Artist Maria Moyer’s Friday:5ive Reveal

Maria Moyer, snapped by author/photographer Leslie Williamson of the “Handcrafted Modern” and T-Magazine’s “People Watching” blog.

A childhood spent amidst the beaches of Southern California ingrained Maria Moyer with a loving respect for ocean landscapes and sea organisms, lending her work as a sculptor and jeweler inspiration from the “exquisite weirdness of nature,” a sensibility that imbues her overall work as an artist. From the opportunity to dissect an 18-foot beached squid at 11 years old under the tutelage of her professor, to an iconic meeting with Dr. Jane Goodall years later where she was able to present the doctor with a “thank you” porcelain rose, Maria’s intersections with nature and the world at large always have created magic.

Now, inhabiting realms between Oakland, CA and New York City, NY, Maria’s work melds both corporate and art, both nature and man’s worlds. When not creating beautiful, tactile sculpture and jewelry, Continue reading

Artist and Designer Jason Miller – FW’s Friday:5ive

I fell in love with Jason Miller‘s studio work when I supposed to profile him in the launch issue of a debuting gift-centric magazine. The article never happened, but I — on a whim — asked if he’d partake in one of FashionWhirled’s upcoming Friday:5ive features. He acquiesced and are we ever the grateful blogger on this end!

Jason Miller, the artist

His artwork is whimsical and enduring. Plates, like these below, caught my eye immediately. Called “Seconds,” they are a pun (my favorite form of humor) on multiple levels, visually as well as verbally.

Jason Miller Dinner Plate Set, “Seconds”

This Brooklyn-ite founded the Jason Miller Studio in 2001, and has enjoyed solo shows worldwide, from Istanbul to Milan to Miami. In 2010, the Brooklyn Museum named him “Designer of the Year,” and his work remains a part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Arts and Design, the Corning Museum of Glass and the Brooklyn Museum. As a compliment to his studio, Jason recently formed Roll & Hill, a contemporary lighting company producing work by a select group of designers, with Jason as the Creative Director and CEO.

FashionWhirled:  As an artist, what role does fashion or style play in your everyday life, personally and as a product designer? How does your personal style inspire your designs for Jason Miller Studio overall? For individual collections, such as “Daydreams?” (i.e., it seems you have a tenacious personal style of design!)

Jason Miller “Daydreams” mirror

Jason Miller: I have to say I have fantasies of refining my wardrobe to such a degree, that there are no choices left to make. I’d love to whittle it down to the perfect pair of jeans (APC), the perfect blue button-down shirt (still undecided) and the perfect pair of shoes (Vans, different styles according to season). In practice it’s not quite as dogmatic, however, I think the process of refinement is very similar to how I like to approach my work.

FW:  Your artwork and product pieces range from furniture to gift objects to tableware; I think my favorite pieces are your porcelain “Little Gift” and your “Seconds” dinner plates! What inspires you during your creative process? How would you describe your creative process? (It seems humor plays a big part in your designs…).

Jason Miller “Little Gift” porcelain cupcake

JM:  The two products you mention, Little Gift and Seconds, both came from a show I did in 2005 called “Ok As Is.” I was working with a specific idea about personal spaces that are outside of public view, such as the basement or garage. I am working with different ideas now, however, this is typical of how I like to work. That is, I like to think of a larger idea about living and then design pieces that fit within that framework.

FW:  Who would you say acts as your muse? Why and how do they inspire you?

JM:  I think I have finally gotten to a point in my career where I am confident enough in what I am doing that I can be self-directed. There are of course, millions of things out there that I find inspiring, however, I think my days of looking towards a muse are over. For now at least…

FW:  If you could have any notable individual — dead or alive — purchase Jason Miller pieces and use them within their home, who would it be and why? How would you change their home or decorating or home accessorizing style and why?

JM:  Someone once told me that an installation I made looked “very Tom Ford.” I can’t think of someone who I would rather have interested in my products.

Designer Tom Ford from the documentary by Alex Folzi

FW:  What words of wisdom or inspiration, or daily affirmation do you live by, or at least strive to live by? And what legacy do you hope to leave to the future and why?

JM:  I hope people will simply think “Jason Miller was a good designer” when I’m gone. That is why I constantly ask myself, “Can this be done better?”

Jason Miller wooly chair of bison hide

Photographer Robb Kendrick’s Cowboy Classics at Ralph Lauren RRL

Tintype Expert, Photographer Robb Kendrick

I swear, I’m movin’ to Montana soon. Gonna be a dental floss tycoon. Well, that’s “Montana,” according to Frank Zappa.

But seriously. I’ve never seen so many chic cowboys as I did at last week’s book signing party for photographer Robb Kendrick. The Ralph Lauren RRL boutique on West Broadway became the crossroads of Chelsea gallery walk meets Madison Avenue meets Bad Dog Ranch. The ultra-talented artist, above, looked like a gentleman cattle baron version of one of his gussied-up cowpoke subjects straight out of Still: Cowboys at the Start of the 21st Century, Robb’s tintype artwork photography book featuring the modern American cowboy. These cowboys were all Continue reading

Artist Joy Malin on FW’s Friday:5ive

Our sweet neighbor, Joy Malin, is an artist who most recently has discovered her amazing talent for animal portraits. We’ve seen her over the years, taking canvases of gorgeous florals or figures in and out of the building, sending off her masterpieces in the back of her clients’ cars, conducting art classes in the park and in her apartment.

We mostly see her walking her amazing little guy, Charlies, the cutest little Yorkie you’d ever want to meet, around Tompkins Square Park. Joy and Charlie always have an ebullient hello for Mignon.

Artist Joy Malin and Charlie on the subway

Her darling “child” (she does have three
human children, too!), Charlie, is with her practically everywhere she goes. Most of you know how much FashionWhirled adores its doggie friends and to have them intersect with art, well, it’s almost too much!

Here, a little Friday:5ive visit with the lovely artist Joy Malin.

FashionWhirled:  What role does style, or fashion, play in your life as an artist? How does your personal style inspire the style of your animal portraits?

Joy Malin:  I’m a very simple-looking girl from the outside.  I’m always in black, an old gallery trick, making the art the most important thing in the room.  It is another thing when you walk in my apartment.  Lots of color, lots of fabric layering and not one more inch for another painting!  I like pretty!  I hope my animal portraits all have a little pinch of humor.

Two of Joy Malin’s Floral Series, above and below, that remind me somewhat of Maxfield Parrish

FW:  What made you first realize you wanted to be an artist? When did animal portraits come into that equation? 

JM: The first memory I have of really falling in love with life was walking through a museum somewhere in Europe. Holding on to my grandmother’s hand, feeling the cool marble floor and seeing the most beautiful things in the world surrounding us.  I was lucky to have a grandmother who loved art, and me!  My visits to Geneva to see her and traveling around Europe were all too few and far between. But they were enough to light that fire within me, I knew who I was and what I really loved.  Animal portraits were always in the equation, I think most of the incarnations I have had have been to experience life as a dog!

FW: Who is the muse or inspiration for your art? Do you see your animal portraits as fashionable accessories to a fashionable home? Why yes or not?

JM: The inspiration comes from nature, light and shadow, beautiful color, something that sings “mother earth”.  My muse is every wonderful dog I have ever known.  The unconditional love I am now experiencing from my dog Charlie shows me what love is.  Now that you mention it, I guess I do see my animal portraits as part of a fashionable home.  Without heart, how fashionable can a home be?

FW:  If you could have any notable individual — animal or human, dead or alive — sit for one of your portraits, who would that be and why?

JM: My grandmother, I wish I could thank her again.  Cleopatra, beauty, brains and a great wardrobe!

A painting from Joy’s Figures series

FW:  What words of wisdom do you live by, or strive to live by? What legacy do you hope to leave to the future?!

JM: Smile, you’re forgiven! My legacy, my children.