Archive for July, 2008

What–and Who–You Need to Survive.

July 15, 2008
You know, these are hard times that we’ve hit. In some strange way, however, this is time to rethink about what it is that we really need to get by–those bare essentials without which our existence could possibly be jeopardized. So I thought about what it is that I would have to have with me if I were to find myself on a desert island, and I have to admit I am pretty proud of myself for having come up with such a simple and basic Essentials list:  enough processed food for three years, a mobile home, a moped, a transatlantic bridge, a construction company, a telecommunications specialist, my family and friends, my cats, a yearly supply of mice, and Clive Owen. I know what you’re thinking: “but what about your silk kimonos?!?!? And your Diana Ross wigs?!?!?” And you would be right, but I like to think of myself as an essentialist from now on.      

Which is why I couldn’t be happier to know fellow streetteamer and superstar Amanda Hunt. Combining her brilliance, charisma, market savvy, and–need I say it–sass, Ms. Hunt, together with Michael Lyon, have launched Managed Futures Advisors, Inc. In an exclusive event held at the Waterview Tower last week, the effervescent Ms. Hunt and Mr. Lyons gathered some of the most powerful investors in Chicago to explain the enormous potential of their company, especially as a safe financial haven despite the turbulent economic waters. The wonderful thing about Ms. Hunt is her ability to explain the most complicated and jaw-breaking terms in the clearest way, that even a novice like myself could understand. So should you find yourself asking who should be on your Essentials list, be sure to consider MFA, Inc.

Michael Lyon and Amanda Hunt

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The New Miss Unisex has been chosen!

July 15, 2008

It’s official–Miss Venezuela is the new Miss Unisex! As the holder of the new, illustrious title, Dayana Medoza will get to live in one of Trump’s towers, where she will most likely have access to his private shaft. Furthermore, the lucky winner will get a lifetime supply of compliments, invitations to judge beauty pageants, a walk-in role in “Las Lagrimas de Mujeres Altas Pasan Mas Tiempo en el Aire”, have her name linked to her choice of any closeted Latin heartthrob, a private tutor who will teach her how to say “I believe that children are the future of the people who are no longer children” in every language, free cosmetic surgery as long as she’s willing to appear in the ads for the surgeon’s clinic, and, of course her choice of either grapes or a bundle of celery sticks as her main entree at any restaurant that serves tiny portions. Felicidades to the new Miss. Unicef and her boobs–the best has yet to come!

Object of Desire: Thomas Ruff

July 14, 2008

So the portraits, which resemble passport-style photographs in their format and lighting, subvert several conventions in photography. At first glance they appear almost anti-narrative in their tight cropping (much like a headshot) and lack any background details. In this regard, they appear as documentary (as opposed to artistic) in convention. In reality, however, numerous clues suggest otherwise. For starters, their larger-than-life scale insinuates a deviation from the norm. Additionally, their being twice (if not thrice) the size of the normal human head grants them a certain power or vantage point over the viewers. In that regard, they appear to be staring back at the viewer, and as such reverse the object-subject dynamic, thriving on their subsequent activation. The viewers feel compelled to continue examining the shots, which would have probably been overlooked had they been inside a passport or on top of a state-issued identification card. It is then that the viewers begin to understand the level of manipulation on behalf of the sitter (and not just the photographer in his meddling with the size–that is just a ploy to clue viewers in to look closer,) as seemingly neutral signs–a hairpin, a cross-bearing-necklace, red lipstick, messy curls, scruffy cheeks–become indicators of personality and individuality. Viewers become quick to guess the background, status, level of attractiveness and history (among other things) of the people photographed. Vicariously, viewers therefore learn more about their own system of executing judgments as much as they do about the conscious (or perhaps not?) manipulation of the sitters. The portraits are no longer objective, but deeply personal self-presentations and meditations on evaluating otherness.

Me, Myself, and Art.

July 14, 2008

While the country is concerned with the war in Iraquistan, the economic regression, the President’s lifting of the ban on offshore grilling, and Miss USA‘s impressively consistent record of flashing her samosa, people are losing sight of the truly important issue facing us this summer: How to make me happy. While I know that it may seem like I have it all–from mink lashes to pearly white dentures–I am just human too, and like most humans I am craving the most basic and natural thing, the one thing that people of all ages (especially 28-35), sizes (especially S-M), genders (especially Male), and body types (especially Athletic-Lean) crave and want and desire: to spend more time with me.

So in an effort to treat myself to a wonderful evening with myself, I decided to take myself out to one place that I knew would make me happy: a mirror store. But it was closed. So off I went to the next best thing: The Art Institute’s Evening Associates shingding-dong at the John Hancock Tower. It was a fantastic opportunity to see what the best of Chicago’s galleries (especially those located outside of River North and even Pilsen) have to offer for this summer: The Post-War works on paper and sculpture at Valerie Carberry, the latest round of Alex Katz at Richard Gray, and the Modern and Contemporary pieces at KN Gallery. While all galleries were united by the one thing that would have made them that much better: paintings of me, the exhibits were thoroughly enjoyable. Following the reception, the fiesta moved to the Signature Room, where a delicious (if carb-laden) gourmet hors-d’oeuvres buffet awaited attendees. Alongside the silent auction of couture dresses and designer handbags, I got to enjoy the variety of non-me’s all around me, and, of course–the fireworks. The best part of the night? When the windows’s tinted surfaces turned reflective and showed me the one thing that I know can always make me happy: me.

For more me, me, me, be sure to go HERE and read all about my musings about how difficult it is to be me. Don’t feel bad for me, though, the effort is totally worth it.

Best Things Come in Pairs

July 9, 2008

Okay, so now that the Summer has officially begun (at least by Chicago’s standards—grouchy, I know, but I can’t help it—I moved her from the Deep South where 80 degrees is a brisk Fall day), it is time to whip out two things (well, three if you’re a guy, but enough talk about fat, thick, oversize wallets, that’s what studilicious Tom Kolovos fashion blog is for, and if you really want to talk “size” then you may want to check out Marcus “Boom Boom” Riley’s and Jon “Hose You Down” Ibrahim’s posts. But yeah. Wait, so where was I? Oh, yeah, things to pull out (I almost lost track there—it tends to happen a lot—I go off on a tangent all the time, I feel that it helps me explore my darker side, but not literally “darker”; I mean, darker as in “hot damn, I’m digging the dim lighting in your crib” not as in “Everyone saw Eric’s ‘darker side’ when he bent over to pick up the soap bar in the shower”, that stuff would be wrong). So yeah. Darker. Wait, what? Oh yeah, TWO THINGS TO PULL OUT: sun tan lotion (yes, even when you’re going to a baseball game with Rikki Greenberg or rocking it out with hotstuff rocker Fayth ), and a c-a-l-e-n-d-a-r!

Why el calendario? Well, for starters, two major shenanigans that I will most defiliciously brag about this week (other than my ability to fake a Chinese accent when I’m approached for money on the street—a rare skill which is totally going on my resume, for the record) that will once again set me apart from the rest of the peons this week: The first is The Art Institute of Chicago’s A Signature Event for Evening Associates this Wednesday, July 9th at 6:00-9:30pm at the John Hancock Center (not to be confused with Will Smith’s Hancock Travesty), which will have members previewing the goods at Valerie Carberry Gallery (a personal fave, representing John Storrs—see left), KN Gallery and Richard Gray Gallery, followed by a silent auction by Leslie Hindman Auctioneers and drinks & hors d’oueuvres at the Signature Room. To purchase tickets make sure you go here.

The second event, taking place at the mega-ultra swanky Shangri-La Hotel this Thursday, July 10th from 6-8pm celebrates the launching of Managed Futures Advisors, Inc., headed by Streetteam’s own extraordinaire Amanda Hunt. To get more info or RSVP, be sure to email ManagedFuturesAdvisors@gmail.com. Both events guarantee an amazing opportunity to mingle with Chicago’s elite from both the financial and artistic scenes. So now that you’ve gotten your tan, your calendar, and oh yeah—your checkbook, make sure to indulge in this week’s only must-have’s for the cognoscenti.

To continue indulging in all things fine and refined, check out my blog later this week to read reviews and catch a glimpse (or ten) of the fun that I know will ensue.