yosuke hasegawa

Money, money, money! Well, I found the origami work of Japanese artist Yosuke Hasegawa first, and then I fell down his ‘portfolio full of cash’ rabbit hole. Honestly, he had me at Liz folded from old Canadian bills, followed closely by Abe as a Starbucks cup… but then I saw those stunning 3D pieces… I mean, WHAT? Love.

natalie ciccoricco

Ummmm, I could not love this work more. These lovely, nature-embracing, embroidery on paper pieces are the latest work by California based artist Natalie Ciccoricco. In fact, they are a result of the worldwide lockdown we’re all experiencing at the moment. Well, Natalie found the silver lining… and some sticks… and voila, a new body of work! Here are her words about this ongoing series, titled “Nesting”:

“While being under quarantine at home, I started creating embroidery artworks using materials found in our yard, on our deck or nature walks. Exploring the juxtaposition between geometric shapes and organic elements, this series is an ongoing exercise to find beauty and hope in challenging times.”

Ahhh, yes. So beautiful on so many levels.

ps. This Friday, May 22nd at 12pm ET, I will be doing another LIVE art sale at Showfields.com … and you guessed it, two of Natalie’s original pieces will be included in the lineup! YAY! RSVP to the event right here.

“from pearly whites to sparkly delights”

A ‘rags to riches stories’? Nope, this is a ‘dentist to artist’ story! Yep, Pakistani artist Sara Shakeel was one exam away from becoming a dentist, and now she’s covering everything from stretch marks to dining tables in crystals. Now, before you hit PLAY, I have a technology disclaimer. We had a bunch of wifi issues but we did our best with all of the glitches, and stops n starts, redials and trying to remember where we left off when the call dropped. Huge thanks to my producer, and handsome husband, Greg for making this sound like one call. Ok, let’s get this sparkly party started. You can listen right up there under the most fabulous hand-washing ever, or subscribe here.

First up, a few of my favorite pieces from Sara during this global pandemic. And yes, her very popular ‘toilet paper’ is starting things off:

Love. It. All.

Ok, popping back in time a little bit for these next images. These are some of her first pieces… the images she created while locked in her room after returning home from dentistry school:

Ahhh, so fun! And, yes, those are the diamond lipsticks that added 15,000 new followers to her Instagram feed… over night.

Next up… a few of her beautiful, powerful and, of course, sparkly @glitterstretchmarks :

Hell YES.

Okay, so how about taking a whole bunch of Swarovski crystals into London’s NOW Gallery in order to create “The Great Supper” {and I had to include the toast and egg that started that train}:

Oh my word. Can you even imagine attaching alllllll of those crystals onto alllllll of those objects… in 28 days?! I’m dizzy just thinking about it.

From playing around with an app on her phone, to showing in galleries and collaborating with brands… here is the cover Sara recently did for Grazia Magazine, oh, and a little album cover she just did too:

Um, yeah… Chance the Rapper, hanging out on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, showing off the album that Sara created the artwork for. Damn!

I also had to include these pieces too, for obvious reasons:

I wonder how much your dentist bill would be if you did this? Hm.

And finally, let’s finish things off with this lil beauty:


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Looooove! And now I want a bling-covered fruit salad. Thank you so much to Sara for taking the time to do this with me, thanks to Sugar Alykmi for supporting this episode {check out her workshop right here}, and thanks to YOU for listening! There will be more ART FOR YOUR EAR next weekend.

ps. If you wouldn’t mind leaving a rating/review of the podcast on iTunes, I’d be very appreciative. I got a 1 outta 5 the other day {because I had the audacity to bring up politics} and I’d love a little help getting bumped back up. Thank you!

rogan brown

Yeah. I know, right? This is the absolutely breathtaking paper-cut work of British born, France based artist Rogan Brown. I wrote about him five years ago, and my mind is still blown by the magic he makes. Now, I know you’re already shouting, ‘wait, does he do this by hand?!’ … yes, some of it. These ridiculously detailed, science-meets-fiction masterpieces are a combination of hand-cut and laser-cut paper. Speaking of paper, here are Rogan’s thoughts on his chosen material:

“Paper embodies the paradoxical qualities that we see in nature: its fragility and durability, its strength and delicacy; there is a pleasing poetic symmetry in taking this material that was cut from the forest and by cutting and transforming it once again returning it to its origins.”

Beautiful. Happy Friday.

kristina micotti

Turtles on roller skates, and spiders with custom sunglasses… I am soooo IN. This is a peek at “Pet Store”, the latest solo show by San Francisco based artist/illustrator Kristina Micotti that is currently exhibited at Recess {until May 30} in San Francisco.

“This new ‘Pet Store’ series is the artist’s way of finally owning all the animals she ever wanted as a child, inspired by those many trips to the pet stores with her mother and the disappointingly inanimate care guides and toy sets she amassed instead. Drawing on imaginative childlike whimsy and nostalgic “90s kid” aesthetics, Micotti has recreated these childhood experiences in the form of a fun, bright pet store containing a variety of animals – again, each with their own miniature accessories – all waiting for their new owners to take them home. She is offering both herself and her audience the chance to realize the unfulfilled childhood dreams of pet ownership that we have all similarly suffered. Her fanciful new ‘Pet Store’ collection allows us all the freedom to “adopt” the pet of our wildest (albeit suburban) fantasies – without a mother’s voice of reason to restrict us.”

YES! I want a pink bunny wearing cowboy boots… and you can’t stop me, Mom!

xu bing

Cigarettes won’t make you look cool… unless you do this with them! These “tiger-skin carpets” are made up of hundreds of thousands of cigarettes. Seriously. The first piece above was created from just over 500,000 cigarettes flipped both up and down to create the pattern, while the count for the second “rug” is 660,000. Insane. These beauties are the work of Chinese artist Xu Bing, and while they’re not new pieces, I just had to share them. Here’s a little more information from his site:

Top 3 Images : “First Class”, 2011 : A site-specific continuation of the Tobacco Project series, a project investigating the long and entangled relationship between human and tobacco. After executing the project in Durham (2000) and Shanghai (2004 – Bottom 3 Images), Xu Bing brought it to another important city related to tobacco: Richmond, Virginia, home of Philip Morris and mother company of the famous Marlboro cigarette brand. During the [two week] residency, he studied tobacco’s intimate relationship with the American continent and its early immigrant history. 

After a bit of digging I also found this description, which I think explains these pieces beautifully:

“Xu Bing uses tobacco—as a material and a subject—to explore a wide range of issues, from global trade and exploitation to the ironies of advertising a harmful substance. As a print and bookmaker, he is especially fascinated by the visual culture of packaging and marketing tobacco  …  The tiger-skin rug is a potent symbol of human prowess: it confirms our superiority by transforming one of nature’s fiercest predators into a lifeless skin beneath our feet. Tiger hunting, long a royal and aristocratic sport across South, Central, and East Asia, was also favored by colonizers from the West, whose increased firepower caused greater loss to their prey. Xu Bing’s piece exploits these associations with luxury, status, and domination. The beauty of the tiger-skin pattern, its allusions to the dangerous thrill of the hunt, and the uncanny allure of the massive display of cigarettes ironically glamorize the addictive pull and risks of smoking.” ~ Blackbird, Fall 2011

jocelyn hobbie

Oh my word. This is the work of Brooklyn based painter Jocelyn Hobbie… did you catch that? Painter. Yes, these are oil paintings. The wallpaper, the fabric, the skin that looks lit from within… I was sure these were digital. They’re not. Mic drop.

prudence flint

Quiet moments, domestic scenes, muted palettes. Sigh. Lovely. These oil paintings are the work of Melbourne based painter Prudence Flint. Who are these people, and what are they thinking about? I couldn’t find her artist statement, but I did find a really great interview she did with the University of Melbourne, so I’ve pulled a few of my favorite bits:

Initially I thought that, if I was going to be a painter, I’d have to paint mountains and landscapes and important things like that. But in my first year at the VCA the penny dropped and I started painting women. It was as if I realised that it was OK to paint the things I was obsessed with. That was huge for me – it was a really exciting time.

Self-doubt is a big part of my work; all of those unpleasant emotions like shame and guilt and feeling like I don’t deserve space. I’ve learned to make friends with it now. Some people reconcile those things in real life but I tend to do it in my work.

My main model is a friend of mine who’s nearly 30. I’ve painted older women, but the minute you put an older woman in a painting, a bit of grey hair or whatever, the painting becomes very specific, which can be distracting. So for now, I’ve gone back to doing younger women.

I’m always asked where the men are in my work, and why I only ever paint women. Do people ask Peter Booth those types of questions? His male figures represent “humanity”. It is curious to me that my figures are not described in that way.

I’ve always struggled with feeling socially confined but with my work it’s a whole other front – I feel much more free and true to myself. Art is a place where I can really feel the expansiveness of life.

Yes, yes, yes! Happy Monday.


“fishin’ with santa claus in heaven”

He’s back! [insert fan-girl screaming here]. LA based artist Wayne White was on the podcast almost five years ago – episode no.30 to be exact – and I could not be more thrilled to have him back. Wayne is one of my favorite artists of all time for a whole bunch of reasons which, of course, we’ll cover during this episode. The really big reason though? He got me making art again. Not just dabbling, but truly finding my way to do the work I want to do, the way I want to do it. During episode 30, he had two words for me… just two, short but very impactful words that squashed a long held belief I’d allowed an old art school professor to plant in my head decades ago. I’ve told this story before, and it’s actually a huge part of the TED talk I was supposed to have done in Nashville in March {they’re rescheduling so hopefully I’ll still get to tell this story standing on that red dot on a big stage}, but today I got to tell that story to the man himself! Listen right up there under that Cheap Bastard, or subscribe here.

First, one of my favorite films ever / my favorite moment from said film:

Seriously, if you watch Beauty is Embarrassing on a plane you will lose it. I cried so much when Ms. Stoddard showed up in Chattanooga to get her book signed. Such a special moment… that Wayne almost ruined.

Okay, wipe away the tears because “it’s tiiiiiime for PEEWEE’S PLAYHOUSE”:

Soooo, I popped the theme song in here so you could see a bunch of Wayne’s work in action, but side note: I can still sing that entire theme song. Wow. I guess that’s permanently in my brain. Good to know.

Okay, moving along. These word paintings on found thrift shop paintings were my first introduction to Wayne years ago, and I still love them oh so much:

Beautifully painted and ridiculously funny… perfect combo, if you ask me. But, as he said, sometimes he gets bored of the thrift shop paintings, so here’s a look at his latest oil paintings. Clouds. Look at these unbelievable clouds:

Stunning! I loved listening to him talk about how and why he decided to paint clouds for this series. Poetic. Here’s a peek at them in progress on his easel:

I mean, come on. Gorgeous.

Ok, drumroll please…. introducing Wayne’s newest baby:

The Wayne White Puppet Show! *Bear played by Mimi Pond. Here are links to the first two episodes Ep. 1  /  Ep. 2 }, but keep your eye on his Instagram feed for upcoming puppet shows!

And finally, since we started off talking about Wayne as a kid growing up in Tennessee, please enjoy this:

Seriously, how could I not post that? Hey, he put it up on his Instagram feed, so I figure it’s fair game! Thank you so, so much to Wayne for doing this with me again; thanks to the Thrive Network for supporting the episode; and thank YOU for listening. Let’s have Wayne play us out, shall we …


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Other links:

  1. Wayne on Instagram
  2. Beauty is Embarrassing {film}
  3. Maybe Now I’ll Get the Respect I So Richly Deserve {book}
  4. Joshua Liner Gallery, NYC
  5. Richard Brautigan, Poet
  6. Esther Pearl Watson / Mark Todd
  7. Big Time, Peter Gabriel {video}
  8. Tonight Tonight, Smashing Pumpkins {video}
  9. Wayne drawing with both hands
  10. Thrive Network



I think this requires a well placed *GASP!*, don’t you? A glass geode encrusted work of art, that also happens to be a department store in Gwanggyo, just outside of Seoul. This building is the work of OMA, an architecture firm with offices all over the world – from Rotterdam and New York, to Dubai and Australia. Here are their words about this project:

The Gwanggyo store is the sixth branch of “Galleria”, Korea’s largest upscale department store franchise founded in the 1970s. Sculpted as a stone volume with a textured mosaic stone façade, the building evokes the nature of its neighbouring Suwon Gwanggyo Lake Park. A public route is excavated from the stone volume and connects the public side walk to a roof garden—to include both retail and cultural activities. It introduces an innovative element to the traditional typology of a department store.

The public route has a multifaceted glass façade that contrasts with the opacity of the stone. Through the glass, retail and cultural activities inside are revealed to the city’s passers-by, while visitors in the interior acquire new vantage points to experience Gwanggyo. Formed with a sequence of cascading terraces, the public loop offers spaces for exhibitions and performances.”

Ok, now I want to live in a glass geode encrusted house. Happy Friday.

{via Design Milk}