Wednesday, July 23, 2014


It was the fall of 2008, and I was a young, questioning graduate student.  I eagerly queued outside the Museum of Modern Art on a Tuesday evening for a chance to hear Jeff Koons speak, with the hopes of asking him a two-part question I'd been dying to hear his answer to:
"Do you ever feel guilty for taking the credit, fame, and fortune for your work that is created by your studio assistants?  Could you comment on the removal of the artist's hand from the creation of work and what that means for young artists today?"
I anxiously listen to Koons speak about his work and its relation to contemporary art, and when Q & A time came round, I raised my hand, prominently waved, and loudly asked the question I'd come to hear the answer to when he called on me.  Instead of providing a response, he mumbled something about the artist's right, and moved on to the next question.  Disappointed by his response (or lack thereof), I wrote a paper about the experience and my thoughts on artists like Koons and Damien Hirst who profit from the work of their assistants.

Koons' retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art features work from every stage of the artists' career and oeuvre, and I couldn't help but think about the studio assistants behind the larger-than-life artwork.  Did you see the exhibition?  What did you think?

Dress: H&M
Inflatable flowers: Amazon
Shoes: Keds
Handbag: Jeff Koons for H&M

Photos by Hannah Kauffman; assistance by Maureen Nacy.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


Georges Seurat, The Lighthouse at Honfleur, 1886
Stephen Scott Young, Dawn's Light, Coast of New England, 2008
Paul Resika, Blue Wave, 2008
Andrea Kowch, Light Keepers

I just returned from a much-needed, albeit brief vacation in the mid coast of Maine.  On my last day, I was able to explore the Historic Lighthouse at Pemaquid Point, located in a picturesque setting on the rocks since 1827.

While we were clambering around on cliffs, I began considering the various depictions of the lighthouse in painting.  In a quick search on, I compiled these few widely varied examples, ranging from a close-hued Pointillist painting from the 19th century by Georges Seurat, to contemporary painting, both Realist and abstract, to a fantasy-like, almost Surreal, contemporary work by Andrea Kowch (previously featured here).

Which style do you prefer?

Dress: Vintage (thrifted for $5!)
Shoes: Sperry
Hat: H&M

Images via; Photographs by Hope Huynh.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


Blinky Palermo, Times of the Day I–VI (1974–76)

I found this photo while rummaging through old files on my laptop, and realized how much I want to revisit Dia:Beacon.  This particular work by Blinky Palermo is on long-term installation there, and includes 25 different canvases that represent the various lightness or darkness of the times of the day, from sunrise to sunset.

Have you been to Dia:Beacon?  I'd love to hear about your experience there.

Dress: Alexandre Herchcovitch
Sandals: Sam Edelman

Photo by Meri Feir.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


My favorite day of the year has once again come and gone (luckily for me, it returns again in August).  The Jazz Age Lawn Party, currently in its 9th year on Governors Island, is a fete not to be missed by anyone who loves Gatsby-era revelry.  This was my third year in attendance, and I was shocked to find how many likeminded individuals gathered on the lawn on Governors Island to hear Michael Arenella & His Dreamland Orchestra perform, along with many other musicians, dancers, and even a sword swallower.  I can't wait for the next party!  See my previous JALP outfits here and here.

Dress: Marni
Shawl: Vintage, thrifted
Shoes: Vintage, thrifted
Necklace: Made by my Grandmother
Hat: Same as last year, updated with ribbon & appliques from B&Q Trimming
Picnic Basket: Picnic World

Photos of me by Ivy Fuld & Meri Feir; other photos by me.

Thursday, June 12, 2014


At the behest of Creative Time Kara E. Walker has confected:

Kara Walker - A Subtlety

or the Marvelous Sugar Baby
an Homage to the unpaid and overworked Artisans who have refined our Sweet tastes from the cane fields to the Kitchens of the New World on the Occasion of the demolition of the Domino Sugar Refining Plant

Did you know there's a giant sphinx made out of sugar currently residing in an abandoned Domino Sugar factory in Brooklyn?  Not only is there a behemoth of a lady sphinx, but she is accompanied by a gaggle of children made out of molasses.  The entire experience is quite overwhelming, from the damp, expansive space to the ultra sweet smell that permeates your nostrils upon arrival.  Never one to really sugarcoat the issue, Walker's work over the past 20 years deals with themes of race and culture, and her overtly sexual, graphic, and suruprisingly lovely silhouettes have become ubiquitous with the relationship between art and cultural identity in our age.  This, her first large scale public project overwhelms both in its sense of scale, and also for its surprising relationship to her earlier work & development of the themes therein.  See the last time I wore my Kara Walker dress here.

Dress:  Jill Stuart
Sandals: Sam Edelman

A Subtlety is on view in Brooklyn until July 6, 2014.

Photos of me by Kathy Paciello; all other photos by me.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


You may wonder what these two individuals have in common; one a legendary fashion designer and icon, and the other a Surrealist artist.  Apart from their fame, both worked directly with Russian ballet impresario Sergei Diaghilev.  Founder of the Ballets Russes, Diaghilev recruited artists to work with him on all aspects of his ballets, from the set design to the choreography, to the costumes. In addition to Miró and Chanel, Diaghilev also worked with Pablo Picasso, Igor Stravinsky, Henri Matisse, Georges Braque, and Jean Cocteau; this group reads like a list of who's who in the culture of late 19th and early 20th century France.  Click here to read more info about Diaghilev's artist collaborations.

The vintage skirt I'm wearing in this post features a Miró print which corresponds directly to some of his Surrealist paintings of the time period.  The Chanel shoes are a new addition to my collection and help to round out the subtle nod to Diaghilev's genius through a modern outfit that stands for more than the sum of its parts.

Skirt: Vintage, Uncommon Objects in Austin, Texas
Crop Top: Vintage, Beacon's Closet in Brooklyn, New York
Leather Block-Heel Shoes: Chanel
Clutch: Felix Rey
Bangles: Roberta Roller Rabbit

Photos by Kathy Paciello; Miró images from and

Thursday, May 29, 2014


As a child, I was fascinated by the pulsing colors and spectra of works by Peter Max.  Born in 1937, Max created colorful illustrations throughout his entire life across all media, and in partnership with many large companies, such as the USPS and 7-Up, which made him a cultural phenomenon.  He is most notable for his psychedelic landscapes with jubilant figures that seem to characterize the "Cosmic Sixties".  Max still lives and works in New York City, and his work remains a source of inspiration for me, both in the color palettes and compositions which recall one of my favorite decades in fashion and in art.

Dress: L'Amour by Nanette Lepore
Shoes: Kelsi Dagger
Bag: Rebecca Minkoff 

[Photos by Kathy Paciello; Max images from,]