Just in case you have forgotten this skill...
An early 20th century bookman provides the handy instructions


Now, even the smallest of children can be pretentious, poser pricks

Now, don't get me wrong, I enjoy fashion as much as the next guy. Project Runway is one of my secret, guilty pleasures, and not just because Heidi Klum is so adorable. And, I normally flip through my wife's Vogue or Nylon while visiting the lav.
But, for some reason, for many years, I have really disliked the work of Ralph Lauren, and I am not even sure why. The Lauren lines exude a smug and superior attitude that I just cannot get past. Yesterdays NY Times front page ad for RL kids again peeved me right off.
I guess the part that rips me is that the clothes are intended to look rugged and outdoorsy... sort of an LL Bean look but for people with soft hands. Forbes says RL is worth almost $5 billion, making him one of the 200 richest people in the world. The two youths I have included here... why, what a jolly pair of characters they are.
On the left is Oliver...Oliver what?!?!? Oliver Twisted? Gimme a break. The look is totally Robert Redford in the Sting from what, the frickin' 1970s? Portraying what, the 1930's? And this other numb nuts in the red plaid? What's his deal? Larchmont Lumberjack? Montauk Mountaineer? Danbury Deerstalker? Lauren is projecting this look as luxe, when it is really derivative of 1970's rural discount store crossbred with Carhart.


How I spent my summer - Part 4

For our final project we were instructed to select a media, a material and explore it. I chose to work with the UVM campus. I had developed a new appreciation for the campus and I had wandered around for project three. And the campus was certainly the backdrop on which the entire class developed their third projects. I've spent the best part of 23 years at UVM, and I found some attractive places to do art. The issue was how to convey the concepts without actually doing the art... we were on a very short timeline and I needed to utilize some of the work (location scouting) from the third project to get it done...So I did my usual ironic take on things...

The first one I am showing is a bookcase full of softcover books... my thought was to make dust jackets with marks on the spine to make comment on the contents...

The next one I call the thesis defense from hell...I found this little out of the way conference room, and I envisioned it filled with cardboard cutouts of the victim, and the inquisitors...in this case (left to right) Ghandi, Lincoln, Mother Theresa and Christ (must be for a Doctorate of Divinity)
Finally, the get lost signpost where the actual names on the signs are replaced with states of mind and such...this one would be quite easy to accomplish as the template of the sign is easily reproduced.

Grade awarded: A
Grade deserved: B

Grade awarded: A
Grade deserved: B
How I spent my summer - Part 3

After the tragedy of project 2, I was eager and psyched to get on with the third effort, which was to be site specific. I had selected my medium...colored sand...and had, I thought found the image I wanted to use... a picture of Hannah....
The Hannah picture was not able to happen, because I couldn't find a good place to do it without it being in peril of being driven on, or just generally worn upon... So, I decided to work on an idea called Bike Trails. The idea was to symbolize in sand the travels of bicycles, and to explore that idea in a bunch of different ways....first was bikes parked...

Another was a bike accident...
Then, some studies for potential tread designs (not included in the final project)...
And finally, a flourish of a parking job...
There were numerous other tests, and images, and other doings... the project consumed me for a week. I really enjoyed doing the work, and wasn't terribly bothered when they blew or were rained away. This was the project I was personally most satisfied with, and feel optimistic that I will continue with these works.

Grade awarded: A
Grade deserved: A

How I spent my summer - Part 2

The second project was based on Skin & Armature, building and covering a frame. My work was a twig and paper mache tree. The project finished very different from my original concept. The idea was to try to tie together the ideas of trees and human habitation. While there was a kind of quaint rusticism to it, overall the construction was shoddy, and I was unsuccessful at conveying my idea...
The exterior....

The interior...
Grade awarded: A
Grade deserved: C-

How I Spent My Summer - Part 1

This class, which I took in July 2010 was taught by a dynamic and challenging instructor, an artist from Chicago by the name of Sam Jaffe. Our first challenge was a fabric project, in which I made a wall hanging on the subject of Roller Coasters. Techniques included embroidery, machine sewing.

I started with a piece of fabric, a print of roller coasters, red on white. The neutral toned border was men's suit fabric swatches from the 1950s. I also had some fabric with black boxes on white background, like crossword puzzles which I filled with words describing the experience of a roller coaster. There was some red, white and blue ribbon which I used to trace the profile of a roller coaster upon.

The project was a success inasmuch as I was able to familiarize myself with various techniques of sewing, but I think fell short as it would have been much stronger if
  • larger
  • more demonstrative of the roller coaster experience
  • kill the border
Grade awarded: A
Grade deserved: B