Friday Five

1.  This hilarious commercial for…well, I’ll let you watch & figure it out:

I don’t know what made me think of this again after all this time, but the first time I saw this on tv in Paris I laughed out loud. There are several variations on the theme and all are equally brilliant. This is one of the best marketing campaigns I’ve ever seen (though it doesn’t make me want to buy the product, so maybe I should say it is the most entertaining, rather than the best).

 2. This beautifully symmetrical photography project:

Symetrie du Spectacle

French architect Gilles Alonso has been traveling around France taking photos of famous, grand, and even simple theaters from center stage. There’s something eerie and yet satisfyingly balanced about these photos that I find just captivating. And I can’t be the only one picking up major Phantom of the Opera vibes from these, can I? Thanks to my brother for sending me this!

3. This fantastic, futuristic clock:


For someone for whom it takes just a half-beat longer to read a face clock than normal (I’m pretty sure I was absent the day we learned this in Kindergarten), the QlockTwo is the answer to my prayers. Minute hands, seconds hands, forget it; blame it on the digital age we live in. Words, however, I can understand, and QlockTwo literally spells out the time in complete sentences, turning time “into a statement.” QlockTwo is 17″ square, can be wall-mounted or free-standing, and comes in a variety of colors, which adhere to the solid wood base with magnets. It doesn’t hurt that it’s typographically stunning, either. At nearly €1500, however, it is also prohibitively expensive.

4. This spot-on illustration from my favorite Tom Gauld:

Tom Gauld

We’ve all been there, haven’t we? I love everything Tom Gauld creates.

5. This reflection of a still-unsolved museum heist: 

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Keith Meyers/The New York Times

On March 18th, it will have been 25 years since two thieves dressed as police officers broke into the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, bound and gagged two guards in the basement, and “for 81 minutes, brazenly and clumsily cut two Rembrandts from their frames, smashed glass cases holding other works, and made off with a valuable yet oddball haul” including several Degas sketches, Vermeer’s “Concert,” Manet’s “Chez Tortoni. In the intervening quarter century, the paintings have yet to be recovered, and the frames still hang empty on the walls at the museum. This article from the NYTimes details the case –including new (to me) information about paint-chip samples sent anonymously to the FBI for testing, an alleged sighting of one of the Rembrandt’s in a warehouse, and about a hundred possible suspects and leads– and reads more like my type of thrilling fiction than the sad, strange reality it is. Definitely worth a read over the weekend if you love a good art heist.

Speaking of art heists, I have one to share with you on Monday. What are you up to this weekend, kiddos? My mom’s birthday is Sunday and my best friend returned from a whirlwind trip to Italy, so I will be brunching at Parc…twice in two days. What more could I possibly want?

10 thoughts on “Friday Five

  1. That clock is so cool! And it’s available in different languages.

    Umm, Ms mysterious, whaddayamean you have one to share with us on Monday?!?

  2. I’ve definitely seen that clock before, and fallen in love with it. I collect clocks, and that would be quite the addition… if not for the price tag!

  3. great. love the photography project. as too weekend plans. getting over my hangover. that’s what you get when you’re sick for ages and then go out with a friend and overdo it a bit….

  4. My reaction to the commercial: “Ha-ha, what?” Good advertising as you don’t know what is being marketed until the very end. Pureed fruit in sippy-cup form? No thanks. I’ll be honest though, I thought it was a commercial for erectile dysfunction from the thumbnail (I clearly hadn’t read the title).

    I’m still fascinated by the Gardner Museum heist after all these years. So sad those masterpieces can’t be enjoyed by the public and are probably in some asshole’s lair.

    Also, a belated congratulations on your blog birthday! I’ve truly missed reading and commenting over the past two weeks. Damn final semester of college!

  5. Hi Erin!! Firstly, Happy Birthday to mom- I hope you are out enjoying the day and that you don’t have snow (like we do right about now). Will definitely be back tomorrow , as you know I love me an art heist post. But you know what I always wonder? Doesn’t it ruin or take away value from the painting when it I cut out from the frame??

    1. Hey girl!! How have you been?? Well, I hope!
      You’re right about stolen art, in that the moment the art is removed from a museum, the value becomes hazy, because there’s no way the thief could sell it on the open market for what it would bring in at an auction, and the black market is risky. You never know who or what underground crime ring has an FBI informant (hopefully all of them, my god), and the paintings are worth far, far less underground. They’re mostly used as collateral for larger schemes, believe it or not. The person who has one of the missing Rembrandts from the Isabella Stewart Gardner heist could use it as an insurance policy of sorts to work his/her way into a trade for arms or drugs, like a down payment. But to answer your question, generally, and obviously I’m not a master thief so the specifics might be off, the canvases aren’t so much cut from the frame as removed from it. The big, ornate, gold frames that museums display art in are too heavy to effectively carry out in a smash-and-grab, but they can be removed from the painting without much damage to either, as they’re only attached with things called canvas clips that hold the back of the painting against the back of the frame, so that the painting sits flush against an inner lip of the frame. Then the thieves are left with a canvas stretched over its own wooden frame, which they wouldn’t have to damage to take/move. I say “wouldn’t” but who knows. If you’re crazy enough to pull off an art heist from a major museum, what else are you crazy enough to do? (see: burning them in an oven). I suppose the dumber thieves out there could take an x-acto knife and slice the painting out of the frame and off the canvas stretchers if they didn’t want to take the whole thing off the wall, but honestly the thought is so nauseating I don’t even want to go there. Oy. xo

  6. that photo of the missing artwork is so beautiful. not to condone the criminal/s but it almost looks like it is suppose to be that way! oh, and symmetry, it’s my favorite – such beautiful photos! xoxo

  7. gah! that symmetry project. my mind immediately goes to wes anderson – his movies are a visual delight for that reason.

  8. C’est incroyable mais je ne jamais vu cette pub ! J’adore l’horloge, il est très original !
    Le bande dessine de Tom Gauld sont toujours rigolotes ! J’espère que tu as eu une bon weekend. x

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