It was meant to be

I featured this little bird painting by Amy Ruppel back in December. I liked it quite a bit but didn’t feel right about spending the money on myself around the holidays.

Well, the universe must have decided it was meant to be mine because no else bought it and Amy included it in her recent spring cleaning sale.

So I snapped it up! I can’t wait until it comes in the mail. There are still a few pieces left if you’re interested. This is the only time I’ve seen Amy discount her work, so it’s a great deal.

Have you seen these?

These photos by photographer Kim Kyung Soon for the October 2007 issue of Korean Vogue have been popping up on several blogs lately (found via Design Mom.) I think they’re great.

The models are dressed in hanbok, traditional Korean dresses. I have a few pictures of me in hanbok (that sadly don’t look anything like this). But if I can find them I’ll scan and post them sometime.

Usually hanbok are more brightly colored (older women wear more muted colors) but I love the soft colors and stillness of these photos. Looking at them makes my eyes happy.

I found some large images of these over at Simple Blueprint

The other thing floating around the ol’ internets I wanted to share was this video by OK Go. I know a lot of you have probably already seen it but I’m posting it just in case you haven’t and because it’s a happy Friday-type-of-thing.

Have a great weekend!

Gift Guide: I Heart Art Edition

I know that time’s starting to run out for ordering things online but I thought I’d post some gift ideas over the next couple of days. (Basically this is just an excuse for me to waste time trawling the internet for things I like.) Up today is affordable art. I think everything except for the typography temple print is around $40 or under.

Amy Ruppel Art Sale!

One of my favorite artists, Amy Ruppel, is having an online art sale. I’ve been coveting an original piece of hers for a loooong time and N graciously agreed to getting one of the smaller ones as an early Christmas present. *Squeeee!*

There are a wide range of sizes and the smallest (3″x3″) is only $40. If you’re interested, move quickly. These tend to go quickly.

I Heart Art: Amy Ruppel

I’ve been a fan of Portland artist Amy Ruppel for several years. Ruppel’s work uses mixed media and involves layering bees wax over paper and then adding drawn details by etching in the wax. I’ve seen a few of her pieces in person and they have a wonderful depth to them.

Last year I bought a print of hers from Tiny Showcase and while it’s great it doesn’t quite capture the luminosity of her original work. But I don’t have the cash to drop on an original piece so I think I’ll have to be content with a print.

If you’re interested in her work you should check out the prints from Ruppel’s series of state animals and state birds.

I liked the Nebraska White Tailed Deer and the Washington Willow Goldfinch in particular, but there are lots of lovely pieces. Prints start at $20 so if you have a hankering to display some state pride in a stylish (and affordable!) way, look no further.

I Heart Art: Yeondoo Jung

I recently discovered the work of Korean artist Yeondoo Jung (정 연 두), and I love it. (Thanks for the tip, N!)

A lot of Jung’s work is concerned with dramatizing the inner worlds/memories of average people and then capturing them using photography and film. I’m not really up to speed on the Korean art scene, but he’s apparently one of the most prominent Korean artists working right now: he received the 2007 Artist of the Year Award, given annually by the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Seoul.

I enjoyed browsing through the samples of his work on his web site: I would recommend it. Here are some of my favorite pieces.

For the 2005 series Wonderland Jung uses photography to capture the imaginings of kindergartners.

엄마의 풀밭
Mother’s Garden
c-print, 2004

The series presents costumed adolescents posing in sets based as closely as possible on children’s drawings. He collaborates with many people to bring to life the boundless imagination in the drawings. For four months, Jung oversaw art classes in four kindergartens in Seoul and collected 1,200 drawings by children between the ages of five and seven. After pouring through them, he carefully selected 17 drawings and interpreted their meanings. Then he recruited 60 high school students by passing out handbills at their schools in which he invited them to act out the scenarios in the children’s drawings. In order to recreate faithfully drawing details such as dresses with uneven sleeves or buttons of different sizes, he convinced five fashion designers to custom make the clothing for the photo shoot. He also made props unlike any scale found in reality but similar to those in the drawings.

See more pieces from Wonderland here.

In his 2001 series Bewitched Jung used photography to capture the fantastical dreams of average people. The subjects are photographed once in their everyday environments and then photographed again placed within their fantasies.
See more of Bewitched here.

One of Jung’s more recent projects is 2009’s Handmade Memories which is comprised of six videos Jung made to investigate “the tenuous authenticity of mechanically-produced images.”

From the press release: For this project, Jung has interviewed six elderly strangers who he randomly encountered in parks around Seoul. His opening line – ‘What is the most memorable experience of your life?’ – successfully taps into the pathos of an aging generation that lived through the Japanese occupation of Korea (1910 – 1945) and the Korean War (1950 – 1953). For large segments of this demographic basic necessities such as food and shelter were in short supply as was adequate education. Jung’s interviews teeter precipitously between truth and fiction: some reveal obvious fabrication and embellishment while others border on confessionals, revealing a tension that speaks poignantly to the psychological damage levied on the country’s collective psyche and the fantasies that were invented by so many as a coping mechanism. The interviewees’ dreams – which for the most part have gone unfulfilled – are quick to surface and are laid bare before Jung’s lens.

I’ve loved the images from the films that I’ve seen online. Check them out here.

For more information see Jung’s website and the Tina Kim Gallery (which represents him).

I Heart Art: Andrea Offermann

I love this print by German artist Andrea Offermann but since I don’t have any place to hang it I’m having trouble justifying the cost of buying it and getting it framed.

Andrea originally attended medical school in Germany for a few years before deciding to switch to a career as an artist. Besides creating fine art she contributed to volume four of the comics anthology Flight. There is a nice interview about her participation in Flight here.

I discovered Andrea’s work through Tiny Showcase but all of her prints there have sold out before I found out about them. Sigh.
In particular I regret not getting a print of the above piece while I had that chance. I love the fairy-tale/historical style of the piece and the delicate details like how the ladies’ gowns fan out like seashells in the water. Andrea describes the piece as follows:

This is a mixture of fable and truth. People used to believe that if a virgin touched a unicorn, she would find true love. The horns that people believed were from unicorns were really from narwhales. In 1711 a narwhale swam up a river all the way to Hamburg.

Isn’t that great?

I don’t know if anyone will put out another edition of the narwhal print, but maybe once I finish organizing my office I’ll find the perfect spot for “Pink Elephants.” I’m crossing my fingers.