Sunday Six

Joanna’s Favorites

Kaari Upson at Sprüth Magers: I’m still holding on to Summer over here, but there’s some definite excitement hovering with the approach of Fall and all the newness it brings – like the lineup of art exhibitions in New York and LA.  The Kaari Upson show at Sprüth Magers in LA is particularly special, showing a powerful breadth of work including sculpture, drawings, video, and my personal favorite – a series of layered grid paintings that the late artist made during the beginning of the pandemic. “Merging personhood and objecthood in ways both alluring and disturbing, the works on view demonstrate Upson’s unwavering urge to interpret the psyches and psychoses of our complicated twenty-first century lives, with vigor, depth and beauty.”  

Jorge Luis Borges & María Kodama: The Infinite Encounter: I just added this outrageously romantic new book to my library that is filled with rarely seen photographs of the Argentine literary genius and his second wife, María Kodama. Their extensive, adventurous travels are documented along with manuscripts and poems written by Borges, all revealing a great love story.

Don Cherry: The magic of the late, great avant-garde jazz trumpeter lives on.  I’ve been listening to Festival de jazz de Chateauvallon 1972 by Don Cherry’s New Researches featuring Naná Vasconcelos’s Organic Music Theatre, and it’s nothing short of spectacular.  The song, Butterly Friend, is undeniably beautiful, showering me with emotion every single time I listen to it.  A spiritual metamorphosis.  

Persuasion: One of the most satisfying experiences of my late twenties was being part of a Jane Austen book club and immersing myself in her novels of self-discovery and womanhood, Persuasion being my favorite.  The recent film, based on the classic English novel that tells a story of second chances and love set in the early 19th century, is not so much a masterpiece but I did find it irresistibly entertaining.  

The Red Hand Files: The newsletter that I look forward to reading the most is The Red Hand Files, written by Nick Cave.   Every few weeks, he publishes a question written to him by a fan, followed by his response.  The questions are sent in from around the world and are written with humor, despair, and curiosity – always with thoughtful intention.  But the very best part is Cave’s eloquent replies, stemming deep from the soul with purpose.  This week’s newsletter was especially moving as he answered the existential question, “What is the point in life?”  It’s as equally heart wrenching as it is inspiring, and the reason I often tell others that The Red Hand Files should be required reading for the entire human race. 

Kneeland Co. x Temple Studio Rug Collection: Early this year, my talented friend Kate who runs Temple Studio in New York asked me if I wanted to collaborate on a collection of rugs and I immediately screamed YES, thinking of all the possibilities.  I pulled some antique textiles from my archive and met with Kate in New York and LA to go over designs and colors, playing with yarns and scale and techniques.  I just got a glimpse of the samples and I couldn’t be more psyched.  The collection of 5 rugs launches soon and will be available to order through both Kneeland Co. and Temple Studio.  This style, inspired by a 1920’s Egyptian jacquard, is the stuff dreams are made of.  Stay tuned.