If you’re design-oriented in Boston, you know Abodeon, a home furnishings shop on Mass. Ave. in Cambridge. It’s filled with treasures, with a mid-century modern and of-the-moment bent, all mixed together. Owner Terri Anderson emailed me last week to say that they’ve finally (finally, finally) got their website up and running, and it’s even ecommerce enabled. Yay! (Not that I plan on buying anything; it’s convenient for sourcing stuff for articles. Really.) She says, “There’s still much more for me to photograph and add, but we’re happy with the initial look and feel.” Here’s a screen shot of the home page, and a sampling of supremely covetable stuff.
Eva Solo Knife Stand, $135
Nobuho Miya Birds, $98
Alvar Aalto Green Vase, $95
Loop Candelabra, $30
Cherner Chairs, $475/pair
Late 1950s to early 60s black walnut chairs with black vinyl pads designed in 1958 by Norman Cherner for Plycraft.
Massive Spring Coils, $285 each
Late 19th to early 20th century enormous steel spring coils with hand forged ends and a dark patina. Each stands 31″ high and weighs 40 lbs. Exceptional pieces of industrial sculpture.
Brass Glove Molds, $85 each
Early 20th century four-fingered glove molds in brass and copper (the skirt on the left glove is steel). In untouched, weathered condition. Graphic examples of American industrial history.
A few weeks ago I went to the press preview for the Shepard Fairey show at the ICA. I normally wouldn’t have gone – street art isn’t my thing. (Big surprise.) But I had an assignment for Lola magazine on the museum, and the timing worked out perfectly.
The overall museum experience, as always, was bliss. The vast white space, the expanse of glass overlooking the Boston Harbor on a snowy day. There was even swag – a Shepard Fairey tote. What’s not to like? The art.
To be fair, as an exhibit, it was aesthetically pleasing. Very orderly, graphic and color consistent. It’s all carefully manufactured, so expect nothing less.
As for the images on their own, after seeing a few, they’re all pretty much the same. Here’s the “now iconic” (as they never tire of saying) Obama portrait, and an amusing depiction of his charming predecessor:
Fairey’s into images of other iconic, political, controversial, famous for being famous folk, like Andy Warhol, Mao, Lenin, Angela Davis, Malcolm X, and of course André the Giant, whose image he displayed on a homemade sticker in ’88 as a student at RISD. He also fawns over music personalities; the exhibit includes portraits of Jim Morrison, Debbie Harry, Iggy Pop, Joan Jett, and David Bowie.
He said that morning: “I create portraits of people who made a very strong impact on me, but whom I am not necessarily aligned with.”
Fairey seems pretty chill, but it’s hard to tell. For a guy who’s become known for street art, i.e., graffiti, and who is constantly arrested, he’s also a corporate enterprise, with a thriving graphic design enterprise, plus a wife and kids. I can appreciate the graphic design and business aspect of his persona. The “artist” side, I’m not convinced.
The enormous murals in the exhibit are give more of a sense of a person behind the work. He says he works (or at least used to work) on sheets of old wallpaper. You can see the layers of the patterns, the newspaper, the ink. Here are a couple of details from larger works:
As a museum-worthy artist, I’m not sold. But now that I’m in on it, it’s fun to see the works plastered around the city. There’s a few on the side of a building at the ramp onto the Mass Pike at Mass Ave. and Newbury that I noticed immediately after attending the preview. The ICA is actually organizing bike tours around the city to see the on site works. You can see them on Flikr too. That’s probably all you really need.