by Angeliska on December 1, 2010
★ This interview with Patti Smith in Japan just rocks my world.
She is so raw, and unafraid – totally unfiltered, totally high.
This world needs more role models like her.
“I might be 31 years old, but I’ve just begun.”
She is forever my hero.
★ This incredible interview with Sleazy is prefaced by an almost even more wonderful
introduction about counter-culture in the 80′s and early 90′s. Really, really good stuff:
This Mortal Coil: A Final Report on Peter “Sleazy” Christopherson
★ 2012 The End of the World – from Information Is Beautiful
Curious about what might happen in 2012? This fabulous infographic pits the skeptics
against the believers and analyzes the evidence from both that might save you a lot
of time spent combing through articles about geomagnetic reversal and consciousness shifts.
★ The Mystery of the Red Bees of Red Hook
“…Mr. Selig said there was something extraordinary, too, about those corn-syrup-happy bees
that came flying back this summer. ‘When the sun is a bit down, they glow red in the evenings,’
he said. ‘They were slightly fluorescent. And it was beautiful.’”
(Vintage 19th c. marbled paper, Gold vein Overprinted over Spanish moiré on Turkish pattern
from the University of Washington Decorated and Decorative Paper Collection.)
★ The ever-marvelous BibliOdyssey always has just the thing to float my boat:
Marbled Paper Designs
I’ve been obsessed with marble paper ever since I was a child. I got it from my mother,
who collected anything marbleized. It is totally psychedelic. Making it is basically the
most fun thing in the world (if you’re me, that is.) The first time I visited New York, I was
around seventeen. I was staying with a friend of friends on the Upper West Side and it
was Christmastime. I just happen to be wearing the exact same carrot oil face cream
that I had found during that time to combat the moisture-sucking dryness of the radiators
in Tom Piechowski’s apartment, and I’m having a powerful olfactory memory which I think
I’ll share with you now. Whenever I smell this stuff (it’s Burt’s Bees, and it really does work),
I am instantly transported back to that moment in time. The cold tiles in the bathroom, all
of Tom’s exciting books, the homemade chocolate chip cookies someone had given him,
and my first northern winter. It was so cold, that every exposed inch of skin would shriek
in pain until you got indoors. I had just read Nicolas Christopher’s Veronica and so insisted
on finding Tibetan restaurants that served bocha, hot black tea with yak butter, and smoking
clove cigarettes. Veronica is a good book to read if you happen to be in New York in the winter
(another one is A Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin.) This story does actually have to do with marbled
paper – bear with me if you have a minute. I was spending a lot of my time wandering alone around
the alien, snow-muffled city streets, much like the characters in both of those books, and this one day, I had
an epic walking adventure, that began with me “taking a short-cut” through Central Park, where I consumed
most a bottle of very good French wine that Tom had foisted upon me, and tried to sit and write letters on a
log by a frozen pond. My fingers were too cold, and the winos were circling, so I ended up leaving the rest by
a tree, and heading to the Guggenheim to commune with my boyfriends, Mr. Cornell and Mr. Bellmer.
When I left, it was quite dark, but I had it in mind that I needed to try a Lexington Avenue Egg Cream,
which I found at the Lexington Avenue Candyshop. It had by then become exceedingly cold,
and I was a bit lost, wandering around aimlessly until I spied a very interesting-looking bookstore…
The owner was an old man, very intense, animated, and quite rude. He seemed to be playing a game
of chess against himself, which he was none to happy about me interrupting. His store was a wonder,
filled ceiling-high with beautiful first editions and remarkable hand-bound books he had created, with
tooled leather covers and marbled flyleaves. Being a book-binding enthusiast, I began to ply him with
questions, which he seemed happy enough to answer as long as it served to keep my grubby fingers
off of his pretty books. I have this odd talent, it seems, for taming the orneriest and most curmudgeonly
of shopkeepers. The trick is to show them empathy and appreciation while continuing to ask them more
and more questions every time they make motions towards kicking you out and closing up. Eventually,
I had him more or less docile, and I inquired as to whether he might have any marble paper scraps lying
around that I might have. He hemmed and hawed and grumbled and grizzled, all the while leading me
down a rickety little elf staircase to a basement workshop where all the book-magic happened. He flung
his hand towards a vast heap of the most gorgeous examples of marbled paper I had ever seen, and told
me to take as much as I could carry. I stood stunned for a minute before scrambling to gather up big
sheaves and loaded up a garbage bag full. I have no idea how I managed to lug it all across town!
Did I take a taxi? I doubt I had any money for one at the the time. I still have some of that gorgeous
paper – a bit of it survived Hurricane Katrina. The rest was used for countless art projects, gifts,
collages, and eventually my own experiments in bookbinding. All my New York stories are shaggy
dogs, because you can’t just get somewhere there. You have to go through all sorts of adventures
and turnings that make what you find at the end that much more rewarding. I have lots of stories like
that, but this one was brought to you by my acute olfactory-memory triggers, and by the letters N, Y and C.
★ My new favorite vintage paper ephemera blog: Agence Eureka (mille merci, Cousin E.!)
✷ I adore Forgotten Bookmarks,
a beautifully presented blog from Michael, who lives in Oneonta, NY. He works in a bookstore,
and keeps a record of all of the odd things he finds tucked into the old books. I once asked a
librarian what were the most unusual objects used as bookmark she had every come across:
she told me the best was a hundred dollar bill. The worst – a piece of cooked, greasy bacon.
✷ I recently stumbled back across this piece from Two Four Flinching on photography in New York’s
graffiti-covered subways in the 1980′s, and thought it was too special not to share. What a different era.
Beautiful images from Bruce Davidson, John F. Conn, Jamel Shabazz and Martha Cooper:
“I wanted to transform the subway from its dark, degrading, and impersonal reality into images
that open up our experience again to the color, sensuality, and vitality of the individual souls that
ride it each day.” In “Subway”, passengers of the city’s subterranean world are portrayed in detail,
revealing the interplay of its inner landscape and outer vistas, set against a gritty, graffiti-strewn
background and displayed in tones that Davidson describes as “an iridescence like that I had seen
in photographs of deep-sea fish”.
✷ My Top Ten Favorite Psychedelic Folk Songs
by Genesis Breyer P-Orridge
This is a treat, especially as I was raised on some of this stuff!
Definitely worth digging up, as these songs provide an excellent
soundtrack to paisley-wearing psilocybe picnics on the moors.
✷ One of the things on my “must do in this lifetime” list is see the aurora borealis.
In the meantime, these might tide me over:
Breathtaking photos of the aurora borealis by Jónína Óskarsdóttir
(Many thanks to Maria Popova at the ever-awesome Brainpickings for this!)
Tsariwa Mama (The Mother of the Tree) – 2009
30 in. x 40 in. – Oil and egg tempera on panel
✷ My dear friend Madeline von Foerster has a new show up:
Nov. 12 – Dec. 18
Vernissage: Nov. 12, 7pm
Boxhagenerstrasse 36, 10245 Berlin
There’s a great piece on her work from Coilhouse here: Madeline von Foerster’s Reliquaries
“This new series of artworks grows out of the artist’s fascination with reliquaries:
the jewel-covered statues and treasure chests where remains of sainted persons —
from bones, to scraps of clothing, to vials of blood — are enshrined. Old, beautiful,
and mysterious, reliquaries often become objects of worship themselves. The impulse
to preserve and make precious seems to represent a common human urge, spanning
across many cultures, and not only confined to religion: we create reliquaries for vanquished
cultures in our Natural History Museums, and living reliquaries, in the form of zoos,
for animals all but extinct in the wild.
Whereas a reliquary represents the end of a worshipper’s pilgrimage, von Foerster’s works are
an entryway to contemplation, rather than its terminus, and provoke questions rather than provide
answers. Do we value things more in these contained and decorated settings than in their natural state?
Why do we make such efforts to preserve what is gone, instead of living with respect for what is robust?
Can we venerate the living as well as the dead, the natural rather than the supernatural?”
She is beyond amazing, so if you’re anywhere near Berlin, please go see her work
(so that I can be terribly envious! Oh, if only I could!) Seeing these pieces in person is
a revelation. She has incredible skill, and is also one of the sweetest ladies in the world.
I wasn’t able to figure out the source and artist for this lovely scratched face girly, or for yonder
fancy bird-head, or for the nice mineral collection (I think it’s from a textbook.) Got any leads for me?
Oh yes, and p.s. – I’ve been nominated in two categories for The Austin Blogger Awards!
I’ve never been bothered about having or wanting any kind of award or notoriety for what
I do here, but you know what? I’ve been at it a long time, and I love it immensely, and it
seems that some of you love it too. If that’s true, then I’d be most grateful for your support!
It would tickle me pink to have some recognition for ye olde Gazette! If you have a minute,
please vote for me for Blogger of The Year and/or Best Art/Design Blog – and thank you!
Also, check out all the other rad writers nominated – I am proud to be included in such good
company! My girl Amelia of Vintage Vivant is nominated for best Style Blog, and if you
haven’t yet seen her vintage finery and naughty embroidery, go take a peek –
you’ll agree that she definitely deserves to win! Oh, and – the deadline for this stage
of voting is 5pm, on December 3rd!
Votey-vote-vote please & thanky-danke-gracias-merci!