Sunday, February 15, 2015

Film Reviews: Tim's Vermeer & Art and Craft

I had the pleasure of viewing two very exceptional documentaries in the last 12 months, both about guys trying to replicate works by other artists. The two separate documentary subjects, and their goals, couldn't be more different except for the fact the ultimate outcome was to reproduce specific artworks, famous ones, as closely to the originals as possible.


Tim's Vermeer (2013) is a film produced and directed by the Magic / Comedy duo Pen and Teller. The film follows a friend of theirs as he tries to solve the mystery of how 17th Century Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer painted lifelike, photo-real paintings before there was such a thing as photography (that's putting it simply). How does he go about solving the mystery? He teaches himself to paint in the same theoretical way Vermeer did! I wont ruin the film for you, but whether you are a fan of art history, or real-life mysteries, or both, this one is worth renting.

(Image courtesy of IMDB)

Art and Craft (2014) is a documentary about a con-man (sort of) who replicates famous works of art, then passes them off as originals to various museums. Now, I always think of con-men as folks who somehow profit or benefit from their actions, but as far as I could tell in viewing this film, the main character is simply being mischievous. He doesn't profit from the con at all, and in fact doesn't seem to really need more income. I wasn't sure what to think going into it, but I came to really appreciate the guy and you have to admit it's pretty remarkable when someone can emulate any artistic style they choose. I mean, I don't know any singers out that that can sound like every single vocalist in you? Art and Craft is well worth the rental price.

(Thanks, IMDB!)

And, as convenient as streaming may be, there's nothing more rewarding than some good old fashioned human interaction at a local video store. So if there's one in your town head on over there when you decide to watch local shop in Boulder, CO is called The Video Station. Real people, real opinions, and real great taste in all sorts of stuff that may not have otherwise popped up on my radar (at least subscribe to their newsletter for weekly reviews, you won't be disappointed).

I Can't Get Enough

I can't get enough of New York City or Art Museums for that matter. I swear I lived in that city in a previous life, I have never felt so at home. This last visit I got the Met, as usual, but I also took a train ride...

My wife and I spent 6 hours in the MET, which still isn't nearly enough time to see everything. Definitely not enough time to take it all in either.

The train ride was to Beacon where the DIA museum is old Nabisco Box Printing Factory that has been converted into one of the coolest exhibit spaces I've seen. You have to check it out, train and ticket packages are available at Grand was easy, just don't miss the last train back to the city.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

God, Chocolate, NYC

Sometimes I think about people who don't believe in God...I don't know for sure, but then I eat some chocolate and the entire Universe makes complete sense to me.

Don't listen to me though, I feel the same way about New York City as I do chocolate.


Last time I went to NYC I made a point to get to Tribeca.

(Shinola Store)

(I only post pictures of myself when taken by someone else...partial vanity...and I was really glad to be here again so...)

All I Need

J. Crew Chinos, Allen Edmonds, Shinola - any shirt will do at this point.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Ode to Summer

(Something nostalgic about sticking your wallet in your shoe, like at the beach.)

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Skunkworks_Waxed Jacket

I heard about this 100% natural wax and immediately ordered some. I've never really been interested in DIY projects, but this appealed to me since there is a purpose / function to the end result.

(Under $20.)

(Don't forget...leave the paper wrapper on the bar of wax, so it doesn't get all over your hands when you use it.)

A while back I posted about a really cool jacket I own.

Well I decided to use that same jacket as my test subject...and I wanted to give it a serious wax coating. This sucker is now fully waterproof.

(I really like how beat up this looks. For the record, I did not clean the jacket before hand, in the hopes it would turn out as rugged looking as it did.)

There are some videos online for how this is done, but I can tell you it was pretty simple. Buy the wax, apply the wax, let the wax dry.

(I used an entire bar on this one jacket - could be mistaken for leather.)

I was prepared to wait until Winter to really put this to the test, but we still have snow in the forecast here in Colorado so who knows...may get the chance sooner than I planned.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Find a Barber

I once thought I had to find the right hair style, but in fact it is more important to have the right look for my hair type.

As a guy in increasingly more "grown up" situations in my career, personal presentation is everything. It isn't out of vanity, or a need to "look good", rather it is a matter of looking natural. For me that is the key, and so I'm done with hair-product and styling.

Nowadays I get the correct haircut and comb my hair every morning, unless things are more casual, then I'll quickly push it forward and pat it down with my hands. But with the proper haircut I won't need gels or mousse.

I'd been told my hair naturally parted on the side...a barber once said, "your hair wants to part." So I always ask for a tapered side part, otherwise known as a "regular cut". But darned if I didn't keep encountering barbers who wanted to experiment, or give me a cut that allowed for (unnecessary) versatility. Like I said, I either comb it or I don't, so there's hardly a need to reinvent myself. I'm either casual or I'm not. I also think consistency lends to ones identity and therefore I don't want or need versatility.

Anyway, I looked around for a bit, and my search ended in the best possible way when I found one of the coolest, old school barber shops I've ever been in, and it's for men only -- Elite Barber Shop.

This is a place out of time, and that sort of nostalgia appeals to me. There is a terrific stereotypical banter between the barbers and customers, teasing, which often borders on cruel, but that's just how guys talk to each. It's never forced, but it is the authentic stuff of TV and movies.

(Look at that floor...they've actually got a kid in the shop just to sweep up and keep the place neat.)

My favorite part is there are mirrors on the wall both behind and in front of the chairs, so you always see what's going on. They're open at 8AM on Saturdays, which is perfect for me. I feel like things open later and later the older I get, and these guys get there right on time if not a few minutes early.

The price is right, and they don't try to sell you on a bunch of hair products on your way out (they just sell black plastic combs for a buck a piece). In the end, I did manage to find the right hair cut for me, but it was only in finding the right barber. The barbers I like here know what to do the second I sit down. They've been cutting hair for a while, and they take it serious, but not too serious. Like I said, you may be in for a good ribbing, so no matter what hair type you have, you'll probably need thick skin.