Discovered: Klari Reis

Jupiter//February 15th, 2013

Absinthe on the Rocks//January 26, 2013

Umbrellas in a Noir Film//January 7, 2013

Sea Shell in Love//February 13, 2013


I'm loving Klari Reis' once a day petri dish project.  Stirring pigments into plastic-epoxy polymer, Reis creates this unique  and highly interpretive works of art.  Reis did a similar project back in 2009 and decided to embark upon the journey again.  It is interesting to see how her creations from 2009 differ from those in 2013.  I've picked a few from 2013 that I'm particularly fond of; I love that each one tells its own story that is provoked by Reis' titles.  You can see the whole collection thus far here.


*via Fast Co Design

Monday Morning Inspiration: Cristiana Couceiro


I have fallen in love with the work of Cristiana Couceiro.  She is an illustrator/graphic design/collector extraordinaire based out of Lisbon who uses anything from newspaper, vintage photos, pieces of paper, books create her works of art.  These are just a few of my favorites.  Some of them were done for her clients like the NYTimes, Wired, Nike and Audi.  Others are from her personal portfolio.  You can see more of her work here.


Watch: Waste Land

This weekend I watched Waste Land, a documentary about the Brazilian artist Vik Muniz.  The film documents the creation of a series entitled “Pictures of Garbage,” which are portraits of garbage collectors called “catadores” in Jardim Gramacho, the world's largest  landfill on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro.  The film follows the three year project from start to finish as Muniz and the catadores collaborate on the process of creating these works of art.  It’s an incredibly inspiring film and one that gives a voice to a community of people few know exist.  One of the most inspiring aspects of the film is that Muniz donates 100% of the proceeds to the catadores so they can educate, protect and improve the living conditions of Jardim Gramacho. To date, the project has contributed nearly $300k.   You can read more about the film here.

Habit: Beachcombing

I remember waking up on beach vacations as a child and being able tell my mom had returned from her routine early morning beach walk.  There would be an accumulation of treasures on the deck - sea glass, rocks, drift wood.  As my sister and I got older, we would join my mom on these walks.  The three of us spread along the coast looking for our own meaning of beauty.  I've continued this tradition of beach combing on nearly all of our travels.  I've found pieces of porcelain on the shores in Japan, sea urchins on Martha's Vineyard, sand dollars on the Oregon coasts and shells of varying shapes on shapes in Mexico, Thailand, Brazil, Indonesia, India and Guatemala.  The collections are always subtle reminders of our various trips and travels past.  So when I came across photographer Jennifer Booher's store on Etsy, I was in my own little bit of beachcombing heaven.  I love way the way that she has documents her findings in these simple graphic images. Spend some time on her site and check out her other photographs!

Welcome: Artspace

I'm thrilled to announce that Artspace is officially live.  I've been busy working on this project for the past two months and am so excited that we've launched.

Founded by Catherine Levene (former COO and GM of Daily Candy) and Chris Vroom, Artspace is all about collecting art at affordable prices.  They work directly with the best contemporary artists to offer limited edition prints and original works by artists such as Clifford Ross, Nick Cave, Youngsuk Suh, Richard Misrach and Ross Bleckner.  While anyone can purchase from Artspace, they offer insider prices for members.  Check it out and become a member here.

You can also read more about Artspace here and here.

Discovered: Monique Péan

Monique Péan, a former investment banker at Goldman Sachs, started taking design classes in her free time before realizing her passion was really in jewelry.  In 2006, she launched her line and has since been recognized by everyone from Michelle Obama to Vogue and most recently, Fast Company.

While all of her pieces are exquisite and sustainable, I found this necklace to be particularly stunning.  The piece is constructed out of fossilized walrus ivory and woolly-mammoth bone that is carved by hand and then finished with 18-karat rose gold, white diamonds and smoky topaz.

Visit: Capricious

One of my favorite spaces in our new new neighborhood, Capricious, is hunkering down and closing their gallery space so they can focus solely on their publications. The final show, "The Show Must Go On," includes over 30 artists who have been involved in Capricious in one way or another including Isabel Asha Penzlien, Sophie Mörner, Sam Falls and Nicholas Gottlund.

Make sure to check it out before it closes on March 6, 2011.

CAPRICIOUS SPACE 103 Broadway Brooklyn, NY 11211

*photo by Sophie Mörner, photographer and founder of Capricious.

Interview: Gadi Amit

The bottom line is there's no replacement for emotional connection. -Gadi Amit

Fast Company recently interviewed designer and founder of NewDealDesign, Gadi Amit, as part of their Masters of Design issue.  The interview is insightful, bold and thought provoking.  Enjoy!

Like musicians, we think through our hands," says Gadi Amit, fondling three pieces of raw wood precariously bound together with masking tape. Amit has built his 22-year career designing award-winning technology devices for brands such as Dell, Palm, and Verizon; this year, he took top honors in the International Design Excellence Awards. Yet the 47-year-old industrial designer is curiously enamored of the power of craft. "Designers here are so computer minded; I say, 'You guys have computer vertigo, go down to the shop,' " Amit says, referring to the windowless basement workshop of his San Francisco studio, NewDealDesign. "As you play and sculpt with foam and putty, you actually discover, versus a more analytical or cerebral approach. That it's ambiguous and inaccurate is a good thing."

Going analog isn't Amit's only unconventional stance. One of the brat pack spawned by Frog Design, he has become an unapologetic critic of the green-design movement. "In the sustainability crowd," Amit says, "I feel that sometimes beauty is the first thing that takes a hit." The "beauty" Amit is referring to isn't some $20,000 chair enclosed in glass at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, but well-built objects so lust-worthy that people will want to hold on to them forever -- objects like his prize-winning Slingbox 700U, a media device no bigger than a piece of toast, stripped of a plastic skin in favor of waffled aluminum that is virtually 100% recyclable. "My theory," says the Israeli native, "is that beauty is a very positive, visceral force that we should harness for sustainability."

Over coffee in his studio's loft, Amit talked about how computers are like animals, whether sex appeal trumps carbon footprint, and why buying a Prius may ultimately be an irresponsible act.

Fast Company: How did you end up designing technology?

I wanted to be a car designer, but the design school I went to [in Israel] is a very traditional European-craft type of art school, very much about creating furniture. Nearly antitechnology. But in 1985, I got to know the Macintosh, and I fell in love with it. It's an intelligent object, and since then, I've only dealt with things that aren't just docile objects; they have behaviors.

Some people view technology as cold, sterile. You don't agree?

When I started playing with hard-core technology, I started to realize there is an architectural problem in putting together complex objects; like animals, they have organs. All these computers, these machines, have a brain, so you have to figure out where to put the brain, and the brain is usually next to the face, which is where you interact with people, so those are buttons and the screens. Then there's the plumbing, the digestive system, and how you organize it. Much of the work we do today is essentially deciding whether an object has a body, a head, and four limbs, or a body, a head, and no limbs. It's that fundamental.

You began your career in the Middle East but have spent most of it around Silicon Valley. You've seen a lot of shifts in design along the way.

The '90s were the roaring age of product development meets design. It was basically the first time where the wide culture, not some geek enclave, met the digital age -- the first mass distribution of cell phones, PDAs, Web appliances. The 2000s started with this nearly insane drive for all things Web. At the same time, China and Asia became a huge product-development force. Design became driven by a cult of personality, by a culture detached from delivering products for common people. The notion that some European superstar designer builds a chair that costs $20,000 has both a philosophical and a cultural richness, but it's also related directly to the social indulgence of an economy going out of control.

When the economic crisis hit, was that the end of that era?

What happened in 2008 was not just an economic meltdown, it was a social realignment. If a designer in the '70s opted to sell a chair that was a million units, a designer at the end of the '90s or early 2000s wanted to sell two chairs that became a collector's item. That ended in 2008 because the people who financed that were the guys who messed with our mortgages.

Check out the full interview here.

Monday Morning Inspiration: Ai Weiwei

Ai Weiwei, one of China’s leading conceptual artists, recently installed his piece, Sunflower Seeds, into the interior of the Tate Modern's Turbine Hall.  While at first glance all of the seeds look nearly identical, the exhibit actually consists of 100 million porcelain seeds that were each individually sculpted and painted in the Chinese city of Jingdezhen, which is known as the "porcelain capital" in China

When the exhibit was first installed, visitors were invited and even encouraged to walk, touch and  lay down in the seeds but last week they announced that the exhibition is now no longer open for human interaction due to the dust created when visitors walked on the seeds.  Either way,  I think the connotations typically associated with the term "Made in China," is brought into question.  The exhibit is up until May 2011 so if you are in London in the next seven months be sure to check it out.

*Photographs from the Tate and The Guardian

Monday Morning Inspiration: Renate Müller

I am in love with these animals designed by German artist, Renate Müller.  Created nearly 30 years ago, they were first used for balance training and orthopedic exercise by psychiatric hospitals and clinics throughout Germany. Each creature is handmade and has an internal wood structure that is covered in jute and peppled leather, which is then stuffed with fresh wood shavings that take Müller nearly a day to complete.

This fall, the TriBeCa gallery R 20th Century will host the first North American retrospective of her work, “Renate Müller: Toys and Design.  The retrospective will showcase some vintage pieces as well as more than 60 new ones.  The artist will be in attendance at the exhibition opening Tuesday, October 12, and will lead hands-on demonstrations at a special Family Day on Saturday, October 16.

*via T Magazine

Monday Morning Inspiration: Paper Cut Project

Drawing on their backgrounds as a fashion editor and a stylist, Georgia based artists Nikki Salk and Amy Flurry create these amazing three-dimensional sculptures as part of their company Paper Cut Project. Launched in January 2010, their creations are “fueled by a love of fashion and an appreciation of grace and nuance of this humble material." Paper Cut Project has created a collection of animal inspired paper masks as well as these dramatic paper wigs that crowned the mannequins at the Jeffrey stores in both NY and Atlanta and are they now working on an exclusive collection for Hermès.

See more of their extraordinary creations here.

*via T Magazine

Monday Morning Inspiration: Art in Your Pocket

MoMA is ahead of the game.  While many other museum have failed to accept the digital age,  MoMA has embraced it with a free iPhone application that allows you to browse their latest exhibitions, daily events and film screenings as well as over 32,000 works in their permanent collection. It even lets you create a playlist to listen to while you visit the museum.  True to MoMA's mission, the visual interface of the app is engaging and inspiring and makes me want to visit Bruce Nauman’s Days, a “sound sculpture” consisting of a continuous stream of seven voices reciting the days of the week in random order.  Who wants to join me?

You can download it from iTunes.

*via Cool Hunting

Teamwork: Whitney Museum + Keds

Screen shot 2010-06-29 at 8.54.28 AM Screen shot 2010-06-29 at 8.55.58 AM

Keds has partnered with the Whitney Museum to sponsor the museum's summer session, a concert series which celebrates artists and musicians.  To kickoff  the collaboration they created KedsWhitney, a collection of  sneakers designed by a number of artists including Laura Owens and Sarah Crowner.  The first to show her creation is American conceptual artist Jenny Holzer who is best known for her projections and LED light installations of thought-provoking messages for the masses in public places.  Her collection features the words "Protect me from what I want" from her signature text series, Survival. The phrase has previously appeared on everything from golf balls to condoms and has been projected and installed on buildings all over the world.

All Keds’ profits from the collection will benefit the Whitney Museum of American Art.

*via designboom