medium /// performance art

jenny fine

These two photographs inspired a colorful, dreamy, David Lynch-ish traveling performance piece by American artist Jenny Fine. I wrote about Jenny’s series, titled “The Saddest Day” a few years ago – a heartbreaking project she did with her dear grandmother, Sarah, shortly before her death. Almost all of Jenny’s work is an homage to her Granny, and the beautiful dedication continues! May I present Flat Granny and Me: A Procession in My Mind:

“Intertwining the historic narrative surrounding the plight of my South Alabama farming community at the hands of the Mexican Boll Weevil with the memory-scape of my grandmother riding in the annual Boll Weevil Parade as 1968 Woman of the Year; past meets present, reality and memory collide placing the viewer in a dream-like setting and state. Part cyclorama/part moving image, A Procession… was created in an attempt to “reverse the camera’s crop” – returning space and time to the still image; and doing so, attempts to redefine the form and function of the photograph in our contemporary, image-saturated world.” 

So beautiful. And that’s “Flat Granny” above — a life-size photographic cutout of her grandmother turned costume. A full video of this dreamlike performance piece can be seen on Jenny’s site. There are also gorgeous behind-the-scenes photos that go into detail about the gorgeous costumes, lighting, etc.  It’s all just so weird and beautiful.

“a giant game of telephone… with art”


In late 2012, I got an email from an American singer/songwriter named Sally Taylor. She was beginning to plan what she described as “a giant game of telephone, but with art”, and could I suggest a few visual artists that might be able to create something based on a piece of music she’d send them… um, YES! It sounded fun, creative, and amazing… and it was! In 2014 Consenses opened to the public in Martha’s Vineyard, and today I get to ask Sally the ins and outs of this giant project. You can listen right up there under lovely Sally, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

First things first, we quickly have to talk about her parents, because:


Yep, Sally is the daughter of American music icons, Carly Simon and James Taylor. For real. As you can imagine, I had a few questions about that too! She obviously comes from an insanely creative family {her brother Ben is a musician too} which I’m sure fueled this big beautiful project. Speaking of which, here’s a peek behind the doors at Consenses. I wish I’d been there for the opening, but my hope is to be there for the closing this coming August {if you’re anywhere near Martha’s Vineyard you should go!}:


Ahhh, so much goodness in one spot! So basically the way it works – there are “chains” of creativity. So a musician writes a piece of music, and an artist would make a painting based on that song. Next, a dancer would create choreography inspired by the visual art. A perfumer could respond to that dance, developing a perfume that would tell the same story, but through scent. This is not one of the official “chains” but it’s a selection of work from Consenses that I LOVE:


Amazing. {Did you see Lisa Golightly and Susanna Bauer in there?!} Each chain was then housed in a customized set designed by, you guessed it, a set designer. Seriously, just the coolest project ever. So, what do you do after you create such a cool project? A TEDx Talk, obviously:


This is such a great talk… and she looks fabulous to boot! Apparently she only got two lunges into her backstage “get the nerves out workout”, but you’d never be able to tell. She did a wonderful job. Watch here.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I’ve never sung backup vocals on Letterman for my Dad, or hung out with Oprah and Stephen Colbert with my mom… but Sally has:


Crazy cool! I loved her story about being on Letterman and her “Jolly Green Giant” outfit! Thank you so much to Sally for generously sharing her funny, insightful stories; thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting yet another episode; and big thanks to you for listening! There will be more art for your ear next weekend.

ps. I cannot believe I’m willingly posting these, but just so you don’t think my description was off… here’s proof. Me. Age 11. Mistaken for a boy. A lot. *note the white California glasses and yellow terry cloth shorts. Yowza:


Other links:

  1. Consenses Documentary
  2. Mass MOCA 
  3. Consenses School Project
  4. Oprah clip
  5. Letterman clip


picasso n’ jay z…

A few weeks ago, at PACE Gallery in New York, Jay Z performed his song “Picasso Baby” over and over and over for six hours. He sang face-to-face to individuals, in an attempt to create a personal connection and shared energy… kinda like:

Yep. In a very similar {yet totally different because he sang, danced, and laughed with his audience} way, this was not too far off from what Marina Abramović did at MoMA with her “Artist is Present” performance. Well, she showed up so that she could have her personal {yet rap filled} moment with Jay Z. I wonder if she was kinda there to say “Yes, cool. But you know I kinda did this already, right?” … or maybe she just loves hip hop as much as I do! {really, I do – so, so much!}

Lots of people including actors, artists, writers, musicians, collectors, and kids showed up to watch Jay Z. Oh, but make sure you cover the kids ears every few minutes {enter explicit lyrics here}.

It seemed like everyone there had an amazing time! My favorite moment was when this lovely lady in rose-colored glasses {Sandra Gering, Art Dealer} walked up, sat down, gave a huge smile and a little shoulder dip … completely throwing Jay Z off his game {around 2:28 in the video} He lost his words for a second and needed to regroup … ahh, nothin’ like a lady in rose-colored glasses to shake you up a bit:

Now, there’s lots of talk about this New York “happening”. Was it real art {whatever that means}? Was it just a really cool way to do a music video {which is actually an artistic project as well}? Was it a blatant copy {with music} of Marina’s performance? And then this question has also come up… if hip-hop is art for the people, why didn’t this happen in the streets instead of in a gallery with a very fancy invite list. Honestly, I’m not sure how to answer all of those questions, but I also don’t know that I need to. That’s what being creative is about, right? Just doing, and making, and sharing – and I think that Jay Z did it in a way that made the most sense for him and his medium. At the end of the day, it looks like it was a crazy fun, energy-filled six hours, and I am totally jealous of everyone who got to be part of it {including Jerry Saltz, New York Magazine art critic, who wrote a great article about his experience}

The only question left to ask… I wonder what Picasso would have thought? Given the images below {Picasso dancing with a poodle; Picasso dancing in his underpants; and a drawing of one of his dancers} I think he might have put on a stripy shirt and rocked it out with his new friend, Hova.

Here… you and Pablo can watch this together {the song, and a snippet of what went down that day – here’s the newly released video of the event}:

{Images: Various sources including Vogue, and grabs from the video above}

july 10th ~ 11th

Ooh, I couldn’t be more excited to be kicking off my weekend guest series with the fabulous, and always inspiring, Erin Loechner. The list of reasons why I’m jealous of her is pretty long, so I’ll just give you the highlights…

1) She is the creator and author of one of my favourite daily reads, Design For Mankind 2) Not only does she write all of the content for her own blog, but she is also a guest blogger on several sites, including, where she is documenting her home renovation project {also something to be jealous of, by the way!} 3) Her taste in art, design, jewelery, etc. is consistently fantastic  4)  And on top of all that, she’s really nice and pretty damn funny!

So there you go. That’s why I’m jealous of Erin. Want to find out who Erin is jealous of? Read on…


I’m jealous of… Miranda July

Face it; anyone who was once a Pop-a-Lock employee and is now an established filmmaker/author/performance artist wins a big, lovely trophy in my book. And when that someone encourages you to follow your dreams? Even more so.

Miranda has taught me to re-read my favorite fifth grade book, take time to braid someone’s hair and shown me the beauty of a quality landing page. She makes me laugh, cry and inspires like no one can.

Miranda, I salute you.


… and I salute you, Erin. Thanks for stopping by ; )