Wednesday October 22nd 2014



How Barbie Helps Us See That Healthy is the New Skinny


My mom was smart.  She didn’t allow Barbie in the house.  At the time, I pouted and wanted one of those round patent leather cases with her traveling wardrobe, and of course, Ken waiting ever-patiently in the car that was way too small for that case to fit in.

So I never really aspired to Barbie’s proportions from an up close and personal point of view.  Instead, I saw her out of the corner of my eye, ever present on the cultural horizon as that unattainable blonde doll who makes women cringe with the impossibility of her measurements.

Well much has been written of that impossibility, and now we have Barbie to thank for participating in a great visual demonstration of just that.

According to her blog:

Plus-size model Katie Halchishick, co-founder of Healthy is the New Skinny and the Perfectly Unperfected Projecis featured this month in an article for O Magazine.  Shot by famed photographer Matthew Rolston, Katie stands naked (the first nude in O history), holding an equally bare Barbie doll.   Dotted lines, of the sort that might be made by a cosmetic surgeon (or a photo editor preparing a retouch), cover Katie, indicating what would have to be cut away in order for her to have Barbie’s body.

It’s a striking photo.  There’s something revolutionary about a naked plus-size model.   Think how often this image from French Elle of Tara Lynn has been reblogged – and remember the reaction to this famous Lizzie Miller photo in Glamour?  What sets the O photo apart is the powerful reminder of how far even such a gorgeous model as Katie falls short of an unattainable ideal.

And therein, dear reader, lies the rub and the brilliance of my pre-feminist mother.  None of us should or can attain such a distorted view of the female form.  Making “Healthy is the New Skinny” the mantra she didn’t have the words for, but had the sense to inherently know.


Pink Floyd’s PR Stunt Recycles Animals

If you are into music, and perhaps no matter your age, you recognize the iconic Pink Floyd album cover for Animals.  The pig flying over Battersea Power Station in London elicits “that’s from the Pink Floyd album”, when we pass it on our way to/from Heathrow the first time we visit London.

To announce the release of the band’s new album in which they composed many songs remastered and unreleased from their 14 studio albums, the band dared a moment of nostalgia to tickle our memories.

Reconstructing the legendary artwork of the album, a huge inflatable pig actually floated in front of Battersea Power Station in London.


Not only do we remember Animals, we also know that pigs can fly.


Thanks to my Stumbleupon friend Beaker for the pointer.

The McForest: The Meatless Burger by Sarah Illenberger

Mc Forest by Sarah Illenberger

Love this alt burger by (ironically) Sarah Illenberger, whose clever mind creates visual puns and visually arresting work.  Go see.

Photo by Ragnar Schmuck







Wildflower, Perceptions of Nature at Kröller-Müller Museum

Charly Nijensohn: The Wreck of Men, 2008

Now showing through January 15th, 2012 at the Kröller-Müller Museum in the Netherlands is an interesting exhibit called Windflower, Perceptions of Nature.

The museum describes the major international exhibition as highlighting nature in a specific way:

Nature as a vulnerable factor in the worldwide pursuit of progress.

These artists consider the world critically and are sympathetic towards the growing global awareness regarding the future of nature. Questions concerning technology, economic interests, environment and energy are examined. As is the meditative and cosmological experience of nature, the role of (neo) colonialism, the constructable and artificial landscape, and the romantic longing of humankind in contrast to the imposing, mysterious and often threatening nature.

The exhibition touches on the current global concern about the handling of nature’s continued existence from the perspective of visual art, without thereby following the path of activism.


Old Book Smell

Did you know?

“Lignin, the stuff that prevents all trees from adopting the weeping habit, is a polymer made up of units that are closely related to vanillin.  When made into paper and stored for years it breaks down and smells good.  Which is how divine providence has arranged for secondhand bookstores to smell like good quality vanilla absolute, subliminally stoking a hunger for knowledge in all of us.” 



Liquid Typeface by Ruslan Khasanov



In a delightful puff of smoke, Ruslan Khasanov creates a typeface literally of the moment.


Utilizing over 5000 photographs of ink spots dissolving into water, Khasanov achieved a system of type that disappears over the course of reading each letter.



Aakash Nihalani: Tapes Extraordinary Space

Sometimes simple solutions can present the most interesting context.

Askash Nihalani works with lowly tape to change our view of the ordinary into something extraordinary by selectively placing graphics into space, highlighting “unexpected contours & elegant geometry”.

Nihalani says:

I’m not trying to push a certain highbrow logic or philosophy or purposely communicate through the esoteric medium of art. I work instinctively, trying to follow my gut about the sensation of color and space, and have fun doing it.

From the moment one enters his website, Nihalani’s playful solutions offer memorably artful, design moments.  Enjoy.

Video of the day: The Alphabet 2 by Alessandro Novelli

It’s Friday, and we wanted to send you into the weekend with something playful and well-executed.

Designer Alessandro Novelli’s Alphabet 2 is a video experiment in developmental spelling.

Each character represents the meaning of the word itself.  Playing with different techniques and materials, the scale is focused on Helvetica’s font proportions.

Enjoy this collection of words generated by a delightful vocabulary/spelling lesson which is so cleverly animated.

Thanks to my friend Rob for the pointer.

Blood Concept: There’s a Perfume for Your Blood Type

“The human body is totally pervaded by a liquid vital rush that brings us what we are most fond of: Life. Filled with legends and meanings‚ blood is soaked with mystery, fascination and respect: it’s the most tested and studied part of the human body. Hiding the multitude of secrets that reveals our inner and unique way of being. Blood Concept is a ceremony devoted to the pulse of life and its visceral boost. It is actually the river of life.”

Wow.  That’s quite a description of the concept behind Blood Concept by Giovanni Castelli  and Antonio Zuddas.  But we have to admit we are curious, especially hearing the fragrance characteristics:

Perfume O is a leather fragrance, composed of thyme, raspberry, cyperus esculentus, rose hips, leather, birch, cedar wood, metallic notes.

Perfume A is an aromatic unisex fragrance which includes notes of green garden, tomato leaves, basil, star anise and metallic notes.

Perfume B is a unisex woody spicy composition with red apple and black cherry in the top, artemisia, pepper, pomegranate and black tea in the heart; patchouli, tick wood and metallic notes in the base.

Perfume AB is a unisex mineral composition with aldehydes, aluminium and slate in the top, pebble and aqua in the heart, cedar wood and metallic notes in the base.

In no way flowery or expected, the line may not be for everyone, but they are certainly unique.  The scents can be purchased here.

EARonic the Ironic iPhone case by Daniela Gilsanz

Ever feel like the whole world is watching while you are on the iPhone?  Well Daniela Gilsanz created an ironic twist on a contemporary James Bond idea.

The EARonic iPhone Case is designed to camouflage the fact that you’re on the phone.  Now if only she would come up with an invisibility sleeve for our arm!

Of the concept Daniela says she:

…first came up with the idea last fall when applying to art schools. She was getting a portfolio together and while sketching some ears in her sketchbook (one of the prompts from a school) the initial EARonic mockup and portfolio piece came to be. Since then, we’ve improved on the original concept, photographed many an ear, and produced the actual phone cases.


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