Archive for the Art & Artists Category

Palais de la Légion d’Honneur

Posted in Art & Artists with tags , , , , , , , on May 5, 2009 by shapach

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I’ve lived in the bay about three years now and have never ventured up that big ass hill to visit the Legion of Honor museum until now. Boy was I missing out! The Legion of Honor is one of the famed Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, and probably gets thousands of visitors a day.

Not only did I not have to pay to get in (every first Tuesday of the month is F-R-E-E) but for the price of nada I got to get within inches of some of the most renowned artistic masterpieces in the history of the WORLD. (Okay so you are supposed to stay a least a foot back, but I’ve never been one for rules. They once tried to kick me out of the Andy Warhol Museum for taking pictures. Bah Humbug, I say!) 

As you walk into the courtyard of the museum entrance you are greeted by the immense sculpture of Auguste Rodin’s “The Thinker”. I’m pretty sure this is just a copy, and the original is in France, but very cool anyway. I made my way in, grabbed a map, and began to circulate.

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At first I thought these were just prints, but upon closer inspection, you can actually see the blobs of paint and brush strokes of Degas, Goya, Watteau, Rembrandt and many others, that are hundreds of years old . It’s astonishing to me that so many of these works have lasted so long through world wars, and fires, and floods.

Aren’t some of these pieces supposed to be in the Louvre and not in little old San Francisco? Who knew? Monet’s “Water Lilies” (one of my favorites) was stunning up close, and much bigger than I thought.

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And talk about big. Rubens’ “The Tribute Money” was so large I put my hand out to get paid.

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Take the time out to roam it for a few hours. Since I was pressed for time, I didn’t get to fully enjoy the place, but it is spectacular. Just don’t go setting your notebooks on any tables. Turns out, I was trying to take notes on an 18th century Italian oak table…Oops! (I know, I know, I’m going to be the pariah of museums across the country.)

Check out their website for special exhibitions and ticket prices.

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Academy of Art University Graduation Fashion Show 2009

Posted in Academy of Art (AAU), Art & Artists, Designers, Fashion with tags , , on April 29, 2009 by shapach

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Considering this was my first Academy fashion show that I have attended (I know right!), I was so overwhelmed and excited. I spent about a million hours getting ready. What does one wear to a fashion show? The ensemble must be extremely fashionable, of course…and comfortable, considering I was going to be sitting for an hour, craning my neck in anticipation for the next in a series of remarkable collections.

I invited my mother, the ultimate fashionista who taught me everything I know about style, and whom I was sure would appreciate such an astounding event. I rushed us up the hill toward the Morgan Auditorium on Post St., fearing we would be late and not wanting to miss even a millisecond of the action. When we arrived, crowds of people were still coming in and taking their seats.

Attending numerous symposiums in this same auditorium had taught me that nothing can be seen from the lower pews except the backs of scraggly heads, so I went straight for the balcony, knowing we would have the best vantage point of the runway from above.  We slid into the most perfect seats in the house, front row hanging directly over the stage, on the right side. Thankfully the show hadn’t started yet, so I had time to get out my camera and sweat it out eagerly until the show commenced.

After many grueling minutes of waiting longingly, the President of the Academy, Lisa Stevens, was introduced to say a few words. Then finally…the lights went low and the music started.

Many beautiful and intriguing collections were then paraded down the stage, including collaborations between fashion designers, textile designers, and jewelry designers from the Fine Arts department. I happily snapped away in amazement, like a tourist on a wild safari, almost too stunned to believe my eyes.

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I love garments that have an edgy, urban style so I was thrilled to see the collection of Aurelie Martin-Chiari, who worked with textile designer Van Kim Le, to create a a series of outfits inspired by the children’s book, “Where the Wild Things Are.” The whole concept really brought out the inner street warrior in all of us, especially when accessorized with trendy, neon colored sneakers. Featuring intricate patterns of neon swirling lines printed on hoodies, footsies (one-piece jumpsuits complete with feet), and pants with protruding spikes, the collection was reminiscent of mom’s homemade monster costumes from the Halloweens of childhoods past.

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Every collection had an impact and thoughtfulness of its own, and goes to show the superb talent and dedication behind each designer that the Academy continually produces, sending forth such raw vitality to make their mark on the wide world of fashion. It’s times like this that make me proud to be a part of the family at the Academy of Art University.

After the show, as everyone piled out and the room slowly became empty, I simply sat in awe and soaked in the energy. If it weren’t for my bladder, I may have never moved from that seat!

Catch the whole show here!

Freaks o’ the Week

Posted in Actors/Comedians, Art & Artists, Designers, Fashion, Music, Singers/Performers with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 4, 2009 by shapach
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  • The infamous Miss Britney’s comeback Circus tour starts off with a bang in New Orleans. Check out photos of all the “bigtop” entertainment, from her first stop of what proves to be an outrageous tour.
  • The much-anticipated season finale of The Bachelor, featuring the popular single dad from Seattle, Jason Mesnick who was painfully rejected by last season’s Bachelorette Deanna Pappas, concluded with a shocking and confusing twist of fate. Catch clips from the weepy, tear-jerking final chapter at ABC.com.
  • Celebrate National Grammar Day on March 4th, sponsored by the Society of the Promotion of Good Grammar (SPOGG), by re-reading my blog and checking for grammatical errors. You won’t find any! 
  • For all you comic-book and graphic-novel heads out there, comes another smash big-screen adaptation. From the makers of 300 and Sin City, highly acclaimed WATCHMEN hits theaters on March 6th.
  • Had a regretably bad one-night stand lately? Put the bastard on blast, on “I bang the worst dudes” (Sorry, Mom). This hilarious site allows you to post a pic of the creep, with a black bar across the eyes, along with delightfully enlightening blurbs to ensure that no one else makes the same mistake. Who knows, you may even see yourself! 
  • For all the American Idol followers there (all two of us!), Kelly Clarkson releases her newest CD All I Ever Wanted, featuring hit single “My Life Would Suck Without You,” on March 10th. Hear the leak starting tomorrow on MTV.com.
  • Speaking of Idol, we are down to the top 36 contestants in the search for a Season 8 winner. Keep track of your favorites and do all of your voting online without even picking up the cellie. Although, I kind of like feeling as if Seacrest is talking to me personally on the phone, even if it is a recording.
  • Badgley Mischka celebrates their 20th anniversary with a new ad campaign featuring big name celebs such as Carrie Underwood, Eva Longoria Parker, Lauren Hutton and Anjelica Huston (Morticia Adams!) shot by acclaimed VOGUE photographer Annie Leibovitz.
  • Yohji Yamamoto unveils his new shoe collection created in collaboration with Salvatore Ferragamo. The sculpted red shoes, available for sale in Ferragamo flagship stores and Yamamoto boutiques at the beginning of July, will range in price from $470 to $1,050. Check out bluefly.com for all the deets.
  • New York’s TriBeCa Ball this past Monday night, sponsored by the New York Academy of Art, drew big names from the fashion, music, and even political cliques. Forget about Justin, the ladies man of the night was ex-prez Bill Clinton, who attended sans Hilary.