Art & Culture 15 Dec 2014

egon schiele: 1890-1918

Born on June 12, 1890, in Tulln, Austria Egon Schiele was a major figure of the Austrian Expressionist movement. Schiele began drawing as a child and in 1906, at the age of sixteen, attended the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts. During these years, he was strongly influenced by Gustav Klimt and the Vienna Secession artists whose style emphasized flowing line and ornamentation. Schiele and Klimt met in 1907 and Klimt was supportive of the young artist. He introduced Schiele to his own models and patrons, and helped him find work. He also included Schiele in the 1909 Internationale Kunstchau Exhibition of foreign and Austrian artists. In 1909, Schiele became dissatisfied with the academy’s conservatism and formed the Neukünstler (New Artists) Group with other dropouts from the Academy. Free from the confines of the Academy’s conventions, Schiele began to explore the human form and human sexuality in his work. At the time, many found the explicitness of his works ugly and disturbing. Through 1913, Schiele created his best known works – drawings of female models, either nude or semi-nude, in oddly foreshortened poses. In 1915, Schiele married Edith Harms, was drafted into the military, and assigned to various posts outside Vienna. Creating portraits of Edith, Schiele adapted a more naturalistic approach which he also used in the increasing number of portrait commissions he had begun to receive. “Draughtsmanship played a significant role in Schiele’s art. Although he produced few original prints, he made numerous independent drawings, in which he used pencil or chalk, and occasionally charcoal or ink, to create a sharply defined outline that he then filled in with watercolour or gouache. Schiele was shy and introspective, but obsessive in the pursuit of his art and in his contemplation of mortality, which provoked the confessional and compassionate tone of his work.” In 1918, Schiele received a large exhibition of his work at the Viennese Seccession. Just as he had begun to achieve commercical success, both Schiele and his wife contracted the Spanish flu. Edith, who was six months pregnant, died on October 28, 1918. Schiele died three days later on October 31, 1918 at the age of 28. Though Schiele’s career was short, he was extremely prolific. He created over three hundred oil paintings and several thousand works on paper. His work has inspired the work of later artists, especially in Austria, making him a major figure in 20th-century art.

Art & Culture 09 Dec 2014

triple elvis sells for a record $81.9 million

Elvis Presley set new a record as Christie’s put up Andy Warhol’s Triple Elvis painting under the hammer on 12 November 2014 in New York. Christie’s sale of Post-War and Contemporary Art fetched a total of $852.8 million which itself set a record of the highest-ever total for an auction. Leading the sale was Warhol’s Triple Elvis which sold for $81.9 million. Standing with his trademark proud stance, Andy Warhol’s rare triple portrait of Elvis Presley dominates the shimmering canvas just as the singer dominated the cultural landscape of the 1950s and 1960s. Fascinated by popular culture, fame and celebrity, Elvis was the ultimate subject for the artist. At nearly seven feet tall, the image of Elvis Presley looms large in form of three figures. Displaying a confident posture, Elvis is staring directly out of the canvas with his famous “baby blue” eyes. Using a single screen, Warhol has repeated the image three times, each time producing an image of Elvis that is notable for its exceptional clarity and depth. The auction house also states that the quality of these renditions can be seen in the remarkable details that each contains; from the penetrating precision of Elvis’s eyes to the individual folds of his shirt, right down to the texture of his trousers, the exceptional detail of this particular example marks it as one of the pre-eminent examples from this important series of paintings. As well as the clarity of these images, Triple Elvis is also distinguished by the arrangement of the figures within the scope of the canvas. It is also learnt that the use of repetition was an important strategy for Warhol. In Triple Elvis, the overlapping images are reminiscent of a film strip, individual frames containing a single image but when viewed together producing a sense of dynamism and movement. The star’s powerful physical presence in Triple Elvis acts as a poignant reminder of the enduring power of the personality. Also Andy Warhol’s rendition of Marlon Brando in form of Four Marlons artwork fetched $69.6 million at the auction. Bidders from over the world competed for an exceptional array of Abstract Expressionist, Pop and Contemporary works from some of the century’s most inspiring and influential artists, including the likes of Roy Lichtenstein, Willem de Kooning, Martin Kippenberger, Cy Twombly and Jeff Koons.

Cars, Boats & Planes 09 Dec 2014

ford shelby gt350

The legend is back. Ford is reintroducing one of its baddest, most capable Mustang models ever, the Shelby GT350, and from what the spec sheet says, this should be the best high-performance factory Mustang ever. With a 5.2 Liter naturally-aspirated V8 engine that makes over 500 horsepower, this new Mustang features a flat-plane horizontal crankshaft, for faster revs and a higher rev limit. With this design and other enhancements, Ford has said this will be the most powerful non-turbo V8 they’ve ever built and it will offer the balance and performance dynamics that make it a terrific track engine. As for the suspension, the GT350 will feature continuously controlled MagneRide dampers that automatically read road conditions and sense your driving style to adjust the suspension every 10 milliseconds. The aluminum hood has been lowered and sloped for improved aerodynamics and additional aero elements have been added to make this Mustang a monster on the track. The fascia with its lower front splitter provides significant downforce. The hood vent removes heat and reduces underhood lift at high speed. At the rear, a subtle lip spoiler across the trailing edge of the decklid increases downforce without adding excess drag.

Fashion & Design 09 Dec 2014

pirelli calendar 2015

The Pirelli Calendar 2015 has arrived. This year’s ultra rare calendar is titled “Calendar Girls 2015″ and was shot by photographer Steven Meisel. The 12 girls featured in the 2015 Pirelli Calendar are top and emerging models: the Americans Gigi Hadid, Candice Huffine, Carolyn Murphy and Cameron Russell, the Brazilians Isabeli Fontana, Adriana Lima and Raquel Zimmermann. Then there is Karen Elson from England, the Puerto Rican Joan Small, the Russians Natalia Vodianova and Sasha Luss, as well as Anna Ewers from Germany. The fashion editor of the calendar was Carine Roitfeld. “In my opinion, these are the key aesthetic models of today’s world. They represent the stereotypes that the fashion and star system impose upon us right now,” Meisel said in a press release. “I didn’t want to make a conceptual calendar, or link it to some particular location, but rather to create 12 posters in which women, in all their sensuality, are the absolute protagonists of 12 very different images. Since I wanted to limit the use of clothes and accessories and since I had absolute creative freedom, I found it very exciting to play with the colours, the makeup, and the materials. It was a very rewarding experience.”

Fashion & Design 09 Dec 2014

bulova’s most expensive watch ever made

Conceptualized by Bulova Corporation President Gregory Thumm, and hailing from the company’s Bulova Accu•Swiss brand, this 24-Karat Gold Watch marks the first edition in the company’s new Joseph Bulova Collection — which will all feature Bulova’s proprietary process (patent pending) for hardening of 999.9 pure 24-karat gold while maintaining exacting quality standards for finish and fit, and ensuring water resistance to 30 meters. Each Joseph Bulova Collection First Edition 24-Karat Gold Timepiece contains a 26-jewel automatic movement certified as a chronometer by the Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres (COSC). In addition, the cases have been certified by the Bureau Central du Contrôle des Métaux Précieux for fineness and purity of the gold, with every watch bearing the St. Bernhard dog’s head precious metal hallmark. Each timepiece has been constructed in a unique capsule form, with bezel, case and caseback anchored together with light and durable grade-5 titanium components to form an integral case. A separate sub-bezel, designed as part of the case, keeps the watch secure with a series of specially designed bumpers to deflect shocks and holds a sapphire crystal with five layers of anti-reflective coating. The strap design, a combination of an alligator strap and a 316L stainless steel mesh bracelet incorporating three microns of black titanium carbide, fixes together with a series of grade-5 titanium rivets designed to slip within the mesh, maximizing flexibility and comfort. Only 32 of these gorgeous timepieces are available and – with a suggested retail value of $42,000 – is the most expensive watch Bulova has ever produced.

Fashion & Design 09 Dec 2014

penthouse in miami

The following three Miami penthouses may not be move-in ready just yet because they aren't finished, but they are available to buy. With prices ranging from $29 to $50 million, these residences are found in the Jade Signature, One Thousand Museum by Zaha Hadid Architects, and The Bath Club Estates buildings. They are definitely what people think of when they think luxury. For $29 million, the 11,660-square-foot penthouse at Jade Signature in Sunny Isles Beach was created by Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron and gives a 7,570-square-foot wrap-around balcony that offers 360-degree views. The penthouse spans the entire 56th floor and most of the 57th, featuring a large private pool on the oceanfront balcony, five bedrooms (which can be converted to seven bedrooms if need be), 9.5 baths, a private elevator, a gym room (or "man cave"), a lounge and spa, and 12-foot ceilings. The downtown Miami penthouse within One Thousand Museum by Zaha Hadid Architects offers 16,000 square feet of living space and covers the 58th and 59th floors. Not only does it have direct access to the building's helipad, it has its own indoor pool and gym. Though it's priced at $45 million, the amount will change depending on whatever custom upgrades are chosen. Spanning the top three floors of the 18-story The Bath Club Estates in Miami Beach, the $50 million triplex penthouse was designed by Jennifer Post (a firm most known for their elegant minimalistic aesthetic). Once finished, it will have 9,200 square feet of indoor living space and around 9,000 of outdoor space. With a wrap-around terrace, all four sides of the home will offer fantastic views of the city, ocean, and Biscayne Bay. The penthouse promises 23-foot ceilings, its own elevator, and home theater. "There will also be a private rooftop terrace with an infinity-edge pool, outdoor shower, an enclosed summer kitchen and room for another theater." Though it will be listed as a five-bedroom home, with 7.2 baths, the developer is willing to work with any future buyers to customize the layout.

Gadgets & Trends 09 Dec 2014

mini's citysurf

If your MINI isn’t mini enough for you, you’re in luck. MINI introduced their newest concept in urban mobility, the all-electric MINI Citysurfer Concept to a crowd of journalists at the LA Auto Show today. An auxiliary transportation concept that is designed to help people navigate crowded urban environments, the Citysurfer makes it both easy and fun to get around town if you have a long way to travel between your parking space and your office or shopping destination. MINI Citysurfer promises to be safe, versatile and agile. Its large wheels and soft tires make it suitable for bumpy paths and rough pavement so often found in city centers. The low foot board and height-adjustable handlebars enhance stability and handling. The scooter has three brake systems. First, there’s recuperation braking via electric drive generator which recharges the battery while slowing you down. Then the hydraulic front and rear disc brakes operate independently. Because you ride it standing upright you’ll have no trouble seeing and being seen. Hit the thumb-operated accelerator and the Citysurfer can reach a top speed of 15 miles per hour. The lithium-ion battery has an electric range of 10 to 15 miles. You can charge the battery three ways: through conventional power outlet, a 12-volt power supply in an automobile and through brake energy recuperation. When the battery is completely discharged, the electric motor is automatically switched off and disconnected from the free-wheel hub in the rear wheel so you can ride it just like an old fashioned kick scooter. Weighing just 40 pounds, the Citysurfer folds to fit into small spaces, including (surprise, surprise) the trunk of a MINI Cooper. You can also carry it on to public transportation, to make the trip from your commuter rail station a little more fun.

Art & Culture 09 Dec 2014

the world’s best museum

The world’s favorite museum isn’t the Louvre. Or the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art. According to TripAdvisor users, the highest rated museum is the Art Institute of Chicago, home to the iconic “American Gothic” painting by Grant Wood. After crunching the numbers in an algorithm that took into account the quantity and quality of reviews for museums worldwide over a 12-month period, the Art Institute of Chicago ranked the most popular among TripAdvisor users, with a five out of five bubble rating among its more than 6,510 reviews. A TripAdvisor member from Kansas posted of his visit over the weekend: “Clean institute and bigger than you could ever imagine. If you would like to see art from all over the world, this is your place.” The museum in the Windy City is home to more than 300,000 pieces of art from around the world, including the iconic Wood painting of a farmer holding a pitchfork beside his spinster daughter, Marc Chagall’s America Windows, as well as Claude Monet’s piece “Stack of Wheat.” Thematic collections include African-American pieces, children, portraits, mythology, and the Silk Road. After the Art Institute of Chicago, Mexico City’s National Museum of Anthropology ranked the second highest, followed by the State Hermitage Museum and Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia. The list of top 10 museums around the world is split predominantly between American and European sites. Here are the top museums: 1. Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA 2. National Museum of Anthropology (Museo Nacional de Antropologia), Mexico City, Mexico 3. State Hermitage Museum and Winter Palace, St. Petersburg, Russia 4. The Getty Center, Los Angeles, California, USA 5. Galleria dell’Accademia/Statue of David, Florence, Italy 6. Musee d’Orsay, Paris, France 7. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, New York, USA 8. The Acropolis Museum, Athens, Greece 9. Prado Museum, Madrid, Spain 10. Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial, Jerusalem, Israel

Body & Mind 09 Dec 2014

la quinta resort

La Quinta Resort & Club recently underwent a massive multi-million dollar restoration, which we were fortunate enough to check out right after the reveal. As the first luxury resort to open in the Palm Springs area in 1926, La Quinta has a pretty rich past, full of Hollywood glamour. It's pretty well known that Frank Capra wrote Lost Horizon (1937) while lounging by the pool, and that stars like Greta Garbo and Clark Gable often visited. What started out as a series of adobe bungalows now includes 620 casitas and suites, 98 villas, the 23,000-square-foot Spa La Quinta, 41 accent swimming pools, 53 hot spas, 23 tennis courts, PGA West championship golf courses and academy, and Chef Jimmy Schmidt's Morgan's in the Desert (plus a few other restaurants, of course). The Waldorf Astoria resort put a lot of money into updating the property without losing its classic look, nailing the restoration. As a guest, it feels like you stepped into 1940s film starring Bette Davis, only you have modern day amenities and gadgets all tucked away until you need them. Los Angeles-based firm Smith & Firestone was brought in for the residential-style design that features custom tile work and wrought iron elements, new Victorian-style furniture, floor coverings, two-toned blocked drapery panels, Wingback-style headboards, textured leather bed benches, upgraded lighting, and blue-sky bathroom accessories. Other amenities include 42- to 47-inch flat-screen high-definition televisions, Keurig coffee makers, charging stations with two USB ports, and photography inspired by the surrounding mountain landscape. The different casitas are clustered around 41 different showcase pools and hot tubs, creating a private neighborhood feeling. They are designed around a palette of ivory, terracotta, and rich chocolate brown. The second-floor Starlight Casitas (starting from $159 per night) are definite stand-outs, with their own patios offering great mountain views and an open area for al fresco dining and entertaining—featuring a fireplace and plush couches. Take it up another notch and stay in the highly coveted El Presidente suite, which starts at $1,329 a night and includes its own private pool and spa. Though the design is similar to the Starlight Casita, El Presidente has updated landscaping and patio furniture, and completely renovated decks. Let's talk about the Spa La Quinta for a moment, because we would be doing you a disservice if we didn't mention the 75-minute La Quinta Signature Citrus Smash ($230). The full body renewal massage uses a custom blended scrub made from Salt of the Earth, grapefruit, tangerine, and orange blossom essential oils with mineral components from the Great Salt Lake. After being scrubbed from neck to foot, the rain shower is turned on to relax you even further. Then the masseuse finishes the treatment by massaging a deeply hydrating Whipped Body Crème with Grapeseed Oil into your refreshed skin. Trust me, this scrub will make you feel reborn.

Art & Culture 06 Dec 2014

art basel miami strandbeest by theo jansen

This week I was visiting Art Basel Miami and was invited my by Audemars Piguet to see Theo Jansen's work....I must say it's impressive!!! In 2015, the Peabody Essex Museum kicks off the first U.S. tour featuring Theo Jansen's famed kinetic sculptures. Dynamic and interdisciplinary, Jansen's Strandbeests (beach animals) blur the lines between art and science, sculpture and performance. The exhibition will celebrate the thrill of the Strandbeests' unique locomotion as well as the processes that have driven their evolutionary development on the Dutch seacoast. The exhibition will premiere at PEM in Fall 2015, then travel to Chicago, San Francisco and New York City. This week he was showing his work at Art Basel Miami in association with Audemars Piguet..and I would like to thank them for the invite...

News, Media & Society 08 Oct 2014

study reveals lack of household smokealarm testing

In recognition of Fire Prevention Week and this year’s theme, “Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives: Test Yours Every Month!”, Cintas Corporation (NASDAQ: CTAS) recently commissioned a study to determine how often Americans test their household smoke alarms. The survey revealed that 90 percent of U.S adults don’t test them monthly. “According to the NFPA, roughly two out of every three fire-related deaths happen in homes where a smoke detector isn't present or working properly,” said John Amann, Vice President of Operations, Cintas Corporation. “Testing a smoke alarm is as easy as pushing a button, and yet, our survey findings suggest most of us still neglect to test these devices each month. This puts us and our families in danger.” The survey, which was conducted online by Harris Poll in September among 2,013 adults ages 18 and older, revealed that: Some adults (10 percent) test their smoke alarms at least once a month. Nearly half of adults (48 percent) only test their alarms once or twice a year. Almost a quarter of adults (23 percent) don’t have alarms present in their home, don’t test their alarms or don’t know how often their alarms are tested. These findings reinforce the importance of this year's FPW campaign and the fact that we still have a long way to go in educating the public about montly smoke alarm testing.