Monday, February 29, 2016


Yesterday, I drove to the middle of nowhere in California -- out of the glistening pools of Palm Springs; past the suburbs of Coachella; through farm land, then desert land; past date plantations; along the Salton Sea, riddled with abandoned property, to finally reach one of the greatest folk art treasures in the United States: Salvation Mountain.

Situated in a community characterized by both poverty and divergence from the system, Salvation Mountain stands as a monument to one man's dedication to his faith and determination to tell the story of Jesus.  Created over the span of 30 years by Leonard Knight (1931-2014), Salvation Mountain is made of clay from the earth mixed with straw and covered with hundreds and hundreds of gallons of latex paint.  It is a fragile monument set upon a dune in the middle of the desert, and has faced imminent ruin many times.  Since Mr. Knight's death in 2014, it is presided over by a non-profit organization, which helps to maintain the site and share Mr. Knight's story of diligence and perseverance and above all else, faith.

In anticipation of my visit to the site (which I'd been longing to see for many years), I made a necklace inspired by Mr. Knight's work of art.  While creating this miniature replica of a tiny piece of Salvation Mountain, I couldn't help but marvel at the determination and skill with which Mr. Knight wrangled a barren sand dune into a colorful homage.

Photos by Hilary Pollack.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016


I found this Maliparma dress/jacket at the thrift store recently, and it immediately brought to mind the intricate maze-like paintings of Chinese contemporary artist Xu Qu.  The mazes in his work are actually enlarged versions of the patterns on modern currency, and references the globalization and commoditization of art.

Dress/jacket: Maliparma
Sweater: J. Crew
Denim: Hudson

Photo by Hilary Pollack; Xu Qu image from

Thursday, February 18, 2016


The longer I live, the more beautiful life becomes. --Frank Lloyd Wright

Today's ensemble is inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright, an architect who designed over 1,000 structures.  He is most well known for his architecture (such as Fallingwater and the Guggenheim), but was involved in much of the interior decoration of his buildings as well, including stained glass.  The modernist style of his glass and structures has inspired design up to the present day, including the stained glass above, and the vintage jacket I'm wearing.

Dress and jacket: vintage, thrifted.

Photo by Hilary Pollack; FLW image from

Monday, February 15, 2016

MOROCCO: the Medina

Since I have a long weekend on my hands, I've finally been culling the hundreds of photos I took in Morocco in January.  It was, by far, the best trip of my life, and I still get excited when I see the colors and patterns in the photos, which, of course, is nothing like experiencing it in real life.

My favorite parts of Morocco are the medinas, the ancient walled-in cities within cities that feel like stepping back in time.  Walking through the winding streets that are mazes of shops and stalls selling everything you could possibly imagine is an experience unlike anything else.  The artisan handcrafts in Morocco are unbelievable, and I couldn't get enough of the tilework, hand-woven rugs, and leatherwork.

The photos above are from Fes, my favorite city in Morocco.

Next up on my Morocco recap: the Sahara Desert.

Friday, February 12, 2016


I was walking down the street in Chelsea, and a flash of neon orange caught my eye.  The flash was coming from Jane Lombard Gallery, and orange nylon was part of a symbolic hot air balloon made by Lucy and Jorge Orta.

I had never heard of the couple before and later found out that ANTARCTICA is their first exhibition here in the US, based on their expedition to the icy continent in 2007.  Much of the pair's work considers environmental conditions and human survival, and the exhibition includes drawings and plans for sculptures that the artistic duo executed in Antarctica during their travels.

Part of the traveling exhibition, The Antarctic World Passport Delivery Bureau, encourages individuals to pledge to work against global warming, and I happily signed up to participate.

It was so refreshing to see and experience new-to-me artwork dealing with a global issue that is also well executed and eye catching (thanks to that flash of traffic-cone neon)!

Jane Lombard Gallery
Open through February 20

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

BAM and then it hits you

I recently had the opportunity to return to the Brooklyn Academy of Music, one of my favorite venues in NYC.  The Trisha Brown Dance Company was performing for three days only, alongside an exhibition of works by Elizabeth Murray.  [See my Elizabeth Murray post here.]

I had never before seen the Trisha Brown Company, but was familiar with her work with Merce Cunningham in the 1960s and was excited to finally partake in the thrill.  There were three dances, one with costumes and set designed by Robert Rauschenberg, one by Elizabeth Murray, and one by Donald Judd.  The most interesting part of the experience, for me, was seeing how three visual artists whose work I know so well reinterpreted the set and costumes for modern dance.

I highly recommend that you catch a show at BAM sometime soon - and be sure to stop by BAMcafe Live - one of my favorite low-key live music venues on Friday and Saturday nights.

Coat: Vintage - last worn here, in San Francisco!
Jeans: Hudson
Boots: Chloe
Bag: Milly

Photos by William Sealy.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016


Well, this just made my day.
I've been thinking about mothers and daughters working together creatively, and here is another joint effort: this time at the Chrysler Museum of Art (my old stomping grounds!).

Caroline and her daughter Willoughby are perfectly placed with Leon Kroll's In The Hills (1920-21) and I couldn't help but notice how Willoughby's dress even echoes the plaid of the skirt in the painting.  Not only do they echo the pose of the ladies in the work - they both also look surprisingly like the subjects.

My own mother used to take me to the Chrysler Museum, and I always dreamed of being in this painting - perhaps my own concept for Artfully Awear began in those halls!

Thank you to Caroline and Willoughby Trudell for sharing this photo.