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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: WORLD AIDS DAY / DAY WITHOUT ART / DECEMBER 1

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: WORLD AIDS DAY / DAY WITHOUT ART / DECEMBER 1: sourceofimageunknown In memory of ____________, the blog remains dark

WORLD AIDS DAY / DAY WITHOUT ART / DECEMBER 1

sourceofimageunknown





In memory of ____________, the blog remains dark

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: VISUAL TREATS presents ' ART OUTSIDE WALLS ' / CH...

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: VISUAL TREATS presents ' ART OUTSIDE WALLS ' / CH...: imagecourtesycalitreviewcom Peeps, Any discussion of artists who exhibit outside the confines of gallery walls, or are bound by the co...

VISUAL TREATS presents ' ART OUTSIDE WALLS ' / CHRISTO (and Jeanne-Claude) Day 2


imagecourtesycalitreviewcom

Peeps,

Any discussion of artists who exhibit outside the confines of gallery walls, or are bound by the conventions of wooden frame, material limitations, or the whims of dealer or market, would be incomplete without the inclusion of Christo (and Jeanne-Claude), the celebrated team responsible for large-scale installations running through mountains and fields into the sea, or wrapping public spaces into objects of extraordinary beauty, clearly intended for all to enjoy, as well as to gently challenge the public's definition of art.

Christo and Jeanne-Claude were a married couple (until Jeanne-Claudes' death in 2009) who created environmental works of art, such as the wrapping the Reichstag in Berlin, and the Pont-Neuf bridge in Paris, 'Running Fence' in California, and 'The Gates' in New York City's Central Park. Art dealer Nancy Doyle writes that, 'the pair creates environmental works that span great distances in populated landscapes, both rural and urban.  They are mostly made of fabric, created in the form of a large curtain, wrapped forms (buildings, coastline, a bridge), surrounded islands, large umbrellas, and other forms.  They pay all expenses associated with the artworks, including planning, construction, and taking down, partly from the sales of Christo's preliminary drawings, early works from the 1950's and 1960's, and lithographs. They accept no contributions, grants or other financial assistance, preferring to make their aesthetic decisions apart from any influence financial backing may involve . . . Their work is very expressive, of romanticism, whimsy, poetry, and like much of contemporary art, is more experiential perhaps than viewing art in a museum (passively) can sometimes be.'

On the nature of their work, Christo states, " . . . I should repeat that our projects are not works of painting or sculpture but have elements of urbanism and architecture.  Also, the temporal character of the project is an aesthetic decision.  I and Jeanne-Claude would like our projects to challenge and question the people's notion of art.  The temporal character of the project challenges the immortality of art.  Is art immortal? Is art forever?  It is a kind of naivete and arrogance to think that this thing stays forever, for eternity.  It probably takes greater courage to go away than to stay.  All these projects have this strong dimension of missing, of self-effacement, that they will go away, like our childhood, our life . . When they are there for 14 days, they create an urgency and sympathy because they are going to go away, they will disappear.  All this is translated into a nomadic quality, like the tribes in the Sahara and Tibet.  It is translated by the biggest amount of material in this project . . The cloth is the principal element to translate the vulnerability, the temporariness, and the fragility of the work, very much like a nomadic tribe that moves through the desert.

. . . immortality is linked with a very essential part of this project.  All these projects are about freedom.  They happen not because some president of the country liked them, some minister of culture, or some corporate executive or some major of a city; these projects happened because the artist liked to have them and, of course, they have this incredible proportion and presence.  Nobody can own this project, nobody can buy the project, nobody can posses the project, or charge tickets.  This project is a demonstration of freedom.  A demonstration of absolute freedom and total irrationality.  The world can live without 'Umbrellas,' without 'Valley Curtain' or 'Running Fence.' They have no other reason to be there except poetical creativity, total creativity.  That freedom is the most important part of this project and this is why they cannot stay, because freedom is the enemy of possession and possession is equal to permanence . . . "


Please enjoy today's visual treat, and be sure to visit their online site for more biographical details, a full survey of all his projects, detailed interviews, and wonderful photographs of completed (and planned) installations.


Thanks,
Shane



Tuesday, November 29, 2011

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: Visual Treats presents ' ART OUTSIDE WALLS ' / Da...

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: Visual Treats presents ' ART OUTSIDE WALLS ' / Da...: imagecourtesyfak3rcomanddesignboom Peeps, Frequently no one leaves entirely satisfied. Perhaps this the result of simply not knowin...

Visual Treats presents ' ART OUTSIDE WALLS ' / Day 1 -- JENNY HOLZER

imagecourtesyfak3rcomanddesignboom


Peeps,

Frequently no one leaves entirely satisfied.  Perhaps this the result of simply not knowing.  If your family is similar to mine, after Thanksgiving gluttony and cleanup, the debate invariably starts:  do we pursue high culture (and art) at the museum, or should we simply indulge our more base desires, and head for the mall and streets to indulge in window-gazing, bargain-shopping, and people watching.  Another set of cuff-links or wool slacks nabbed at holiday markdowns is always fun, yet never entirely satisfying when I scan the weekend papers and internally chastise myself for having ignored the wide selection of wonderful art-exhibitions at The National Gallery of Art, The Sackler Gallery, and The Hirshhorn Museum.  Sometimes in the contest of wills between various factions of the family, where young adults need to expend energy (and reassert their independence, why?), and the more culturally inclined seek to expose the uninitiated to the finer things of life, one group or the other feels put-on by any decision made.  If anyone had been smart, or level-headed, in these tireless debates and endless discussions about high vs low, we could have sought the on-site installations of artists who prefer to exhibit outside the walls of galleries or art-spaces.  Chancing upon Jenny Holzer, Barbara Kruger, or Felix Gonzalez-Torres, while buoyed by waves of urban dwellers and the cries of side-walk vendors hawking knock-off Chanel bags, allows one to experience a certain realization that life is never entirely one or the other.  Even here in the heart of humankind's urban sprawl and moral decay, images of hope, truth, and beauty persist.


Please enjoy this week's peep-show showcasing ' ART OUTSIDE WALLS.' 


Sincerely,
Shane






NOTE:  


Jenny Holzer, an American artist, Is famous for her short statement, formerly called 'truisms'. Some are common myths while others are just phrases on random subjects in the form of slogans.  The sayings include:  'MONEY CREATES TASTE,' 'FREEDOM IS A LUXURY NOT A NECESSITY,' and ' A LOT OF PROFESSIONALS ARE CRACKPOTS.'  her medium, whether formulated as a T-shirt, as a plaque, or as a LED sign, always is writing, and the public dimension is integral to the delivery of her work.  Starting in the late 1970's with the posters that Jenny Holzer pasted on buildings in New York City, and up to her recent xenon projections on landscape and architecture, her practice has rivaled ignorance and violence with humor, kindness, and moral courage.


Often Holzer's work presents both explicit content and minimalist aesthetics that make profound statements about the world of advertising and consumer society today.  By presenting an assemblage of phrases that mimic advertising slogans through vehicles commonly used in advertising, such as electric billboards, coffee-mugs, and commercials on cable and network television, Holzer questions what our eyes can see and what we can't see in media, [and] whether consumers today have any real control over the information that is provided to them.
                                                                                                                                                                                             (designboom news)










Sunday, November 27, 2011

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: Visual Treats + The Peep-show presents ' THE DECEM...

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: Visual Treats + The Peep-show presents ' THE DECEM...: photocourtesyamericanvogueviachungkitblog ' THE DECEMBER ISSUE ' premieres 5 Dec 2011 Are you ready??

Visual Treats + The Peep-show presents ' THE DECEMBER ISSUE '

photocourtesyamericanvogueviachungkitblog




' THE DECEMBER ISSUE '
premieres
5 Dec 2011


Are you ready??

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: So Other May Have/Gifting To: TLDEF (Transgender ...

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: So Other May Have/Gifting To: TLDEF (Transgender ...: AlmaSilientaenFuego AnaMendieta,1975 imagecourtesyartnewsorg Peeps, For many T's, life rarely unfolds to the catchy tune of a we...

So Others May Have/Gifting To: TLDEF (Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund)

AlmaSilientaenFuego
AnaMendieta,1975
imagecourtesyartnewsorg







Peeps,

For many T's, life rarely unfolds to the catchy tune of a well-crafted musical score, or seldom culminates in a rousting finale with wide-eyed optimism and open hearts all aflutter at the wonderful way(s) in which justice and equality prevails, as evidenced by supportive spouses, accepting families, and non-judgmental peers.  For many T's, the feel-good extravaganza known as Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, remains the cinematic equivalent of a torch-song: unrequited love sung high, held long, felt deep; hopeful, yet hopeless for that is the defining quality of a torch-song.  And a torch-song is not a love-song, and a love-song is not a torch-song, and the latter resides almost exclusively in the repertoire of many T's; for whom, love remains eternally elusive.  


The T's (transgender persons and transsexuals) are not simply a group of cross-dressers, drag-queens, lip-sticked divas, butch-dykes, butch-kings, and the like which really are derogatory terms (revealing a deep misunderstanding of, as well as reflecting stereotypes based on fear, ignorance, or prejudice whether societal, cultural, or religious). Transequality.org states that ' Gender identity refers to the way you understand yourself and your gender.  It is about the internal sense of masculinity or femininity that a person feels.  Sexual orientation is our attraction to someone else of the same or different gender or both.  It refers to the kinds of relationships that you have with others.  Transgender people can be heterosexual/straight, bisexual, homosexual/gay/lesbian or identify as queer.'  Some individuals attempt to reconcile their gender (identity) with their sexual (identity) and embark on this process usually with the assistance of an informal support group, and later under the guidance of a mental health professional, who in conjunction with a medical doctor can facilitate gender reconstructive surgery, facial reconstructive surgery, breast removal or augmentation, surgeries to remove the ovaries and uterus, and surgeries to reduce the Adam's apple or change the thorax. After completion of this extensive process, they are by all accounts, transsexuals, meaning persons who have utilized the tools of modern technology to match gender and sexual identity.  And they, should be applauded for undertaking and completing this journey to full self-hood and internal peace.  


Some T's never fully complete this process (either in its entirety if this is so desired, or portions of it), and there are many reasons for this 'interruption.'  Some of these range from being thrown out of homes, losing jobs, facing discrimination and prejudice when seeking employment, housing, medical services; physical and psychological abuse at the hands of family members or strangers.  And a large number of transpersons, (it is reported that a transperson is killed every three days) are strangled/stabbed/stoned/shot/decapitated and dismembered/drowned, and as of late, the acts of rage and violence towards trans-persons have resulted in a serious of deadly attacks in which the victims' bodies are burned.  Sad, shocking, repulsive, unacceptable, yet in many parts of our country and abroad, these murderous acts are of no concern to authorities and certain segments of the society who view these incidents with a large degree of disinterest. Transequality.org reminds us that, ' Sex and gender are complex issues.  A huge variety of factors are at work in making each individual the person that they are and there is no reason that causes people to be transgender.  Trans people are part of the variety that makes up the human community.'


During this season of giving, please consider making a donation to TLDET (Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund) at www.tldet.org; become a member of The Center for Transgender Equality at www.transequality.org; or stay informed and voice your support of equality for all persons at www.transrespect-transphobia.org, and The Bilerico Project at www.bilerico.com.


Thank you,
Shane
















Friday, November 25, 2011

this blog and the peep-show presents ' THE DECEMBER ISSUE '

imagecourtesyjjjjound





' THE DECEMBER ISSUE '
premieres
5 dec 2011




. . . are you ready?

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: So Others May Have / GIFTING TO: Foundation Fight...

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: So Others May Have / GIFTING TO: Foundation Fight...: Blindman'sBluffbyGoya Peeps, Today (Black Friday), I had no plans of heading to the shops in search of bargains. Instead I spent th...

So Others May Have / GIFTING TO: Foundation Fighting Blindness (DAY 4)

Blindman'sBluffbyGoya




Peeps,

Today (Black Friday), I had no plans of heading to the shops in search of bargains.  Instead I spent the morning with an old friend planting tulips and other spring bulbs.  The skies overhead were clear blue and the warm weather permitted us to work without a jacket; on the way home this evening I heard about the ruckus at the Walmart, and wondered why some individuals would prefer to spend their time in pursuit of more stuff, instead of out enjoying nature, biking, visiting the museums, and so forth.  It seems that advertisers and corporate CEO's have shrewdly capitalized on the emptiness -- found within many Americans who blindly pursue every object imaginable -- with the enticing labels of BIGGER, FASTER, CHEAPER, SALE BARGAIN, TWO FOR THE PRICE OF ONE, or FREE.  The latter always makes me cringe, for as we all should have realized by now, nothing is every free, and the price we will invariably incur comes at a high cost to our national economy where we cannot compete with cheap imports; as well as the high interest and hidden charges on credit cards, or the unfulfilling jobs to which many commit themselves as they, almost trance-like, accumulate larger quantities of celebrity-endorsed purses, designer clothing, electronic games, sporting equipment, collectibles for the home, Victoria's Secret lingerie, etc. etc.  I shudder to think of the melee predicted on Boxing Day.


I recently had the pleasure of watching a 2005 Singaporean movie entitled Be With Me, which was superb.  Director Eric Khoo smartly weaves three stories about love and communication into a beautifully taut narrative that is moving, fresh, and satisfying.  Central to the narrative is the true story of Theresa Poh Lin Chan (who plays herself) who went blind and deaf at an early age.  She writes of living in the prison of her mind; she, unable to communicate and in despair, without hope, contemplates suicide.  By sheer luck, she is sent to special schools where she learns to communicate through Braille, and is able to get an education.  I found her character (as well as her life-story) very inspiring, and lately have been wondering if I could have been as brave and resilient as she is (under the disadvantages of being both deaf and blind). As a visual artist, I am fascinated by braver souls, who by sheer will and determination, triumph over this state of being which scares me to no end. 


 A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to meet Davida Luehrs, who at our Lions Club meeting, passionately spoke of her organization, Foundation Fighting Blindness, and of its primary goal, which is ' to drive the research that would lead to preventions, treatments, and cures for the entire spectrum of blinding retinal diseases -- including macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, and Usher syndrome -- that together affect more than 10 million Americans and millions more throughout the world.'  Davida shared that she was slowly going blind, and participation in the Foundation had become her life's work with a commitment to raising awareness of the Foundation's mission.  She hoped that with sufficient funding for more advanced research, the entire spectrum of retinal degenerative diseases could be eradicated.  I wish that under similar circumstances, I would display the grace and strength that she did in her heartfelt presentation.  Please visit the Foundation Fighting Blindness' website (www.blindness.org) or youtube to learn more about the remarkable projects that they have undertaken to eradicate blindness.  During this time of holiday sharing, please make a donation to the Foundation, consider having your company become a Corporate Sponsor, or if time allows, become a volunteer.  If you see opportunities for you to make a difference, seize them!


Sincerely,
Shane




Tonight's soundtrack is MASMOD (Lithograph) courtesy of DEWTONE RADIO....





Thursday, November 24, 2011

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: So Others May Have / GIFTING TO: 826DC at www.826d...

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: So Others May Have / GIFTING TO: 826DC at www.826d...: imagecourtesyitaliancountryliving viaalifesageblog Peeps, Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day, and in an ideal world all children would...

So Others May Have / GIFTING TO: 826DC at www.826dc.org (DAY 3)

imagecourtesyitaliancountryliving
viaalifesageblog







Peeps,

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day, and in an ideal world all children would be gathered with their families around tables groaning under the weight of turkey/ham/sweet-potatoes/green-bean salad/rolls/assorted fruit pies and so forth.  Sadly this is not the case.  Lots of kids will be at home alone (or entrusted to various types of care) because parents are working, in prison, absent due to marital discord, away fighting the war(s) overseas, and various other reasons.  During the year, many of these kids (at least the fortunate ones), can turn to a variety of after-school and weekend programs where caring and concerned individuals act as mentors in tutoring programs devoted to improving math and reading skills.  Some programs help at-risk kids in expressing themselves creatively (through performance and the fine arts); conduct excursions and field trips, as well as coordinate tours of professional guilds, and prepare older students for job internships. I became aware of 826DC a few years ago, and remain impressed by their commitment to making a positive difference in the lives of other-wise neglected kids. I was moved by the passion and commitment of the 826DC members, and asked Holly Jones, who co-founded 826DC, to share with us a few words about this dynamic little group of devoted volunteers who give so much to so many.  


Sincerely,
Shane


 ' I started 826DC with two co-founders shortly after I began interviewing teenagers in Anacostia for McSweeney's and Dispatches from The Anacostia series.  The teenagers I met struggled to steer clear of drugs and crime, peer pressure to quit school, to quit living a healthy life, and worst of all, to quit dreaming.  Time and again, I witnessed their struggle to articulate their hopes and dreams.  It would take them an hour to warm up to talking about themselves, to find the words to describe their aspirations and frame their lives as remarkable as any they saw on TV.  How, I asked myself, could they achieve their dreams if they couldn't express themselves and give voice to what mattered most in their lives?


The more I learned of the educational challenges these teenagers faced, the more I wanted to help them in finding the support they needed.  As it turns out, other individuals in DC were dreaming of the same thing:  a place where young people could come for reading and writing support.  Although there were some educational organizations in DC, we thought that something different was needed.  A center that didn't look like a tutoring center, but instead a place where people laughed as much as they learned, and a cool destination for the community to visit every day of the week if they wanted to do so.  My co-founders and I learnt of David Eggers, and an organization called 826 National, that had established centers like the one we had envisioned, and we wanted our center to be similar to that model.  We sat down in October 2007 and decided to make our dream into a reality.


It wasn't easy work as we had no start-up capital.  And we didn't have a 826 affiliation which would have lent us credibility for funding and recruiting.  Yet, we had an overwhelming amount of support in the DC community, and encouraged by the slogan of the presidential campaign -- " YES WE CAN," sounding all around us, we went to work!!  By our second meeting, we jumped from 3 to 10 volunteer-members; filed for our 501(c)3 status, and had a name, website, and board of directors; we secured some financing, and scheduled a series of workshops in schools for the following summer.  Within a year, we were publishing student anthologies, had leveraged a network of 500 volunteers to help students, and hired our first full-time staff member.  In October 2010, just three years after we first met in a coffee-shop, 826DC opened our stand-alone center in Columbia Heights.  There, students come in every afternoon for tutoring in a variety of subjects in workshops conducted by our staff and our remarkable Executive Director, Joe Callahan.


The programs we provide for the students at 826DC takes a lot of commitment, hard work by many people, and, of course, funding.  Donations are always welcomed and, in this season of giving, we hope that you'll consider 826DC.  Please visit our website at www.826dc.org, to learn more about us and the ways in which you can make a difference by volunteering, attending one of our events, or simply making a small contribution. '


Thank You,
Holly Jones
826DC 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: CORRECTION TO BLOG ARTICLE DATED 21 NOV 2011

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: CORRECTION TO BLOG ARTICLE DATED 21 NOV 2011: imagecourtesyjjjjoundblog Peeps, On Monday night, I incorrectly stated University of Penn as the locale of the alleged crimin...

CORRECTION TO BLOG ARTICLE DATED 21 NOV 2011

imagecourtesyjjjjoundblog







Peeps, 


On Monday night, I incorrectly stated University of Penn as the locale of the alleged criminal activities of a certain assistant-coach.  Bernice, our devoted editor (and eagle-eyed fact-checker) was away on holiday leave, and the blog article--regretfully--did not pass across her desk.  She would have immediately corrected our text, to reflect Penn State as the former employer of Coach Sandusky.  My sincerest apologies for this error.

Sincerely,
Shane





(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: The Peep-show presents ' THE DECEMBER ISSUE '

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: The Peep-show presents ' THE DECEMBER ISSUE ': imagecourtesychungkitblog ' THE DECEMBER ISSUE ' premieres at forallofmydesign-obsessedpeeps.blog on 5 Dec 2011

The Peep-show presents ' THE DECEMBER ISSUE '

imagecourtesychungkitblog



' THE DECEMBER ISSUE '

premieres at forallofmydesign-obsessedpeeps.blog

on 5 Dec 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: So Others May Have / GIFTING TO: PANDORA'S Project...

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: So Others May Have / GIFTING TO: PANDORA'S Project...: imagecourtesypxleyescom Peeps, Lately, we've heard a great deal about the alleged activities of a certain assistant-coach at the U...

So Others May Have / GIFTING TO: PANDORA'S Project (DAY 2)

imagecourtesypxleyescom






Peeps,

Lately, we've heard a great deal about the alleged activities of a certain assistant-coach at Penn State University.  As more details emerge, it becomes shockingly clear that the sexual abuse of minors occurred over a prolonged period, and a systematic cover-up of these violations by other coaches, the athletics department, and school administrators created an environment where the perpetrator was able to exploit other victims without any fear of being fired, or reported to the police.  Numerous individuals have stepped forward to recount their experiences, as they attempt to deal with the physical, emotional, and psychological scars of the incident(s).  Others have not been able to take this step towards healing, and instead live in fear of repercussion, or remain silent out of a sense of shame, or feelings of guilt.  Professionals in the mental health service(s) are well acquainted with persons who suffer from flashbacks, isolation, depression, and PTSD; self-injury and self-harm; eating disorders; the inability to form or maintain nurturing relationships, and issues surrounding sex & intimacy.  Many persons, especially children, drop out of school, run away from homes, and become easy targets for gangs, pimping and prostitution.  They are more likely to engage in recreational drug use and subsequently, addictions to various substances, and experience higher rates of STD's, alcoholism, and suicidal tendencies (or commit suicide).

Luckily for some, there is Pandora's Project, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to providing support, information, and resources to survivors of sexual abuse and rape. Victims of rape/sexual assault/sexual abuse receive peer support through an online support group called Pandora's Aquarium where they can connect with other survivors in the process of healing.  The online support group includes a message board, chat room and blogs.  The online support group is confidential, and moderated by peers.  Additionally, a free lending library, resource materials, and counseling services are available.  The organization states that, " If you have been a victim of stranger rape, acquaintance or date rape, molestation, incest, childhood sexual abuse, partner or marital rape, gang rape, or any type of sexual assault, you are welcome here as you recover and reclaim your life . . . The rape and sexual abuse online support group has specific forums for men and women, teens and older survivors, LGBTQ rape and sexual abuse survivors, and friends and family of survivors . . . support for issues common in healing after rape/sexual assault/sexual abuse: spirituality; pregnancy and parenting; and legal concerns. "


As part of this season's giving, please consider a donation to Pandora's Project.  Visit their site at www.pandys.org to see how you can help or contribute to helping others less fortunate than ourselves....
Sincerely,
Shane


(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: The Peep-show presents ' THE DECEMBER ISSUE '

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: The Peep-show presents ' THE DECEMBER ISSUE ': imagecourtesychungkitblog ' THE DECEMBER ISSUE ' premieres 5 DEC 2011

The Peep-show presents ' THE DECEMBER ISSUE '

imagecourtesychungkitblog



' THE DECEMBER ISSUE '

premieres

5 DEC 2011

Sunday, November 20, 2011

So Others May Have / GIFTING TO: Operation Smile (DAY 1)

photocourtesyjjjjoundblog






Peeps,

If you smiled when you saw today's visual treat (which is quite amusing), you can thank your parents for limiting your consumption of candy and soda-drinks, as well as enforcing daily and nightly teeth-brushing.  Smiling makes us feel good, and shows everyone how happy we feel about ourselves, and the world around us.  And its the easiest way to make friends, get a better table at a crowded restaurant, or send an unspoken message to that dream-boat standing at the bar that you're interested (and interesting, yourself).  Sadly, some kids (and adults) won't and can't smile, this condition the result of facial deformities known as cleft lip and cleft palate.  It is reported that every three minutes a child is born with a cleft, and is often unable to eat, speak, smile, or interact in a society where much of our initial interaction(s) is based on appearance and visual clues.  Sadly, many parents in developing countries cannot afford to pay for reconstructive surgery; as a result these kids are stigmatized, rejected, and in turn develop low self-esteem issues, suffer from depression, and are unhappy.  


Operation Smile helps by providing safe and effective reconstructive surgery for children born with cleft lip and cleft palate.  More than a charity or NGO, Operation Smile is a mobilized force of medical professionals, nursing staff, and caring individuals who have provided more than 2 million evaluations, and over 200,000 free surgeries for children and young adults, who otherwise could not lead normal lives.


This Thanksgiving season, please consider sharing of yourself by giving a small donation to Operation Smile, at www.operationsmile.org.  For the amount of $250, a child's life can be saved through reconstructive surgery; smaller donations are gladly accepted, and volunteers are most welcome.  This Thanksgiving season, please share with others less fortunate, and make a small donation to Operation Smile.  It will be more rewarding than yet another unwanted novelty gift under the tree, and will mean the world of difference to a child somewhere in the world, who needs it most--now.


Sincerely,
Shane



















Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Peep-show presents ' THE DECEMBER ISSUE '

photocourtesyquackedcom


' THE DECEMBER ISSUE '


5 DEC 2011

CEASE AND DESIST / Day 5 -- MIRROR, MIRROR by guest writer Robin McGarry

photosourceunknown


Peeps,


Guest writer Robin McGarry (a respected professional in the design industry) and I share many preferences; we both love bold colors, layered interiors where both style and comfort have been addressed, as well as rooms where the interior designer displays a sound understanding of the principles that enable the production of good design.  We are fond of rooms where the selection and placement of ART has been successfully addressed, as we feel that this demonstrates a thorough exploration and utilization of both the decorative and fine arts, and makes for a more memorable experience (as well as a more complete interior).  We both lament the current trend of the ubiquitous use of mirrors.  In the essay below, Ms McGarry shares her thoughts (on the subject of mirrors).



Please enjoy,
Shane






Once upon a time mirrors were not just the pretty faces at the party.  They were expensive and showed one's status, but they also served a purpose.  Windows were small, because in some countries they were taxed at a high rate, and were not the grand expanses of glass we enjoy today.  Mirrors served the household by magnifying the existing light -- be it bits of sunlight coming in through small windows, or provided by the fire, or candle-light.  From grand pier mirrors in ball-rooms to the small strips attached to the back of tin candle-sconces, they made the existent light source that much more important, and made the home that much more livable.  Now, with the advent of electricity, they serve primarily as a decorative element.  As the pretty faces in the room, should they not be given something worth looking at? Not an expanse of bare wall, nor a cluttered room, and certainly not another mirror; for what's to see there except yourself? And a multiple reflection of yourself? 


It is so easy to cop out and ' put up a mirror ' instead of trusting oneself to find a piece of art that wows, a wall hanging or piece of sculpture.  How about enjoying a beautifully textured, painted, or papered wall.  Even a bare wall upon which one can enjoy the shadows cast by plants and furnishings.  Dueling mirrors, why?  Unless you're setting up an art exhibit and want to see all sides of an object, or trying to set the back of your hair when grooming, what is the fascination with mirror, mirror(s) on the wall?  I believe that when placed to capture a beautiful view, that in turn makes a person turn to see its origin, or placed to reflect the glow of candle-light or a chandelier, then it serves its true purpose:  to enhance beauty.  Propped against a wall because you've seen some designer or stylist employ thus . . .  It's been done.  Enough already!! 







Thursday, November 17, 2011

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: CEASE AND DESIST / Day 4 -- POLICE BRUTALITY (IN N...

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: CEASE AND DESIST / Day 4 -- POLICE BRUTALITY (IN N...: photocourtesynytimes Peeps, Be afraid, be very afraid!! is a teaser line from some popular horror movie that could well describe the ...

CEASE AND DESIST / Day 4 -- POLICE BRUTALITY (IN NYC)


photocourtesynytimes


Peeps,

Be afraid, be very afraid!! is a teaser line from some popular horror movie that could well describe the way I feel on viewing this image recently posted on the New York Times site.  How is it that in a democratic country such as the United States, ordinary citizens in the process of exercising first amendment rights, can so easily and quickly incur the wrath of the police.  I had been led to believe that protesting was a legitimate right, and guaranteed within one's constitutional right.  Recent events at Freedom Park prove otherwise; a line seems to have been drawn by some elected officials acting at the behest at unknown individuals (or corporations) who have decided that it's a them-versus-us scenario with the police standing at ready to dispel protesters through force, aided by batons/tear-gas/pepper-spray.  Looking at the image above, I wonder what could this young man have done to warrant numerous blows to the head by police batons.  

Since 911, I have noticed an inclination on the part of some police departments and federal agencies dedicated to both internal and external security, to act upon unconfirmed suspicion first, and ask questions later.  Again, the underlying assumption that one is innocent until found guilty has been replaced by the supposition that one is guilty until innocence can be proved.  Wiser heads repeatedly state that individual actions on the part of some uniformed (or undercover) persons are not to blame, but instead represents a condoned climate of intolerance and paranoia that is perpetuated from the top down.  That may be true, and systematic redress is needed, yet that does little to reassure me that while performing daily activities (as a ordinary citizen), perhaps my appearance or demeanor could rouse the suspicion of the ever-vigilant watchers whose patrol cars are in constant surveillance of most quarters.  

Shame on Mayor Bloomberg and the New York Police Department! At some point since the start of the Occupy Wall Protest, it was decided that the concerns of the 1% would trump the welfare of the remaining 99%, and this is unforgivable, as well as unforgettable.  The democratic model upon which our country has long held up as an ideal, has become seriously flawed, and appears to be crumbling faster than the (other) myths upon which our country was built.  It appears that equality has become a commodity, simply fodder for Wall Street traders and Madison Avenue advertising agencies -- now, an item of value for those who stay protected by the barricades and batons such as the ruling 1% who remain insulated from change by the continued indifference of some, and ever questionable legislation passed in their favor.  And the masses grow increasingly weary ...

Sincerely,
Shane

PS:  Show your support for the Occupy Wall Street protests by speaking out ....  


(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: CEASE AND DESIST / Day 3 -- IS IT LOVE? by Guest W...

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: CEASE AND DESIST / Day 3 -- IS IT LOVE? by Guest W...: photocourtesyofjjjjblog My friends, The question is: Is it real love? Or just the desire to be special? And I mean by this, the pro...

CEASE AND DESIST / Day 3 -- IS IT LOVE? by guest writer David Ahen-bec Fuentes

photocourtesyofjjjjblog



My friends, 

The question is:  Is it real love? Or just the desire to be special? And I mean by this, the process that ends up in the ownership of exotic animals.  Everyone knows of the recent tragedy in Zanesville, Ohio.  This event showed everything that is wrong with the trade, breeding, and ownership of exotic animals.  It should be obvious that owning that 300 pound tiger, or a 400 pound lion is NOT anything close to having a dog.  Dogs have had thousands of years to adapt to, and with, humans, lions haven't!  An exotic animal which has been hand-fed doesn't guarantee domesticity, and there is no way of fully knowing how the animal is going to react to unexpected stimuli, especially once now in the care of a non-professional.  Exotic animals hate being caged or confined, and close quarters make for an unhappy 'pet.' In choosing an exotic animal for a pet, the motives are frequently unclear.  Is it love, or the desire to appear special.

I believe that (exotic) animal smuggling and breeding is cruel, and it seems that in this questionable trade, the welfare of the animal seems almost trivial when compared to the lucrative rewards of the business.  During the risky and hazardous business of smuggling, many animals die from stress or a severely traumatized.  Additionally, many exotic animals belong to endangered or almost extinct species, and placement in private zoos, estates, or natural reserves is detrimental to survival rates. While it is widely claimed that most of the exotic animals in the United States are bred from animals already here (and this a statement I doubt), stricter laws and regulations need to be implemented to stop this practice.  Whether 2nd or 3rd generation captive-bred, exotic animals belong in their natural habitat, and no exceptions accepted.


Having an exotic animal, such as a big cat, calls for wide open space, astronomical food expenses, costly vet expenses, and many, many other requirements.  Some prospective owners commit themselves--to what can best be described as a foolish fantasy-- and when faced the inability to properly care for their 'charges,' act irresponsibly.  In the Zanesville, Ohio incident, a distraught owner took his own life, but not before releasing his menagerie into the neighborhood surrounding his reserve.  In order to prevent the loss of human lives, the authorities resorted to live ammunition after tranquilizers failed to slow the escaped animals.  In the carnage that ensued, 49 animals were killed, including 17 lions, six black bears, a pair of grizzles, two wolves, a baboon, and 18 Bengal tigers.  How shocking that almost-extinct animals could be so quickly annihilated.  Why is it, that animals continue to suffer as a result of our irresponsibility, whether in incidents like the one above, through accidents, or systematic abuse (and here the statistics support my assertion).  To put down an animal because of our irresponsibility, stupidity, stubbornness, unwillingness to respect the boundaries, indeed the laws of Nature, makes me wonder:  Is this love?

The smuggling, breeding, and captivity of exotic animals needs is cruel and selfish.  Ecology zoos, natural parks, protected reserves, and animal sanctuaries are the best option for animals already in captivity (attempted domesticity), and stricter regulations need to be enacted to dissuade private ownership, and harsh penalties for the trade in smuggled animals.  The continued 'play' with big pets is both dangerous and deadly, irrespective of morality.  Common sense should cause us to consider the future of the planet's wildlife if we continue to plunder our resources.  Where is the love, I wonder.

Please make a difference by speaking out against the cruelty of animals.

Thanks you,

David Ahen-bec Fuentes






Wednesday, November 16, 2011

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: CEASE AND DESIST / Day 2 -- JUST COFFEE, PLEASE

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: CEASE AND DESIST / Day 2 -- JUST COFFEE, PLEASE: photocourtesyjjjjoundblog Peeps, I admit to having a love affair with coffee; truthfully more of a love-hate relationship for its ...

CEASE AND DESIST / Day 2 -- JUST COFFEE, PLEASE

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Peeps,


I admit to having a love affair with coffee; truthfully more of a love-hate relationship for its effect on me (both physical and otherwise).  I love a cup of strong coffee in the morning, preferably with sugar and milk.  I'll take it to-go, or quickly sip it while taking in the bright new day, as I mentally review the to-do list, calculate how to accomplish all the errands and chores.  Somewhere before evening, I'll need to make another quick stop for refueling, and at that time perhaps treat myself to a slice of lemon tart, or small flan covered with carmel and a dusting of cinnamon.  I've never understood the ability of some folks to sit for hours, (whether in a coffee-shop or at home) drinking endless cups of coffee until the pot is empty, or the 11 o'clock news signals that the morning is now gone, and preparations for lunch should start.


After entering the highly popular coffee-shop/chain (you know the one that is on every corner), I carefully wind around tables occupied by headless figures bent over lap-tops and other electronic devices, news junkies hidden behind newspapers, and slouched bodies who have already claimed couches and easy-chairs for all-day snooze sessions or ad-hoc slacker conventions.  To reach the order counter, I must navigate between stands of festive holiday cups, brightly-colored tins of speciality coffee, biscuits and other goodies, bottled water, KIND bars, CD's, DVD's, gourmet cook-books and other reading material.  If I chanced upon pajamas, tubes of moisturizer, or hair-brushes for sale, neatly displayed beneath rows of kettles, tea-preparing paraphernalia, and carry-mugs, I would not be surprised at **'s continual attempts to be all-encompassing/a one-stop-shop/home-away-from-home/controller-of-a-vast-empire-stretching-from-here-to-eternity/the-grandest-poobah.  Truthfully, I find all this comfy, cozy corporation-mandated-to-franchise cheer a little off-putting, and so invariably I head for the nearest 7-11, or small, independent shop where service is surprisingly fast, and the vibe seems more attuned to just serving a great cup of coffee (I believe the endless selection of cremes/sugars/flavors found elsewhere is meant to distract), and cost less than 4 or 5 or 6 dollars (and tip) at you know where.


I am no coffee-snob; my dad loved instant Mexican coffee, and never varied from a large cup made milky-sweet by 2 table-spoons of condensed milk, and I am fond of the same.  As a teenager, I loved staying up late (buzzed out of my mind after secretly drinking coffee, something forbidden at the time), my radio tuned to KRGV, a music station out of McAllen, TX where DJ Greg Gonzalez always played The Brothers Johnson, SOS BAND, and Rose Royce.  At 16, I wanted out/away/no limits/no control/freedom/adventure/take risks; music and dreaming allowed me to do this, night after night -- at least from 1030 pm until about 430 when the reception faded into dull static or bleeps and blips.  Funny, I seem to be doing the same thing as of late; up until the wee hours, kept company by internet radio, and still dreaming.  The difference is now I share with you all (design-obsessed peeps, FB friends, and my extended family around the world).  Love all of you!!


Sincerely,
Shane


PS:  Tonight's favorite tune is The Right Thing by Moby, featuring Inyang Bassey, and ** means that I dare not say that corporation's name, or else ......






  


   



Monday, November 14, 2011

CEASE AND DESIST / Day 1 - BAR STAR??

photocourtesyouhavebeentherebeforeblog

Peeps,


There was a time when before meeting friends for dinner, or diving into a seriously deep drink before really hitting the streets meant slipping into a nicely filled place with some standing room at the bar, a pro pouring drinks, and the right grooves to get you into the mood.  Sure, you wanted a nice grown-up crowd around you, helped if there were attractive, but friendly was fine.  Good looking bartender was great, cute was OK, yet what counted was feeling that your needs were somehow understood (without much talking), and that no judgement/no attitude/no watering down of top-shelf selections was permitted.  Barry White crooning (and I am not dating myself here, cause the sh*t still sounds fresh), ambient grooves of the Theivery Corporation, or acid jazz; all this contributed to setting the mood, as one chatted/waited/watched/planned/drank/fantasized/pondered the state of affairs of everything that had come before, and had brought oneself to this point in time.  Sounds simply enough, yet now so elusive.


While the number of 'bar' bars has decreased in relation to restaurant or night-club bars, many of those with ambitions of being a drinker's bar (or a social bar) miss the mark entirely with the introduction of TV's.  Tucked in every corner, filling wide expanses of wall space, suspended behind the bar-counter and perched between rows of fine spirits, the very essence of hospitality seems lacking, for invariably the channels will be set to sports--face it, if I wanted to watch grown men dressed in sport-wear chasing a moving object, I would have headed for a sports bar or Hooters.  Likewise, if I had wanted to see up-to-date news via FOX or CNN, this could be easily done at home or at any hotel lobby or airport lounge.  With the TV running, invariably all (or most) heads turn in the direction of the moving, flickering image, and conversation hangs/drags/drops/stops; simultaneously so does any chance of meaningful interaction (whether now or later, real or imagined, deep-deep or shallow-deep).


Hate them, yes I do.  Places with pretense of being bars, but instead catering to the crowd that dares not spend a minute alone without the company of an electronic guide.  So easy to pile them in, all clustered around the new techno-god, happily guzzling and swallowing special entrees (really calorie-laden junk), and mindless of the absurdity of it all (when viewed in the context of the tradition of great bars--whether large or small).  Really, give me a hole-in-the-wall/a dive-bar/last-chance-before-the-airport-exit/wrong-side-of-town, a good drink, some company (or none), jukebox or dime-store stereo, and I am happy.  Happy to frequent the spot, and happy to call it a (second) home (of sorts).


Hope you enjoyed today's visual treat, and thanks for indulging me as I rant (on and on) about the absence of good bars, and the proliferation of wanna-be bars.  As well about all the things that I wish would stop/change/disappear into infinity.


Sincerely,
Shane