Think Pink

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Wearing this matching bubblegum coat and hat reminds me of the “Think Pink!” scene in Funny Face. Aside from being aesthetically stunning, it’s a poignant portrait of the fashion industry where the editors dictate trends to the masses but never wear them themselves. I paired mine with a graphic black-and-white top, leather leggings, and a goody-two-shoes pair of nude heels. celina-january-0020celina-january-0017celina-january-0018In my usual tradition, this is a mix of hard and soft. The girlish pink is hardened by the leather pants and bold print. It says, “I may be pretty and little, but I’m not to be trifled with.” celina-january-0015

Coat: OASAP, Hat: H&M, Leggings: Primark, Shoes: Forever21, Shirt: Primark

Photos by Stephanie Krist.

Sunday Snapshots

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picmonkey-collageFrom left to right: 1) Volunteering at the Sherrill House nursing home has become the highlight of my week. 2) Breakfast & The Banner. 3) Perpetually looking at art. 4) An aggressive, but not unwarranted, feminist wake up call. 5) Starting the year right with a trip to the Motherland. 6) Found this little oasis in my office building.

Heroes and Villains

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Through February 11, the Hamill Gallery of Tribal Art in Roxbury is exhibiting “Grotesques,” an installation of masks and figural representations. Used in the ceremonies of African tribes over centuries, each piece has a specific story. The figures are exhibited on white, block pedestals against the walls and scattered through the central gallery space. This forces visitors to walk among them, examining each piece in the round and interacting with it in a space as they might have at the time of its creation. These works weren’t just decorative pieces in their heyday, but integral, active components of daily life.

“Fetish Panel 1,” native to the Ijo people, depicts three figures seated on a carved throne. The central figure is the leader, in an elaborate headdress with his hands reaching out in two fists, a power pose. His companions flank him with slightly less aggressive posture and facial expressions. A “fetish” statute was the equivalent of a Christian icon, a spiritual talisman. Many of the Ijo tribes believed that these objects acquired their power during creation, through ritualistic carving and consecration materials like horns, shells, feathers, cloth, and metal.

You can see a piece of cloth still tied around the central figure’s head, and another draped over the laps of all three. The leader’s headdress features carved feathers that were perhaps once embellished with the real thing. This idea of infusing a physical object with spiritual meaning with artistry is an interesting reflection on art making as a whole. The creation of the work is equally as important, to its maker and its viewers, as they end result.

grotesques13bThe “Barong Mask” from Bali, Indonesia aptly lives up to the exhibition name. It features a bright red face with horns, red eyes, a flared nose, and giant bucked teeth flanked by tusks. This particular version has black feathers and hair tumbling down from the mask. Many pieces in the exhibition have this kind of hair or beard. Interestingly, this demon-like creature is a good guy. In Indonesian lore, he’s the king of the spirits, and the enemy of the demon queen Rangda. The battle between Barong and Rangda, often depicted in dance, represents the eternal struggle between good and evil.

This impulse to reenact good conquering evil speaks to a human need for comfort and control. Another, slightly less grotesque, Barong mask is displayed for comparison. Though this one maintains the same physical attributes, he appears to be wearing a kind of crown painted with rich gold, red, and blue hues. The painting utilizes different patterns and textures as well.

“Grotesques” is a fascinating dive into the stories of ancient African cultures. Both the symbolism behind each piece, and the delicate craftsmanship of it, reveal a human need to confront our fears, and champion our heroes, however many horns either of them have.

This review was written for and published in The Bay State Banner.

Images courtesy of Hamill Gallery.

Private Eye

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Trench coats always make me feel like a combination private eye and big time reporter. I like to wear them when I’m covering stories to feel extra professional. This Banana Republic trench was a Christmas gift from a friend and it holds up surprisingly well in the snow, it has a thick removable lining for cooler days. I paired it with my favorite plaid blanket scarf for some festive color and thigh-high boots for a little edge. celina-january-0028celina-january-0031The textural combination of the cotton trench, flannel scarf, and leather boots makes for a visually dynamic look, that also keeps the snow off. celina-january-0033

Trench: Banana Republic/gifted, Boots: c/o Shoedazzle, Scarf: c/o OASAP, Gloves: gifted

Photos by Stephanie Krist.

Sunday Snapshots

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sundaysnapshotscollage182017From left to right: 1) Jumping into the new year full force with some great article leads. 2) I always come back to Goya. 3) The first serious snowfall in Boston calls for a photoshoot. 4) Corgi coloring books for those cozy days in. 5) Getting literary with Coco. 6) Still drooling over this Chagall from the Baltimore Museum of Art.

 

Good Morning, Baltimore

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One of my resolutions is to travel more and I’ve started off a few months of heavy jet setting with a trip to Baltimore. I’ve never been to Charm City before this but I’d heard the usual stories about it being dangerous, derelict, and unfriendly to tourists. The city I found was a burgeoning arts paradise with beautiful architecture, hip galleries, and an unparalleled street art scene.

img_1170 For every row house in a dangerous neighborhood, there’s a beautifully painted, newly renovated place like these. I noticed a lot of new development and up-and-coming neighborhoods in the city. Low cost of living and plentiful jobs makes Baltimore very attractive to new grads, bringing a wave of youth culture and energy to town. img_1190

Though known for their Matisse’s, the Baltimore Museum of Art has a fantastic contemporary collection, and an unexpected number of Warhols. Through March 12 they’re showing an awesome exhibit on the feminist collective Guerrilla Girls. They also boast a number of interactive pieces to touch, dance, and pose on. img_1255

The Baltimore street art scene is amazing. You can’t turn a corner without finding a mural. No parking lot or building side goes unadorned. The Baltimore Mural Program was instituted by the city in 1975 to make the neighborhoods more attractive and instill pride in the residents. They’ve helped produce more than 250 murals by local artists. img_1296Jonathan Borofsky’s “Male/Female” sculpture, located at Penn Station, has been named the kinkiest and most hated artwork in Baltimore. Michael Farley wrote a fascinating (though somewhat graphic, fair warning) article about the piece for City Paper. Artist’s intention aside, it speaks a lot to contemporary issues of gay and transgender rights. img_1253

One of my favorite parts of the trip was visiting the Graffiti Warehouse and behind it, Graffiti Alley, a city-sanctioned space for graffiti artists to work. We happened to go on a day they were having an open-house for photo shoots. It was really cool to see photographers and models at work in the edgy, editorial, space. img_1207

For a dose of more traditional art we hit The Walters Art Museum, which covers ancient and medieval art. The rooms are beautifully curated and there’s an interesting collection of dark ages weaponry on the first floor. This is a great spot for bloggers looking to get an outfit shoot in. In fact, there was a wedding shoot in progress when we left the museum.img_1300I highly recommend Baltimore for the artsy traveler. In addition to the visual art there’s a lot of spoken word performances, avant-garde theater, and local music to be experienced. The city’s got a whole new rep from when Tracy Turnblad ruled the streets.

Style Smarts

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My love of school-inspired style is well documented, so this two piece tweed set was a shoo-in for my collection. I paired it with a burgundy sleeveless turtleneck, picking up on the colors in the plaid. It could be worn with tights on colder days or heels for an elevated look.

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Coat: Primark, Skirt: Primark, Shirt: Forever21, Shoes: Macy’s

Photos by Stephanie Krist.