a collection: cathy daley

due to work i have had unexpectedly and quite happily had to take a deep dive into the art world. one quickly learns that art, in it’s many forms, is a rabbit hole. you can’t simply start with one artists or genre, and let that be. one painter begets another, which begets another gallery, which begets another genre, and so forth. and before you know it four hours have flown by, you still feel you know absolutely nothing, and your boss is asking where the document is that you promised him three hours ago.

oops.

though you are now rushing to finish said document and have irritated your boss, there is consolation in the fact you probably found some incredible new artist,  a little discovery that you can treasure, put as the background to your iPhone and someday showcase in your house.

today my consolation prize is cathy daley.

cathydaley_2

reigning from toronto, cathy has been exhibiting since 1980 and remains a canadian tour-de-force, with her work taking up residence in some of the country’s most renowned institutions.

i am not going to pretend i know the sure-to-be femininst-heavy symbolism behind her oil pastel tutus and protruding can-can legs, but i do know they are filled with wit and loads of satire, and even if i don’t know quite what that satire is, i know i like it. and would probably also like what it stands for.

until them, enjoy and yes, cathy’s untitled legs now grace my iphone background. whatever, i know.

(all images from cathy daley’s website.)

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here.we.go.

nyc refresh participants

“i am too much of a new yorker to be motivated,” i implored my friend.

i’ve never been one for motivational speeches, speakers, etc. i prefer my motivation to come in the quiet forms of etsy text art and quoted memes. more palatable and less yelling i find.

however, against my begrudging judgment i attended an event called “refresh” this past monday. what i expected to be trust circles with we-have-so-much-to-be-thankful-for chants was anything but. in fact i might even say it was…refreshing.

under the dewy lights of the roosevelt’s tropicana bar, surrounded by mostly strangers and firelight, we met jared matthew weiss, chief inspiration officer of spring and arrow, “life-coach” wunderkind (although he hates the title), and refresh incubator.

the concept is simple: once a week he gathers friends, friends of friends, and more friends, to refocus, reenergize and regroup. what started with 8 people in new york, has since grown to 60+ people, and landed in la this week.

completely free of charge, jared kicks of the evening by walking the group through his life story (think of a real-life hitch), and his coined mantra: Here.We.Go. he breaks those three small words down into three teachable moments, ultimately concluding that when people are doing what they love, they’re better for the world.

fairly simple in theory, but also easier said than done. jared clearly recognizes the heaviness attached to his motto, so he asks each person to make one small commitment for the week. something that will ultimately…make you happy.

you do. (to FINALLY finish the book i started oh like 4 months ago.). you e-mail it to him (so he can gently check in to see if you’ve actually followed through) and then a musician performs – the expected kumbaya moment, but cultured and relevant– and it’s over.

it ended, i smiled, something about it made me feel happy, even excited (shock). partially because as someone in the throws of her quarter-life crisis i am the perfect audience, but also because the evening happily lacked the motivational hyperbole/laden guilt so often associated with such events. plus you find some pretty neat “parallels” (another jared term) between other attendees.

if you have the chance to attend, go. if nothing else it’s a great way to spend a week night, meet new folks who might be going through the same third-round quarter life crisis as you (ahem), and a little motivated self-love never hurt anyone.

more info: refresh – spring and arrow 

(photo: spring and arrow)

always #winning

it is easy for folks (aka yours truly) to get bogged down by the banal of everyday life. annoying bosses. aggravating traffic. people being too slow. people being too fast.

it is times like those that we need simple reminders that we in fact are winning. every day.

fear not, i am not about to jump into some sappy soapbox deluge of how lucky we have it (obligatory: yes, we do), but rather share this some of life’s little wins courtesy of thought catalog.

1. flipping a pancake over perfectly without it breaking in half and creating a partially cooked, gooey batter mess.

2. defying the laws of alcohol physics by drinking gallons of hard liquor but waking up feeling completely refreshed without the slightest symptoms of a lingering hangover. (i mean with this i feel like i have hit the kidney lottery and promptly engage in day drinking as a form of victory.)

3. hitting three or more consecutive green lights when you’re running late or in a rush to get somewhere.

4. almost calling it a night and going home but instead staying out for what turns into an epic time that you would’ve hated yourself for missing. (quite possibly one of the BEST feelings ever; thereby making the night entirely more epic.)

5. turning to the channel you were watching right when the commercial break ends, just in time for your returning tv show. (it’s that kind of groggy winning, when you’re drowsy at the end of the night, but seeing this just perks you right up…and then you end going to bed 2 hrs later. #fail)

6. getting the username you actually wanted. not since like 2001 has the ideal first choice panned out in my favor.

7. any day that involves eating bacon, churros and something, anything a la mode. (maple bacon fonuts…if you don’t know, find out.)

8. seeing the flashing red and blue lights rapidly approaching, being certain that you and your bank account are about to have their week ruined via expensive tickets, and then having that cop car speed right past you toward his poor victim. (this encapsulates the full spectrum of human emotion in about 9.2 seconds.)

9. writing out a tweet that’s exactly 140 characters long.

see all the other ways you are winning at  http://thoughtcatalog.com/2012/22-little-life-wins/#1xfiwvlgyvqsqtdf.99.

in the meantime, just remember #epicwins happen everywhere.

 

the greatest teacher

i often quote baz luhrmann’s “everybody’s free (to wear sunscreen).” the song is laced with dollops of truthful beauty and calming reminders about life.

by far my favorite line: “live in new york city once, but leave before it makes you hard; live in northern california once, but leave before it makes you soft.

i had the amazing opportunity to live in new york city for four boisterous years. by no means is this an east coast soapbox, nor do i think i am some transformed new yorker at heart. i came in, and i came out of that city. momentarily making footprints. sharing in its happiness, sighing with its heaviness. it took me in with open arms and let me go just as freely. and for those four years, new york served as one of the greatest teachers i’ve ever come to know.

apparently i am not alone.

last week, brett nelson of forbes.com posted his own love letter to new york, citing 50 bonafide things the city taught him.

some shared personal lessons:

1. walk. and then walk some more.

2. if you don’t care, no one will. (still trying to really learn this one.)

3. star interns are lifesavers. (case.and.point)

4. chat up a cabbie. (some of my most memorable evenings were punctuated with the perfect cab ride.)

5. have a ritual. (every sunday. me and the times and some macaroons on 23rd street…my most trustworthy indulgence of the week.)

6. small is magnificent.

7. spending more than you can afford is alarmingly easy to do…(three years later and my bank account is still alarmed.)

8. the joy of stress

and perhaps it is that last lesson that lets me leave new york as a well-worn love affair. someone who was perfect for that moment in my life, someone i will always hold to great esteem, but someone who i ultimately can’t be with today. as baz said, leave before it makes you hard…

then again, even though luhrmann says northern california makes you soft, maybe southern california will soften my emotional saddlebags so and i’ll just have to return to my first love, new york city.