Cute Do-it-yourself Spring Flip Flops!

We are glad Rachel Hayes of Cherries and Feathers will be joining us here on ArtDuh and writing about some of her crafting ideas. Check out her first tutorial:

1) Cut a strip of fabric at least 60-70 inches long and 1-2 inches wide.

2)Fold the strip in half

Step 3

Step 3

3)Place the fold under the “v” point of the flip flop and pull both ends of the fabric through the loop of the fold. Pull taut. You now have your strip secured to the sandal.

Step 4

Step 4

4)Begin wrapping each long end of the fabric around each strap of the sandal until the straps are covered.

Step 5

Step 5

5)The remaining long ends of the fabric are crossed behind the heel, wrapped around the ankle and tied to secure.

Rachel's Shoes

Rachel’s Shoes

Urban Arts Gallery


There is a new gallery at the Gateway that everyone should stop in and visit. Last weekend was the grand opening of the new Urban Arts Galley, and I am very impressed. It is a very nice and large space showcasing a number of different artists, and currently featuring the artwork of Jimmi Toro. A lot of very nice work! You’ll also find a boutique selling all sorts of local handmade stuffz.

There are also a number of events planned for the space, including dance performances, CONNECT, Gallery Stroll, and the Urban Arts Festival. Checkity-check!

Picasso’s Parade

“Curtain for the Ballet Parade” -1917

In 1917 Picasso did some set and costume design for the Jean Cocteau’s ballet Parade. Picasso created the curtain above, along with the cardboard cubist costumes below. Picasso hasn’t been on the ArtDuh homepage for a while, and I was thinking about his costume design today for some reason, so it seemed like a good time to post these images. Enjoy!

Needlework Rebellion

My Ghostly Remnant post serves as a nice segue into an even more obscure form of graffiti: embroidery.  If you try image-Googling the term “embroidery,” it’ll land you an eyeful of flowers. Sarah Greaves takes the stuff your grandma made, but does it with power tools. 
You see Greaves’ work and automatically note how visually different it is. But then you take a second, closer look at the amount of holes she made through metal and wood.  I got a grating, abrubt feeling (like nails on a chalkboard) when I saw how the softness of the thread appears to pour and force its way through the sink’s metal. I started to wonder how she made all those holes, so I researched. 
In an interview with the blog “Ape on the Moon,” Greaves said she marks out the drill holes beforehand.
“Metal is the hardest material to drill through but one of the easiest to sew as it tends to be thinner and the needle follows the hole more easily. Embroidering the sink and the fridge involved industrial cutting oil, a lot of drill bits and a lot of patience. The fiberglass bath was relatively easy to drill but the fine dust created is nasty stuff.”
In the same interview, Greaves also said she pulls inspiration from the news and politics.
“My work explores stereotyped identities and gender roles, our internal monologues and the public and private ‘self’. It pushes the tradition of embroidery and reframes the location and voice of the graffiti artist. The embroidered text is delicate and ‘feminine’ while the process demands ‘masculine’ tools such as drills and clamps. Visceral, intangible thoughts become permanently graffitied onto familiar, domestic objects,” she said in a quote from
“Man” tools + delicate thread. Makes me happy.
Images via here and here.

Ghostly Remnants

Oak Beach, Baltic Sea

While we’re at it, why don’t we round out this discussion about graffiti and talk about Polish artist NeSpoon? She’s been installing her lace doilies in seemingly bewildering spaces such as beaches, parks and abandoned buildings. There’s something spooky about her worky. Her white doilies have a sense of phantasm about them; they’re reminiscent of spider webs, dream catchers and snowflakes, all of which in my opinion have a quiet darkness about them. (Have you ever stood in snowfall at night? It’s ghostly.)

“Forty Forty Project it’s a street art gallery in Warsaw / Poland, located in the 150 years old, forgotten military fort,” says NeSpoon’s website.

“My works for Art Kitchen Foundation in Franciacorta / Italy,” writes NeSpoon.

Looking at all the different spaces where NeSpoon has spun her magic, from driftwood to parks to rundown buildings what would you deem the most appropriate place for doilies? What’s your favorite? I believe the doilies contribute one particular shared message, just as NeSpoon says on her old Blogger account:

“My friend Ania named it, the jewellery of the public space. I must say, I like that name. Jewellery makes people look pretty, my public jewellery has the same goal, make public places look better. I would like people who discover here and there my small applications, to smile and just simply feel better.”

Photos via

Yarn Warfare

Although one of the latest works of famous yarn bomber Olek wasn’t done illegally, it still has that arresting, unexpected juxtaposition.
Yarn bombing, a.k.a. yarnstorming or guerrilla crocheting, is a form of street art and is comparable to graffiti in that bombers usually cover public property.
However, this bombing was done for the Social Service of Commerce (SESC) arts show in São Paulo, Brazil. The theme for the show was “memory of things” and ran from July 19-29, 2012.
“Crocheted Jacaré” is the name of the installation and is essentially a massive cozy covering an alligator-shaped playground. The head of the gator and the tail spikes are wrapped in what seems to be her signature loud and bright camouflage-like pattern, which is always ironic, as the purpose of camouflage is quite the contrary. Using North Carolinian acrylic yarn and Brazilian ribbons, Olek calls it a “multicultural mix.” Created on the SESC grounds, the installation took several weeks with the help of other crocheters.
Olek was born in Poland and currently resides in Brooklyn. Here is an excerpt from her website explaining her work:
“My art was a development that took me away from industrial, close-minded Silesia, Poland. It has always sought to bring color and life, energy, and surprise to the living space. My goal is to produce new work and share it with the public. I intend to take advantage of living in NYC with various neighborhoods and, with my actions, create a feedback to the economic and social reality in our community.”
Images via

Letters Home

The Michael Rosenthal Gallery in the Mission District of San Francisco is one of my favorites. It is the gallery where we stumbled on the work of Veronica DeJesus and became fast friends with her. Their current exhibit is one I would very much like to see, called Letters Home by Amber Jean Young. Since I’m not able to get to San Fran right now to review the show, I’ll share the email the gallery sent me describing it:

Letters Home
A solo show of new work by Amber Jean YoungOpening reception for the Artist:
Saturday June 9, 2012
6 PM to 9 PM
Extending our program’s long-standing commitment to emerging experimental practices by young artists, Michael Rosenthal Gallery is pleased to present ” Letters Home ” an exhibition of new work by San Francisco based artist Amber Jean Young. This marks the artist’s first exhibition with the gallery.Negotiating the tension between craft and fine art, the work explores and transforms the conceptual and formal strategies associated with the made object. The artist uses materials and techniques ranging from fabric constructions, crochet messages, sculpture, drawing, painting and photography to explore interpersonal, familial relationships, and personal history. Amber’s work addresses the issues coping mechanisms and complicated emotions such as disappointment and failure that are derived from her experience.Born and raised in the Santa Cruz foothills, Amber is the daughter of Neil and Peggy Young. Her families close relationship, and mentoring has inspired and informed her work. Amber’s  father often shared stories of his career and adventures. Amber absorbed, learned and is subsequently enlightened by her family’s creativity. Growing up surrounded by talent and creativity has pointed Amber toward  a center of integrity and compassion that is intimate and compelling.