Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Rising Star: Handbag Designer, Sara Lloyd

Like most New York women, Sara Lloyd is obsessed with handbags. “A purse is your statement piece,” explains the Southern native. “And it always fits!” For Lloyd, a former intern at Kate Spade, her obsession burgeoned into a business, Sara Lloyd Ltd. Her custom-made handbags are one-of-a-kind objets d’art, distinguished by high-end European fabric and vintage costume brooches. Her aunt, an owner of Travis & Company, a mid-century and modern fabric house for interior designers, supplies Lloyd with a plethora of limited edition or discontinued fabrics. “Each fabric she gives me is enough to make one or two purses,” says Lloyd, showing me reams of hand screen-printed Spanish fabric, intricately embroidered French textiles, and subtle British imports.
©Zach Hyman 2010
 For the centerpiece, Lloyd digs for treasure at her favorite flea markets – Scotts Antique Market in Atlanta, the Chelsea Flea Market, and Tender Buttons, a tucked-away New York spot that’s a century old and carries “exotic pieces from overseas as well as mass-produced buttons.” She is by nature a collector, as are most die-hard flea market junkies-cum-fashionistas, and has a shoe box full of treasures for her clients to choose from. “My signature is a flower brooch,” explains the designer. “I like big, colorful pieces – something that pops.”
Lloyd, who officially launches her business with a party/art show on December 2, 2010 at the L.E.S. pop-up gallery, Panda, has found herself a niche clientele in the wedding industry. Her clutches have caught on as bridesmaid gifts. “The bride will come in and choose what fabric she wants for each bridesmaid’s purse.”  Nothing says thank you like couture, and priced to sell (within the $80 range) these handcrafted goodies are less expensive than something you will find on the rack.
©Zach Hyman 2010
Lloyd’s clutches are delicate, made to carry a gal’s essentials: “License, cash, one credit card, cell phone, and lip gloss.” After all, wearable art is about making a statement, not cramming your entire life into a bag. 

©Zach Hyman 2010
To RSVP to Sara Lloyd Ltd.’s Launch Party featuring photography by “It” boy photographer, Zack Hyman, and the official unveiling of LoRayDesign, check out: Launch Party RSVP 

Thursday, December 2, 2010 from 8-10 PM
Panda Gallery: 139 Chrystie Street, NYC

The Undoing of Harper M.

Something had happened these last months at the Cape. Harper began to fill with something so palpable she knew it from somewhere but couldn’t place it, and then it hit her. Relief. Oh, she’d meet her maker all right, but not from poisonous gas on the subway or in the sod of a rotted municipal machine. There’d been a mourning of sorts, a letting go. Goodbye to the device that filters water with nanotechnology; goodbye to softly-worn leaflets, those reading like prayers for sad women. Goodbye to the street urchins who’d hand her leaflets. Goodbye to escape routes; goodbye to code yellow, orange, red: DANGER!  Something inside her growing rampant, feral and out of control, this would be her undoing. This bug the best doctors in the best city couldn’t get a hold of, that her body kept alive and nurtured, that fed off her cells and blood and cytoplasm, it made her feel sorry for them, for Frank and the others. How they’d laugh if they heard her say it. She couldn’t say it – no – this was something you couldn’t say, not in the arms of your most cherished beloved, not after cataclysmic sex with a black Jesus. But as Frank steeped her tea in a pewter pot, dusted for mites beneath the bed, dragged down board games from the attic in their rented seashore abode, she could think it.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Pictures are just images

"Pictures are just images," she said. "I would never commit to them. And another thing: don't think you have the right to ask me questions like, Oh Monika, what's it like? This isn't some free for all. When I'm ready to publish my memoir, I'll hire Manhattan's top writers. Until then, I don't want to talk about it. It's just something to do. Got it?"

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Rising Star: Artist, Rich Arbitelle

©Rich Arbitelle

The voyeur in me loves to read other people’s diaries. A couple years ago, Atlanta based artist Rich Arbitelle let me have at his drawing books, and even allowed me to copy some pages. I've been hanging on to them ever since. They're doodles, scraps – characters, paired with crude (as in raw and unpolished) bits of thought. Not quite Mash-Ups, because the words and images are meant to go together, these are pastiches of verbal and visual that create little worlds unto themselves.

©Rich Arbitelle

©Rich Arbitelle

©Rich Arbitelle
©Rich Arbitelle

When you Google Rich Arbitelle, you'll be linked to his IMBD page for his role "Kid in Park" in the 1995 skater flick Kids, which starred his best friends and skaters he came up with in early 90s New York, like Justin Pierce and Harold Hunter. Arbitelle’s acting career might not have panned out, but like many artist/skaters, he's done graphics for a ton of skateboard and urban apparel companies including Brooklyn Boards (a company he owned and operated in the 90s, counting among its riders Aaron Suski and Tino Razo), Stereo, Zoo York, SHUT, Capital, Rookie, 5boro, J. Money Collection, Interracial Productions, Nimbus Skateboards, and Stratosphere Skate Shop.

Birth of a New Light

"I remember back in the day Jamie [Jamie Story, owner of the urban apparel brand J. Money Collection] and I would blast Bad Brains and just draw in our books forever. Then we'd go skate. That's what we did for fun." These days, Arbitelle draws and paints -- sometimes on art boards, sometimes on canvas -- creating large-scale pieces that are intricately detailed with his own signature self-taught style. "I've taken a lot from different artists over the years and learned from them," he explains, counting among his influences surrealists like Dali, H.R. Giger, "The Alien guy," and Robert Williams (creator of Juxtapoz Magazine). "I picked up shading techniques from Barry McGee (a.k.a. Twist) who did faces all over San Francisco and (NYC graffiti artist) Erni Vales who was big into the 3-D letter technique." All of Arbitelle's influences are "deep into creating and coming up with characters. They're original -- doing their own thing, not trying to copy other people's shit; they were on their own paths."

One of his recent projects, inspired by a trip to Guatemala, features a collage of things he saw during his 5-week stay. "It's one of the more simple stories I've told through art," he says. "I thought it was good to detail my experience."

Adventures in Guatemole, Detail

For more on Atlanta-based artist Rich Arbitelle, contact him at itoicreations@yahoo.com.  

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Hours ago ...

Hours ago I was in a bookstore called The Humanité, where I smoked hashish and bought eighty francs worth of antique books. And later that evening, I’d meet a man and woman who’d tell me about a gallery opening and take ten minutes to explain walking directions from the park, the place of our encounter.  So after some food and wine I’d bought off a truck, I tested my sense of direction and went about finding the gallery.