Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged art

A Survival Guide for Landlocked Mermaids

Margot Datz’s A Survival Guide for Landlocked Mermaids is a wonderfully colorful picture book for adults - the kind of book that should come with matching postcards, a calendar, and refrigerator magnets. Datz is both writer and illustrator, and she does a delightful job with both. The focus of the book is how women can experience life to the fullest by living like mermaids.

The Vision and Art of Shinjo Ito: An Exhibition of His Work (5/8 - 6/29/2008)

"One day I encountered the line in the Great Parinirvana Sutra that reads, ‘One who gives priority to making Buddha images and stupas, and takes great joy in doing so, will thereupon be born in the Land Immovable (the realm of resolute determination)’" - Shinjo Ito Shinjo Ito (1906-1989) is one of Japan’s great modern Buddhist artists, although he thought of himself as primarily a religious man.

Cheryl Ann Webster: Beautiful Women Project (3/20/2008)

When I initially heard about the Beautiful Women Project, I was engaged by the apparently simple nature of its message. I thought of the work as conveying many feminist interpretations of the relationship between feminine constructions of body image and media. On speaking to the artist and viewing the collection, I was struck at the memories it brought up for me.

Technologies of Intuition

Jennifer Fisher makes an interesting observation in her introduction to Technologies of Intuition. If we define intuition as knowing without a conscious understanding of how something is known, there are two fields of endeavor which value intuition: art and spiritualism.

Furlesque T-Shirt

Fun, funky, and functional art. Who doesn’t love the sound of that? From the minute I saw the t-shirts created by Dion and Maggie, the founders of Furlesque, I was in love. Sheer and pretty, the t-shirt is form-fitting, but surprisingly warm. I wore it alone and was quite comfortable on a cool day here on a Central Californian beach. Come fall, it will look equally fantastic layered with my favorite strappy tank tops. Furlesque was launched in 2006 by Maggie.

Plazm 28: Luck

Editors Jon Raymond, Tiffany Lee Brown, and Joshua Berger begin their opening epistle with the words, “It’s been nearly four years since an issue of Plazm last appeared . . .” As a follower of small press, I hadn’t realized how much time had passed! And I am heartened that after all this time, Plazm decided to print a new issue. It’s good to see them back. This issue was packed with interesting art and interviews. It’s difficult to pick a few highlights from a magazine brimming with fascinating work.

Global Feminisms

Global Feminisms is a beautifully compiled collection of feminist art from all over the world, literally. Instead of focusing on works from the past, however, the earliest of the pieces in this book date from the year 1990 and looks forward to the future of feminism and art. The countless paintings, sculptures, pieces of installation art, photographs, portraits, etc. come from fifty countries and all continents (excluding Antarctica), and challenges the notion that feminism is Western-centric and male defined.

Shamanic Mysteries of Egypt: Awakening the Healing Power of the Heart

Nicki Scully and Linda Star Wolf have written a fun and strange manual that teaches us how we can unlock the secrets of the New Age teachings with the help of the shamanic Egyptian mysteries. In addition to an array of beautiful illustrations, the authors have effectively organized the book into three parts. The first two contain instructions on performing rites of passage and meditations with a little help from our friends, the always accessible primary divine entities of prehistoric Egypt. The third section focuses on the four elements: water, earth, fire and air.

Handbook of the Evolution of Human Sexuality

The style and content in a sentence: Professional enough for an academic, but thought provoking for the general public. If you’re reading this with thoughts that the “Evolution” part of this title might limit the diversity of coverage of “Human Sexuality,” read on. Most of what we might have learned about evolution and sex on public television, in high school biology, health class and even in psychology 101 leaves everything other than heterosexual, reproductive, cave-man sex in the archeological dust.

Figures of Resistance: Essays in Feminist Theory

Figures of Resistance is a collection of essays, including previously unpublished lectures and essays, by the absolutely brilliant, feminist thinker Teresa de Lauretis. The texts in this collection span from the concept of feminist aesthetics (or deaesthetics) in film as well as the notion of the narrative, and lesbianism.

Destroy Me I’m Yours

Move over Sid and Nancy. Free form rock is the new black and Brooklyn, New York do-gooders Jen and Johnny from Shellshag are the ultimate musical couple. Years ago while performing in separate bands, they were involved with a public arts warehouse and living experiment in San Francisco called Starcleaners. Fast forward to present day, where Starcleaners has become a haven for the artistic community, releasing limited edition music including Shellshag’s first full-length album, Destroy Me I’m Yours.

Rashaya & Resistance Cruisers

Matt Weston’s album Rashaya is a fantastic piece of modern art. It is unique in that it is not a standard drum performance one would find at a symphony or pop music concert. Listening to Weston’s music is a different experience in and of itself; there is a variation in the sounds that is reminiscent of the Broadway show Stomp. The tracks have a surprising amount of expressive emotion produced from the unique instruments.

The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the Non-Profit Industrial Complex

The Color of Violence: The INCITE! Anthology was the first publication that documented some of the concerns and challenges addressed at the Color of Violence Conference, which began at University of California-Santa Cruz in 2000. Since then, there have been two more conferences, organizing campaigns and the SISTERFIRE tour of radical women artists.

When I Met the Wolf Girls

The title of this children’s book caught my eye since my family supports Wolf Park, a local wolf education and research facility located in Battle Ground, Indiana. This delicate story of family and friendship, set in picture-book format, recants the ordeal of two feral sisters discovered in Midnapore, India in the 1920s.


The city that never sleeps. 9/11. Diversity. Pizza and delis. Flash. Cash.

Our Daily Bread

Our Daily Bread uses visual images to show the deplorable conditions that are inflicted on animals and the toxic spraying of crops to awaken the public to the reality of our food supply. This film also shows the isolation and monotony faced by workers in the industry. Our Daily Bread was a thought-provoking film that left me horrified by its disturbing images and concerned for my family’s welfare. Unfortunately, some of the scenes were so upsetting to me that I was unable to watch them.

Black Women’s Intellectual Traditions: Speaking their Minds

While reading this collection, I recalled when I was in a debate with a male writer about where were the intellectuals and poets from the Black Arts Movement. I named Mari Evans and was dismissed. Never mind that Cheryl Clarke, June Jordan and Audre Lorde could have also been a part of that list.

Art Cards

Fun and spirit cheering: I love these cards so much that I don’t want to give them away! They totally rock. Not only because the art design on one of the cards – a bird perched under a tree – is cute and effective, but also because its simplicity evokes a kind of ethereality. The art feels like a poem on a page.

Fluffalicious! Craft Podcast

The Fluffalicious! podcast is a welcomed edition to the DIY and crafting podcast world. Barbe St. John and Natasha Fialkov are mixed media and fiber artists who have grown tired of podcasts that focus on one craft. On Fluffalicious!, Barbe and Natasha talk about their current projects and discuss craft and art books. In Episode 1, Barbe and Natasha discuss an armwarmer and a paper bead tutorial that are available on their blogs. Additionally, they talk about making handmade gifts for friends and family.

Venus Zine (Spring 2007)

Venus has come a long way from its inception more than a decade ago. In its current form, it bears little resemblance to the average zine. Instead, Venus is a refreshingly sophisticated publication — glossy enough to tempt more mainstream consumers into giving the pages a once-over, while still maintaining a feminist perspective. The latest issue is packed full of everything one might expect from a woman-centric publication, sans skeletal models and hetero-focused sex tips.

Girl Stories

A friend once described the experience of being a Smiths fan at age twelve. Listening to the lyrics of “Half a Person”—“Sixteen, clumsy, and shy, I went to London and I booked myself in at the Y…WCA…”—he felt a pang of recognition with that teenager. Precociously morose, he told me, “I felt so old for my age!” Reading Lauren R. Weinstein’s comics, I feel a similar sympathetic pang – albeit from the far side of sixteen. It makes me think that the ageless adolescence of the sensitive, artistic, somewhat nerdy kid is a permanent state of being.

ARTitude Zine (Issue #23: Winter 2006)

Sweet and sincere, ARTitude Zine includes well-written articles by and about artists and their processes, nifty project ideas with full instructions, and full-color pages displaying readers’ work.

I Like Food, Food Tastes Good: In the Kitchen with Your Favorite Bands

What do you call a cookbook that reads like poetry? What do you call a coffee table book that whets your appetite? You would call that book I Like Food, Food Tastes Good. Fully expecting a fun addition to my expansive and eclectic collection of cookbooks, I was delightfully surprised at the fun compiled between the pages of this book! Food writer Kara Zuaro knows a lot of musicians, and all musicians must eat! Whether they’re on the tour bus in their own kitchens, they’ve all got favorite recipes. Don’t expect the quick and boring Fried Bologna Sandwich here!

Geisha: A Photographic History, 1872–1912

Geisha: A Photographic History, 1872–1912 is a beautiful hardcover coffee table book. I paged through this volume of history and beauty, and learned so much about the culture through this most amazing collection of photos and well-researched history that bullets important landmarks for the unknowing reader.

Sticky Fingers: Queers Running the Stage Art Gamut (2/17/2007)

Sticky Fingers featured a medley of performances ranging from spoken word poetry to electro-rock by queer artists from across the eastern seaboard. Held at Galapagos Art Space in Brooklyn, NY, the show was stimulating in its polymorphous perversity, the performances audacious in their satirical elements and guttural verve. Manhattan-based artist Chavisa Woods opened the night with her spoken word piece “No One is Ever Going to Touch You Like This.” Woods’ piece was a powerful inquiry the reality of passion and fantasy.

Various Artists – Cochen en Boite

Mislead by the rather alluring title and expecting something on a par with St. Germain’s sleep-inducing tooting, I practically wept with the grief only an avid music fan can know when forth from my stereo spilled the stomach disrupting lyrical expulsion of Jillian Iva breathing, “I'm a love maker, soul shaker, body manipulator,” in a manner not far removed from Cher’s auto tune incident. I persevered through hallucinations of topless grinding, dax wax a go go clichés of all night gay bars, cringing at the cheesy lyric overload.

Artistic Native American Postcards

Transformation and prayer highlight Swaneagle Harijan’s art. Her paintings are rich with color and focus on women in a many states of being.

Vanderbilt A-Light Lamp

Bringing the urban landscape into the home environment, designer Donna Jo Brady creates lighting fixtures that illuminate the beauty in street culture. The construction of the Vanderbilt A-Light Lamp base is sleek and modern, which contrasts the gritty artwork on the lampshade itself. The design melds together two different artistic worlds in a way that exemplifies the way they compliment each other. On this lamp, dripping paint and rust eating away at metal meet a clean birch wood base.

Trinity of ChocoLove

It may shock you to hear that I'm not a fan of chocolate. (You may pick your jaw up from the ground now.) I've become familiar with the looks of disbelief after I make this radical confession. So why would a girl who doesn't like chocolate want to review the dreaded confection? Well, from time to time I get a hold of something that gives me hope, and I'm not afraid to be proven wrong. Thanks should be given to Chloe Jo for making me privy to Painter Girl Chocolates, a company that makes me glad I'm not dogmatic in my sweets aversion.

Floor Sample: A Creative Memoir

Bestselling author and teacher Julia Cameron, known worldwide for her book The Artist’s Way, finally comes clean and tells all in her new memoir: Floor Sample. And when I say tells all, it’s not a cliché. I must admit when I first picked up this book, I feared I’d somehow lose my champion of creativity. How could she really live up to all she taught? How could she really walk the walk? I feared my mentor’s lessons would lose their impact within the story, behind the story. Floor Sample will not disappoint. Cameron surpasses all of her previous work.