All good things come in 2′s

The wonderful photgrapher Gabriela Kulaif just posted something on facebook which I simply had to share:

The must see surrealist “Miss You” solo show by the Brazilian brothers Otavio and Gustavo Pandolfo, also knows as “the twins,” or “Os Gêmeos” in Portuguese.

 Shelley Leopold writing for LAWeekly interviews the brothers:

Shannon Cottrell

“We know from previous experience that a 10:30 am interview is a lot to ask of artists, even on a weekday. It turns out we’re kept waiting because of another interview with a prestigious national art rag that has only just noticed Os Gêmeos’ bright, yellow-skinned figure paintings recently, now that the work can bring close to six figures.

These happy, colorful, self-styled characters grew out of the foundations of traditional graffiti and developed on the streets with encouragement from a magical 1993 meeting with Barry McGee (aka TWIST), who was there on an artist residency. Otavio and Gustavo’s graffiti folktales have since towered over the streets of Sao Paolo and the world, for some 20 years. Consequently, Os Gêmeos’ retrospective contribution to MOCA’s “Art in the Streets” show was stunning — an installation the equivalent of a boulevard full of faces of houses and houses of faces, hooked up to a drum kit that triggered lights embedded in the paintings when played by museum attendees.

This sense of discovery and subsequent interaction is a very important concept in Os Gêmeos’ work seen in the “Miss You” show, and in general, as they explain when we finally speak. By noon they are tired of talking, but they make clear that their influences and ideas come from an easily understood place — inside their heads, where they admittedly live most of the time.

“Everything we do is a self portrait,” says Otavio. “When you come inside [our show] you come inside what we believe.”

Referencing a featured piece in the show, a big, cute, square female head suspended from the middle of the room, which one can climb inside for a trippy, kaleidoscope experience sans LSD, Gustavo says, “Sometimes our head is like a house. Where you close or open it and allow people to come inside and live.”

This idea is explored in an actual “room” created on site at Prism, with bed, books and personal items. One whole wall is an interactive, brain-like screen littered with moving yellow faces that react to touch.

Courtesy of the gallery’s windows, sunshine and color purposefully bounce off the red walls of the exhibit, highlighting the fragmented subjects of the paintings, occasionally emphasized by well-placed sequins. Perhaps it’s capturing the magic “light” of L.A. that film directors like David Lynch and Werner Herzog wax poetic about. Even at night, light is a theme in “Miss You” as Os Gemeos’ signature faces grow out of the floor in mushroom-like lamps. “Our work is very colorful, happy,” Gustavo offers. Otavio agrees, “Yes, full of color, always. And when you see the sky here, it’s like a message for us. Beautiful. We love the light!”

 There are new textiles in the show, showcased upstairs and crafted by their mother, Margarida, a special collaboration for them that sparks an interesting result. It brings a calming influence to the otherwise high fidelity energy of the other work.

 Did they go to art school? Gustavo declares with conviction, “There was no need. Our moment is more special. The people that we’ve met, we only know nice people. It’s true! Life is very important.”

Overall Os Gemeos enjoy their time here in L.A., with many friends and good weather. The show at Prism will close March 24 and they return soon to Brazil to prepare for a museum show at the Boston ICA this summer.

 Our conversation ends with a reflection of the importance of the MOCA show (“It was good for the art scene — [MOCA director] Jeffrey [Deitch] breaks a lot of rules”), eventually turning to a related topic not even the locals quite understand, the destruction of our murals and the crackdown on artists (there is a not-so-secret new Os Gêmeos piece planted in the surrounding neighborhood). “This [attitude] is kind of stupid,” says Otavio. “But everything changes fast now. So many good artists in the world today, especially here in California, all coming from graffiti, street art, all young and very good.” “Especially here,” adds Gustavo. “It’s part of your culture! Los Angeles’ history and the art history in the U.S. Everything is very easy, but people like to make it complicated, hard. The whole world is like this. That’s why we are here to make people happy.”

I love these brothers – they do indeed make me happy. Let yourself be happy.

See you there.



Disney Land

It’s early. Inhumanely early for those of us without children yet. As I sat reading my current book “The Happiness Project” I found the urge to do something new, crazy, thrilling- sign up to wordpress on my phone. I know it may sound basic but here I am typing on my phone, accidentally hitting the wrong keys with my clumsy thumb smiling from ear to ear.

I’m excited as I’m off to Disney land with friends. Haven’t been since I was six, which was the first time I came to California. Never did I imagine I would live here, I was always a new York kind of gal. A part of me still is.

I will write more later but wanted to just say hello and recommend the book I’m reading- buy it as your Saturday treat.

The sun has come out and the sky is pale beautifulness. Perhaps this is the beat time to awake. If only it wasn’t so early.

Must shower.

Infinite amounts of love. I shall report on the land of Disney promptly. Perhaps even from my phone….

The year of the Dragon: 2012 Forecast

2011, the year of the raving Rabbit has passed and 2012 the year of the daring Dragon is unfolding before us. The scurrying Rabbit has led us through many a rabbit hole and we emerge shaken from the ongoing recession the world finds itself in. Polar bears are tweeting about their shrinking home and penguins have completely taken over Facebook. The increasingly obese have replaced the work of whales and turtles posing for pictures as enthusiastic divers snap at the delights before them. Dolphins and Tuna Fish have started to mate and the sharks are suffering severe identity crisis. Language has morphed into abbreviations and speech into guttural gargles.  Fear not, for the year of the Dragon is upon us and according to Ancient Chinese Astrology, and the Obama Campaign, this is a year of change.

In a bizarre turn of events the year of the wondrous beast has descended. Be forewarned for a series of extreme circumstances have been predicted including Sarah Palin spouting waves of fire from her otherwise pursed sassy red lips. David Cameron will probably learn to fly as he has practiced all year-long and according to our inside contacts he has watched “How to Train your Dragon” enough times to know what he is talking (flying) about. In a revolutionary bit of research conducted on rare Congolese ant eaters it has been discovered that human beings will evolve into dragon like beings and start crawling by 2013, the year of the snake. Harry Potter’s use of Parseltongue may in fact have served as subliminal messages for us to get practicing. If you don’t own a snake, buy one or ask one in various hisses to be your friend. Dentists have already commented how our two front teeth have become more pointy and sharp. This may be the reason for more deep cleanings being diagnosed, a final effort to rescue our diminishing teeth or a seemingly helpful effort to rid us of our molars and gums.

In preparation of 2013 we must shed our external skin and release the fire within.This may be a very gassy year, stock up on tums and pepto bismol.  In true dragon form we will find ourselves dancing through the streets and acting on impulse. Prepare for the unexpected and lots of water, for this is a watery year, primarily Voss and Fiji water. You will either have good luck or bad luck in the year to come. There will be those who will have no luck too.

It is recommended to conduct various cleanses this year, don’t worry about your intestinal lining for according to research conducted in a secret Beverly Hills laboratory there soon will be an external intestine designed by Apple, called the I-tine. All that is known is that we will be able to eat what we please and control our weight with the swipe of a finger over a mini match box sized intestine attached to our hip. More information to come. News of the I-man is surfacing yet the I-woman has proved too complex for even Apple to program.

In short this is a year of transformation and fire and water. As the wise man once said, you can hear more if you pay a small sum and after that you can hear even more for an even larger sum.  Welcome to the two thousand and twelfth year. Lets hear that dragon roar.

Knock Knock

Who is there? The postman. Yes, he did indeed do a very jovial knock on the door this morning as I was sipping my traditional morning brew (Nescafé - don’t judge) and catching up with the days affairs on the wondrous world-wide web (or W3 as I just discovered some people call it). “Bam, bam, bam, bam”. The rhythmic knock resounded throughout the apartment. “Who on earth comes a knocking at this un-Godly hour of the morning?!” Coffee in hand I meandered to the door and tugged hard at the handle (our door is falling to bits). There he stood. The tall, skinny postman with his broad smile, shirt ironed and hand stretched before me holding a package. This time the package is for us. This is quite a rare occasion for you see as much of our family resides in Mexico, Carlos and I have become a sort of ad-hoc postal delivery system. I am not complaining at all. Seriously. Carrying mounds of books, large books, and CDs and DVDs. It brings me joy. Makes me feel like Santa Claus flying economy class on Alaska Airlines. Literally. Sheer bliss.

Anyways, today the package was indeed, for us. My darling brother sent us Christmas presents. I felt like a child all over again. As I ripped open the package my eyes widened beyond recognition at the wrapping – all red and “Chrismassy” – staring back at me. “Surprise!” it seemed to say in my brothers jovial voice. And, surprise it did. Now our mini-Christmas tree has presents under it and I am listening to Christmas tunes. The “Chrismassy” feeling has descended upon me and boy does it make me miss my home in Oslo, Norway. My favourite part of Christmas is decorating the Christmas tree. I am a rather dictatorial decorator. I love to do it alone, somewhat like Greta Garbo in “Grand Hotel” who famously uttered “I want to be alone”. Well so do I (when it comes to Christmas trees.)

Back to the postman. We all know that the US Postal Service is suffering a hard blow these days. Many postmen are loosing their jobs whilst others wait for the day to come. It must be pretty grim. Christmas, however, hopefully brings more business to these valiant delivery men and woman. Who else delivers the letters to Santa Claus, ey? When you see the postman say hello, utter a cheery comment.  I don’t think enough people say thank you to the people who deliver our letters. Christmas is a time of love, family, sharing so lets share that love. I don’t care how corny I sound – let’s spread that love. That’s what it is all about right?

So as not to leave you on a chunk of cheese I leave you with Michael McIntyre, the great comedian who has me in stitches always. Here is his explanation of feeling Chrismassy:

Rose Bowl Flea Market

As far as the eye could possibly see were vintage tables, chairs, lamps, stools, curtains, clothes, pictures, night stands, mirrors, cutlery, glasses, cups, toys, shoes, beds and wardrobes. Yes, ladies and gents this and more is what awaits you at the Rose Bowl Flea Market – or as the hip kids call it – the Market. For there is no other market quite like it.  Unique in its kind for the vast quantities of high-end, top quality interiors and merchandise of every shape and size, the Pasadena Flea Market is a location for world-class shopping beholding some of the most beautiful pieces of everything you could imagine, I have ever seen.

From the gargantuan Rose Bowl football stadium a voice booms out of the loudspeakers as you huddle amongst a ton of other mad women and men who have chosen to awake at far too early an hour for a Sunday morning. “Ladies and Gentlemen! Welcome to the Famous Rose Bowl! The pride of Pasadena!” The voice encircles you and leads your foot into a step back in time. Suddenly you feel as though you were in the early 1900s about to enter the wonderous and mystical circus of the Rose Bowl. What lies before you is a mix of modern, vintage, old and new waiting to be bought, by you.

Memories linger comfortingly around the various possessions that people once had in their sitting room. All of these prized things once had a home, if they could talk they would tell a lengthy tale. As I walked aimlessly amongst a plethora of objects who each seemed to call my name wishing for me to adopt them I felt lost in the buzz of bartering and excitement and trailed down a reminiscent path of what was and what is to be. Suddenly I heard a tune slowly dance it’s way into my mind and as I turned to find the culprit my eyes fell upon the most beautiful record player. Have a listen:

For those who have never been to this gigantic Market go. Remember to arrive early for at around 9:30 am the sun emerges and it burns (my neck turned purple). You meet the most unexpected people such as a lady who looked like a kind troll who made tables, desks, counters, walls out of reclaimed wood. She made the most beautiful things and welded them herself. Her burn marks and cut skin were proof of her toils! My friend Elsita and I stood looking up at her as she towered over us smiling broadly enthusiastically explaining her creations. We bought mason jars and bottles which were according to photographic evidence (!)  dug up from people’s gardens. Who drank the Milk of Magnesium from the bottle I bought dated from 1940? Who stored their food or goodness knows what else in the Mason Jars dated 1878?

Sometimes we need a reminder that life goes on. Everything at this Market either once belonged to somebody else or were in fact part of something else. The reclaimed wood tables or benches, (made by the kind looking troll lady) had been made by the wood that once made up her family farm. A part of me was quite saddened by this, and yet as with everything life goes on, things change; this is not a bad thing, it is just the way life goes.

After the Pasadena Market my friend and I went to a modern furniture shop which although pretty was quite a shock to my system. A lamp on a horse? Why of course!

Flea Markets are quite a nostalgic and romantic place. A sort of mysterious and yet cuddly place. They are a place one can let ones imagination run wild as it wonders who once wore a pair of shoes, or played with a toy aeroplane. I had no idea what to expect when my friend invited me to this Market. I never imagined its size nor the experience I was about to have. As we wandered back to the car, past clever ice- cream vendors catching tired shoppers in need of something cold and sugary, I felt a comforting sense of continuity as I re-entered the real world of my daily happenings clutching a bag full of 1920s mason jars. As we got in the car the echo of the loudspeakers hummed a distant tune, re-affirming that life, indeed, is good. Have a listen below- (You may call me corny. I am. Fact) Now enjoy!



Q: What’s been going on?

A: lots. Including dining at Misfit in Santa Monica, going to the Pasadena Flea Market at the Rose Bowl, Wedding planning, birthdays and much more. I have much to write but whilst I do so I wanted to share a few pictures my friend Gabi took of me. I am not being vain and I usually cannot look at myself in pictures, but for the first time I like how I look, all accredited to Gabi who is a wonderfully talented photographer. Let me know what you think and Happy Monday!