Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Needful Things

I don't have monkeys on my back. Instead, they live on my shoulders. But they are not the opposite sides of the same coin – one an angel, cautioning; the other a devil, urging. They are, instead, equally ill-behaved, clamorous, and single-minded in their goal to convince me to indulge my twin obsessions for shoes and art.

My monkeys sent me on an art buying spree this weekend. Luckily it was at the Recycled Art Festival, which meant I could feed the little buggers on only a few Andrew Jacksons and some change.

First of all, I'm sorry I don't have more photos. People were awfully precious about me whipping out my camera. Like the woman who made these amazing dolls that she crafted from people's cast off shoes. The best piece in her show was a likeness of Frida Kahlo, displayed dead and in her coffin, accompanied by one of her miscarried babies, a replica plaster cast of her teeth, and with a gilt edged mirror on the inside of the lid, so that even in death, Frida could ponder the meaning of her existence. I was desperate to take a photo of the piece for K9, but the artist was so reluctant, I didn't pursue it.


I can, however, show you one of my favorite artists in the show, Albuquerque resident and "jeweler" Kristin Diener. I've met her before and was delighted to see her again. We chatted for a while and I was struck anew by the difference between her sunny, matter-of-fact Midwestern demeanor and the dense, almost fetishistic quality of her work. I would love to be able to afford it.

But I managed to sneak in a few snapshots of the children's art exhibit.

Like these marvelous Day of the Dead Sculptures crafted by second graders in a local Santa Fe elementary school.

And these elegant sculptures, made entirely out of white cardboard by a fourth grade class.

And what I think was my favorite piece in the entire show, this gigantic paper mache elephant. Again, another class of second graders. I wish I'd taken some photos of the detail on this, but people were beginning to eyeball me real funny, so I stopped. But trust me, it was delightful.

And now, for Moi's purchases:

This halter top by Niña Feliz (happy girl in Spanish), a cooperative up in Arroyo Seco (a small community north of Taos), run by a group of women designers who “refashion” discarded clothing into wearable art. What attracted me to it was the exuberance of the stitching and the bright red velvet ties. It also fits perfectly – I paired it over a long sleeved tissue tee shirt and it looks marvy. In summer, I see it under a cropped crocheted sweater with skinny jeans and gladiators.

One of the artists I was most looking forward to was Julie Anderson, who makes her living designing costumes and unbelievable statement necklaces fashioned from vintage found objects. But what I love most are her Demented Doll Head purses, which I first saw in a Bruce Weber photo shoot for Italian Vogue a couple years ago. So enamored am I with these purses, that I must have vocalized that love in just the right way to Julie (either that or she was desperate to get my bat shit crazy ass self out of her booth) because she sold it to me at a deeply discounted price.

But that discount came with a price of another sort. I have to give her a name by the end of the week or suffer the consequences of Demented Doll Head juju. Any thoughts?

I'm thinking she looks an awful lot like an Anita to Moi.

And, finally, the piece that touched me the deepest. By a woman named Kim Kelly, a former participant in an Albuquerque-based art program for the homeless called Art Street. Kim, I hope you are safe and sound and still making art.


Gnomeself Be True said...

Tell them you have a blog that hunreds (thousands...yea, thousands) of people read each day. Promise to include a link to their web site.

Jenny said...

Girlfriend, you need to keep your cell phone camera handy. I pretend to talk and then snap! I know your phone isn't hooked up to do that.... but it will greatly help your spy skills.

Doesn't matter - what you did bring back to us is fabulous and that jewelry? OH. MY.

Good job on taking your Monkey to such a worthy place and spending some of Moi's hard earned cashola!

czar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
czar said...

Looks kinda like Shirley Q. Liquor to me. And if you don't know who Shirley Q. Liquor is, don't say I didn't warn you.

Doris Rose said...

Thank you for sharing that video.XX

moi said...

Iamnot: Good idea. I can talk my way into or out of just about anything. Except a discounted pair of Louboutins.

A.B.: Yes, I know, but I'm such a technotard.

Czar: OMG! U B A Jeenyus! Shirley Q. Liquor is her name. Julie will be proud. I'll give you credit, I swear.

Doris Rose: Verklempt-making, no?

czar said...

If you don't know who Shirley Q. Liquor is, don't act too hastily. Shirley Q. doesn't hit everyone the same way. In this house, though, Shirley Q. is a god(dess).

Aunty Belle said...

Name her Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte...
what a great event--would love to have strolled the booths wif' ya'. AN' doan fergit to up load photo of Presidentia in halter come season's arrival.

Anonymous said...

Black Orchid.



I adore her, btw.

MommyHeadache said...

I want a Demented Doll Head Purse so bad....Hello Santa are you there?

sparringK9 said...

wow weeeee that frida piece sounds veddy cool. i like the concept. i can surely understand being protective of your art - this is a big issue over on Etsy. lets say somebody is making lots of sales with a particular item, then come the clones that make the poor mans version. the original artist sees the sales slip and even worse, the vision corrupted.

you cant do anything about it though. think about the original graffiti artist shepard fairey. then you got "obey" in every form known to man - including the wildly popular obey the purebreed dog gear.

to me - a copy artist is living in a self created hell where they replicate something not of them -therefore it would be similar to lucy and ethels assembly line. not authentic. what of your soul will you cede for pieces of paper.

which is a long ass comment about how i dont care who takes pictures of my stuff.

i like the paper sculptures-very louise nevelson. i bet that was the lesson plan.

kristin dieners art really is fetish like - a hint of danger to it. its is an interesting juxtaposition when you have an artist that somehow doesnt seem to reflect the work.

i saw HR Geiger on a talk show once and he was soft spoken and quiet - his art was terrifying. if you have ever seen any of the art from "neconicrom" you know what i mean. *shudder* i sorta wish id never seen it myself.

i lovee the idea of the halter under the crocheted top. niiiiiiiiiiice.

kim kelleys piece makes me think of the frida in her coffin we didnt see.

thanks moi for this arty good fun!

czar said...

friend of my late stepfather's -- a NYC bailbondsman -- used to go around to neighborhood art shows (this was back in the 70s) and take pictures of what he liked, and then went home and replicated it, just for hanging in his apartment. never sold them, never claimed them for his own. i always had mixed feelings about this. one of the calmest men i ever met. perpetually humming or whistling, just so you could barely hear it. how he lived as a bailbondsman, i don't know. i always imagined their lifestyles being kind of intense. maybe he was some kind of zen jewish bailbondsman.

moi said...

Czar: Shirley Q. is funeeeee, that's who she is!

Aunty: Sweet Charlotte is a good one, too! Three days and counting.

Emma: Fuggedabout Santa. Use the royalties from your next book!

K9: Giger is an odd duck - freakish but also oddly bloodless if that makes sense. My favorite work of his is the cover for Debbie Harry's solo album, Koo Koo.

Czar: Apparently, one of my father's uncles – a mild mannered 90+ year old lifetime bachelor – can reproduce with near exactness any work of art he sees. Does it just for his own amusement as well and also has lived in NYC his whole life. Wonder if it's something in the water?

sparringK9 said...

czar: have you seen the movie "ghost Dog: way of the samurai'? reminds me of how you described your step dads friend. good movie. stars forrest whitaker.

Big Shamu said...

I love what photos you could post but I don't get the photo restriction thing. You can't really stop some one from cloning the idea. I think the closest I can relate is the famous Nat. Geo. photo of the Afghan girl (Steve McCurry 1984)with the piercing gaze. It's an incredible picture and while he took more than one shot of her, and shots of other Afghan children that shot remains a masterpiece of light, subject, expertise and plain dumb luck. Yet despite all that you still see travel photographers, calendar photos, and many others trying to capture that rare confluence of McCurry's art. I don't dog them too much for trying to copy but I do wish them to be inspired by McCurry to learn and strive for their own masterpiece.

h said...

New post needed. Suggested topics:

1) Food
2) Football
3) Guns

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