Midweek Moods

It may not be ‘Fiesta Friday’ quite yet, so hit up my Midweek Moods for some visual stimulation - and much needed distraction - to get you through to the end of the week. If you’re on Pinterest follow my #HIGHLIFE and #LOWLIFE boards for all the latest #lifestyleporn from the www and beyond...

Happy midweek everyone! 
#HIGHLIFE - Danesfield House

#LOWLIFE - Toile de #WORKBxxCH

#LOWLIFE - Casely Halford X H by HARRIS

#HIGHLIFE - Clooney X Kusama

Follow more #highlife & #lowlife antics on Twitter @JMVELARDI


My Funny Valentine

Salvidor Dalí X Chanel No 5

Happy Valentine's Day - love from @JMVELARDI XOXO


Humble enamelware is making a comeback of late into the heart of our homes. Dating from the early twentieth-century, enamelware’s smooth, clean lines - created by fusing porcelain onto steel - has endured both as a functional product as well as a design classic for nearly a century. From traditional kitchen shops and designer home stores to contemporary pop-ups and antique markets, there is a revived hunger from both chefs and hipsters alike for the clanging of enamelware in their kitchens. 
Whether brand new or vintage, enamelware’s prone chips and dents make it that much more loveable – not so easily said for its ceramic or plastic counterparts; emanating a wholesome quality of traditional cooking – think delicious roasts or bubbling crumbles - with a dash of unbreakable invincibility. A chip remember only adds to that much sought after character. I myself love the stuff and I’ve enjoyed slowly collecting a service of my own on my travels over the years with conventional white and blue designs from Britain to more colourful styles manufactured on the Continent. On a recent trip to Serbia, known for its enamelware production, I returned laden with bowls and pots in all shapes and sizes to add to my growing collection of utilitarian chic.
The artists’ magazine TOILET PAPER - conceived in 2010 by Italian contemporary artist Maurizio Cattelan and photographer Pierpaolo Ferrari - has launched a collection of enamel tableware with the contemporary Italian brand Seletti, which I was delighted to discover on a recent visit to Opening Ceremony's London flagship. 
Under the art direction of Micol Talso, TOILET PAPER magazine has earned cult status for its distinctive photography-based publication. Every issue takes on a single theme that informs highly conceptual creations, resulting in surreal, saturated and seductive cover-to-cover visuals. As well as its seasonal issues, TOILET PAPER has worked closely with the worlds of art, fashion and design: previous commissions have included exhibitions at Palais de Tokyo in Paris and an art billboard for New York’s High Line Art project; it regularly collaborates with luxury fashion brand KENZO as well as international periodicals such as Vice, The New Yorker and Wallpaper* Magazine.  
For the Seletti Wears TOILET PAPER collection, a series of kitsch imagery from TOILET PAPER magazine's visual dictionary are transferred onto the surfaces of enamel plates and mugs in a colourway of retro hues of white, green and blue creams with black edging. As ambiguous as the magazine, the graphic collection is a zany juxtaposition between product and art form with graphics ranging from a prancing horse and a plunger to a bar of soap with bite marks and a set of female fingers. TOILET PAPER’s iconic language continues with the line-up of a vertical knife, a bloodied heart and a horseshoe to affectionately read ‘I love you’. The service undoubtedly makes for an unforgettable table setting and would be best mismatched to create idiosyncratic dialogues between diners.   

Be enamoured with the full enamelware collection Seletti Wears TOILET PAPER now available at Opening Ceremony worldwide.

Visit Seletti for further details of the collection including vinyl tablecloth designs and explore the world of TOILET PAPER at toiletpapermagazine.org

More art, culture & lifestyle updates @JMVELARDI

Images courtesy of TOILET PAPER magazine


BAFTA Art Diary

The film industry is in full swing with awards season counting down to its zenith at the Oscars next month. Before all eyes descend onto Hollywood, London will host the 67th British Academy Film Awards in celebration of film and documentary. The esteemed BAFTA awards are generally viewed as a signifier to Oscar success and with Gravity receiving the most nominations amongst a pool of brilliant talent from 2013 - including 12 Years a Slave, American Hustle, The Wolf of Wall Street and Blue Jasmine to name only a few - this year’s ceremony at the Royal Opera House will guarantee plenty of action and drama on the night.

In the run-up to this weekend’s BAFTAs I pick the most inspiring exhibitions on show in London town; from large-scale installations to intimate works of art, the capital offers a range of celebrated talent equal to that on the silver screen:

Bailey’s Stardust at the National Portrait Gallery 
If you want to know where all the stars are hanging out in London head to the National Portrait Gallery where a landmark exhibition of David Bailey’s photographs chart more than half a century of electric imagery that spans popular culture, celebrity and reportage from around the world.
Bailey's Stardust runs until 1st June 2014 at the National Portrait Gallery. 
Jack Nicholson, 1978 - David Bailey

Richard Deacon at Tate Britain
Discover Turner Prize winning sculptor, Richard Deacon’s material manipulation in a major exhibition presented at Tate Britain. A range of large-scale mixed media sculpture and organic drawings reveal Deacon’s prolific career for sinuous forms over four decades. The gallery’s recent £45million renovation is a masterpiece in the marriage of the historical and contemporary worth exploring on your visit.
Richard Deacon runs until 27th April 2014 at Tate Britain.
It's Orpheus When There's Singing #7, 1978-9 - Richard Deacon

Globe Head Ballerina at the Royal Opera House
Look no further than the venue for this year’s BAFTAs for a dose of contemporary art. In fact, look upwards along the façade of the Royal Opera House to view Yinka Shonibare, MBE’s gravity-defying public art installation Globe Head Ballerina, which takes residence with neighbouring street performers in the heart of Covent Garden on Bow and Russell Street.  Find out more about the installation commissioned by the Royal Opera House in my review Street Dance.
Globe Head Ballerina will be on display at the Royal Opera House until 2017.
Globe Head Ballerina, 2012 - Yinka Shonibare, MBE

Martin Creed at sketch
Whimsical and witty are the main ingredients to Martin Creed’s art practice. What’s the point of it? is a survey of the controversial artist’s signature works currently on show at the Hayward Gallery. To immerse yourself fully in the conceptually curious world of Creed cross over the Thames to Mayfair and pay a visit to the Gallery at sketch where the artist has redecorated with aplomb the restaurant’s famed salon; curating its furniture, furnishings, tableware and artwork as well as designing a custom marble floor. Mixed in with the culinary creations of Head Chef Pierre Gagnaire, the total effect creates one of the most stimulating rooms in the city. 
The Gallery at sketch may be viewed during the day – for dining advance reservations are strongly recommended.
 Martin Creed in the Gallery at sketch 

ICA Off-Site: Dover Street Market at Dover Street Market
Art meets fashion in the latest of the Institute of Contemporary Arts’ Off-Site projects. Returning to its former address in Mayfair, now occupied by fashion emporium Dover Street Market, a collection of rare archival material occupies the exterior and interiors of the emporium across all six floors. Not unfamiliar with in-store art interventions amongst its designer collections, Dover Street Market makes for the ideal canvas in this evocative homecoming where seminal art activity was staged between 1950-1968. More details on the blog - Back to the Future
ICA Off-Site: Dover Street Market opens this week at Dover Street Market through to 6th April 2014.
ICA Off-Site: Dover Street Market

Richard Hamilton at Tate Modern
The late British artist Richard Hamilton is affectionately known as Daddy Pop. A leading member of the Independent Group in the Fifties debating art, architecture and theory, it was at the ICA in Dover Street where the earliest work of Pop art is cited - Hamilton’s very own 1956 collage, Just what is it that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing? showcased in the This Is Tomorrow exhibit. Themes of American consumer culture, celebrity and politics inspired Hamilton to create a number of influential images on art history’s timeline from the twentieth century. London pays tribute to Hamilton with an exhibition at the ICA’s main gallery on The Mall as well as with a retrospective at Tate Modern, which promises to be an immersive mash-up of the artist’s affiliation with the worlds of architecture, product design and film throughout a career that dates from the 1950s to the artist’s final series of paintings created in 2011.
Richard Hamilton opens 13th February at Tate Modern through to 26th May 2014. 
Swingeing London, 1968-9 - Richard Hamilton

Hannah Höch at Whitechapel Gallery
Head East to Whitechapel Gallery to the view the original ‘cut and paste’ works of Hannah Höch. A driving force in the development of twentieth century collage, Höch was a member of Berlin’s Dada movement and transformed everyday printed material into intimate artworks. Over one hundred collages feature in this first major exhibition in Britain and include themes on fashion, finance and feminism in a post-war Germany.
Hannah Höch runs until 23rd March 2014 at Whitechapel Gallery. 
Für ein Fest gemacht (Made for a Party), 1936 - Hannah Höch

Click here for a full view of my BAFTA Art Diary map of London

Visit jonathanvelardi.com/writing for more articles on
Art, Culture & Lifestyle 

Images courtesy of David Bailey, sketch London, Whitechapel Gallery
ICA and the estate of Richard Hamilton



Are you already bored with that New Year’s resolution? Have you been taken hostage by the British weather? Or are you a lover of two-wheels? If the answer is 'yes' to any one of these, Al Madad Foundation wants to hear from you. The London-based charity launches its first sponsored charity challenge this year in aid of its innovative educational projects for internally displaced children in Syria
Cycle4Schooling hopes to raise vital funds for Al Madad’s bespoke outreach programmes designed to bring infrastructure and stability to Syrian children with a cycle event between London and Oxford - representing capitals of art and education that form the charity’s primary objectives. On 17th May 2014 the challenge will start at London’s Serpentine Gallery in Kensington Gardens, heading westwards through the scenic boroughs of the Home Counties, before reaching its final destination at the world-famous Bodleian Library, Oxford.
Al Madad Foundation is looking for participants at any level and experience to sign on, saddle up and help support this very worthy cause. Funds raised from Cycle4Schooling will continue to be channelled into projects in Syria’s largest city, Aleppo where Al Madad has fostered successful relations with local grassroots organisations over the last year; implementing a unique model of development that works directly with the local community. Largely unreported, the ongoing Syrian conflict has resulted in the closure of over 4,000 schools across the country as well as thousands of trained teachers and professionals who are out of employment. Al Madad’s mission to re-establish a sustainable and self-reliant schooling system under the direction of qualified individuals to teach children for a wage, focuses on the balance of community and rebuilds the hopes for opportunity of otherwise lost generations. With two existing sites in Aleppo, Cycel4Schooling aims to respond to the growing demand on the ground for further long-term educational programmes to be introduced in order to reach more displaced children and their families.
Al Madad Foundation's schools programme in motion
I had the pleasure of working with Al Madad on its fundraising art exhibition, Recounting Palestine’s Stories: An Intervention in 2012 (Show & Tell, June 2012). Collaborating with a charity whose mandate is to generate serious change in the Middle East from the very frontline was a personally enriching experience and this is why I wish to share Cycle4Schooling with you all in the hope you will support this inaugural event aimed at helping the futures of so many. 

The challenge is a full day commitment with several pit stops scheduled en route as well as a four-wheel return to London from Oxford at the end of the day – for a full information pack including a training programme and guidelines visit Cycle4Schooling – any further enquiries may be directed to Rasha Barazi at 0207 408 7881 or contact@almadadfoundation.org

Enter Cycle4Schooling now or if you would like to sponsor a cyclist or support any other of Al Madad Foundation's projects visit almadadfoundation.org

Images courtesy of Al Madad Foundation


Back To The Future

London's Institute of Contemporary Arts will return to occupy its former address in the heart of Mayfair at 17-18 Dover Street next week as part of its ICA Off-Site programme. Following on from the success of its large-scale occupation in The Old Selfridges Hotel with the exhibition A Journey through London Subcultures: 1980s to Now last year (London Underground, November 2013), the ICA will present rarely seen archival material in a temporary exhibition where the fashion retail store Dover Street Market now resides. 
Before its relocation to its present premises on The Mall, Dover Street staged some of the ICA’s most important exhibitions in post-war British art. Between 1950 and 1968, seminal art activity conducted by the Independent Group took place at the ICA and brought together critical debate from the areas of art, architecture and theory. Pop Art and Op Art movements as well as a catalogue of exhibitions by Bacon, Freud, Pollock and Picasso earned the ICA its status as a pioneering art destination. Appropriately, Dover Street Market London and its outposts around the world have become destinations for not only innovative fashion but for the seasonal art collaborations curated by its founder Rei Kawakubo who invites international artists to work with the conceptual in-store spaces. ICA Off-Site: Dover Street Market will feature interior and exterior installations across all six floors of the fashion emporium, in conjunction with the publication Institute of Contemporary Arts: 1946-1968, which will examine this remarkable period of art activity and the origins of a British institution.

The project and publication coincides with the upcoming exhibition at The Mall of the late British Pop artist and original member of the Independent Group, Richard Hamilton whose work and career is inextricably linked to the ICA’s history. Tate Modern will also be honouring Hamilton with a retrospective documenting a celebrated career over 60 years later this month.

ICA Off-Site: Dover Street Market opens to the public on 11th February and runs through to 6th April 2014 – for further information visit ICA Off-Site.

View last year's A Journey through London Subcultures: 1980s to Now on the blog here.

ICA Off-Site: Dover Street Market
11th February - 6th April 2014
17-18 Dover Street

Richard Hamilton at the ICA
12th February - 6th April 2014
12 Carlton House Terrace


Serif vs Sans Serif

In my latest blog entry for Ohh Deer I explore the typographic crux that is Serif and Sans Serif with a little help from some illustrations by Studio VelardiEveryday font wars play out on products and propaganda, each one battling for attention; for a moment of our appreciation or disdain. Typeface plays a significant role across our cultural landscape in both creative and commercial industries such as technology, fashion and entertainment. In an age of online publishing, the question 'to serif or sans serif' is carefully considered when deciding how we wish to project ourselves through as much as what our words say, as how they look.  

Decisions, decisions...

Typeface now gets physical thanks to Japanese design studio TYPE who invite us to wear our taste in typeface as part of our personal style. Inspired by how ‘the design of a typeface affects how a message is communicated’ TYPE launches an ingenious collection of eyewear designed around the anatomical characteristics of Helvetica and Garamond families to represent their respective 'universality and individuality' for its inaugural collection.
Helvetica’s solid sans serif lines are lifted off the page to create spectacle arms as are Garamond’s serif accents that are incorporated onto the bridge of a classic keyhole frame. Each model is available in Light, Regular and Bold weights; finished in Black, Tortoise or Clear colourways and can be made as eyeglasses or sunglasses. 
TYPE is currently only available in Japan and will be expanding their typeface catalogue in the coming seasons - explore the entire collection  here to see what typeface suits you. 
Read my full Serif vs Sans Serif feature on the Ohh Deer blog.

To view a selection of my published writing visit jonathanvelardi.com/writing; follow @JMVELARDI on Twitter for my take on the latest art, culture and lifestyle news and view more illustrations by Studio Velardi at studiovelardi.tumblr.com

Illustration by Studio Velardi | Images courtesy of TYPE