Yesterday’s cross-Brooklyn internet outage meant no post here, but it also meant I was free to go see a matinee of the new Wuthering Heights with Carrie at the Film Forum. A synopsis: It’s raining outside, and IT’S RAINING INSIDE MY HEART. But… it’s worth watching just for the stark beauty of the moors (which are now on my list of things I must see in person, after “northern lights”, “southern cross”, and “fjords” and ahead of “Tokyo”).
Waiting on pictures from the grand festivities of this weekend, in the meantime, it’s officially fall and my need and want to nest has escalated to epic proportions. I am especially coveting Katherine Wolkoff’s amazing photographs of FOUND BIRDS. The silhouettes are striking, austere—sort of like an Audubon mug-shot—and each has the description of where the bird was found, under what circumstances (brought down by a storm, taken from a cat etc. and by who. There is something sort of morbidly curious but also noble and honoring about the series. As always, it’s the story behind them that makes them matter most.
Above: left: Black-billed cuckoo, Coccyzus erythropthalmus. Killed by flying against a lighted window, presented by Alice Northup. May 6, 1925. right: Yellow-billed cuckoo, Coccyzus americanus. Killed by South East Lighthouse, salvaged by Charles Rogers Jr. September 23, 1935
Red-Tailed Hawk, Buteo jamaicensis. Found beneath wires by Stanley Stinson. December 11, 1929.
Barn Owl, Tyto alba. Blind in one eye- telephone wire victim. Found by George Grime. December 25, 1943Great Blue Heron, Ardea hernias. Found dead in road by Richard Conley. November 15, 1947Great Egret, Casmerodius albus. Brought to Block Island by Captain Alfred Jacobsen. Alighted on fishing vessel “Friars” at Georges Bank during N.E. storm. April 2, 1931Greenbacked Herons, Butorides striatus left: Immature: taken from a cat by Mr and Mrs Herb Winsor. September 23, 1944. right: Male, Wired victim found by Mary Elizabeth Lewis. May 18, 1944
It’s no secret we love nests around here, so obviously we went head over wing when we saw these newly re-released lithographs from the Illustrations of the Nests and Eggs of Birds of Ohio. The story of the book is almost as lovely as the images- a girl sees John James Audubon’s work chronicling Birds of America at the 1876 World’s Fair, and she and her family decide that there should be a companion book focusing on the birds, eggs, and nests of their native Ohio. So? They make one themselves. A hundred years pass, their book languishes under plexiglass in a random corner of an Ohio museum for years until a young librarian finds it, falls in love with it and writes her own book telling the family’s story and preserving the images for generations to come. Rare birds all, no?
On our way out to spend Memorial Day at Sweetheart’s house in Rockaway we drove past Floyd Bennett Field. I’ve always had a bit of a love affair with the old airfield (see here and here). How interesting, then, to discover this amazing photographic series “Found in Nature” by Barry Rosenthal: collections of items and objects found out at Floyd Bennett Field. This weekend, on that brilliant, sunny, fresh-hot birth of summer day, they had a carnival set up: a Ferris Wheel, a funny purple roller coaster, big fat circus lights and cotton candy. How many new contributions must have been left behind…
I found this image back on May Day, and I love it. Technically this is a propaganda poster lobbying for the 8-hour work day (notice the little picketer in his socialist hat and that the people are spending their 8 free hours rowing around a lily pond reading “The Union Advocate”), and, certainly, the fight for workers humanity that the 8 hour day symbolizes is a powerful part of social history. I think, though, that I might like this well outside of that? Maybe it’s the Diego Rivera-meets-Fillmore Poster woodcut style, or maybe just it’s how simple and good the concept seems. It reminds me of a bit Benjamin Franklin’s schedule– an antiquated notion of how to structure and spend one’s day (with purpose, function, and beauty) that maybe we’d all benefit from truly adapting. Slow down, simplify, work hard. The benefit of honest toil and the sweetness of “What We Will”.
ps. if anyone has any info on the source of this awesome picture, let me know.
How cool is this? German artist Mark Formanek builds a wonderful giant clock before our very eyes, filming the whole thing as workers change and set the numbers in real time. It took 70 workers and 1,611 changes to make it accurate, and the result is simply majestic. Here are some small videos of the clock in motion, and if you want the live clock on your desktop, there’s an app that syncs to your computer’s internal clock. Brilliant and functionally obsolete? My Favorite.
Sweetheart’s dear friend Jared is known for throwing legendary parties. Sweetheart and I actually kissed for the first time after one of his rooftop soirees that featured a bamboo forest and a margarita machine. Needless to say, when Jared is in charge, love is in the air. So, when we headed south to his bride’s hometown, Rincón, Puerto Rico, for their wedding, we knew that it would probably be pretty epic. The whole shebang was absolutely impeccable, gorgeous, perfect, and seemingly effortless- from the fresh coconuts macheted open and filled with rum to the (literally) world caliber reggae band to the peonies and frangipani covering every surface to the… live painting. The brother of the groom flew this incredibly talented artist down and she created the painting above during the wedding reception. This was exactly what it looked like- hanging lanterns, orchids, giant copper pool of waterlilies in the middle of the dancefloor, the last of a sunset sky through nesting colonial arches framing the chuppah and going out to sea. Seeing the painting come together during the night was really, really cool. Naturally a wedding in a tropical paradise with a cast of good looking, photogenic, and wild characters makes for a good time, but who knew it made for good art? Maravilloso.Read more about the artist, Katherine Gressel, and her process here.
Hey! Is that Mr. Nipsey Russell the Cat doing a little bedtime reading in last week’s New Yorker? Certainly looks like it. When he’s not writing #1 hits, what else has Mr. Russell been up to? Getting in Trouble…Getting dressed up…
Hanging out with Hemingway…And just hanging out…What a busy guy. He’s got so much on his plate he’s looking to cast a replacement. Once he finds the right cat for the job, he’s really looking forward to taking a load off this weekend…
Yes, I like my cat a lot.
Thanks to Miss McKay for the New Yorker image, mugshot from here, Indian from here, Hemingway from here, Russell lounging is just Russell lounging, and Cat audition is from here.
I am in love lovelove with this Molly Ledbetter painting. Deep Dark Secret Confession: I’m one of those boring poopers who usually prefers when art is a picture of something. Like a horse or a ship or a faith healing. I probably would have been gasping and “well-I-never!”-ing at the 1913 Armory Show. Yet even though dear miss Molly’s work is large scale, graphic, and abstract, it’s also deliciously tactile, lovely and compelling, with riotous pops and swags of color and I just love it. She’s got a marvelous new site (and a great blog to boot). Now if I could only decide which piece is my favorite…