Nov 21, 2009

Meanwhile take 3: way out west

A month or so ago, Corinne and I went on a photo-excursion to Melbourne's western suburbs, searching for gritty, industrial goodness. The oil refinery at Altona was only too happy to oblige, not to mention the interesting bits and bobs dumped down the road from it (I'm kind of in love with the way this couch looks like it has a face). The rain rolled in and we headed to Williamstown for coffee and shelter, only to bravely (and foolishly?) venture out onto the pier, umbrella at the ready. Another friend, after looking at this set said "I love your photos, but they make want to keep the hell out of the west." I guess not everyone goes gaga when they see broken down industrial buildings and decomposing couches left out to the elements, but whenever I need a jolt of photographic inspiration, I know where I'll be heading!

Santa, are you listening?

To think that I was feeling glum over missing out on a Pentax Spotmatic on eBay...the $100 or so that I didn't spend on the Spotmatic is small change next to this puppy:

That's right, Leica has collaborated with French luxury accessory house Hermes to create the most expensive, droolworthy camera around. The limited edition M7 is clad in leather, either in camel brown, or the signature Hermes orange. Only 100 of each colourway have been made, but something tells me they will be snapped up quicksmart, even with a (HEFTY) pricetag of €7000. Take a deep breath, and read that again. Yep, that's 140 Spotmatics. Doesn't make it any less fantastic or desirable. I guess we can all dream.

PS: Don't you just love the nonchalant way this guy is carrying the camera BEHIND him, completely at the mercy of ye olde pickpocket?

[Via Limited Hype.]

Meanwhile post #2: art-o-matic

These photos come from serveral weekends' worth of wandering and looking; evidently my August and September were very art-filled indeed. 

From the top:
1. Looking up, Hosier Lane
2 - 4. Tacita Dean at ACCA (a well-written review, plus some more photos here)
5. Mystery art at Curtin House
6. Zizi and the zig zags, off Hosier Lane
7. Colours and shapes, Smith Street
8. Spring showers on Swanston Street
10. Flatland by Tim Fleming, Nicholas Building
11. Detail of Clare Whitney's studio, Nicholas Building
12. The Nicholas Building has had some interesting former residents
13. Keith Haring mural on Johnston Street

Nov 18, 2009

Where the little people live

I have had a link to London-based artist Slinkachu's blog in my sidebar for quite some time, yet have failed to explain just what it is he does, and just why I like his work so much. Slinkachu is difficult to categorise, in that, despite the city streets playing a vital role in his art (for Slinkachu's 'Little People,' the streets of London are the entire known universe), he doesn't fit the mold of street art as we know it. Where artists like Banksy, Blek le Rat and Shepard Fairey interact with the city in a bold, unmistakable way, Slinkachu invades the city in a way that is as subtle as it is clever.

Shot from closeup, Slinkachu's figures appear to fit with the landscape, but a longer shot reveals them to be miniatures, completely swamped by their surroundings. By playing with disparities in scale, Slinkachu addresses urban isolation and alienation, not to mention making wry commentary about the ammount of attention we pay to the very streets we walk on. A tiny revolution is taking place, but if you didn't know where to look, you could well be excused for missing it altogether.


All images from Slinkachu's blog

There is also a book, 'Little People,' which I am trying to convince myself I don't need. Needless to say, it's fantastic. Lastly, Slinkachu also keeps a collection of press clippings on a second blog, which is noteworthy solely for the reason that one of the clippings features the best headline I have ever seen. Pun perfection.

Nov 13, 2009

So, I have a lot of 'meanwhiles'...

Meanwhile post numero uno, AKA 'the black and white one,' is embarassingly old. It dates from July and August (yes, July!) and features shots from This is Not a Design Market, and the Melbourne Open House, both of which took place as part of the 2009 Melbourne Design Festival. This is Not a Design Market most certainly WAS a design market, showcasing Melbourne's best undiscovered and up and coming jewelery, printmaking, fashion and homewares design. My faourites included book sculptor Nicholas Jones, jewellery designers Lola and Bailey, artist edition homewares brand Third Drawer Down, and the letterpress displays and prints from the Melbourne Museum of Printing.

Much to our dismay, the similarly awesome Melbourne Open House day took place at the same time as the market, leaving us precious little time to take advantage of it. MOH is an annual event held to coincide with the Design Festival, at which some of Melbourne's oldest and most beautiful private buildings open their doors to the public for a behind the scenes view of some of the city's most interesting architectural sights. We had time to see the State Library's Queens Hall, the dome reading room and the Athaneum library before MOH shut up shop for the day. Whew!




Nov 12, 2009

On jealousy

The Jealous Curator is a collection of inspiring, and, of course, jealousy-enducing art, collated by an American multimedia artist. Of the feeling you get when you encounter a really fantastic piece of art,  she says, 

"There is one moment, in the first few seconds, when you look at a piece of art and know that you love it. It’s the moment when, if you’re an artist yourself, you look at it and feel a rush of uplifting inspiration… and total soul crushing jealousy all at the same time. It’s when you walk away thinking, “Damn, I wish I thought of that.”

The blog tends towards more multimedia based and design oriented art, and while I don't love all the artists featured, about a month ago it was on a roll as far as I was concerned. Photographer Stephanie Fiore, installation artist Kristi Malakoff and paper cutting artist (is that the right term??) Claire Brewster all caught my eye. 


(Images from The Jealous Curator;  original posts on these three are here, here and here)

The Jealous Curator is not alone in its championing of undiscovered art. Meighan O'Toole's my love for you is a stampede of horses functions similarly, although it focuses more on street art. What I find interesting about these blogs is they get you thinking about the process of charting (and predicting) a person's taste in art. It isn't something I'd really considered before, but when you think about it, it's exactly what a good art dealer does. Also, whilst "I-like-this-this-inspires-me" can become excessively positive after a while, and leave you yearning for some good, critical and theoretical debate, it is nonetheless refreshing to see artists being promoted by someone with no commercial motivation. Bloggers like The Jealous Curator and Meighan O'Toole recognise and share artistic talent, and I can only tip my hat to them for that.
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