Category: art

RACCOONS IN THE NEWS: Butt Poof!

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The world was abuzz with admiration last week for Uni, a blonde raccoon (or cinnamon, as some people are calling him) in Taiwan.  His owner, Joyce Tai, took him to a chic place for his usual grooming and decided to adorn him with a rather unique pattern, even if it doesn’t really match the species. Still, shaving is a good way to help a furry little thing deal with the hot summer months, and Taiwan can get hot.

Source: Buzzfeed

RACCOONS IN THE NEWS: BEER! (Again)

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I was browsing the beer selection at one of the many liquor stores near me and came across something I don’t see very often: a beer with a raccoon on its label! Of course, I was powerless to resist the need to buy it. This isn’t the first time I’ve seen a raccoon beer;  there was one a couple of years ago, the Festina Peche from Dogfish Head. That beer, a seasonal, seems to feature a different artist’s work on the label every year when it’s re-released.  Gigantic Brewing Company, who made the beer I just bought, similarly used an artist’s work for their label. In this case, the image is a photo of a sculpture by Maryanna Hoggatt from Portland, OR (where Gigantic is located) is a part of a series titled Animal Battle, which depicts slightly anthropomorphized forest critters sporting improvised weapons and armor.

So how’s the beer? Beats me. I haven’t drunk it yet. I have a tradition of cooking myself a steak on Sunday nights. I’ll drink it with my dinner. From the reviews on Beer Advocate, it’s a little sweet but mostly underwhelming. So it tastes like beer. Good to know!

I need to watch something to complement the drink … I know: I’ll watch Guardians of the Galaxy! I haven’t seen that again yet this year.

RACCOONS IN THE STORES: Uh … No

ImageJermaine Rogers is an artists I hadn’t heard of until very recently, when a friend of mine alerted me to the newest label for Dogfish Head‘s Festina Peche. The art shows a creepy looking raccoon clutching a peach. Unfortunately, the brewery’s Fish Finder has proven less than reliable and there doesn’t seem to be any of this beer available near me. More recently I was browsing the Kid Robot store in Boulder, CO and noticed a vinyl statue of a raccoon wearing a suicide vest titled “My Brother Was a Hero,” which was also designed by Jermaine.  I don’t know if they’re all supposed to solid black, or if that’s just some chase variant, but it was the only one they had on display at the store.  It’s a lousy choice, as it mostly eradicates the raccoon-ness of the design (and since the bombs are the same color as the body, one is really unsure what the heck they’re looking at until they get up close.)  Also, the imagery just doesn’t do it for me.  I’m sure, as an artist, Jermaine will be tickled pink to know he’s designed something a voracious consumer of raccoon related merchandise like me would turn down, but hey, I’m sure it’ll have an audience somewhere.  Well, maybe if there’s one that has a little more color to it, at any rate.

Source: Vinyl Pulse

Weird Remnants of the Past

One of the few benefits of being terminally unemployed is the copious amount of free time I have to read through my backlog of books.  Lately I’ve been focusing on reading (or maybe re-reading, I really can’t remember) books that I had purchased for my college curriculum and were, for one reason or another, still in my possession.  Back then, I either sold them back to the book dealers or threw them away (people will insist that you absolutely shouldn’t part with old college text books because “you never know when you’ll need them again,” speaking as an accountant I can assure this has never been the case; cut down on the clutter and get rid of those things once you’ve graduated.)  I was a little surprised when I picked up The Machine that Changed the World, by James Womack–which was surely bought for a management class along with The Book of Five Rings and The Art of War because ZOMG how MIND BLOWING is it to use old combat strategy books for BUSINESS?! THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX!!–and noticed something tucked in about halfway through the book (page 160-161, to be exact.)  It was a small (6″ x 4.75″) print of The Larder by Antonio Maria Vassallo.

I reeled at this relic of my past!  Had I been reading through this book a decade ago (I don’t recall trying to read it at any point since graduating) and marked this as my last reading spot?  Or had I simply tucked that print in there for safe keeping at some point?  When, exactly did I buy this print?

I remember I took a Spanish Art History class to fulfill a humanities requirement (I have a couple of books leftover from that course as well, Los Caprichos and The Disasters of War by Francisco Goya.)  There was exactly one piece of art I was exposed to during that class that I really liked, and that was Two Women at a Window by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (really, this piece just so perfectly captures a facial expression.)  I trekked out to the National Gallery of Art to see it in person and must have bought a print of that painting along with this small Larder one.  I have a tradition of using postcards of paintings I like for bookmarks (sadly, I lost my card for Alexander Archipenko‘s Woman with a Fan II, another piece of art I adore.)

Years later, while visiting my parents, I was rummaging through the closet of my former bedroom and came across a larger print of Two Women at a Window (roughly 8.5″ x 11″.)  I was so thrilled to find it, having forgotten I’d ever bought it.  I took it out and put it somewhere so I wouldn’t forget to bring it back with me when I returned to Jersey.  Alas, that proved to be a terrible mistake, as it found its way to harm and got all crinkled up before I went home.  I really need to track down a replacement for that print.  Frame it up. Make it look nice.

Well, I’ll need to get a job and a place of my own again before I worry about decorating.