ISOLATION INSPIRATION PART I
As we hunker down and try our best to help flatten the curve, we thought we’d share with you what inspires us on a daily basis. From artists to albums, book and films, here are a few of our favorites. These are the ones we come back to time after time when we need inspiration and joy. We hope to bring you the same. We'll continue posting fresh inspiration on here every few days during these isolated times. Enjoy and pass along! & check our pinterest for a daily does of inspo!
DAY 1 //
ALBUM – IDRIS MUHAMMAD / POWER OF SOUL, 1974
Idris Muhammad is a celebrated American Jazz drummer. Born in New Orleans in the 1930’s, Idris showed early talent as a percussionist. He started with Fats Domino before touring with Sam Cooke and later Cutis Mayfield and Jerry Butler. While he worked in the R&B scene through the mid-60’s, he ultimately ended in Jazz. This album was recorded with Kudu Records and released in 1974. One of our all time favorites and every track stands great on its own. Check out Piece of Mind and Loran's Dance, two stone cold classics.
ARTIST – HILMA AF KLINT, 1862-1944
Hilma af Klint was a Swedish artist and mystic whose paintings were among the first Western abstract art. “Hilma af Klint’s abstract work predates the work by artists such as Kandinsky, Mondrian, Kupka, Malevich, artists that we have long considered the pioneers of abstraction. She begins working in an abstract mode as early as 1906.” (Bashkoff, 2018 Guggenheim Blog) Her unique use of color, floral pattern, and geometric forms can be seen throughout her body of work.
FILM – LOS SURES, 1984
Produced over 5 years by 60 artists at UnionDocs Center for Documentary Art, LIVING LOS SURES is an expansive project about the Southside of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Known by its long-term Latino residents as Los Sures, the neighborhood was one of the poorest in New York City in the late 70s and early 80s. In fact, it had been called the worst ghetto in America. Far from where the neighborhood is today, this documentary takes a look at the close knit community through festivities and hardships.
BOOK – THE WIND-UP BIRD CHRONICLE BY HARUKI MURAKAMI
An astonishingly unique book, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle takes you on a journey that you’ve never been on before. In a Tokyo suburb, a young man named Toru Okada searches for his wife's missing cat—and then for his wife as well—in a netherworld beneath the city's placid surface. This book will not disappoint.
DAY 2 //
ALBUM – KIKAGAKU MOYO – MASANA TEMPLES
Kikagaku Moyo are a Japanese psych band from Tokyo. The shifting dimensions of Masana Temples, their fourth album, are informed by various experiences the band had while traveling through life together, ranging from the months spent on tour to making a pilgrimage to Lisbon to record the album with jazz musician Bruno Pernadas. Check out the tracks Dripping Sun, Nazo Nazo and Orange Peel. So, so good!
ARTIST – ROBERTO BRULE MARX, 1909 -1994
Roberto Burle Marx was a Brazilian landscape architect whose designs of parks and gardens made him world-famous. He is accredited with having introduced modernist landscape architecture to Brazil. He was known as a modern nature artist and a public urban space designer. When Roberto Burle Marx was growing up in Rio de Janeiro in the 1930s, he was surrounded by gardens that largely featured Euro-centric and North American plants. As a young landscape architect, Burle Marx sought to flip the script on natural design, subsequently becoming one of the most prolific and legendary landscape architects of his time.
FILM – HIGH LIFE, 2018
Monte (Robert Pattinson) and his baby daughter are the last survivors of a damned and dangerous mission to deep space. The crew—death-row inmates led by a doctor (Juliette Binoche) with sinister motives—has vanished. As the mystery of what happened onboard the ship is unraveled, father and daughter must rely on each other to survive as they hurtle toward the oblivion of a black hole. The beauty in this film is in the still shots and the subtlety between characters and the scenery that surrounds them. It is a film that both stimulates and disturbs with every scene.
BOOK – LEAVING THE ATOCHA STATION BY BEN LERNER, 2011
This is Lerner’s debut novel and a personal favorite of ours. This book was unlike anything that I had read prior. A compelling book by an intensely smart author, Leaving the Atocha Station, is narrated by “a young American living in Madrid on a poetry scholarship in 2004. Adam Gordon suffers frequently from linguistic dislocation and – permanently – from bipolarity which he self-medicates with a cocktail of prescription drugs, coffee, nicotine, booze and marijuana.” (Dyer, Geoff, The Guardian 2012) Start with this one, and then move on to his next two books.
ALBUM – ARTHUR VEROCAI – SELF-TITLED, 1972
I mean WOW. This album never gets old. In our humble opinion it's damn near perfect. Arthur Verocai is a Brazilian composer, singer, and producer. He released a self-titled album of jazz-samba tracks in 1972. The album was largely ignored in Brazil when it was released, but achieved a cult-status beginning in the 2000s, and continues to be loved by us today. Dig in from front to back. Over and over.
ARTIST – VALENTINE SCHLEGEL
Valentine Schlegel spent her time between Paris and Sète and mastered several techniques from ceramic vases to leather bags. Schlegel also created many architectural elements in plaster intended for home interiors. Because of their immovable nature, these sculptures for everyday life are also the reason why Schlegel’s work has remained little known. “Schlegel’s greatest innovation was born out of a simple frustration. When she sold a vase to friends in 1959, she placed it where she saw it best fit in their house, atop their fireplace—but she wasn’t fond of the fireplace itself. And so she redesigned it to be a perfect platform for her piece—a graceful swell cast in white” (Moroz, Sarah Kinfolk, Issue 29)
FILM – CITY OF GOD, 2002
Fernando Meirelles' City of God is a sweeping tale of how crime affects the poor population of Rio de Janeiro. Though the narrative skips around in time, the main focus is on Cabeleira who formed a gang called the Tender Trio. He and his best friend, Bené (Phelipe Haagensen), become crime lords over the course of a decade. When Bené is killed before he can retire, Lil' Zé attempts to take out his arch enemy, Sandro Cenoura (Matheus Nachtergaele). But Sandro and a young gangster named Mane form an alliance and begin a gang war with Lil' Zé. Amateur photographer Buscape (Alexandre Rodrigues) takes pictures of the brutal crime war, making their story famous.
BOOK – CAT’S EYE BY MARGARET ATWOOD, 1988
Cat’s Eye is the story of Elaine Risley, a controversial painter who returns to Toronto, the city of her youth, for a retrospective of her art. Engulfed by vivid images of the past, she reminisces about a trio of girls who initiated her into the fierce politics of childhood and its secret world of friendship, longing, and betrayal. Elaine must come to terms with her own identity as a daughter, a lover, and artist, and woman—but above all she must seek release from her haunting memories. Disturbing, hilarious, and compassionate, Cat's Eye is a breathtaking novel of a woman grappling with the tangled knots of her life.