Monday, March 19, 2018

Wednesdays with Carol, March 14, 2018

Caftans and Canal Street
We have sun! It's not too cold! I can do a walkabout. I leave my apartment building through our Hester Street Park to Essex Street and head south. I'm in a good mood because I have a free day and the sun is shining. I pass the iconic Dutch Boy Paints sign on Essex. The sky is an Yves Tanguy blue. M. Schames moved their paint store from this building to Delancey Street years ago, but they left the signs, which I love. 
I notice that some jerk has put graffiti
on the paint sign.
 I am walking west on Canal Street. I am sure that I live in New York.
 At the junction where the Manhattan Bridge enters, yes, Manhattan,
I spy this mish mash of architecture.
 First stop, the Canal Street Market, a collection
of small stalls with artisan goods and food counters,

 I really like these sculptural bags from Ashya.
 I meet Juan Vallet, who makes silk scarves
and pillows. He photographs flowers and then
digitally changes them using a kaleidoscope effect.
 Everyone is doing flower shops these days.
The Canal Street Market has this one.
This was my lunch, chicken dumplings from Nom Wah.
Who can resist a little girl with zany pony tails.
A Japanese tea ritual at Izakaya.

My next destination is the Institute of Arab & Islamic Art
where there is an exhibition of the caftans and art by Huguette Caland.
Caland, who was born in 1931 in Beirut, is the
daughter of the first president of the republic of Lebanon. 
In the 1970s she moved to Paris to become
an artist. She created these caftans and also made
drawings and paintings.

Caland met Pierre Cardin in Paris and designed
this caftan for his label. She painted the
motifs on the fabric.


Caland's oil on linen painting of herself and her lover.
Her work has a subtle eroticism.

Caland eventually moved to Venice, California, where she lived
for many years. Now in her late eighties, she has moved back to Lebanon.

A brilliantly colored caftan.
A drawing using line as an evocative tool.
Many of the caftans have drawings on them.
Secret messages are applied to this caftan.

Details on two caftans.
This was a fascinating exhibit of an artist who I had
never heard of and whose eccentric sensibility, which
combines fashion and art, was a delight to view.
The gallery itself, located on Howard Street, is lovely
and lit by sunlight. It's a treasure in lower Manhattan.
The exhibit has been extended to April 18, 2018.

A Bientot.


Saturday, February 17, 2018

Valentine's Day, 2018

Cut, Collage and Paste
Your Valentine Awaits
My friend, Elke Kuhn, had a Valentine-making party. It's a charming idea, because Valentine's Day is all about frills, and lacy accents, ribbons and hearts. But the really fun thing about the party was seeing Elke's apartment in Brooklyn for the first time and also being with lovely women for great conversation.

Elke is a textile artist who has done lots of artistic things in her career, including interior design. When you walk in to her apartment, with it brick walls and high ceilings, the sights take your breath away. You actually do not know where to look first.
Ms. Markel, moi,
sitting primly on the settee.
The mantle to the working fireplace. 
Christmas balls in a milk-glass bowl.
 Elke both collects and makes hats.
Hatboxes with chic labels in her studio.
 Fate with a T Square "T."
 Elke does masterful knitwear and
crochet work. One of her tunic
pieces hangs on a door.
 One of Elke's headbands in amongst
a wheat shaft lamp and a wooden handbag.
 Glass balls in purple and turquoise hues 
on a glass coffee table. 
 Elke's sofa.
 A Biedermeier armoire with silver ornaments.
 There are artful tableaux in every corner.
Elke replaced the original drawer pulls with
the blue-glass ones.
 Show and tell in Elke's apartment is
fascinating and could go on for hours.
Elke is wearing a hand-crocheted sweater of
her own design adorned with her own
polymer clay heart pins. She is showing us
a sock she made from German yarn.
 Elke's charming tea table features vintage
mercerized cotton crocheted hearts.
 A fanciful grouping of Scottie dogs and
headless ladies.
A Rosewood vase in a kitchen nook.
 In Elke's bath, it's Christmas all year.
 A Danish Christmas corner with a painting
from Cuba. Elke's son lives in Denmark
and she visits regularly.
 Even a tower of bowls in capped by
a vase of tulips in the kitchen.
 Gathering of Father Christmases acts as a
screen between the kitchen and dining areas.
 The tea table with raspberry mousse cakes
from Ceci Cela Patisserie, a chocolate torte
and vintage champagne coupes.
 Elke holds one of the many items
she put out for us to make our Valentine cards.
 My card for my husband,Richard.
 Cupid is featured in this display.
 After card-making we enjoyed this
scrumptious repast. Elke's friend, Cathy, looking
sweet as she politely waits for all to join her.
 Suzy savors her raspberry mousse.
 Thank you, Elke,
 for a wonderful afternoon.

A Bientot!