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Visit Us This Weekend at Tinseltown, With Refinery29

Last week we shared with you our official Sight Unseen holiday gift guides, which were full of links to our most-coveted design and fashion items this year. But for those of you who prefer to browse in person — and will be in New York this weekend — we're taking our wish lists IRL at Tinseltown, Refinery 29's annual holiday shopping event, which we're co-hosting this year. Sight Unseen has invited seven amazing vendors to offer their wares for sale: Alex Proba, Best Made Company, Bower, CHIAOZZA, Dusen Dusen, Fredericks & Mae, and MAKE Cosmetics. Refinery29 are hosting RillRill and Print All Over Me, plus a cat-themed boutique and a hairstyling bar. Best of all, CHIAOZZA's Terri Chiao and Adam Frezza will be on hand all weekend offering personalized papier-mâché plants, so you can choose custom colors and patterns and get them painted for you on the spot! It's all happening at OpenHouse in Nolita, 201 Mulberry Street, on December 13 and 14, from 12PM to 8PM each day.

Matthias Kaiser, artist

I had a long conversation over email this week with Matthias Kaiser, whose masterful ceramic work was a personal highlight of the show I curated for Sight Unseen OFFSITE earlier this year. The exchange reaffirmed my sometimes-waning faith in ceramics, or in anything that suddenly becomes so widely hyped that it can feel like we’re too busy being professionals to remember what struck us through about the practice in the first place. Kaiser, who now lives in the Austrian countryside having previously apprenticed with Japanese master potters and spent a combined two years traveling on the Indian subcontinent, speaks with the deep humility that comes with not taking shortcuts — with digging for your own clay, for example, or moving to Isfahan to study Sufi mysticism. He compares himself to “bad clay,” talks about how losses are a part of the game, and makes a joke about beards.

#Nannyart by Brandon E. Cannon

"#NannyArt is a series that has been ongoing for about 4 months now, consisting of 50+ 5x7-inch canvas boards incorporating collage, painting, patterns, and household supplies. The end of this series will consist of 100 of the 5x7-inch canvas boards as well as a few large-scale paintings done in the same manner. The term #NannyArt came from the culture and lifestyle that I became accustomed to after making the move to Panama back in May. In Panama, the term "Nanny" is thrown around a lot because everyone has one. To have someone who comes to your home or apartment once or twice a week, some are even live-in, is more than common in Panama. There's even an extra bedroom and bathroom in every home and apartment for live-in nannies. Over time while painting at my studio I began to take notice of some of the cleaning supplies my "nanny," Lucre, was using on a day-to-day basis. The colors, patterns, and textures of the supplies began to catch my eye and greatly intrigued me. With the sudden idea of buying art supplies not at the art store but in the cleaning aisles of grocery stores or mini-marts #NannyArt began to take form."

Cody Hoyt at Patrick Parrish

A short post before the weekend that doubles as a public service announcement: If you're in New York this weekend, you must check out a new exhibition at Patrick Parrish Gallery by one of our favorite rising stars in the ceramics scene, Cody Hoyt. Once upon a time, the Brooklyn-based artist, who has a BFA in printmaking, was known primarily as an illustrator and painter; two years ago he made the switch to ceramics, but in his new medium, he retains hints of his former aesthetic. Hoyt's angular vessels, which are built by hand using traditional slab construction, play with almost origami-like forms. And while he had previously been making small planters better suited to tiny succulents, the new show, entitled Heavy Vessel, enabled him to go big. (Some of the new pieces are nearly two feet tall).
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The I’m Revolting Stone Show at Kiosk

A few weeks ago, I got an email from our friend Su Wu at I’m Revolting, asking if I’d be part of a show she was putting together for Kiosk. “Will you send me a stone?” she asked. “The show is of rocks; everybody loves looking at rocks! Me too: you know I move slowly on beaches. It can be a pebble from your morning walk or a pretty specimen, craggy or river-smooth, petrified, funny holes.” As someone whose daily routine hardly deviates from a straight line through the East Village, I didn’t have anything particularly suitable. But starting this week at Kiosk (and on Instagram at #stoneshow) you can find out who did. The results were delightfully inventive and weird: Albert Chu from OTAAT sent hot-pink Pop Rocks; Doug Johnston sent a solid piece of aluminum made from melted beer cans that people had thrown into a campfire; and Bari Ziperstein’s rock crystal, which dissolves in water, can only be cleaned with smelly vats of brine. Some of them were also surprisingly moving: “Lauren Ardis found her rock in Bolinas; it has a heart shaped indent in the back,” Wu says. “She used to make fun of her mom for collecting heart-shaped rocks; now, she laughs about getting more sentimental with age.” The rocks will be exhibited at Kiosk’s new location at 540 LaGuardia Place and placed at the base of a tree outside the shop when the exhibition ends. Here’s a snapshot of the submissions.

Week of October 13, 2014

A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week: a brilliant Belgian design fair, a predominantly Pomo Chicago auction, and beautiful domestic interiors from Berlin to Brooklyn.

2014, Part II

This week we announced the 2014 American Design Hot List, Sight Unseen's unapologetically subjective annual editorial award for the 25 names to know now in American design. We're devoting an entire week to interviews with this year's honorees — get to know the next five Hot List designers here.

First Impressions of Greece, by Mary Manning

Sam Cate-Gumpert, of the artist’s book publisher Peradam, had, like many of us, been following the photographic essay that is Mary Manning’s life through her blog Unchanging Window for several years before he approached her with the idea of publishing a collection of her images in a real-life book. Initially, Manning explains, she had a whole other idea of what the book would be, but then a succession of events — a spontaneously booked vacation to Greece with her girlfriend Monique and a gift from a friend of a very beautiful copy of Henry Miller’s First Impressions of Greece (accompanied by an elaborate list of tips and recommendations for the trip), led to a very different publication. Manning says that upon receiving the copy of Miller’s book she knew instantly that instead of what she had been planning, her book would be ‘Greece and Monique. Impressions’. The images, which were all captured on film, were curated into the gentle rhythm seen on these pages by Manning herself and show all the characteristic genius of her previous work.
Lee describes the piece at the top as “a ghost and he has a friend that goes with him but he’s not pictured here. I titled it after the coffee place I go to down the street: He looks like how I feel when I’ve had too much and there’s no going back.” To the right is a Christmas tree ornament Lee made for her sister, Lila, who lives in Sweden. The other pieces are early mugs along with Lee’s “Crater” creamer and “Suzanne” vase.

Jennie Jieun Lee, Ceramic Artist

Jennie Jieun Lee makes plenty of glossy, pretty pieces that would look lovely alongside other objects in your home, but there’s a real depth of feeling that distinguishes her work. The large ceramic masks she’s been showing in galleries have a visceral, unsettling quality and a sly humor. But even her more practical goods — plates, bowls, cups, and creamers — convey moodiness and urgency, something you don’t often find yourself saying about tableware. “I think it was because of all those years I was stuck,” she says. “It was dying to come out.”
best ikea furniture pieces

The First 59 Minutes of Jill’s Day

We were recently asked to participate in IKEA’s brand-new “Show Us Your IKEA: The First 59” campaign, which focuses on how IKEA pieces can help make the most out of the first hour of your day. So we thought this was as good a time as any to invite our readers into one of my favorite spaces and to share a bit of my own morning routine.

Week of August 18, 2014

A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week had a very geometric vibe, from our favorite picks from the NYNOW gift fair, to a lamp inspired by '80s virtual reality, to a photography series showcasing the nature of shadows.

Erin O’Keefe, Artist

Erin O'Keefe is an artist and architect based in New York and New Brunswick, Canada. Having studied architecture at Columbia's grad program, O'Keefe took her interest in spatial perception back to her art career, in which she creates sculptures and models and landscapes out of paper, plywood, and foil, which she then photographs. As she describes it: "I'm interested in the layer of distortion and misapprehension introduced by the camera as it translates three-dimensional form and space into a two-dimensional image. In architecture, there is a similar dissonance ... The representation of the building and the building itself are two radically different things, as is the photograph and its subject. This inevitable and often fruitful misalignment is the central issue in my practice." Check out our favorite examples of her work after the jump.