Saturday, November 30, 2013

Love Letters

Many artists have covered the song, Love Letters, but Ketty Lester's version was selected by David Lynch for the end shootout scene in his 1986 film, Blue Velvet. The song builds slowly, but never reaches a dazzling finish. Instead, Lester sings in a measured, deliberate style like a girl fully in control of her emotions.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Sweet Jane



Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Berenice Abbott, Seventh Avenue Looking South (1935)

Beppe Giacobbe, from Clang! Clang! Beep! Beep: Listen to the City (2009)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


Whether or not you're a sports fan, or your awareness of Lance Armstrong is limited to a yellow Livestrong bracelet rattling around in a drawer somewhere, award-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney's latest feature, The Armstrong Lie, is completely fascinating.

Originally, Gibney's film was about Lance Armstrong's 2009 comeback to cycling after his announced retirement and four-year absence. Gibney spent much of 2009 with Armstrong, during his training, life on the road, and finally at the grueling 2009 Tour de France. Throughout his career, beginning at his first Tour de France win in 1999, Armstrong was immersed in rumors, suspicion and innuendo that he had used performance-enhancing drugs. He staunchly, aggressively and contentiously denied any use of banned substances or banned blood transfusions.  Gibney had completed his film,  but a new doping scandal was building momentum. More allegations that Armstrong didn't win 'clean' appeared in the news, including a Nightline interview with Armstrong's former teammate, Floyd Landis, who stated he had witnessed Armstrong receive illegal transfusions 'multiple times'.  The decision was made to shelve the original film.

In October of 2012, after a lengthy and extensive investigation confirmed his use of banned performance-enhancing substances, Lance Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned for life from competitive sport (applicable to all sports which follow the World Anti-Doping Agency code). After reading the 200 page report issued by the USADA (U.S. Anti-Doping Agency) that included interviews and testimonies of people with direct knowledge of Armstrong's doping, UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) President Pat McQuaid was quoted, "Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling and he deserves to be forgotten in cycling."

Gibney returned to his original film, re-edited and added new interviews and footage, creating The Armstrong Lie. The film contains compelling historical material: Lance as a young triathlete, bald and pale as he battles cancer, charming as he visits hospital wards, and stunningly ferocious as he destroys the competition during so many races. Gibney's documentary is about Lance Armstrong, about his brilliant rise and his disgraceful fall, but it is also about the culture of hero-worship. Gibney admits in his narration that he also wanted to "believe the beautiful lie, more than the ugly truth."

Lance Armstrong may have no place in cycling. He may spend the rest of his life battling the many lawsuits that followed his confession that he lied and he cheated. In the theater where I saw the movie, you could hear the audience voice their contempt at the bright screen. It's hard to imagine he will ever be forgotten.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Mr. and Mrs.

Louis and Lil
Louis and Lucille

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Surreal sweat

Dadaists rejected reason and embraced nonsense.

These limited edition sweatshirts by MSGM  and Toilet Paper 
do too.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Subject matters

Ordinary meets extraordinary.
Still life paintings by Vija Celmins.

(love the blunt titles!)

 Pan, 1964

 Heater, 1964

 Eggs, 1964

Lamp #1, 1964

Knife and Dish, 1964

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Paul, still the cute one.

Illustration by the great Paul Thurlby

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Moon, Light

They Watched at Night, by Sean Lewis

So lovely

Available at Nucleus Gallery

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Where are you going?

Strange travel posters

 Albert Brenet for Air France, 1949
French West Africa may not be for everyone.

Delta Airlines, 1961
Tampa - Ahoy, matey!

 Continental Airlines, 1960
Didn't you know? KC is famous for barbecue.

 Air-India, c. 1960s
Sumo. You know you want to.

Otto Nielsen for Scandinavian Airlines System, 1958
Unless you were dropped off in rural Montana, 
this poster is a bit misleading...even for 1958.

Friday, November 8, 2013


Rene Magritte, La Clef des Songes (The Interpretation of Dreams)

A surreal primer

The exhibition, Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary is at the 
MOMA in New York until January 12, 2014

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Photo source

Original album cover for Cassius, 1999

Re-imagined by painter Tomas Saliot

Perfection in an irreverent red kitchen

Love it!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


The elegant animal display by Rojan


ABC du Père Castor, 1936

Monday, November 4, 2013

Private tour

Scaf the Seal, 1936

Illustrated by Rojan (Feodor Rojankovsky)

Because a seal is truly your best guide to the sights
of the Arctic Circle.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Going Dutch

You may have already seen other advertisements inspired by classical paintings.

The Fall/Winter Valentino campaign pays homage to the Dutch masters
in brilliant fashion.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Save George

On the hunt for...

UK banner, King George V

Circa  1910