Monday, January 6, 2014

Mike Kelley, Leprechaun Balls / Diana Vreeland Office Memo on Freckles


2014.  It’s here.  We are here.  Or are we yet?  Time to vroom into it if you aren’t already.  I have been saying to everyone and anyone that 2014 is going to be the best year for them, me, for us all.  It feels full of this something that probably has to do with the stars and all that but yes, there is some sort of buzz that seems to make things about to burst but in a splendid way versus a disaster way.  With all this buckled up embrace of what is to come, it is nice, perhaps necessary, to have some inspirational groundings.  Two such sources have stuck with me this past week.  One is Mike Kelley and the other is Diana Vreeland.

Mike Kelley, as most artys know, is an artist who died in 2012.  He currently has a retrospective at PS1 MoMA.  I literally just walked out of this so my brain is still buzzing from it, reflections on this show perhaps at a later time, but he has been simmering in my mind for some time now and even more so after watching Sir Drone, a 1989 film by Raymond Pettibon, earlier this week. It’s a low-fi hoot and Kelley’s vibrancy and humor steals the over exposed show.  Kelley is just one of those artists that just does something to you.  There is such a breadth of practice yet singular core focuses.  It makes you wonder about so many things and this is not just through the art but the life lived.  A way of living that is also the art of it. 

Another figure of this same quality is Diana Vreeland.  I watched the documentary on her, Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel, 2011, and it makes you just want to be something like this indomitable women portrayed.  For those who don’t know of her, she worked for Harper’s Bizarre and Vogue and basically invented what a ‘fashion editor’ is.  There is more spunk and Cheshire grinning pizzazz in this woman then most that have ever been born.  There was a cacophony of living, and it is in a simple word: inspiring. 

Both Kelley and Vreeland could be described in many denoting words like; misfit, visionary, rouge, madcap, but words are dull in trying to measure a thing that was the life they lived and created.  Below is very small homage to the fabulous wit they both had.  One is a recipe for Leprechaun Balls by Mike Kelley, the other is a re-typing of Vreeland’s notorious Office Memos she sent to Vogue staff.  We need people that are sparklier then the rest of us, it gives contrast and opens boundaries for all of ‘it’ and us. 

Mike Kelley – Leprechaun Balls

3 cups finely crusted vanilla wafer crumbs
(27 ounce package)
1 cup powdered sugar
1 ½ tablespoons cocoa
3 tablespoons corn syrup
½ cup bourbon
Powdered sugar

Mix Crumbs, powdered sugar, cocoa, nuts, corn syrup and bourbon.  Shape in 1 inch balls.  Roll in powdered sugar.  Store in refrigerator with tight fitting lid.  

Diana Vreeland Office Memo on Freckles, 1967

The Condé Nast Publication Inc.

To          BARON DE GUNZBERG            From MRS. VREELAND       Date June 5, 1967
          **MRS. SIMPSON
Copy to  MRS. SCHIFF
              MRS. MELLEN
              MRS. DI MONTEZEMOLO
              MISS DONOVAN
              MR. DUHE
              MRS. INGERSOLL
              MISS MC KENNA
              MISS WINKELHORN
              MISS HAYS
          **MISS PHILLIPS
              MRS. BLACKMON
              MISS MIRABELLA


I am extremely disappointed that no one has taken the slightest interest in freckles on the models…

I heartily suggest that we get going as soon as possible on this delicious coquetery-- and that you experiment well before pictures are taken…as the only time we have tried doing this, the spots turned out to look like black moles instead of pale red freckles…

All these suggestion were in my telexes from Paris-- and I was hoping to see them throughout the next few issues…and it is high time we get on to this.

Please discuss with Carol Phillips’ department the best stuff to use.