Monday, April 14, 2014

Scavenger Hunt

Yesterday was my friend Katy’s birthday. For her celebration, she invited me to go to some New York thing with her in the Financial District. She sent me the summary for the event, but I barely skimmed it, assuming it was some kind of museum, art thing (which I’m super into). And it’s her birthday, so I was willing to do whatever she wanted.

I was pleasantly surprised, while figuring out how to get there, to discover I was participating in The Revolutionary New York ScavengerHunt. It was so much fun! Katy and I ran around Wall Street and Downtown New York for two hours learning about the founding fathers involvement in creating New York City and trying to beat this German family we viewed as direct competition. I saw the first paved street of the city, a statue of George Washington, Alexander Hamilton’s grave and, my favorite, nuns (not part of the hunt).

It was a great way to spend the first truly spring day. If you’re in the New York City area, Watson Adventures has a lot of different scavenger hunts all over the city. And they’re in some other cities, as well.

I loved the day so much, I texted Boyfriend and told him he needs to move up here so we can get a studio down there. Near the water and Stone Street. ‘sigh’ Now that the winter’s over, I’m loving it here again.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Horror movie review: Oculus

As per usual, I saw Oculus last night. It comes out in theaters everywhere today. While I always have high hopes for horror movies (I go on opening night and sacrifice a full nights’ sleep), they usually suck (lately none as badly as Mama or Sinister, which Kaybe loves. I just don’t get it). Fortunately for me, Oculus lives up to it’s 72% Rotton Tomatoes ranking. It’s horrifying.

Kaylie (Karen Gillan) and Tim Russell (Brenton Thwaites) are struggling to pull their lives back together and move on when Tim is released from a psychiatric facility 11 years after their parents’ brutal murders. Tim wants to quietly return to society, forgetting the horrors from years before, while Kaylie is determined to confront the evil mirror she believes is responsible for the destruction of her family. She brings the mirror and Tim into the family’s former home and calamity ensues.

Look at that bloody neck
One of the things I love so much about this flick is the timeline. It constantly changes back and forth between present day and eleven years previous, but the viewer rarely knows if the timelines are interacting, which timeline the characters are actually seeing, or if the actions happening to the older and younger versions of Kaylie and Tim are overlapping. All of this successfully lends to the unease and tension present throughout the movie.

This hairstyle is weird
It was so scary, one of my friends who came to the theater with me left halfway through (she didn’t know it was a horror movie, but I still feel like she’d have just laughed her way through the scary parts if it had been Mama). I’m sad she missed out on the ending because it was a good one. Unlike most horror movies (I watch a ton of them) events didn’t wrap up nicely and ruin everything. There’s no happily ever after here, guys. I think horror movie addicts, such as myself, will feel that this ending isn’t one we’ll have to forget about in order the like this film.

My recommendation is to shell out the $10-14 to see it in the theaters. I prefer Williamsburg Cinemas in Williamsburg where they don’t have jalpenos, search you and harass me every time I bring Chico.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Horror Movie Review: Afflicted

On Friday night, opening night, I watched Afflicted (I  couldn't see it Thursday, can you believe that?!). I tried to watch it with Derp, but she was throwing up and not up for horror. For most of last week, I worked to find a theater to watch this movie in, but there was only one in the 50 miles around New York City and the times didn’t work for me. No worries! It was also available for digital download.


I had very high hopes for this one. It was described as being incredible and unlike the rest of the found footage genre. Which is true, it is different than the other found footage movies, but not in a good way.

Everything from the trailer is from the first 20 minutes of the movie then it’s 45 more minutes of weirdness and not making sense. My recommendation is to keep your $6.99 and wait for the other amazing horror movies coming out in April. Occulus this weekend!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Have you been to Monument Valley?

Have you heard about Monument Valley? It’s a beautiful new iOS game by ustwo. I’m not sure where I saw this, but somewhere I ended up clicking on this link to The Verge yesterday and seeing the beautiful features of Monument Valley’s whimsical landscape.

This type! I'm swooning all over it

I’m not one to talk about iOS games, they’re usually lacking. I haven’t found one particularly amazing since Little Things Forever by Klick Tock. Unlike LTF, Monument Valley doesn’t repeat the same motions over and over again and each scene is breathtaking. Seriously, I’m not just using this as a form of speech. If you’ve ever looked at colors and shapes together and thought, “Hmm, that’s pretty” you’ll be awed. This game is awesome; it truly inspires awe (rare).

The use of color and shape and the M. C. Escher-like landscapes and playing style are so original and amazing I can get the game out of my head. As a graphic designer and artist, Monument Valley is some of the best work I’ve seen in a long time (I’m mean there’s a lot of amazing work out there, this games just has it all). The type is beautiful, the titles are beautiful, the scenes, the characters, everything. And, the game is very simple. You just move the scene to connect seemingly impossible pieces together to form a path for Ida.

If you look closely at the picture on the right, you can see the crow blowing Ida's dress back

 Brilliant, I say!

(Also, there is mention of sacred geometry, a deep love of mine, and concepts I work with in my own art.)

It’s $3.99 and I finished most of it while sitting in the vet’s office for 3 hours with Chico. It goes by fast, and I replayed some of it at home. I’ve enjoyed going back through it a second time, I’m not trying to win the level now and have time to enjoy the scenery and beauty of the game. There are only 10 levels, but I’m hoping many more wonderful games come out of ustwo. I’ll have my eye on them.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Pawel Althamer at the New Museum

On Sunday, Derp and I went to the New Museum to check out the work of Polish artist Pawel Althamer in his exhibit entitled: TheNeighbors. I saw a sign for the exhibition in one of the L subway stations on Saturday. Althamer’s little diorama drew me in.

I love sculpture and I was excited to see three floors of it. Derp and I started at the top and worked our way down. The topmost floor of the exhibit was a room filled with children (mostly) and other people painting on walls. Althamer’s work examines social interactions and relationships and this is such a cool way to do it. There were paint cans everywhere and people running around with paint brushes painting on every surface imaginable. My favorite image was a little girl who’d made a light brown soup out of several colors and was wiping it all over a folding chair and herself.

Adorkable Derp
The second floor consisted of several statues spaced well apart, (make sure you don’t cross the line, those museum docents are on it). Althamer had help creating these works from some guys he met in Africa. Their group creation is quite original. 

The little dudes below are so cute, I love their whole scene. They are on the subway poster that made me want to see the show.

Many others, but these little dudes are my favorite

 The third floor is a dark room with sculptures everywhere. They have plaster cast faces; apparently Althamer used people in his life and put each person’s name somewhere on the surface.

I was very interested in how the statues worked with each other and with the audience. You have to steer your body carefully around each statue to navigate the room. I love the reasoning behind the pieces, it reminds me of the concepts I'm working with right now in my own work. I’m not using sculpture, I’m using shapes to represent the connection, but the concepts are there. I’m very inspired by this showing.

From Gallerist

If you can make it over there, Althamer’s works will be displayed until April 14, 2014. Get there while you still can! Here’s a link to the New Museum’s site.