Monday, November 30, 2009

Fly Me Away

Hey readers, today is the 1-year anniversary of Accidental Mysteries. It started by simply trying to teach myself a bit more about social media... blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc.? In one year I have made a lot of friends—and to each one of you who read my daily posts I thank you. Each day, I try to give you something as good or better than the day before. And, to that point, I never want to waste your time. When you click on AM, I want you to come away with something worthwhile—something that might make you smile, or say “wow.”

So, thanks folks! Stay tuned, be a follower, and let’s enjoy the fun.


It was directed by Angela Kohler and Ithyle Griffiths and stars Annie Little who also sang the song “Fly Me Away.” Simple, bright and fun, this is :30 seconds of pure design genius. The pacing, movement and homespun stop-action animated quality attaches itself perfectly to the song. It looks as if all of this was shot from above with the actress and objects laying on the floor.

And as much as I like this spot, I do have to ask myself how much brand recognition is there? I see the Kindle booklet at the beginning and then there is the tag/logo at the end. Is it enough? Does the money put into this spot payoff the brand? What do you think?

“Fly Me Away” is available on Amazon on Annie Little’s EP.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Wild Bike

(Above) Jenny also embroidered the seat.

A VERY COOL CONCEPT BIKE, made almost entirely of wood. Though a product concept, I liken this to a surrealist work of art, something Duchamp would have liked, no doubt.

Design by Jenny Nordberg, a product, concept and industrial designer to watch.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Two Snapshots of Two Objects

Click either image for a larger view.

WHAT QUALITIES MAKE A PHOTOGRAPH ABOVE AVERAGE? TO THAT POINT, WHAT MAKES A PHOTOGRAPH GREAT? Well, scholars and collectors have been mulling over that question for a century or so. Every time “the heads” think they have that question figured out, an artist comes along to turn that definition on it’s ear. Maybe that’s the answer then.

These two photographs I spotted on eBay are stunning examples of pictures that perhaps, and most likely, were never meant to be exceptional. More than likely they were made simply to document the objects in the photographs above. But something happened along the way in this anonymous person’s effort. They bumped into the extraordinary. Or, maybe extraordinary found them.

Photograph the new chairs and table! Easy enough. “Ah-h darn, the chairs are all leaning against the table, oh well, I’m not going down there to set them up.” Click. Done.

Or, maybe not. Did the photographer actually see the fact that the table and chairs had been arranged to now resemble a big white multi-legged bug sitting there in the diagonal shadow? Probably not. But maybe! Naa-aaaa. And that is where the fun starts in collecting vernacular photography. You, the collector becomes the photographer, a curator within a sea of bad photographs, searching for the images YOU say are worthy.

The photograph of the tent-like house is, like the table and chairs, exceptional in the presentation of iconic objects seen in a new way. With the table and chairs—they are no longer table and chairs. The photograph (from the high vantage point) has presented these utilitarian objects in such a way as to transform them. And the house—we are looking at an archetypal house shape, but there is no way in or out. No windows. No door. The covering hides the real house underneath. Or is it a house? As an image, it is simply planes of light and dark, photographed from slightly above. It is a strong image, in your face and slightly disturbing.

This is why vernacular photography is exciting. You, the viewer, have the opportunity to be the juror of the show, to award first prize to any image you think is worthy. You are the curator too, because you can select any image you think should be in your museum.

And if you do a great job in selecting the images for your “museum,” people will come.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Complex World

Click on any image for larger view.

Click on any image for larger view.

Click on any image for larger view.

Click on any image for larger view.

As Beautiful As 2006
30” x 40”
color ink / collage on paper

Banquet 2006
30” x 40”
color ink / collage on paper

Drug House 2006
30” x 40”
color ink / collage on paper

EVERY SO OFTEN AN ARTIST COMES ALONG who just blows you away with talent so deep that you come to wonder how one could be so proficient in both 2-D and 3-D work. Michael Ferris, Jr.’s work would be nationally recognized if he did either—much less both. It would be best to let the artist speak for his work.

Statement for Sculptures

My intent is to render an accurate likeness of my subject however what I find more compelling is communicating the sitter’s “inner world.” I do this by contrasting the sculpture’s stoic, classical form with its complex multi-patterned surface. Ultimately my aim is to express the psychological and spiritual complexity of my subject.

I am interested in creating a dialogue regarding the use of recycled materials. My work is comprised of recycled wood. These forms are then surfaced with a combination of overlaid recycled wood pieces and acrylic pigmented grout. Inlaid gaming tables from the Middle East have played a particularly important role in the aesthetic formation of my work.

Artist’s Statement for Works on Paper

These allegorical images reflect my deeply rooted ambivalence regarding the nature of empire. I am interested in examining the ways that global supremacy has enabled the wonders of life and culture to flourish, while concurrently producing the social and personal contamination of civilization as a whole.

I explore this duality by creating complex Baroque inspired environments that surround and engage with the characters in my narratives. It is through this imagery that I challenge the intent of the pervasive empire. In “Drug house”, I question if the empire is a provider of spiritual awakening or rather a repressive, destructive and exploiting force. In “Banquet” I examine how empire has provided great abundance for some at the expense of a many others. My intent is not to solicit an conclusive answer to the question of empire, but instead, to explore the mysterious and complicated duality of human nature.

Visit Ferris’ web site here.

Ferris is represented by:

George Adams Gallery, New York

Packer Schopf Gallery, Chicago

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Hardware Salesman in 1890

Click image for larger view.

J.L. ARNOLD, A SALESMAN OF HARDWARE, FARMING TOOLS, PLOWS, STOVES AND IMPLEMENTS OF ALL KINDS, is surrounded by the things of his life in this 19th century advertising card. This promotional “calling card” would have been something Mr. J.L. Arnold would have given to his customers, like the owners of general stores and hardware stores. These store owners would have bought their items from Mr. Arnold, the middle man.

Found on eBay.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Having a Big Head Can Be Lonely

SPOTTED ON FLICKR, here’s a pretty cool mask of a head made on the computer. I especially enjoy the location shots taken at night. Very creepy. And, in a strange kind of way, I could actually get used to people with these enormous sized heads.

Find it here.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Hard is Soft

THERESA HONEYWELL takes macho objects and covers them in soft knitted coverings. Her work uses an almost universal feminine art form (or craft) cross-pollinated to universally accepted “macho” objects like motorcycles, jackhammers, guns and tools of all kinds. Historically, I am reminded of pop artist Claes Oldenburg’s (b. 1929) signature soft sculptures, made of sewn canvas and cloth —objects like soft hamburgers, sewing machines, and famous soft toilet.

Learn more at Theresa Honeywell.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Sleep in the Trees

(Above) Treehouse in summer, and below, in winter.

WHO DOESN’T LOVE A TREEHOUSE? EVERY KID SHOULD HAVE ONE. I have loved treehouses since the movie
Swiss Family Robinson came out in 1960. Every adult should sleep in one—at least once. Well, there is a very cool company in Germany who can build your treehouse to your specs and to fit your trees and local environment. I look at these as cozy sleeping pods, high in the trees and a getaway for couples or family.

From their web site: Baumraum specializes in the planning and realization of treehouses and other constructions in natural surroundings. We’ll transform your individual ideas and wishes into ingenious and inspiring dwellings that combine versatility with craftsmanship of the highest quality and maximum safety standards. A major objective thereby is to handle the trees and their surroundings with the utmost care, ensuring their protection and preservation.

Baumraum combines the creative and constructive expertise of an architect with the long-standing experience of a landscape architect, a tree expert, and established, reputable craftsmen.

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