Tag Archives: Art

Musée Rodin

7 Nov

Some days your knees get so cold in Paris that all you want to do is huddle next to a heater and eat salted caramels that get stuck in your teeth.

Other days, there’s free entrance to nearly all the museums in the city and you just need to layer up and get busy.

Even if you don’t have legwarmers and your coat has a button missing, you should definitely go find the Musée Rodin. You won’t regret it. (Unlike buying legwarmers.)

Do you know that the museum building is actually called Hôtel Biron? Do you know that a peruke is a wig? Do you know that a guy called Abraham Peyrenc de Moras made a killing from perukes, and that Hôtel Biron was built for him? TO BE HIS HOUSE ACTUALLY?

Just his townhouse. Whatever.

These days, the parquet in the Hôtel Biron is in need of a solid polish and the ceilings in need of a lick of Antique White USA, but this is understandable given it’s the only national museum in France that does not benefit from a public grant by the State. True story.

Three other things that are true:

1. Rodin was handy with the graphite.

2. You can walk right around nearly all the sculptures to take in every finger nail and perfect vein.

3. You should probably go easy on the salted caramels.

All images from Musée Rodin except the first one. That was me.



19 Jul
Don’t you wish you’d thought of this?  The Dutch guys behind ixxi are veritable graphic design MAGICIANS.  They have the secret technology to transform a photo, design, or digital image into a giant art feature for your trendy, Scando-inspired apartment.
Pixels become individual coloured squares of high-grade synthetic matte paper, which you can then arrange and hang as you please.  So swish.  So Dutch.
Co-captain ixxi himself*, Roel Vaessen, was even cool enough to answer some ixxi and food-related questions.  See?

What did you have for breakfast?

Yoghurt and strawberries. And fresh orange juice. There is plenty to do today!

How did the idea for ixxi come about?
Ixxi grew out of the project ‘The Brabant House’. This project consists out of around 20.000 postcards. We found out that there was no system to connect postcards. The system got fantastic reviews (we were nominated for the Dutch Design Awards) so we decided to develop the system to a consumer product. ixxi was born a year later.

What was the biggest challenge in setting ixxi up?
To make choices. You can do so much with a small cross. One thousand ideas come up, but you cannot develop all of them at once.
What has been your favourite ixxi project so far?

The Brabant House, the start of ixxi.

Ultimate Christmas in July gift?
An ixxi of course!
Eggs, bacon, chips or cheese?**
Eggs and bacon in the morning (only on the weekend), chips, cheese and wine in the evening!
All images from ixxi.
* Disappointingly, not actually a pixie.
** Does anyone else remember playing this?

Joni Sternbach

13 Jun

Joni Sternbach’s portraits of the ocean are definitely the most beautiful things I’ve seen all week.

These are tintype photos created by using the old-school wet plate collodion process.  It involves glass plates and scary chemical potion-mixing – but the images can be rendered within minutes… which means Joni produces all these right there on the beach.  With wet feet.  And wetsuited, handlebar-moustached subjects watching.

She uses a large-format camera which is apparently like a sweet-studded gingerbread house.  The surfers are so curious about her contraption that they’re easy to ensnare.

Dreher-style, Joni returned year after year to the same location and if you look hard, I’m sure you can see the evolution of her relationship to the ocean and its surfers.  (Ok if you look REALLY hard.)

If you’re into this awesome combination of nineteenth century formality and chilled out beachness, she’ll even take your photo.  Helps if you look like this though.
All images from Joni Sternbach.  Thanks Lost at E Minor for introducing me to her.

Center for Book Arts

2 Jun

How about this slice of Robert The‘s delicious book art at the Center for Book Arts?

The Center is a hybrid of workshop, museum and office on totally un-famous and un-booky West 37th street.  It’s wedged between a dodgy-looking travel agent and a one-dollar store – the windows of which are filled with chipped mannequins strewn with tatty feather boas.

It’s kinda like getting into St Mungo’s – except maybe less awesome.

Once you’re in there, check out their current exhibition which combines the two most excellent things: food and books.  According to them: “With Food in Mind looks at artists’ use of food as subject matter or medium in book arts, print, and digital media.”  (This means recipes, a video of a guy butchering a pig, and ultimately, cakebooks.)

Want more?  Hit their blog.  (It’s cute.)  Want book guns? K!

1000 Pound Bend

8 Apr

Perhaps I’m just not innately curious.  Perhaps that’s why I didn’t ask what the £1000 were about.

Maybe it’s because you’ll gain about that much weight if you order a skinny latte here because, no honey, they don’t serve skim milk. (What’s not to love?)

But say you wanted a home-made passion fruit yo-yo, or to perve on some of those skinny macbook types (free wifi baby), or to sneak around the street art exhibition like a totes rad homie, then yes, these guys will help.

They hosted the Sweet Streets exhibition in their paint-chipped gallery space, and you could buy tickets to Laneway there too.  Get it yet?

Upstairs there’s a beanbag slash milk crate studded cinema-ette, if you will.  Here you can watch edgy designy films about bikes or chill out with your new friends from the Melbourne Horror Film Society.  They like scaring themselves here and maybe you will too.

The furniture situation is that thing that everyone in Bondi does, where you garner a motley collection of vintage 50s chairs and plush sofas covered in those 70s rainbow crotched blankets.

You probably don’t have to actually OWN a fixie to come here but it’d help.  Come to think of it you could just hire one of theirs.


1000 Pound Bend, 361 Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne (0450 258 730)


8 Apr

Having never had an extra-marital affair, nor green thumbs, nor gonorrhea, I can’t really put myself in Sunday Reed’s shoes.

Sunday was just an everyday gal who married a guy that gave her gonorrhea and left her infertile.  So she married someone else and they did the tree change thing and opened up their house to a load of free-loving bohemians who all subsequently had affairs with her.  Could happen to anyone.

It just so happens that the Reeds’ house is now a modern art museum called Heide.  And that Sunday’s longest-lasting affair was with Sidney Nolan (who is kind of a big deal.)  And that when she refused to leave her husband for him, Sidney got her back by marrying her husband’s SISTER.

Not to gossip, but he was also a bit of an Indian giver.  After giving them to Sunday, he asked for his Ned Kelly paintings back. Instead she gave them to the National Gallery. (Cop that boyfriend.)

But moving on.

Fortunately, Heide is a half hour drive out of Melbourne – which means one is excited about stretching one’s legs around the 16 acres of landscaped gardens as soon as one arrives.  After taking in the 30 sculptures and admiring the Yarra from its slippery banks, one may well have worked up the appetite for a snack at Shannon Bennett’s swank new Cafe on the site.  (Or for a tasty alternative, one could sample the chives growing in the kitchen garden.)

Then there’s the original homestead that you can trespass in for a fee, and the other two very swish exhibition buildings.  Here’s what’s in them: drawings by Joy Hester, Albert Tucker, Arthur Boyd and John Perceval.

Here’s what’s not in them:

Image: Bentley Smith (superciliousness)