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January 23, 2020

Art Competition

In a dramatic pivot from the traditional sport and tournament themes of previous years, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games are taking a different visual approach. To celebrate their upcoming hosting responsibilities, they have commissioned a wide range of artists and photographers to create iconic art for the prestigious event. The resulting posters and banners championing the contests showcase a range of styles and methods, from calligraphy to photography and manga to cubism. Vibrant, shocking, stunning and simply gorgeous, this initiative speaks to the original Olympic concept, where artists competed for top prizes as well. No doubt due to become collector pieces, the work will be on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, through February 16th.

Party Wear

What is luxury today? For the fashion elite, it seems to resemble Soho House: private club, full of art, music, salons, and curated conversation. Today’s hot look exists at the intersection of haute couture and today’s haute monde. Prada Mode, introduced first in 2018, will hit Paris for two days this week to coincide with Paris Fashion Week. It represents a new hunger for unique and one off experiences, and extends the impact of a brand well past a well turned coat. Given the limited number of invites for members, it firmly places the luxury brand back into the exclusive territory that has been eroding for years. Other brands are following suite: (Armani, Ralph Lauren) taking steps to actually define brand culture as opposed to simply showcasing it. Certainly the next level in the burgeoning business of brand experience. (Perhaps the Penthouse?) stay tuned – we sense a trend!

The Things They Carried

The current exhibit by Tom Kiefer at the Skirball museum is a strong attempt at humanizing the endless wave of sorrow and shame most of us feel about the immigration crisis ongoing at our borders. His photography exhibit of the dross and dregs of the human condition, from water bottles and snicker bars, to combs and baby shoes, speaks to the individual dreams and hopes each person had as they gazed into the mirage of America, shimmering across a border they could never cross. It calls to mind Tim O’Brien’s searing novel “The Things they Carried”. A recent review worries that the bright candy colored backgrounds, and antiseptic arrangements render these objects into still art, de-humanizing them in the process. Regardless, the sheer volume of these small items – and the fact that hungry, searching people were stripped of them, make this an exhibit to attend, and to linger at. It speaks to connection, hope and despair. And it strongly asks who we are. Go.

Sandcastles

What does 3D printing really look like in the everyday world? How is it showing up – functionally – as a tool for improving lives? Once a futuristic concept, architects and designers are swiftly harnessing this technology for a multitude of uses due to its naturally sustainable nature and high design promise. In Saudi Arabia, one such installation has gone up – Sandwaves – to show how tapping into innately natural resources, endemic to an area and a culture, can create beauty, and invite engagement. The installation is 3D printed with sand and resin, providing seating areas around a large sports and entertainment arena. Ultimately, the sand will return to its natural form, leaving no trace. Sinuous, inviting and unique – it sets a challenge to design teams everywhere to design from what is local, to improve and care for what is global.

Turtles Forever!

Aardman creates a new animated film for Greenpeace to highlight the world’s ocean crisis

Dame Helen Mirren – a turtle grandma?? – yup!!! This is her latest, and maybe greatest role. In a new animated film, loaded with talent both behind the scenes and creating the special effects, director and designer Gavin Strange creates a compelling story about a turtle family facing a crisis of sheer survival. Deeply touching, and simply gorgeous to watch, this is one family film that hopefully will start to reach people from across all beliefs, and inspire a shift – and even, perhaps, small actions. Cowabunga, baby!

“I Quit”

2020 – a year of fresh beginnings and new starts. A brand spanking new decade that challenges us to live our best lives and to change the things we can! It is a veritable clarion call of action!! Is one of your dreams to quit your job?? Your relationships? Your assignments? Read on and dig into a treasure trove of first person essays from folks who did just that. Whether you finish inspired or terrified – it’s a great read and an amusing look at a cherished American dream.

Rick Owens

How are you walking into 2020?? To close, we give you all the knock-out amazingness that was the Rick Owens show at Paris Fashion Week several days ago. It is a glorious homage to David Bowie. Rock on, people, rock on!!

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