Something New Something Blue

On the eve of what has been an annus horribilis for many, the year 2010 already carries the weight of much anticipation of hope and change on all fronts of society. In Britain the new year will shine a light on the political stage, bringing a well over due general election that will hopefully see the falsely aspirational Labour government lose its 12-year hold on a country which is in War, can claim to have the highest teenage pregnancy rate in Europe, pays criminals five-thousand pounds to set themselves up in another country and has tax payers paying for politicians to watch adult entertainment. If this is 'Cool Britannia' then I'm out... and so is the rest of Britain who is need of stability and genuine leadership. In politics actions speak louder than words and if a government still persists to blame the work of its predecessor - 12 years on - then I hope the British public see the defects the Labour Party have subjected them to with an all-talk-no-action policy. Celebrate the new year with a political mind - maybe with a Conservative Party Diary... or perhaps a one-way ticket back to Scotland for Mr. Brown? Whatever you do, don't see Red in 2010, see Blue.


Christmas Rapping

Festive beats from the MVPuppets show by Nike Basketball...
Merry Christmas everyone!!!


Hot Off The Press

Emiliano Zapata and his horse, Digeo Rivera, 1932
If you're in London over the Holidays and find the cold is beginning to thaw your cultural cravings, warm up with a visit to the British Museum to see Revolution on paper: Mexican prints 1900-1960. The exhibition is a first of its kind in Europe and explores the works of artists such as Orozco, Rivera and others that encompass Mexican Printmaking in the early twentieth-century. Embraced as a passionate medium for political promotion, join in on the revolution until the 5th April 2010.


Snow Tires

When I was in New York earlier in the year I visited Allan Kaprow YARD - the exhibition that launched the opening of Hauser & Wirth's first American gallery. Celebrating the initial installation by Kaprow in 1961, the Manhattan townhouse gallery sprawled with black rubber tires and the haunting sounds from a Barack Obama-impersonator for a modern day reinterpretation. So it was a nice surprise to be sent holiday wishes from the gallery with this festive take on their very own inaugural event from 2009... Happy Holidays Everyone!


Unwrapping Some California Dreamin'

My Made in California prints are back from the framers! I produced these hand-printed bandanas in October - they are made from 100% cotton and it's the first time I have worked on this smaller scale of 18" square. If you would like further information of this work or any of my other works and projects please do not hesitate to get in touch with me at jmvelardi@yahoo.co.uk



We are already being bombarded with depressing fiscal predictions for the New Year, so if there's only one prediction we can lean on, it is the announcement today from the global authority on colour, Pantone, that PANTONE® 15-5519 Turquoise will be the official colour for 2010.

"... Turquoise evokes thoughts of soothing, tropical waters and a languorous, effective escape from the everyday troubles of the world, while at the same time restoring our sense of wellbeing".

With a statement like this, what's not to look forward to in 2010?


Christmas Window Basics

I know the hype behind Christmas windows for retail stores is limited to the world of the West but with 'holidays' and 'festive seasons' going global, leave it to Maison Hermès at their Ginza Flagship store to call upon Japanese designer, Tokujin Yoshioka to strip the standard accroutrements that are usually found in one of the most expensive window display budgets in the luxury market and bring some class back to the holiday season. The incredibly simple and beautiful installation is based on a previous commission in 2004 - thanks to Tokujin for the video that needs no introduction...

The installation is up until January 19th, 2010 at Maison Hermès 5-4-19 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo


Wild Life & Wild Things

Last week I was in Ireland - Cork to be precise - and my visit exceeded all expectations. More details to come from Cork later so for now I wanted to share what I do every time I find myself in a new city catching up with an old friend - get stuck in! And by that I mean hit the local Arts House Cinema and relax... so this is exactly what I did in the luxury of the Kino on Washington Street making myself quite at home with the aroma of coffee in the air and my mug of tea.
Fish Tank, directed by Andrea Arnold, won the Jury Prize at Cannes Film festival this year steering it away from the stereotype of another 'council estate drama' movie. Following the life of fifteen-year-old Mia, played by debutant Katie Jarvis, you are immersed in the pride and rawness of a broken Britain in Essex fuelled by aspiration through the female eyes of a father-less family. Music and television play an important parallel throughout the film - Mia is an aspiring dancer and her little sister thrives on the frivolous parties of spoilt rich kids on the MTV hit show, My Super Sweet Sixteen. Also starring is Irish actor, Michael Fassbender who plays both a love interest for Mia's mother as well as a father figure for the family in the role of Connor. But Connor's own troubles come into play causing a furore of anger and genuine emotion that thwarts any ideas of hope that were built up before. The finale is remarkable yet honest and with this honesty brings the reality that no matter what your background, class or gender may be, we all live in fish tank trying to survive and wanting more from life.

Don't forget the launch of Where The Wild Things Are in the UK on December 11th! Directed by Spike Jonze and adapted from Maurice Sendak's 1963 illustrative children's book I love everything from the film's typography to the cult-status and design collaborations that have been released in homage to Max's wolf costume! As for Jonze, what's not to like from a guy whose work includes music videos, commercials, television and film? I missed the launch in October when I was in New York so I can't wait for the release here... reviews in the UK have been critical, but this is from a country who is enamoured by a plasticine baker... I know what cult I would want to follow.