Tuesday, November 30, 2010

on my Christmas wish list


I'll happily admit that until this morning, when I received an email from the New Museum informing me that they will show the work of George Condo this spring, I was entirely oblivious of said artist. 

But hey, isn't his work just lovely? I'm suspecting that looking at one of these on a daily basis would make me happy.

Just this morning I was lying in my bed and thinking to myself that these days, I often find myself far more enticed by graphic design than Fine Art. The fact that I just spelled graphic design all in lower case whereas I capitalized Fine Art may indeed be very telling. I'm thinking we've grown accustomed to expect so much from Fine Art (see, I did it again!) in terms of content and intellectual prowess, but the problem is that so rarely, in my opinion, do artists actually have anything genuinely clever to say. In which case, I'd actually prefer they didn't try so hard to say something. Which goes for me too. When it comes to doing something creative (I'm not comfortable with the word 'art' when it comes to my own efforts) I think I'm really restricted by the idea that whatever I do it MUST have a content that is interesting from a cerebral point of view. And even though I think I often have interesting ideas and make spectacularly clever observations, I'm not sure paints and canvasses are my preferred tools for mediating them. Call me old fashioned, but a pen and paper seem to work so much more effectively.

If you're wondering what all this has to do with George Condo, it's just that I found his work so pleasantly immediate, that's all. Something to aspire to. For me at least.

Monday, November 29, 2010

case study

I came across a photo of the Stahl House, also known as the Case Study House #22 (designed by Pierre Koenig as part of the Case Study Houses) and pondered to myself how many millions of movies I must have seen this fabulous piece of architecture in.

I mean, it looks so darn familiar the way Los Angeles sprawls itself out like an illuminated rug below that cantilevered living room. Don't you too feel that you've projected yourself into that space a thousand times before? An the pool. Have you too not sunbathed there in the dark of the movie theatre for hours on end? Cos I'm 100 percent certain that I have.
Stahl House photographed by Julius Schulman.

I tried to find out how many movies I may indeed have seen this place in, and when I found an article in the LA Times called "Best House in a Leading Role", I thought Bingo! and expected it to jog my memory big time. Except, it didn't at all. In fact, I hadn't seen any of the movies mentioned.

If that's not a mystery then I don't know what is. And dear reader, do enlighten me if you can.

lower case a & d appropriation and deconstruction

I think my flash adds to this picture, which I've taken of a photo printed in one of my dad's old advertising books.

It's funny, because all that academic talk of representations, appropriation and simulacras aside, I can definitely understand Richard Prince's fascination with the "rephotograph".

It's so rich somehow. Makes the photograph into a three-dimensional object or something. And I think it's real pretty that you can see the pixels and the texture of the paper spelled out like that. And the way the flash bounces off the page.

hams. frozen.

I was in Sweden yesterday and this peculiar sight of a variety of frozen hams cuddling in a display freezer was just too disturbing not to photograph.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

ice capades

Is that one serious icicle, or what? I'm telling you at its thickest part it had a diameter of something like 3 inches, whereas the tapered bit was sharp as a needle! Well not really, but still.

If you're wondering why Johan looks so weird and mischievous, it's because minutes afters this photo was taken he started horsing around (literally), pretending to be a unicorn made of ice.

Naturally it broke, after which I got a fancy looking ice cube in my cocktail.
I'm not drinking it though as I'm sure pigeons have peed on it.


I cooked ribs yesterday and even though I was too impatient to braise them slowly in the owen, they turned out so tender, the meat positively falling off the bones.

I wonder if I ever told you this, but if I haven't, I can inform you that ribs are my absolute favorite piece of meat, which is bizarre given the fact that I am not your usual carnivore. In fact, I have a bunch of neuroses when it comes to meat, downright refusing to eat this and that. But for some bizarre reason, eating meat off a bone using no utensils but your fingers feels so natural to me, as opposed to, say, eating steak or artisanal sausages.

Anyway, as I didn't have merian and soy sauce around the house and thus was unable to work my way through David Chang's recipe for short ribs (as mentioned in my post below), I marinated mine in a sauce of rapeseed oil, ketchup, orange juice, fish sauce, lemon juice, Worcester sauce, s+p, fennel seeds, paprika, cayenne pepper and lots of brown sugar - in no particular measures, as I don't believe in such things.

Oh, and did I mention they turned out delish?

live blogging from the couch

The streets outside are pretty much covered in snow, and flakes are still falling - which is a big thing considering this is Denmark and it's only November.

Ice taps - somewhat lethal looking ones - are peeking down from the roof, and there's a blanket of snow on the window sill.

And us? We're tucked up on the couch reading the weeklies:O)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

This will be the first time in five years that I wont be feeling like the odd one out for not having a childhood home in New Jersey to escape to for Thanksgiving holiday before actually realizing that celebrating it with a bunch of European ex-pats and family-less Americans (read: outcasts) that don't have firm opinions on stuffing and mash is every bit as lovely!

Hey, you know what? I think I may just by myself a slice of turkey breast for lunch and sit down and reminisce.

a Thursday vow from a hitherto slovenly woman

It's snowing in Copenhagen (so cozy!) and yesterday I took it upon myself to grease up some of my leather shoes and bags to prepare it for the weather. And you know what? It occurred to me mid-rub that back in the day I used to take such good care of leather. You know, polish my shoes regularly, and go and have soles fixed whenever they started showing too much tear and wear. I just guess that somewhere along the line I became a slovenly woman.

But you know what? It will be so no more. I will be taking good care of my leather from now on! Plus, it felt so wholesome to sit there and rub your leather. Kind of like growing your own vegetables or something.  

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

on 18 Wooster till December 18

Sometimes I wonder where advertising is heading if not down the drain, and then every once in a while you hear of a project that's just so cool it reaffirms your belief that advertising can be real smart and un-annoying and just, well, neat!

I'm guessing just like me you've seen some of these images on the internets of late, but chances are, that like me, you too failed to connect the dots and realize that this collection of vintage cameras doesn't belong to some analog aficionado but is in fact for rent! For people like you and me! And what's more, we can rent the cameras for free!

And that's not all peeps. If you head down to ex-NY-gallerist Jeffrey Deitch's old space at 18 Wooster Street you'll find you can do everything your little photographer's heart may desire. Like printing and developing, also for free. And you can hang out with NY scenesters like Tim Barber for free and get a bunch of help from accomplished assistants for free. All of it sponsored by Levi's. Now how's that for awesomeness?

The pop-up is conceptalized by NY-agency Sub Rosa and the images above I've stolen from CoolHunting. If you want to check out some of the previous workshops arranged by Levi's or some that will follow the one in NY, check out Levi's website here.

Of course you wonder if it will increase the sales of jeans? Or just the sale of cool perhaps?


Madonna and Sean Penn in Shanghai Surprise. Not that I can claim to have ever watched it, but I really dig the lady's expression and posture.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

We're iPad'ing it up around here!

Good god it's an addictive piece of machinery! It's so intuitive, Johan and I agree, which coming from me don't mean much (as I was born and bred an Apple devotee), but coming from Johan it actually means a whole lot. He's like the PC guy around here. You know, who usually praises Intel and IBM and stuff.

Anyhow, for whatever apps you don't immediately understand, you can find little explanations like these on the iPad too! Obviously you can find them on the internet as well, but that's besides the point right now.

Anyway, before you get too psyched on our behalf, let me tell you it's just on loan. It's dad's. He was just kind enough to lend it to me so I could try and convert Johan to come over to the other side, so to speak. And seeing he's currently watching a nimble iPad tutorial on how to prepare a stuffed pig, I may think he too may have become an adherent of my church. Bless.

stuff I've eaten (and drunk) of late

The two last deserve special mention. One, Johan's adaption of Jamie Oliver's pappardelle with slow-braised leeks and porcini pangrattato - yum yum! And two, Heidi's overwhelming brown sugar cake with poached pears, caramel sauce and a yogurt filling. That's a tentative description, mind you. Perhaps the exact recipe will follow on her site in the near future...or else I'm sure you'll be inspired to cook some of her other exciting concoctions.

Oh, and here's a dish I will definitely be cooking this week. And this recipe by David Chang (of Momofuko fame) I will cook as soon as I can get my hands on some short ribs!

Monday, November 22, 2010

an unpredictable squirt

Sunday turned out to be one of those days too. Kind of. And here's pictorial proof: As I was adding ketchup to the bun of my burger (why does this sound ambiguous?), the air pressure in our bottle of Heinz got all out of whack and made the ketchup squirt take off from the bun in something like a 90 degree angle and hit 1) granny's old coffee table, 2) my feet, 3) the couch, 4) the unfinished ash wood flooring, 5) my lambskin slippers from Gotland, a Swedish Island in the Baltic Sea, and 6) my already much too weathered tote. Interestingly, it evaded my book on Modernism. Make of it what you want;O)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

creature comfort

 Hey, you guys, sorry for being such a downer in my last post. So, to make amends and to make this a better Sunday for all, I present you with this: A thirsty koala bear in need of a cool bath. And a polar bear and dog horsing around, playfully.

Plus, Johan just found the rolling pin, so all is good.

one of those yesterdays. or two, in fact.

For two days in a row, I've had one of those days
  • Where you get soaked in rain when moving from A to B and from B to C and back to A again. And still you insist on riding your bike rather than taking the train.
  • Where little old ladies make such an abrupt halt once they've descended the escalator that you get caught in a pile-up between them and the department store shoppers behind you. 
  • Where a department store sales clerk kind of scolds you mid-purchase (for no reason at all!) and you swear (angrily, but to yourself) that all Christmas shopping this year WILL BE DONE ONLINE!!! 
  • Where, in an attempt to rescue a tub of sour cream from falling out of the fridge at the supermarket, you wind up kicking it instead, soaking your shoe and the floor in thick dairy. 
  • Where you drop your maki roll into your soy sauce, causing cascades of soy sauce to spill all over your clothes. Two days in a row.
  • Where the flour on your spoon misses the bowl and goes all over the kitchen counter instead.
  • Where you can't find the rolling pin no matter how many times you open the same drawers to check just one more time. And your shortcrust pastry is, like, just waiting for you. Getting more unmanageable by the minute.
  • Where I started crying after coming across an I♥NY plastic bag containing my blue puffer jacket. The one that eventually got soaked.
So much good stuff happened too (really, I swear!), but seeing there is an actual idiom that goes "one of those days", I'm guessing it's because it's a rather universal thing to experience days when your limbs don't cooperate, your absentmindedness puts you off guard, and you look for reasons - any! - to let it all go (whatever it may be) and have a good cry. Or bitch about it at the least;O)

the wooers and the wooee

God it must feel good to be the perpetually cool kid in class!

Obama nestled in between GB Prime Minister David Cameron and Secretary General of Nato Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

Foto by Guillaume Horcajuelo.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

"you can't lay down your memory"

I don't think I've ever visited MoMA's design galleries without stopping to "ooo" and "ah" over Tejo Remy's chest of drawers titled as the caption above, and each time I've thought to myself: "Hey, how difficult can it be so make one on my own?"

I mean, all you need to do is collect drawers and then strap them together with some industrial quality kind of belt. Easy peasy right?
Anyways, should you find out that it's unlikely you'd ever come across 20 different sized drawers sitting aimlessly in the street, you can always just buy one. It seems it was made in an edition of 200 (By Droog) and that back in the very year of 2008 it went for some $32.500,- at Christies.


I just saw this image this morning, and thought it was the most beautiful thing. It's called the Global Tree Project and it's by Shinji Turner-Yamamoto:

And then, in turn, it reminded me of this piece by Maurizio Cattelan's olive tree (untitled, from 1998):

And then finally, they both reminded me of this unusually sophisticated slash eccentric Danish character named Tage Andersen. He's a florist slash artist, and I swear, if it weren't for the fact that it costs money to enter his museum like shop, I think I could pass by there on a weekly basis. Anyhow, he does this really wonderful arrangements, some of them kind of macabre and beautiful all at the same time. Straight out of a Tim Burton movie, I tell you.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

when Madge was workin' it

I was just in the shower when I heard Johan put on Madonna's True Blue album at full volume, and as I stood there and washed my hair, I led myself to believe that I could tell that back then, she really sang as if her life depended on it. On fame, I mean.

hell what?

Image via Flavorwire
I don't mean to be a bummer or anything, but I have to say I'm not a big fan of The New Museum's Facade Sculpture Program and I'll tell you why: Seeing Ugo Rondinone's rainbow-colored "Hell Yes!" on its facade for something like three years in a row, made me think of said sculpture as permanent. And now a rose is there? I'll happily admit it's nice how it kind of forces its way up through the concrete jungle. All I'm saying though is that if you're going to change things, change it more often. Plus, to tell the truth, I had honestly grown quite attached to the "Hell Yes!" sign. I found it so uplifting to look up every time I passed by and salute hell yeah! right back.

But I do like the rose. I do. Although, at the same time, I find it a bit uninteresting.

It's by Isa Genzken by the by.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Thai on Sunday

I was at my sister's place the other night and settled down on the couch with one of her cook books, which was filled with inspiring pictures of mouthwatering dishes that I felt an immediate desire to try my hand on. And what was even better was the fact that it was one of those unfussy cook books. You know where it says, optionally you can use this as opposed to that and you can skip this altogether, and for this dish frozen chicken works just fine.

Personally I really dislike when cooking instructions becomes rigid and rule-bound and you feel like a cheapskate for not having truffle oil and chops of locally raised lamb sitting around your house. Know what I mean?

Anyway, inspired by this unfussy cook book I took to cooking Thai fish cakes last night from pre-minced fish (something I otherwise never buy because it feels like a no-no), paired with some cucumber salad and some melon-radish-red-onion-mint concoction that I made up myself. As for the others, I based them loosely on this and this recipe, and even though I skipped some things and added others they turned out just delish:O)

emergency exit

Sunday, November 14, 2010

chicken soup

This is a might fine way to prepare for a night out on the town, I think. If you have little patience, skip right ahead to three minutes into the clip and see Mr. Astaire dance into his dinner jacket.

And to see Mr. Kelly tapdancing on roller-skates in a most gorgeous mid 50s New York midtown that probably never was, start some 2 minutes and fifteen seconds into this:

Friday, November 12, 2010


About a week ago I watched a documentary on Leonard Bernstein and found myself so captivated by his mellifluous voice and eloquence, and the way he held his cigarette, and how every sentence and gesture was so perfectly constructed, you'd be likely to think it was scripted!

At some point he said something about not caring much for atonality - which I suppose was otherwise all the rage among 50s and 60s avantgarde composers - and the more I think of it, the more I realize that his reverse belief in tonality really seeped into the way he spoke too.

You know how some people wind up speaking in fragments or start listing things, or simply start their sentence anew when they suddenly feel they've reached the dead end of some statement on something? Well not Bernstein, let me tell you. Every once in a while, after having listened to him reel of a string of perfect sentences, I'd think "OK, now he lost it" - you know, because the beginning of a seemingly perfect sentence suddenly drew to a halt or a pause.

But then, after moving things around in his brain for a second and a half, he'd return and bring it home with those exact four or five words missing.

But that's the thing with tonality, right? That unless you're a composer and know the rules of the game, you wouldn't be able to second-guess what would come next. But then, when you hear it, you realize that was exactly what you were anticipating all along.

By the way, did you know that he was but 25 the first time he directed the New York Philharmonics? He sure was! The documentary I saw must have been shot sometime in the late 70s, at which point, Bernstein, probably in his 50s, looked like the archetypical dandy. White suits, wide ties and all. But they showed some pictures and footage of his young self too, and boy was he a dapper fella!