My best friend George’s father is a writer for the Indianapolis Star and he writes the type of articles that I enjoy most. Not the parsed down, adjective-free type they teach you in journalism school; but rather, the stylish type with fun subjects.
Lately, it’s been breaking laws canoeing the canal, or tweeting coverage of the George Clinton and the P-Funk All-Stars concert in Broadripple: “Jager tastes like licorice.” Today, Mr. Higgins wrote about literary legend and Indy native, Dan Wakefield – and I’m envious.
My friend George and I consider ourselves ambassadors to the city we grew up in (and our parents grew up in), and honestly, I can’t speak for George, but I’m almost uncomfortable with the recent outpouring of super positive attention the city has garnered following its super successful stint as SuperBowl host. Of course, I love the super recognition, but I’m not surprised. Indy has been overlooked for a long time and honestly, I think it’s part of its underdog appeal.
A couple of summers ago, I spent a day documenting my friend Wilbur Montgomery for a photojournalism project. Wilbur is an Indianapolis photographer, and at the time, he was embarking on a new, daunting, but do-able project to convert an abandoned factory on the Monon Trail into a so-called “poor old folk artist home.”
I collaged one of the photos I took of him as a show of gratitude for hanging out with me – and because at something like 6 foot 8 inches of height with a fluffy white beard, Wilbur’s a great subject! Of course, I didn’t give him the gift until just last week – two years later – because us artsy types simply can’t be bothered with trivial timelines for showing gratitude and social decorum… Right, Wilbur?
Well, Wilbur immediately wrote me an expressive and wonderful thank you card for my measly collage, which I received before the weekend was out. That cad is giving us arty types a bad name! Well, anyway, I thought I’d share the video (which I had to convert to a different file type, so the timing is a little screwy), as well as the collage in question.
I think one of these days I’m going to do another Wilbur blog exclusively on his artwork. It will be wonderfully easy since my parents’ house is full of it! In the meantime, check out some of his awesome Indianapolis prints here.
The following was written on deadline for a Literary Journalism class and describes Gay Talese, literary journalism legend himself, during his brief stop in Bloomington in the fall of 2010.
Gay Talese is on the move
By Chrissy Astbury
Imagine my delight when I discovered a huge four-page spread on architectural illustrator Carlos Diniz while perusing this month’s Dwell magazine. I wrote a blog about his work nearly two months ago. I wouldn’t say Dwell takes their cues from my modest personal blog, but I would say, at the least, I was on top of the trend in this instance – a taste-maker, if you will.
The Dwell article, found here, describes the bygone-era of hand-drawn architectural renderings wherein Diniz set himself apart by literally livening up his work. Instead of just showing the buildings, he showed people and how people were intended to interact with the architecture. According Diniz gallerist, Edward Cella: “Diniz always chose decorative objects and fashions of the day that created an affluent sense of the future… He created optimism through the details.”
Cheryl Maeder’s appropriately named “dreamscapes” have me dreaming of a cool breeze on a hot day on the beach.
It’s official: I have a couple crush.
So naturally, this new documentary about my couple crush is an absolute personal must-see (and I’m not usually nerdy enough to watch documentaries on PBS, but I absolutely must!). Narrated by veritable Renaissance man, James Franco, this documentary about the Eames entitled “Eames: The architect and the painter,” shows the masterminds at work, and it looks like a helluva-lotta-fun.
Surprisingly, this is the first film ever dedicated to the designing duo, despite the omnipresence of their legacy in homes, restaurants, airport terminals, libraries, schools, and not least of all, in the work of their successors today. According to the trailer, they actuated an entirely “new way of looking at the world.” Mark your calendars and set aside December 19 to nerd out on PBS.
Months and months and months ago, I started hearing buzz about The Rum Diary movie, starring Johnny Depp. I read the book several years ago, and like probably just about everyone, I thought: “J. Depp + Hunter S. Thompson + copious rum + idyllic island setting, combined on film? Yes, please.”
And I made plans in my head to attend the midnight showing because for the first time since Titanic, I was really, really looking forward to seeing a new movie. I’m not the biggest movie buff/enthusiast in the world, so this was a big deal. And when my friend Samson got tickets to see the advanced premiere through IU Cinema, for free, I was beyond psyched. Off-the-wall-ecstatic-excited.
I recently discovered architectural illustrator Carlos Diniz (1928-2001) while torturing myself, browsing artwork and luxury items I can’t possibly afford. It’s a form of masochism in the internet age.
His artwork fuses two of my greatest interests: art and architecture. His clean style and use of naturally colored paper for background is reminiscent of the cheap, $2 brown wrapping paper I sometimes use when arting around. So, yes, I love everything about his work. The fact his primary subject matter is midcentury modern homes, with their breezeways and integrated landscapes, merely adds insult to injury, so to speak.
This Lee Miller thing has progressed as most of my many latent interests do… I bought a book off Amazon (an old library book, my favorite), which I’ve begun reading, and I drew her. Yes, I drew her (and made her neck giraffe-like. Oh well). Anyway, it’s serious. What a cool lady! Highlight of the book thus far is a photo of her bathing in Hitler’s bath – a portrait of the fuhrer to her right, a statue of a nude Aryan to her left, and her dirty combat boots front-and-center.
Now, I just need to figure out this whole surrealist chef thang and get a turducken feast together… I somehow feel turducken is inherently surreal.