Stripe October 2013
61 24 Trends
What We’re Pinning This month, we’ve filled our boards with tats, skulls, and monsters.
Artist of Dreams Our artist of the month gives a fantastical edge to the women she paints.
Nevermore Edgar Allen Poe has returned in the form of precious, gothy goodness.
Handmade Halloween We have crafts for all skill levels so that you can have a DIY Halloween.
Gardening gone punk rock. This pallette mixes nature and effing awesome.
Table for Two Why is it so hard to find recipes for two? Here’s our boring-free solution.
Fake-tiquing Want to make a cheap craft store buy into an elegant piece of decor? Here’s how!
In Every Issue
5 6 15 81
Letter from the Editor Reader Feedback Quick Tips Looking Ahead
Modern Rococo A moodboard for today’s Marie Antoinette— just a little less pink.
From the Deep What lurks beneath dark waters? Use this board to inspire elegant, nautical decor.
vol 14 ❘ october 2013
One angry taxidermist discusses the emergence of “faux” taxidermy and it’s negative impact on those that create the real thing.
A creative couple composed of an artist and a curator for a natural history museum take us on a tour of their unique— and jam-packed — home.
Because funky, offbeat accessories shouldn’t be just for humans. Man’s best friend deserves some too!
The Great Gothsby This season’s trend in furniture is definitely 20’s— but this ain’t your grandma’s art deco.
Adam Wallacavage creates beautiful chandeliers out of monstrous resin tentacles. Here he talks of love, art, and krakens.
H&M’s new home collection is both super cool and super affordable. Here are just a few of our favorite pieces.
Stripe Editor-in-Chief Rosemary Mills
Design Director Anna Klein Managing Editor Mary Marlow
Editorial Features Editor Tina Carrow Senior Editor Felicia White Assistant Managing Editor Carrie Blanchard Copy Chief Margaret Phillips Research Editor Louis Atkin Associate Editor Fernanda Alvarez Assistant Editor Judith Beecher Editorial Assistant Harley Slate Contributing Food Editors Gabrielle Thompson, Danielle Sylvan, Tera McCarter
Style & Market Style Editor Poppy Cassell Assistant Market Editor Alyce Mayfield
Art Art Director Darren Lyons Associate Art Director Carla Smithe Digital Imaging Specialist Paul Freid
Photo Photo Director Belinda Watson Assistant Photo Editor Warren Hopkins
Online Senior Web Editor Clarissa Moore Assistant Web Editor Laramie Osmund Contributing Editors Mia Horn, Felicity May, Thomas Penny, Christine Johnson, Mercedes Richter
letter from the editor New in the Stripe Office
Juju the French Bulldog has joined Stripe as our office mascot!
We got our hands on our very
ctober is our favorite month here at Stripe. Since I was a child, I would look forward to the next Halloween starting in, well, the beginning of November. It’s no secret that I like quirky items that involve monsters, skulls, creepy patterns, etc. Octobe is the perfect month because you’re encouraged to decorate with just those things! However, at Stripe we celebrate offbeat households every month, not just in October. That being said, this month we are excited to take Halloween decorations just a little bit further, while still providing the beautiful, unique home decor our readers love. We have some great articles this time around. Our featured home this month is stunning in both its appearance and its heart. We have an opinion piece for a taxidermy artist who is not quite content with some decor that is trending. We also scored an interview with one of my very favorite artists Adam Wallacavage. I’ve been lusting after his works for a while now and I can’t believe that our office now proudly displays one! We look forward to hearing your reactions to this month’s issue and we hope to see pictures of your Stripe-worthy Halloween decorations on our instagram. Have a spooky Halloween and see you nxt month!
own Adam Wallacavage creation. Check out more of his work on page 10.
Designer Collete Meers, featured in The Great Gothsby, updated our office. Look at this beautifully dark and mature bathroom!
The office held a pumpkin carving contest while brainstorming ideas for the patterns found in the back. Whose do you think won?
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reader feedback Rock on, baby!
I was so happy to pick up the September issue about offbeat spaces for babies and children! I’m on baby number two, and I can’t tell you how impossible it is to find design suggestions beyond your typical pink/blue fluffy bear ideas. Yuck! Thanks for the awesome suggestions! Renee Reynolds Boulder, CO
We at Stripe were incredibly excited to produce our first issue about children’s spaces— and we were even more excited to read the positive responses we received about the issue! Of course, not everyone was enthused about some of our suggestions, but we love to hear that feedback so we can bring you a better issue every month.
Thanks for the great nursery and children’s room ideas. I’m not looking to have kids anytime soon, but it doesn’t hurt to plan ahead right? Can’t wait to pin some of the ideas found in this issue. Can this be an annual release? Carrie Burnett Memphis, TN We received stacks of positive responses. And in reply to Carrie, yes! We loved this issue and we think an annual release is a great idea.
A little much? I get that you’ve got to please a variety of audiences, but was it really necessary to dedicate an entire issue to kids? September was basically useless for me. ‘cause I don’t have kids and don’t want them. Maybe just do a feature next time? Ryan Francis Salt Lake City, UT Ryan wasn’t the only one to express this feeling. However, we’d like to remind you that most of the products featured are not intended just for kids. Get creative, incorporate them into your own design (and send us pictures!)
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Not suitable for kids I know Stripe prides itself on being “hip” and “alternative”, but some of the items featured just seemed plain unsafe for children. I don’t think you should let a coolness factor get in the way of safety. Lindsay Fowler Portland, OR I think its a bit strange to be pushing offbeat nurseries on kids. Why would you want to manipulate your child into your lifestyle? Let the kids be kids! Patricia Forsythe Lafayette, LA Of course safety was foremost on our mind when selecting items for the September issue. Everything is nontoxic and approved for children. We ensured nothing had small parts that could be swallowed or sharp edges that could cut. We appreciate that our inspiration may seem a bit more mature than typical baby rooms, but decor doesn’t encourage a child to take up one lifestyle or another— parenting does.
Fantastic Geekery I am in LOVE with the article “Sophisticated Geek”. My husband and I are obsessed with Star Wars and want to do a Star Wars nursery for our baby (due in January!) Until we saw your article, we were worried a SW nursery would be too cheesy. Now we can’t wait to apply your ideas and create a beautiful— and geeky— nursery for our child. Rebecca Lang Cleveland, OH
your favorite september products I don’t have a kid, but I’m obsessed with the Harry Potter room featured in “Sophisticated Geek”. How weird would it be to have that room as a 27 year old man? Paul Patterson Tallahasee, FL
You emailed, you tweeted, you pinned. Here’s your favorite September items (with your own adorable models too!)
Yoda Holiday Lights thinkgeek.com $15.00
We had a sneaking suspicion that readers would enjoy our feature on geeky-but-not-kitchy nurseries and children’s rooms. And we were right! Do we think it’s weird for an adult to have an HP room? No way!
Cool kids I was really impressed with “From the Mouths of Babes”. People usually think it’s the parents that decide on the decor, but I like that you featured opinionated kids that have already developed their own style. I think you did a brilliant job showing us these cuties and developing inspiration based on their preferences. Bailey Morgan San Francisco, CA The “From the Mouths of Babes” shoot was so inspiring! After reading through, I sat down with my six-year-old daughter and asked her opinion on how she wants to decorate her room. I was both surprised and utterly ecstatic by some of her crazy, creative ideas. We can’t wait to get started! Louis Flammond Louisville, KY “Out of the Mouth of Babes” was a great feature to work on. These were some opinionated kids and we have never been so inspired in designing a room.
Wampa Rug thinkgeek.com $130.00
Monster Hood Towel thinkgeek.com $30.00
Periodic Table Blocks thinkgeek.com $40.00
Hedwig Pillow Pet thinkgeek.com $50.00
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2 what we’re pinning Ladies of Ink
Arctic Fox Platter sourpussclothing.com $17.00
Harlow Satin Pillow sourpussclothing.com $14.00
Lady of the Forest Mug sourpussclothing.com $14.00
Til death do us Part Sugar Skull Mugs shopplasticland.com $12.00 ea
Sugar Skull Corkscrew modcloth.com $29.00
Sugar Skull Cookie Stamps urbanoutfitters $14.00
Franken-Stein Mug shopplasticland.com $25.00
want more? 12 | Stripe Magazine
Frankenstein Dinner Plate sourpussclothing.com $6.00
Franky Bowl with Spreader sourpussclothing.com $12.00
For more awesome housewares, follow Stripe Mag on all of your favorite social media sites.
artist of dreams 1
rom yoga instructor to artist, San Francisco-based Charmaine Olivia has continued to create amazing works of art that are playful, fun, and full of poetic passion. Charmaine’s paintings of beautiful women fused with otherworldly aspects ensure that each one is truly unique and memorable. S: Can you tell me a little about your creative process? CO: Lately, I’m at this point where I do things that are fun. Its easier to torture yourself, especially with art. Like, if its not working you get really frustrated and then you mess it up. The second I get frustrated on a piece, I walk away, go read a book, or work on something else and then when I’m chilled out and excited again, I go back. What I’ve realized is time is kind of irreverent when it comes to making art, at least for me. S: Do you have any formal training as an artist? CO: No, I started painting when I was seven. My aunt is an artist and my parents thought it would be a good idea for us to go paint together. At the time, I just wanted to paint mermaids and sea creatures. Thats how I learned to use oils and set up a
pallet. If you know the basics on something, its not so scary or intimidating. People have this perception that oils are so challenging. If you just know the basics, you can go with it and figure it out on your own. S: A lot of your characters look like self-portraits, is that the case? CO: I have very few pieces that are intended self-portraits. I maybe have one that I can say is honestly a self-portrait. I’ll use my form for the base of the painting if anything. Its the female form I use. S: Do feel like you’ll do more sculptural work or installations? CO: Painting is what I’m into right now, but I’m sure I’ll do sculptures. I just feel like I’m young and have the rest of my life to play with stuff. ★
For more information about Charmaine and her work, visit charmaineolivia.com.
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This October, add a little bit of Poe to your traditional Halloween decor
Nevermore Raven Bookends shopplasticland.com $28.00
Edgar Allen Poe Tin Tote shopplasticland.com $18.00
Steampunk: Poe barnesandnoble.com $12.95
Anatomical Heart Pillow sourpussclothing.com $14.00
Raven Ornament shopplasticland.com $14.00
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2 quick tips
3 Design Mistakes You’ll Never Make Again
Unfriendly Furniture Think of the furniture in your room like friends at a party — the wallflowers don’t have much fun. It’s a common mistake to park your sofa or chairs on a wall or in a corner, but it’s usually not the way to encourage intimate conversation. Imagine yourself doing various activities in your room and group your furniture accordingly — sitting in your reading chair usually calls for a table to stash your drink or snack, your armoire needs a bench or chair close by to lay out your outfit. As long as you keep a reasonable flow, you can’t go wrong with a cluster.
Loathsome Lighting An overhead fixture is not your friend. Allowing yourself to exist in anything other than golden, layered lighting is a huge rookie mistake. A good rule of thumb is that you need at least three separate light sources in any room (and that ceiling monstrosity doesn’t count). Vary the heights and strengths of your lighting to make even your cheapie basics look expertly expensive.
Atrocious Artwork We’re not knocking your taste in art (by all means, hang what you love) but please make sure to hang it properly. No one wants to crank their necks to see your lovelies. Art that’s too high or low is a dead giveaway of a decorating rookie. Eyelevel is the goal so, unless you hang out with a lot of giants, aim for the middle of your piece (not the hook, that will be higher) to be about 57’’ high.
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The New Taxidermy Taxidermy isn’t just for hunting lodges anymore. Today’s artists take recycled pieces and transform them into masterpieces for the chic, offbeat home. By Mallory Nanny
n 1991, when Damien Hirst unveiled his installation The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, critics responded with both disgust and worry for what the art world was becoming: obscene. The notorious piece consists of a tiger shark submerged in a tank of formaldehyde. Similar to other shocking works in history, like Duchamp’s Fountain or Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, Hirst’s installation set the stage for a new trend in contemporary art by introducing taxidermy as innovations in both medium and concept. The initial criticism surrounding Hirst’s shark stemmed largely from the public’s disdain for the medium. Many consider it outdated and grotesque, as “death on display.” Understandably, using the skins of an animal once-alive to create an immortal, yet frozen, animal would turn some people off. Its roots in colonialism certainly don’t help. And more often than not, it is considered a low-brow art form designated to mount hunting spoils. These unattractive traits associated with taxidermy have made it not only unpopular, but detested by many. History Breeds a New Avant-Garde Taxidermy initially was popularized in nineteenth-century Europe to educate the masses about foreign animals. The subsequent onset of zoos and wildlife videos have rendered it useless in this way, but it still informs us about the historical practices and perspectives common in the Victorian era. With the public’s growing discomfort towards viewing it however, it has become a rather controversial issue and museums now are challenged in their methods of showcasing it. October 2013 | 35
While some argue in favor of taxidermy’s nostalgic and theatrical elements of display, the decision to visit a natural history or science museum that exhibits works of taxidermy really is up to the public. To keep numbers high, more and more museums have taken steps to modernize their displays. Some confront the issue by posting apologetic signs while others use dioramas to purposefully emphasize the artificiality of the practice. One museum went so far as to burn their collection of more than 200 animals, claiming it was an embarrassment lingering from the Victorian era. Sometimes history is embarrassing, but the worst thing you can do is hide it. As the history of art repeatedly informs us, the more shocking the work, the more praise it may receive later. Only three years after his heavily
criticized tiger shark, Hirst was awarded the Turner Prize for his Mother and Child, Divided, in which he cut a calf and cow in half and placed them in formaldehyde. He continues to upstage the shock value of his own work, most recently with Let’s Eat Outdoors Today (2010), an installation including two large glass cases buzzing with flies (those still alive, anyway) and a white plastic table sheltering a decapitated cow’s head. Without using taxidermy in this work, he achieves the ultimate appearance of “death on display,” by including rotting animals. Branded as an icon in the contemporary art world, it’s possible that Hirst has introduced us to a new breed of avant-garde. A visceral viewer response Since winning the Turner Prize, Hirst has the authority to disgust his audience— but he’s not alone. Artists not only are allowed to frighten, offend and infuriate us, but are encouraged to do so.
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Since Hirst headlined the use of taxidermy in 1991, more artists have appropriated the historical medium into sculpture and installation. The controversy attached to it has made it something of a hot material - and now a growing trend - in contemporary art. Not all artists working with taxidermy aim to mock our squeamish stomachs, though. While it maintains an element of surprise, it actually has proven more versatile a medium than one used purely for shock. German-artist Thomas Grünfeld communicates his concerns about humanity’s intervention with nature. He plays God in his Misfit series by combining two different species into one visually-striking hybrid (i.e. St. Bernard/ sheep). The delicate craftsmanship
given to each manipulated beast gives each the appearance of having resulted from a test in genetic engineering. In a society that perceives cloning, geneticallyaltered food, and breeding labradoodles as yesterday’s news, he’s got a real message. Other artists apply taxidermy in their work to call awareness to animal suffering, specifically Belgian-artist Berlinde de Bruyckere. Both her sculptures entitled K36 (The Black Horse) (2003) and K21 (2006) appear equine in their shiny coats and manes, but she has sculpted their bodies and positions to appear so deformed that they are visually perplexing. The feelings of stress and discomfort perceived by these works, coupled with her restriction to use only equine imagery, most likely refers to issues of horse abuse. Alternatively, British-artist David Shrigley merges taxidermy with his signature dark humor. His 2006 piece entitled Cat with No Head appears just as the title suggests, in which a headless black cat sits frozen before the viewer. A similar sculpture entitled I’m Dead (2010) shows a Jack
VS Faux taxidermy givess consumers an option that is animal free, but taxidermy artist worry it’s trivializing their work. Real taxidermy can be beautiful and one of a kind,
“We’re in an age where everything can be controversial. Faux Taxidermy Helps to bridge that gap.”
Russell standing on its hind legs holding a sign that echoes the title of the work. Through adding wit to a morbid subject, his work taunts our feelings, but somehow dares us not to laugh. The playful humor functions to distance our emotion from a uniquely sensitive subject, and treats us to a devilish laugh at something normally considered inappropriate and offensive. From sub-culture to high art Also, unlike other media, taxidermy forces us to think from a fundamental level onward because the medium is a paradox in itself. It is impossible to connect with something dead, but effortless to connect with a work of art. When confronting it in an art-specific space, we may find ourselves trying to rationalize the death of the animal rather than looking for greater meanings as to what it represents and why it was used. What we really ought to contemplate, however, is its place in contemporary art, as we may be witnessing the progress of a new avant-garde in art history. ★ .
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When a curator of a natural history museum and an artist get together, their home is somehow both completely fitting and unexpected. Organized clutter and lovely disarray give Noel and Ezra Meyer’s house personality and elegance. written by Miranda McCall | photographs by Liam Huxley
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zra Meyer often jokes that he and his wife, Noel Meyer, run a nonprofit bed-and-breakfast. All things considered, the man has a point. Every Friday night, the couple’s late-19th-century Italianate in the sleepy village of Athens, New York, erupts into a raging party. Two, three, or six friends might hop a train from Manhattan at the last minute. Neighbors swing by for a drink. And before you know it, a quiet dinner becomes a boisterous bash. Noel may have imported her warm, bighearted style of entertaining—where the bar’s always stocked, the music plays loud, and the mayonnaise is full-fat—from her native Natchez, Mississippi, but it suits this Northeastern climate just fine. “Any given weekend, we’ll burn through two pounds of coffee, easy,” says Ezra, an artist. Guests repay the hospitatlity in numberous ways. “If you can call these people guests,” Noel adds. “They have a real sense of ownership. It’s basically a commune, but with much better cheese.” After a few bourbons, a group may start hanging art on a wall or rearranging items on a table. One evening last fall, Noel and a pair of cohorts—an architect and a carpenter, as it happens—began chatting about
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her fantasy kitchen. Today, an antique hardware-store cabinet takes the place of built-ins, and modern appliances (refrigerator drawers, a dishwasher) are discreetly embedded in the island. While the thoughtful setup seems meticulously calculated, the trio sketched the initial outlines on the floor in pencil. Noel isn’t what you’d call a planner. She wed Ezra after three months of dating, and the pair looked at country houses for all of a day before plunking down an offer on this one. “I never had a decorating scheme,” she admits. “I treated this place as a living laboratory, letting it evolve slowly. It was all organic.” The aesthetic took shape based on whatever she discovered at antiques shops or her rral auction house: birdcages, floral frogs, Victorian sofas, cryptic portraits. “I buy cheap stuff,” Noel says. “I just buy a lot of it.” The mahogany ogee mirrors she stockpiles, for example, go for $200 on eBay, though she won’t shell out more than $20 in her neck of the woods. And the new merch? Most comes from West Elm or Ikea or kids’ catalogs such as PB Teen. Fearless paint choices—smoldering charcoal in the living room; a rich brown, reminiscent of wet plotting soil (continued on pg 24)
Noel’s tips Keep furniture simple
Cluttered collections can look amazing, but adding in overly complicated furniture can contrast your collection in a bad way. Keep furniture simple so that your collection can speak for itself. decide what is truly important in the room.
White walls add balance Sherwin-Williams’s marine-grade paint (in Extra White) ensures that period pieces feel unstuffy. It also helps to reflect light, creating a brighter glow.
Stick to a color palette It’s not always easy to stick to a color palette when dealing in antiques and homemade goods. However, choosing about four colors and accompanying them with liberal doses of white allows the room to look vibrant and alive, without looking like a design student disaster. The Meyer’s stuck with red, gold, green,
above The library is filled to the brim with antique books, photographs, and an assortment of odds and ends
left A collage of pressed plants (most of them handpressed by Noel) and small fossils and bones. Symmetry keeps this collage elegant rather than messy.
below An antique store find, this scope flips through the phases of the moon for easy identification.
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(continued from pg 22) for the bedroom— offset the eclectic and intricate tableux. Only once every piece of furniture was arranged did Noel decide she should paint the floors white—a quixotic effort that required temporarily relocating the contents of each room. “The antiques were looking too serious,” she explains. “I needed to lighten the mood.” Her architecturalhistorian parents warned against damaging the home’s resale value. But Noel and Ezra had already doubled down— emotionally at least. “We’ve buried a dog here,” Noel says, “and dumped an embarrassing amount of money into trees, shrubs, and vines that have yet to mature.” The couple also has stitched together a community of laid-back, party-ready neighbors. Noel says she and her husband could never leave behind those parts of themselves that now make up the property. “Worrying about resale value is like getting married with a prenup,” she says. “You’ve got to go in with your whole heart.” “When filling our home, the most important consideration was to fill it with what we need and love,” Ezra says. But the Meyers also had to deal with baggage they brought from New York City, such as a midcentury modern Eero Saarinen table and that twentysomething apartment staple, the Ikea bed. To help it all make sense in the historic house, Noel called on her old roommate Amy, who by that point had transitioned from fashion to interior design. Together, the two shopped the Brimfield Antique Show, flea markets, even amazon.com for antiques and classic pices, many with a seafaring bent. The Meyers’ Saarinen table, at which they dined in New York, exudes a formal vibe in their foyer, displaying mother-of-pearl opera glasses and a platter bust, among other curiosities. The Ikea bed, stationed amidst a Louis XVIstyle chair and a weather-beaten trunk, reads more Shaker than minimalist. Likewise, black paint grants some of the newly purchased furnishings an urban glamor. ★. 42 | Stripe Magazine
“When filling our home, the most important consideration was to fill it with what we need and love.”
Make the space your own
It doesn’t matter how cool a room looks if it isn’t right for the person inhabiting it. Before you do anything, assess what you’ll need in each room. Then buy the frivoulous items..
you don’t have to splurge There are plenty of shops, both online and in person, that have beautiful home goods for less. Don’t turn down a great piece just because it’s not a fancy brand.
Really love what you buy The most important rule is to really love what you buy. Why would you want it otherwise? If you’re simply buying items to have them, you’ll find that you get tired of them very quickly. Follow your gut when making these kinds of decisions. It usually speaks honestly about these kinds of things..
above Ezra’s studio is equipped with more utensils than you could believe. He dabbles in everything from sketching to metalworking so he keeps his studio prepared with anything he may need.
below “I went through a love affair with rocks,” says Ezra. The geode identification chart was a thrift store find and Christmas gift from Noel.
right Ezra owns well over a hundred brushes. Sitting in mismatched cups, they almost appear as bouquets of flowers.
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s r e t
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am d Art of A
avage ll ac
t sounds cliché but I was really blown away as a child by the Haunted Mansion ride and the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea ride at Disney World,” remembers Philadelphia artist Adam Wallacavage. This is obvious after a walk-through of his Les Trésors de la Tanière de Neptune show (which wrapped July 26 at NYC’s Jonathan Levine Gallery). Wallacavage transformed the space with a panoply of beautiful octopi-meet-Gothic light fixtures set against a backdrop of undulating kelp wallpaper, all in a ’60s cartoon palette of flat mint, purple, turquoise, and black. The man’s fantastical chandeliers and sconces don’t come cheap (running anywhere from $3,200 to $14,000), but you may be inspired to learn that he made everything in the show in three months, by hand in his home using cast plaster, epoxy resin, and lamp parts. And the do-ityourself-ness doesn’t stop there. When he’s not out snapping carnival rides or his friends doing 360 nose-grinds, the accomplished photographer is working on the Victorian-like interior of his house in South Philly and creating custom wallpapers for his company, Curio Wallcoverings. The projects may vary, but a very personal aesthetic runs throughout.
Stripe: What was the seedling of the idea for the chandeliers that you make? Adam Wallacavage: I think it was the idea of creating the things I simply wanted. I’ve spent countless hours in my life scouring through flea markets and antique stores and decorative arts museums and I never had money to buy the things that inspired me. Or I felt this compulsive urge to acquire things that was kinda obsessive and not very good feeling. I basically realized that I had the talents to hand-make the things I wanted to see and it has been such a blessing to have gotten to the point of where I am now, where I feel I can have anything I can imagine, if I can figure out a way to make it. S: How long does it take you to make one (approximately)? AW: At first it took a few months to build one, but after a while I learned to make them faster cause I knew what I was doing. I made most of the pieces in my show at the Jonathan Levine gallery, as well as the wallpaper, in three months. S: What is your favorite thing that you’ve made recently? AW: I made a set of three chandeliers called “The Argus,” “The Spawn of the Argus,” and “Son of the Spawn of the Argus;” they are all glossy white and the large one has a sort of oval shape to it. I’m excited to hang the set in my October 2013 | 53
Wallacavage’s work sits on the fine line of “Art” and “Kitch”—and it leaves our interior designers begging for more. living room after the show, as well as a few others. I’m really not sure what is my favorite though–they are like children in a way. I’m excited about the sconces though. I learned so much over the past couple years that I had a ton of fun making the chandeliers for my NYC show. I made the stuff with my house in mind, so I had a place to store them. I have a bunch of rooms in my house at the moment without lights in them and I can’t wait to bring the show back to my place! S: What are some of the most unique curios you have in your house? AW: I have a collection of mounted two-headed dogs, the world’s longest cat tail that I got from an old sideshow, and
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a live fruit bat that I keep as a pet in my attic, but my favorite curio is my swimming pool. I live in an old Victorian brownstone in the city and my back yard is insanely tiny. I had a pool built that is eight feet in diameter but 25 feet deep. I use it to practice freediving and it is lined with cast coral and is stocked with fish. You can jump off the top of my house into it. S: Really? That sounds amazing! AW: I know, but I made all that up, but it would be cool to own the world’s longest cat tail, right? S: What is your favorite themed room? AW: The only real themed room is the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea dining room; of course it is my favorite since it was the inspiration for the Octopus Chandelier. I’m working on some others though. The artist Niagara Detroit just stayed over last night and I want to make the guest bedroom into an opium den-themed room with custom-made wallpaper designed by Niagara. I just started an artist designed wallpaper company called Curio Wallcoverings and we are working with a bunch of artists, such as Shepard Fairey and many others, to come.
S: Name three things that have inspired your aesthetic. AW: I like things to be outrageous yet timeless, beautiful yet mysterious, and dark but inspired by a good sense of spirituality. S: What is your favorite camera? AW: It doesn’t exist yet, but it would be a digital panoramic waterproof camera that could take really close up wide shots of cool things. S: How much of what you shoot is staged and how much is random accident? AW: I wait for things to happen, so the accident is somewhat luck and being in the right place at the right time, but I like to find the best angle and I like things to be as real as possible but surreal at the same time. Lately I’ve been doing a lot of portrait photography of artists in their studios and such. I would like to put out another book that is all artist related with portraits, studios, and shots of neat stuff hanging around. S: What is important to you in a photograph? AW: I like them to be entertaining. I worked in a one-hour lab for a long time and I would look at hundreds of photos and I would put aside about one or two each day that were interesting. It was quite influential on my overall aesthetic, actually. Usually the photos that jumped out at me were shot by kids and they had the most amazing compositions. I think my friend Ben Woodward, who worked with me for a little while, had a name for it… something like “accidental snapshot masterpieces,” or something on those lines. S: What’s one project you’ve never done because it’s too crazy, expensive, or difficult, or you have no time? AW: I used to do a lot of silkscreens of toys back when I worked out of Space 1026 and I would love to get back to that sort of work, but with painting instead. I want to make paintings of silkscreen halftone separations in layers on glass and put them together. I think it would be fun. S: What’s the best thing in Philly? AW: Besides freedom and getting a shout out in that one Van Halen song, I would say City Hall. It is the most amazing building and is decorated with hundreds of beautiful sculptures designed by Alexander Milne Calder, who was the father of Alexander Stirling Calder, who was the father of Alexander Calder, the sculptor and inventor of the mobile. Of course my friends are the best part, it’s amazing how many good artists are moving into town now. S: What’s your favorite food? AW: Potato chips and hot dogs, but I can’t eat them too much ‘cause they will kill me. I like spearfishing and grilling freshly caught fish at the beach.
S: Who are your style icons? AW: It sounds cliché, but I was really blown away as a child by the Haunted Mansion ride and the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Ride at Disney World. I just like the idea of making things that go on forever with endless imagination, never knowing if it’s complete or what is around the corner. I just love all things eccentric.
Want more of Adam’s work? Check our website for a photo gallery and information about his live art shows. October 2013 | 55
table for two
Bountiful Harvest Autumn’s fresh ingredients in meals perfect just for two.
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Zucchini Fritters 2 medium sized zucchini 2 tablespoons self-rising flour 25 ounce Parmesan Cheese, finely grated 1 tablespoon olive oil
1. Grate the zucchini. Combine zucchini, flour, parmesan and shape into walnut sized balls. 2. Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat and add the oil. Throw in the balls into the oil and flatten with spatula. Fry the fritters for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Drain on paper towels 3. Serve straight away with yogurt flavored with coriander leaves
Red Velvet Cake w/ Chocolate Frosting For the cake: ½ cup cocoa 3 tablespoon red food coloring 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract ½ cup butter, softened 1 ½ cup sugar 4 egg yolks 1 cup buttermilk 1 teaspoon salt 2 ¼ cup sifted cake flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon white vinegar
1. Heat oven to 350° F. Line two standard 12-cup cupcake tins or a
For the frosting: 1 cup milk 3 tablespoons flour ¼ teaspoon salt 8 ounce dark chocolate 2 stick sbutter 3 cups confectioner’s sugar 2 tablespoon cocoa 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Whisk milk, flour and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat
square baking tin with baking papers and set aside. 2. Mix the cocoa, food coloring, and vanilla together in a small bowl and set aside. Beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl, using a mixer set on medium-high speed. Add the yolks and beat for 1 more minute. 3. Add the cocoa mixture and beat to combine. Stir the buttermilk and salt together and add it in thirds, alternating with the flour. 4. Mix the baking soda with the vinegar and blend into the batter. 5. Fill each cupcake tin with 3 tablespoons batter, or pour the batter into the square baking tin and bake until a toothpick inserted in the cupcake center tests clean — about 15-20 minutes
until mixture begins to thicken and bubble. Set aside to cool. 2. Melt the chocolate and set aside to cool. 3. Beat the butter, sugar and cocoa powder until light and fluffy. Beat in the cooled chocolate, milk mixture and vanilla until smooth and fluffy. Use to cover the entire cake.
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Tahini Sweet Potato Jackets For the potatoes: 2 medium sized sweet potatoes a bunch of spring onions, diced ½ teaspoon olive oil 1-2 garlic cloves, minced 2-3 tablespoons tahini salt & pepper to taste
1. Scrub the potatoes and bake in a tray, covered with a sheet of foil at 200°C for 30-40 minutes. 2. Halve and scoop the flesh into a bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir gently together, seasoning to taste. 3. Spoon back into the potato halves and bake for a further 5-10 minutes, until golden. 4. Serve with a sprinkle of spring onions on top.
Pumpkin Churros with Chili-Chocolate Sauce For the churros: ½ cup water (+2 more tablespoons, if needed) ½ cup pumpkin puree 2 tablespoon vegetable oil 1 cup all purpose flour ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 tablespoon brown sugar enough vegetable oil for deep frying
1. Heat water, pumpkin puree, and oil until it comes to a boil. 2. Mix flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon in a mixing bowl. 3. Remove pumpkin mixture from heat and mix (using a spatula or mixer) into flour
For the chocolate: 4 ounces of semisweet chocolate 2 tablespoons heavy cream 1 teaspoon chili powder
1. Combine chocolate, cream and chili pepper in a heavy sauce pan. 2. Cook over very low heat until all the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. 3. Serve warm with the churros
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quickly until well incorporated. Mixture should be smooth (add more water if it’s lumpy or a little dry). 4. Heat the oil for frying. 5. Spoon mixture in a pastry or ziplock bag fitted with a star tip. Squeeze strips of dough into hot oil. 6. Cook until golden brown, making sure to stir occassionally so that the churros doesn’t stick together. 7. Drain, roll in cinnamon sugar.
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Beef and Mushroom Pastitsio Penne in Bechamel Sauce: 1 pound penne ½ cup butter ½ cup all purpose flour 3 cups milk ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg 1 egg salt and pepper to taste
1. Boil the penne in salted water. Meanwhile, melt butter in saucepan, stir in flour and cook gently for 2 minutes 2. Pour in milk gradually while continuously stirring and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil gently for 1 minute. Add nutmeg, salt and pepper. 3. Drain penne into a large bowl. Add 1/3 of the bechamel and egg into the penne and stir until combined. Beef and Mushroom Sauce: 1 ½ stalk celery 1 onion 1 medium carrot 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 pound ground beef 10 dried shiitake mushrooms 1 cup beef stock 1 ½ cup tomato sauce 1 teaspoon dried oregano ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon ½ teaspoon hot paprika
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1. Dice all the vegetables. 2. Gently fry celery, onion, carrot and garlic in olive in a skillet until onion is soft. Increase heat and add ground beef; stir well. Cook until meat begins to brown, 3. Add tomato sauce or tomatoes, stock, spices and season to taste. Cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. 4. Preheat oven to 350° F. 5. Grease ramekins or casserole dish (or whatever oven-proof dish you have) with butter. 6. Spoon some of the penne mixture evenly in the bottom and top with meat sauce. 7. Alternate layering the pasta and meat sauce as high as your container will allow, keeping in mind to make the pasta as the top layer. 8. Pour on cream sauce and spread to completely cover pasta layer. 9. Sprinkle some cheese (if using) on top. 10. Bake in a preheated oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown. 11. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Herbed Fries 4 cups frozen steak fries or thick cut potatoes 1 ½ tablespoon flour 1 ½ teaspoons dried basil 1 ½ teaspoons dried parsley flake or fennel seed ¼ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon black pepper oil for frying
1. Put the potatoes in a bowl and toss it with the flour to coat 2. Deep fry in batches and season with the dried herbs and salt A Healthier Alternative 1. Pre-heat the oven to 400°. 2. Toss together potatoes and flour in a large bowl. Then add the rest of the ingredients until potatoes are evenly coated with oil and spices. 3. Place potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes until the edges are crisp, or until done
Ganache Pie with Poached Pears 2 ½ cups granulated sugar ¼ cup orange juice 1 ¾ cup water 1 stick of cinnamon 4-6 pears 10 ounce semi-sweet chocolate 1¼ cup heavy cream 1 9-in pie crust, baked
1. Peel the pears, leaving the stems intact. 2. Place sugar in the centre of a saucepan. 3. Heat gently until sugar has dissolved, stirring with a wooden spoon. 4. Once the mixture starts to caramelize remove the spoon and don’t stir again. Once the caramel is a rich amber colour add the water, orange juice and the stick of cinnamon. 5. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add in the pears. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes until pears become tender. Remove lid and continue to simmer until the caramel has reduced down by about a third. Allow pears to cool. 6. Using a microwave or a double boiler, heat chocolate and whipping cream in medium bowl 7. Heat until chocolate is almost melted, stirring every minute. 8. Beat with wire whisk until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is well blended. 9. Pour into crust and cover. Refrigerate 2 hours. 10. Fan pears. Slide a palette knife under the sliced pear half, keeping the fanned shape, and transfer onto the ganache in the pie shell. 11. Refrigerate for another 2 hours or overnight before serving.
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