A sale of Hollywood legends memorabilia is set to go open for auction at Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills, LA later this month on Saturday 31st March and Sunday 1st April 2012. A free public exhibition opens Monday, March 19 – Saturday, March 31
Monday – Saturday: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (P.S.T.)
Some of the items include “100 previously unseen photographs of Marilyn Monroe”.
As well as photos of Marilyn as before unseen, there will be memorabilia from Johnny Cash, Charlie Chaplin, Clark Gable, Charlton Heston, President John F Kennedy and Princess Diana amongst others.
For more details click here.
Vciky Harrison is the brains (and braun) who creates Stars and Scars jewellery. Based in South London she launched her business this year and is already has a steady flow of orders. With hearts a main theme as well as birds, stars and lolly pops amongst other ideas, her hand drawn pendants range from as little as £3 to £15. Perfect for a lovingly crafted hand made present that is more special and better for the invironment too.
The accumulating environmental effects of mass production are a major cause of global warming and the poisoning of our air, water and soil. Every item you make or purchase from a small-scale independent artist or crafter strikes a small blow to the forces of mass production. – From the Pledge Handmade website.
I love Vicky’s designs, they’re so uplifting and fun not to mention really well made. If you want to have a look or buy something for yourself or get a present that will be loved forever, you can catch Vicky at her Stars & Scars stall at A Summer’s Crafternoon today, Sunday the 22nd August at 258-274 Gray’s Inn Road, Kings Cross until 5pm.
If you love contemporary art, you must get down to, the recently launched, GG Gallery in Notting Hill. Run by one of the partners, Fraser Kee Scott, who has nearly 13 years experience in running galleries and partnered by the Gs of the name: Geza Toth-Feher, (who owns the very successful CB Equity Partners finance firm) and his friend and business partner Gregor Kunz, GG Gallery shows works by rising stars in contemporary art. At their launch show they have a selection of paintings, sculptures and photographs from ten artists. Interviewed in The Wharf, (Canary Wharf’s weekly financial paper), Geza Toth-Feher said of their gallery, “We give oppertunities to artists, who may not have those oppertunities otherwise. It’s satisfying to see that you’re helping talent in this way.”
When you arrive at the gallery, you are greeted by a brilliant painting in the window, ‘Young Romance’ by Paul Normansell. Gloss paint on aluminium, it’s done in the same, dotty style Paul used for the album cover of The Killers’, ‘Day and Age’ which was named best album art of the decade by MTV and shot him to fame. In this painting (above) we are invited to look into her eyes to read the answer to her question: Can any man be trusted? The answer is of course, YES.
On entering the gallery, staying on the romance theme, the first piece I noticed was Max Wiedemann’s ‘Love Sucks’; pink neon lettering in a perspex heart. Ever the optomist, I miss-read it, thinking it said’ Love lucky’. Maximillion, or Maxibillion as he’s now known, has become an international art star in the last year, having been commissioned by VH1 to paint the divas: Miley Cyrus, Leona Lewis and Adele amongst others for their ‘Divas’ concert last year. Currently working from a studio in Paris, Max, an ad exec turned artist, uses spray can paint and has become known for his grafitti style in his fun, irreverant take on glossy magazine covers like Vogue and Vanity (Un)Fair a few of which are included in this show . Popular with the fashion set, he was commissioned to paint Louise Roe for London Fashion Week. I’m a big fan, having acquired a signed, limited edition print of his pink, ‘Angel of New York’ painting earlier this year.
In the above photo, you can see a painting, ‘Psychobuilding’ by Italian-based duo, Dormice who were picked as one of the 100 Greatest Things In The world by GQ Magazine and sell to the likes of Leonardo Di Caprio. Their work nearly always features scantily clad models and has got the attention of Roberto Cavalli, who sends them clothes for their models to wear and Versace who calls them up to do art directing for them. The small bronze sculpture, ‘Flight Of Dreams’ is by the brilliant American artist, Thomas Ostenberg, once a successful banker, at the age of 40 gave it up to become an artist. His motivation, he says, stems from a search for perfection.
Spirituality, I believe, is key to the further evolution of mankind. It took millions of years to evolve from amoeba to the ascension from the apes. Subsequent evolution will require the repudiation of basic animalistic instincts (formerly necessary for self-preservation in a hostile environment). In exchange, the human spirit must express more elevated qualities emphasizing harmonious interrelationships among individuals, cultures and philosophies. This development, like that of technology, will occur at an accelerated pace as it is demonstrated that aggression, in all its forms, is too dangerous for our long-term survival. – Thomas Ostenberg
The cute, blue dog with skull head and ice-cream-cone ‘ears’ sculpture is ‘Diamond’ - resin and spray paint, by Mikael Alacoque. “Part of a series of sculptures that are concerned with a playfully sinister bastardization of familiar objects. The pieces have an initial feeling of innocence and irreverence but on closer inspection seem bizarre and unsettling.”
There are also some amazing, must-see works by Mercedes Helnwein, Diarmuid Byron O’Connor, Marco Sanges, Mila Furstova, Beth Carter and Sergei Aparin.
The show is on for another week or so. GG Gallery is at 15B Blenheim Crescent, Notting Hill. W11 2EE and is open Wednesday to Sunday 11am – 6pm. Phone: +44 (0) 207 792 2332
© Sabina Lucia 2010
Husband and wife, Stuckist artists: Edgeworth Johnstone and Shelley Li, are showing a large range of their paintings at Nolias Gallery in Great Suffolk Street, five minutes from Tate Modern (where some of Johnstone’s paintings were recently displayed in the Turbine Hall) and well worth a look if you’re in the area and even if you’re not. Both figurative artists ( key to being a Stuckist), their work is distinctly different from each other’s.
Edgeworth’s paintings are deep and emotional with an incredibly adept use of colour; often bold and confident, reminiscent of Matisse’s later paintings.
In Nightrider, a man merges with a dog or is it a fox or some other creature of the night? ‘In the flesh’, the colours I found to be slightly more subtle, evoking a spooky atmosphere and a sense of an illicit journey through the dark.
As well as people (including a painting afterh the Mona Lisa), animals feature heavily: a bird with eyelashes, cows, rams, cats, dogs and not forgetting (pun intended), elephants, as above. Never before have I seen such realistic texturisation of an animal skin in a painting; the grey of the large elephant is crackily and coarse just as it should be – a serendipitous outcome of using house-hold paint – rising above a background of contrasting colours.
Shelley Li’s paintings are fun in style, depicting sexy and and slightlydark scenes. In Black And White (above) we see the duality of one woman’s personality; black expressing her wickedly sexy desires and white, her every-day picture of innocence and lady-like qualities. Shelley’s paintings are beautifully decorative, with a attention to the details: lace work, furniture, floral carpets and hair accessories. The latter of which she also makes and can also be found for sale at the gallery.
Deep in her den of iniquity,a sexily clad woman (‘Woman With Whip’), resplendent in her stockings and suspenders, checks herself out in a mirror as she prepares herself for her willing ‘victim’. The cat’s ears costume and bows bring lightness and humour to this sexy scene painted in oils on canvas.
This two person show started on the 28th of May and runs for another week or so depending on bookings. Check with the gallery or on the artists’ sites for details. There are hundreds of paintings, many of which you can flick through like records and with small paintings starting at £10 there’s even something for the most budget-conscious recessionistas.
Paintings © Edgeworth Johnstone and Shelley Li 2010.
Text © Sabina Lucia 2010
Showcasing Warhol’s distinctive style in a vivid and comprehensive collection, Olyvia Fine Art exhibits Andy Warhol: Portraits which runs untill the 6th of June 2010. Featuring unique paintings and prints that many may have never seen before and test screen films from 1964 -’66, including Eddie Sedgwick, Dennis Hopper, Lou Reed and Nico.
Unidentified Woman (Lady Rosenthal’s sister)1980, synthetic polymer paint and silkscreen on canvas 101.6cm x 101.6cm portrays the subject in a doll-like manner with exaggerated features; cherry-red lips and ‘Liza Minelli eyes’ give it – and many others included – a cartoon-like feel which Warhol championed and became an integral part of the pop art movement which Warhol instigated.
Never one to shy away from controversy, Andy Warhol’s work is as popular now as he ever was, with an original print selling recently for 72 million. If you can’t quite stretch to those kind of heady figures, Warhol prints are easily accessible the many greeting cards on sale. Despite dying over 20 years ago, his influence and legend live on. Having held court to many famous fashion designers including Yves Saint Laurent and Diane Von Forstenberg, I’m sure it would’ve pleased Andy to see his prints re-born in sartorial form like this Versace evening gown from 1991, one of his most celebrated, held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Anyone that saw Alistair Sooke’s Modern Masters on BBC 1 last week will know that in the mid ’60s, Warhol gave up on painting and began managing The Velvet Underground, introducing them to the German singer, Nico, who featured on their first album which Andy famously designed the peelable, banana cover for. It has been said that through his silver Factory he influenced the punk scene of the 1970s and I will explore the routes of this musical genre in depth next week with PJ Crittenden including sound clips.
A precursor to celebrity magazines such as Hello and OK, Warhol started Interview magazine in the late ’60s, concentrating on movie stars, in a bid to be invited to movie premiers and other hot celebrity-filled events. Starting life as ‘inter/VIEW’ the interviews were unedited and often rambled on for pages and pages and it fufilled his need to immerse himself in celebrity but believing everyone would have their 15 minutes of fame, he said, “I tell everyone they can be on the cover of Interview”. This view was immortalised by David Bowie in his song, Andy Warhol with the line: ” I’d like to be a gallery, put you all inside my show…”
The perfect antidote to a big shopping centre like Westfield, the small alternative market at Merton Abbey Mills in SW19 was, untill 1970, the printing works for famous London department store Liberty’s but is partly named after the mediaeval Merton Priory one of the most important monastries of its time. Restored and opened in 1989 it has nearly half a million visitors a year with many shops open during the week as well as 10am to 5pm at the weekend. Situated on the river Wandle, the grounds are beautiful and on a sunny day as it was yesterday you can sit, meditatively watching the water wheel go round as the sun flickers through the weeping willow on the other side of the river.
I hadn’t been for a while but was pleased to find that there is a really exciting range of arts and crafts in both the shops and outdoor stalls. For your own piece of nature, these distressed leaf metal pendant necklaces would make a fantastic talking point at the lovely Tiffany Moore’s stall, Kool Kaftans. True to name she also does gorgeous silk kaftans with pretty designs.
The Craft Connection Gallery is a co-operative of 20 different artists and crafts people which has been open for over fifteen years. You can find everything from a rainbow coloured sock monkey to the most fun piece I saw: a Heinz baked beans sculpture with mini skulls in ‘tomato sauce’ by Skulls! Skulls! Skulls!. Human beans on toast anyone? Perhaps not, unless you’ve been stranded by the volcanic ash no fly zone and are feeling particularly cannabalistic. Ththththth…
For the Gaga fans amongst you and I’m not talking radio…, get yourselves to Funky Finger’s stall. It takes the lovely Darren a whole four days to make his hand decoupaged shoes but it’s worth the effort. He makes funky (of course) woolen jewellery too.
There’s also something for the home too with these cleverly designed Chinese food bowls that have holes to rest your chop sticks in. They’re hand made by the lovely Stephen Llewellyn who has a pottery at The Wheelhouse on the grounds. He and his wife Claire (also lovely) are actively involved in the work of Wandle Herritage and keep the section of the river next to The Wheelhouse free of all sorts of detritus including the odd safe! If you fancy a go at throwing your own pot, they do lessons too.
It was really great to meet the people behind the business; it makes the shopping experience so much more personal when you can have a chat about the designs and find out how the pieces were made and with live jazz playing under the bandstand in the afternoon, what better way to shop! Nice.
© Sabina Lucia 2010
It’s strange, I know, for a former personal shopper to not love high-street store shopping but I don’t. All the queuing, the 6 item limit at the changing room, crowds of people all clammering after the same item; it’s all just so uncivilised and I’m a laaaaady don’t you know. So – despite being invited to a preview and it being open for eighteen months already, I have avoided visiting London’s newest mega-mall (are we really calling them malls now?) Westfield. My friend Claire who probably thinks I’m the last person in London to go, took me there yesterday. The visit was a revelation and has changed the way I feel about this kind of shopping.
As I entered I was struck by the beauty of the architecture; the Knippers Helbig-designed iconic roof is an incredible feat of engineering and its undulating diamond panes shower Europe’s largest urban centre in light. With enough space to fit in thirty football pitches there is none of the crowding of Oxford Street making it a much more enjoyable and relaxed experience. The soft edges and curves make it very calm and the trendy leather husband/boyfriend seated waiting areas are a genius idea.
As many Londoners will already know, there are over 270 stores including forty sumptuous designer shops in The Village as you enter including Louis Vuitton, Prada, Gucci and Christian Dior.
As well as being able to buy original art at Lavanta Gallery, many of the stores have art displayed in their windows. A giant shoe installation made up of tiny paper shoes frames the entrance to Aldo, and Topshop has collaborated with Japanese artist Houxo Que for their neon colour injected window display.
It’s exciting to learn that Westfield’s next venture: an even larger sister centre near the Olympic site in Stratford will have a permanent art gallery – the first in a British shopping centre. With Tracey Emin acting as one of the advisors on the project it promises to be very interesting indeed. The new site will have a more eclectic, East London feel with 10% of space being reserved for independent edgey retailers which should give the centre a hint of Spittalfields, Shoreditch and Hoxton’s appeal. Can’t wait for it to open! I loved Westfield so much I’m going back today to try out one of the fourty restaurants and pick up textile designer, Vanessa Harrington’s Book Of Charms from Oasis. With twelve stirling silver charms including a dancing flamingo and tea-cup and saucer, there’ll be a different one to put on the necklace for each month of the year. Charming!
© Sabina Lucia 2010
The first thing that struck me about The Brick Lane Gallery was how nicely the exterior is decorated; the bird and flower- painted black walls promise an interesting show inside and the gallery doesn’t fail to deliver. Art In Mind is a regular group exhibition showcasing the works of emerging UK and international artists. I took my friend Paul who, once he got over the fact that he was missing the football, enjoyed the private view experience. He particularly liked the work of Argentinian artist, Claudio Gianni whose confident, sweeping paint strokes depict modern day city life and iconic characters from the old Buenos Aires tango scene. His favourite was a very striking painting of three black figures on a red background entitled Guapitos, that could be the three musketeers or swaggering cowboys.
We wondered at the technical achievement of Sharmila Agnihotri’s intricate mandala-like black and white symmetrical ink drawings. With her experience as a midwife you can see she has drawn on nature as inspiration, I found them very pleasing and loved the fact that although on first inspection they looked flawless, each drawing has little, intentional imperfections .
Of the 10 exhibitor’s work, I found myself most drawn (pun intended) to the digital textile prints by Norwegian, Didi Bjornerud who after studying at Central St Martin’s did an internship with Alexander McQueen. Depicting fantastical, dark scenes; Wonderwood - a horse rearing as if through time with lightning and supernatural light emerging from a dark forest being my favourite. Didi maintains her fashion link, having designed a series of prints for the designer Deborah Henning and prints for handbags which would add an arty edge to any outfit.
The exhibtion ends today and the next show begins April 15th. If you’re an artist and you’d like to submit your work email firstname.lastname@example.org
© Sabina Lucia 2010
My love affair with vintage clothes started early; collecting corsets from the ’50s and ’60s at jumble sales as a teenager and shopping at Planet Hollywood vintage store (sadly no more) in Edinburgh, prompting many enquiries as to the source of my outfits. So I was really excited when I got an invitation to Frock Me! Vintage Fashion Fair at Chelse Town Hall on King’s Road. Print is key this season and you could do a lot worse than to stock up on some unique pieces from a vintage fashion fair like Frock Me!
There was such an exciting array of print designs from painterly and tribal to bold, block ’60s graphics. Jean Dubberly, one of the exhibitors, mixes different vintage fabrics and re-works them, turning them into beautiful skirts, dresses and eye-catching chokers. What I love about these fairs is that they’re a cornucopia of trinkets and treasures from past eras and you feel like Mr Ben of ’80s children’s cartoon (anyone old enough to remember him) embarking on an adventure as you chose your outfit. Accessories were fun too with everything from kitsch costume jewelery in bakelite to sparkling antique diamonds and aptly-named fascinators like this Lady Amherst feather one worn by the creator Lilly Lewis.
The pièce de résistance of the whole fair for me though was a fabulous Zandra Rhodes wedding dress with a very flattering knotted waist and pretty netted skirt with flower corsage which you can see it soon at Anita’s Vintage Fashion Fair on Sunday the 18th of April in Battersea. If you’re a bride-to-be and you fancy a vintage dress for your big day there’s also The London Vintage Wedding Fair on Sunday 11th April. Happy vintage shopping everyone!
© Sabina Lucia 2010
Twitter is a gateway to all sorts of cultural connections; last year it was responsible for getting me back into art in a big way when I got talking to the director of A Gallery – the leading predictors of hot new art talent – and last week I won a competition with a prize of tickets to London fashion weekend courtesy of Lavazza. Since I was last at LFW the venue has changed and I must say Somerset House as a choice is genius. Of course also famous for the Courtauld Institute art gallery, which houses works by one of my favourite artists, the wonderful, spiritual Wasily Kandinsy, the grounds lend themselves well to a fashion emporium with all the smaller rooms of the East Wing showing lots of hand made, artisan goodies that you normally only find online, including Dulcie, VC Cashmere and The Rubber Cow Co. plus some old faithfuls: (Lulu Guinness and Vivienne Westwood (which despite not appearing on the programme had queue upon queue of bargain hunting hopefuls)) and, with a client list including Cheryl Cole, Sienna Miller and Sadie Frost, it’s easy to see why Clara Francis’s hand-made jewellery is becoming so popular with her luxury girlie, fantastical creations featuring colourfully beaded unicorns, sea-horses, foxes and solid silver wishbones.
Of course a trip LFW isn’t complete without a fashion show or two and I certainly wasn’t disappointed with the three I watched (after recovering from a minor Argh!-I’ve-lost-my-iPhone panic). The sugary named CANDY ROCK segment championed the blush and nude palette with Jasper Conran’s detailed floral leather cut out work and chiffon. More chiffon teamed embellished with embroidery from Christopher Kane and Dior. Next up was the ‘Saved by the Bell’ inspired SWALLOWS AND AMAZONS with the ever popular faded denims of Twenty8Twelve, Frost French and Disaya accented with accessories from Eley Kishimoto. But by far my favourite section was VINTAGE GLAMOUR by Shikasuki (vintage boutique that also sells contemporary fine art http://www.shikasuki.com/). We were treated to a cornucopia of goodies reminiscent of The Good Life’s Margo Leadbetter with ’60s Jack Bryan pleated cocktail dresses in mint, black and turquoize beautifully accompanied with ’50s crystal necklaces; a Zandra Rhodes plum and turquoize print dress with sash, a stunning 2 piece yellow trouser suit (perhaps not for the banana-allergic amongst us) which managed to remain current with wonderful, soft ruffles and possibly one not for Margo but definitely my favourite of the evening: a black body con mini dress with hot pink sequin boyfriend blazer completed as with all the outfits, with mini woven Lucite box bag.
But the highlight for me of the whole afternoon was the presenting by the fabulous Louise Roe, who, showing no nerves, talked us through the trends and designers and managed to involve the audience (will you be trying the orange lipstick? No and I won’t be recommending it to my friends any time soon either unless they’re tanned to within an inch of their life and 16!
© Sabina Lucia 2010 Catwalk photo - © Simone Hathaway 2010