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Happy Birthday, Frida Kahlo!

Posted by RD on 7/6/2014 to Women
Frida Kahlo Self Portrait

"I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would imagine her and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me too. Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that, yes, it's true I'm here, and I'm just as strange as you." --Frida Kahlo

Today, we celebrate the birthday of the woman who taught us that the ultimate form of art is self-acceptance. Happy Birthday, Frida! 

Chess As Art

Posted by DD on 4/6/2014 to Community
     In honor of the 11th Annual KCF All-Girls National Chess Championships which begins this Friday, here is a look at chess sets created by some of our favorite artists! 
  
                   

Happy Birthday, Shirin Neshat!

Posted by RD on 3/28/2014 to Women
Shirin Neshat

Happy Birthday to one of our favorite female artists, Shirin Neshat! 

Creatively Inspired: Urs Fischer at the MoCA Grand Avenue

Posted by RD on 8/24/2013 to Inspiration
Urs Fischer MoCA

Last weekend, we saw the Urs Fischer exhibit at the MoCA in downtown Los Angeles the last day before it officially closed to the public. Prior to arriving, I knew what we'd see would be inspiring based on the sheer number of photos I'd seen on Instagram over the past few weeks. On social media, there seemed to be a certain energy and excitement surrounding talk of the exhibition. Nearly everyone online had something to say--whether it be through 140-character blurbs on Twitter, comments on Facebook, or Instagrammed photos of visitors interacting with the works. The online "buzz" not only convinced me to see the exhibit for myself, but also made me want to join in on the online conversation: share my own experiences and interaction with the works.

Creatively Inspired: The Work of Korean Artist Lee Jung

Posted by RD on 8/4/2013 to Art
Jung Lee, "I still remember," C-type Print, Diasec, 136x170cm,2010, ONE AND J. Gallery

I am excited to share with you my most recent find: Korean artist Lee Jung. In her work, the artist frequently uses the juxtaposition of text and image to explore the idea of language in terms of spatial context. Often placing common, emotionally-laden phrases in the unnatural context of environmental landscapes devoid of human touch, the artist calls to mind questions such as: what is the relationship between language and environment? Do words become more or less meaningful when placed in a setting virtually untouched by mankind? What happens when you displace language from its original context?

Art We Love: Kathy Klein's Divine Danmalas

Posted by RD on 1/17/2013 to Art

Kathy Klein Danmala Art
Arizona-based artist Kathy Klein arranges natural objects into sacred kaleidoscopic circles, or what she calls "danmalas." Using blooms, leaves, and organic elements found on site, Klein arranges each danmala while engaged in meditation, allowing the placement of materials to be guided by a higher power. These sacred arrangements are then left behind by the artist at the site of their creation. Described by Klein as a "gesture which points towards life's abundance" and the "unspoken verse of love," these danmalas serve not only as a reminder of the artist's presence, but also the moment of divine union with spirit.

Creative Inspiration: Claudio Parentela

Posted by RD on 8/16/2012 to Art
claudio-parentela-hipsters-for-sisters

Claudio Parentela is an illustrator/photographer/painter/journalist, who currently resides in Catanzaro, Italy.  We love the way he deconstructs images of beauty by recombining elements of fashion photography with those of his own imagination.  Viewing these strange, yet whimsical images is surprisingly cathartic: upon first looking at an image, our minds almost immediately gravitate toward the photo in anticipation that the image will read like the thousands of other fashion images we see on a daily basis.  Yet, to our minds surprise, the surrounding elements are hardly at all anything we're used to seeing.

Tahiti Tropical

Posted by RD on 6/5/2012 to Fashion
It comes as no surprise that one of this summer's biggest trends is the nature-inspired print. Exotic floral and palm prints have graced the runways this season in a variety of forms: peplum and bra tops, pants, form-fitting dresses, and high-waisted skirts.  Although often overlooked, fruit and vegetable patterns have also made their way into the Spring/ Summer 2012 collections of countless designers, including Dolce & Gabbana, Moschino Cheap & Chic, Missoni, and Kenzo.


Dolce & Gabbana Spring Summer 2012
Dolce & Gabbana 2012

Kenzo Paris 2012
Kenzo, Paris 2012 

Dolce & Gabanna 2012
Dolce & Gabbana 2012

The resurgence of nature-inspired prints as a major trend this season suggests a humble return to the earth and celebration of nature and its bounty.  The naturalistic theme and combination of warm yellows, oranges, and greens in these patterns are reminiscent of the portrait and landscape paintings of the famous French post-impressionist artist, Paul Gauguin.

Gauguin (1848-1903) is best known for his painted scenes of Tahiti, characterized by a stark contrast of bold colors and depiction of soft, rounded human figures.

Paul Gauguin Femmes Tahiti
Femmes de Tahiti (Sur la plage) [(Tahitian Women (On the Beach)]
1891 (150 Kb); Oil on canvas, 69 x 91 cm (27 1/8 x 35 7/8 in); Musee d'Orsay, Paris 

Paul Gauguin Nave, Nave Moe
Nave, Nave Moe (Miraculous Source) 
1894; Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg

For the majority of his early life, Gauguin worked as an artist in Paris, where he lived a bohemian lifestyle typical of artists during the late 19th century. However, Gauguin quickly grew dissatisfied with the Parisian bourgeois society and in 1891, left Paris and Western civilization as whole for the remote island of Tahiti.  For Gauguin, Tahiti was a land of beautiful and strong people, untainted by the superficiality of Western culture and instead, grounded in a love and respect for the earth and natural environment that surrounded them.  

-----RD