Friday, October 30, 2009

anybody out there?

I was checking my email last week when I heard my business partner S (who was reading the newpaper) say, "A new planet's been discovered – doesn't that make you think we may not be alone in the universe?"

Could she have been referring to the planet named WASP-17 which was discovered by the UK's Wide Area Search for Planets project in collaboration with the Observatory of Geneva last August 2009?

The planet, which is approximately 1000 light years away in the constellation Scorpius, is said to be twice the size of Jupiter.

Planets (like Earth) are thought to form when dust particles and gases around a newly-formed star gather to form rocks.

"The dust bunnies under your bed grow in a similar way." said Scott Kenyon, a planet-formation theorist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. "And after a million years, a dust bunny can get pretty big."

So that explains the planets. But not the human race.

Well, lemme put it this way: if we came from interstellar dust bunnies, then I don't wanna know! LOL

(Top pic) The Interstellar Bearbrick, a rare secret bear from Series 17, was designed by Gustavo Alberto Garcia Vaca of Chamanvision Visual and Literary Art Studio. It was inspired by "Interstellar Transmissions", Vaca's art book of digital images inspired by Jazz, Detroit Techno, Hip Hop, Electro and Funk – music by various artist that were built on themes of time and space.

According to his website, "Vaca is a visual artist/writer working in various mediums including digital, writing, drawing and photography. His artwork is exhibited in art galleries around the world, including Parco Museum in Tokyo, Japan and the Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Tokyo, Japan. His writing is published in literary journals, magazines, books and anthologies including Dance the Guns to Silence. His photography is published in various art books including Graffiti World: Street Art from Five Continents."

WASP planet background image from NASA / Bearbrick pics and digital imaging by Bearbrick Lover / Info from,,

Saturday, October 10, 2009

graffiti's glamour boy

It's not unusual for graffiti artists to achieve a certain level of fame and fortune later in their careers. Consider Kaws, Shepard Fairey (of Obama hope poster fame), Futura, and Slick, for example. Their art moved from streets and subways to hip galleries, fashion labels, designer vinyl toys and graphic design.

But among all of them, none lived a life more glamorously than the Parisian graffiti artist named André. After all, he's French. And handsome (see below, left).

This year, he became the star of the Belvedere IX Vodka campaign, along with Monsieur André (above, right), the character he made famous on the walls of Paris in the early 90s.

André's other early claim to fame was the "love graffiti" (above). He would paint the name of a lover over a random spot in Paris, on commission.

Because of his cool image, the Palais du Tokyo commissioned André to open a store (called Black Block) within the modern art museum. It sold everything hip, including toys based on his Monsieur André character (above) as well as global street fashion (below).

Later, André's partnership with high-profile friends resulted in a chain of successful clubs – Le Baron, Paris Paris, Le Regine (with Lionel Bensemoun) and La Montana (with Olivier Zahm). That's how he became the "it boy" of the Parisian club scene (below).

But the André style did not end there. Soon, he went into the hotel business with Hotel Amour (below, left) near Montmartre, probably the best "chic & cheap" hotel in Paris. I'd love to stay in one of its Bearbrick-decorated rooms! (below, right)

"Graffiti is not vandalism but a beautiful crime." – André

From artistic outlaw to lifestyle prince. I guess that's what happens when creativity combines with business savvy.
Who says street artists have to starve? :-)

(Top) The Monsieur André Bearbrick designed by André is part of the Bearbrick Worldwide Tour Set A, released in 2004.

Info/other pics from,,,,,,,,,,,,,,