It has taken this entire month for Gilding to get through reading Vanity Fair’s article, The Golden Suicides. Written about the lifes’ and deaths’ of Theresa Duncan and Jeremy Blake, the article’s content is of a heart turning love, adoration, hopes and dreams, and tragic paranoia (founded? unfounded? The answers still remain elusive), and the long sleep goodnight that makes the joined soul weep.
Gilding had hoped the article would create some logic yellow brick road to the side of most likely, but what she got was a deeper look into two people that only made her mourn their loss–loss, seems like such a trite word that somehow only furthers perpetuate a pseudo-disrespectfulness of their brilliant lives in substitution of focusing on their deaths. But one can’t help but speak of their death even if to focus the whole of their conversation on the Golden Duos life because the inevitable end is that they are dead and that their deaths, in the morbid manner that it is, is just as intrinsic of the path they have left trodden on all who “knew” them as their life did–does.
Gilding thought about writing a searing commentary about the article, about all her ponderings, rationalizations, disputes—about what all of these things may have meant in the lives of the Golden Duo from her perspective. But none of that is what made Gilding’s heart weep. None of that–the hype, the conspiracy, the controversy–are the things that Gilding found important of these two Golden individuals.
No, what Gilding couldn’t shake from her mind, no matter the morbid connundrum of the conspiracy theories, hard, cold facts, or write-offs of paranoia, were an analagoy to Duncan as being Mimi Smartypants, star of Smarty, and Blake, a Hero of Chevy Chase in Caddyshack and Han Solo proportions.
“”At the quarry in July,” she wrote, “my cousins told me the water was ‘bottomless,’ and so I hugged the shore and learned to swim in the Lapeer library instead, suspecting already exactly what the limitless meant…Ever after I knew all the haunted shades of meaning that were captive in other people’s words. And for that they called me mad.”
She wanted to be famous. She wanted to be noticed.
Jeremy wanted to be a hero…he was just an artist, and funny and shy.
He made her laugh.
He thought she was lovely.
She was a little wild…and Jeremy loved wildness in people. “By wildness I’m not referring to some corny idea of rock n’ roll excess,” he said. “I’m talking about an internal turbulence and inventiveness that keeps the person and everyonw around him or her on their toes.”
He loved the way they lived…it was like a reflection of her intricate brain, stuffed will all her books and knicknacks…She was a packrat.
She made him feel free, and that made him feel loyal…all anyone could say with certainty was that Jeremy and Theresa loved eachother.
He had found her on the bed. Her face seemed almost smiling. Somehow, one of her hands had traveled up toward her cheek and was frozen there, as if she had just thought of something else she wanted to say.
Blake said that Theresa was “never a person to compromise,” and that he had a “clear understanding” that she had made the decision to end her life. He said that in doing so she had exhibited the same “strength” that she had shown when she was alive…that she was “beautiful, generous, and lived by a code all her own.”
…walking naked into the water. It was the last in a series of heroic gestures he made for the lovely Theresa.”
The article in and of itself is worthy of reading–fair to both sides of the arguements, the conspiracy theorists and the paranoiads. It expresses the evolution of their lives as best as can be done from the outside looking in, but the moral of the story is best said by Blake [of his request to friends regarding Duncan's passing]: “spread no more sadness in the world.”
The Golden Suicides by Nancy Jo Sales, Vanity Fair, No 569, January 2008
Eye candy that will set the longing soul stuck behind gray fabric padded walls of a cubicle to sweet serenity, Yee’s beautiful glass bead designs are a crystal treat for the mind and an envy inspiring adornment for the body.
Yee’s glass bits of divinity may be purchased as either already custom-made pieces of jewelry or as just the beads themselves to be handcrafted into your own jewelry design settings.
Wonder how long Gilding could go on wearing these at work before the urge to drag Mr. Gilding out to the Shaggin’ Wagon for some afternoon delight became too much to resist.
Link: The Glass Turtle
Indianapolis wood craftsman Rodney Miller spent 15 months building what might be the fastest, most elegant, indoor slide this side of the Mississippi.
The Mahogany slide is about 17 feet tall, has a 13-foot drop and a 270-degree turn, and is the frivolous lasivhment of Boston Technology’s co-founder, Scott Jones’, tudor style suburban mansion.
Elaborate pencil drawings of Princess Leia and Darth Vader that he did as a 10-year old hang on the wall of his art studio in his Brooklyn Apartment while a sketch of the angel from Da Vinci’s “Virgin of the Rocks” hangs in the hallway. All things author and illustrator Brian Selznick is apparently obsessed with–obsessed being a favorite word of Selznick’s, a trait Motoko Rich of the New York Times states, “merely describes how he feels about so many things.”
Long held obsessions with French movies, automatons, clockworks, and filmaker Georges Méliès are the inspirational genius behind Selznick’s “The Invention of Hugo Cabret”, this months winner of the Randolph Caldecott Medal fot the most distinguished American picture book for children.
“Hugo” is the longest book to win the Caldecott at 533 pages, though 300 of those are full page illustrations. Like movie storyboard frames, these illustrations propel the story of a little boy who lives in the attic of a Paris train station desperately trying to fix a broken automaton that also becomes the object of interest to a mysterious toy-stall owner and a young girl. An interesting tidbit: the mysterious toy-stall owner turns out to be Méliès, a fitting tribute to Selnick’s obsession.
World reknown for his celebrity portraits, film media rock star Mark Seliger is more than likely the brilliant mind behind your favorite celebrity shots found on the covers or within the leafy pages of GQ, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and British ELLE. One needs to simply look no further than Rolling Stones Magazine where, until recently (1987–2002), he served as Chief Photographer. For the bibliophile, this nearly quarter century long oeuvre can be found bound in the hardcovers of several published books. Lenny Kravitz, Physiognomy, and his latest, In My Stairwell to name a few.
Seliger is a USDA branded Texan and a kitch photographic genius. Along with magazine covers, Seliger has also published several books, co-directed music videos and comercials, directed a small library of short films, including Lenny Kravitz’ Lenny Live and Natalie Merchant’s Ophelia.
Seliger’s latest series/exhibition isn’t the mere capture of moments in time, it is a place captured within a moment of a time. Photographed in the abandoned stairwell of an elevator shaft in his Manhattan studio, Seliger’s In My Stairwell is a long growing series of Black and White images that, David Schonauer describes, carry “an attitude of quiet circumspection, very different from the vivid and wildly entertaining images he shot as chief photographer of Rolling Stone magazine and later for GQ, Vanity Fair, and other publications.” .
Once a factory (built in 1852) in the infamous meat-packing district, Seliger gutted and remodeled the building into the state of the art studio and apartment it is today. The elevatory shaft was discovered when an old elevator was dissassembled and removed during remodeling, revealing this very own corner of the world majestically topped off with a 20×30-foot skylight. Seliger had a wooden platform built into the shaft, creating a private space upstairs from the main studio.
With the help of friend Bill Irwin, who Seliger credits with turning the stairwell into a theater. “It seemed like we were transcending the physical idea of the space, that it had become more than just a background,” Seliger says. “It became another subject in the image, almost a character in itself.”
As frantic and zealous as the artist herself, Sarah Moon’s photography is a randomly planned concoction of brilliant madness. Beginning to weave the verbal spell to accompany the slideshow presentation of her cacophony of melancholically gleeful photographs, Moon speaks with a childishly raspy voice, spoken with the fervor of a crack addict coming down off of a high while in the middle of describing the hypnotic hallucination before their eyes only. Repeatedly Moon makes it a point that the model’s face itself is inconsequential to the shot; a sort of bluntly rounded ball cap that sits atop Moon’s actual study—the rhapsody of fashion and figure. Portraiture in this instance is sort of the anti- genesis of the brilliant image that Moon desires and seeks. Be sure that in this study, fashion and figure are as much mutually inclusive of one another as they are exclusive, entities seen each unto themselves but made whole by their joining. A symbiosis of body and cloth, so to speak.
Moon is both a poser of subjects and random catcher of the candid; her need to control frantic as much as she is a tempestuous seeker of ‘the moment’. Prone to moments of all encompassing psychosis into her work and the magnificence of the ‘magic’ she narcissistically applauds capturing, Moon is just as quickly throne into madness at her incapability—failure—to find that which she is seeking of her model, subject, image. This is but a short lived rollercoaster ride repetitively ridden as it is when she gives up that ‘the moment’ glides into her view—the muse’s touch always a fingerprint of just a little too much genius. And it shows. Moon captures ‘the moment’ in a flurry of frenzied snaps, a series of instantaneous moments caught in their perfection of form and that spicy blend of the models confusion and innocent childlike need to please.
Moon sees in her camera an object with which to capture ‘magic’—the magic of a moment, a time, a person, an emotion. The elusive and un-capturable…captured.
Born in France in 1953
Elements for mystery and investigation which are associated with a moving text. A work between testimony and fabrication….
Having been away from France for seven years, Calle returns to her home where she has no friends and no family. After several years of inactivity, she hit the streets and photographed people randomly who caught her eye for some reason or another.
She photographs one random individual who sparks in her, for some unknown reason, a desire to follow and photograph not many random individuals but this one individual. She loses track of him and then runs into him again later that evening at an art opening, overhearing his plans to leave for Venice. Before, the people she photographed meant nothing to her, but as she follows this gentleman–without his knowing–to Venice, she photographs those streets she follows him to, times he eats and what he is eating, and those things that he himself photographs. One day she decides she is done with him, done with following his every move in Venice, photographing his every photograph, documenting their every journey taken together. She finds herself no longer obsessed with him–as she had become admittadly the longer she followed him–and decides to turn the same technique of “stalking” inward on herself.
Having her mother hire a private detective on the pretense that the mother wants to make sure that she is no longer seeing a certain individual, Calle begins to keep a journal of her own every move and compares them with that of the photos and notes taken by the private investigator, creating a sort of double journal of her same life but in two perspectives. She finds that she is in love with the language with which the private investigator describes her same actions that she herself had described in her journal so intimately.
At first what seems to be a photographer’s journey to find a new innovative form at looking through the lens, slowly evolves into a question of ‘is it photography’, ‘is she a photographer’, what’s more, you begin to question that perhaps it is nothing more than what was once a bored individual with no direction has now become a stalker, an individual with no perception of private boundaries made all the more’dangerous’ with a weapon of photographic proportions.
There is a feeling when she turns to photogrphing things–objects–in her life that accompany written accounts of the life that she lives, that there is more an innocent psychosis that boundaries don’t apply to just as they would not to a child. Calle mentions that she photographs these things to document the truth of the things in her life that she writes about to her friends and family–a very childlike perception of “see, I told you my mommy is an astronaut.” Is it truly that these outside individuals need proof, or is it that Calle has the need of proof; a feeling that perhaps she now only sees those tangible things around her as being real, of those events, moments, and happenings, being real if she can capture them in the film of a camera. A need to make eternal what is now tangible but may disappear?
Calle also mentions that turning this documenting in on herself allows her to refrain from taking pictures of other people’s lives–prevents her from following them. But there is a feeling that there was more need in doing this than mere observation of the law that says stalking is bad. It feels as if she has to make herself do this so that she focuses on herself, an individual that she appears to be both intimately connected with and yet is also a complete stranger with. She has for so long focused on the lives of others that is seems as if she only focuses on what it means to be her self–what is her self–and how her self has grown, how it perceives things, how it both allows and prevents itself from doing things if she photographs about her life.
It is furthermore interesting that she only photographs when she sees the subject as a “performance” (i.e. her stalking, their walking, living, breathing). This doesn’t prevent her from photographing, nor does it prevent her from being inspired. For all these photographs ‘other’ she merely polaroids the image, marks them up like a bill in congress, and then lets someone else deal with all the technicals of shooting the photograph in focus. On the outside its hard to see her during these times as a photographer but in truth it is perhaps just one more eccentricity to add to the pot; as if to tinker with the mechanics of focusing would diminish–perhaps even completely miss–the “magic” of the shot that she envisions. It is in these moments that she is like the Romanticist poet to her photography, but instead of being trapped in the eternal damnation of missing the beauty for spending all its splendor in trying to write the moment, she is like the child who captures the moment and then hands it off to the parent to take care of the mess.
Just shy of a decade before Jurassic Park and the dinosaur mania that ensued afterwards, Bill L. Norton released Baby…Secret of the Lost Legend. A story about a much friendlier baby dinosaur found in the jungles of Africa and in danger from an evil paleontologist who is after it with a vengeance, has found an eqully zealous protector in the evil Dr.’s nemesis, paleontologist played by Sean Young. It was Gilding’s childhood wish to Santa to find Baby waiting for her in front of the family Christmas Tree. And look, now she can finally have it–no thanks to Santa, you ruddy bastard!
Beginning life as a newly-hatched Camarasaurus, each Pleo is an autonomous “creature”–feeling hunger and fatigue, offset by powerful urges to explore and be nurtured. Pleo will graze, nap, and toddle about on his own whenever Pleo feels like it as well as change its’ mind and mood just like you do.
Link: Pleo World
Gilding positively adores the handmade gift, always has. What’s more, as a child–ok, so even today–Gilding loves ‘the cardboard box’. Oh, the fortresses, castles, caves, wormholes, the endless possibilities that could be imagined with a room of cardboard boxes. Gilding’s Father was never so insulted by anyone as he was by Baby Gilding’s penchant for preferring to play with the cardboard box than the toy that came in it.
And fortytworads is a mother and crafter after Gilding’s own heart. Using detailed and illustrated instructions designed by fortytworads for a mere $7, and some durable material of your choice (corrugated cradboard is suggested), you can biult the child of your heart that ‘My Little Kithen’ they’ve always wanted but space and funds wouldn’t permit you. Add a few odds and ends you probably already have around the house and voila, a unique kitchen built with your love, a one of a kind with your own personal touches, and a toy that noy only can be easily assembled, disassembled and reassembled, but can also be recycled away for old and replaced with a whole new unique one without breaking the pocket book or eco-friendly conscience.
**Note: this creation is child safe as it does not require the use of glue, screws, or nails–instead, it is held together with a few cleverly designed joints.
The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea (Japanese: 午後の曳航, meaning The Afternoon Towing), is a novel written by Yukio Mishima, originally published in Japanese in 1963 and translated into English by John Nathan in 1965.
Mishima’s novel chronicles the story of Ryuji, a sailor with vague notions of a special honor awaiting him at sea. He meets a woman called Fusako with whom he falls deeply in love, and he ultimately decides to marry her. Fusako’s 13-year-old son, Noboru, is in a band of savage boys who believe in “objectivity”, rejecting the adult world as illusionary, hypocritical and sentimental.
As Ryuji begins to draw close to Fusako, a woman of the shore, he is eventually torn away from the dreams he’s pursued his entire life. Fusako’s son, Noboru, who shares an especially close bond with his mother through a voyeuristic ritual, hates the idea of losing his mother to a man who has let his hope and freedom die. This anger and fear of loneliness translates into terrible, savage acts performed by Noboru and the gang in which he is a part.
The novel makes a powerful statement of what it means to discard the beliefs that drive you, the result of copying another’s passions and customs, and the lengths some will go to in order to maintain what they believe to be true.
Gilding just loves a good Paranormal Hoax. Below are some favorites–Takeshi Yamada is the Man!
Philip Straub is a traditional oil painter mixing his works in the world of detailed digital art. With Classical influences, his works are purely based on the fantastic. As Straub’s bio describes…
“…images are derived from the ever present surreal worlds that play out in his mind like lucid dreams…His visions are inhabited by unique characters and filled with imaginative architecture and lush vegetation that seems to come to life, bursting with vibrant colors and dramatic lighting.”
Although a conceptual illustrator at heart, Straub varied imagery ranges from the dark and fantastic to the playful and charming.
Link: The Art of Philip Straub
David Palhegyi’s handmade wooden toys are an escape into a world of lacquered David the Gnome whimsy. Each piece actually a collection of pieces within creates a whole world unto itself yet still leaves more then enough imagination and room for combining with other of Palhegyi’s collections. Fun enough to drag the engrossed vege-head child from their playstation games and beautiful enough to remain a favorite piece for display (and secret playtime when no one is looking) well into adulthood.
Having never grown out of her childhood, Gilding wants them–each and every one–for Christmas…or un-christmas. So feel free to purchase and send to yours’ truly, your favorite Gilded Lily.
“Until recently, cellphone novels — composed on phone keypads by young women wielding dexterous thumbs and read by fans on their tiny screens — had been dismissed in Japan as a subgenre unworthy of the country that gave the world its first novel, “The Tale of Genji,” a millennium ago. Then last month, the year-end best-seller tally showed that cellphone novels, republished in book form, have not only infiltrated the mainstream but have come to dominate it.
Of last year’s 10 best-selling novels, five were originally cellphone novels, mostly love stories written in the short sentences characteristic of text messaging but containing little of the plotting or character development found in traditional novels. What is more, the top three spots were occupied by first-time cellphone novelists, touching off debates in the news media and blogosphere.
Will cellphone novels kill ‘the author’?”
First Cell Phone Novel
Compagni di Viaggio
By Robert Bernocco
An Italian IT professional who used his spare time during
his morning commutes to work to write an entire book
on his mobile using the T9 function. Bernocco opted for
normal Italian rather than text-message shorthand, however, this is
the exception in what is becoming a growing trend of
the text-message rule in the budding genre of cell
Thumbs Race as Japan’s Best Sellers Go Cellular, By NORIMITSU ONISHI