October 20, 2014

Zaha Hadid

I am a huge fan of architect Zaha Hadid.

Hadid is the first female architect to ever win the coveted Pritzker Architecture prize which is often referred  to as the Nobel prize in architecture.  She was born in Iraq in 1950 and I am proud to say we share the same birthday, October 31st. She is probably the most famous female architect of our time and is considered worldwide to be the diva of architectural design.

Hadid’s forms are characterized by futuristic, unconventional, daring and artistic shapes. Many of her projects have never been built yet she still was ranked on Forbes list at 69th of the most powerful women in 2008. Her beautiful buildings always leave us with our mouths open, as if to say, “How did she design that?”.  Innovation in design is her thing and she does it in a magnificent way. She has designed private homes, royal palaces, museums, bridges, and furniture.  There seems to be no limit to her imagination!

If you are all interested in architecture, Zaha needs to be on your radar.

http://www.zaha-hadid.com

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October 17, 2014

The Impossible Collection Of Design

Looking for a super fab coffee table book?  The Impossible Collection Of Design: The 100 Most Influential Objects Of The Twentieth Century  may just be it.

Assouline, the publisher of some of the best coffee table books, has released this beautiful, large scale collection of brilliant photos and information about the most memorable pieces of furniture created in the past century.  Iconic pieces that defined an era, unique pieces that spoke of the times, these groundbreaking furnishings are all shown and honored for their innovation.

Perfect for all of us furniture buffs and fans of design.

 http://www.assouline.com/shop/impossible-collection-of-design.html

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October 15, 2014

D*face

Street art is like pop music:  some stars, some one-hit-wonders and a lot of commercialism.  Unlike fine artists that tend to be more unique and complex, street artist tend to duplicate and collaborate with each other much like cover songs. Nevertheless we enjoy them for a while.

New on my radar is British street artist D*face (Dean Stockton).  He is an urban artist that creates simple images he recalls during hypnosis and later makes them while awake and conscious. He uses multi media, spray cans, stickers, posters, and stencils to create his visions and art. His career initially started as a designer and illustrator, which explains the clean lines and cartoon feel to so much of his imagery.

D*face recently did a pool installation in which he got some friends to skateboard in the empty pool with special cans of paint attached to the bottom of their boards to create skate lines and patterns with in the pool.  Art or just a bunch of guys having fun?  Either way, a good art experiment.

At this early stage of his career, I can't quite tell what his future in the art world holds.  He comes into the market strong and surrounded by a lot of hype, yet, in my opinion his visual messages are not as strong as Bansky and his work is not as original as Retna.  He has not quite developed enough of a graphic uniqueness like Shepard Fairey nor has he created anything we have never seen.  Hard to know what the future holds for this young visionary, but I think he definitely has the potential and he is someone to watch.

What do you think?

http://www.dface.co.uk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ScW5kWzSaSI

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October 13, 2014

Hinoki and the Bird

I love living in Beverly Hills because there is so much to do and so many great restaurants that I can swing by for a casual, elegant meal  in my new Smart Car.  My hood rocks!

And my new fav eatery is Hinoki and the Bird. Chef David Myers has done it again with his new kitchen serving California/Japanese inspired food. Located next to the Century Plaza, it is beautifully decorated with simple, masculine furniture. The smell of the hinoki (the Japanese cedar) is everywhere.  Even in the bathrooms.  It's a well thought out, stylish setting that is the perfect backdrop for the exquisitely presented and flawless food. Small, perfect bites and gorgeous drinks equal a fab evening. And isn't that the reason we leave home to go out?

David Myers also runs one of my favorite Sunday brunch spots on Melrose Avenue, brasserie Comme Ça. The guy is talented and I love his food.  Counting the days until I can return to Hinoki and the Bird. 

http://hinokiandthebird.com

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October 12, 2014

Matthew Richie

We all agree that modern art provokes all kinds of thoughts and opinions.  And the work of Mathew Richie is no exception.

Mathew was born in England in 1964 and received his BFA from Camberwell College of Arts in London in 1986, then moved to New York. His work is characterized by its linearity.  He calls it particles of physics and thermodynamics. His  installations include paintings, wall drawings, light boxes, performance, sculpture, and projections. His abstract compositions  incorporate freehand drawing and layered mark-making, all to create movement that mimic molecules in a continuous flow.

Not everyone understands his work immediately.  His installations often combine several forms of art and tend to cover the entire gallery space, floors, walls and ceilings.  It can be interpreted as busy.  But so are brain waves.  It could be interpreted as abstract. And so is the universe.

Worth keeping an eye on.

http://www.matthewritchie.com

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October 10, 2014

Robert Indiana

You know his art.  If you have been to Manhattan you have seen his art.  You just may not know his name.

Robert Indiana is an American artist born in 1928 and is best associated with the Pop Art movement. He has created bold, simple, iconic images, especially numbers and short words like EATHUG,and HOPE. But it was his LOVE painting which was purchased in 1968 by Manhattan's Museum of Modern Art that made artist Robert Indiana famous. It became a sculpture, a stamp and greeting cards to name a few things. It made him an instant star.  He feels it was the best thing and the worst thing he ever created because it eclipsed all of his other pieces. Some say his career was defined by LOVE.

His work varies from large scale sculpture to works on paper and once you see it, you always recognize it again because of its simplicity and unique message. Everyone loves LOVE.  Everyone wants HOPE. Breaking down life into one word messages has been his trademark.

And following the footsteps of current street artists, Mr. Indiana has also created several custom kicks for Converse shoes.  The guy is just cool and his work is wonderful.  I am a fan!

http://robertindiana.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCsvpQvdSjs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lgubGAym7w

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October 09, 2014

Obama Urban Art

Obsession of the day?  Obama Art.

Presidents have always been the subject of portraiture and art.  But no president has been painted by so many famous fine artist as well as street artist as our current president Barack Obama.  He is a favorite art subject of many painters for both his popularity and his controversy. Some love him, some hate him but no one can deny his mass appeal and influence. He is an art muse.

We have all seen or know of the Shepard Fairey  infamous "Hope" poster for Mr. Obama's presidential campaign. It was a strong visual that assisted in the campaign.  Simple, graphic and to the point. The Texas primary was made famous by the Date Brothers poster that made it on to t-shirts, stickers and pins. Pop artist Robert Indiana created a "HOPE" sculpture similar to his famous New York "LOVE" sculpture for the 2008 Democratic Convention. Others such as Mr. Brainwash have also followed suit and done large murals to express their love for the president. The list of artists who have been inspired by the president is huge.

Unlike any previous president, Mr. Obama has placed emphasis on  his visual campaign and brand.  In return this has validated the importance of design and art as a form of communication. Artist love and support him for opening up this new media to mainstream America.  Political art has shown to be able to speak to the masses.  In previous campaigns political art was limited to cartoons or line drawings.  This is the first time in history we have seen  such a huge out pour of visual emotions towards a standing president.

It all starts on the streets.

 http://fineartamerica.com/art/paintings/barack+obama/all?page=1

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October 07, 2014

Bonnet

The absolute best and most incredible cooking surfaces?  What do top chefs like Thomas Keller and Jean George use in their kitchens? 

Maestro by Bonnet is a small custom manufacturer of luxury cooking islands, located in Provence, France. The company hand makes the custom cooking islands to client specifications and tailor makes them to fit the needs of every chef.  Each Bonnet island is unique in function and design. They started as luxury commercial kitchen manufacturers and have expanded into residential models to suit the needs of private chefs and homeowners who love to cook. The designs range from traditional to modern and can be made in any color or finish. This is no ordinary stove or cooking surface. It is the Rolls Royce of cooking and is in more Michelin star kitchens than any other brand.

For food connoisseurs and luxury food junkies there simply is no better cook surface.

http://www.bonnet-international.com/static.php?op=Home-Kitchen-Equipment.html&npds=1

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October 04, 2014

Odile

Hurricane Odile hit my second home of Cabo, Mexico on Sunday, September 14 at 10:45 p.m. It touched land as a category 5 monster of a storm, raging at speeds over 150 m.p.h.   Odile is considered the largest and most powerful hurricane on record to hit land on the Pacific coast to date, but not many people heard about the mammoth storm. 

It has taken me almost 3 weeks to write about it because it was so devastating and such a shock in my life that I did not have the desire or emotional strength to share it. The world that I lived in is no longer the same and so much destruction has changed the once luxurious little beach town into shambles.  My home was partially damaged, as most of my friends' homes were.  The airport was destroyed after the roof collapsed and flights are still not reinstated to Cabo as of today. Most hotels were hit very hard since they all sit directly facing the ocean, and are not currently operating. Most restaurants are still not open and some will never reopen again. The government set up temporary turbine generated power electricity that comes and goes, but there is no word on when the real power grid and electricity will be restored. Downtown San Jose and Cabo do not look the same and will take a long time to recuperate from this massive hit. 

This disaster has not been covered on the U.S. news at all despite being as big as Katrina. It seems people who hear about it only wonder why their vacations  are being cancelled. Like many Cabo lovers, I have spent the past few weeks helping with humanitarian relief, getting supply trucks to my employees and their families and trying to ensure basic comforts to those close to me.  I called upon some of my amazing friends in Texas for help and they came through like rock stars with donations to help fill the trucks with generators, water, food, cleaning supplies and huge amounts of dog food to help support the Cabo Humane Society.  Yet there is still sooo much left to do and I hope that this brings awareness to those who had not heard about this disaster. This storm is devastating to the many local people who lost their homes and also depend on the tourism industry for their living.

Thanks to all of you who have reached out. My family and staff are all safe and we appreciate your thoughts and emails.

I am taking a few minutes today to just say ... I love Cabo.  I want to see it come back to life soon. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s15ZTUJ_Cf8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XqwwTwuTNTM

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October 02, 2014

Memorable Dining Experiences

I admire and have an appreciation for luxury restaurant interior designers; they strive to create unique dining experiences to enhance the creative foods of top chefs.

Each restauranteur has a vision for his space and has a unique idea for his menu and drinks.  It is up to the designer to combine it all with precision, and architecturally interpret those ideas. Making a room highly memorable, where people can come to celebrate special events is hard to do.  And it is even harder to make these spaces enticing enough that the patrons will return for the experience. Luxury dinning is not just about the food, it is also about the scene, the atmosphere, the socializing and the quality of the space. Drama and over-the-top touches are part of the appeal. Sophisticated culinary interiors are as important as the food served.

A lot that goes into the creation of top restaurants. Noise levels, wait staff flow, sanitation and function must also be thought out.  Lighting, ventilation, bar flow and back of the house areas need to also be incorporated.  Maximizing the space and utilizing every possible square inch for seating as well as planning bathrooms is all part of it.

Great design! One of the  common threads that  make luxury restaurants around the world a marvel and wonderful delight to be in. 

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