June 30, 2009

Bettina Rheims

Bettina Rheims is a pretty wicked photographer. Her work is provocative without being trashy, sexy without being sleazy. It's playful, seductive, beautiful, and artistic. She shoots women from a woman's perspective and is able to draw out this raw sexuality in her photographs without making her models look like skanks. Rheims prefers to shoot celebrities but over the years she has approached hundreds of women on the streets asking if she can photograph them and of course most of them agreed. You can see she uses a lot of bold colours in her photos, mostly reds and black with a lot of flesh tones and gold. As the daughter of a french artist (her mother was a member of the French Academy, a big deal in the art world) and a photographer, Rheims was immersed into the arts her whole life. She began working as a model but at age 26 switched over to photography. Her work is documented in several books such as The Book Of Olga (which is $850!!) and Chambre Close. I would love to have my photo taken by Rheims one day, maybe if I go wander the streets of Paris I have a slight chance!
Peace xox

June 29, 2009

Coco Avant Chanel

"How many cares one loses when one decides not to be something but someone." -Chanel

Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel has been one of my idols pretty much since I learnt who she was. I could quote Chanel all day for she was an extremely talented woman with a brilliant mind. She was given the nickname Coco during her brief career as a cafe and concert singer and it stuck with her. She revolutionized women's wardrobes in the 1920's with her signature cardigan jacket in 1925 and, every girls staple, the Little Black Dress or LBD in 1926. She is also known for her perfume Chanel No. 5 which was created in a little town in the south of France called Grasse that I was lucky enough visit and even make my own perfume there. The movie trailer above is a new film made about the life of Chanel. It's in French, of course, but the hope is for it to show with English subtitles at a theater close by! Enjoy the sun today and I'll finish off with another quote from the extraordinary Coco Chanel.
Peace xox

"Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” - Chanel

June 18, 2009

Brody's back!

Thought I would share the music video from Brody Dalle's new band Spinnerette. So here is Ghetto Love, great track for the Summer. Enjoy!

I love my friends

I would like to announce that this is the Summer of Love, even though I don't really need to 'cause I know you're already feelin it. The weather has been amazing and it's pretty much been one of the best Summer's ever and "Summer" hasn't even started yet. This is why, and I hate to be the one to say it, we really need to be careful. It's all fun and games until someone gets hurt and sadly thats already happened. I don't mean for this to be a downer post or anything. My point is simple: I love all my friends to bits and can't wait to play hard this Summer, we just need to stay safe. That is all and I hope everyone is out there taking advantage of this gorgeous weather we've been given.
Peace xox

June 12, 2009

Artwork of the day!

Another artist from the Three Piece Show, Tiffany May. Couldn't find the title but check out her site.

Child of the ADD era

On Wednesday night Jenny and I went to check out a Three Piece Show at Box Studios down on Franklin Street. The show was awesome and really made me long for the days when I can afford to buy my own art. There were a lot of really captivating works there by a variety of artists showing painting, mixed media, and photography. One of the artists that really caught my eye was Nathan Gowsell. He contributed this lovely triptych, shown above, and my heart melted when I saw it. I don't know what it is, probably the combination of the colours, use of nature, and crazy shapes and patterns, that reminds me of Alexa(wish you could have been there!) So I decided to check out more of Gowsell's work when I got home and it's really great. Check out his website for future shows and a closer looks at more of his works!
Peace xox

June 7, 2009

WTF C-15?

A little while ago I sent an email to the government through whyprohibition.ca. Now they are looking for support in stopping bill C-15 from passing. Please click on this link and send off an email of your own. On the site you can learn more about what C-15 is and why it's not something anyone will benefit from. Here is a copy of the email being sent off, it pretty much states all the arguments against C-15 and why it's such a shitty idea.

'Bill C-15 is a dangerous and radical change in Canadian drug policy that will further enrich gangsters, create more violence on our streets and assuredly fail to reduce either the demand for, or the availability of, drugs in our society.
This statement may seem bold. But it is backed by the preponderance of available science. Comprehensive studies published by the Senate of Canada, the Canadian Department of Justice, the European Commission, the US Congressional Research Service, the Fraser Institute, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and the Rand Corporation all support the view that mandatory minimum sentencing for drug offences are useless at best. At worst, these policies will increase the dangers associated with the drug markets and, therefore, the chaos created on our streets.
The types of mandatory sentences contained in Bill C-15 have been utter failures in the United States. There is no evidence that harsher penalties affect drug use rates or the supply of drugs on the streets. Nor do such sentences appear to deter prohibition-related violence. Instead of seeing success from its mandatory sentencing policies, the United States has become the world's largest jailer with 1 in every 99 adults in custody. The United States has 5% of the world's population and 25% of the world's prisoners. Many of those persons are serving time for non-violent drug offences. Bottom line: the United States has some of the harshest sentencing regimes in the non-totalitarian world while also suffering from the highest rates of drug use, the highest violent crime rates and the richest, most powerful gangs. Instead of serving a positive purpose, Bill C-15 will increase the power of organized crime and the violence associated with the illegal drug markets.
Indeed, the very idea of mandatory minimum sentences relies on assumptions that are simply false. There is no evidence of any deterrent effect on organized criminals: these people are already willing to risk arrest, prosecution, incarceration and, indeed, a violent death from other criminals in order to make the huge profits associated with high-level drug trafficking. There is no evidence of deterrent effect on street-level dealers: these people are often addicted to the substances they sell and commit the crime out desperation driving by their addiction to very expensive drugs. Worse, while Bill C-15 purports to target "serious" drug offences, its terms apply to even very minor offences such as growing a single marijuana plant. This helps no one in our society.
Increasing the risk (harsher sentences) associated with a behaviour (drug crime) only prevents that behaviour so long as the benefit (profit) stays the same. In the case of drug sales, harsher sentencing may increase the street price and therefore the profit of dealing drugs. This phenomenon of prohibition guarantees that the supply of individuals who will commit these crimes is virtually unlimited.
The drug wars in Mexico and Vancouver only serve to exemplify these issues. Latin America generally, and Mexico specifically, have been the focus of intense interdiction efforts for decades, yet cocaine is still as available as ever. What has changed is simply that drug lords now control vast swaths of territory. Afghanistan is another example: despite a massive military presence, the supply and availability of opium is at record levels, while organized criminals (working for or with the Taliban) control more of the country every year.
Indeed, the evidence is that the prohibition of drugs has been a complete and total failure. Drugs are as available today as they have ever been. Drug use is higher in countries that have harsher sentences and penalties, and lower in countries without such penalties. The only real effect of increasing penalties is increasing prison populations and levels of violence on the streets.
Our teenagers report that it is easier to access illegal substances such as marijuana than regulated substances such as tobacco or alcohol. Why? Because alcohol and tobacco stores (usually) check ID and drug dealers never do. Teenage tobacco smoking rates have decreased due to effective regulation and education, while at the same time teenage marijuana smoking rates have increased because of no regulation and misleading education.
If you vote for C-15 you are guaranteeing higher profits for gangs, more violence on our streets, unregulated access by teenagers, and the continued supply and availability of drugs. Bill C-15 is a step in the wrong direction. Ironically, it comes just as the United States is amending and repealing many of that country's mandatory sentencing regimes. Bill C-15 is not a solution to the problems caused by the prohibition markets.
On the other hand, it is possible to take steps to reduce instead of increase the influence and power of organized crime. A good first step would be to tax and regulate marijuana. Doing so would create tax revenues for government, cause a massive decrease in profits for organized criminal groups, and result in savings to society and government of billions annually. A further benefit would be the regulation of a currently unregulated marketplace, complete with age limits and reasonable time, place and manner restrictions.
Currently, marijuana offences comprise more than three-quarters of all drug crimes. This drains police resources that are better spent elsewhere. Under a regulated market, police would have resources freed up to investigate violent crimes and property offences. This benefits us all. Bill C-15 does nothing to address this problem. Indeed, it makes it worse.
Passing C-15 would be costly and dangerous to Canadians and Canadian society. There is no research or experience that demonstrates this legislation will do anything else. I urge you to prevent the passage of this bill by whatever means possible. Don't endanger Canadians. Don't vote for C-15.'

Hope you take the time to read the full email and send off one of your own.
Peace xox

June 2, 2009

Artwork(s) of the Day!

Photos by Robert Mapplethorpe an artist known for pushing the boundaries of censorship. I'll try to keep the pictures PG but if you want to see photos of people shoving things up their asses give him a google. Above image: Lisa Lyon, 1982 Bottom image: Lisa Lyon with Snake.

"I went into photography because it seemed like the perfect vehicle for commenting on the madness of today's existence." -Robert Mapplethorpe

This songs about me being really drunk and not knowing where to sleep tonight.

Ida Maria singing Louie, such a cute song!

June 1, 2009

Artwork of the day!

Keith Haring, Statue of Liberty, 1980, Felt-tip Pen and Dayglo on Fiberglass