30 April 2009

yum and yummier (sometimes the internets is not our friend)

maison21 received the latest decorati newsletter, and we were loving all the pretty images of demilune tables and sideboards presented. love, love LOVE a demilune- the shape works in spaces where no other piece of furniture will fit- like our own upstairs hall: it's just wide enough that a piece of furniture is necessary so it doesn't look bare, but not really wide enough for anything to obscure it's functionality as a passage. currently it's bare of anything but a mirror, and it is DRIVING US CRAZY.

this demilune sideboard jumped out at us, and while it won't work in our situation at all, we are completely smitten:

when we clicked on the marly demilune, at the bottom of the page other recommendations popped up, and while not a demilune, we fell instantly in love with the below nightstand, and now hate our current pair. that was the last page we visited on decorati, lest we start to despise every single item in our home- sometimes the internets is not our friend...
artifacts international dolce nightstand

29 April 2009

the good, the bad, the ugly and the downright creepy (king of pop week at m21, part 4)

we've had one last post to do about our visit to the world's creepiest yard sale (also known as the exhibition of furnishings and memorabilia from michael jackson's neverland estate), and we've been putting it off for almost a week. why? because what we have left to post kinda freaks us out, and some it is just too disturbing to be funny- the kajillions of statues and paintings of children, and the acres and acres of video and arcade games, all show a man with a creepy obsession with childhood, and that's deeply bothersome. whether or not you believe the allegations that swirl around MJ, the fetishization of childhood innocence by a grown man is just kinda gross. no matter how bad one's childhood was, it can't be fixed by trying to reclaim a second childhood as an adult. looking at the world with childlike wonder is one thing, living out a childhood fantasy life as an adult, is another.

almost as disturbing as all the child imagery and games, are the many, many lifesize latex figures that populated the show- some of children but most of adults, and again they speak of a very troubled man- maybe someone who thinks that dealing with a doll is easier than dealing with actual people (shades of lars and the real girl, but without the comedy, just the pathos).

so we knew in advance to expect tons of bronze "children playing" statues, but we were actually shocked at how many of them there actually were...
creepy and poorly executed- are these children? midgets? troll babies?

and more inside...
so many of these statues suffer from some weird big-head disease

tons of these kitschy pseudo-nostalgic photo/paintings of children- ick.

room after room of video and arcade games. we won't bore you with them all.

why would a grown man have a mighty morphin power ranger costume? have you ever watched an episode? if you are not a 7 year old boy, it is excruciating...

this jacket covered in children's names struck us as particularly inappropriate.

creepy clown doll number one

and two

the lady from murder she wrote?

soooo creepy. carrot top as a child?

the boogey man...

the stuff of which nightmares are made...

what ever happened to baby jane? eeeek!

ok- that's all. we are done with neverland for ever. excuse us while we go take a silkwood shower...

28 April 2009

oh hai!

plz do not dizterb.

kthxbai!!1!

doesn't everyone make pillow forts for their kids? *please* tell us we're not the only one... please?

though m21's BFF makes fun of it and calls it our "crazy drag queen blanket", the zebra print "
mink" blanket under the handsome richard is the best $40.00 we've ever spent- completely impervious to all but the most heinous of pet stains (hardly even shows the sticky cat fur and that's a minor freakin' miracle); it also
it stands up to repeated washing like a champ. it ain't the most glamorous thing, but hey- at least we can look at it without gagging when we throw it on our bed everyday, and we simply swap it out for the good stuff when guests come over. no fuss, no muss, and no animals get killed for ruining a $400 duvet cover.

27 April 2009

makin' art with maison21 (filing for reorganzation, realized!)

egg beater, no. 4- m21's favorite painting in the whole wide world.

maison21's absolute favorite american painter, is hands down, stuart davis (1892 1964). he would tie with picasso for our favorite artist EVER, except he was in no way as prolific as picasso, and let's face it- picasso invented modern art (we know, we vastly oversimplify, but hey, this is a decoratin' blog, not art history 101 ;-). stuart davis, while a personal hero, isn't quite in the same league as picasso (no one is, for that matter), but we adore his work, and would rather have one of his paintings hanging in our home than anyone else.

we love davis because of his bright colors and his fusion of cubism and graphic art styles. his work almost can almost seem trite today because it has been so often copied by the graphics, illustration and advertising industries so as to seem commonplace (watch a pepe le pew cartoon from the 1960's after viewing davis' work, and tell me they weren't influenced by by him). in fact, maison21 would consider davis to be the first pop artist, presaging warhol by decades.

yes, maison21 loves him some stuart davis:





so now, why is maison21 showing you all these fabulous masterworks? well, because a while back we wrote a post entitled "filing for reorganization", where we spoke of looking at the economic turndown as a positive, and now that design projects have slowed a bit, we hoped to use the spare time we find ourselves with to re-embrace doing some of the things we love- like painting. we stopped making art 3 or 4 years ago when we just didn't have the time any longer, and well, now we do- so no excuses...

we cleared out the garage of most of our inventory (except for the below table- it's so damn 70's chic we can't stand it, but even after lowering the price by 2/3 , it still remains in le garage, unsold (it would seem HOBAC and m21 are the only two people who "get" it in all it's chicness).
so using that glam table as a workspace (don't worry, we covered it) and keeping mr. davis in mind as our inspiration, we actually finished our first painting this weekend. we took a vintage water-damaged cardboard print of flowers in a vase, purchased because we liked the gesso frame it came in, and we transformed it (frame was a dated off-white gilt washed 1960's french provincial number, so we just busted out the white lacquer spray paint on it).
now we're not posting this to get compliments (swear), as we know that we aren't transforming the art world with our unique vision or anything. we ARE posting it because the process made us feel really good, and sometimes it's really easy to forget to take time to do stuff we love. we felt like we really accomplished something this weekend, other than worrying about swine flu or the housing crisis, and it felt great to just be "doing" rather than "thinking".

making something, whether it's a good meal, or a garden, or a painting, satisfies something basic and primeval within us, and maison21 highly recommends it- even if you are just gonna copy the work of someone else, like we did. so this week, if you have the time, m21 says make something, anything (a new recipe, a blog post, a craft project)- your soul will thank you!

25 April 2009

such a giver that maison21...

so somewhere in our far too frequent travels on the internets, we ran across the following sweepstakes for a $5k horchow shopping spree- add your email to their mailing list (what's one more ad in your inbox, right?) and get entered to win a $5000 shopping spree! we were going to keep it to ourselves, as every additional entry reduces our odds, but what the heck- you know that m21, such a giver...

enter here by july 30th, 2009.
if we win, we are using our 5 grand as a down payment for this, thus reducing it's cost to us to about 2k- a big ol' bargain for such a beautiful and sculptural 7 foot credenza!

24 April 2009

the good, the bad, the ugly and the downright creepy (king of pop week at m21, part 3)

in our first post about the michael jackson exhibit, we remarked that perhaps they should have sold DSM's at the admission booth (um, folding table), not auction catalogs. one of our favorite commenters, tracy, wondered what a real mental heath professional would say if they toured the exhibit. luckily enough, in addition to being the world's foremost interior decorator, maison21 is a fully licensed doctor of the internets, able to effectively diagnose all physical and mental disorders via the magic of the interwebs (he has successfully diagnosed himself with everything from lyme's disease to parkinson's. unfortunately medical technology has not advanced to the point where tests are able to back up dr. m21's diagnoses, but we are sure given time, the technology will catch up to our genius).

so in today's episode of the king of pop week here at m21, "the ugly", we are going to talk about MJ from a mental health standpoint, most notably dr. maison21's diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder. according to the DSM, it takes at least 5 of the following to be diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder
  1. has a grandiose sense of self-importance
  2. is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
  3. believes that he or she is "special"
  4. requires excessive admiration
  5. has a sense of entitlement
  6. is interpersonally exploitative
  7. lacks empathy
  8. is often envious of others or believes others are envious of him or her
  9. shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes
god, that sounds like LOTS of people we know actually, (including ourselves)! you've gotta think you are pretty nifty if your every thought is special enough to blog it, FB it or twitter it, right? (self-reflection is such a bitch, but please, follow us on twitter to find out more!) ;-) the only thing that gives m21 any consolation is he just has the one blog as his outlet of self-admiration- if MJ were a blogger, he'd have like a kajillion: "the king of pop blog", "the best of the king of pop blog", the "moonwalkin' with MJ!" blog, the "MJ really loves the all the little childrens of the world- really!" blog, the "MJ is such a giver- 'cept when he's shoppin' for himself" blog, etc. repeat, ad nauseum...

as usual, we digress, so let's get down to business, shall we? one of the more self-indulgent aspects about the exhibit was the many rooms devoted to MJ memorabilia. now we understand documenting one's career- we do it ourselves, often on this very blog (god there we go again, having stuff in common with MJ. somebody call our therapist, k?). while some of the stuff was pretty legit (the glove, tour costumes, etc.), some was definitely in the wtf? category- like walls and walls covered with cheap-looking plaques made of cd's and foamcore with bogus titles like "outstanding artist award" and "artist achievement award". it also looked as if anytime MJ traveled, someone from his record label would call the local office and scream "break out the hot-glue gun, MJ is comin' for a visit, and you know how he whines if he doesn't get an award. remember- keep it shiny!". one imagines a VP in charge of MJ ass-kissery:


here's a piece of memorabilia we thought kinda encapsulated the whole darn grandiosity complex in a nutshell- a royal robe as befits his outsize sense of self-importance and obsession with being some sort of royalty (we imagine him wearing it to breakfast):
but look up close- velvet and ermine? hardly. more like velour and cheap, tatty hooker fur.

a theme running through MJ's art collection is his view of being a savior to the children of the world. somehow we're missing the logic that backs that up- commissioning a garish painting or 8 foot wide bronze sculpture isn't quite the same as building a children's hospital, or providing money for wells with clean drinking water, or even buying mosquito nets because you've reached one million followers on twitter...
the pied-piper imagery of these works is a bit disturbing too, after the allegations following MJ over the years. somehow, we know he doesn't get the irony...
image via decider

this sculpture is about 6 - 8 feet wide depicting a bare chested MJ (creepy) and dozens of individually sculpted "children of the world". we shudder at the cost to commission this, and also shudder at the self-involvement to do so- if the sculpture was really about the children of the world, like we said- it would be a hospital in an impoverished country.

we thought this 3 foot wide photo perhaps caught a defining moment and cultural shift in american life, and marked our descent into the celebrity-driven, reality-tv obsessed, state of unreality we find ourselves in today: an actor portraying a president, giving an official audience to a pop star playing a king (in sequins, no less). we LOVE it, and in the unreality version of our future, we hope to buy it to hang next to our jeff koons and warhol!


speaking of playing king, there must have been a good dozen large scale paintings of MJ as royalty. some of them actually bordered on cool, but really, even if you have all the money in the world, one would be sufficient, dontchathink?


this one was beyond beyond in the narcissist sweepstakes- a royal triptych, with a self penned poem! fantabulous. you'll want to click on it to fully grasp the profundity of the poem, but allow us to quote one stanza:
i am the dewdrop,
the sunshine,
the storm...

that's it! were changing the name of our blog to: maison21: i am the dewdrop...


this hot mess of a painting was our favorite- once again, you'll have to click to see in it's full beauty, but m21 will try to summarize: we believe it depicts MJ as the inventor of spaceflight (the space shuttle launching in the lower right hand corner, as well as what appears to be a fierce space battle waging over his right shoulder); he is also savior of the endangered earth, represented by the macaw and the monkey family. the rest of it, we can't figure out- the japanese angel-baby shooting death rays with it's eyes at the monkey; jesus appearing to pop out of MJ's boot; and a circa-white diamonds era liz, sitting on Mj's foot (next to jesus, natch). oh, yeah, if you look carefully, the king tut harp appears to be making an appearance in the background. genius.
not to get all heavy on you guys, but m21 felt pretty sad for this man after seeing some of his stuff- obviously there were huge voids in his life that he tried to fill with things, and a self-image he tried to bolster with trappings of grandeur- but somewhere it seems, a line was crossed into madness. maybe because he became so isolated no one would him let him know he crossed the line, or maybe he just went nuts (it happens. a lot). but still, it was all a bit wasteful and sad.

what do y'all think? is dr. maison21 correct in his diagnosis? or is dr. m21 too self-involved to be an impartial judge? ('cuz, yu know, like our opinion of MJ's psyche matters).

next, (and last) in our series to follow: the downright creepy!

23 April 2009

thank you, HOME PLUS magazine!

we're not quite sure why they picked little ol' m21 to launch their new "blog watch" feature, but we'd like to sincerely thank the editors of home plus scotland magazine for the honor, and for including an interview avec moi, along with some pictures of the atelier in their may/june issue (our first ever print interview, btw- exciting stuff). if you live across the pond, you might want to check it out! (you can read the entire interview here on the home plus site).

thanks, home plus scotland! you've made our day!

22 April 2009

the good, the bad, the ugly and the downright creepy (king of pop week at m21, part 2)

our first post about the exhibition of decor and memorabilia from michael jackson's neverland estate was pretty easy- we selected the few items that didn't skeeve us out, and posted them as "the good". took about 5 minutes. today's post on "the bad" portion of his home decor collection was tougher- as it was almost all bad, from mildly so, to "dude, are you freakin' kidding me"? what killed us most, is the majority of these furnishings looked to have been purchased by an elderly woman, not a man who was once the most successful entertainer in the world. maybe great-grandma jackson was his designer...

this giant marble clock with life-sized maidens greeted you as you entered the exhibition. like most things displayed, we couldn't help thinking,"why?" it obviously cost tons o' $$, but is so durn fugly, why would anyone bother? for a minute, we wondered if it was perhaps a jeff koons parody- a grandma mantle clock blown-up to gargantuan proportions to highlight it's ironicism as a kitschy object turned into high art. but no- it's just a big ugly, expensive, grandma clock.

so you have all the money in the world, yet you choose to buy a vaguely "oriental" furniture suite straight out of a san gabriel valley warehouse furniture store? (we know, not PC, but that's how they are advertised. really). yuck. tip to ANYONE think of buying a "suite" of anything- don't. suites are good only at the four seasons or the plaza, never for furniture. also, please note the lifesized butler statue- more on that when we cover "the creepy".

more gram-tastic furniture- a victorian renaissance revival mirror and a clunky brown wood american cabinet- both bad reproductions, we bet. lets not start about the clock- hid-e-ous.

some items made me smile, they were so gaudy- like this giant king tut harp. wtf? do you think he had a servant dressed as an egyptian slave play it at parties? at least as campy performance art, we could get behind the expense of the darn thing.
what grown man would have not one, but TWO 3 foot wide statues of cinderella's carriage? one lladro ceramic, and the other bronze. again the expense and the waste boggles the mind, and since these things were purchased years and years ago, you really have to wonder why a man not yet in middle-age would be compelled to buy lladro? isn't there an ironclad rule that one must be an elderly woman to qualify to purchase lladro? oh well, we guess it just shows how all celebrities think they are above the rules, even the sacred "gramma's only" lladro rule. ;-)

speaking of gramma's, note the below sofa. seriously, m21's own grandmother had chicer stuff than that, and she wasn't a gazillionaire (remember, all of these items were purchased pre-financial meltdown).

more yucky brown wood "americana" furniture. neverland was supposedly modeled after the happiest place on earth, but it's furnishings were anything but happy. positively dreary for the most part.

last, you are a multi-millionaire, one of the most successful pop entertainers ever, and you have the money to indulge your every whim- so you buy yourself a freakin' leather lazy boy chair? really? at least the king tut harp was one of a kind...
next installment- "the ugly", because yes, it gets worse...