I haven’t enjoyed anyone’s illustration/design as much as I enjoy Geoff McFetridges since Mike Mills, especially this reductive series, filled with humor and driven by economy.
His earlier work was more of a place with mid 00’s design with a strong a 1970s/Ironic feel but as it’s progressed, become warmer more personal and he’s taken on this really lovely simplicity of line, the closest thing to it being maybe Ben Shahns illustrations or Marjene Satrapi, and It’s also nice to see someone take on multiple-mediums, McFetridge has done ceramics, wallpaper and is working on some fabrics in addition to fine art and commercial illustration, it makes you nostalgic for a time when fine artists had democratic instincts and not just commercial ones, and vice versa.
If your living in Europe right now, some point in the last two weeks you’ve probably seen a newscast or article on the ongoing horsemeat scandal, essentially they found between 60% to 100% minced horse in frozen burgers and ready-meals throughout the continent as part of a dizzyingly complex supply chain eventually traced to some shady abattoirs in Romania.
The coverage has ranged from shock, xenophobia (those Poles! no wait, those Romanians!) humor, bemused comment (whats so wrong with eating horse anyways?) but as the German newspaper Der Spiegal pointed out, the reality is that this was an utterly predictable result of the race to the bottom that has engulfed meat production, as much as chlorine drenched chickens unable to stand on their own, or pigs living in the dark in their own filth.
The end result of all this was I was in a mood to rethink my meat consumption, apply the same philosophy that I’ve been working from with on my possessions: less but better. The final push was two very different cookbooks: Phaidons gorgeously illustrated Tuscany and fusty English gardener Monty Don’s Home Cookbook.
Part of me loves cooking for the escapism, so for example last week I made a pretty good approximation of Jambalaya for mardi gras, the week before inspired by my book set in mitteleuropa I worked up a Hungarian goulash but reading Tuscany (which I ordered during a week of Italy-fuelled wanderlust) and realizing a) how many of these ingredients are near impossible to get outside of a major population centre with dedicated gourmet shops b) how unsuitable the recipes are for export, being based on seasons and ingredients intrisic to the area.
A little disheartened, I instead opened the Monty Don book, expecting some ghostwritten so-so recipes with gardening tips interspersed, but instead found a very enjoyable (and sternly written) guide to simple, seasonal eating in a wet, temperate climate (England, but readily applicable to Ireland) and after all how appropriate that a gardener would get that right, everything from chutneys, breads, simple soups and roasts with no excesses, almost all of which could be easily locally sourced.
So the Revelation is this, less but better: plan meals ahead to make best use of ingredients, source and eat meat sparingly to make it special and worthwhile and enjoy the best of what you can grow (right now parsley and potted basel and little else but thats ok, it’s febuary) not that I wont make taco soup or Sicilian style carbonara every once in a while, but eating should be considered, not random and that becomes clearer to me as time goes on.
Lee Dorsey - Ya Ya : listen to that pure weirdo New Orleans piano
Dear gods of publishing,
Please reissue Bruce Davidsons amazing ‘Brooklyn Gang 59’ so I can stop dreaming about it, it currently trades second hand on Amazon.co.uk for £1,965.00. and last reissued in 1998.
And while were on the subject of youth culture, publish Micheal Rougiers ‘Youth in Revolt' photos in a nice book too.
I’ve been through a good few airports lately (Copenhagen, Stockholm, Helsinki, and my Native Dublin) but I’ve not enjoyed one as much as Charles De Gaulle in Paris in a long time, and thats not something you often hear about CDG as its (appropriately considering it’s french) somewhat kafkaesque, confusing, weird but also airy, elegent, and warm which is a pretty tough sell for a concrete slab of mid-70s brutalism.
It was designed by the then 29 year old Paul Andreu who went on to be a prominent airport designer, and consists of a series of futuristic tunnels and loops that lead on to vast open areas with dense concrete ornementation, one nice touch was the huge columns that ran through the middle of the baggage carousels, the seating is varied but I spotted some great yellow, red, brown seats reminiscent of Robin Day’s Polyproplene chair and finally there was the signage, done in Swiss typographer Adrian Frutigers 'Frutiger' which was commissioned for the airport and became a classic in its own right (the French never took to Helvetica)
So in conclusion, is it a great airport? not really, great airports probably shouldn’t be sprawling and mazelike, is it a great building? most definately.
Charming, brilliant video about folk furniture in Ireland. not to be missed.
Inspiration & Execution:
1. Willhelm Schmurr’s portrait of the dancer Tatjana Barbakoff c.1925
2. Christophe Lemaire Asymmetrical shirt Men’s FW12
If Lemaire is in fact referencing this portrait (and I think he was) that is some serious crate digging and another reason he’s one of the best.
Italian-American photographer Tom Palumbo is best known for his fashion work that he did under two of the greatest art directors of all time (Alexy Brodivitch at Harpers and Alex Lieberman at Vogue) but I really love the colour and energy and I guess, the intimacy of these Candid photos he took in Parisian cafes in 1962