Insomnia: Aitch’s Beautiful Us

You know how this works. I wait till I have my typical bout of insomnia, lay in bed and troll through the internet looking for something special I can share with the rest of you sheep chasers. This early morn, I’m catching up with illustrator, Aitch.

Aitch originally hails from Romania; her colorful matte folky illustrations depict the dreamy-ist dreams with a hint of sweet morbidity hiding amongst William Morris-esque gardens and bring to mind a bright and bold reincarnation of Victorian melancholy while still retaining a strong sense of her Romanian heritage.

Insomnia: Aitch's Beautiful Us

Insomnia: Aitch's Beautiful Us

Insomnia: Aitch's Beautiful Us

Insomnia: Aitch's Beautiful Us_skull

Insomnia: Aitch's Beautiful Us_chest and abdomen

Insomnia: Aitch's Beautiful Us_Heart

Insomnia: Aitch's Beautiful Us_blood

Insomnia: Aitch's Beautiful Us_womb

Insomnia: Aitch's Beautiful Us_hand and foot



“Extended Long Play” by Jolie Bird

“Extended Long Play” by Jolie Bird_exhibit

We’re crushing on this golden knit installation, Extended Long Play, from artist Jolie Bird.  These are the times we wish there was an art space in the office – we’d certainly put exhibitions like this on display.  It’s a pipe dream right now.  Until that day arrives we’ll give you the insights behind this design aesthetic from Bird herself…

“The exhibition, Extended Long Play, explores the idea of displacement through the use of everyday objects. Together they represent a collection of modern and stylized home decor objects. Although they do not belong to the same time, they are connected through their function and their design aesthetic, presenting a section of a room where someone sits alone listening to music. The objects are common, and found in many homes, making them easily identifiable … The pattern references a four-harness basket weave used to weave cloth, and resembles a soft floor covering commonly found in this part of the home. However in this context they appear cold or sterile, referring to the site for the installation, specifically the presentation of objects within a gallery setting. By presenting the objects in this way they are further removed from the ordinary and are now presented as artifacts for aesthetic contemplation. The white and grey tiles act as a negative space against the intensity of the gold thread. This remarkable colour highlights the transformation from mundane to precious; the objects appear to be dipped gold.

“Extended Long Play” by Jolie Bird_turntable1 “Extended Long Play” by Jolie Bird_turntable

I started this process in 2007, since then I have obsessively refined and perfected this skill. Now that I have dedicated literally thousands of hours to the task I think about it in a much different way. Some aspects have become like second nature, my hands instinctually know what to do next. I tend to focus on ways of enhancing my sensorial experience. I play loud music on my headphones, more often than not I listen to heavy, droning metal. Music that is repetitive and has a certain rhythm can amplify the repetitive motion of applying the thread. In doing so I slip further into my own thoughts, feeling far removed from my physical reality. Fibre, through its very nature, communicates time; like many other textile techniques, this binding process requires patience and longevity even though it is a relatively simple task, with the making process inherently connected to its meaning.” 

“Extended Long Play” by Jolie Bird _vinyl “Extended Long Play” by Jolie Bird

*all photos and words property of Jolie Bird

The Gallery You Wear: Art History Inspired Tattoos

The Kiss by Gustav Klimt

The Kiss by Gustav Klimt Tattoo: Rita “Rit Kit” Zolotukhina

Great works of art are timeless, transcending the artists who created them. Sometimes stepping in a museum to view them simply isn’t enough. These art history inspired tattoos prove that for some, canvasing the art – embedding it into flesh, was their passion made tangible.

Each tattoo finds me putting much thought into what the significance is for the wearer; wanting to connect with them on culturally personal level. I’ve never been one for tattoos, but after seeing how these art lovers infused their world with beauty and cultural history, I might just be a believer yet.

Art History Inspired Tattoos_Rothko

Rothko Tattoo: Jamie Luna

Bicycle Wheel by Marcel Duchamp

Bicycle Wheel by Marcel Duchamp Tattoo: Lucas Cordeiro

The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Hokusai

The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Hokusai Tattoo: Oozy

Jackson Pollock

Jackson Pollock Tattoo: Anton Senkov

Vincent Van Gogh's "Night Cafe"

Vincent Van Gogh’s “Night Cafe” Tattoo:99Tattoo Design

Starry Night by Van Gogh

Starry Night by Van Gogh Tattoo: Bob Price

Water Serpents I and II by Gustav Klimt

Water Serpents I and II by Gustav Klimt
Tattoo: Amanda Wachob

Picasso (left) and Matisse (right)

Picasso (left) and Matisse (right) Photo credit: Cristina Folsom

Keith Harring

Keith Harring Tattoo: Megan Oliver

Banana by Andy Warhol

Banana by Andy Warhol Photo source: Postmodernism Ruined Me

Roy Lichtenstein

Roy Lichtenstein Tattoo: Deanna Wardin

Via [My Modern Met]

Insomnia: Laura Adel Johnson

Perth-based multi-media artist Laura Adel Johnson is now a yoga teacherAfter stumbling on to her account and realizing who it was, I couldn’t help reaching back in time to her large-scale fairy light installations.  It was unconventional choice to explore her ideas on human connectivity and emotions.  The whimsy of the everyday was visual icebreaker to preface her experiments engaging with her emotive displays.  They were inspired by what she called “gaudy” Christmas lights and decorations she’d seen around town during her 2007 residency in Omaha, Nebraska.

I wish she were still exploring and creating art, but one things for sure… you can never unsee something wonderful.


Laura adel johnson light installation

Laura adel johnson light installation

Laura adel johnson light installation

Laura adel johnson light installation



Our Top 5 Art Installations of 2016

You hit the end of the year and start prepping for new exhibitions and suddenly your IG stream starts reminding you of all the amazing installations that you experienced just months ago.  We spend a lot of time posting the art we see on the street, in our neighborhoods.  Sometimes we don’t get around to posting all the wonderful art we saw within the walls of art institutions.  So before we step into 2017 we’re going to take this opportunity to reminisce and share what we loved.  Sigh. 2016, you were a very good year – at least for art.


5. Museum of Ice Cream

This was the hottest ticket of the summer. People coordinated their outfits to match the pastel décor and apparently broke their necks trying to get a shot of musician Usher lounging in the rainbow pool of sprinkles. The interactive ice cream-centric experience also included edible balloons, a chocolate room and plenty of selfie ready goodies that live on under #museumoficecream.

The inaugural iteration of the museum in New York has everyone clamoring for the next one. Well the word is out, the next incarnation of the museum will be in D.C. summer of 2017.

#TBT to sprinkle pool heaven and an our NYC instagramable wonderland (: @businessinsider) #museumoficecream

A photo posted by MUSEUM OF ICE CREAM (@museumoficecream) on

A photo posted by CamiCam5 (@camille_uriv) on


4. Classic Arcade Games at Museum of the Moving Image

When museums started acquiring video games for their collections there was finally an acknowledgement that video games use images, actions, and player participation to tell stories and engage their audience in the same way as film, animation, and performance. These influential forms of narrative art get their due now under the label ‘artistic mediums’.

The Museum of the Moving Image dug into their archives and pulled out over 30 original games putting on a interactive exhibition that explored the evolution of the video game in the way the gamer gods intended, in dim lighted rooms under the glow of screens and token machines.

So this happened today! Lost my mind at the Arcade Classics Exhibit at the Museum of the Moving Image. There were audible heart palpitations as I put my money in the vintage ( can’t believe I just called my childhood vintage) token machine. I recorded the sound the tokens made as they fell into the well. 30 classic arcade games lie in wait (donkey kong, mortal kombat, ms pacman, frogger, pole position, to name a few) in a dark room, devoid of sun, just like its supposed to be . I’m sure I frothed from the mouth in front of asteroids. So forgive the next onslaught of videos and pics – this is what geeking out is. Guys, the exhibit is up until the 30th of Oct. You really should go. #museumofthemovingimage #arcadeclassics #videogames #tron #tokens #design #binarycode #arcade

A photo posted by HAHA MAG (@hahamag) on

more here.


3. Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters at LACMA

LACMA’s exhibition revealed the filmmaker’s creative process through his visually stunning collection of paintings, drawings, artifacts, and concept film art. The exhibition was organized thematically, beginning with visions of death and the afterlife; continuing through explorations of magic, occultism, horror, and monsters; and concluding with representations of innocence and redemption. No shortage of visitors for this one.

A photo posted by Karen Beltran (@karenxbell) on


2. OSGEMEOS ‘Silence of the Music ‘ at Lehmann Maupin

Twin brothers Gustavo and Otavio Pandolfo, known as the Brazilian artist duo ‘OSGEMEOS’ had their first New York solo show at the Lehmann Maupin gallery.  They transformed multiple rooms into an immersive installation of drawing, painting, collage, mixed media sculpture, and kinetic and audio elements that often combined the colors, sights and sounds from the streets of Brazil fused with the graffiti and breakdancing scene of the 80’s.  The rooms took on an energy that expounded on the feels you get when stumbling onto their brilliant work in the neighborhood.

OSGEMEOS 'Silence of the Music ' at Lehmann Maupin

Osgemeos exhibit


1. International Pop at Philadelphia Museum of Art

International Pop highlighted influential artists from twenty different countries, this show was ambitious, to say the least, with 150 works, including paintings, sculptures, prints, collage, assemblage, installation, film, and ephemera. The exhibition chronicled Pop art’s emergence as an international movement, exploring its take on politics, mass media and consumerism from the UK and the US to western and eastern Europe, Latin America, and Japan.

What could be more POP then commercial brands & consumer goods emblazoned on canvas in insanely brilliant colors? American capitalism, commercial excess — artists like Tom Wesselmann (Still Life #35) were likening the consumption of brands to our appetite of the new ‘prevailing’ culture norms. You’ll find this massive beauty in the Distribution & Domesticity section of #InternationalPop at the @philamuseum. — International Pop runs from Wednesday, February 24, 2016 to May 15, 2016. Fun Facts: Wesselmann never like being attached to the American Pop Art movement. He stated that his work was not intended as social commentary, but that he merely made aesthetic use of everyday objects. Still Life #35 was painted in 1963, shortly after, he started painting a series of highly sexualized nudes that have become the highlights of his artistic career. #popart #philamuseumofart #tomwesselmann #presspreview #art #visitphilly #whyilovephilly #IGers_Philly

A photo posted by HAHA MAG (@hahamag) on

Best of 2016: Our Top 5 Public Art Installations

We saw so much great art during 2016 that we created two separate lists this year; Top Public Art Installations and a Top Art Exhibitions list.  It’s not the ‘be all and end all of lists’, just a grouping of exhibits and installs that lingered on for us well into the end of the year.  I wish we had the time to list all the installs that made us happy his year, but we didn’t.  Let’s face it, not everything makes the same impact on a person.  I’m sure there are plenty of other lists with great picks, that’s what makes end of the year lists so much fun – everyone’s got a different opinion of what constitutes ‘best of the rest’.

These are ours…


Honorable Mention

Yayoi Kusama Dots at Philip Johnson’s Glass House

Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama has dominated the dot world since the 1950’s. She continued her Infinity Room series during a residency at the iconic Glass House in Connecticut by sticking red polka dots all over its transparent walls. We couldn’t make it to the Glass House, but we sated ourselves by visiting her permanent ‘Infinity Dot Mirrored Room’ at the Mattress Factory.

Next up…

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.

5. The Guardians

Vladimir Antaki’s award-winning photo series ‘The Guardians’ is sourced from his travels. Antaki photographs devoted shop keepers inside their mecca’s as a way to document and pay tribute to the guardians of urban temples we encounter on a daily basis without really noticing. His portraits capture a moment that encapsulates their dedication. This year, two cities paid tribute to his Guardians – his work was installed on the streets of Philadelphia and during the Nuit Blanche Arts Festival in Toronto.



4. That Time JR Made the Pyramid at the Louvre Disappear

French street artist, JR, was invited by the Louvre museum to wrap their world-famous glass pyramid with one of his monumental anamorphic images. The project steamrolled that old commentary of fear that Pei’s design would somehow violate the museum’s historical integrity.

more on the story here.


3. Waterfall by Olafur Eliasson

Artist/Designer Eliasson is known for his large-scale installations that explore perception and environmental issues. Reminiscent of the 2008 waterfalls that appeared underneath major bridges in New York City, Eliasson amazed the crowds again as a towering waterfall appeared to fall from midair into the Grand Canal at the Palace of Versailles. It cascaded from high above the surface appearing as a torrent of water of with no discernible source when viewed from the front steps of the palace. The gushing water concealed a latticed tower helping pump water through a system of pipes, which become apparent to audiences as they viewed the installation from its sides.


2. Biancoshock Hides Miniature Underground Rooms Inside Manholes in Milan

His 2016 art installation “Borderlife” was his call to a bigger awareness. He transformed 3 vacant subterranean maintenance vaults into miniature underground rooms in the Lodi district of Milan. It points a finger toward a hidden reality that most remain unaware of; the living conditions of those forced to occupy confined spaces – with a focus on those who live underground, behind manholes.

more on the story here.


1. Creative Time Presents Duke Riley’s “Fly By Night”

The summer nights were enhanced with Creative Times‘ present, Duke Riley’s ‘Fly By Night’.  The performance sent 2,000 trained pigeons swirling into the air over the east river to music, illuminating the Brooklyn skyline with thousands of LED lights.  New York Times called the performances, “Mr. Riley’s valentine to the city, its historic shoreline, its oft-maligned spirit animal and the vanishing world of rooftop pigeon fanciers.”

Things We Love – The Graphic Novel Gift Guide

These are the graphic novels I’ve recommended all year to my friends and family.  Some are oldies but goodies and others I stumbled onto recently.  Each infused my time with a page turning wonder, teary-eyed empathy, or filled it with a joyful fright (I know that seems odd, but I’m assuming you haven’t read Through the Woods yet). Whether you’re filling up a stocking or trying hard to receive the word ‘covet’ in your thank you card – you can’t miss with these gems.

“Comics aren’t visual art, and they’re not prose. They’re a medium that exists in the tension between images and text.”—Glen Weldon, NPR


This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki

“This One Summer” is a graphic novel by Mariko Tamaki with charcoal-and-ink art by Jillian Tamaki, a team of cousins whose first collaboration, Skim, won a New York Times Illustrated Children’s Book Award. “Summer” tells the complex and ultimately edifying story of Rose, a tween who deals with family tensions and—vicariously, by watching the local teens in the town where her family vacations—explores the mysterious world of near-adulthood.  Heads up gift givers, at times the subject matter does veer off into references to porn, and sex. You know, in case you hadn’t planned on talking to the kiddies about this stuff just yet. You’ve been warned.


The Wrenchies

I cannot recommend this book enough.  Farel Dalrymple brings his literary and artistic powers to this sprawling ‘dark’ science fiction graphic novel about regret, obsession, and the uncertainty of growing up.  Let’s talk about the countless hours you will stare at the illustrations in this novel- both gorgeous and grotesque.  The detail is mind-blowing, as is the fact that you’ll find yourself reading a book within a book.  I promise I won’t ruin anything else, I’ll leave you to discover the subtle pop culture and literary references throughout.


Through The Woods


I can’t remember the last time I read with a flashlight under the covers.  Emily Carroll’s Through the Woods are horror stories for your dreary literary soul.   A terrifying world in the woods lay in wait in this collection of five hauntingly beautiful graphic stories of fairy tales gone wrong (the wolf at the window is enough to keep me inside for good).  Where else are you going to experience a Victorian gothic playground haunted by Mary Shelley & Edward Gorey? Maybe not for the kiddies, unless their bedtime stories consist of Edgar Allan Poe and Gaiman – then this might delight their senses or scare the bejesus out of them. Hey, it’s all good.



Skim is an overweight, Japanese-Canadian, gothic, Wiccan, and high school social outcast.  As the reader becomes familiar with Skim, he/she soon discovers that she is just another misunderstood high school student who is trying to find her niche will still retaining some of her identity. Canadian cousins Mariko and Jillian Tamaki explore complex experiences with grace and honesty in this thoughtful coming-of-age story.


The Arrival


Someone else said it better…”Tan captures the displacement and awe with which immigrants respond to their new surroundings in this wordless graphic novel. It depicts the journey of one man, threatened by dark shapes that cast shadows on his family’s life, to a new country. The only writing is in an invented alphabet, which creates the sensation immigrants must feel when they encounter a strange new language and way of life. A wide variety of ethnicities is represented in Tan’s hyper-realistic style, and the sense of warmth and caring for others, regardless of race, age, or background, is present on nearly every page. Young readers will be fascinated by the strange new world the artist creates, complete with floating elevators and unusual creatures, but may not realize the depth of meaning or understand what the man’s journey symbolizes. More sophisticated readers, however, will grasp the sense of strangeness and find themselves participating in the man’s experiences. They will linger over the details in the beautiful sepia pictures and will likely pick up the book to pore over it again and again.”—Alana Abbott, James Blackstone Memorial Library, Branford, CT


Killing and Dying

The graphic novel by Adrian Tomine comprises a collection of 6 melancholy stories that explore loss, creative ambition, identity, and family dynamics through gorgeous artwork and writing that reads more like modern American literature than a short burst of comics.

#TBT LEGO Imagine Ads Recreated Iconic Artworks

Throwback to this 2014 Lego Campaign produced by Geometry Global that had all the makings of what Lego has stood for over the years: imagination and creativity.

The man behind this clever project was Italian designer Marco Sodano, who became Internet-famous for his pixelated series of famous paintings recreated with LEGOs to convey the belief that “every child with LEGO can become a great artist like Da Vinci and Vermeer.”

What started as a side project for Sodano turned into a full blown official Lego Campaign. How cool is that?






Advertising Agency: Geometry Global, Hong Kong
Creative Director: Kenny Blumenschein
Art Director: Marco Sodano

Here are two more pieces Sodano created after the campaign ran with the previous 4 images.


Leonardo da Vinci – Cecillia Gallerani


Vermeer – Girl with a pearl earring

via The Inspiration / Adweek

Watch It: Sky Ladder: The Art of Cai Guo-Qiang



Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang challenges the confines of the art world with boundary pushing questions that materialize as blazing temporary art that leave behind seeds of dreaming in waking moments of colorful smoke.  He is best-known to the general public for the spectacular fireworks show during the 2008 Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony.  In the contemporary art world, his explosive works gunpowder works are memorable, as massive gunpowder laced sculptures ignite and flicker as if they were the pulse of his imagination burning free.

On June 15, 2015 Guo-Qiang’s piece, Sky Ladder became the largest single installation ever commissioned.  A huge white balloon filled with 6,200 cubic meters of helium was attached to a 500-meter long ladder coated completely with quick burning fuses and gold fireworks.  As it ascended into the heavens above Huiyu Island Harbor, in Quanzhou, China, it burned brightly into the early morning for 2 minutes and 30 seconds. 

This was Guo-Qiang’s fourth attempt to realize the performance. Previous attempts in Bath (1994), Shanghai (2001), and in Los Angeles (2012), were stymied.

Netflix has released a documentary film detailing Guo-Qiang’s ground breaking artistic efforts to symbolically connect the earth to the universe with Sky Ladder; all captured by Oscar-winning filmmaker Kevin Macdonald (One Day In September, The Last King Of Scotland).  Sky Ladder: The Art of Cai Guo-Qiang takes you behind the scenes of the largest single installation ever commissioned. 


Read Our Previous Articles on Qiang:





James Franco’s weird new performance art video, entitled “James Franco reimagined the Della Robbia,” is a  four-minute goo-drenched ode to renaissance sculpture, where people posed as sculptures, are doused in dripping clear gloss. 

Franco released the video in response to Italian Renaissance ceramics as a part of Sotheby’s Artist Response series for their show, Glazed: The Legacy of the Della Robbia.  For it, Franco reimagined the works of famous Italian Renaissance artist family, the Della Robbia, to create living icons.

Franco said: “For centuries, sculpture has been used decoratively and as iconography. The Della Robbia family created sculptures that take on both of those roles.”

“I was immediately struck by the vibrancy and shine of the glaze of the Della Robbia sculptures in this show, especially the human forms frozen in time as icons. To mimic and modernise these sculptures, I wanted to create living icons emphasising the glazing process,” he added. “I filmed them in slow motion so the viewer relishes in the passage of time and can imagine the tangible feeling of the liquid covering each living sculpture.

The show is on view at Sotheby’s New York through November 18th.


via [PAPER]

What?! Geode Wedding Cakes

We’re totally feeling these amethyst-inspired cake created by Rachel Teufel of Intricate Icings’.  The sweet geodes are made with rock candy accents that make the cakes look pretty bad ass.

Not to mention that seeing it automatically reminded us of the geode work of Los Angeles based artist, A Common Name.

Below are cakes created by Intricate Icings and the sweet desserts that they inspired.
amethyst-geode-wedding-cake-trend-14-57833e25a6724__700 amethyst-geode-wedding-cake-trend-46




via Bored Panda


VAN x Nintendo


I was never a big Vans fan but things change and that might have something to do with their recent Nintendo collaboration.  These new sneakers feature iconic 8-bit characters like Mario™, Donkey Kong™, and Link™.

I’m all about this celebration and apparently so is everyone else.  As soon as I hit the Vans website I was greeted by that familiar Super Mario Brothers start screen.  That all consuming screen that tore through time and laid waste to entire weekends.  When I finally stopped reminiscing, I noticed the prompt to enter my email address to be informed when the line drops in June.  Something tells me these editions might cost as much as the game systems.

Images that have been released so far: Link and Princess Zelda; Goombas, Super Mushrooms, Fireflowers, and Starman from Super Mario Bros.; Princess Peach/Princess Toadstool; Donkey Kong; the Laughing Dog from Duck Hunt; blocks from Tetris; the original Nintendo controller.


game over nintendo-vans-sneakers vans x game over