Life today is full of contrast…

“I try to contrast; life today is full of contrast… We have to change.”
— Gianni Versace

Today has been an exceptionally lazy day of sleeping in, school readings, and binge watching American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace.

Has anyone else seen this? I’m sure, as it was a big deal when it premiered on FX a little over a year ago.

I love true crime stories, and I have a strange fascination with the particularly high profile ones.

I thoroughly enjoyed the first season of American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson, and also the Law and Order True Crime adaption of the Menendez brothers story.

Is it concerning that I find these shows and cases so interesting? Probably, but I’m obviously hardly the only one who finds these stories fascinating.

In fact, Andy Warhol also found the spectacle of death and violence fascinating as well. Read more.

Can you love the art and hate the artist?

Have you ever fallen in love with a work of art? A book, a painting, a song, a movie?

Have you experienced that disappointment when you find that the creator of the work is not what you expected? Maybe they don’t share your values, your views on life or politics. Maybe, they’ve committed crimes so heinous that you question everything you thought you knew about your favorite things.

How do you deal with this? Do you continue on admiring the art, despite your views of the artist? Do your opposing personal views now change the way you experience the thing you once loved?

Can you separate the art from the artist?

Read more.

What we are to do on this earth is embellish it for its greater beauty….

“I like the thought that what we are to do on this earth is embellish it for its greater beauty, so that oncoming generations can look back to the shapes we leave here and get the same thrill that I get in looking back at theirs — at the Parthenon, at Chartres Cathedral.”
— Philip Johnson

Philip Johnson designed America.

Or, at least modern America.

As an architect, he was most known for his glass houses and skyscrapers. He didn’t design anything anyone could fathom living in today, he designed what HE wanted to live in. And he did.

What is extraordinary about Philip Johnson, however, isn’t his design skills. Read more.

If they terrify you, they mean to…

“A revolution is on the way, and it’s partly because we no longer take our standards from the tweedy top. All over the country young girls are starting, shouting and shaking, and if they terrify you, they mean to and they are beginning to impress the world.” — Pauline Boty, The Public Ear, 1963

Pauline Boty is one of my all time favorite artists, but she’s a bit of a mystery.

She was most known for her role as an artist in the British pop art movement, but she died very young. As a result, a large majority of her art was stowed away by her family, most of it not to be seen up until the last two decades. Read more.

You’re doing your own thing. It’s singular.

“You’re doing your own thing. It’s singular….And that is such a special quality, and all of us possess that ability, but you have to be willing to seek, and you have to be willing to be real frank in your music, and frank in your choices.” — Pharrell Williams, 2016

I came across this video today.

It’s a snippet from a master class that Pharrell Williams taught at NYU two years ago.

In it, he’s listening to an original song by (then student) Maggie Rogers, Alaska.

It comes as no surprise that this video went viral. The song is gorgeous, and Pharrell Williams’ feedback is amazing. Read more.

Camp is a tender feeling.

“56. Camp taste is a kind of love, love for human nature. It relishes, rather than judges, the little triumphs and awkward intensities of “character.” . . . Camp taste identifies with what it is enjoying. People who share this sensibility are not laughing at the thing they label as “a camp,” they’re enjoying it. Camp is a tender feeling.” — Susan Sontag, ‘Notes on Camp’

Today is Susan Sontag’s birthday.

Most people have seen this name all over Facebook or Pinterest following cutesy quotes like these:

“Books are funny little portable pieces of thought.”

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.”

Susan Sontag is much more than a fleeting cliche. Read more.

I am a public eye, a witness, a critic.

“No one wants to be part of a generation that ignores another like Van Gogh. In this town, one is at the mercy of the recognition factor. One’s public appearance is absolute. Part of the artist’s job is to get the work where I will see it. I consider myself a metaphor on the public.
I am a public eye, a witness, a critic. When you first see a new picture. You don’t want to miss the boat, you have to be very careful. You might be staring at Van Gogh’s ear.”
— Rene Ricard in ‘Basquiat

I just finished watching Basquiat, the 1996 film about Jean-Michel Basquiat’s ascension to fame as a world renowned street artist.

From the beginning, this movie drew me in. I mean, it was inevitable that I would like it anyway — it’s a movie about art. It’s also impeccably cast. Bowie as Andy Warhol? Pure perfection.

But, this quote. This quote called to me. Read more.

Department stores are kind of like museums.

“When you think about it, department stores are kind of like museums where images of mass advertising and popular culture that everyone can recognize are a form of art.”
— Andy Warhol

A few weeks back, I visited Andy Warhol’s home town, in which his official museum lives. You can read a little more about that trip here.

The museum was amazing.

It was loud with color and really encompassed all of Andy Warhol’s life and career — from his mother’s art, to the contemporary artists who would be inspired by him decades after his passing.

I find that the most interesting aspect of Andy Warhol’s career is how he took advantage of the art of branding. Read more.