JA Monthly Musings

October 2016

Design Muse joseph hoffmann



New season, time for a palate cleanser. My aesthetic lemon sorbet is Josef Hoffmann. His Wiener Werkstatte designs miraculously combine minimalism and dynamism. Lines, grids, and spheres in very basic black become fireworks in his expert hands. In some of my most recent work I strive to strip it down—a simple cluster of brass balls, a swirl of metal rods—and still make it pop, à la Josef Hoffmann.


Orange You Glad


Speaking of palate cleansers: What is more chakra-tingling than a bright orange orange? Think: a California sunset or a ripe Florida tangerine. But salmon, peach, creamsicle. Blech. Sad. I detest oranges that have been dulled down and defeated by milky white. As you can imagine, autumn is a bit of a minefield for sensitive old moi. Fall leaves leave me forlorn. Pumpkins rarely please me. Squashes are too sorry. I’ll cope by hanging in the citrus section of Whole Foods, hunting crisp and strong shades to battle my Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Music That Moves Me


My song du jour is “This Girl” by Kungs vs Cookin' on 3 Burners. It brings me back to my disco days, dancing carelessly on a cube until the wee hours of the night. Back in the day, my gyrations were triggered by “Break for Love” by Raze or “Work It to the Bone” by LNR. These days, I get my disco thrills through hedonistic décor, letting my eyes gyrate over a pile of Acrylic Pills or a bit of gold sparkle.


Artistic Justice


Don’t you think it’s time to talk about Erté? Yes, the most unfairly reviled artists of all time, Erté (aka Romain de Tirtoff), has been on my mind and in my heart. His work looks so perfect that people often dismiss it as kitsch. But, I encourage you to revisit his output with fresh eyes. His suits of cards, his fashion illustrations, his incredible use of colors. Oh my god that guy had TALENT. There will never be another Erté. Respect.