Monday, 17 May 2010

Long overdue

Michael Clark by Michael Bracewell and Suzanne Cotter

Violette Editions
7th June, 2010

Notorious for his continually subversive takes on classical dance, Michael Clark is without doubt one of the most important dancers and choreographers of our time. He has created some of contemporary dances finest productions, often using leftfield rock music (most famously in his fantastic collaboration with The Fall, I Am Kurious, Oranj). Situated at the heart of the British post-punk art scene, Clark is much admired for his judicious choice of collaborators, such as designers Bodymap and Hussein Chalayan, artists Cerith Wyn Evans, Leigh Bowery, Charles Atlas and Sarah Lucas, film director Peter Greenaway (Clark played Caliban in Prosperos Books) and bands The Fall, Laibach and Wire. This monograph, the first on this major artist, celebrates the whole of Michael Clark's career to date, from the late 1970s to the present. Rich in visual and archival material, it contains new essays on Clark's work, reprints of key texts and journalism, photography by Nick Knight, David LaChappelle and others, plus interviews with many of Clark's collaborators from the worlds of dance, art, fashion and music. A protege of Richard Alston and Karol Armitage, Michael Clark set up his own dance company in 1984, at the age of 22. He immediately won the admiration of Rudolf Nureyev, who commissioned ballets from Clark for the repertoire at the Paris Opera. Clark has also been the subject of numerous films and documentaries, including the fictional biography Hail the New Puritans by Charles Atlas and The Late Michael Clark, directed by Sophie Fiennes. Michael Clark's new ballet opens in June at the Biennale in Venice, and travels to Edinburgh, Stockholm, Paris and, in late October, to the Barbican in London.

Michael Clark in collaboration with Leigh Bowery

Now playing: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - More News From Nowhere

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Little Glory

The World of Gloria Vanderbilt
By Wendy Goodman with foreword by Anderson Cooper

Out in November. If this is anything akin to Tony Duquette, which Goodman coauthored, this is indeed something to look forward to.

Now playing: Laura Branigan - Gloria

Thursday, 13 May 2010

More tales from the road

Word of the day: Schadenfreude

Schaden meaning adversity or harm, and Freude meaning joy. More specifically, it means finding joy in another's adversity.

A while back I recounted the tale of the Norwegian tourist who confused us with a different dealer at Portobello. Irksome. Not because the dealer was competition but because the dealer lowered the tone both visually and intellectually. Today I saw that very dealer pack and move all his wares. Not an easy task. Why? Because the Fire Officer finally noticed that he was blocking the fire exit.

Tisk, tisk, tisk.

Now, how does this differ from just being a cold hearted bitch you may ask? A cold hearted bitch would have actually called the Fire Officer. I, on the other hand, am merely enjoying the serendipity of it all.

Now playing: The Ohio Players - Fire

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

When a chair is more than just a seat

An early 20th century heavily carved and black stained Japanese dragon armchair.

An 18th century Italian carved and gilt Rococo armchair.

An English George III carved giltwood armchair, circa 1790.

An American pair of birch root chairs, circa 1900.

Breathing Pneumatic Armchair by Salvador Dali
Signed etching and collage, circa 1975.

Now playing: Luther Vandross - Never Too Much

Monday, 10 May 2010

It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it...

So said Miss Lena Horne (June 30, 1917 – May 9, 2010). And the lady certainly did carry it well.

Blackglama advertisement 1969

Miss Horne singing the title song of the 1943 film classic Stormy Weather

Friday, 7 May 2010

Something for the weekend

Bouquet de mimosas

Works by the French naïve painter Séraphine Louis (1864-1942), known as Séraphine de Senlis, set to Brian Eno and Harold Budd's Lost in the Humming Air.


Séraphine (2008)

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Once lost, now found

Pink Flowers, Water Colors, (Jay Garvin) by James Bidgood

Necessity was the mother of invention for Bidgood, who created elaborate photographic tableaux in his small midtown Manhattan studio apartment. His first erotic series was an underwater epic called Water Colors, made in the early 1960s, in which he used a dancer from Club 82 named Jay Garvin as his subject. The underwater atmosphere is completely fabricated; the bottom of the ocean was created with silver lame spread across the floor of Bidgood's apartment; he made the arch of a cave out of waxed paper, and fashioned red lame into the shape of a lobster. He coated Garvin with mineral oil and pasted glitter and sequins to his skin so the silver fabric under photographic lights would reflect on his body like water. For weeks at a time, Bigood would eat and sleep within the sets he constructed in his apartment. - Off to Camp: The Photographs of James Bidgood, Aperture

James Bidgood by Bruce Benderson

James Bidgood is represented by CLAMPART

Now playing: Etta James - At Last

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

If you are responsible for a dog...

Beauregard Jackson Pickett Burnside 3rd

read this about nail bed tumors. It may not be easy, but forewarned is forearmed.

Now playing: Shane Mack - More Than This

Avec plaisir

A George III mahogany dressing mirror - the moulded rectangular swing arm mirror with gilt lining, raised on serpentine moulded uprights with brass acorn finials, over a pierced fretwork panel, the moulded rectangular top over three frieze drawers, raised on ogee bracket feet.

Goodbye aching regret, hello gorgeous. And, you will actually work much better with the chair.

A mahogany elbow chair, c.1760, the arched back carved with flowerheads, leaves and husks over a pierced waisted splat worked as an anthemion and scrolls. The moulded and scrolled arms carved with acanthus leaves on scrolled supports. The over-stuff seat on shell carved and moulded front legs.

Now playing: Rick Astley - Together Forever

Tuesday, 27 April 2010


American Beauty by Patricia Mears

...the first to examine the relationship between innovation and aesthetics as expressed by American couturiers and fashion designers from the late 1910s to the present day. The book, which accompanies a major exhibition at The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York, reveals that great design and great style were consistent elements in the work of American’s best fashion designers.

Now playing: Diane Birch - Valentino

Friday, 23 April 2010


She enjoyed the attentions of painter Gustav Klimt, composer Alexander Zemlinsky and painter Oskar Kokoschka. But she married composer Gustav Mahler, architect Walter Gropius and writer Franz Werfel. Some she inspired and some she tortured. She being, Alma Maria Mahler-Werfel (née Schindler), the most beautiful girl in Vienna.

Danae by Gustav Klimt.

Double portrait (Kokoschka and Alma Mahler), 1912-13
Museum Folkwang, Essen

Alma Mahler, 1912
The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo

Bride of the Wind, Kokoschka's self-portrait expressing his unrequited love

Two Nudes (Lovers), 1913
Self-portrait of Kokoschka with Alma Mahler

Kokoschka and Alma Mahler: Testimony to a Passionate Relationship

The polydrama Alma by writer Joshua Sobol and director Paulus Manker.

My Life, My Loves: Memoirs of Alma Mahler, out of print

Diaries 1898-1902 by Alma Mahler-Werfel

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Je regrette

An early 18th century walnut dressing table mirror with shaped cross grain moulded border and gilded leaf work edging above a stepped shaped base of three short and one long drawer; on ball feet

Should not have let you go. If only you had come up after the inlaid table you were meant to sit upon. Then it would have been a fait accompli instead of this nagging regret.


Now playing: John Waite - Missing You

Monday, 19 April 2010

Sunday, 18 April 2010


Patti LuPone appears on the September cover of After Dark

Shah of Iran is deposed

Margaret Thatcher elected Prime minister in UK

It snows in the Sahara Desert

Pink Floyd release The Wall

Rhodesia becomes Zimbabwe.

Lord Mountbatten is assassinated by the I.R.A.

China institutes its One Child Policy

Sony introduces the Walkman

Andy Warhol shows Male Models on Manhattan Cable

YMCA sues the Village People for libel

Trivial Pursuit is launched


Now playing: Smashing Pumpkins - 1979

Friday, 16 April 2010



Now playing: David Bowie - Fashion

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

The picture and the lady

Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717), the German born naturalist who defied social conventions and produced some of the most beautiful insect studies of the 18th century.

Two plates from Metamorphosis insectorum Surinamensium (1705)

Insects and Flowers: The Art of Maria Sibylla Merian

Now playing: The Ugly Bug Ball

Monday, 12 April 2010

The lady in the picture

In 1934, Bobsy Goodspeed, seated beneath a portrait of her by Bernard Boutet de Monvel, relaxes at her lush Lincoln Park apartment; the architect David Adler designed the space.

Portrait of a Lady

By Geoffrey Johnson

Between the world wars, a beautiful, artistic woman named Bobsy Goodspeed stood at the heart of Chicago's social and cultural scenes. Now, prompted by a salacious if glancing remark in a recent book, this forgotten woman re-emerges and opens the door on a vanished era peopled by painters and pianists, plutocrats and politicians—and an irresistible force named Gertrude Stein

Now playing: All That Jazz
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Worlds end

Malcolm McLaren (1946-2010)

Lost and found

Recently reissued, La Lampe Gras makes its Australian debut at this month's designEx.

Originally created in 1921 by French engineer Bernard-Albin Gras. Production ceased at the outbreak of World War II.

Found via World Interior Design Network's blog.

Now playing: Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings - Are You Gonna Give it Back
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Putting my money where my mouth is

Without even knowing the man, this is what I would have done for Gerard Butler.

An Arts and Crafts oak centre table, circa 1900, with lotus capped square legs joined by stretchers.

A three seat version of Hickory Chair's Knole Sofa. The"updated finials" would most certainly need to be covered in the Mulberry slubbed velvet.

Mulberry's Foxslub Velvet in Berry, as he seemingly likes red.

A Victorian mahogany long stool, circa 1860, with bobbin-turned legs and stretchers. The squab cushion replaced with a horsehair covered pad seat.

Antique leather covered armchairs.

If only for its relevance, a rare and unusual early 19th Century Scottish laburnum armchair. The drop in seat would be done in a dark green horsehair.

A Gothic Revival oak side table, cica 1880, with pierced frieze, on square legs.

Now playing: Kate Bush - Wuthering Heights
via FoxyTunes