August 12, 2013

Amphibious Landing

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Turn over many a flat rock or peer into the almost neon green mosses in the Berkshires and you will delight in finding these “salis,” unreal in their hyper-orange, almost gelatinous bodies.  I still like to hunt for these amphibious creatures.  Their brilliance lingers, and inspired me to create this print, an homage to their form, color and gentle sweetness.  And now, anyone who shares in the wonder of discovering salamanders can enjoy them in a playful duvet cover.

Produced by the newly launched BYCO, the first micro-financing site exclusively for designers, Salis will be featured for sale for the next 60 days.

Salis the duvet cover is printed on one side on super soft microfiber, and has an invisible zipper closure at the bottom.  Salis is available for sale in full, queen and king sizes until October 11. 

Read the press on 2Modern Blog

Read about BYCO in the New York Times

June 01, 2013

Bucolic Telecommuting Illustrated

imageBerkshire Magazine, the New York Magazine of the region asked me to create an illustration for an article on the current state of telecommuting in the area.  A mashup incorporating pen and ink drawings with collaged elements, this piece represents the dream:  to be able to Skype wirelessly with colleagues all over the planet from a dock on Lake Garfield or the middle of an idyllic field in the Tyringham Valley.

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Read the article.

April 04, 2013

42nd on Warren



One of my pieces, 42nd 5th & 6th, a collage made from ephemera I found on that street, will be in Well Put Together: The Art of Collage & Assemblage, a group show at the CCCA Gallery, 209 Warren Street, Hudson, NY. The opening reception is April 6 from 5-7pm. The show runs through May 17.

January 28, 2013

A Delightful Discovery at the Metro Show:  Larry Lewis


Meandering through the mazes of booths at the Metro Show this afternoon, I was arrested by an image—a bold, graphic colorful portrait of a woman staring frontally, and assumed it was by Seymour Chwast.  But as I got closer and walked around this gallery booth, I learned the work was by a little known artist from New Canaan, Connecticut, Larry Lewis.  Lewis who was born in 1919, and lived a relatively hermetic existence in the house he grew up in, spent his free time—when not working as a corporate secretary—making art.  He had formal training at the Art Students League, and had a few shows of his paintings, but created this large body of collage art for himself.  Working on these pieces privately, he did not show them to many people; perhaps maybe only his niece. 

Over many years, and especially from the 60’s until he died in 2004, he delighted in using the Xerox machine to blow up vintage newspaper ads, and movie ephemera as the basis for books and books he created of tabloid-sized pop collages, exuberant in color and bold graphically, with interesting juxtapositions and humor.  This trove of work—redolent of Joseph Cornell, Stuart Davis and of course, Warhol—has not yet been widely seen—beyond New Canaan’s Silvermine Arts Center—where there was a show of his work in 2011. 

When Lewis died, he left all the art and other contents of his home to his niece, who meticulously went about preserving, documenting and finding a professional venue for her uncle’s work.  This weekend at the Metro Show, New Haven’s Giampietro Gallery is formally introducing the New York art world to Larry Lewis’ work.  Giampietro will be putting many of his books online in the coming weeks, and plans to show more of his work in the next few years.

October 24, 2012

House of T

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This should be a motion picture, or a lavishly illustrated catalogue, but for now you can absorb the story of DD and Leslie Tillett as a jewel of an exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York.  Famous—with great cache in their time (1950’s-1980’s), the Tilletts’ name and work receded into obscurity; this show reintroduces them.

The Tilletts seemed to have it all:  Meeting and falling in love at an artists’ community in Mexico, they travelled, collaborated and created collections of printed textiles for fashion and home in mid-century Manhattan, supported by society patrons and celebrity interior designers—working from their studio, workshop, showroom and family residence on the Upper East Side.

imageimageWalking over to their former carriage house at 170 East 80th Street last week, and wishing buildings could speak, I wondered—with envy—about a New York City once hospitable to creative people, where they could afford to live, work and sell—in one conveniently located edifice. On one floor in their brownstone, the Tilletts hand-screened fabrics from a room-length table, often using a strie technique, elaborately layering the prints with five passes or more.  Attentive to the needs of interior designers, they printed color ways on demand for each client.  Besides painting and drawing from nature themselves, they used photo
transfers from historic sources, ethnographic material and other graphics.

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DD Tillett never left the house in a garment she did not design.  She and Leslie produced hundreds of prints, distilled from their travels, studies of indigenous peoples and the workshops they established.  Embedded in Bedford Stuyvesant in the mid 1970’s at the request of Jackie Onassis, the Tilletts set up a workshop to engage and train local artists and others from the community in developing and silkscreening textiles based on African motifs.  Innovative in business, Leslie Tillett developed a necktie subscription service advertised in The New Yorker, featuring their prints.

For people who were seemingly blasé about saving things—according to their son Seth—Leslie and DD Tillett left a trove of organized ephemera, clippings, notebooks, samples and other items that have contributed to the substance of this show.

Photo credit: 1954 contact sheet photo by Allan Arbus

October 08, 2012

The Novogratz Commission

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This past January, I got an email from Bob Novogratz, of the HGTV home renovation show, Home by Novogratz.  Bob had seen a drawing on my website—a toile I created for Cornell University, and asked whether I could create a piece of original artwork—this time with Princeton as theme.  The commission would adorn the living room wall of their client, a Princeton alum whose apartment makeover would be featured by the Novogratz on their upcoming series.

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The show,“Masculine Mod East Village Bachelor Pad”, which airs this Saturday, October 13, on HGTV, features the Princeton print on the wall. The original pen and ink drawing—made into a limited-edition archival 22” x 27” print—features a dozen iconic elements of the built environment on the Princeton campus (among them the Gothic Blair Hall, the twin Greek Revival temples Clio and Whig Halls, the campus’ centerpiece, Nassau Hall, Library Arch, the Tudor Gothic McCosh Hall, Roberston Hall, Venturi’s Wu Hall and the Clement Meadmore minimalist steel sculpture Upstart 2)—in Princeton colors.

The framed print also appears on page 205, and in the Sources guide in the just-published companion book to the TV show, Home by Novogratz

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Hope you can see the show, buy the book, or both!

July 30, 2012

Mari-Mecca

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This morning I had the privilege of being invited to tour the Helsinki factory and headquarters of a design company I love:  the iconic Marimekko.  Founded more than 60 years ago, it is a brand that is classic, continually renews itself, and exudes integrity—to its very fiber.

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Walking around Helsinki the past few days, I’ve been struck by how many people there wear something Marimekko; a striped shirt, poppy print hat, dress, or tote. 

While most of the factory was on July holiday with operations shut down, a PR specialist took us around the quiet plant, making the process come alive.  Seeing the scale and complexity of Marimekko’s operation, the company culture that came across reinforced and augmented my original impressions.  Time is important for output:  As a textile designer it was interesting to learn that it takes one year for each silkscreened print to be made, from initial concept to final printed product. 

Some of the production process is automated, but the ultimate quality of the printed fabrics depend on the human eye—there is someone who has been with the company for 30 years who examines each panel of a print for any defects.

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Now when I wear my jokapoika shirt or Iloinen takki patchwork pocket dress, it will be with a new perspective and appreciation. 

June 29, 2012

Coming Soon to a Sofa Near You

I just completed a licensing arrangement with DQtrs, a cool San Francisco-based home decor company.  Later this summer, DQtrs will be producing and selling a collection of limited-edition pillows, featuring illustrations I drew of my own collection of vintage bracelets.  Initially, the collection will be five themes with bracelets on both pillow front and back, in luscious and subtle palettes.  The first series of pillows are close-ups of the links.

After drawing them and observing the bracelets for a while, I began to personify them—as I am wont to do—which led me to seeing several of the illustrations as metaphors for hooking up. In Relationships and Courtship, the bracelets appear to be making attempts to connect, and link up as their clasps approach each other.  Will they ever touch, embrace and lock in? 

See the entire collection and purchase

May 23, 2012

Bid on my Collage for a Good Cause

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This Sunday, one of my pieces will be auctioned in support of a cause I admire—the Columbia Land Conservancy.  The CLC is an organization that works to preserve the rural character of Columbia County and connect the community with the land.  The auction is one part of the Country Barbecue, an annual fundraiser that this year returns to the magnificently sited Rockefeller Farm overlooking the Catskills in Livingston, NY. This celebration caps the CLC’s 25th anniversary, and will attract some 1000 supporters. 

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The donated piece, a limited-edition framed print, 24″ x 31″, Columbus Ave. Midnight, makes some reference to the barbecue theme.

Hope to see you there!

May 22, 2012

Rosen on the Hudson

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Several of my collages and prints will anoint the muted olive walls of Culture+Commerce Project, the carefully curated Hudson, New York gallery of artist-made practical and beautiful home décor.  The group show—ENLIGHTENED—features artisanal lighting and fine art, celebrates luminosity and considers the bearable lightness of being—in all its layers.  I believe my work fits into the latter category.

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Culture+Commerce Project is celebrating its one-year anniversary Memorial Day weekend, with a reception Saturday May 26 from 5-8pm.  Please drop by.

My thanks to Sherry Jo Williams, founder and creative director of Culture+Commerce Project for her kindness, wit, tenacity, support—and shared love of convergences.

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