Trailer for the cove
Ric O'Barry's Dolphin Project
Diana Basehart is shown below her beloved Nell and with board member Tipper Gore.
The gold leaf and lacquer Japanese style crow table seen here (the table was Jarrett's design) was commissioned by Jack Nicholson. He liked it so much he ordered two tables more in varying sizes for his other homes.
Other collaborations include the above long checkered Japanese lacquer wall desk based on a kimono design and the backgammon table (with faux malachite inlay and trompe l'oeil items from the owner's magic memorabilia collection). The bottom dresser was done in silver leaf with painted Japanese fans and was done for Hedborg's client Anjelica Huston in the 1980's.
In the 1980’s I also made a series of very small magical space form inspired paintings (such as the one at the bottom right which is 3.5 x 2". More of my surreal paintings can be seen at miriamslaterart.com).
Jarrett Hedborg and I have worked together on a number of projects over the course of thirty years. We collaborated on murals, rooms and furniture designs. Jarrett Hedborg is a well known interior designer who has a large celebrity cliental including the likes of Jeff Bridges, Jack Nicholson, Michelle Phillips, Angelica Huston, Quincy Jones, Bette Midler and Joni Mitchell. All the pieces shown here are represent some of the we did together over the years. The silver leaf Japanese style bureau with fans on it was commissioned by actress Angelica Huston for her bedroom and was featured in Architectural Digest. The small model of a cubist table (a study for a larger table) along with the lacquer coffee table with the crow designs were done for Jack Nicholson. The two chairs which are Hedborg designs, are covered with Slater's playing card motifs and are upholstered with luxurious hand dyed fabric by Fortuny from Italy.
Erin Carmean (who is my daughter) makes these intricate felt tip pen drawings of flower/mandala like forms, that can be categorized in the "zen doodle" genre of contemporary art. She has been working in this style for about five years now, with the drawings evolving into more complex and elaborate pieces as time passes. The image with the circular red patterning is a detail of a larger piece and nicely shows the intricacy of her technique. The drawings are all done in felt tip pens, some of which are on metallic gold, copper and silver hues, which help give the drawings more radiance. The drawings effectively invoke the opulence that can be seen in the late 1800's artist Gustav Klimpt's patterning in his paintings.
The Japanese over the centuries have distinguished themselves by their cultivation of humor, fine design and poetry within their art. In fact, these qualities are what originally attracted me to kanzashi. As an artist I found myself entranced by the variety of expression within these beautifully crafted pieces.
The poetic aspect of kanzashi can be seen the top silver hair ornament with the clamshell, which is traditionally can also suggest a woman. When opened up, inside the shell is a gold crab! It startles the viewer and the immediate instinct is to laugh with surprise. The second ornament of a similar theme features a clamshell and the knife used to pry open clams. It’s moveable parts open to reveal a pearl inside. Symbolic objects are frequently seen on kanzashi which enhance the expression and meaning of each piece. The tortoise comb with a fishing rod can be seen as a metaphor for the game of love. The image of a rod implies the hooking and the reeling in of one’s "catch". A fish is considered “yin” and suggests the feminine (also yin) while the male aspect (yang) is symbolized by the pole along with the action of catching the fish. The crow, a common bird that has a loud caw and bad manners, ends up as on a red lacquer hair comb as an elegant adornment for a woman of position and beauty. The juxtaposition of what is considered ugly played with utmost beauty becomes a poetic statement. So, to really enjoy Japanese kanzashi it is necessary to see them not only as finely crafted decorative objects, but also as art works which have more subtle meanings.
In the 1970's and early 1980's I put together a collection of unusual 1950's cat eye frames which can now all can be seen at butterflyeyeglasses.com. These were not the typical cat eye frames more commonly seen, instead these are elaborate "display" frames made in the shapes of pistols, moons, eagles, palm trees, etc. The collection was the only one of its kind in the world and received a lot of press at the time. It even graced the cover of FMR magazine (they also did a color layout of many of the glasses inside the magazine). Also, some of the frames were shown at the Cooper Hewitt Museum in New York and the Folk and at Craft Museum in Los Angeles. The collection in its entirety was eventually sold to LA Eyeworks in the 1980's and I went on to collect Post Surreal artists from California. (And, yes, that is me ready to go to the disco in the 70's with some spikey vintage frames...)