Category Archives: arts and crafts

Paint Sample Obsession

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Have you ever painted paint samples on your wall and then become absolutely obsessed with them? My roommate/landlord/former co-worker/boyfriend, Jack, helped me paint these on my bedroom wall yesterday afternoon, and I’ve since checked on them approximately 400,000 times. As if they might have dried a different color between seven hours on my wall and eight hours on my wall.

Paint Samples

I think I might like the two on the right together, but I really have no idea. And it’s not like it actually matters, since we’ve lived in this apartment for three years now and have gotten along fine without paint so far. And we’ve actually been seriously talking about painting for eight months now but haven’t, so this is clearly one of those “no, really, I’m totally going to make all of these crafts I’ve pinned to my Pinterest boards” situations.

By the way, I took that photo with the new 14mm f/2.8 lens Jack bought me for Christmas. I was about half a foot away from the wall when I took it. The lens on this thing is so curved that I can see inside your ears when I’m two inches from your nose.

Wide Angle Lens

What is Art?

Filed under arts and crafts, good times at everyone else's expense, living in new york is neat
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I love art, and I love to make fun of it, too. When my friends Ellie and Kinard came to visit late last year, we went to MoMA one afternoon, and before we left, we had a long conversation with my roommate about who gets to decide what art is. I think his basic argument (and I’m sure he’ll lambast me in the comments if I’m wrong) was that the individual observer gets to decide; if it’s art to you, it’s art. I think Ellie‘s basic argument was that nobody gets to say that something isn’t art. I think Kinard‘s basic argument was, “Let’s go to Shake Shack again.” Just kidding; that was me.

But yeah, I’ll defend your art to the death, even if it involves throwing soup on a statue. Still, here are some of the pieces at MoMA that gave me pause:

Questionable MoMA Art
Belgian Lion by Marcel Broodthaers

The placard for this said, “Found object in frying pan.” It was under glass, which makes it all the funnier to me. ART.

Questionable MoMA Art

These are evenly-spaced orange squares. ART!

Questionable MoMA Art

There was a great story behind these that I don’t remember. Some benefactor said he’d give some artist, like, 10 bajillionty dollars to paint him an original piece every year or something, and this is what the artist gave him. And he totally didn’t murder the artist after receiving the first one. ART!!

Questionable MoMA Art

I don’t think there was actually a rifle shot in this wall. AAAAART!

Questionable MoMA Art

I absolutely love this description: “Each site was photographed at the time the marker was placed with no attempt made for a more or less interesting or picturesque representation of the location.” NOT-EVEN-TRYING ART!

Questionable MoMA Art

I actually kind of like this one.

Questionable MoMA Art

And this one, too.

But here’s some more ART:

Robert Barry’s 90mc Carrier Wave (FM) “consists of radio waves generated by a hand-engineered FM radio transmitter installed in this gallery but hidden from view”. INVISIBLE ART!

While all of this is a little laughable, it’s all a little wonderful, too. And really, I’d rather be too willing to call something art than not willing enough. Take a look at Mark Rothko’s No. 10 and tell me you want to be the person described in the last sentence of the MoMA placard next to the piece:

“The irregular patches of color characteristic of the artist’s Multiform paintings of 1948 seem to have settled into place on this canvas, which Rothko divided horizontally into three dominant planes of color that softly and subtly merge into one another. Between 1949 and 1950 Rothko simplified the compositional structure of his paintings and arrived at this, his signature style. He explained, ‘The progression of a painter’s work, as it travels in time from point to point, will be toward clarity: toward the elimination of all obstacles between the painter and the idea, and between the idea and the observer.’ MoMA acquired No. 10 in 1952. The painting—the first by Rothko to enter the collection—was so radical for the time that a trustee of the Museum resigned in protest.


Giant Gummy Bears on the Streets of NYC

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On one of our weekend walks around the city, Kamran and I ran into an installation called “Bear Forest” by Spanish artist dEmo in the THE LAB gallery in the Roger Smith hotel. Imagine the wonder of rounding a corner and coming face to face with a roomful of these:

Bear Forest by dEmo at LAB Gallery

Bear Forest by dEmo at LAB Gallery

Bear Forest by dEmo at LAB Gallery

Bear Forest by dEmo at LAB Gallery

Bear Forest by dEmo at LAB Gallery

Gummy bears! With pectoral muscles! And questionable intentions! (Am I right in thinking that these things could be straight out of a cute-things-turned-deadly horror movie, a la Gremlins?)

Overnight New York, where I got all the information about the exhibit–because of course I was too busy daydreaming about gnawing on some bear bellies to actual take note of what this was–says the exhibit goes away on March 30th, so see it while you can!

How to Make the Easiest Infinity Scarf Ever

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Fringe Infinity Scarf

I’m not crafty in general, but I did grow up sewing, and this week, I’ve been revisiting my skills with a project that required half a t-shirt.

I didn’t say it was a classy project.

So I had this half-a-shirt and had no idea what to do with it, because like I said, squirting mustard on my burger in the shape of a smiley face is usually about as crafty as I get. But I started cutting . . . and cutting . . . and cutting, and I ended up with this:

Fringe Infinity Scarf
(see how I put on red lipstick for you?)

I don’t even like fringe, but I didn’t hate this! And the boys I work with actually complimented me on it, too! And they never notice anything I wear! And maybe they only noticed this because it was near my boobs, but still!

To make your own:

1) Cut off the bottom of a t-shirt straight across. I used about 8 inches of t-shirt, but you can make yours shorter or longer to suit your scarfing needs.

2) Lay the t-shirt flat so that it looks like an awful, awful tube top or miniskirt.

3) With a sharp pair of scissors, start cuttin’. I cut my strips about a half-inch wide and to a little more than halfway up, but you can see that I had plenty of uncut t-shirt left, so you may want to cut more.

4) Take terrible pictures of yourself in the bathroom and send them to me.

You’re weeeeeeeeeelcome.