Wednesday, July 20, 2011



When I first encountered the work of Christian Holstad (b. 1972), I was struck by the works' formal and graphic success, and only discovered the importance of specific materials and underlying meanings after perusing these articles.

Holstad is a Brooklyn based artist who explores issues of sensual tension through disparate formal elements within individual works.

This particular piece, Cacoon (2007), consists of a vintage aluminum lawnchair, paint, 2(x)ist underwear elastic, vintage mohair sweater, xerox transfers, wool felt, vintage exercise boots, and sand.

Works like Cacoon, which purport to "question our ability to fathom our own feelings" function as multilayered vessels of meaning.


"For the viewer to become suddenly unsure of an image's 'obvious' intent is key to Holstad's method." --Steve Lafreniere, Artforum January 2003


I'm wearing an Undrest knit maillot, vintage aloha shirt, vintage Ray-Ban aviators, and Lovely People leather sandals.


The winner of the Picasso Scarf Giveaway is Hivenn!
Congratulations & thank you to everyone who commented!

[Holstad mages from]

Tuesday, July 19, 2011



I'm always overjoyed to find actual pieces of fashion that depict artworks (examples here and here). To encourage artful awearness in others, I'm giving away this lovely Picasso-printed scarf to a reader. It is a 40-inch square, perfect for tying turbans or kerchiefs or what have you.

To enter, follow Artfully Awear on Blogger, Facebook, Twitter, or Bloglovin, and leave a comment on this post through July 27. I'll draw the winner randomly and you'll be notified via email.

"One must act in painting as in life: directly." --Pablo Picasso



Watercolor is a medium that is often relegated to the realm of studies or prepaintings. Because of its swift, permanent nature, the use of watercolors can easily capture a subject within a few broad, well-handled strokes.

John Singer Sargent (1856-1925), most known for his portraits in oil, particularly the sensational Madame X, completed over 2,000 watercolors during his artistic career.

Though his portraits exhibited intense control and uncanny likeness (bordering on flattery) his watercolors exhibit a tendency toward impressionism and an affinity for working en plein air.

Sargent traveled through England, France, Italy, and the Americas, and his oeuvre exhibits quite a wide array of landscape subjects.


When asked about his strategy in watercolor painting, Sargent replied, "Make the best of an emergency."


I'm wearing a Jean Paul Gaultier sarong dress over and H&M swimsuit, Marc by Marc Jacobs leather sandals, and a straw hat by Scala.


[John Singer Sargent images from]

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


"Boom for real", an adage of the late Jean-Michel Basquiat, implies short-lived, fast-paced, noteworthy, and life-changing--an accurate description of Basquiat's life and career itself.

Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988) was born in Brooklyn. He left home as a teenager and began tagging the Lower East Side under the pseudonym of SAMO.

Paralleled by his personality, Basquiat's rise to art world stardom was rapid and extreme. In just a few years, he went from being a semi-anonymous street artist, living on benches in Washington Square Park, to a prominent painter, with studio space in SoHo and gallery representation in the US and abroad.

Basquiat began working on canvas, and was classified as a Neo-Expressionist, alongside contemporaries Francesco Clemente and David Salle. He began working relationships with Andy Warhol and David Bowie, and was connected romantically with Madonna.

Basquiat's large-scale canvases were often covered in trail-of-thought text and incorporated layers of paint stick and spray paint, amassed while Basquiat worked with simultaneous precision and abandon. However meaningless some of the words and phrases appear, many of them are symbolic, and deal with issues of race and society.

Basquiat died of a heroine overdose in 1988 at the age of 27. His short life and career truly exemplified the meaning of "boom for real".

I'm wearing a vintage jumpsuit, vintage leather belt, Halston Heritage espadrilles, and a vintage leather drawstring bag.

In a very recent post, I mentioned Cy Twombly's influence on Jean-Michel Basquiat. As I was writing this post yesterday, I heard the sad news of Twombly's death at age 83 and couldn't help but wonder at what would have been, had Basquiat seen 60 more years of life.
RIP Cy Twombly and Jean-Michel Basquiat.

[Basquiat images from,,, and, respectively.]