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Damien Hirst – The Complete Spot Paintings at Gagosian Beverly Hills

February 5, 2012 Art, Contemporary No Comments

The Complete Spot Challenge: visit all 11 Gagosian Gallery locations during the exhibition and receive a personally dedicated and signed spot print by Damien Hirst!

The route I’d take: Beverly Hills > New York > London > Paris > Hong Kong > Rome >> Athens > Geneva.

For me, the real challenge is finding a way to clear my calendar for the next month!

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Kushiyu – Spicy Tuna Rice Cake

February 2, 2012 Lunch No Comments

Took a friend out to try sushi (and even use chopsticks!) for her first time; thought it’d be best to ease her into eating raw fish with this…. it worked.

Link: Kushiyu

SMWS 3.171 – 20 year old Bowmore

January 29, 2012 Dinner No Comments

I finally got around to trying the whiskies that came with my SMWS membership pack. The first mini bottle I opened came from cask number 3.171, which is also referred to as Peasant honey and lime flowers. It’s been aged for 20 years and was bottled at 55.8% ABV.

Originating from Bowmore, the oldest distillery (est. 1779) on Islay, this independent bottling was quite a treat!

The Society’s tasting notes:

The nose is varied and generous; treacle toffee, incense, beeswax, heather twigs and cakes (syrup sponge, ginger cake, Battenburg). The palate is big, sweet and smoky; toffee apples, roasted peppers, leather, honey and chocolate limes.

 If I could add, chewing this whisky neat reminded me of  lychee, while the finish gave a hint of rubber, durian fruit, and xylitol gum. This dram definitely had a unique flavor profile, and since it is sold out, is one that I will miss greatly.


SMWS (Scotch Malt Whisky Society)

Banksy – Bronze Rat

January 29, 2012 Art, Contemporary No Comments

For sale at Sotheby’s (Sale 12021; Lot 138), another sculpture that I really like. Pre-estimate at 70-90K GBP.

It was cast and unveiled (in my opinion) at the peak of the Banksy hype in 2006.

It’s an edition of 12 and measures 25 by 30 by 21cm.; 9 7/8  by 11 3/4  by 8in.

Catalog quotes Banksy:

They exist without permission. They are hated, hunted and persecuted. They live in quiet desperation amongst the filth. And yet they are capable of bringing entire civilizations to their knees. If you are dirty, insignificant and unloved then rats are the ultimate role model.


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Marc Quinn – Sphinx Caryatid

January 29, 2012 Art, Contemporary No Comments

At Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Day Auction on 2/16/12; Sale L12021, Lot 132. Pre-estimate is 150-200K GBP.

It’s painted bronze measuring 91 by 54 by 57cm.; 35 7/8 by 21 1/4 by 22 1/2 in. Executed in 2006.

Marc Quinn:

I was looking for the current incarnation of the Venus/Aphrodite archetype, and I looked at the various film stars and models. It was Kate’s ubiquity and her muteness that made her seem to me more like a classical divinity than any of the others I considered; she is someone who never really speaks but who is continually spoken about; that makes her a very effective mirror of ourselves – our desires, our obsessions, our dreams. What’s still more intriguing is the way that her and her image have parted company – she has one life and the image has a different one.

If I had the funds, I’d buy it.

Hermès Fall Winter 2012/13

January 28, 2012 Fashion No Comments

(Keep it..) Simple. (Get some…) Confidence. That’s really all that one needs to look good.

Link: Hermès

Compass Box Great King Street

January 28, 2012 Drink No Comments

On this bright day, I’m sipping some of Compass Box’s Great King Street – Artist Blend. As its name suggests, this is a blended Scotch. That is, its single malt mixed with some grain whisky. However, what differentiates this blended whisky from others is that they use a higher proportion of single malt (50% vs 30-40%), which supposedly imparts greater character and complexity. Does it?

Well, it definitely is a refreshing dram. Though still not as complex as single malts, it is unique among the blends. It’s sweet and fruity, think freshly sliced Gala apples and Asian pears. There’s the usual vanilla nose, as well, with a subtle peatiness. The finish is in the medium spectrum, and as good as it gets for a 43% ABV whisky. Overall, I like it.

This would be a wonderful to have in the Spring time at a park picnic or outdoorsy concert.

Link: Compass Box

Thom Browne Fall/Winter 2012-13

January 27, 2012 Fashion No Comments

Thom Browne fashion shows are never boring. Theatrics aside, the guy knows how to cut a jacket. Slim sleeves and really high arm holes.

Link: Thom Browne

Federico Solmi – The Evil Empire

January 24, 2012 Contemporary No Comments

At Art Los Angeles Contemporary, I was introduced to the amazingly humorous work of NY-based artist Federico Solmi, who is also a Guggenheim Fellow.

On view, at Jerome Zodo‘s booth, was one of Solmi’s most controversial works, The Evil Empire, a 4-minute video that chronicles the exploits of a porn-addicted Pope in the fictional town Vatic-Anal-City (A trailer of it is at the end of this post). I watched it a few times, back to back, and with each viewing, I chuckled and marveled at the genius of it. The subject matter definitely inspired conversation; it hit every scandal that the Catholic church should be ashamed of, and then some. But the beauty of it all was how it was presented – a series of crude, bright drawings strung together stop-motion style. This was probably the first time I ever gave consideration to owning video art. Well, this was before I came to know the price – $20,000! And being around since 2008, all 10 copies of this video are now accounted for. I was able to at least leave with a copy of the catalog.

In addition, there were a bunch of these panels from the film mounted on wood that appealed to me.

…and if things go my way, I may be able to acquire a few of them.

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