Aug 27, 2008  •  In Art/Design, NYC

Wanted: Museum Buddy

As much as I hate doing tourist activities, one of my favorite things to do when in a new city is to check out its museums. I chose to attend Johns Hopkins for its Art History program (most people are not aware that JHU has a great art history program – top 5 in the country - but unfortunately I decided to pursue another course of study). I still consider my 3 month summer internship at the Metropolitan Museum of Art one of the best experiences of my life.

Needless to say, I love museums. I love the hushed atmosphere, the beautiful architecture that usually accompanies them, and immersing myself in the works of geniuses (including nature) of the past, present, and future.

I’m fine perusing the hallways of museums alone; however it’s always more fun with friends. Unfortunately, J could give a crap about museums, and not too many of my friends are into the arts.

I need a museum buddy.

Anyone interested in the following exhibits?

 

Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
through September 1

The symbolic and metaphorical associations between fashion and the superhero are explored in this compelling exhibition. Featuring movie costumes, avant-garde haute couture, and high-performance sportswear, it reveals how the superhero serves as the ultimate metaphor for fashion and its ability to empower and transform the human body. Objects are organized thematically around particular superheroes, whose movie costumes and superpowers are catalysts for the discussion of key concepts of superheroism and their expression in fashion.

(I will probably stop by the Met this Saturday the 30th since this exhibit is closing so soon.)

 

Vasily Kandinsky: Beginnings
Guggenheim Museum
ongoing

Perhaps more than any other 20th-century painter, Vasily Kandinsky has been closely linked to the history of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. Hilla Rebay—artist, art advisor, and the museum’s first director—encouraged Solomon R. Guggenheim to begin collecting Kandinsky’s work in 1929 and to then meet the artist for the first time at the Dessau Bauhaus in July 1930. This was the start of a period of continuous acquisition of paintings and watercolors by Kandinsky. The current installation of the Kandinsky Gallery explores the artist’s early mastery of the graphic arts, as well as his translation of printmaking techniques to painting.

(I love Kandinsky! He’s one of my favorite painters…I’ve love to see some of this earlier work up close and personal.)

 

Wunderkammer: A Century of Curiosities
Museum of Modern Art
through November 10

Wunderkammern, or cabinets of curiosities, arose in mid-sixteenth-century Europe as repositories for all manner of wondrous and exotic objects. In essence these collections—combining specimens, diagrams, and illustrations from many disciplines; marking the intersection of science and superstition; and drawing on natural, manmade, and artificial worlds—can be seen as the precursors to museums. This exhibition presents a contemporary interpretation of the traditional cabinet of curiosities, bringing together a diverse selection of works by twentieth- and twenty-first-century artists who have likewise felt the pull of unusual and extraordinary objects and phenomena. The works on display include prints, books, multiples, drawings, and photographs, with subjects ranging from architectural marvels and blueprints for impossible machines to oddities from the animal, vegetable, and mineral worlds. Featured artists include Hans Bellmer, Peter Blake, Louise Bourgeois, Max Ernst, and Damien Hirst, among others.

(Combining science and superstition? I’m there! Plus I’m sure it’ll be very geeky.)

 

Japonisme in American Graphic Art, 1880–1920
Brooklyn Museum of Art
through October 12

Japonisme in American Graphic Art, 1880–1920 explores the myriad manifestations of Japonisme in a selection of rarely seen American works on paper from the Brooklyn Museum’s permanent collection. Concurrent with the so-called “Japan craze” in America was a renewed interest in graphic arts: as watercolor, pastel, etching, and other graphic media came to be appreciated for their artistry and expressivity, they also reflected the impact of Japanese art. Color woodcuts by late-eighteenth- and nineteenth-century masters such Hiroshige, Hokusai, and Kuniyoshi were avidly collected in the West and served as particularly influential models of stylistic and technical innovation for American artists.

(The last time I visited the Brooklyn Museum of Art was for its famous Murakami exhibition…and I loved not only the exhibit, but the entire museum itself. Definitely worth venturing out to Brooklyn.)

 

Progress
Whitney Museum of American Art
through November 30

Progress brings together works from the Whitney’s permanent collection, highlighting connections between art and visions of utopia. In the early part of the twentieth century, artists and architects like Joseph Albers, Naum Gabo, and Frederick Kiesler carried the revolutionary aims of the European avant-garde to America. The utopian impulse of these artists found its parallel in America’s optimism in developing new technology and the rise of consumer culture–advancements registered in the emergence of Minimalism and Pop Art in the 1950s and ’60s.

This presentation includes works in a variety of media at once representing and critiquing the social and aesthetic goals of Modernism. Artists such as Dan Flavin, Ad Reinhardt, and Sherrie Levine recorded the myriad responses, both hopeful and critical, to the transformation in American culture brought on by the influx of utopian ideals. Other artists address the linear advancement of modernity from a distance, neither celebrating nor critiquing the changes it has brought, but tracking its effects over the passage of time. “Progress” also presents more recent works by artists including Paul Sietsema and Joel Sternfeld, who mine Modernism’s utopian moments in order to gauge how the familiar narratives of progress in the United States continue to haunt and inspire contemporary experience.

(Visions of utopia through various media. This one looks very interesting but it may need to be saved for a time when I’m feeling particularly contemplative.)

 

The Full Figure and Portraiture 1926-1941
The Noguchi Museum
through February 15, 2009

The Noguchi Museum exhibits a full figure bronze sculpture, entitled Undine (Nadja), in its first public exhibition since the 1920s. Isamu Noguchi’s unique vision emerged in response to the Western figurative traditions and techniques he experienced firsthand in the workshop of the sculptor Gutzon Borglum and through his mentor, Onorio Ruotolo. Organized around Undine, this exhibit also highlights a selection of portrait busts from the permanent collection which illustrate Noguchi’s growing confidence owing to his formative academic training and a natural gift for incisive portraiture.

(I love Noguchi! Again, it’ll be interesting to see some of his earlier works as influenced by Western training.)

It can be a PITA to look up all the new exhibitions at the various museums. Maybe I should start a NYC museum blog? Hmm…

Aug 27, 2008  •  In Gadgets, Geek

Hello Lover!

The HTC S740 was announced today. HELLO GORGEOUS! I’m such a sucker for sleek, minimalist designs.

The specs, according to BGR:

  • 116.3 x 43.4 x 16.3 mm
  • GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
  • WCDMA/HSDPA: 900/2100 MHz (we’d guess there is a 850/1900MHz UMTS/HSDPA version in the works, supports HSDPA 3.6Mbps and HSDPA 7.2Mbps)
  • 2.4″ QVGA screen
  • 3.2 megapixel camera
  • Qualcomm® MSM7225, 528 MHz
  • 256MB flash ROM, 256MB RAM
  • microSD slot
  • 140g
  • 1000mAh battery
  • Wi-Fi b,g
  • aGPS
  • Bluetooth 2.0
  • FM radio

Pretty sweet, if I do say so myself. The only downside is that it runs on Windows Mobile 6.1 which isn’t my favorite mobile OS. However, the design and specs more than make up for it.

The HTC S740 is slated to be released in Europe next month. Damn you, North America, for having some of the worst selection of cell phones in the modern world!

Aug 26, 2008  •  In Art/Design, Personal

The Evolution of the Geek in Heels Girl

Before making the official switch to Squarespace, I have decided that a site redesign is in order.

I like the current design – it’s cute and minimalistic, which is my style. However, the Geek in Heels girl was bugging me a bit.

I was pretty lazy when creating this blog and so bought this vector image from iStockPhoto:

I hardly ever wear my hair up so I changed the hair, got rid of the glasses (I wear contact lenses), and changed some colors here and there. I changed the laptop into an Apple MacBook Pro, which is the computer I use at home. I also made minor changes to her face to make her look a bit less perky, as I am as boring and monotone as you can get. And most importantly, I made her shoes into high heels.

The main reason the Geek in Heels girl has been bothering me is because lately, I have been seeing more and more sites using the same original image. I wanted to be different.

Although my Illustrator skills are a bit rusty, I decided to create a new Geek in Heels girl from scratch, using my own face as inspiration. I decided to use this photo of myself:

I then turned it into a very simple sketch:

I then scanned the sketch and started the creating the vector graphics by “tracing” over the original sketch:

I did all this using the trackpad on my laptop. When I do graphics work I really wish I had a separate mouse or even a tablet.

The final face:

I’ll probably end up making some additional tweaks since I have yet to start the body. I’m still trying to decide whether to have her sitting or lying on her stomach (posed with a laptop, of course).

Any suggestions? Thoughts?

(ETA: I just showed this to J and he remarked, “But that doesn’t look like you. Where are your freckles?” I guess you can’t please everyone.)

Aug 22, 2008  •  In Thursday Geek-isms

Thursday Geek-isms

The lovely Ellie (of The Lucky Nest fame) wrote this delightful limerick for me:

I once knew a lady named Jenny
Whose smile was a bright as a penny
Her marriage was bunk
(Due to legalese junk)
Still, it was better than many.

No one’s ever written a poem for/about me before so I literally did a little hop and a skip as I read it. Thank you!

On to the links…

  1. Mozilla Crowns Best Firefox 3 Extensions, Lifehacker. J has a gazillion and one extensions installed on his Firefox. Me? Only a few. But the some of the extensions on this list really look interesting, like Read It Later (self-explanatory) and Callout (porn, anyone?).
  2. Gaming Lookalikes, haha.nu. Cloud Strife & Andy Warhol. Mario & Borat. The best one, however, has to be Master Chief & the Samsung Silencio SC9540 vaccumn cleaner.
  3. Culture Shapes How People See Faces, Wired Science. Westerners look to the eyes first, then the mouth. Asians focus on the center of the face. And according to scientists, the western approach is more intimate, while the Asian way is more formal and holistic. Prett interesting stuff, to say the least.
  4. Scorned Women, Jazebel. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. I think that the worst I ever did after finding out an ex had been cheating on me (then he dumped me, to boot) was lock myself in my apartment for a week, cry myself to oblivion and lose 5 lbs by not being able to eat. Some of the stuff in this gallery is serious. There are some vengeful and pure crazy women out there. Wowza.
  5. LG’s Prada II? Boy Genius Report. The original LG Prada phone is actually a favorite cell phone design of mine. Sleek and minimalistic…if only the price tag weren’t so exhorbitant. I like the LG Prada II design even better for its slide-out QWERTY keyboard. If this photo turns out to be real, I’d be very interested to research all its specs in detail.
  6. 19 Terrifying Incidents Involving Fish, Neatorama. It’s no secret that I have a great fear of fish and birds. “Fish?!?” people ask me. “But they’re in tanks. Or at least contained in water. Why are you scared of them?” HA! Now you see why!
  7. Best NY Closets: Anna Sui & More, Apartment Therapy. Remember that scene in Sex and the City movie where Big proposes to Carrie with a fabulous walk-in closet? Sigh. I’m not too into clothes, shoes, or accessories (designer bags excluded) but I am a nut for organization and these closets are a dream.
  8. Private Browsing Coming to IE? Mashable. I’m happy to say that I wasn’t the only dirty-minded person reading this announcement.
  9. Push pulled from latest iPhone firmware beta, TUAW. I think this was a smart move on Apple’s part. A better idea would’ve been to not call it “push” in the first place, because it technically wasn’t.
  10. NBA Will Try To Go Where No Major Has Gone Before: Live Streaming In Local Markets, paidContent. I’ve never been one for live streaming feeds (unless I have no access to a television) but this sounds interesting, because it’s never been successfully done before. Will it work?
  11. A first look at the Google Android SDK, VentureBeat. The web was abuzz this week with the official announcement from T-Mobile about the availability of the HTC Dream, as well as the release of the latest Google Android SDK v0.9. Despite some of the negative press that Android has been receiving, I’m hopeful.
  12. The Force Unleashed video dump may ‘blow your mind’, Joystiq. The Force Unleashed has to be one of the most anticipated video games of the year. These videos only adds to the hype, because frankly, the game looks sick. Especially the first video. Wow.