If you've read this blog for a while, you know that I have a room in my house that I affectionately call The Smallest Art Gallery in the World. It's not fancy, and the art isn't groundbreaking or revolutionary, but it makes me happy, and that's good enough for me.
For the past four months, I've had the "Morocco" exhibit up, composed of photos from my January trip, along with a few Moroccan-themed paintings, a pair of hand-embroidered slippers, Moroccan candlesticks, and a few other odds and ends. The only blogger who took me up on my offer to stop by for a look was the lovely Tea, who arrived with a packet of delectable peach tea as her "entrance fee." I was charmed, and the tea was wonderful; I'm still enjoying it.
For the past few weeks, I've been meaning to pull everything off of the walls and hang a fresh "exhibit" but things have been rather hectic. Last week, I finally got around to it.
This time, the theme is Type. Words. Letters. Numbers.
As someone who loves books and words, I've gradually become entranced with the building blocks - the beauty of the alphabet, in all of its renderings. I love good type.
This "exhibit" is a celebration of words and type treatments - I didn't buy anything for this exhibit; I rummaged around in the garage and through old boxes, pulling things out... and this is what I found. Funny enough, most of these items cost next to nothing.
I'm posting these pictures for Matt, who asked for photos last time... they aren't the greatest pictures, as my camera seems to be delivering grainy shots much of the time now (grr!), but now you can say that you've seen the Smallest Gallery in the World.
This "typewriter" piece is by Steve Keene, a Brooklyn-based artist who paints like a maniac to produce a high volume of pieces. In Steve's words: “Painting should be part of people's lives and not separate from the world like a precious object. I feel like a baker making cakes, making a good quality object that's affordable to everyone from college professors to high school kids. I want buying my paintings to be like buying a CD: it's art, it's cheap and it changes your life, but the object has no status." I bought this at a live Steve Keene show in 2001; he was furiously painting away, his entire person splashed with paint, and the finished pieces were stacked all around. This piece cost $8.00.
Speaking of books: here a few of my favorite modern covers that make great use of type. Yes, that's a library sticker on the Michael Chabon book to the left - I didn't pinch it, don't worry. I bought it at a library sale at Fort Mason, and couldn't bear to remove it. The sticker is part of the charm.
I got the Tazo tea posters from a Starbucks in San Jose in 1998; I loved them the moment I saw them, and the manager promised to save them for me when the campaign was through. I still adore the photos and the phrasing and the pretty type. Mmm.
And speaking of tea - this is a collection of tins from Mariage Freres; they created a line of teas celebrating the tea heritage of a dozen different countries. Each tin has that country's word for tea on it... I thought it fit perfectly into my theme. (Thé des Maharajahs from India was my favorite of the bunch. That tin has long since been empty.)
Enough pictures already! I'm still not quite through with the project - have to rifle through a few more boxes to find some things I know I've got somewhere... but you get the idea.
If you love type too, you'll might enjoy some of these links:
Typophile? Right this way.
Richard Neutra fan? (trust me, you adore his work, even if you don't know it)
Did you know that Pablo Neruda wrote a poem titled "Ode to Typography"? Swoon.
Maryam in Marrakech has a gorgeous collection of letters and numbers. Love the table!
A collection of fabulous typography quotes.
And finally, from e.e. cummings:
since feeling is first
who pays any attention
to the syntax of things
will never wholly kiss you