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Stephanie Palumbo (5 posts)
In Judy Fox's studio, a mermaid stands in the corner. Instead of a fanciful tail, she has iridescent legs, tinted bluish purple. Her hair floats above her shoulders as if swept by the ocean's current, her gaze dreamy, if a little sad. The sculpture is part of Fox's exhibition Out of Water, opening October 25. It will be surrounded by ceramic sea worms and cephalopods, including an octopus with eyes "slightly more human than they should be," says Fox—whose genial, easily amused nature belies the eerie intensity of her work.
For more than three decades, she has drawn from art history, mythology, and world events to create beguiling sculptures, like a series of cultural icons (Friar Tuck, Albert Einstein, Saint Theresa) imagined as babies, or an interpretation of Snow White in which the dwarves embody the seven deadly sins. In the current exhibition, at New York's PPOW gallery, Fox turns her playfully subversive eye to the sea, sculpting oddly sexual worms and mollusks a few surreal degrees removed from nature. "Creating these animals felt like intelligent design," she says. "I got to run my own little version of evolution."
Fox first discovered her affinity for sculpture when she experimented with the form as a teenager during summer camp, and honed her technique as an art major at Yale. "I felt at home in sculpture," she says. She is particularly excited by improvisation, incorporating her models' peculiar traits into her sculptures. The mermaid's awkwardly bent fingers, for instance, derive from the model's own double-jointedness. "That kind of discovery is an almost mystical thing," Fox says. "The model becomes a coauthor of the work."
Fox begins her sculptures of humans by photographing a model in a predetermined pose, then shapes, carves, plasters, and paints terra-cotta in a process so intensive that each adult-size sculpture takes roughly a year. "I spend a lot of time getting the curves right, because they create the rhythm and the mood," Fox says. "Sculpting is like standing on a mountaintop before you ski the slope, thinking about how you'll curve your way down."
Inspired by the books she'd been hoping to clean out of her studio, Inouye and her husband decided to make the booth a community library. In 2010 the couple scrubbed it clean and wrapped its base in a cheery, floral-patterned tablecloth. Inouye made a sign inviting neighbors to leave used, family-friendly books and to help themselves to any titles that interested them.
The library was an instant best-seller. "It can be filled with 50 books in the morning," Inouye says, "and by afternoon, they're gone." So far, mysteries are the most popular genre, but when someone donated a 1,300-page history text, it disappeared in two days. Inouye had initially planned to run the booth for just a month during a lull in her work schedule. But "people kept dropping off books!" she says, "and now I've been doing it for more than two years."
This Valentine’s Day, ditch the predictable box of chocolate-covered chocolates and try some of these fresh flavors instead.
PEPPERY PASSION: You’ve never tasted anything quite like the tongue-tingling Szechuan buttons that sit atop Sensation Truffles. (4 pieces for $12.50)
WINE AND DINE: From Port wine-drenched strawberries to rosemary-infused salt butter caramels, the chocolates in Chuao's Sweetheart Box will satisfy both your sweet and savory cravings. (Originally $59, now $47.20 with discount code OPRAH12, good for 20% off all Chuao chocolates)
GOOD FOR YOU--REALLY!: In flavors like Cupuaçu (the tangy fruit from a tree in the Brazilian rainforest), Gnosis Passion Truffles are rich, creamy and surprisingly healthy—all are vegan, raw, and free of refined sugar, but no less delicious. (Originally 3 pieces for $10.49, now $8.91 with coupon code OPRAH-15, good for 15% off all Gnosis Chocolate products)
26 romantic desserts
4 ways to shake up Valentine's Day this year
In 2012, you deserve better daily inspiration than the lifeless landscape on your dry cleaner’s free calendar, so we’ve rounded up some of the most delightful ways to track your days.
Woodland Papercuts 2012 Calendar, $35 Displayed as three individual papercut pages or layered to create one textured image, this calendar doubles as a delicate work of art.
On This Day Perpetual Calendar, $25 Rub one brightly-colored box each morning and uncover a quirky fact about that date.
Biko Perpetual Calendar Necklace, $69 An offbeat alternative to wall art, this brass pendant helps you determine the date from now through 2050.
Bubble Calendar, $20.12 Why should we only pop bubble wrap when we receive a package? This interactive calendar will let you enjoy the satisfying sensation all year long.
Like most of us, I rely on well-defined rituals to express my support when people I love are dealing with life’s ups and downs. Your great-aunt Hilda passed away? I know to send a bouquet of white lilies to the funeral home. My sister got engaged? I know to start planning the bachelorette party, tiara optional. But when my friends experience smaller – yet still significant – events, like a breakup, it's not as clear how to help.
Recently I discovered Bummer Baskets, custom-designed care packages. The titles include the "Not So Bad Breakup," the "Kind of a Bad Day," and the "Unemployed (But Hated Your Job)" baskets – and even one for the unwitting victim of a bed bug infestation.
Each package is filled with shredded green paper. The contents are decadent (fudgy brownies and an emergency candy bar to save an unemployed chocoholic from splurging on Godiva), uplifting (a “be happy” sunflower planting kit and “here’s to happy endings” wine glass to offset a bad day), mischievous (pocket-sized flask, pack of candy cigarettes, and temporary tattoo for a rebellious pal), and even witty (extra-large chopsticks for eating out of the Chinese food carton, cookies that say “lose my number,” and a “no more nightmares” sleep mask for a girls’ night in with your newly-single friend). The sender’s note is on a card that capture life's little mishaps in images, like an iPod submerged underwater, a heart flattened by tire-tracks, a Scottie inspecting his collapsed doghouse, and a man diving off a sinking ship.
Maybe reaching out to friends in their minor moments of grief will become as much a tradition as putting on a hat made of bows and ribbons at a baby shower?