Musings from the Moonroom

Thoughts on Art, Inspiration, Creativity and Spirit

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More From New York

Here are some more images from New York:

Promoting Intelligence

Maybe I’m just not the target market, but this store ad from Diesel really bothered me. We’ve got enough ignorance and idiocy in the world and now we need to market it further? Another slogan in this ad campaign: “Smart May Have The Brains But Stupid Has The Balls.” (Is this an insult to men? Using the simplistic logic of this ad, the implication seems to be that men are stupid.)

The other thing I noticed with this store display is one of the areas filled with the colored balls had what appeared to be a female mannequin buried, head-first, in the display, legs sticking up. It looked like a dumped a female body.

Maybe I’m just getting old. Does this mean I’m turning into my parents?

Building Undercover

Love this building with a creative cover while it was undergoing renovation.

Curiouser and Curiouser

One of the great things about New York is you never know what you’ll come across. Last September during a visit, we noticed this curious group of people walking up the street.

It definitely felt like a time warp. Men with shiny musical instruments, Bavarian jackets, liederhosen, and women in long skirts. Hmm…

People in outfits with heads apparently attached to their backsides. Waist belts with large bells…..

Uhm, lady, you’re being followed…

Some would say it takes a brave person to wear such an outfit in the big city.

Being the curious sort, we followed these folks for a while. It was easy; they kept crossing our path. Turns out it was a parade celebrating German heritage. Beautiful plumage seemed to be a common theme.

The Village

We came across this collection of tiles when walking to Greenwich Village. Called Tiles for America, ceramic studios across the country came together provide an outlet for citizens to express themselves as part of the healing process post 9/11. It was quite stunning to see this memorial.

Street Fairs

When I first started doing art & craft shows, we learned to rate the quality of the “juried” show by the appearance of exhibitors who sold painted hermit crabs. And then I came across this at a street fair in New York:

Yep, your very own bug jewelry. Obviously promoting the fact that these are REAL BUGS is a big selling point. Kind of makes me nostalgic for the painted hermit crabs.

“The Rock”

Finally, no trip to New York is complete without a stop at Rockefeller Center to see Prometheus, the statue in front of Rockefeller Plaza.


New York, New York-Tim Burton Exhibit

This past weekend we took a quick trip to New York. We visited MOMA for the Tim Burton exhibit, caught the theatre production of “Fela! The Musical,” and visited The Frick Collection.

The exterior entrance to the Tim Burton exhibit included a time line of his work written on the wall and his name on the wall in big black letters with giant black and white arrows pointing you to the exhibit….

…where, after they took your tickets, you walked through this facade:

The first room inside the exhibit was all black with black lighting. On display were some of Tim Burton’s paintings on black canvas, a merry-go-round like sculpture that reminded me of “Beetlejuice” and the infamous Oogie Boogie in a glass display case.

The exhibit featured costumes worn in “Edward Scissorhands” (on a Johnny Depp-like mannequin), “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “Sleepy Hollow,” “Batman,” and “Planet of the Apes.” Several of the claymation characters from the Oyster Boy series, Corpse Bride, Nightmare Before Christmas and Mars Attack are also on display. I had great fun looking at these pieces for their materials, construction, and size. It was stunning to see Jack Skellington and all the heads that were sculpted for each facial movement and expression seen in the movie.

The exhibit also includes a lot of Burton’s early work, including super 8 films from high school and college, a composition assignment from his early years (really, who keeps schoolwork from junior high and high school?), lots of sketches that lead to formal ideas for movies, work from his time at Disney, and even a handwritten note to Johnny Depp regarding the character development of Edward Scissorhands.

And, of course, where any music was playing, it was by Danny Elfman, Burton’s longtime music partner.

Outside the exhibit on the basement level were posters from many of Burton’s movies, his large Polaroid prints, and a theatre showing select movies. On the main floor, we were greeted by this blue, bulbous character:

One of my favorite series of drawings, however, was a study Burton did using the numbers 1-10. Using ink and watercolor, he created 11″x15″ drawings for each number and included a little poem or verse about each number. For example, in his drawing for the number one, one is lonely and sad, but by the time Burton drew number 10, number one was happily paired with zero and now one was two.

Burton also has a great way of taking simple phrases, idioms, and interpreting them in his drawings.

It was great fun to witness to Burton’s creative process and to see the development of his work over all these years. What struck me was how he creates these complex looking characters from very simple shapes that become distorted or inverted or stretched. It was also great to see the number of young adults and school age kids attending the exhibit. Remember how you felt as the “odd ball” in school? The kid who was different in dress, interests, or perhaps just not the social butterfly? Burton’s work and his background seems to reach all of us “odd balls” on some level.

Other sites at the MOMA:

Performance Art by Marina Abramovic

I admit that performance art is one form of art that I usually don’t get. I’d love to see the grants people write to get funding for these events. But that is the beauty of art; all the forms and the freedom to enjoy or not. Below is one of the live “performances” Abramovic was doing during our visit to MOMA.

Abramovic is in red. The other woman is a visitor to MOMA. Apparently the “performance” was to sit across from Abramovic and to stare at each other silently. On the 6th floor was another live installation that included naked people sitting on chairs. We didn’t get to the 6th floor.

We did visit the 4th and 5th floors which house some wonderful paintings and sculptures, including “Starry Night” by Van Gogh, the American Flag by Jasper Johns, Rothkos, famous splatter paintings by Jackson Pollock, a wheel sculpture by Marcel Duchamp, Andy Warhol’s Campbell Soup can series, and these bronze sculptures by Henri Matisse

The first two sculptures at the far end, created over three years, were realistic representations of “Jeanette.” Here Matisse worked with a live model. The three remaining sculptures were broken down into more abstract components as a representation of the face. Matisse said he was organizing the head into simplified chunks to “reveal the essential qualities” of his model.

It is hard to tell from this picture but the line of large noses made me laugh. I also felt good knowing that even Matisse had an appreciation for large noses and that my sculptures shouldn’t feel too embarrassed by their large proboscis.


Tree Spirit Messenger: Before and After

One of the first spirit messengers I made was the Tree Spirit Messenger. He is one of my favorite pieces and he is waiting for that special person to purchase him.

As I was looking at the Tree Spirit Messenger last month, I decided to give him an updated look. I started experimenting with Apoxy Clay last month as well and it was the perfect medium to use for this update.

Here is the Tree Spirit Messenger as he used to look:

Tree Spirit Messenger Original Design

And here is the updated version of the Tree Spirit Messenger

Tree Spirit Messenger Updated

I created the small bluebirds first with some scrap polymer clay to get a visual idea of how they might look on the Tree Spirit Messenger. However, since this piece was already finished and could not go back into the oven, the Apoxy Clay was a great alternative.

The bluebirds were hand-sculpted, attached to the branches and left to harden overnight. When Apoxy Clay hardens, it is leather hard. You can paint it, drill it, or carve it. Apoxy Clay, Apoxy Sculpt and related products are manufactured by Aves.

Tree Spirit Messenger looks a little happier and less lonely these days. I think he enjoys having the little bluebirds chatting and chirping in his ears.