David Macaulay is a well recognized author and illustrator though you may not know that you know who he is. Odds are if you read or you have children you have at least one of his books. As an alumnus and faculty member of Rhoe Island School of Design, MacCaulay is also a board member of the National Children’s Book and Literacy Alliance which actively advocates the literacy, literature, and libraries as it functions as a non-profit organization.
Macaulay is the author of several books on architecture and desing, his first being Cathedral which depicted the contruction of a fictitous Gothic Cathedral. The book is extensively illustrated with pen-and-ink drawings that follow along with the history of the construction of a typical gothic cathedral. Gilding is so horribly sad that she once had this book as a child and lost it.
This book was followed by several more of its kind: City, which follows the construction of a fictitional Roman city named Verbonia; Pyramid, which deals with the construction of monuments built for the Egyptian Pharaohs; Castle, which again follows the constuction of a fictional castle (because what would an artist be without imagination and artistic liberty); and then Mill; Mosque, which really highlights the differences between Muslim places of worship compared to that of Christian ones (and a personal favorit of Gildings’; and the other books of the series, Underground and Unbuilding which actually describes the dismantling of the Empire State Building in preparation for its re-erection in Asia.
Most notably, though, Macaulay is known by the everyday person for his work in The Way Things Work, one of the neatest kids books on the face of the planet.
What’s most unique about Macaulay’s artwork is that he often views the construction of these amazing building from the most bizarre perspective–or rather, literal perspective. Don’t challenge this man to draw something from a bird’s-eye-view. Not only will he do it, he’s done it.
But as I said, what would an artist be without imagination. This artist and author combines his fascinating world of imagination with humor. In his book, Mysteries, following the 1979 exhibition of Tutankhamun relics in the U.S. Macaulay takes us on a future archeologists discovery of an American motel. The book is full of humor as we follow the archeologists interpretation of the relics he finds in the motel as a funerary and temple building. Gilding so wants this book.
This man’s pen-an-ink is awesome to say the least, and Gilding has loved his cross-hatched illustrations since she was a young child. So imagine Gilding’s utter glee to find out that there will be an exhibition of his works at the National Building Museum. The show, titled “David Macaulay: The Art of Drawing Architecture,” not only demonstrates his talent for building amazing architecture with simple pen-and-ink, but also reveals his deconstruction attitudes toward architecture as he breaks it down just as skillfully as he build it up. The show, being divided up into five sections, begins with an in-depth look at his 2003 book, Mosque. Don’t expect to see any exhibits from his best-selling books, The Way Things Work and The New Way Things Work. This exhibit focuses strictly on my favorite works…his originals.
Read a Review of this exhibit from the WashingtonPost.com: Deconstructing the Art of Architecture
And for any who would love to be so kind as to fund poor Gilding’s trip to see this amazing exhibit as she is so very very poor, feel free to contact her for mailing information where you can send your monetary donation .^_^.
Currently a focus on Jim Wells Rigorous Intuition, Anna Gaskell, fellow artist and ex-girlfriend of Jeremy Blake, has found herself once again at the center of conversation concerning the couple. Gaskell had found herself a direct conversation piece on Duncan’s blog, Wit of the Staircase, when she wrote in her May post: “Stop accepting payoffs from [Des Moines businessman and guardian Jim] Cownie immediately, get your younger brothers away from him, get a lawyer using only your own money, and have the lawyer get Cownie to answer a few questions about your mother and father.”
Wells post, “Imitation of Life” not only delves into the accusations by friends of the couple that they feared they were being stalked by Scientologists as well as their recounts of harrasment by the religion the duo opened referred to as a fascist cult, but he also speaks at length through the artist bio of Anna Gaskell his theories regarding the couples’ death.
Its quite strange the connection he makes actually. I rather like the potography of Anna Gaskell. Guess there is something to say about geographic location because upon reading this I realize just how far removed I am from the loop of the art world so vibrant in New York.
Anna Gaskell’s Artist Bio from the Guggenheim catalogue:
Anna Gaskell crafts foreboding photographic tableaux of pre-adolescent girls that reference children’s games, literature, and psychology…. In untitled #9 of the wonder series, a wet bar of soap has been dragged along a wooden floor. In untitled #17 it appears again, forced into a girl’s mouth, with no explanation of how or why. This suspension of time and causality lends Gaskell’s images a remarkable ambiguity that she uses to evoke a vivid and dreamlike world.
Gaskell’s girls do not represent individuals, but act out the contradictions and desires of a single psyche. While their unity is suggested by their identical clothing, the mysterious and often cruel rituals they act out upon each other may be metaphors for disorientation and mental illness. In wonder and override, the character collectively evoked is Alice, perhaps lost in the Wonderland of her own mind, unable to determine whether the bizarre things happening to her are real or the result of her imagination…. Gaskell addresses this psychologically loaded subject matter with images of girls wandering in a gothic mansion illuminated by candlelight. Here the psyche in question has been fractured and fraught with terror by a perverse father’s look, a voyeuristic gaze.
“The Portero experiment, which is seeking to change the mind-set of shoppers who indulge in high-priced fashion. Co-founder Michael Sheldon envisions a marketplace in which, all things being equal, fashion shoppers will make purchasing decisions based on resale value, the same way someone might select a car or a condo. He also believes they will be willing to make those fashion investments using the Web if they can be guaranteed they won’t be taken for a ride.
In May, the Portero Web site boasted just the kind of fashion item that Sheldon believes exemplifies his concept: a used crocodile Birkin selling for $41,999 (a brand new specialty that Birkin can sell for as much as $85,000).
“Wouldn’t you be more likely to purchase a $42,000 crocodile bag if you knew you could sell it after you got tired of it?” Sheldon asks.
Sheldon is making this bet at a time when conventional wisdom defines luxury fashion by exclusivity, personalization and experience. That’s the philosophy behind brands such as Goyard, which monograms its $1,000 tote bags, and Hermes, which keeps its supply of Birkin bags far below the demand for them.
As good design has trickled down to H&M and Target, high-end brands are distinguishing their flagship products by promoting limited editions. They’re using the glamour of celebrities to lend pizazz to their image. They are highlighting their history: Christian Dior celebrated its 60th anniversary with a bash at Versailles. Valentino whooped it up on its 45th anniversary with an enormous blowout in Rome.
Christine Nichols, a colleague and friend of Blake’s since 1998, produced two art exhibitions, two books and a record in conjunction with the artist through the New York art gallery she co-founded, Works on Paper Inc. Nichols dates the couple’s rising sense of “paranoia” to around 2004, two years after Blake created an album cover for alternative-rock star Beck, who is a practicing Scientologist.
“They thought Scientologists were really harassing them,” Nichols said. “They would say, ‘They are following us, harassing our landlord.’ I did not see any evidence of that.
“But it got to be something that was huge to them — a ‘You’re either with us or against us’ thing where if you didn’t believe them, you weren’t on their side. The story they had woven in paranoia and conspiracies took over part of their lives. A lot of us couldn’t understand that acting out.”
Two other art world sources corroborated Nichols’ characterization but declined to speak on the record out of concern that Blake may still be alive.
Beck was unavailable for comment, but his manager, through a publicist, let it be known that things were “extremely cordial” between the singer and the artist the last time they talked three years ago.A spokesman said the New York Police Department was not investigating any involvement by the Church of Scientology. Karin Pouw, a spokeswoman for the Church of Scientology, denied the allegations, saying, “Never heard of these people. This is completely untrue.”
Link: LaTimes.com–”The apparent double suicide…”
originally found on boingboing, a reader commented that “Theresa Duncan herself was an avid reader of Rigourous Intuition, and some of the details surrounding her harrassment were gleaned, seemingly, directly from this blog… The post “Imitation of Life” contains more info on the Theresa Duncan/Jeremy Blake suicides.”
The enigma continues…
While many of the friends of couple Teresa Duncan and Jeremy Blake as well as fellow peers have told the newspapers they were shocked by the turn of events of the couples suicides, others said Duncan and Blake had acted strangely in their final months.
Those same sources told the Times that Blake and Duncan had insisted that they were being stalked and harassed by Scientologists, a seemingly ever-present fear that soured friendships and hampered relationships with colleagues.
Their story just keeps getting wierder and weirder…
The body of a man found Sunday about 4 miles off the Jersey Shore might be that of Jeremy Blake, a rising star in the modern art world who was last seen wandering into the ocean off New York’s Rockaway Beach a week after his girlfriend had killed herself.
The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office announced that suspicion Wednesday afternoon after a New York City police officer contacted investigators who have been attempting to identify the body since a fisherman found it four days ago.
Investigators ar asking for anyone who may know the names or the dentists or doctors who may have worked on Blake’s teeth as well as anyone who may have his dental records to come forward to help with the identification of the body.
Link: Found at sea, body may be artist’s
“July 22, 2007 — Police in helicopters scanned the waters off Rockaway Beach yesterday in search of a distraught artist who wandered into the ocean – presumably to his death – a week after his girlfriend committed suicide in their apartment.
Jeremy Blake, 35, was last seen Tuesday evening making his way into the pounding surf – leaving behind a handwritten note on top of a pile of clothing, police sources said.
In the short note, Blake said he was “despondent” over the July 10 pill-overdose death of his filmmaker girlfriend, Theresa Duncan, 40, at their East Village apartment. He wrote that he couldn’t imagine living without her by his side.”
Continue this article: NYPost–”Art-to-Art-Grief”
Now, Gilding didn’t know her idol and her beau personally, but does it strike any of you a little odd that someone about to commit suicide because of the loss of their soul mate would write a suicide note saying he was “despondent” over her suicide? And to kill himself in such a cliche manner, at that. Gilding says, there is just something not right here. Or perhaps Gilding is wistfully hoping that this is all an elaborate, if cliche, hoax the brilliant duo are putting on for some other grand design and one day they will let us all in on the hilarity of it. Apparently I’m not the only one who thinks there’s something a little wrong here, either. According to Blake Robin, a friend of the couple, said he had a hard time imagining the two committing suicide.
“Suicide would never be on their to-do list,” he said. “The narrative of the wallet and the clothes under the boardwalk, it’s like somebody writing a cliché, it’s not them.
Theresa Lee Duncan, age 40, of Manhattan, New York died July 10, 2007. Born October 26, 1966 to Donnie and Mary Duncan. She is survived by her partner and soul mate for many years Jeremy Blake; Sister, Deanna Sarvis; Brother, Scott Duncan; Neices, Ella, Erica, Nicole; Nephew, Ethan. Funeral service will be held Saturday, July 21, 2007 at 1:00 PM from Lynch & Sons Funeral Directors Capstick Chapel, 542 Liberty Park, Lapeer, MI 48446. Friends may visit from 11:00 until the time of service. Interment at Mt. Loretto Catholic Cemetery. Pastor Dave Gerber will be officiating. Memorials to The Whitney Museum of Art (945 Madison Ave. NY, NY 10021) are greatly appreciated.
Gilding the Lily has searched tirelessly online but still can only find reports that Wit’s soul mate, Jeremy Blake, is still missing and presumed dead, however, his body has not been recovered.
In a case that is reverberating in the art world, the New York Police Department said yesterday that a video-game designer and budding filmmaker committed suicide last week and that her companion, a rising art star, has been missing since Tuesday.
The filmmaker, Theresa Duncan, 40, who has also drawn attention for her writings on cultural topics, committed suicide in their East Village apartment on July 10, the police said. Her companion, Jeremy Blake, 35, a well-regarded artist known for digital animation that blurs the line between abstract painting and film, has been missing since his clothes were found on a beach in the Rockaways on Tuesday evening.
Found with the clothes was a note that made reference to Ms. Duncan, the police said.
Gilding the Lily is very sad this day. Thank you to Nicholas for informing me of her death. In tribute to my idols death I will post her last blog along with the link to her page. I don’t know how long her blog will remain up but I recommend to everyone that they subject themselves to her brilliant wit and humor before it is truly gone forever.
Wit of the Staircase: Last Blog
In light of her death its hard not to see that perhaps she was telling us, her children of the staircase, that she was leaving us and as true to her form she left us with brilliant words.
Storytelling On The Staircase
“A need to tell and hear stories is essential to the species Homo sapiens–second in necessity apparently after nourishment and before love and shelter. Millions survive without love or home, almost none in silence; the opposite of silence leads quickly to narrative, and the sound of story is the dominant sound of our lives, from the small accounts of our day’s events to the vast incommunicable constructs of psychopaths.”
Where oh where has my Wit of the Staircase gone? Being an avid reader of her blog, I am completely dismayed that she has not posted anything since July 10th, which is totally unlike her. The woman posts like a hundred times a day. I think the CIA has finally abducted her to be a part of their secret and now not so secret program MK ULTRA which she took great delight in posting every article which blew their cover. I hope they let her go free soon because I’m going through withdrawals.
Bernd and Hilla Becher took small, black and white photographs of utilitarian structures such as water towers, preparation plants, mine heads, lime kilns, and grain elevators, and with them entered the annals of art history.
Bernd and Hilla Becher first met at the Düsseldorf Academy. Both were studying painting at the time and in 1961, the two were married. They first collaborated on photographing and documenting the disappearing German industrial architecture in 1959, and had their first Gallery exhibition in 1963 at the Galerie Ruth Nohl in Siegen. They were fascinated by the similar shapes in which certain buildings were designed. In addition, they were intrigued by the fact that so many of these industrial buildings seemed to have been built with a great deal of attention toward design. Together, the Bechers went out with a large format camera and photographed these buildings from a number of different angles, but always with a straightforward “objective” point of view. The images of structures with similar functions were then displayed side by side to invite viewers to compare their forms and designs.
Bernd Becher, who collaborated with his wife for 50 years, died on June 22 at the age of 75 in Rostock, Germany. He will be remembered as one of the most important German photographers of the 20th century as well as a progenitor of Conceptual Art.
sun, moon, earth, sky, water, wind,
Only the One Indestructible remains.
Others get drunk on distilled wine,
in love’s still I distil mine;
day and night I’m drunk on it
in my Lover’s love, ever sunk…
I’ll not remain in my mother’s home,
I’ll stay with Krishna alone;
He’s my Husband
and my Lover,
and my mind is
at his feet forever.
From The Upanishads
As a young artist, Kahlo approached the famous Mexican Diego Rivera, whom she had previously admired, and asked him for his advice on pursuing art as a career. He immediately recognized her talent and her unique expression as truly special and uniquely Mexican. He encouraged her development as an artist, and began an intimate relationship with Frida. They were married in 1929, to the disapproval of Frida’s mother. They were often referred to as “The Elephant and the Dove.” The nickname originated when Kahlo’s father noticed their extreme difference in size.
Link: Frida Kahlo–Wikipedia
“To complain about the ‘injustice’ done by humans to chickens – those cannibalistic balls of faeces and feathers – is to call into question the entire basis of human civilisation….”
Wrote Tamar Lewin on the NYTimes.com “The Supreme Court ruling striking down voluntary programs to integrate schools in Seattle and Louisville, Ky., left hundreds of school districts struggling yesterday to assess whether they must change policies that use race as a factor in school assignments.
Many lawyers said the 5-to-4 ruling would not end a half century of litigation over school desegregation but rather reignite it, as school districts turn to alternative methods for achieving diversity.”
Jeffrey Rosen continues the debate of this issue: “SINCE 1954, liberal and conservative justices have disagreed about the central meaning of Brown v. Board of Education. Was the purpose of Brown to achieve a colorblind society or an integrated one? Last week, in its 5-to-4 decision declaring that public schools in Louisville and Seattle can’t take explicit account of race to achieve integration, the Supreme Court came down firmly on the side of colorblindness. Despite some important qualifications by Justice Anthony Kennedy, at least four conservative justices made clear that they believe that nearly all racial classifications are unconstitutional.
The lawyers who won the Supreme Court case predicted that it would have as dramatic an effect on American society as the original Brown case did. “These are the most important decisions on the use of race since Brown v. Board of Education,” Sharon Browne, the principal lawyer for the conservative Pacific Legal Foundation, declared in a press release. “With these decisions, an estimated 1,000 school districts around the country that are sending the wrong message about race to kids will have to stop.”
But some legal scholars on both sides of the political spectrum, and of the affirmative action debate, question this assessment. They doubt that this case will transform society as dramatically as Brown did. And some of them question whether even Brown was as singularly influential in transforming society as many have claimed during the last half-century…”
ContinueTamar Lewin’s article on the NYTimes.com
ContinueJeffrey Rosen’s article on the NYTimes.com
Excerpts From Opinions on the Use of Race in Public School Admission Policies