Throwback Thursday: Disney World Addition

 

Erin and I rockin' our Goofy and Daisy Duck hats.

For whatever reason, Disney World/Land has been coming up in conversation a lot lately. I keep seeing it in my Facebook feed from friends (Disneyland) and family (my Uncle Jimmy and his family are currently in Disney World), and Erin requested that I post something “warm,” so here it is. We technically went to Disney World in October, but it’s in Florida, so technically still warm. This was probably before my father ruined my childhood sleeping habits by taking me on the Alien Ride (it is now a Lilo and Stitch ride…much less scary that fucking Ridley Scott’s Alien. I couldn’t sleep for YEARS.)

 

 

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Art Nerd: My New Icon, Claude Cahun

I’m currently taking an Art from 1900-1945 (although it should be called European Art from 1900-1945), and have been really dissatisfied with the number of female artists we’ve studied so far in the 8 out of the 10 weeks that make up the quarter.  Sure we looked at Hannah Höch’s Pretty Girl , 1920, and the textiles and designs of Varvara Stepanova and Lyubov Popova briefly when discussing their respective art movements of Dadaism and Constructivism, but then again we spent two whole class periods on Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon alone.  And while this is obviously a problem and I intend to lecture my professor about it many (more) times before the quarter’s through, I am grateful that he did give us a glimpse into the work of another female artist, the French Surrealist Claude Cahun.

I.O.U (self-pride), 1929-1930

Self-Portrait, 1929

  Now, Surrealism really must just be my thing, if you remember I had a period of buoyancy when discovering the Latin American female “Surrealists”.  But what I love about Cahun is her androgynous self-portraits that show us really how arbitrary and weak are social constructions of gender and identity.  I think self-portraiture is one of the most fascinating and perhaps most important components of art history.  I am kind of renowned for posting self-portraits (okay, selfies) on Instagram all of the time, but I have this urge to be, well, better and more professional about it.  I have this old camera I accidentally stole from my senior year AP Photo class in high school and is old and bit broken that creates these cool, half double exposed photos.  Maybe I’ll start playing around with that and see if I can emulate this Surrealist hero at all.   I’m far from being an expert on her yet, so I’ll just leave you with some of her fantastic photo montages and self-portraits, and if anyone has a good book suggestion where I can read more about her and her writings, let me know!  (Or of any other artists similar you think I would dig.)

Self Portrait, 1929

Self Portrait, 1932

Don't Kiss Me, I'm in Training, 1927

Confessions Void plate 1, 1929-1930

 

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Lovely Things: Beautiful Working Spaces

I am halfway through my 12-week creative program through The Artist’s Way, and I am really starting to feel it. Creative freedom doesn’t just hit you, it’s something that comes back to you in small doses; it’s building trust with yourself all over again, whom, even though it may not seem like it, can be one of the hardest people to trust. How many times have you shot down your own idea because you deemed it frivolous, already done, or too dreamy to be real? Yeah. Probably a lot.

Anyway. Week six is about recovering a sense of abundance and getting rid of that monkey on your back – money worries! No, it’s not a how-to guide on how to be financially secure, but rather suggests that you look at money in a different way, AKA not the limiting factor on what you can and cannot do. One of the exercises to help with this is collecting images of dream spaces, things you would get if you had the money, what you would allow yourself to do if money was no object, etc. I know that reads like it would be counterintuitive, but it works. A group of images you are supposed to collect are of an ideal “creative space,” so I hopped on tumblr and all of my favorite design blogs and started dreaming away. In my ideal life, I have a two bedroom place, one bedroom for sleep for me and my amazing-also-creative-lover-and-life-partner and the second bedroom is a sort of hang-out creative space, with instruments, a couple of desks or chairs for writing, a loom (you know I am going to learn how to weave tapestries), and other things. Here is what that space will look like.

If only I could live in the stunning Eames House! This would be the dream, really.

If only I could live in the stunning Eames House! This would be the dream, really.

A cute space for a designer couple in San Fran. I love all of the natural lighting. Image from Design*Sponge

A cute space for a designer couple in San Fran. I love all of the natural lighting. Image from Design*Sponge

Can't you just imagine curling up and reading a book here? This was at a BlogShop class for DesignLoveFest

Can’t you just imagine curling up and reading a book here? This was at a BlogShop class for DesignLoveFest

Emma and Trey's home office. Emma writes with her sister on one of my favorite blogs A Beautiful Mess. This may be my favorite image, too.

Emma and Trey’s home office. Emma writes with her sister on one of my favorite blogs A Beautiful Mess. This may be my favorite image, too.

I could post thousands of photos, but I will stop at four for today. What does your dream home office/creative space look like? I am always looking for more images to collect.

 

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Art Nerd: Guerilla Girls at the Krannert Art Museum

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 Everyone knows the Guerilla Girls. Right? In case you didn’t know, the Guerilla Girls are this rad collective of anonymous female artists that were active beginning in the 1980s.  Their work protested the disgraceful underrepresentation of female artists in museums and galleries and their treatment in the male-centric art world.  By appropriating classic works of art to don gorilla masks (which the women also wore) and adding facts about the women in art (for example, the one below says, “Do women have to be naked to get into the Met. Museum? Less than 4% of the artists in Modern Art sections are women, 76% of the nudes are female.”) They really opened up the dialogue of the ways art history is written, structured, and presented, but these problems still exist.  For example, The History of Art and Architecture Club (HAAC) took a trip down to the University of Illinois to check out their Guerilla Girls exhibition.  As my friend Arielle pointed out, it’s amazing to be in the gallery of this feminist exhibit and then to go into the next room to be faced with a 19th century male artist celebration.  Even with museums like the Krannet that have the Guerilla Girls show is sort of trapped within the confines of their preexisting, largely male collection.   Do they have female artists’ works that think believe aren’t worthy to be shown?  Or is it just a gaping hole in their collection?  These obviously aren’t problems easily solved, but it’s exhibits like this that get you riled up to try.

Us HAAC women posing with the Guerilla Girls

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Introducing Betty (Definitely Forever)

I don’t even know how to start this post, because I have been so fucking fortunate for the series of events that led up to this point of me adopting my very own pup. It all started with Seymour, who was claimed by his actual owner. In the wake of all this, an insanely generous freelancer at my office (OK his name is Greg and even though he makes fun of Chicago all the time this redeems him) walked into the office the morning I lost Seymour and gave me money to adopt my own dog. I almost started crying all over again.

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been combing through the rescue agencies of Los Angeles, looking for the perfect pup. And I found her. This is Betty, a Chihuahua/Brussels Griffon mutt.

I adopted her from Tails of the City and all of the volunteers there could not be kinder or more awesome. Betty’s foster mom, Emily, was so sweet when I picked her up this morning, giving me a bag of toys that had become her favorite while at her place along with some treats and other goodies. She started tearing up, and I promised her I would take good care of Izzie (who I have now rechristened Betty. Trust me, it fits this girl.) I also promised her if I ever needed a babysitter for Betty, I would call her.

I spent all day Saturday playing with Betty, laughing as she and Pookie did some weird circling dance where they were both trying to sniff each others’ butts but were too afraid to commit, and crying a LOT. But like happy crying! Betty has quite a story — she was found living in a van with an animal hoarder who had found her on the street. She can still be a little skittish at points, so whenever I walk her, every now and then, she looks back, just to make sure I’m there.

I cried every damn time she did that yesterday.

If you are thinking about getting a dog, cat, parakeet, WHATEVER, I urge you to adopt. There are so many loving animals just waiting to make you cry tears of joy when you bring them home. Both Pooks and Betty are rescues, and even though I’ve only officially had Betty for roughly 24 hours, I can’t imagine my life without either of them.

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