Archive for the ‘Street Art’ Category


This fall is all about taking a step back in time. Between October’s Hello Kitty Con at the Geffen and Anya Hindmarch’s irreverent close to London’s Fashion Week today, I feel like my 6th grade flip top desk exploded in cloud of Crayolas, keychains, puffy stickers, jelly bracelets and Lip Smacker lip gloss (anyone know if I can still get a tube in Dr. Pepper?).

Anya Hindmarch, Spring '15 Collection at LFW.  Photo Credit Net-A-Porter

Anya Hindmarch, Spring ’15 Collection at LFW. Photo Credit Net-A-Porter

Anya Hindmarch’s Spring/Summer 2015 handbag line features customizable luxury leather stickers to add your own Chotchkie’s Flair to your satchel.  The Mickey hands are a curious choice that remind me of L.A. graf writer and designer Slick‘s L.A. hands.  These have been around for years.


Vinyl L.A. Hands by Slick x DISSIZIT

Vinyl L.A. Hands by Slick x DISSIZIT

When I first started collecting bags, Anya Hindmarch was one of the first true designers that I added to my collection.  I’ve always loved her more structured bags and was never a big fan of the whimsical side of her design aesthetic, but I have to admit, this collection is taking me back to the genesis of my love for handbags.

Photo Credit: Anya Hindmarch, Instagram

Photo Credit: Anya Hindmarch, Instagram

Let’s rewind the time machine to 1982.  I was all about anything Lavender, the show Dallas, leg warmers, L.A. Gears, rainbows and Unicorns… One day, while shopping at the mall, I saw a small nylon duffel purse embossed with a Unicorn.  The bag had an accompanying coin purse attached as a keychain to the outside of the purse.  I HAD to have that bag.  Being an entrepreneurial young spirit back then, I somehow managed to convince my friends to hold a yard sale (consisting of their stuff, not mine), with a portion of the proceeds going to my Unicorn bag purchase (I think I considered it a consulting fee for coming up with the brilliant idea of selling their possessions to aid in my conspicuous consumption).  Sadly, we didn’t make quite enough for me to purchase the bag, and my Grandma bought me one.  Once I got a taste I was hooked.  I had to have purses that would take me through the seasons, and when it was all said and done I had three Unicorn bags (Lavender, Burgundy and Black–Perfect for Summer, Fall and Winter!).

So there you have it.  This is where my true obsession with handbag hoarding began!

Photo Credit: Anya Hindmarch, Instagram

Photo Credit: Anya Hindmarch, Instagram

I don’t think I’ll fully re-live those memories by adding a new Anya Hindmarch to my collection, but the collection is cute (I need the “I Shot JR” coin purse chain thing)….and I have to admit, I have a big smile thinking about those Unicorn bags…

Photo Credit: Etsy

Photo Credit: Etsy (NOT mine, but I wish it was)


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Clare V Leather Card Case. Photo Credit: Clare Vivier

My love for handbags and hip hop have been mutually exclusive up until this moment, but now these two worlds have collided in a collaboration that I had to shine a spotlight on.  As part of the release of their next issue, the Australian lifestyle magazine Monster Children has enlisted the editorial styling of Mike Diamond of the Beastie Boys.  Issue #43, which was released this week, showcases content culled by Mike D featuring surf, skate, hip hop and art luminaries.

Perhaps the coolest part of his guest editorial gig was that Diamond curated a limited edition box set of designed items that will be sold alongside the new issue of the mag.  The unique set includes items created by featured artists and designers that collaborated with Mike D.  If that isn’t enough for you, Clare V, Mike D and Monster Children are selling limited edition bags and leather card cases to commemorate this design equivalent of a cipher!


I am obsessed with the artwork designed by Mike D that lines this Clare V’s Cartable.  The slim canvas tote has tan leather handles and is screenprinted with MDMCCV; as cool as it looks on the outside, I’d totally rock this bag inside out.  It’s an awesome piece that I may just buy for my husband and then steal from him immediately…

Clare V Cartable. Photo Credit: Clare Vivier

Clare V Cartable. Photo Credit: Clare Vivier

Back to the box set.  I really love the photography of Josh Cheuse that’s also featured in the limited edition set.  If you are not familiar with the artist’s work, check out this video.

Stussy – Josh Cheuse from Stussy on Vimeo.

The box set is available for sale on June 16th, but Monster Children is accepting pre-orders now.







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Image Credit: HOC on Pinterest

I think the most interesting developments in Hip Hop are taking place off the commercial radio dial and buried deep in the underground.  Let’s go mining.

I sat down with the reclusive underground producer/artist RenRok in his L.A. studio.  We talked about the state of hip hop, musical influences, and his most recent project called “Sixty Studies” whose title was inspired by an unlikely source.



CSA:  Where did you get the title “Sixty Studies” from?
RenRok:  The title came from Etude books I played as a kid.  Etude books are typically short compositions designed or prepared for violin and piano to serve as a training or teaching mechanism to learn a specific skill.  You practice the etudes over and over and they are designed to help students learn or master a technique of that instrument that they will use for larger pieces or concertos.  I play the violin. Actually, my first introduction to music was through formal training in classical music, specifically violin.

CSA:  Why create this album?
RenRok:  I created this album because what seems to be lacking in a lot of music are joints that go to the essence and emotion of a particular piece of music.

CSA:  What do you mean by that?
RenRok:  In a lot of music today that I would consider good or interesting hip hop, producers tend to want to show off every little technique in their bag of tricks.  Whether that be excessive use of stutter techniques, filtering, plug-in effects, weird samples, etc

The purpose of this album was to get to the point of specific old school techniques used in hip hop namely in MPC style productions.

CSA:  Who is your audience for this album?
RenRok:  My audience for this album is anyone who loves honest, underground hip-hop.  But the more I think about it, I believe this album is a dedication to underground producers who do it for the love of music.

CSA:  What do you mean by honest hip hop?
RenRok:  That’s a complicated and loaded question, but I’ll try to answer it. Hip hop which I would consider to be not ” honest” seems to fall in 2 broad categories:
1.  Music produced, written, and created simply or primarily to sell the largest number of records whose creativity is driven solely by the tastes of the masses at that time.
2.  Production that is primarily focused on mimicking or copying the works of prior esteemed producers without any originality or creativity of their own.

CSA:  So do you have some examples?  I’m not gonna have you put anyone on blast though! How about giving us some examples of honest hip hop.  
RenRok:  Haha.  Yes, as to the first category, there are albums that have a great deal of commercial success that I would consider honest b/c the artist created the music from their heart or life experience and didn’t give a damn about whether the listener would “get it” or understand. Some albums that come to mind in this category would be Wu Tang’s “Enter the 36 Chambers”, Cypress Hill’s first album (the 1991 self-titled debut, “Cypress Hill”), or “Critical Breakdown” by Ultramagnetic MC’s.

Those are albums that when first heard them, you’ve never heard anything quite like them and you know the artist had no assurance that the style would work, but they did it anyway.

As to the second category there’s a school of thought in production that I don’t consider to be “honest” that’s solely aimed to replicate the sound of a revered producer whether that be Dilla-esque, Primo-esque, Pete Rock-esque… Everyone utilizes elements of these great producers because they’ve listened to them over the years so much, but you should always try to add or develop your own individual and unique style.

CSA:  Let’s talk a bit more about the style and technique that you used in this album.  
RenRok:  Someone listening to this album and each of the tracks will find many similarities b/c they were produced in the same, what I would call “MPC Style,” but within each of these songs there were subtle differences in the techniques that were used. Some involved heavily chopped vinyl samples, some tracks involve live instrumentation sampled into an MPC and some tracks involve synthesizers, keyboards and other modules MIDI-ed up and sequenced through an MPC.  I’ve also intentionally included tracks that are interludes, beats for vocalists to spit on later, one joint is a re-mix, and others are MPC abstractions.

Taken as a whole the tracks on this album are intended to mimic the classic Etude books that I studied while growing up which exemplify distinct musical techniques that can be used when playing a specific instrument. (in this case an Akai MPC)

CSA:  Wow that sounds pretty heavy and conceptual.  Will non-producers get it?
RenRok:  Absolutely!  This isn’t a high brow, avant-garde, art house type of joint. Just bump it in your car on your way to the house party, the beach, or picking up some fresh new kicks and just enjoy it!

Thanks RenRok, you brought us some classic beats and taught us all something new too!

You can listen to Sixty Studies on Soundcloud by clicking below.

From there you can download the entire album for FREE on Bandcamp.com!

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New Yorkers are turning their cell phones into Easter Baskets while collecting massive Easter Eggs during the Fabergé Big Egg Hunt this month.  The event brings artists, charitable foundations, and other sponsors together for a virtual Easter Egg Hunt around the City.  The Big Egg Hunt first started in London in 2012 and has since been held in Dublin and New Zealand.


Curtis Kulig, Photo Credit: jtenag, Instagram

Here’s how it works:  you download the Big Egg Hunt App, check out the map and go!  Winners finding the most Eggs get Instagram bragging rights and some lucky folks will come away with some swag. The swaggiest (yes, I know) being a Fabergé Egg necklace.

The Artists and Designers donating their creative talents include Curtis Kulig, Retna, Marchesa, William Wegman, D*Face, Cynthia Rowley and many others.  You can view all the Eggs and Artists on Paddle 8’s site where the one of a kind works will be auctioned off for charity.  If you aren’t in NY check out snap happy Instagrammers using #TheBigEggHunt. You’ve gotta love eager egg hunters!


Shantell Martin, Photo Credit: Shantell Martin, Instagram



Faig Ahmed, Photo Credit: enti_tea, Instagram


Benjamin Shine, Photo Credit: The Big Egg Hunt, NY

For more info check out their playful website here:

The Big Egg Hunt

Paddle 8

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JR and the NYCB Art Series- Photo Credit, Instagram, JR

JR and the NYCB Art Series- Photo Credit, Instagram, JR

The New York City Ballet has teamed up with French artist JR to present a collaborative performance/large-scale art installation on January 23, February 7, and February 13. JR is a well-known underground street artist who has taken his message globally via large-scale installations featuring the voices and untold stories of people via their wheat pasted photographic portraits.  JR’s work is a juxtaposition of seemingly familiar faces presented in an unfamiliar context. The visual disconnect forces viewers to challenge their perceptions of what they think they know (or assume they know) about the subject.

Tickets for these special performances are only $29.00 and are available now at the NYC Ballet (heads up they are going fast).  I have been watching some of this work unfold very slowly through JR’s Instagram feed and it promises to be a phenomenal collaboration.

The New York City Ballet Art series highlights unique works of art commissioned by the ballet company in collaboration with emerging and established artists. The chosen artists represent a diverse artistic spectrum including art, music and design.  For more information on the performances and to purchase tickets, please go to:


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IMG_5165Whew!  Before I look forward to 2014 (and I must say, it cannot come soon enough), I thought I’d take a quick look back on my digital footprints and share my favorite CultureShockArt moments of 2013.  So I picked 5 posts from Twitter, Instagram, WordPress and Pinterest that were either popular, or made me squeal, “Eep eep! Such and so acknowledged my existence!”  Yes, I find that these situations render me as a 12 year old girl wearing 3 Swatch watches and L.A. Gears but hey, such is the magic that is the internet.

#5- HuffPo and my MOCA musings

For the most part on Twitter I feel like that one crazy aunt or uncle who sits in the corner at family gatherings shouting bizarre non-sequiturs to nobody in particular.  Once in a while a random post will illicit a response from someone, and I go completely starstruck when it is a celebrity, museum or a blogger I admire (yes, I get starstruck over museums and bloggers too).  So back in March when I wrote this post about some Los Angeles MOCA drama (and we had our fair share of it this year), little did I know HuffPo Arts would post it in their “Twitter reactions” gallery at the end of one of their articles.  The Art Girl geek in me came out when I saw my snark displayed amongst some of my favorite arts writers.



#4  Orange Crush

I was extremely late to the Instagram party, but once I dove in I took to it like a fish to water.  Strange enough, IG has taught me to keep my eyes open, not for photo ops, but to be more observant of my surroundings.  I now find my head in the clouds…appreciating them more than daydreaming.  At one point I had color phases when I would be obsessed with certain hues that would dominate my wardrobe, nail polish, handbag selection, you name it.  First orange, then lilac, then red… On this particular day in April I was laughing at the budding collection of all things “Orange” on my desk and snapped a pic of it.  Well, when Caroline Issa, editor of Tank magazine (and one of my style ICONS), emoji’ed her reactions to some of my pics, I was thrilled beyond belief!  I still really love this photo, but not as much as the oodles of shots I take of my napping dogs who deserve their own Instagram account.



#3  My 15 Minutes Seconds of Fame


The Warhol Museum is responsible for driving the most traffic on a single day to my humble little blog.  In August when I posted a reaction to an op ed piece about how a writer hates museums, the Warhol Museum noticed and linked my article to their website and Tweeted it to their followers.  I was forever grateful for pub and encouragement.  There are so many museums out there that are using social media to engage with their audiences in smart ways and the Warhol is near the top of the list.  THANK YOU Warhol Museum for taking the time to notice and show some blogger love.


#2 “What’s Your Bag?”

If I had a nickel for every time I got this question this year, I’d be able to afford 3 more of her bags!  This by far was the most talked about handbag in my collection this year.  It started many a random conversation in stores, restaurants, airport security screening lines, meetings, and an awkardly funny encounter with actor, writer and producer Issa Rae (we have the same bag).  So I wrote a post about bag obsession–not necessarily the bag itself, but what’s inside it.

When the designer pinned this picture on their Pinterest site, it drove crazy amounts of traffic to my blog.  Nice!  It’s also one of the most pinned photos on their site. (Really nice). Everybody wins, right?!


#1 The Sphinx and the Cronut


Of all my posts this year, this one cracks me up the most!  The Banksy mania that overtook NYC in August was slightly outdone by the city’s obsession with the Cronut.  I had to find a way to mash these two phenomena together.  Apparently I wasn’t the only one who got the connection.


Pulitzer Prize winning food writer Jonathan Gold sent me a message on Twitter saying he loved my Banksy post!  I have to say it just doesn’t get any better than that.

Despite all this name dropping and validation seeking, what I find most rewarding are the new experiences this blog has shown me.  I saw some wonderful exhibits and met some amazing artists, writers, designers and bloggers this year who took me on an inspirational journey beyond the keyboard.  For that I am truly grateful, and I am especially thankful for all of my readers who have shown their support and encouragement to me in 2013.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!  I wish you all the best in the New Year.

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You know you’re a procrastinator when you procrastinate on your “Last Minute Gifts” post… I cleaned my house, washed my dogs, cooked, worked out and generally engaged in nonsense instead of writing today.  I’ll tell you what though, these gifts are so good, I wouldn’t mind getting them after Christmas (and right about now I am hoping my husband isn’t reading this). Just in case…

Disclaimer: CultureShockArt cannot be held responsible for looks of confusion, side eye, sighs, “withholding”, frying pans upside the head or other symptoms of disappointment induced behavior resulting from sending any of these gifts LATE… but trust me, these are really good. If you haven’t shopped for the music lover, art enthusiast, fashionista or foodie in your life, find a way to score one of these little gems.


For the music lover who also loves style, I adore “Frends With Benefits,” a new line of interchangeable caps. The Rebecca Minkoff designs are my particular favorite.


I’m not sure what I love more, Hedley & Bennett’s amazing line of chef’s aprons, or their energetic and adorable blog/ Instagram page. Either way, these aprons are coveted by Los Angeles’ culinary set and they are stylish, ultra functional, and fun.


Speaking of Instagram, you need to follow Humans of New York (HONY). Brandon Stanton’s captivating pictures are almost eclipsed by the poignant vignettes offered by his subjects. He has an amazing gift of drawing out some amazing stories.  I am giving this book as a gift this year and I had to pick one up for myself.


A coloring book for the budding artist or child (or adult) who just can’t be bothered with pop culture/mainstream characters, Outside the Lines is a collection of street artists, animators and graphic artists who all contribute something to inspire creativity in all of us.


I went completely nuts over the amazing  Avedon show at the Gagosian in Beverly Hills. The catalog from “Women” is an incredible collection of Avedon’s portraits. They are simply stunning and the catalog is presented beautifully.


If you are like me, currently lamenting the cookies, brownies, cheese trays, spiked egg nog and hot chocolate consumed during the holiday season, you may want to jump-start your 2014 New Year’s Resolutions with the Jawbone Up (24). The wristband syncs up wirelessly to your iPhone and will monitor your activity and sleep. It will even buzz you if you have been sitting still too long.

And with that I hope that the Holiday Season is filled with good cheer, new memories and best wishes for a healthy, prosperous and Happy New Year! Thanks to all of my readers who have made this blog an utter joy! Cheers!

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