Thursday, November 28, 2013


Andrea Kowch, The Feast
From Artfully Awear to you, Happy Thanksgiving!
I'm thankful for art as inspiration and a means of expression.

Image via  Prints available through Richard J Demato Fine Arts Gallery.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

YAYOI KUSAMA: Love Is Calling

Dubbed "Rain Room, Part Deux", Yayoi Kusama's I Who Have Arrived in Heaven at David Zwirner in Chelsea has been drawing sizable crowds to 19th Street.  A big fan of Kusama's work (in particular, her infinity rooms), I set out to Chelsea on Saturday afternoon, unprepared for the amusement park-like queues that greeted me.
Since Fireflies on the Water at the Whitney Museum last year, I skipped the line for the similar work Infinity Mirrored Room -- The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away, which commanded the lengthiest line.  The separate line for Love is Calling, moved fairly quickly, and after about 20 minutes, I was admitted into the room for my one minute of viewing.
The experience is delightfully overwhelming, and includes a soundtrack of Kusama's voice penetrating the chamber.  The beautifully luminous tentacles form an environment almost like a seascape, but the sound and infinite reflections make it a bit unsettling.  Endlessness, a theme explored throughout much of Kusama's work, is most notably embodied by these installations, calling to mind the triviality of an individual within the universe.
If you've never experienced one of Kusama's infinity rooms, I recommend a visit to 19th Street, preferably on a weekday.

Have you had a chance to see the exhibition?  How did it make you feel?

Dress: Vintage
Boots: Ash
Handbag: Marc by Marc Jacobs

David Zwirner Gallery
November 8 - December 21, 2013
Photos by Kathy Paciello.

Monday, November 18, 2013

INSPIRATION: The Modern Woman.

I love this so much; all I want to do is wear an Op Art coat and stand near a Helen Frankenthaler painting.

From The New York Times' The Lively Morgue:
June 26, 1963: Reviving the American Indian art of painting on furs, the Fifth Avenue fur designer Jacques Kaplancommissioned five American artists to paint on his collection to be worn by “the modern woman.” Within two hours, the first coat — painted by Anuszkiewcz, with a geometric arrangement of black dots on white calfskin — was sold to Mrs. Harcourt Amory. Each design came as a complete surprise to Mr. Kaplan, as he allowed the artists “absolute freedom to do whatever they wanted.”
Photo: Mayer Liebowitz, The New York Times 

Friday, November 15, 2013

CHALLENGE: Mickalene Thomas.

I'm excited to announce the inaugural Artfully Awear Challenge!
I've chosen a work of art (below) for inspiration, and dare you to style an outfit influenced by it: a direct representation of the work or a subtle nod to the color, form, feeling of the piece.  Take a photo of your look and send it to by midnight EST on Friday, November 22nd.
I'll post all of the photos here, and challenge one entrant to choose the next inspirational work.

For the first challenge, I've chosen a piece by one of my favorite contemporary artists, Mickalene Thomas.  This untitled work is made with rhinestones, glitter, acrylic, enamel, pastel, charcoal, graphite, and oil on wood panel.  
Mickalene Thomas, Untitled #4, 2013
I can't wait to see your photos!
Plainness in clothing is the enemy of art.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

GE Reveal Lighting Makeover

Stained glass lamp fitted with standard light bulb.
One of my most prized possessions is a stained glass lamp designed and made by my grandmother.  Reminiscent of the art glass of Louis Comfort Tiffany, the lamp is special not only because it is her own design, but because she created it in her favorite palette of colors.  I put together this outfit inspired by the lamp, and by the beautifully artistic eye of my grandmother.

GE asked me to test out their new Reveal lightbulb, and I couldn't wait to see how it would look in my grandmother's lamp.  With the Reveal bulb, the beautiful colors of the glass and intricacy of the design are much more apparent.
Stained glass lamp fitted with GE Reveal bulb.
GE reveal® bulbs make it easy to enhance the colors and patterns around you, something that is extremely important to visual people like myself. The LED lightbulbs filter out dull yellow rays of standard incandescents, and provide a beautiful, clear light , perfect for a workspace, to showcase artwork, or simply to light your home. An added bonus is that the Reveal bulbs use 28% less energy than standard incandescents.

To learn more about the difference reveal® can make, watch this fun video engaging tastemakers who depend on the best lighting possible for their craft.

Thank you to GE for the opportunity to test out the Reveal bulb!

Blouse: Vintage
Leather pants: Tracy Reese
Boots: DKNY

Mike Kelley at MoMA PS1

The full-museum retrospective on the late Mike Kelley at MoMA PS1 opened a few weeks ago.  I attended the opening in my self-made Kelley-inspired pom pom jacket, but it's taken me a few weeks to develop my feelings about the show and begin to understand the overwhelming experience.

First of all, it is not an exhibition that can be confronted in one visit.  There is just too much -- so many extremely different, opposing mediums and ideas -- that it requires more than one sojourn in order to begin to even scratch the surface of the meaning and intent of Kelley's oeuvre.

Kelley created work that spanned a 30-year career in almost every medium imaginable: assemblage, film, works on paper, painting, sculpture, digital, installation, and on and on.  Much of this work deals with themes of isolation, repressed memory, sexuality, self-exploration.  My personal favorite work is Deodorized Central Mass with Satellites (1991), which I planned ahead to emulate with my pom pom jacket.

However, one of the most poignant pieces in the exhibition is Lumpenprole and Ageistprop (above).  A vast knit blanket stretched across the floor, concealing unidentified lumps beneath it, this work is the perfect example of Kelley's interest in repressed memory, and the way he consistently returned to previously explored themes throughout his widespread career.  While I was viewing the work, another museum attendee held his iPhone poised at the ready in order to catch the movement of the mysterious shapes (spoiler alert: they don't move).  This anecdote is a perfect example of my experience of the show: the feeling that there is something lurking around the corner that could change or develop at any moment, without notice.

Jacket: DIY
Dress: H&M
Shoes: United Nude
Clutch: Betsey Johnson
Photos by Kathy Paciello; Lumpenprole image from

Monday, November 11, 2013


I had the pleasure of attending Lady Gaga + Jeff Koons' ARTRAVE last night, the launch party for Gaga's new album, Artpop.  I have mixed feelings about Koons' work -- on the one hand, I can appreciate its accessibility and its Warholian kitsch, but it doesn't really appeal to me aesthetically.  I feel similarly about Gaga's music; I acknowledge her importance as a popular culture and fashion icon, but I wasn't exactly counting down the days until her album's release.  ARTRAVE, however, was a true spectacle in every sense of the word, appealing to all five senses at once, and the excitement of all the "little monsters"at the Brooklyn Navy Yard was palpable.  But the real highlight for me was enjoying the concert alongside some of the industry's most revered (and notorious) players, such as Tony BennettTerry RichardsonChristian Siriano, and my most revered performance artist, Marina Abramovic, who was the perfect addition to our group of friends.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

INSPIRATION: A Tribute to Rothko.

I love these beautifully simplified photographs by Eddy de Azevedo.
As a tribute to Mark Rothko, photographer Azevedo has captured everyday Color Field occurrences, and I've found these stacks of clothing particularly compelling.
See more images here.