Friday, September 27, 2013

The Female Gaze: Kit Harrington

My sweet sweet John Snow. My precious bastard baby boy. I want to just hold you and stroke your hair and kiss your brow, tell you everything is going to be okay and then take your clothes off and show you my black wall.
With a name like Kit, you know this boy was made to be the kiln of many women's loins (does that make sense?). With a very short resume, he is poised for more interesting projects in the near future, including the film Pompeii by the horrendously tacky director Paul W. S. Anderson. But it doesn't matter because look at the production pictures.

I'm sorry what was I saying? 
Anywho! Look at more pictures of this beautiful man, and imagine your fingers getting tangled in that glorious hair. 

Check him out in the new Pompeii trailer below! 

Rest in Pittsburgh Fashion Show 9/20

This past Friday, I went to a fashion show in the Bloomfield area of Pittsburgh. A non-descript kinda house, kinda warehouse, kinda tool shed that has been transformed into a performance space. A place so "under the radar" that when you google 'The Shop Bloomfield' nothing comes up. I had to find the newspaper article I heard about it in, search for the girl who is the founder of The Shop, facebook her, then facebook The Shop. In short, this place is the ultimate hipster hideout. Because having a fucking website is apparently "too mainstream" for anybody. Anywho. 
The show was called "Rest in Pittsburgh", a pun on how Pittsburgh has been called the place where 'fashion goes to die', and one of the worst places in the country for fashion by GQ magazine. Pittsburgh is not known for its fashion, its style or even the attractiveness of its people and that may be very validated. But fashion is a form of art, a form of art that very few seem to want to tackle in this city. Most who label themselves "fashion designers" make some sort of reproduction of clothing that can be found in any mainstream store. Very few have tackled fashion with a disregard to comfort and accessibility and just make a creative statement with it, that's why I was really appreciative of this show and its collaborators. 
I went, expecting something a little different, and that's exactly what I got. A solo opening by resident drag queen Kitty Klottsalot, as a drunk, sloppy housewife, camping scouts playing a game of telephone, neon hobo fashion, a near fire mishap, teen designers turning themselves into art and people throwing candy at the audience's head HARD
Overall I thought it was a brilliant show, it was odd, humorous but also creative and a unique perspective on fashion art. The artists involved were Clothes Minded's - Josh Fedorski with Copeland Liddell and including Dark, Waters Metal Seth LeDonne, Virginia Solitaire Lizzee Solomon, Kitty Klottsalot,Gabe Felice,guinevere,Steph Neary,Autumn Zwibel,moon baby,Vibeka McGyver, &Morgan McCoy.
Unfortunately I couldn't get any clear shots of Kitty Klottsalot but I think the blurriness only adds to the overall feeling her piece was trying to evoke. 

There was this adorable little boy dancing in the after party I just had to get some shots of him 

Videos coming soon! 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Carnegie International 2013 schedule

"The Carnegie International is the oldest North American exhibition of contemporary art from around the globe. It was first organized at the behest of industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie on November 5, 1896 in Pittsburgh." Wikipedia 

October 5th - March 16th 

Well, you learn something new everyday. I moved here in 2010, missing the previous CI that took place two years before, so I had never heard of this before this year. This seems to be a great year for art in Pittsburgh with all these events going on at the same time. I've said it once, and I've said it before, Pittsburgh needs a renaissance. This area needs a new focus on the future, on arts, on the creative class and stear away from its industrial, sports obsessed past. But it won't happen overnight, more of an out like a lamb, in like a lamb situation I think. Most of the events are free, excluding the Opening Weekend Gala on October 4th where the tickets are (you sitting down?) $425. FOUR HUNDRED AND TWENTY FIVE DOLLARS. I'm going to let that sink in. 
The website is kind of a mess but let me explain it like this, the exhibit is open in the Carnegie Museum in Oakland until March 16th. There are events going on the opening weekend and also events happening outside of the museum in the Pittsburgh artistic community at large until December (I thought until the exhibit was running but it doesn't look like it), they call this "An Engagement with the City of Pittsburgh". Then there is the Playground Exhibit, but I don't have kids so I don't give a shit.

Friday October 4th 

Carnegie Internation Gala Premeire - 7pm
Cocktails, Private Viewing, Strolling Dinner 
Cost: $4...2...5 
who the FUCK is going to this?? 

Opening Evening with Sharon Needles and Total Freedom 
I don't know what is the difference between this and the Gala Premier other than drag queens and live music and its not four hundred and twenty five fucking dollars. 
Its also sold out

Saturday October 5th

Opening Day - 11am
A day of programs featuring artists in the 2013 Carnegie International, including performances by Ei Arakawa/Henning Bohl, Rodney Graham, readings, and a puppet performance developed by Paulina Olowska together with Kristen Barca, Joann Kielar, and Tom Sarver.
Cost: Free with museum admission

Sunday, October 6th 

Community Celebration in Braddock with Transformazium 
Celebrate the 2013 Carnegie International in Braddock, PA, with projects at the Braddock Carnegie Library, activities, and food. Cosponsored by the Sprout Fund.
Cost: Free

There are other events on different days, check out their calendar for dates:

Pittsburgh Fashion Week 2013 schedule

So when you hear Pittsburgh Fashion Week what do you think of? Despite the absurdity of those words strung together into one phrase, I think of bottom heavy women strutting down the runway in zip up hoodies, ill fitting jeans, a dirty t-shirt they've had since high school, flip flops and their greasy hair clipped to the back of their heads in a sloppy butterfly clip with a filthy Vera Bradley purse attached to their side.
The words "chic", "cute", "sexy" or even "fashionable" don't really come to mind. Despite that Pittsburgh Fashion Week is in its 4th year, and has been going on all week.
Its not at all like more famous fashion weeks like Paris, London, or New York. At most there is one event a day, with most of them not even being fashion shows. There are mostly networking events, vendor sales, and charity events. Snooze right? I mean how are you supposed to foster fashion in Pittsburgh when you only engage the bored housewives of rich men here? How about fashion shows by young designers? How about fashion exhibits in local boutiques? There are many ways to make it young, hip, exciting and fresh, that just not being done. We will never have anything like NYFW, unless we can get some of that Mercedes Benz money, but we can do more than this.

Well here is the schedule for PFW

Thursday Sept. 26 Tanger Outlet – Showcasing Fall Fashions 
2nd Annual Pink Partini & Fashion Bash
Kristine Sorensen (the host of Pittsburgh Today Live) will Host The Event
Location: Tanger Outlet
7 P.M.
Free for General Admission, $25 for Reserved Pink Seats Sold Out

Saturday Sept. 28 “BTB” Back-To-Back Runway Shows
Featuring Student Designers From The Art Institute of Pittsburgh
Location: Art Institute of Pittsburgh
Tickets -10PM

Sunday Sept. 29 Pittsburgh Fashion Hall of Fame Luncheon 
Awarding Six Fashion Icons: Michael Barone, Jean Bryant, Tom Julian, Debbie Norrell, E.B. Pepper, Marianne Skiba. The Exceptional Artist Award: Jacqueline Capatolla
Performances by Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre students
 Location: Omni William Penn Hotel – Grand Ballroom
 Registration at 11AM Doors Open at 11:30AM
Tickets - $65

Festival of Firsts schedule

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trusts presents its third installment of its festival (would it still be firsts if its the third time? anyway...), which premiers international artists who are bringing their work to the United States for the first time. How Pittsburgh managed to convince these people to premier their works here I will never know, I am convinced that the PCT is some sort of organized crime group of affluent rich philanthropists, but I digress.
Here is the schedule for this years Festival of Firsts

Friday, September 27 - The Bridge Party & Night Market VI - 6th Street Bridge - 5:30-10pm - FREE
The kick off of FoF, perhaps you've heard of the gigantic ass duck that's going to invade our harbors? Well that's all anyone cares about, because I haven't heard a single word on the bevy of artists that will be showing their work here. Nope. Just excitement over a gigantic rubber duck.
The duck will be here for nearly a month, until October 20th, so see him now or see him later (is it a he?) but if you are coming in Pittsburgh, I doubt you'd miss him.
Running in tandem with the Gallery Crawl in the Cultural District, make your rounds then come over to the bridge to enjoy food, music, vendors and of course, the duck.

Saturday, September 28th -Compagnie Marie Chouinard - Byham Theater - 8pm - Tickets $19-$55
Montreal - Quebec
"Marie Chouinard creates dance conceived from primeval dreams—earthy and strong, yet shaped by irrepressible secrets and unseen dimensions in time. The performance includes the U.S. premiere of GYMNOPÉDIES, set to glorious solo piano works by Erik Satie, and HENRI MICHAUX: MOUVEMENTS, inspired by a book of poetry and drawings by Belgian artist Henri Michaux. Marie Chouinard writes of GYMNOPÉDIES: “although the apparent subject of this new creation is the duo, loving, erotic, the real subject is perhaps the unexpected, time, the dance itself, the miracle otherwise, the appearance of the present.” In HENRI MICHAUX: MOUVEMENTS, dancers form a stunning silhouette to projections, exuding a haunting sense that they, in the artist’s words, are connected to “the strangeness of natural things and the naturalness of strange things.”

October 2-4 - Kiss & Cry - New Hazlett Theater - 8pm - Tickets $25
Michèle Anne De Mey & Jaco Van Dormael A woman nearing the end of her life recounts her greatest loves in this sweeping, romantic work. Hands visually portray characters with a beautifully engaging sensual presence, moving around a set of miniatures with absolute precision. A unique blend of film, dance, text and theatre, Kiss & Cry is an unforgettable experience.

October 9-12th - The Pigeoning - 937 Liberty Avenue - 7pm - Tickets $25 (Sold Out)
New York
The Pigeoning is a full length live performance that uses bunraku puppetry, video and original music to explore the ideas of obsessive compulsion, safety, and order in the context of the end of the world. The story is told through the main character “ Frank” an bunraku style puppet working in an office in the early 1980’s who is absorbed and ultimately transformed by his pigeon obsession. Pigeons are a part of Frank’s daily life and serve as the embodiment of the chaos and filth of the natural world. As his story progresses, they seem to act against Frank, behaving as a continual source of aggravation for him, until he begins to believe that the birds are actually plotting against him.The Pigeoning invites the audience to laugh at our clinging to safety and order in the face of the end of the world that is always and never coming.

October 9-12th - It's Dark Outside - Pierce Studio 805/807 Liberty Ave - 9pm - Tickets $25
Sydney, Australia
Inspired by experiences and research into Alzheimer’s and Sundowner’s Syndrome, Tim Watts’ newest production in collaboration with Arielle Gray and Chris Isaacs, is a heartfelt, fearless, and inventive adventure. Puppetry, mask, animation, live performance and an original music score by the award-winning composer Rachael Dease, are expertly intertwined to create a grand epic Western about redemption and dementia.

October 16th-18th - Zimmerman & de Perrot - August Wilson Center - 8pm - Tickets $18-$25
With a great deal of mischief but at the same time anger and depth, the duo Zimmermann & de Perrot present a disconcertingly original marriage of theatre, circus and dance. Supported by five circus artists and dancers, these two directors, who now enjoy dazzling success, have far exceeded all expectations in their new work. Poets as well as magicians, they keep a piece overflowing with humor regulated to the nearest millimeter. The stage design, which revolves on a horizontal axis, forces the performers into the most unlikely positions. All this is put at the service of a caustic story, which makes Hans was Heiri a work that has broken down barriers among the public to an extent rarely seen.

October 22nd-26th - Measure Back - Baum Building Fifth Floor 818 Liberty Avenue - 8pm - $25
New York
What does it mean to say we are at war? Can we, as "non-combatants", change the course of war? The visceral and thought-provoking work Measure Back seeks a path between the citizen-as-spectator and the citizen-as-participant. Set in an immersive theatrical environment to examine scenes of conflict ranging from Homer’s The Iliad to today’s headlines, Measure Back uses audience participation to probe how war is constructed and performed – from conception through consensus to action.

Check out the FoF website for more info

Gallery Crawl schedule

So many things are going on this week and the next up coming weeks in Pittsburgh and for some reason its impossible to get all the information in one place so I've done the work for you!

Friday, September 27th
Gallery Crawl, Downtown 5:30-10PM
  • Wood Street Galleries (on the opposite side of the subway station, take the elevator up) - 601 Wood Street - 2nd Floor Kurt Hentschlager: "Hive"
  • SPACE gallery - 812 Liberty Avenue - Kurt Hentschlager & Ulf Langheinrich: "Granular Synthesis: Model 5" and "POL"
  • Tito Way (literally the alley next to Crazy Mocha) - Mary Mazziotti: "Memento Mori" || InformationLab: "Cell Phone Disco"
  • Exchange Way at Tito Way (go down Tito Way and you'll find another alley, parallel to Liberty Avenue) - Andrew Hieronymi & Ian Brill: "Instabiles" 
  • Shaw Galleries - 805 Liberty Avenue - "Autumnal Wonders"
  • Trust Arts Education Center - 805/807 Liberty Avenue in the Pierce Studio - 
    • "T.V." A Fashion Event by Manya Manklewicz 9pm -12am
    • 3rd & 4th Floors - "DESIGN. Make YOUR Mark in Time!" 
  • Harris Theater - 809 Liberty Avenue - a loop of short films by Scott Whiteman, Tim Isreal, & Andrew Daub
    • Tiny Harris Gallery | Tryps (I guess it is inside of the Harris Theater)
  • Arcade Comedy Theater - 811 Liberty Avenue - sketch comedy, improvisational and alternative comedy
  • Catholic Charities Susan Zubik Welcome Center - 212 Ninth Street - Macro Photography
  • 937 Liberty Avenue Gallery 
    • 2nd Floor - Casey Droege & Corey Escoto: "Comprised: Life in the Middle"
    • Pittsburgh Playwrights Gallery - Ernest McCarty: "Therapy and The Muse"
  • 943 Liberty - Kurt Hentschlager: "ZEE" (**since this exhibit involves strobes it is only 18+)
  • August Wilson Center for African AMerican Culture - 980 Liberty - "Pittsubrhg: Reclaim, Renew, Remix"
  • Tonic - 971 Liberty Avenue - 2nd Floor - "Steel City Punks" with live music by Stranger Convention
  • Cultural's Elite Salon and Barbershop - 954 Penn Avenue - "Black in America" with live music by The Miles Jackson Band
  • Urban Pathways 6-12 Gallery - 914 Penn Avenue - "Expression" with Sounds of Steel drum band and special guest
  • CAPA - 111 Ninth Street - Summer Work
  • Future Tenant - 819 Penn Avenue - "Sneak Peak of the Dutchman" 5:30-7:30pm
  • 8th Street & Penn Avenue - Art Car Round Up
  • 709 Penn Avenue Gallery - Bea Chiappelli: "Proud to be an American?"
  • 707 Penn Avenue Gallery 
    • Francis Crisafrio: "Holdup in the Hood"
    • 2nd Floor - Umoja African Arts Company - drum and dance performances
  • Katz Plaza - 7th Street & Penn Avenue - DJ SMI, button making, photo booth
  • Backstage Bar - 655 Penn Avenue - Victoria Jon: "Predator or Prey" with live music by Mike Why 5:30-7:30pm
  • Gateway Center T Station - Stanwix Street - ceramic tile mural
  • PNC Legacy Project - 600 Liberty Avenue - "NOW AND THEN FEATURE"
  • Boutique 208 - 208 Sixth Street - handmade items, unique art, and live acoustic music
  • kNOT Dance at Verve Wellness - 142 Sixth Street - Third Floor - "Shift to Coda" performance times are 7:30, 8:30, 9:30pm
  • Arthur Murray Dance Studio - 136 Sixth Street (above Melange Bistro) - FREE dance lessons - Cha Cha @ 7:30pm, Bachata @ 8pm, Salsa @ 8:30pm
  • Braddock's American Brasserie - 107 Sixth Street - The Art of Perogi Making - food demonstration
  • There Ultra Lounge - 931 Liberty Avenue - LINGO Can You Handle Our Game? - games, prizes and a meeting with the 2013 Carnegie International curators 
  •  The Rubber Duck Project - 6th Street Bridge - Bridge Party featuring Night Market VI
Pretty typical stuff this year, I'm looking forward to the Duck and hopefully gettting in on those salsa classes. 
Check out more information, maps, and social media at

Art: Miss Van

Pursed lips. Sleepy, slited, opium eyes. Dysmorphically curved hypersexual bodies. Plump lips parted in an orgasmic sigh.
The girls of artist Miss Van (née Vanessa Alice Bensimon), are visions of femininity with an underlying danger and sexuality that invokes ideas of lolitas and Japanese animated porn (hentai for the non-initiated). Probably one of the most famous graffiti artists (certainly one of the most famous female graffiti artists) to come out of France, Miss Van has achieved global success as a major artist. Her art has a very large female audience, who perhaps are drawn to the provocative nature of her suggestive "dolls" as she calls them and also to the counter culture rebelliousness of being graffiti art. She has had work in major art publications like Juxtapoz magazine, and despite her initial rejection of the art world, exhibited her work in galleries around the world. 
Miss Van says about her art on her website, "At the beginnings, my dolls were self-portraits. Graffiti has a very megalomaniac side; instead of writing my name, I chose to represent myself through my dolls. I felt a real need to affirm myself, maybe because I have a twin sister and I had to show my difference.Later on when I didn't feel as much this need to mark my identity, my work became.The idea of provocativeness has also a part in my conception of my work. I have always liked painting a sexy doll in an inappropriate place. I want to provoke strong reactions.
My dolls convey a provocative image, sometimes a bit erotic. I wish they disturbed and provoked fantasies  I want them to make the viewer react, no matter the reaction. I would like them to make people forget their daily lives.”
I think she certainly has. 

Please visit her website: