get one of two reactions. The first is a blank. The second is an instantaneous metaphysical transfer back into the realm of childhood obsessions. There is no middle ground.

Archie McPhee is the catalog of a novelty store based in Seattle––a catalog that found its way into the homes of several generations of American youth and greatly influenced the mischief careers of many. Allow us to explain.

The idea for the company belonged to Mark Pahlow, who points to his dull childhood in Ohio as the impetus for launching the enterprise. “In 1963,” he wrote in Who Would Buy This? The Archie McPhee Story, “the two most exciting things in my life were my $3.98 ‘Made in Japan’ transistor radio with a fake leather case and Whitey, my albino hamster.” Growing up, Pahlow nourished himself on MAD Magazine and the alluring ads for x-ray specs and Sea-Monkeys that he spotted in the back of comic books. Eventually, he decided to launch his own emporium of novelty goods. “Archie McPhee was created because reality wasn’t quite living up to my expectations,” he explains.

And there the legend began. Pahlow set about collecting the things he craved as a child: rubber chickens, potato guns, fake mustaches, giant underpants, mutant cockroaches, punching nuns, ninja figurines, squirting rubber brains, and so forth. He produced a catalog that found its way into the homes of impressionable young children, who hoarded the catalog and squandered their allowance on realistic latex poo.

Eventually the rest of the country caught on to what us kids already knew, which was that Archie McPhee was a crucially important index of our innermost devious desires. The Smithsonian now maintains an archive of Archie McPhee catalogs, preserved in the catacombs for future generations to discover. In the words of Pahlow, “Never have your tax dollars been better spent.”

What The Wild Things Smell Like

Published September 10, 2009 by Molly

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Books and movies have one small thing in common: they combine aural and visual stimuli to the purpose of telling a story. But what about the other senses? One’s mind gets to wandering.

Where Wild Things are concerned, the answer may lie at I Hate Perfume, Christopher Brosius’s laboratory of unconventional scents. Rather than pander to classical tastes with rose and lilac-scented vials, Brosius creates formulas designed to invoke the most intricate of memories. Three of the scents developed at the I Hate Perfume workshop happen to bear a particular relationship to Where the Wild Things Are, due to their relevant subject matter. To wit:

If Max’s voyage had an olfactory accompaniment, it would no doubt be Brosius’s Eternal Return, a perfume designed to simulate the scent of sailing toward the shore. The mixture blends the smells of ocean air, wooden ships, and “a faint hint of cypress trees growing on a cliff above the water.” Sounds about right.

Then there’s Wild Hunt (which NAILS the wild rumpus in odorific terms)––the bottled and compressed scent of an ancient forest complete with “torn leaves, crushed twigs, flowing sap, fallen branches, old leaves, green moss, fir, pine, and tiny mushrooms”. Finally, there’s Memory of Kindness–based on the perfumer’s reveries of childhood–which has to be the smell of Max returning home.

Gosh. Is there even a vocabulary for the way that smells influence our perception of things? Will we ever have the equivalent of an olfactory soundtrack to films? to books? Life comes with its own built-in version, after all. And childhood is definitely the most powerful origin of smells. For these reasons, the whole concept of I Hate Perfume is a slightly mind-boggling enterprise.

Maybe Smell-O-Vision is due for a high-concept comeback.