The Dom Pérignon Champagne Official Website

The Dom Pérignon Champagne Official Website is a breathtaking depiction of the possibilities in web design. Grid, opacity, and color gradation are common themes throughout all pages in the website. Dom Pérignon transfers the luxury nature of their brand onto an easily accessible digital platform.

Upon visiting www.domperignon.com you are welcomed by a beautiful splash page. Dark background hues of black and gray are combined to create an almost painterly-like detail. A grid filled with this illustration is placed behind the text, giving the two dimensional space, three-dimensional qualities. In gold text the Dom Pérignon logo sits atop the center of the page. Below is a disclaimer stating, “To view the Dom Pérignon website you must be of legal drinking age within your country of residence. If no such laws exist in your country you have to be over 21 to visit our website.” Beneath the disclaimer is where you enter your date of birth and country into the drop down menus. Fine text reads, “Enjoy Dom Pérignon responsibly. The abuse of alcohol is dangerous for your health. Consume with moderation.” It is interesting to me that they advise you to consumer “With” moderation, instead of “In” moderation. Anyhow, I entered my birthday and entered the website.

A page loader in the shape of the logo took over the screen while the site loaded. Once the site was done loading I was confronted with a dark screen. From the dark screen a geometric form grew and unfolded into sub sections. Each section was complete with overlapping and overlaying of photographs and text to create one giant image. A menu drop down rested in the top left, where the navigation bar lay in the bottom right of the screen. The subsections of the giant image included: The Power of Creation, Heritage & Savoir-Faire, Dom Pérignon & El Bulli Foundation, Dom Pérignon Vintages, Dom Pérignon P2, and Dom Pérignon Near You. When you click on each subsection the image unfolds and expands out onto another page. An arrow takes you back to the man page, and the image folds back up into the subsection. The folding in and out of images creates an interesting interaction for the viewer. There is something very tangible about the system as they continue to push the boundaries of two-dimensional spaces. For instance, if you can image holding a map that is folded, and unfolding it to reveal the information. The website uses a similar logic. The original image sprawls out from the Dom Pérignon logo on the main page. The image contains subsections and photos. The each subsection can be unfolded revealing even more information. The image is made up as a grid, of many tiny squares. When the information is expanded, each tiny square flips outward. When the information is being concealed the squares flip inward. There is a type of domino-effect taking place, where each square follows the square in front of it. The only subsection that does not fold out and in is the section titled “Dom Pérignon Near You.” When you click on this section a page pops up in the middle of the screen with a map. The map also contains a search bar where you enter your information.

 

Something strange occurs when you click the dropdown option on the “Menu,” button in the top left corner of the page. When you click the first drop down option the original page slides over, and the new information pops up in the same unfolding format. This time it is not growing from the center image, but from a black space a few screens away. Arrows in all directions lead you to the next option on the drop down button.

 

The website is very dynamic, and shows in great depths the array of possibilities of web design. However because of the intricate design of the website it is not extremely fast.

Pierre Huyghe: Nothing Static

Pierre Huyghes, the far from traditional Parisian artists had his first retrospective at Los Angeles County Museum of Art.   He envision the exhibition space as the world evolving and according to its own rhythms. The exhibition examines the “porosities and intensities” that arise between elements. His projects include animals, machines, objects, and humans none of which are static entities.

At one point a man was walking around in an LED mask, and an pink painted Ibizan hound was also roaming around LACMA. As I sat in a dark room watching smoke rise in a red light with instrumentals in the background the man in the LED mask sat on the floor next to me. To my surprise the dog walked in and laid down next to him. I was able to snap this photo.

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A Day at LACMA: Visual Art and Sensory Perception

As a person who is drawn to color, James Turrell is naturally one of my favorite artists. His new permanent installation, Breathing Light, 2013 in the Resnick Pavillion was nothing short of spectacular.  Turrell created an art installation in a giant room where multiple lights breath and skew the human perception. Every visitor is allowed 10 minutes in the room. When I walked into the large white room, it did not seem white at all, rather a cool blue light filled the space around me. I felt as though I was inside of a glacier or at the edge of the earth. I was drawn to the back of the room where a large open area contains a pool of thick blue light. It was surreal. When I turned around I noticed another set of lights framing the entryway in a rectangular form. These lights were bright to set the mood, and tone of the room. The environment began to change from a cool to a warm based as a result of the lights. The walls in the room are curved, further intensifying the alternate reality. As I moved closer to the curved walls I began to lose sense of my peripheral vision. After interacting with the environment for ten minutes my body adjusted to the trick Turrell is playing on me. I could no longer see the entrance where I came in. It was replaced with a box of light. Each piece of the room was filled with light. The two openings in the entry and the back became separate pieces of art. The transformation of the environment allowed the skewing of the human perception to observe multiple pieces of art. James Turrell’s installation transcended space and time.

Upon entering the Ahmanson Building I was immediately confronted by a large metal structure expanding through the central walkway of the building. Immediately I knew this must be Tony Smith because of the unforgettable metal material. The structure was built on top of five main pillars, which twist and stack on top of each other about forty feet into the air. The sculpture is titled “Smoke,” by the artist Tony Smith. His massive metal sculpture contains pillars that lighten up the heavy and abundant use of material. Similar to smoke rising, the sculpture is thick at the base and continues to narrow as it rises vertically until it eventually disappears at the top. The piece is so massive it takes up the entire walkway in the Building. LACMA attendees are forced to walk underneath the structure to get wherever they need to go. Four walls tightly enclose the installation allowing no room for the piece to breathe, almost the very opposite of Turrell’s light installation. Due to the installation in such a tight space I was forced to observe, “Smoke” very close up, making it is difficult for me to gain perspective on the piece. It is hard for me to believe this is the placement Tony Smith would have chosen for his piece.

Richard Serra’s, Band, 2006 is a winding maze sculpted out of curved wood. The large room in the Broad Contemporary Art Museum is filled with Serra’s substantial chestnut-brown wood structure. The convex form of the sculpture invites the viewer to interact with the piece. After experiencing the largest installation of Serra’s wood structures in the Guggenheim, Bilbao, I knew exactly how I like to interact with the piece. With the instincts of a child, I entered the “maze,” and followed it along the curves. I felt as if I was walking on the inside of a wave as the top of the wood structure curled over my head. As we have learned in class it is Richard Serra’s intention for the viewer to interact in some cases walk along the curve. His piece generates a sense of curiosity of the grandiose environment and is effective in inviting the viewer to step inside and interact.

Levitated Mass by Michael Heizner never ceases to amaze me. The enormous rock suspended above a long concrete walkway I imagine is hard for people to understand. It’s just a rock, how is that art? It is the out of place context of the structure, the delicate placement, and suspension that make such a bold statement. The extremely heavy mound of earth is carefully placed on top of two concrete walls. My perception was altered, and I was thinking there is no way this is secure.  I walked down the pathway to get a closer look. The length of the pathway magnified the anticipation of the mass which seemed grow in size as I got closer to it. I was afraid to walk under it. I continued on with hesitation and as I stood under the rock I was transported to a different environment. Being underneath the rock I felt I was no longer in LA, rather an exotic cave somewhere in the desert. The rock is a light tan color with ridged outer core, clearly from a remote desert area. How did this get here? This rock was surely not found in Los Angeles. Levitated Mass was trucked in to Los Angeles in the wee hours of the night, so the road closures made possible would not interrupt traffic.IMG_0240IMG_0239

Keith Haring Retrospective

The Keith Haring Retrospective at the De Young Museum in San Francisco was amazing. The body of work Haring created in his short 42 years of life were astronomical, and the scale of many of the works were expansive. Haring started his career in art as a graffiti artist, tagging subway maps in New York City. As he left his mark all over he became recognized by many, and lucky of him one of those people who recognized him was Andy Warhol.

In a journal of Haring’s that was displayed in a glass case he credited all of his success to Warhol. “Without Andy none of this would be possible,” he wrote.

As his career took off and his HIV illness continued to spread his intention changed direction. Much of his art was about spreading HIV. For people who don’t know much about Haring’s work, they may recognize his repetition of pattern. This repetition is not aimless, it is the representation of HIV. Seeing his work in a consecutive timeline made a powerful impact on the viewer, and was a great curating tactic to further understand the meaning behind his images. IMG_1934 IMG_1942IMG_1932

Abbott Kinney Architecture

I went to a party at my brothers boss’s house. He warned me preemptively the house was a converted warehouse in Venice Beach. I guess the guy bought it sometime around 1989. Anyway, the place was mad cool! I mean what type of warehouse is split in half by a Jacuzzi made of driftwood?

Humans are pretty creative, they never cease to surprise me.jacuzzi

The Commercialization of Art: Dom & Disney

In 2014, the most expensive art on the market is created and sold by living artists. Artists have become celebrities in a world where information is quickly distributed over easily accessible social media platforms.  The art world has become commercialized, placing an emphasis on profit and success that is translated to the general public. Andy Warhol was the first commercial artist.  He magnified consumerism through repetition of commercial products and mass production made possible by the invention of the silk screen.  The goal of any artist could be to educate the world and show people the passion and emotion the artist feels.  Today artists such as Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst, the wealthiest living artists, are collaborating with Fortune 500 companies bringing their art closer to the public. The artists are no longer magnifying our consumerist society they are pioneering it, having their way with commercial culture—and with us.

If you listen to Jay Z you may recognize him from the lyrics, “Jeff Koons balloons, I just want to blow up.” Blow up, is precisely what Jeff Koons has done. Today he is most famous for his “balloons,” stainless steel sculptures with a mirror finish. Koons desires to re-create the ecstatic experiences of a child’s enjoyment of the world with these large-scale balloon sculptures. The subject of his sculptures began as everyday objects such as tulips, cherries, or a dog. Not alone in his mission, Jeff Koons has a team consisting of 130 people. From 3D rendering experts to skilled painters, each work is created and perfected to appear with the absence of the human touch.  In 2013 he sold one of the sculptures “Balloon Dog,” for $58.4 million. He broke the world’s record for the highest price ever paid for an artwork by a living artist, until Hirst (Art News). As time goes on Koon’s subject matter has become increasingly commercial, employing icons of consumer culture such as Popeye, the Pink Panther, and Michael Jackson. In the past Koons has paired up with Lady Gaga and BMW among others. In 2013 he teamed up with Dom Perignon, arguably the worlds most luxury champagne for collaboration. The result was the Balloon Venus. This two-foot high limited edition, hand-polished, polyurethane resin holds the Dom Perignon Champagne Rose bottle. According to Koons, “the Balloon Venus represents our human history and aspect of the future.” (Damien Hirst). The entire sculpture is bright magenta in color and the material is highly reflective.  Smooth and curved the form of the figure is consistent. The Venus Balloon is a re-interpretation of the Venus of Willendorf (Dom Perignon Versus Jeff Koons). Venus of Willendorf is a famous prehistoric statuette whose features celebrated fertility and childbearing. Jeff Koons Balloon Venus proposes a new kind of idol: a modern-day goddess of love who embraces her beholder in reflective curves (Dom Perignon). In Koon’s rendition, the Venus preciously guards the vintage bottle. The Venus Balloon also has prominent features indicative of fertility such as large bulbous breasts. A crown of spheres rests on the head of the Venus synthesized from the Venus of Willendorf who exhibits bulb-like hair particles. The collector’s edition Dom Perignon Venus Balloon is priced at $20,000 and is made to order. “I know that my mother will want one,” Koons said, smiling. “But I hope a lot of collectors, people who are already involved with my work, will give these as gifts to their friends.” Right there, he told us, his interest in collaboration with Dom Perignon was to distribute his art to a larger audience. It is no crime to want to popularize yourself as an artist, but it seems this collaboration is lacking something deeper. As an artist Jeff Koons has the unique opportunity to send a message to the public, especially when collaborating with a product on the market. He has contributed to consumer culture by helping the manufacturer market their product. What is the greater good in this? Jeff Koons seems to have sold out to the most expensive champagne company. As a member of the public, the message I am receiving is “Do what you can to make money, and the more luxury you can do it, the better off you are.”

Often compared to Koons is celebrity artist, Damien Hirst, who has proven his ability to command astronomical prices for art works. Aside from being an artist, Damien Hirst is also a curator, collector, entrepreneur, restaurateur, and clothing designer. Hirst initially shocked the art world with his conceptual art. He became widely recognized for placing large dead animals in the preservative substance, formaldehyde. A stuffed shark placed in a box with formaldehyde sold for the staggering price of 8 million dollars. He repeated this process with the subject of a horse and inflated the price. Similar to Jeff Koons, Hirst has a team of scientists and artist working alongside him to help produce the work. Recently Hirst sold the most expensive piece by a living artist titled, “For the Love of God.” The sculpture produced in 2007 consists of a platinum cast of an 18th century skull encrusted with over 8,000 genuine diamonds. The materials alone are estimated to cost 14 million, and the price of the sculpture was $100 million dollars. Combine all that with Hirst’s other retail pursuits, including a company that licenses his imagery and a new line of clothing as part of the Warhol Factory X Levi’s label, and it’s easy to see him as a commercial artist. “Clearly, Hirst has become more than a famous artist — he has become a global brand,” wrote Pernilla Holmes. (Art News). In 2012, Disney reached out to Hirst to collaborate for “Kids Company.” The company is a nonprofit organization that seeks practical, emotional and educational support to vulnerable inner-city children. His commission was to recreate the most famous icon of consumer culture, Mickey Mouse. Hirst said, “Mickey Mouse represents happiness and the joy of being a kid and I have reduced his shape down to the basic elements of a few simple spots. I hope people love it, because it is still instantly recognizable – Mickey is such a universal and powerful icon.” Hirst followed in the footsteps of artists including Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Claes Oldenburg in interpreting Disney’s best-loved character. (Bowley, Graham). His simple rendition of Mickey Mouse consists of 12 dots: red, yellow, black and flesh. The composition entails a simple white background the dots on top. His bold use of the iconic Mickey colors connect the floating dots which makeup the figure. The form of the dots is reminiscent of the original curved shape of the character. Hirst version of Mickey parallels his series of Spot Paintings where he uses color and pattern to evoke meaning. Disney knew that Hirst was the best candidate for the job because his art is the most expensive on the market. With the goal of raising money for charity money is an important factor. When Hirst decided to collaborate with Disney for a commercial consumer piece his goal was different the Koons. Hirst took advantage of his public art fame and gave back to the public.

On one hand I see the commercialization of art as a positive thing. It spreads art to the public, and brings money into the art world. On the other hand I envision artists are promoters of social change, something I believe these works lack. Many questions are raised with the controversial artist Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst. How much does it cost to be an artist today? What message are these artists sending to the public? In some ways these artists may be discouraging to up and coming artists who do not have the funds to create a certain type of art. Remembering back to Andy Warhol and his magnification of consumer culture, his intent was to get the public to understand our culture, and how it manipulates us. Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst are assisting the manufacturer to increase sales, and boost consumer culture. As artists they could be advocating change in society, rather then promoting themselves, and the idea of spending.

Works Cited

“Artnet News’s Top 10 Most Expensive Living American Artists.” Artnet News. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2014.

Bowley, Graham. “Hirst Counts the Dots, or at Least the Paintings.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 11 June 2013. Web. 10 Dec. 2014.

“Damien Hirst.” Mickey –. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2014.

“Dom Perignon Champagne & Jeff Koons – Balloon Venus | RossDuJour.com.” YouTube. YouTube, n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2014.

Holmes, Pernilla. “THE BRANDING OF DAMIEN HIRST.”

“Dom Pérignon Balloon Venus by Jeff Koons.” Artreview.com. N.p., n.d. Web.

Artnews.com. N.p., 10 Jan. 2007. Web.

Lunch at the Hendrickson’s

Lunch at the Hendrickson’s.

If you are lucky enough to be invited for lunch at the Hendrickson’s, you will be in the company of Frank Stella, Craig Kauffman, Larry Bell, ___

A home with this much art, from these profound modern artists is one of the rarest gems one can find.

Being very close with the Hendrickson’s, they do in fact invite me over for lunch.

And each time before I arrive I am overcome with a rush of exhilaration.

But the second I walk in the door, there is an automatic stimulation.

I look to my left and see this beautiful triptych by Frank Stella.

The colors roll around in my brain like a washing machine.

I am satiated.

I have posted a photo of the family. Because I think they are one of the most beautiful families to ever live.

Talk about nostalgia.lunchwithfrank

Silverlake

Living in LA and being a young, aspiring designer/artist, yet currently a hipster, all I ever hear about is Silverlake. Apparently just hanging out in Silverlake is like the key to hipster heaven.

And so I went.

Down to Silverlake.

In this bitchin car.

(Insert photo of 3.5)

Black, black, Black.

Everyone is wearing black, oh and hats. Hats, hats, hats, everyone else is wearing hats. I have to say, Silverlake is very cool and also very quaint. I found some treasures at a vintage store. Namely a pair of glasses that looked identical to the latest Celine’s, but at a small portion of the price.

Oh and if you like food. Go to Café Stella.

Oh and if you like wine too.

And cigarettes on an enclosed balcony.

Pretty much if you want to be Parisian wherever you are… Go to Café stella. 
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All the Gangsters in the Club Ai Weiwei

@Large was the exhibition of Ai Wei Wei’s work installed on Alcatraz Island, former  prison in the San Francisco Bay. Let me just say, if you did not have a chance to go, Im sorry. Ai Wei Wei is one of the most important artists and activists ever. For those of you who don’t already know he is currently not allowed to leave China, as punishment for standing up against the government. His following is large and his followers are loyal. No joke, for every one photo you tag him in on Instagram you gain 20 followers.

Here are a couple photos of my favorite pieces at the show.

The LA Times wrote a phenomenal review of the show, you should read it.

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/la-et-cm-knight-aiweiwei-review-20140927-column.html#page=1

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1989

 

1989

1989 was memorable for many reasons. One of them being George Bush Seniors election into presidency, and we all know where that story ends. The Cold War finally ended with the smashing of the Berlin Wall. Technology was coming in so fast nobody even saw it. Steve Jobs was named Entrepreneur of the year… like we didn’t know that. Disney debuted “The little Mermaid,” on the same day Taylor Swift was born. And my Mom took this photo of my Dad.

I have always had a thing for vintage photos. I admire the clothing and the color palette. I get a real sense of nostalgia for the places I will never know.

My Dad has always been the most stylish person in my life. When I look at this photo I see him, with his suave dark hair, classic aviators, and graceful tennis form. A part of me laughs and thinks, “of course he was wearing all white before Rihanna.” Ha!