About 15 years ago I remember being on the subway and seeing something that shocked me: a woman got into the car at 57th Street and, affixed to each of her 10 fingernails, were highly sculpted, three-dimensional unicorns. All different. All really pronounced. At the time I just stared. What I didn’t know is that the image would continue to haunt me this long after. I wondered at the time whether this was some crazy new trend in nail art. Why yes, yes it was. Here is but the teensiest smattering of nail art paraphernalia. The first image is fascinating. Photos are from here, here, here and here.
I went to art school with Scott Kelley. We lost touch a long time ago but, today, in my search for rope, I accidentally came across his obsessive paintings of these warp lines, which are traditionally heavy ropes used for anchoring, towing or mooring a boat. In this case, the warp is called pot warp, and it is specifically the line used by lobstermen to secure their traps. Scott does, after all, live in Maine. For more go here. And Scott, sorry for the crop here and there. Just wanted to get up closer to the detail.
Chalkboard paint started it all. I think Martha Stewart popularized it. And then Dana Tanamachi took it to new and exciting heights. I speak of chalkboard lettering. An earlier post about Dana here. The nicely packaged Chalk is available here.
Belated birthday present from my brother and his partner, John. For the full story on these, go here. And to see the rest of them go here, here and here. Thanks guys. Now we need to find you some treatment.
“WHAT, you don’t know about the meringue?!!” screeched my brother and H. “HOW could you have missed it?” “It’s been in H’s freezer since that New Year’s Eve party we had back in 1979!” “Haven’t you ever seen it on the door?” John, my brother’s partner, gives us a sideways look. I sense that he is questioning our mental stability.
“Okay, okay…yes I have a vague memory of it.” I think to myself that they are referring to that teacup-size thing, enshrouded in plastic, sitting alone on the shelf of the freezer door. The thing I’ve often been tempted to throw in the trash. I admit to myself that I never really thought much about it and, in a slightly ashamed tone, confess my obliviousness.
How COULD I have missed its significance? Jeez, it’s been there for a good 33 years and counting. It now officially qualifies as an antique.
I ask if I can borrow it to take photographs, but dodge an immediate round of outrage spit at me from both sides of the dinner table. “Are you crazy?!” “You absolutely cannot remove it, much less unwrap it!” “No way.” They are united in their defense of this frostbitten wad of sugar, cream of tartar, vanilla and egg whites. My brother adds that it is PERFECT. He reminds me of that pre-party madness long ago when he made the meringues for a crowd of 25. He conjures up images of a sixteen year old self, hunched over his cookie sheet, pastry bag in hand, piping out the glossy swirled receptacles that will later hold chocolate mousse, orange segments macerated in grand-marnier, all crowned with lightly sweetened whipped cream. He recalls throwing out two thirds of his creations, only keeping those that met his highest standards of perfection. I finally convince them that it’s worth a look. My brother concedes that it’s probably ossified, and that taking the cling wrap off will unlikely compromise its integrity. We rush back to the apartment before dark in order to rig up a quick photo shoot. This is the one meringue that is preserved for posterity. And it is indeed perfect.
“Lay on Ground, Light Fuse, Retire Quickly” is the first line of the story in the NYT about the sale of George Moyer’s enormous firecracker collection. Moyer is a pyrotechnician and fireman from Pennsylvania, so it stands to reason that he might have an outsized interest in any and all types of explosives. The photos aren’t the best, but that’s the consequence of a massive drag and drop operation. The entire collection was/is online at Morphy’s Auction House. Oh, and Happy Fourth of July!!
The other day The Improvised Life posted this video created by artist Sipho Mabona. There must be an innate fascination with seeing something realtively complex “literally” unfold in reverse.