Friday, January 29, 2010

Men in (Stripey) Tights

Last week, my brother David was passing through town on his way to a reading with Sam Shepard and Patti Smith. We took the opportunity to check out Tim Burton's exhibition at the MOMA, an event I was actually slightly dreading.

Let me explain.

Like almost every outcast 'art girl' in High School, I went through the black stripes and eyeliner Tim Burton phase. Hell, I even declared a Tim Burton week one year (don't ask - if you don't already know the details, well, you're just not meant to).

Over the years, my outlook expanded and I began to realize how narrow Burton's niche was. Not to mention the fact that his films just, for lack of a better phrase, 'got bad'. I remember deriving some amusement out of Sleepy Hollow, mostly due to the 'Walken Factor'. But Planet of the Apes, Willy Wonka, Sweeney Todd? Ugh.

Beetlejuice was a blast. Scissorhands, wonderful. Ed Wood, interesting. And of course, Batman.

Tim Burton's first Batman works because it has just the right balance of dumb action and macabre humor. Also, Keaton is kinda 'off-his-rocker' as both Batman and Bruce Wayne ("You wanna get nuts?") Burton's second Batman becomes a little too much about Burton.

But I've gotten off-track...

I was slightly dreading the exhibit. All I could think of was Depp's performance as Willy Wonka.

Then I was reminded of Burton's excellent drawings and design sense, what drew me to his work all those years ago. And really, that's what's worth braving the stripey-tight wearing crowds - the hundreds of doodles and drawings of random dog-walkers and kissing couples he's brought into his own demented little world.

And of course, all the movie props from the films I loved in grade school (special thanks goes to my brother for blocking the guard's view while I snapped these photos).

Friday, January 22, 2010

You're all a bunch of...

At least as far as Van Gogh's concerned.


Took my second tour ever of the MOMA yesterday (last time was for a Chuck Close exhibit). My brother David was in town and invited me out to see the Tim Burton exhibition. I'll save my thoughts on that for a future post. For now, let's just enjoy some art.

Rauschenberg, a personal favorite. It's in the textures and the way the frame transforms everyday objects and vice-versa.

View of a blonde bombshell from Rauschenberg's bed.

More mix of the dimensions. Not as interesting as ol' Robert's, but fun to photograph.

These boys seemed particularly taken with Lichenstein. For some reason, I was amused enough to take a picture of it.

One of my favorite Picasso pieces. I guess I'm a sculptor at heart. One of the other six reproductions is in Philadelphia, where I first saw it.

Stern looking gentleman.

Last time I was here (for a film screening, not a tour) they were setting this fellow up. View from above remains the most impressive.

Next time, my musings on Tim Burton, Batman and Elliot Cowan.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Distant Future

Jeff Luce, a friend I met while working abroad in Japan, is a big nerd. Don't believe me? Just ask him to tell you his ROYGBIV joke.

Every now and again, he'll send me a link to something unusual and always awesome. Like this book...

Well, actually he just sent me some images from it. I immediately found a cheap first print on Amazon, no small feat considering most copies are going for 75.00 and up. May have something to do with this -

That's right. It's been "weeded" from an Naval Base library. Already enough to make it worth the $30 I dropped.

Then there's the illustrations -

I'm hoping to post each page eventually, with descriptions or clear enough scans so the text is legible.

One of the reasons it really works is the author's background in paleontology. I haven't gotten too far in the book yet (so I'm not sure exactly why rabbits develop hooves) but he does delve into evolution, explaining how environment can effect an animal's genealogy through mutation and natural selection.

And give us what might be 50 million years in their (not our) future.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Old Dog

A friend and former co-worker linked to this page yesterday. Many of you may not know this, but I'm a bit of a dog nerd. I spent a fair amount of time in my youth reading through stacks and stacks of books covering Afghan Hounds to Westies.

Clicking through the site, I came across some great photos.

I love how owners can so resemble their canine companion and visa-versa.

It reminded me of my original plan for my Senior Thesis. A short film along the lines of 'Creature Comforts' using interviews with performance artists, beauty pageant contestants, etc. paired off against animated dogs backstage at a show.

Sifting through stacks and stacks of backup CDs, I managed to find some old character designs -

- and even my example still.

I'm not crazy about the designs. I feel like they're close, but not quite there yet. Maybe that's why the film never made it past this stage. At some point (when I actually have some free time, hah!) I think I'll give the audio a listen and take another crack at it.

*And since there's been some surprise over this, the Pomeranian is clay-on-glass, not digitally painted in Photoshop.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Update (With Opossum)

For those who don't know, most of my spare time is dedicated to producing a music video for They Might Be Giants.

Remember this little fellow?

Well, now he has some friends. Ears and more animal friends to come.

By the way, for those interested in obscure factoids, opossum is the proper form of the word. It was shortened to possum later after it's first appearance around 1610 in Jamestown. Or so the internet says...

Friday, January 8, 2010

Cabinet of Curiosities

A while back I posted an image of this great find I came across at a yard sale. I believe someone demanded pictures once it was full of oddities.

While not as odd as I had hoped (still in the market for a two headed ostrich fetus), here it is. Most of the items are from my time abroad.

A 'Lucky Cat' given to me by a student along with a 'Oni' bell, a gift from a co-worker at a make-shift birthday party (see Snoopy shot below).

A few objects are from my childhood. This is a statue given to me by my Opa, at one time a well-known family physician in Fairport, NY. I'm fairly certain I wasn't more then a few years old when he gave it to me.

Also from my Opa, though rediscovered just this past winter in storage-

Yes, it's a walnut, although I think my dad said it was called a 'Fairy Nut' or something like that.

Basically, every Christmas, my Opa would gather some walnuts, stuff them with strange, random knick-knacks (my brother got a vintage California State pin) and hand them round at dinner.

The Snoopy dates all the way back to 1968 and still (barely) plays. The most sentimental object housed by my cabinet?

My cat Titus' ashes. I'm hoping to find a nice jar to transfer them to, but for now I'm kind of enjoying the charm of a simple tin box.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Moving Day

About two weeks ago, I said 'goodbye' to the gang at Asterisk Animation (hopefully not forever) and rejoined the troops back at Special Ops Media in DUMBO.

Then yesterday, I said 'goodbye' to DUMBO as our team of designers, animators and coders picked up shop and moved into new offices in Manhattan.

Goodbye Manhattan Bridge!

Hello Puck Building!

All in all it was the easiest move I've ever experienced (try moving two years worth of stuff across an ocean). The van even seemed a bit unnecessary. I'm sure we could have just lugged it all in one subway ride.

And while the office may seem a little lackluster (particularly since the lights weren't up and running yet), our 'Event Space' is far more impressive.

I'm actually kind of hoping it stays this empty for a while.

It's nice to sneak away for a few minutes and just hang out in here.

Not to mention the seventh floor view.