I’m captivated and amused by this video of hummingbirds by Harold Edgerton. Edgerton (1903-1990) was an MIT professor who invented a strobe flash to capture in photographs what the naked eye can’t see. He is probably most known for the image below of a bullet going through a playing card. Like all of his work, the technology he invented allows us to see the invisible. I always thought hummingbirds were competent, decisive little things, but here they look slightly powerless as if they can’t control their bodies. Fascinating and adorable at the same time.
When you think of museums in Washington, DC, the Smithsonian complex is the typically the first thing that pops into your head. But off the beaten path is another gem—the Textile Museum. A historic home, garden and museum, the TM has a great show on view called Art by the Yard. The real standout in the exhibition is Lucienne Day (1917-2010), the trailblazing British textile designer who drew inspiration for her fresh designs from artists like Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee and Joan Miro. While the references are obvious, Day’s work is entirely original, and over sixty years later her designs are still desirable today. My only wish is that the curators would have focused the show only on Day and borrowed some paintings by Klee, Kandinsky and others to highlight that link and maybe even bring in some contemporary artists and companies to show her legacy in both fine art and commercial realms. Since this element was missing from the show, I thought I might play around with some comparisons here. Some are dead ringers, others are a stretch, see what you think. Above are Lucienne Day's designs and below are possible places you could trace her influence.
|Contemporary artist Laylah Ali|
|Contemporary artist John Parot|
I’m so glad to see Will Cotton getting lots of press lately for his collaboration with Katy Perry on her California Gurls video and Teenage Dream album cover. I love “high/low” culture collaborations like these because A) I don’t see that much difference between high and low art anymore anyway and B) It can do wonders in terms of giving a fairly obscure artist due visibility. Hopefully the Perry collaboration piques the interest of people who have not previously considered themselves art lovers and Cotton will find himself an entirely new fan base.