Posts Tagged ‘Treasures’

Genevieve DF Simms

Published April 27, 2010 by Molly

Picture 1

Picture 2

Genevieve DF Simms is an illustrator and artist whose bold, swirling images we can’t get enough of. Her website assembles a bunch of her illustration work, as well as limited-edition silkscreened posters and prints available for purchase.

We’re also enamored of Genevieve’s blog, which collects her process sketches, adventures in Google image search and thoughts on the role of an artist/illustrator. “One of my favourite things about doing illustration assignments,” she writes, “is that one must often explore things that they may not otherwise investigate.” There are also photo studies and one-offs like this awesome inventory of Genevieve’s treasures, inspired by the A&E show Hoarders. Neat!

Shorpy

Published March 22, 2010 by Molly

11969ub

God bless the internet. Nothing puts us in a better mood, really, than locating incredible labor-of-love websites that provide endless hours of fascination. The Shorpy Historic Photo Archive is one such website.

With the motto “ALWAYS SOMETHING INTERESTING”, Shorpy is a vintage photography blog collecting high-quality images from the 1850s through the 1950s. The only unifying thread is that the images be interesting. That’s it! By this logic it’s possible to come upon a Howard University home-ec classroom circa 1925, a burning sugar cane field in Puerto Rico, civil war smokestacks, and a whole category devoted to pretty girls throughout the ages.

The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago in Jefferson County, Alabama. The origin story is here. We think the internet can claim victory, now.

Light Boxes by Shane Jones

Published March 16, 2010 by Molly

Picture 1

Shane Jones’ novel Light Boxes opens with a beautiful little epigraph by Joseph Wood Krutch which reads:

“The most serious charge which can be brought against New England is not Puritanism but February.”

We can all agree on that, no? The snippet foretells the book’s central conflict, which is a battle against the month of February. Only “month”, in this case, is a misnomer: the February of Light Boxes is an endless season of bleakness, a metaphysical state, a spiritual personage, sort of, and an oppressor above all.

Not to get anatomical here, but the form and the language of Jones’ novel are important to think about, because both are unusual. The book is divided into segments of a few paragraphs or a few sentences, and the prose will splinter freely into a recipe, a list, a monologue, a catalog or a cryptogram without warning. Somehow the transitions feel seamless, like reading the direct transcription of a story told by someone with no regard for conventions but an instinctive grasp of narrative.

Don’t want to spoil the plot—it’s delicate!—but trust us that this pocket-sized treasure is worth devouring.

The Joy of Things That Aren’t What They Seem

Published September 15, 2009 by Molly

Picture 3

One of the hardest things about childhood is coming to terms with the fact that adults control everything. Pretty much up until your pre-teen years, adults determine where you go, what you do, when you eat and whether or not dessert is an option. The consolations are few––which makes them, of course, all the more important.

By “consolations” we mean small-scale triumphs and tiny deceits. Things like these Ceramic Crinkle Cups from A+R, which look like disposable Dixie cups that mom might scrape off the kitchen floor after a birthday party but were actually made by Netherlands ceramicist Rob Brandt in 1975 as a comment on our consuming culture. Give the set to a kid for his birthday and he’ll treasure the visual trickery it wreaks.

Then there’s LACMA’s Sarcophagus Backpack, which is a ladybug-hued replica of a tomb from the 21st Dynasty (about 1070 – 945 B.C.). You wouldn’t mistake this for an actual relic––it’s far too cuddly for that––but the likeness is deeply satisfying to tote around on your back. It carries the additional pleasure of being an accessory that a non-awesome adult could NEVER pull off, which, as all kids know, is always a sign of quality.