Eternal Optimism

Yesterday, I soared home watching the passing miles below and my creativity was taken to a new height by the patterns that emerged. Funny how the sections of land change color and shapes as roads divide into grids and rivers wind natural irregularities into the man made complexity we have implemented in our lives. The clouds make interesting movement in their solitude.

To my left a young passenger embarked on his first venture to New York City, only his second flight in life. Numerous times before I have been at this altitude but never thought of it from this perspective. With ten years more trials underway, I could only encourage him to follow his dreams at all costs. The words "love so large that you want to shrink" ring true in many forms.

Today, I hold a sketch book filled with new life and thank him for transpiring that radiant energy once again. May the new year foster that same youthful optimism eternally for all.


What exactly is a Textile Designer?

Textile designers transform two-dimensional graphic patterns into knitted, woven and printed fabrics or textile products. They decide the type of weave, yarn and the thread count of a woven fabric as well as finish, color and/or printed design.

Traditional textile designers created patterns with watercolors and other hand rendered techniques; thereafter, their artwork was translated onto point paper (graph paper) which weavers used to set up construction looms. Today there are both vector and bit based computer aided programs for rendering graphics that are specific to the type of end good being produced.

Textile designers have an astute understanding of production aspects such as fiber, yarn and dye differentiating them from graphic designers as they provide technical weaving instructions for loom execution. Most textile designers are highly specialized within their chosen field of interiors (upholstery, soft furnishing and carpets) or fashion fabrics for apparel which are very specific for the end good use (shirting, suiting, socks, ties, scarves etc). Their ability to render graphic artwork permits cross designing printed paper goods, packaging and ceramics.

Many textile designers are self-employed, while others work as part of a design team. Typical employers or clients are manufacturing and processing companies (cloth or soft furnishings), fashion brands/clothing retailers, design studios, cosultancies or interior design/decorating services.



Marlene Dumas "Measuring Your Own Grave"

marlene dumas
Originally uploaded by aprilreneegraves

Marlene Dumas: Measuring Your Own Grave
December 14, 2008–February 16, 2009

Marlene Dumas’ exhibition “Measuring Your Own Grave” at the MOMA includes approximately seventy paintings and thirty-five drawings themed around human figure, race, sexuality and social identity. Many of the her works are extremely sexual if not even pornographic, such as my personal favourite in the collection “Porno as Collage.” Many of her works are mixed medias such as magazine tear-sheets, a book ran over by a car, a collection of letters addressed to Marlene and Polaroid photographs of friends and lovers. Her paintings, when not black and white, are softly coloured in pastel hues giving a washed out illusion with vivid imagery such as genitalia.

Marlene Dumas: Measuring Your Own Grave is organized by The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, in association with The Museum of Modern Art, New York.


Downtown Bakery

Downtown Bakery
Originally uploaded by aprilreneegraves
yes, they have REAL comida mexicana

1st n 4th NYC


Slyvia Hennequin "Darwinain Dreams"

Dutch contemporary artist Sylvia Hennequin (27-02-1969 Mbabane Swaziland) studied Art Therapy and Visual Arts during the turbulent 60's. Both time and environment growing up in the Netherlands created a radical soul destined to create, explore and communicate.

Sylvia’s canvases directly reflect her spontaneous, colorful, expressive, experimental, confronting, emotionally, very dark, lunatic, wild, insane, and crazy personal world, or search for freedom.

Her paintings are snapshots of her own self discovery using a mix of different materials, mediums, techniques, states of being and series of fears, insecurities, dreams and desires.

Monkdogz Urban Art, Inc.
547 West 27th Street
5th floor
New York, NY 10001

Between 10th & 11th Aves in Chelsea


Sylvia Hennequin
mixed media on canvas - 31.5" x 69"

Kenneth Long Thomas "Meth"

Originally uploaded by aprilreneegraves
December 11 - January 11, 2009


95 East 7th Street

New York City, 10009

Basement (between 1st Avenue and Avenue A)

Gallery Hours: Friday-Sunday 2-6 pm
and by appointment


Sally Webster, Brigitte Engler, David Sandlin, Tom Burckhardt,Mary Schepisi, Valerie Hammond, Nick Darmstaedter, Kembra Pfahler,Claudia Parducci, John Tottenham, Anne Hanavan, Gomez Bueno,Lisa Bowman, Robert Hawkins, Ricardo Tarrega, Melora Griffis, Toxic,Walter Robinson, Charles Lahti, Kenny Thomas, David Pushkin,Rich Colicchio, Mette Madsen, Richard Hell, Peter Alexander


I have been introduced to twitter and am unsure if it is the devil or my best friend




The Bean

Originally uploaded by aprilreneegraves

Alighiero Boetti "Thousand Longest Rivers In The World"

Italian conceptual artist Alighiero Boetti (also known as Alighiero e Boetti; December 16, 1940 – February 24, 1994) work “Tapestry of the Thousand Longest Rivers in the World” on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art in New York fully engaged me as a textile designer. Alighiero was considered to be a member of the art movement Arte Povera, poor art, which in the early 1970s disassociated himself with. At which point he became known as the dual persona Alighiero e Boetti an extension of the opposing factors presented in his work: the individual and society, error and perfection, order and disorder. The Tapestry of the Thousand Longest Rivers in the World was made between 1976 and 1982 and is composed of linen and cotton.



Dalek's Space Monkies

space monkies
Originally uploaded by aprilreneegraves
Brooklyn-based artist DALEK’s (aka James Marshall) graffiti Space Monkey character has quickly transcended the genre into paintings, toys, silkscreens and housewares. Dalek assistants Takashi Murakami and has personal work has been shown in galleries across the United States and in Japan, England, Canada and France. In 2003, Gingo Press published DALEK – Nickel Plated Angels, written by Roger Gastman. Dalek has also been featured in numerous publications, including Tokion Magazine, NY Press, deviantART, Sacramento News and Review, Juxtapoz magazine, Art Week, Art Papers, Wall Street Journal, Rolling Stone, and NYArts Magazine.



King Tutankhamun

King Tutankhamun a.k.a. King Tut was found in the Valley of the Kings after dying from what is believed to be a skull trauma inflicted by his murderer, an official of significant importance. King Tut died in mid-January, 1343 B.C. becoming famous for the immaculate condition of his tomb.

Lord Carnarvon, a wealthy man who owned the right to dig in the Valley of the Kings, found King Tut’s mummy in 1922. with Howard Carter. Lord Carnarvon let Carter dig for a king named Tutankhamun who's name Carter had read on some stone walls. After searching for five years for the King’s mummy, Lord Carnarvon gave up and agreed to let Carter continue searching if he paid for the workers. Within a mere four days of work under Carter's pay the workers discovered steps leading to the entrance to the tomb. Lord Carnavon’s return form England took two weeks and upon return they began further excavation and uncovered Tutankhaman’s tomb nearly completely intact.

With over 3,000 years in passing the mystery of King Tut’s death has become a legendary story fascinating researchers. In 2005 evidence from a CT scan confirming that King Tut’s cranial damage was a procedural method of embalment. King Tut officially died from a leg injury causing gangrene at the young age of nineteen. He served as an Egyptian pharaoh reigned during the period known as the New Kingdom (1333 BC – 1324 BC). Tatankhaman translates as the "Living Image of Amun.”

“Tutankhaman and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs” exhibition is featured at the Dallas Museum of Art.



Sicis All Up In The New Museum

Originally uploaded by aprilreneegraves
Have you ever wondered who designed the most amazing part of the New Museum off Bowery? Sicis is an Italian tile art factory based in Milan that has been creating unique mosaic decor since 1987. Their New York location (470 Broome Street at Greene Street, 10013) currently showcases a collection of pin-up girl designs until Friday. If you thought the New Museum toilet tile work was amazing you must see this!



"The Essential Art of African Texitles: Designs Without End"

african textiles
Originally uploaded by aprilreneegraves
From Kuba raffia cloth appliqués, Adire cloth, embroideries of the Congo, small geometric "Kasai velvets" to seventeen foot long raffia dance skirts, African textile artistry has been a technology tradition indicative to Africa’s culture for over a century. Textile traditions are a significant part of Africa’s cultural landscape and history linking Africa to continental trading networks. Contemporary African artists’ works including textiles, painting, photography, sculpture and other medias are showcased at the New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition “The Essential Art of African Textiles: Designs Without End” through March 22, 2009.

The publication “Essential Art of African Textiles: Design Without End,” produced by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Yale University Press, accompanies this exhibition. BUY IT!


Barkley L. Hendricks "The Birth of Cool"

sweet thang
Originally uploaded by aprilreneegraves
Harlem’s Studio Museum in Harlem will be showcasing the renowned African-American painter Barkley L. Hendricks’ works from 1964 to present (b. 1945). Hendricks is best known for his life-size portraits of people of color living in urban areas in the 1960s and 70s. Alongside his iconic portraits, Barkley L. Hendricks: Birth of the Cool will features many of Hendricks’s lesser known, older works and his newest pieces. Don't forget to check out his self-portraits (not kid safe). The exhibition will travel from New York to the Santa Monica Museum of Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia and lastly the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston.

November 12, 2008–March 15, 2009:
The Studio Museum in Harlem
144 West 125th Street, New York, New York 10027
tel 212.864.4500 fax 212.864.4800



Tom Murrin "Mostly Masks"

Tom Murrin otherwise known as the Alien Comic has been a member of the La Mama family since the mid-60’s performing plays at La Mama, E.T.C. off 2nd Avenue and La Mama’s East 4th Street home. During the mid-‘70’s Murrin performed with Para-Troupe in Seattle, Washington, with a group called Para-Troupe. He then traveled solo around the world, doing a different show each day using his homemade masks, found object props and non-stop talking.

Murrin returned to New York City in 1978 with the Razor Art Gallery in Soho, By the ‘80’s, he was performing as “Alien Comic”, at theaters such as La Mama and Theater for the New City, music clubs like CBGB and Pyramid. Alien Comic was “the holiday host” at La Mama introducing new acts to La Mama audiences, such as Blue Man Group, Ethyl Eichelberger, David and Amy Sedaris. Murrin has continued performing and leading workshops to this day and in 2008 was honored by P.S.122 at their annual Gala for his work as a performer/curator in the downtown performance art community since the mid-‘80’s.

About 50 masks, portraits, costumes and backdrops made by Murrin from cardboard/foam core and acrylic paints used for performances are on display at “Mostly Masks” at La Mama La Galleria until November 16, 2008.

La Galleria
6 E 1st Street, New York City, between Bowery & 2nd Avenue, (212) 505-2476
Hours: Wednesday - Sunday 1 - 6 pm


Elizabeth Peyton "Michelle Obama"

New Elizabeth Peyton unveiled at the New Museum off Bowery as of November 5th.

The painting features Michelle and Sasha Obama Listening to Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention in August of 2008.

Ray Nolan "Go Tell Mama"

The streets of America were echoing hope for change with the uplifting closure of the campaign. I, along with the largest voting population in The United States to date, moved to the polls, many for the fist time ever. With a small group of friends we sat anxiously in front of the tube with tears of joy pouring as shouts filled the streets. A great since of unity has overcome this nation.

Chicago artist Ray Noland assisted in the Obama stir as his mysterious posters have been found across American cities. Recovering from a serious bicycle accident, the idea for a poster campaign came to Noland in the summer of 2006. It was in hospital bed that Noland decided “I wanted to do something to make an impact. After the accident, I felt like,’Man, this is another chance at life. You better make it good,’” he said.

A longtime Obama admirer, Noland designed a digital portrait of the candidate that captured the excitement and promise of the campaign. Based from an old Time magazine cover, mastered four-colorportrait of Obama – gazing straight ahead, looking handsome and determined –over the words “THE DREAM.”

The word spread fast of as the imagery was strong. Using donations from the prints to pay for paint and other production costs, he printed 10 posters at first eventually as demand grew 1,000 posters were printed at a time. Noland’s posters began selling between $20-$50 across the country as profits were reinvested in the project. Noland later made six short animated campaign commercials.

Noland’s work will be on display and for sale at the Go Tell Mama”officially unofficial” art show, 2421 W. Madison St., Friday 6 to 9 p.m.,and Saturday and Sunday noon to 6 p.m.



"Rat" An Anagram for "Art"

Blek le Rat, born Xavier Prou in Boulogne-Billancourt,Paris in 1952, studied painting and architecture. His motivation being social consciousness and the desire to bring the art to the people, Blek le Rat began his artwork in Paris in 1981 greatly influencing today's graffiti and "guerilla art" movements.

Le Rat is known as the pioneer of stenciling, and often replicated by British graffiti artist Banksy. "Every time I think I’ve painted something slightly original, I find out that Blek Le Rat has done it as well, only twenty years earlier" Banksy, 2005.

Small rats sprayed the streets of Paris from 1981. It is legend when the human race will have disappeared and died out only rats will survive.




Elizabeth Peyton "Live Forever"

Only fitting Elizabeth Peyton’s Live Forever exhibition be featured off Bowery in the New Museum, until January 11, 2009. A Connecticut born painter from New York City’s School of Visual Arts, it has been said Peyton revived portrait painting at a time when it was considered dead, the early 1990s.

Works include friends, musical celebrities, and European monarchy across paintings, drawings, watercolors and prints. Elizabeth is characterized by slender elongated figures with androgynous features similar to fashion illustration saturated with color. In her earlier days, works were based off photographs until 2004 when subject began sitting in her Manhattan studio.

Noel and Liam Gallagher of the rock band Oasis, Julian Casablancas of The Strokes, Jarvis Cocker of Pulp, Pete from The Libertines, Chloë Sevigny, Princes William and Harry of The House of Windsor, Abraham Lincoln, Graham Coxon, Keith Richards, John Lennon, Kurt Cobain, Eminem, Ludwig II of Bavaria, and members of The Kennedy Family are just a few familiar faces found in this two story showcase.

New Museum
235 Bowery
New York, NY 10002


Banksy "Village Pet Store and Charcoal Grill"

It was the summer of 2002 when I saw my very first Banksy, although he has been doing graffiti artwork since the 80s. It is believed that he was born in 1974 in Bristol, but as Banksy is a pseudo-anonymous very few now the real person behind his monumental works. Due to the strenuous time demands for graffiti, since 2002 he mainly uses a secret stenciling method to avoid getting caught.

Its was that day in London when I decided to make a more long term move, four years and running. Living in the city I used his works as references for navigating my way around the not exactly grid blocked streets. There are four Banksy pieces here in New York, that I am aware of, which some how make me feel a little more at home. There is much debate amongst the crowds regarding if these pieces were created by Banksy himself.

Today commences his first official exhibition in New York, the "Village Pet Store And Charcoal Grill." I was beginning to wonder what “mechanically retrieved meat” was in store, if it’s all in the cheeky allude to those waiting in line who had been lured as a result LED screen hype such as here. The theme of the show seemed to be centered around the fast food, over consuming, self loathing culture predominate in the very country looking onward. Ironic that on the walk to the pet store today many pedestrians had bought into the commercial need for hiding behind costume and cosmetic layers. Hefner bunnies were on the prowl, all the day’s activities written off as a holiday.

Not bad for Art’s Greatest Briton, an award titled to Banksy for the record high “Space Girl & Bird” piece auctioned off for £288,000 (US$576,000) on On 27 April 2007.

There It is rumored that on December 2nd another exhibition will open at 1:00 pm. The gallery is situated at 502 W. 27th Street, New York, NY 10001.

To be confirmed...


Kenneth Long Thomas

As my two year anniversary in New York approaches I have been reflecting on my most memorable experiences. Overwhelmingly filling my mind are the projects, that challenged me as a designer and provided invaluable life long lessons, where I had the privilege of working alongside of “Kenny.”

After designing at Polo Ralph Lauren, Kenny went on to pursue his career as a professional independent photographer. He has an amazing eye for detail that is captured in every snapshot coupled with a profound ability to communicate the subject’s mood. Kenny’s compositions express the precise moment clearly to the viewer while mastering the art of composition.

Recently, Kenny drove across America documenting the vast diversity in lifestyles and environments. A few photos from this expedition and other great works can be found at www.kennethlongthomas.com


Kiss Mama

Dear America,

Black is back.

Copenhagen street artist Kiss Mama is on the attack reaching beyond Denmark to paste up Berlin, Milan, London and New York just for starters. She adorns lamp posts, utility boxes and the questioning minds of urban life.

How to spot a real Kiss Mama, go to www.kissmama.dk


Jan Baracz "Live Video"

Jan Baracz, a Polish native who has been in New York since 1981, originally focused on film before dedicating to fine arts. His bachelors from New York University is complemented with a Master of Fine Arts in sculpture from Bard College and an independent study program from the Whitney Museum of Fine Art. P.S.1/Clocktower Gallery, The Brooklyn Museum and Basel International Art Fair feature Jan’s work. Jan’s most current video voyeurism, Live Video, is a direct feed of reality cinema from a New York store front. It is currently on view thru December 13 at

Art in General
79 Walker Street
New York NY 10013




Batiste Madalena: Hand-Painted Film Posters for the Eastman Theater, 1924-1928

Batiste Madalena (American, b. Italy, 1902–1988) designed and hand-paint film posters for The United States third- largest theater in Rochester, NY. Within a four-year period between 1924-1928 Madalena created over 1,400 unique works before the theater changed management. On average he created 8 new works per week. Batiste rescued 250 of these posters from the trash behind the theater. In the 1980s his discovery brought the attention of critics and collectors, and soon made him one of the most celebrated advertising artists for moving pictures. The Moma now features 53 works on display.

Batiste Madalena: Hand-Painted Film Posters for the Eastman Theater, 1924–1928
October 15, 2008–April 6, 2009

Titus Theater 1 Lobby Gallery, T1
Titus Theater 2 Lobby Gallery, T2

Batiste Madalena. Poster for Loves of Carmen. 1927. Tempera on poster board. Courtesy of Judith and Steven Katten



Rod Stewart Loves the Hamptons

Suckers! Did Groupe (www.groupe1620.com) really think that Rod’s love would disappear.

Actually it is quite opposite! The new claim is not mellow yellow but passionate “Rhytmn to My Heart” pink.

So who is “Rod Stewart?” He really gets around...looks like this guy is racking in the greens. Huum, could he be the culprit to his own monetary success?

Groupe, “Some Guys Have All The Luck!” and that drab black wall needs a bit of character. Let the ultimate Groupe strike again...



De la Vega "Become Your Dream"

In a world of trying times I look to my feet only to discover inspiration from New York’s Side Walk Philosopher De La Vega. With hope, onward I see fellow citizens picking up their pace and smiling with faith.

For more De La Vega love, visit his St. Marks store or website at: