yayoi kusama

Posted in art by roseJ on November 24, 2009

Japanese artist, 1929 – present

Yayoi Kusama is one of my favorite artists who emerged in the 60s, hailing from Matsumoto Japan. Her paintings, sculptures and installations all revolve around her mad obsession with repetition, infinity, pattern and accumulation. She is an interesting character due to her mental illness – she had experienced hallucinations and severe obsessive thoughts since childhood, often in a suicidal nature.

Polka dots, “infinity nets”, flowers,and later, penises became a clear obsession of hers in her work. She is often part of her own work- as the key figure in an installation or as part of a painting or photograph. She moved to New York when she was 27 and became a strong force in the art world, competing with Andy Warhol for media attention.

here is a video of kusama at work:

yayoi kusama, revolutionary avant-garde artist


joan brossa

Posted in GRAPHIC DESIGN by roseJ on November 17, 2009

Spanish literary and visual artist from Barcelona, 1919-1998

I randomly saw his work at a small art gallery…I love the simplicity of the composition and typography, and yet

it manages to make a bold visual statement.

the fantastic joan brossa

helmut newton

Posted in FASHION, PHOTOGRAPHY by roseJ on October 25, 2009
German-Australian fashion photographer, 1920-2004


(amazing photo of karl lagerfeld)


(from wikipedia) He established a particular style marked by erotic, stylised scenes, often with sado-masochistic and fetish subtexts. A heart attack in 1970 slowed his output somewhat but he extended his work and his notoriety/fame greatly increased, notably with his 1980 “Big Nudes” series which marked the pinnacle of his erotic-urban style, underpinned with excellent technical skills. He also worked in portraiture and more fantastical studies.


helmut newton

maria pergay

Posted in INTERIOR + FURNITURE by roseJ on October 25, 2009
interior and furniture designer, paris circa 60s-80s

beautiful metal furniture from parisian visionary maria pergay. here is a great article about her from the new york times:

insanely futuristic and out-of-this world furniture pieces were first exhibited in 1968 for a furniture show at the Galerie Maison Jardin and they were an instant hit. she mostly worked with stainless steel and eventually went to Saudi Arabia to design interiors for the Royal Family. She is still working today on equally (or more) surrealist furniture.
maria pergay is one of my most favorite designers. completely forward-thinking and outrageous furniture, and could still be considered “modern” in the world today.

maria pergay in 1970

madeline vionnet

Posted in FASHION by roseJ on October 25, 2009
“the other coco chanel”
french fashion designer  1876-1975
era: 20s – 40s

vionnet’s elegant grecian-style dresses did everything to accentuate the female form which was opposite of what was popular during the 20s and 30s, and anything that hid or distorted a woman’s shape was eliminated. she created the “bias cut” – a technique for cutting cloth diagonal to the grain of the fabric enabling it to cling to the body while moving with the wearer. she used materials such as crêpe de chine, gabardine, and satin to make her clothes – unusual in the 20s and 30s.

Insofar as one can talk of a Vionnet school, it comes mostly from my having been an enemy of fashion. There is something superficial and volatile about the seasonal and elusive whims of fashion which offends my sense of beauty.” – madeleine vionnet
Vionnet hated fashion, yet she was one of the most revolutionary fashion designers of the time. An interesting irony…

madeleine vionnet at work, circa 1920

kenzo takada

Posted in FASHION by roseJ on October 25, 2009
japanese fashion designer from paris born in 1939
became famous in the 70s

kenzo is the the first japanese fashion designer to be recognized by the almost unattainable and extremely elite parisian fashion world in the 1970s. he moved to paris from japan in 1964 as a freelance designer, and in 1970 he opened his first store called “jungle jap” –which was a tremendous hit for its exotic and fantastic style.
he helped revolutionize the concept of ready-to-wear — stylish wearable clothing–along with peers karl lagerfeld and sonia rykiel. he innovated design by combining japanese patterned fabrics with parisian flea market finds to create an assembled but modernistic layered look.
his signature look is: colorful, vivacious, exotic and ethnically-inspired, folklore

a bit too frilly and fussy for me, as i tend to like more structure, form and solid colors, but very inspirational nonetheless in the way the patterns are used together and the happy and carefree feeling that the looks create. the newer pieces with more solid bright colors are a little bit of a departure from his older work but interesting in the way odd colors are combined to create an almost playful and childlike visual image.

kenzo and a power plate he designed