Tuesday, 08 October 2013

The Golden Colonnade by Upperstudio Text Domenico Principato

Dear Diane,  Dear shaded viewers, 

“The Golden Colonnade” by Upperstudio is an art installation that features a reflective golden column created for the Vilnius Street Art Festival 13 in Lithuania.


The piece explores the trans-formative possibilities of applying a reflective material to one out of six of Vilnius town hall columns, by firstly covering it with plastic layer in order to protect the surface of column and then wrapping it in luminous golden paper lining.





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Thursday, 03 October 2013


Dear Shaded Viewers,

The evening began with a screening of Paul Greengrass's CAPTAIN PHILLIPS, starring Tom Hanks. The dangerous high seas of Somali pirates jangled our nerves as we, afterwards, mounted buses that took us to The Harvard Club to celebrate not only the film, but the nervy, bold and surprising festival that was about to follow. More to come on that.



Getting Ready.


The grand reception at the Harvard Club.


Endless champagne.

Photos by my date for the evening Dolly Meieran

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Wednesday, 18 September 2013


Screen shot 2013-09-18 at 3.28.00 PMScreen shot 2013-09-18 at 3.36.23 PM

Last Thursday I was invited by my good friend Berlin based archaeologist Tobi Etessami to attend the opening of a new Picasso exhibition PABLO PICASSO FRAUEN - STIERE - ALT MEISTER at KULTURFORUM. Below find some images and highlights from the exhibition and more.

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If you are in Berlin stop by to see the Picasso exhibition as well as the KULTURFORUM permanent collection.

Thank you to the lovely Eva Rave as well.

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Picasso interpertation of Cranach

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Picasso and I

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13 September 2013 – 12 January 2014


Matthäikirchplatz, 10785 Berlin

In other Picasso news, one of his grandchildren Diana Widmaier Picasso, has undertaken the massive task of cataloging Picasso's sculptural work. Here is an interview with Diana from WSJ.

More Picasso...



Also a great Picasso family tree infographic with portraits of his muses.


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Monday, 16 September 2013


1 valery koshlyakov Triomphateur 2013 expo et la france fut leur mot de passe espace Topographie paris 14 septembre -4 novembre

2 valery koshlyako installation  et la France fut leur mot de passe, 2013  espace Topographie, Paris DSC05128

3 v koshlyakov installation et la France fut leur mot de passe espace Topographie 14 septembre _ 3 novembre 2013 fragment de l

Installation « la France fut leur mot de passe »
dans le cadre de projet 
avec la participation de
15 rue de Thorigny, 75003 Paris, Topographie de l'art
01 40 29 44 28 /
L'exposition est ouverte du 14 septembre au 3 novembre 2013
du mardi au samedi de 14h à 19h
Marco de Rivera 

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The Dubai-side of Contemporary Art

Dear Shaded Viewers,

Of the up-and-come-ers in Contemporary Art, the Middle East is growing fast, and none more so than Dubai. The best way to describe the city, let alone what goes on in it, is as a "mover and shaker", and so fittingly, the most appropriate way to start the discourse on what is really going on here, is to jump right in.

The fall season of art has officially begun as of September 9, with Dubai holding its collective gallery vernissages to mark the end of the heat-induced hibernation. With two main areas where you can find contemporary art galleries, DIFC in downtown Dubai, and Al Quoz, in the industrial area, there is a small concentration of local locales. The ones most worth checking out in September and October? Carbon 12 Dubai and Grey Noise, both located in Al Quoz at Alserkal Avenue.

Carbon 12 Dubai
Ghazel "Family Tree"

Carbon12Dubai-Ghazel-Episode 10  Dino, 33x90cm,2013

"Ghazel was born in Tehran, Iran in 1966. 
That is both the beginning and the end of Ghazel’s categorical boundaries.
The initially quick allocation of who the “outsider” is, is replaced quietly by the understanding that, in one way or another, we are all subject to outsiderness, and our expectations of what we thought we came to see are challenged by what we will leave having experienced. Otherness loses its ostracizing distance and reveals that globalization encourages a more pluralistic consciousness, with more individuals like Ghazel. Otherness, perhaps a lack of belonging, perhaps a new multicultural dialogue, is a collectively recognizable symptom of society now, especially in this room, surrounded by Ghazel’s Family Tree and its silent message.
And for a playful snapshot of a woman kicking her leg in the air (Episode 9 – Amoo A), that is a lot being said without saying anything at all."

What does this mean really for the casual passerby? It is a black and white photography and video installation by an Iranian artist at the top of not only her regional, but international game, particularly in the video-performance art scene. The show embodies familiarity and a youthful touch, dealing with a heavy and globally relevant issue. Carbon 12 is known for its international lineup, and its ability to take something that seems confined to one category, and expanding it to include everyone. But if anti-formalist photography isn't your thing, Ghazel will get you with her humor. The imagery, particularly in her video works, is infallible, she's going to get you, one way or another, whether you like it or not. 

Grey Noise
Charbel-joseph H. Boutros & Stéphanie Saadé curated by Amanda Abi Khalil "Intangible experiences, arrangements, and manoeuvres"


"Their artistic endeavors are rooted in different art movements such as post-conceptual art and post-minimalism since they both studied art and started their practices in the West. Born in Lebanon, H.Boutros and Saadé have shared similar positions with regards to their treatment of contextual issues related to their country; the wars and their experiences of it. In this exhibition: installations, re-enactments, sculptures and arrangements are traces of performances, phenomena and experiences."

This exhibition is highly conceptual, even for the already conceptual reputation the gallery has. The subtle, slight tongue-in-cheek of the works and their titles may leave you wondering, but the aesthetics are hard hitting, and one of the works is interactive! (You can push a sunrise around the space). Who doesn't love a little touchy-feely in an environment that usually forbids it? 

That is it for now, stay tuned text time for an interview with a woman who has immersed herself in the Dubai scene for 30 years, and can be described with the following: gold leaf, Issey Miyake-wearing, anti-aging firecracker. 

Wouldn't we all like to hear what she has to say next.

Until later Shaded Viewers,

Your Dubai-side blogger. 

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Saturday, 14 September 2013

Zero Zero Project Volume 02: Them/Her


Dear Diane and Shaded Viewers,

"Everything leads us to believe that there is a certain place in the spirit where life and death, the real and the imaginary, past and future, the communicable and the incommunicable are no longer perceived to be in contradiction to one another." - Andre Breton, 1929

Using these words by the French Surrealist writer as their starting point, Miles Aldridge, Nicola Formichetti and Kaimin embarked on the production of the second multi-sensory issue of Zero Zero Project.

The new issue was celebrated with a pop-up gallery in the Meatpacking District which encased its visitors in a room full of psychedelic, animated projections exploring the borders between fantasy and reality. Models wearing blood-covered designs created by JUUN.J posed in the entrance landscape designed by Brooklyn-based design studio Snarkitecture and in a sculptural platform created by Edward Yim, where Kaimin later performed a blood ritual performance to the live music set of LCD Soundsystem's Gavin Russom. The evening also displayed video work by Casey Jane Ellison, Marie Schuller and D Yi alongside a performance by Troy Schumacher and his dance collective.









As for the publication itself, Them/Her creates a creative space "where the subconscious and reality mate" through two photographic series, Black and White. In each of these visual stories, photographed by Aldridge and styled by Formichetti, conceptual artist Kaimin interprets a specific femme fatale protagonist. 





The stunning hardback publication is available as a box set (designed by David Roennfeldt from 3Deep Design) containing creative writings by Ana Finel Honigman, a Blood by Kaimin perfume (comprised of sensual rose, wood, leather, patchouli and cinnamon notes) created in collaboration with Joseph Quartana of Six Scents Parfums and perfumer Darryl Do, and more.




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Monday, 12 August 2013




  • Scooter LaForge is the rare artist whose appeal ranges from the trend seeking streets to the lofty echilons of fine art. His neo-surrealist/cartoon abstract paintings have earned him the respect of esteemed collectors worldwide while his wildly popular line of custom silk screened & hand painted tee-shirts are worn by a wide and varried range of all age hipsters willing to worship at the house of LaForge working it on the runway known as life. Recent collaborations with David Dalrymple, Klye Brincefield of StudMuffin NYC for CONVERSE and a long running exclusive with the legendary Patricia Field all provide several options for lovers of the ever growing LaForge brand.

    AWESOME!!! Favorite Food: Sushi Favorite Cartoon: Space Ghost Favoirte Treat: Watermelon Favorite Place: The Forest Favorite Time of day: 8am Favorite Movie: Desperatly Seeking Susan Favorite Destination: Tahiti w Gazelle Favorite Ice Cream: Peanut Butter Cup Favorite Cause: HUMAN AND ANIMAL RIGHTS Favorite Color: Beige my links - WC

Taylor Miranda, Tom, Erin Elizabeth styled & photographed by Walt Cessna FL 13

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Friday, 09 August 2013

Michael Schmidt a visionary designer of our time. Text By Aradna Sharma.

Dear Shaded Viewers,

Michael Schmidt, an Emmy nominated costume designer (1991 Costume Design for a Variety or Music program), is also an interior and jewelry designer. He has wowed the world many times with his brilliant creations using variety of innovative materials and techniques. Schmidt does it again. This time it is with the 3D printed dress, made entirely with powdered rubber with collaboration with New York based talented young architect/ designer Francis Bitonti.

I wanted to speak to Michael Schmidt and visit his studios. When I contacted him about it, Schmidt graciously invited me to come to his studios in Los Angeles. As I walked into his Los Angeles studios with his secretary Victoria, I was immediately taken aback with the gorgeous dress that was on display. This was the same 3D printed gown Dita Von Teese modeled, the same gown which has over a billion hits on the internet. It was surreal.


Michael Schmidt walks in a few minutes later. I noticed that he is tall, he has a leather biker jacket on, stacks of silver bracelets and rings from his own collection on his wrists and fingers, chain metal hangs from his waist on the side of his hip. He looks fashionable, chic, artistic, edgy, very California cool. I can’t help but notice how humble and real Schmidt is. Not an ounce of arrogance in his demeanor, he is down to earth and very easy to talk to. Michael showed me around his studio.Natural lights flows in from the huge windows, bright space where insane amount of genius creativity flows.There is a table, on top of which showcased is his unique jewelry collection in varieties of metal mesh, Swarovski crystals.There are multiple tables with the works of art in progress. A dream place for anyone with appreciation for art and creation.

Michael studios

Michael jewels



Here is the conversation with Designer and Artist Michael Schmidt

- Who have been your major influences?

Of course, my influences extend from the mostly nameless créateurs forging the life-saving chain-maille armor of the 13th century and beyond, to a not-so-different master of the 20th century, Paco Rabanne. As a child in the 70's I was mesmerized by Bob Mackie's creations for Cher and Carol Burnett which informed my notions of how glamorous a woman could be. Later, as a teen in Kansas City, I had a close friend named Nickey who would create all sorts of wonderful garments from repurposed clothing, fabrics and notions. I would sit and watch him endlessly sewing buttons, leather, sequins, etc. into completely new and wonderfully wearable pieces. Nick Cave is now a world-famous sculptor known for his astonishing Soundsuits, coveted by collectors and museums, but when we were teens he influenced me greatly to challenge my ideas of what a great garment could be and what it could be created from.

- How do you approach a project when given a space such as the Palladium nightclub in NYC or a lobby of a famous hotel?

Whether one inhabits an article of clothing, an automobile, an interior space or even a city, it's all adornment to me; just a different scale. Our clothing, the spaces in which we live, the hotels we opt to stay in, the nightclubs we favor...these are choices we make largely based on aesthetic reasoning. For myself, designing any item, whether it's clothing or jewelry or an interior space, is my attempt to understand and glorify the intended inhabitant's deeply personal sense of self.

-Your Cutting edge clothes and gowns for famous clients include Madonna,Lady Gaga and Steven Tyler often transcend what is thought to be possible such as a gown made of razor blades-what are wells of inspiration that you draw from?

I don't work seasonally like most designers do who need to appeal to a broad clientele. I'm instead inspired by the individual I'm creating for and the circumstances in which they will appear. Stage, camera, photoshoot, music videos and film all have different parameters which must be considered. Also, it is my intent to embelish the persona of the individual, not to impose my own 'style' upon them. Each endeavor is different, which is one of things I most enjoy about my work. Additionally, I am inspired by the challenge of transforming materials which are perhaps unconventional and rendering them to the body. There's a sort of alchemy there which I find pleasing.

- Of all the accolades that you have received, which one means the most to you?

I'm truly not searching for accolades; infact I prefer to remain in the backgorund and allow the entertainers I design for to shoulder the burden of the media attention. I am, however, flattered if people find my work entertaining or are inspired to see the people I design for in new and unexpected ways.

- Your collaborative creation of the world's first fully articulated 3D printed dress with Francis Bitonti has literally created a new dimension for the fashion industry. The senuality and futuristic elements combined with Dita Von Teese have captivated the world's imagination. Do you plan to pursue further projects in this new area?

Absolutely. I'm currently collaborating with Francis on a collection of jewelry exploiting a number of new developments in printable materials and finishes. I'm also continuing to explore the ways in which 3D printing and other developing technologies will help me to create lavish and innovative designs for the entertainers I work with. As a medium for creating forms which could not be realized in any other way, 3D printing is an exciting tool for a designer. New materials and finishes are being advanced every day and fashion, like technology, is forever in pursuit of innovation. This makes them an ideally suited pairing.


- Tell us more about your jewelry collection.

My studio currently produces a collection of jewelry utilizing many of the unusual materials and techniques we use for our entertainment industry clientele such as metal- and Swarovski crystal- meshes. We are now in the development phases of our new collection which will be unique in that it will include pieces produced by a variety of 3D printing techniques but rendered in precious metals and stones.


- When people say Michael Schmidt, what would you like them to think?

Despite how it may appear, I am not interested in famous people. I am interested in talented people, and I'm grateful that my career has afforded me many opportunities to work with a wide spectrum of extraordinary performers. I hope I have served to contribute in some small way to the legacies of these gifted artists, or perhaps to have inspired the next generation of design pioneers.

It was such a pleasure to meet  Michael Schmidt, a creative genius. A humble man.

Aradna Sharma

Photos by Albert Sanchez, Aradna Sharma, Roman Krajewski and Angelina Ciulik. 

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Friday, 02 August 2013


My good friend Fred Guerrero from Maximiliano, Little Bear and The Oinkster, and his brother Max have a new gallery/project space which opens tonight 7-10PM in the Northeast Los Angeles neighborhood, Highland Park. It's called SLOW CULTURE GALLERY and here is what Fred has this to say about his latest project: 

"We've invested so much into helping this community grow with our restaurants, that when the space became available, it seemed like a no brainer for us to acquire it.  Within the gallery's short history of 3 years, it had already established a reputation as being a vital piece of the Highland Park community.  The only reason we even took it over, is because of all the support from our friends here."

The gallery will open with a show by photographer Rick Rodney. Some images of the the show can be seen below.







"Slow Culture comes from the idea that the world and often our immediate surroundings are moving  too  fast, and enjoying culture and art require one to slow down, pause, and absorb. We  are  rebuilding the bones of what was once THIS Gallery, into a multi-­‐purpose creative space. There will be a main art gallery with a carefully-­‐constructed floor plan to allow for flexible programming options (exhibitons, lectures, workshops, meetings, pop-­‐ups, etc). In addition to a project and gallery room, SLOW CULTURE will also consist of a retail and work space."

Slow Culture Gallery

TUES -­‐ SUN 11 -­‐  6



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Friday, 12 July 2013


MUNCH REPRESENTS+ is an eclectic display of work by the eight artists officially represented by the gallery, along with two guests.

From lurking dreamscapes and uncanny flower fields to detailed black and white cosmographic explorations. From the dense Canadian forest to the decaying wood structures of places once inhabited or perhaps just imagined. It is a repeating practice of kicks and poetry assisted by lashing self-motivational punches.

The gallery is very proud to present a collection of artwork which derives from sheer passion, essence, ambition and distinction

Matt Bahen (CA): Bahen addresses the themes of loss and how to carry on. The duality of mankind’s nature is examined through thickly painted images of ruined interiors and damaged landscapes. It's a study of light – as a metaphor for hope – where meaning can be found in the space between comfort and disquiet.


Jacob Dahlstrup (DK): An exploration of space, mapping a fraction of the 4% visible matter in the universe through heavy layers of graphite dust. The drawings emerge from darkness into light, and the internal structure of the paper, is rearranged and exposed by the impact of sanding tools, erasers and tattoo needles.


Hong Seon Jang (KR): Jang's installations are made from found, and usually common objects. A re-creation or manipulation of materials into a likeness of natural forms to embody new contexts of physical existence, mimicking the fundamental force of survival and growth.


Scooter LaForge (US): Pop Art partnered with abstract expressionism and Dutch classicism. Seductive as the visual landscape may be, rendered in bold eye-candy colors and rife with sensuous forms of provocative allure, LaForge veers far too close to the grotesque to impersonate our normative notions of beauty.


Frodo Mikkelsen (DK): Western mythology and casual juxtapositions are joined in a graphic expression of dynamic color ranges and gradients on fire. It's a thematic study of man versus nature, and past lives versus new beginnings rendered in acrylic paintings and precious metal sculptures.


 Erik Savage (US): A continuation of the Waste Form series, where habit and addiction serve as a culprit to interactions. The brush strokes are loose and the oil paint generously applied to the immaculate white canvas, which in return becomes the beholder of our narrative debris through a collective waste form structure.


Asbjørn Skou (DK): Skou's work is concerned with investigating the peripheral and hidden structures of actual spaces and discourse, and communicating these in attempts to navigate and negotiate their identity. He uses a wide range of media to create artwork which serves as a form of spatial research and communication.


Marshall Weber (US): The artwork explores concepts of audience, cultural memory, linguistics, and social justice. Weber's studio practice (informed by a life-long body of public performance art) is focused on melding unusual visceral materials with intimate, mediatative and gestural hands on constructions.


+Yeni Mao (US): Mao is especially interested in oppositions such as authenticity vs. history, physicality vs. fantasy, and archive vs. memory. The work uses a diverse artistic lexicon to explore the cyclical regeneration of history, often with specific historical or mythological references.


Mie Olise (DK): A constructor, painter and filmmaker – Olise works with narratives relating to the architecture of space, abandoned places and desolate structures. She travels to places in different states of disrepair to research, collect stories and later subjectively develop particular layers of the found truths.

Munch Gallery

245 Broome Street (at Ludlow St.)

New York, NY 10002


F/M to Delan./Essex St. or D to Grand St.

Painting by Scooter LaForge NYC 13

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