Thursday, April 9, 2009
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Why do vintage toys look so much cooler than contemporary ones?
Note that I said "look cooler" rather than "are actually cooler," because, frankly, if I remember correctly, those pull-the-string-so-the-legs-and-arms-flail paper dolls aren't at all fun.....they just look nifty.
That said, the not-so-childsafe toy sword is probably ten times more fun than anything we come up with today, if only because the potential for blinding your best friend is unnecessarily high. In fact, this wasp-waisted clowness seems to be packin' a Yummy Mummy's worst nightmare: every toy in her basket of delights is a choking, poking, gouge-your-eye-out and stab-your-little-sister hazard. That, and I'm sure 80% of it is made of lead.
Of course, now you ask me why I'm promoting this in the most cynical light possible. Well, that's just my way, kids. Why do I need to run the gamut of compliments about this poster when it's so obviously pretty, so delicately charming, so colorfully delightful? People after fabulous decoration and pop-off-your-wall design are already sold on this little lovely. It's the strange ones like me that want a bit of an oddball-twist to their home decor who need to see it the way I do in order to appreciate its wonderousness.
So, in summary, top 3 reasons to buy this poster:
1. It's a really beautiful example of turn-of-the-century design; yet, lucky for you, it hasn't been put on every mousepad and calendar in your local Barnes and Noble. So, people will know you're actually housing the real deal on your wall.
2. Who doesn't like the antique Toy Expo?
3. If you're a slightly wacky person, you will find endless humor in this image.
All that for $3,500 at Posters Please!
Monday, April 6, 2009
I'm pretty sure false advertising doesn't even begin to cover what the NY American and Journal is doing here....but I'm also pretty sure there wasn't a law against doing that in 1906, so too bad for all those people eagerly looking forward to their own personal flying device. You're just up that proverbial creek.
From a purely historic perspective, this is a nifty little gem of a poster because it really gets right down to the art of early advertising: catch the audience's imagination with something completely new and exciting, and by doing so get them to buy your product.
And what did Mr. W. R. Hearst (oh yes, this baby is the product of a company owned by that Orson-Wells-hating, Citizen-Kane-inspiring, Xanadu-living man himself!) decide to use to get people to buy his newspaper? Screw up-to-the-minute news coverage or acuweather forecasts--he went all the way with a parasol-toting Mary Poppins-cum-reporter.
Why is this a clever gimmick? Well, by using a well-dressed lady, you pull in your hungry-for-female-flesh male readers. Because she also happens to be doing something seemingly-dangerous, you also get the proto-feminists itching to break into the male professional world, or, at the very least, fantasize about it from the comfort of their kitchens, to want to read this article. Finally, you attract the young and adventurous with promises of 'the new flying machine,' which, presumably, they too can own in the near future. It's like combining The NY Times, Elle, and Scientific American with a hint of Page Six.
Now the more important question: why should you want to own this? Well, that's easy: it's super-rare, historic, funny, weird, and will easily start a conversation in any room in which it's hung. That, and, unlike many rare vintage posters, it's got an estimate in the May 3 auction of $2000-2500.
Friday, April 3, 2009
Generally speaking, I wish I had a bit more muscle in my home. Yes, an artsy boyfriend is lovely and provides unbridled sensitivity; however, sometimes I just want someone around that can totally kick some ass.
While not much of a looker, Orlando here is 100% pure power. He can wash & dry with the best of them, move furniture like a champ, carry heavy boxes, and fight off thieves with a single flex of his mighty forearm. I'm not quite sure how I feel about his Mr. T bling, the bowlcut, or that chartreuse cummerbund, but all fashion faux pas can be mended with a quick trip to Bloomingdales. No amount of new-girlfriend makeovers, however, can get a guy that ripped overnight.
Why should you put this on your wall? Well, frankly, the question should be why wouldn't you put this on your wall, but here are my top 2 scenarios:
1. Picture you're a loving father who has just helped his 20-something darling daughter move in to her new Harlem residence. Sure, it's a bit scruffy, but on her salary, you can't expect better in Manhattan. And she assures you she'll be safe, despite the drive-by shootings every Tuesday, the five homeless people living under her fire escape, the less-than-secure-looking lock on the door, the crack addict residing three doors down, and the twelves rapes that have been reported this month from the area. Best solution? Rather than help support your little lady by funding an apartment in a more docile area, why not get her Orlando? Imagine the thief/rapist/criminal who enters her apartment late at night only to find himself face to face with Mr. O--sheer terror, that's what I say. He'll be running for the hills and warning his equally-delinquent friends not to bother with that apartment, 'cuz she's got herself a giant on call.
2. Every young man needs inspiration. Rather than decorate your son's walls with images of juiced-up professional athletes who hold the very real potential of becoming horrible role models (read: Kobe Bryant and the like), why not give him Orlando? With no historical documentation on the guy (just you try googling him--NOTHING!), he has no chance of ever letting you or your little boy down. He's simply pure machismo, a decorated athlete to be reckoned with.
If neither of those two options tickles your fancy, just look at the poster. Orlando is the coolest heap of random ever to grace this fair blog, and that alone should excite you. Because at the end of the day, don't you want wall art that can kill all your friends' wall art? Nuff said.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
As one of the heavy-hitters in our May 3 auction, I felt I should spend some time on this crazy number.
Here we have Pierre Bonnard's 'France-Champagne.' Artistically, this is pretty damn edgy for 1891. Everything is just so fluid and hall-of-mirrors-y in its angles and proportions (I mean, look at that crazy spaghetti forearm!). I'm not quite sure what's her hair and what's her dress....and her left cheek sort of melds into her shoulder. Oh Expressionism, meet your predecessor.
Is this what France-Champagne does to the senses? Rather than being a blathering, speech-slurring drunk, does one instead see the world through Gumby-inspired lenses? I sure hope so.
Now let's move on to the product itself: the champagne. Either this little lady shook up the bottle for an hour and then over-poured, or France-Champagne is the equivalent of those science-fair baking soda volcanos. Both scenarios are fine with me, though, because the idea of tripping about a room filled with bubbles tickles me to no end.
Frankly, the only time I've seen the world this way is when watching a Julie Taymor film or after ingesting prescription drugs. If France-Champagne is a cheaper alternative, put me on the mailing list!
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
I know I'm usually all about the ha-has, but today I'm going to show you my softer side (did anyone else get the old Sears commercials in their heads when I said that?).
Normally, what gets me into a poster is the that insta-magic I feel when I first lay eyes on it. This is usually due to some sort of graphic awesomeness, bizarre juxtapositions, cool advertising methods, nudity, or absolute hilarity. In the case of this poster, none of those things caught my attention.
What did grab me right away is the frame whoever consigned this little beauty to us decided to construct around it. Sadly, I cannot visually share this frame with you as I only have the photo from the catalogue; however, take it from me, this frame is to other frames what La Perla is to Victoria's Secret--absolutely beyond even considering a comparison. We're talking flawless black lacquer, seamlessly smooth wood, and a backing that probably made nuns in Calcutta go blind. We're talking some serious Gepetto action on this frame.
Why is this at all relevant, you ask? Well, because sometimes a poster that isn't all bells and whistles can be raised to a near-godly status by the right presentation. I would not have thought much about this Loupot poster for Bonnard without its amazing frame. But now that the frame grabbed my attention, I have to admit that this is one of the most understated, lovely images we have ever had the privilege to offer.
Loupot's managed to create the effect of sfumato in a overtly two-dimensional medium--that alone is magnificent. She's got this hazy, mid-motion swish to her entire body, like a girl spinning around in a new dress. Some of my friends see a Geisha, others their beautifully-done-up Jewish mother from the 1960s trying on shawls at Bendels. And, while those two readings of the image aren't necessarily correct, they both involve this feeling of luxury--cashmere and Chanel No. 5, chanton silk and oriental rugs, amber and blush.
Overall, it's an image that really does have the power to transport you to a different time and place. And, frankly, that makes it more valuable than anything in this auction.