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#a432 :: Message launcher

April 24, 2009

A wonderful little creation – the kids brought these home from school one day. They folded sheets of paper to form these taut, shallow cones that pop outward when squeezed the right way. The *pop* ejects a tiny drawing – in this case, our daughter’s drawing of us. The message is “Happy 15th Anaversery.”

Filed under: Art, Content, Ephemera | Comments (0)

#a421 :: Paper sculpture

April 13, 2009

I delight in finding the delight my children find in simple acts of creation. Paper is an adventure. Fold it and make a city, a castle, a world. A couple of these things have been floating around the house this week. I have no idea what they are. All I know is that my son […]

Filed under: Art, Ephemera, Found Object, Toy | Comments (0)

#a405 :: Qee by Jeff Soto

March 27, 2009

I’ve been a huge, drooling fan of Jeff Soto for years but couldn’t afford his work until I spotted this fine fellow in a little toy store the other side of the reservoir. Yes, he’s mass produced. No, it doesn’t matter. Done and done.

Filed under: Art, Ephemera, Objet, Tool, Toy | Comments (0)

#a403 :: Wooden puzzle

March 25, 2009

Some mysteries we humans hold to be self-evident and unanswerable – except by synthetic, nonscientific means: Consciousness. Identity. Creativity. Beauty. Spirituality. Meaning. Diversity. Freedom. So we make up religions and start cults and set things on fire and paint and write and bloviate and fight and kill and destroy because it’s easier than trying to […]

Filed under: Art, Objet, symbol, Toy | Comments (1)

#a392 :: Old Rohrshach pin

March 14, 2009

Twenty-two years after Watchmen changed my psychotopography and appreciation for the nuances of fiction forever, they finally got it completely right. We saw it again this afternoon, and fell even deeper into it than we had at the midnight premiere at the Dome a week earlier. The movie is an extraordinarily accomplished telling of the […]

Filed under: Adornment, Art, Artifact, Ephemera, Fetish, symbol | Comments (2)

#a390 :: Skullpture

March 12, 2009

My good friend Yaron built this out of some stuff he had lying around the shop and what I’m guessing is a deer skull. I love the way the metal shavings (springs?) he mounted the socket on echo the sutures between the bone plates. Write your own microfiction for it below in the comments – […]

Filed under: Art, Found Object, Life form | Comments (0)

#a380 :: Brass dingus

March 2, 2009

I should be smarter. I should be able to classify and categorize based on Google findings if nothing else. But this one eludes me. Dad sent it along, and it seems to be machine-turned brass from India – maybe even with spiritual or religious symbolic significance. But I’ll be damned if I can figure out […]

Filed under: Art, Ephemera, Fetish, My father's HLOs, symbol | Comments (0)

#a379 :: Las Vegas tiki culture artifact

March 1, 2009

The Aku-Aku Restaurant opened in 1960 inside the much-fabled Stardust Casino in Las Vegas. When the Stardust was imploded in 2007, mob-culture journalist Nick Pileggi called it “the Bellagio of its day, the most dazzling casino out there.” The Aku Aku ran for 20 years.=, a veritable temple of tiki culture (Here’s its appetizer menu). […]

Filed under: Art, Artifact, Ephemera, Facsimile, Fetish, symbol | Comments (0)

#a373 :: Snowshoe hare

February 23, 2009

Two thumbsplats for eyes, slick back his ears, give him an immense tail, and now he’s some sort of steroidal racing bunny-ghost. My daughter’s latest class project calls for a creature endowed with camouflage. She made this – and several others like it – out of Super Sculpey. It’s so pure, I can almost envision […]

Filed under: Art, Miniature, Model, symbol | Comments (0)

#a372 :: Kaleidoscope

February 22, 2009

I think we forget how to see. We’re so absorbed with processing most of the time that we fail to register the weight of anything in front of us. “Oh, there’s a car.” Not, “if I could have an exploded-view version of that floating around, I’d really have something.” This was a Christmas gift at […]

Filed under: Art, Fetish, Instrument, Toy | Comments (0)

#a363 :: Bronze and stone sculpture

February 13, 2009

It’s rare that an object straddles the razor-fine line between art and camp, between craft and kitsch. Yet here is a little man of bronze, made to recline in the cup of a water-pocked stone. His blobby countenance, his Giacomettian proportions keep him from being a thing of manufactured cuteness and maybe lend him a […]

Filed under: Art, Facsimile, My father's HLOs | Comments (0)

#a362 :: Leopard’s victim

February 12, 2009

A leopard, savaging a prone man. The man’s head has snapped off the sculpture, which makes it extra-poignant. I love the way this is rendered, his spots suggested by little rings of bronze, his tail curled down between the man’s legs and shoulders hunched in a pose of Darwinian dominance. Fitting, for the week of […]

Filed under: Art, Facsimile | Comments (1)

#a355 :: Paper whale box

February 4, 2009

A cunning little paper box limned with cetaceans – cheerful dolphins, a playful sperm whale, a … what could possible be the apt adjective for a narwhal? From the previously mentioned collection of Dad.

Filed under: Art, Ephemera, My father's HLOs, Tool | Comments (2)

#a329 :: Ferrero Rocher dark chocolate truffle

January 8, 2009

Here’s a sweet chaser to yesterday’s grim ditty: The Ferrero Rocher dark chocolate truffle is a multilayered confection, starting with a chocolate-sprinkled shell of chocolate-coated wafer wrapped around a rich dark-chocolate truffle encasing a slightly chewier core of chocolate so dark it seems to absorb light, thought and reason. God these things are trouble. Good […]

Filed under: Art, Edible, Fetish | Comments (0)

#a324 :: Fuse-Bead eyeball

January 3, 2009

My son shambles in, his hand covering his brow. “Dad, I hate to tell you this, but I’ve got a terrible case of pinkeye.” “What??? Oh, no. C’mere, let me see.” He turns and I see this fantastic Fuse-bead concoction clapped to his face. It’s still warm, fresh from the iron. I’m doubly thrilled – […]

Filed under: Art, Ephemera, Facsimile, Model, Toy | Comments (0)

#a310 :: Blown glass Indian chief

December 20, 2008

We decorated the tree a couple days ago, and tonight we threw a massive Christmas party – I spent most of the day cooking ribs (27 racks) and gumbo (probably six or eight gallons) for 100 good friends, colleagues and family. It was a swell time. At the height of it, a toddler knocked a […]

Filed under: Art, Ephemera, Fetish, Miniature, Model, symbol | Comments (0)

#a304 :: Agitprop

December 14, 2008

Even with the massive combined forces of a wronged and angry nation of voters, a reinvigorated Democratic party machine and some of the savviest campaigning in history buoying him up, Barack Obama’s victory in the 2008 presidential election was hardly the landslide it should have been. The count was 69.4 million to 59.9 million, which […]

Filed under: Art, Artifact, Ephemera, symbol | Comments (1)

#a300 :: Homies grilled-corn vendor

December 10, 2008

Little plastic characters from barrio life, the Homies get as much flak as they get props. They were created by Mexican-American cartoonist David Gonzales, who clearly launched the collectible-toy phenomenon (120,000,000+ figurines sold) from a place of respect. Maybe I’m just a stupid white guy, but this vendor’s face and stance seem to radiate the […]

Filed under: Art, Ephemera, Fetish, Miniature, symbol, Toy | Comments (0)

#a298 :: Porcelain numbered sphere

December 8, 2008

To be fair, this has pinholes in either end, making its utility as some sort of glorified golfball-sized bead more apparent. But I prefer to ignore the hole, and imagine it as a prop from Her Majesty’s weekly bingo game, held secretly in the rooms beneath Buckingham Palace. It’s made of porcelain and fired with […]

Filed under: Adornment, Art, Artifact | Comments (1)

#a283 :: Million-dollar bill bible tract

November 22, 2008

This fine object puts the specie in specious: Someone at the Christian organization LivingWaters.com worked very, very hard on this piece of counterfeit. The four-color printing and gravure work are fine anough to pass the “holy, shit, WTF is that” moment after you’ve picked it up and still can’t believe it’s not money – that […]

Filed under: Art, Ephemera, Fetish, Found Object, Microfiction, Model, symbol, Tool | Comments (1)

#a281 :: Cupcake topper

November 21, 2008

More than 500 million human beings live in absolute poverty. Right now. Their lot is not changing. More than 15 million children die of hunger every year. Starve. To. Death. How many children is that? Numbers are pretty meaningless when you’re talking about entire nations of people, but do some math: Remember the faces of […]

Filed under: Art, Artifact, Ephemera, Facsimile, Fetish, Found Object, Jetsam, Miniature, Model, symbol, Toy | Comments (0)

#a279 :: “supersurfaces”

November 19, 2008

This gem of an art book covers the crafting of complex 3-D figures from 2D materials using little but scissors. For some insane reason, the sole available copy on Amazon is going for $212.91. I found a copy in the Hayward Gallery last summer for about 8% of that amount. And no, you cannot buy […]

Filed under: Art, Ephemera, Fetish, Tool | Comments (0)

#a275 :: Robotic hand

November 15, 2008

“Dad, check it out. I made a robotic hand.”

Filed under: Adornment, Art, Part, symbol, Toy, weapon | Comments (1)

#a271 :: Silver Navajo bracelet

November 11, 2008

When we were still a-courting, she and I drove 2,200 miles around the American southwest in a rented convertible in the space of a week. We slept beneath the stars and in seedy motels. We lolled in the open ragtop beneath towering mesas in Monument Valley, and muggy midnight at Four Corners. We noshed, we […]

Filed under: Adornment, Art, Fetish, symbol | Comments (0)

#a266 :: Yarn dolls

November 6, 2008

(A guest post by my 9-year-old son) Dolls made out of yarn with wire armature and very small marbles for eyes. Kind of like voodoo dolls, if you think about it. The types of figures: a zombie, a burgular, a devil,a spider, and a guy with some wierd hairdo. They’re not bendable or flexable, but […]

Filed under: Art, Miniature, symbol | Comments (0)


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