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Bliss
Your wedding day will be here faster than you can say “I do,” and while you’ve probably already chosen the perfect venue, a photographer to capture your most precious moments, and a wedding dress that’s sure to make your groom’s heart skip a beat, you may have overlooked one important tradition… a bridal shower!
After all, now that he’s put a ring on it, its time to celebrate with your best friends! Since there’s no better way to shower the bride than to relieve the stress of planning a wedding, a relaxing spa day is the ideal venue for some pre wedded bliss.
champs
Looking to find the perfect spa? Piece of cake, right? Well, it depends on how you slice it. Since the bride should be the true centerpiece of the day, choosing a venue that makes your experience all about her is a must. Enter Bliss Spa. The exclusive spa, located in the W Hotel, is a luxe oasis of calm, where you and your friends will be greeted with champagne and desserts to be enjoyed in a tranquil, chic lounge. From here, each guest is taken to be ped-ied, man-ied, massaged, and pampered to perfection by the talented Bliss Spa staff. Post-treatment, the group is led back to the private lounge to enjoy hors d’oeuvres, desserts, dancing, and a chance to toast the bride-to-be!
Bliss Spa
After experiencing the bridal spa package myself, (I know what you’re thinking, tough day on the job) I’ve decided that Bliss Spa at the W Hotel is truly the hostess with the mostest. With Mani-pedi stations equipped with personal headsets, flatscreen TVs, high-tech women’s locker rooms with some serious perks, and brownies that are as sweet as can be, Bliss truly offers superior ‘spa-ing’.
Whether you opt to have you and your friends enjoy relaxing massages, facials, or any other services, a Bliss Spa Bridal shower will provide a tranquil and fun experience that will leave you feeling fulfilled and renewed. Bottom line? Bliss Spa’s bridal and ladies night out packages are a proposal you can’t refuse. ’Vow’ to pamper yourself before the big day with decadent packages designed to make the bride and her entire bridal party look and feel their best.
A blissful escape awaits you…
Stylist: Zoey Gulmi
Photography: Lisa Richov
Hair: Elle Cohen of Salon Mario Russo
Flower Arrangements: Winston Flowers

Now in its fifth year in Boston, Magenta Foundation’s Flash Forward Festival of photography is now running at various locations in Boston. The headlining event, an exhibition of the work of photographer Bill Brett, opens on Friday, May 1 and runs through Sunday, May 3. (There is a public reception on Saturday, May 2 at 7:30 p.m.) The Brett show features 50 photographs from Bill’s latest book, “Boston: Irish.” Boston magazine has a full rundown of the 2015 Flash Forward Festival.

RomeAmong the many pearls of wisdom shared with us as we were packing to leave San Francisco for a six-month stint at the American Academy in Rome a decade ago was this: leave behind that dainty McLaren stroller that your one-year-old has been so happy in, and invest in a jogging stroller.  In fact, the average American toddler vehicle is no match for the ancient stone streets of Rome.  Although little Stassa still had to survive some bone-rattling tours through the Eternal City while hanging onto her bottle for dear life, the sturdy jogging stroller (which we had picked up second-hand before leaving northern California) survived our half-year stay in Rome, and then some.  We subsequently had a ceremony to say goodbye to it in a dumpster on the Greek island of Crete, after it had admirably served its purpose.

Stassa and U.B. touristing in Urbino when she was one-and-a-half.  The other parent is running laps around the inside of this museum!

Stassa and U.B. touristing in Urbino when she was one-and-a-half. The other parent is running laps around the inside of this museum!

One great frustration for us new parents as artists and art historians was having to sacrifice the leisurely strolls through museums that we had cherished in our early years together.  U.B. and I had chosen to raise infant Stassa ourselves, and we didn’t even employ a nanny until we arrived in Rome when she was a year-and-a-half old, and then only for a few hours on alternate mornings.  So usually when we set off to discover Borromini, or Caravaggio, or Bramante, our toddler daughter was with us.  A strategy that worked for us, mostly, was to take along a favorite outdoor-kind-of-toy (Stassa’s was a plastic geodesic kind of ball–a gift from a dear friend in Napa–which didn’t roll very far or bounce at all).  Then, when we set off for a baroque church or an ancient history museum, this was the routine:

PARENT ONE: Entertain junior in the cloister of the church or the piazza in front of the museum, by kicking and tossing the ball back and forth for as long as you can stand it, alternating with a game of peek-a-boo behind the cypress trees, or, if there’s a fountain, play Let’s Get Daddy Wet.  (But not too wet.)

PARENT TWO: Make a mad dash through the galleries or the historic building, making mental or written notes on the highlights to share with Parent One.

When these activities are exhausted, PARENT ONE and PARENT TWO change roles.

A hint that I almost hate to admit to: dash into the gift shop first and quickly review the postcard rack, which inevitably features the “greatest hits” paintings and sculptures on view in the permanent collection galleries, and seek them out first.

This “treasure hunt” strategy has taken a slightly different turn in more recent years since we’re occasionally able to coerce Stassa into spending an hour or so with us inside a museum.  Even for grown-ups, including artistically inclined grown-ups like us, a visit to the Louvre or the Uffizi can seem overwhelming almost from the moment you pass through the entrance.  (If the queues are long enough, it can seem overwhelming BEFORE you go through the front door!)  We have devised some unofficial treasure hunts that are best implemented if your kid has a friend with her to “compete” with.  Recently upon entering the newly re-opened Musée Picasso in Paris, we let Stassa know that her job was to find a goat, a sculpture of a bull’s head, and a painting of Picasso’s son dressed as a harlequin (we might have misguided her on that one).  It kept her somewhat occupied and mostly focused, at least long enough for her parents to enjoy an untroubled hour with the new hanging of the permanent collection in the beautiful Hotel Salé in the Marais, which we had really missed on our last few trips while it was closed for renovations.  At the Louvre, armed with the maps provided at the admissions desk, she and a friend went on a mission devised by their parents to find the route toward five masterpieces: Théodore Géricault’s “The Raft of the Medusa,” the Winged Victory of Samothrace, the Venus de Milo, Jacques-Louis David’s “The Coronation of Napoleon,” and of course, the Mona Lisa, barely visible–from their ten-year-old perspective–over the heads of a zillion visitors taking pictures with their iPhones of a distant portrait behind a couple layers of glass.

THE TREASURE HUNT STRATEGY:

It’s too bad scooters aren’t allowed in the Louvre, as we’ve found our lives radically altered by the fairly modest purchase of three two-wheeled vehicles that we use to zip around the flatter parts of our home city, Barcelona.  Since we live in the Gothic Quarter, where few cars can fit through the narrow stone canyons, the scooter provides a terrific alternative to walking.  We’ve found that by rolling rather than walking, the family can cover a lot more ground before the moaning about when-are-we-gonna-get-there begins.  Local sporting goods stores like the French Decathlon sell adult scooters for as little as 79 euros, a small investment equal to a couple of taxi rides.*

TRAVELING EURO STYLE:

When we do take road trips (and we do!) we’ve been amazed at our daughter’s powers of concentration if an audio book is playing on the car speakers.  Assuming you can pry her iPad away from her, the magic provided by listening to a fictional (or non-fictional) tale that somehow relates to the countryside that you’re traveling through, is immeasurable.  We played “The Little Prince” and some tales from Jules Verne for Stassa on a drive from Spain toward Bordeaux.  And on road trips in the USA, a place that she likes to visit, but doesn’t really relate to culturally, she has delighted in hearing the adventures of Laura, Mary and Baby Carrie in “Little House on the Prairie” (voiced by actress Cherry Jones in the version that we bought on line).  Steinbeck’s “Travels With Charley” was less successful; maybe we’ll save that for next time.  We’ve just bought both “The Yearling” and “The Old Man and the Sea” for an upcoming trip to Florida, but we’re not sure that either of us drivers will be able to see to navigate through our tears.  Maybe we’ll just let her watch “The Deathly Hallows” on our way to Harry Potter’s Wizarding World…

Here is a link to Decathlon’s webpage that shows a range of adult scooter prices.

Walk for Hunger

Ellen Parker, the executive director of the anti-hunger organization Project Bread, is a leader in the national dialogue on poverty and hunger as a health crisis. During her tenure at Project Bread the organization has raised more than $100 million to help children and families who struggle to find their next meal. A major portion of those funds come from the East Boston-based Project Bread’s annual Walk for Hunger. On Sunday, May 3, the 47th annual Walk will take place. Ellen is a former senior policy adviser to Boston Mayor Ray Flynn and worked at area social service agencies before taking charge of Project Bread 16 years ago. A stylish, sought-after speaker with a professorial command of the devastating effects of hunger and nutrition, Ellen also knows her way around Boston’s neighborhoods, where she loves to shop and sample the traditional fare of the city’s newest immigrants.

Everyone knows about the Walk for Hunger, what else should people know about Project Bread?

As the only statewide anti-hunger organization in Massachusetts, Project Bread works to promote sustainable and reliable access to healthy food for all. Put simply, we want to end the public health crisis that is grounded in economic inequality and a fragmented food system. That’s why we work so hard to invest in the strength and resiliency of local communities—particularly in the public schools systems. There is no reason why children should leave school hungrie than when they arrived in the morning. And, we collaborate with others in building a robust regional food system from farmers, to food producers, to stores, anyone in the chain.

2014 Masses Shot

Project Bread’s Walk for Hunger is the most prominent in the country. Why is it so important to have regular people raising money and not just raise money in larger amounts from foundations or corporations?

The Walk for Hunger is a way for everyone to give back and raise awareness for anti-hunger work.  It is a movement that is much larger than a single donor, corporation or foundation. More than 40,000 people come together and show their support by walking 20 miles. Now that is a powerful message.

How is Project Bread different from other anti-hunger organizations? Does “anti-hunger” adequately describe your mission?

Project Bread is very much about that old, but wonderful saying: “Give a person a hand up, not a hand out.” People in the United States are so accustomed to seeing hunger within the narrow framework of charity and dependence that we think we know the answer. But we haven’t asked the most obvious question: how does the person facing food insecurity see their situation—and what do they truly need? If they had real choices about the kind of help they could receive, what would they choose and why? The most effective anti-hunger investments deliver multiple benefits. A healthy meal, first and foremost, but what if that meal could lead to new skills and better health? That’s what we call a “hand up.”

Is there a typical profile of a Massachusetts resident in need of food assistance? Is the need stronger in certain parts of the state than in others?

MPHA Award - Ellen and Kirk David LeiferNo, unfortunately we cannot predict where and when people will face this. Everyone has a different story. Everyone has a different background. What we do know is that those who are earning minimum wage or less are typically in need of food assistance. For too many working families—thousands of families in Massachusetts—no matter how hard they work, they cannot reliably protect themselves from hunger. The long-term answer is simple: people need to earn a living wage.

What’s a common misconception about hunger both in Massachusetts and nationwide?

When the head of household works fulltime, her or she should earn enough money to pay the rent and put food on the table. That is not a reality. To achieve that outcome requires broad collaboration among wage earners and political, civic, religious and business leaders. But, interestingly, anti-hunger advocates across the country are will to speak up for charity, but when challenged to speak out for a living wage, those same leaders are conspicuous by their silence.

You live and work in one of the most ethnically diverse neighborhoods Boston. Any favorite places you like to eat and go food shopping?

East Boston has some of the best food in the city. I love Angela’s on Eagle Hill and everyone in the office knows about Rino’s because it was featured on the Food Network. My go-to is Meridian Market, a favorite of the late Mayor Tom Menino. I also love shopping at Market Basket for the fresh food and the company’s commitment to the community. Now that spring is in the air, I can’t wait to revisit our local famer’s market. East Boston has residents from all over the globe and the local market reflects those cultures.  On a given day I can find anything from papalo, a South American version on arugula, to Asian mustard to collard greens to sweet Thai basil.

ART TALK 10_Vanitas, or Models (An Homage to Goya's 'Majas on a Balcony'), 2006First interested in the arts at 16 and still painting nearly every day at 93 years old, Anne Lyman Powers has had a prolific artistic career – to put it mildly. Born in Boston and educated at institutions such as Vassar, Columbia and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Powers devoted any free time she had growing up to studying, painting and sculpture.   An early influence on her work was politics, reinforced by her experience traveling in pre-WWII Europe. In 1937, at 15 years old, Powers got a firsthand glimpse of Nazi Germany and its propaganda campaign against contemporary art, branding the work of modernists and expressionists as “Degenerate.”   Powers herself would explore expressionist work in her painting, and back home in Boston, aligned herself with the Boston Expressionists. Later, changes in her personal life also meant changes in her art. Once married, Powers turned to her everyday life to mine it for subject matter – capturing vacation spots, social gatherings, and her family.   However, her eye for political satire didn’t remain dormant for long, and she continues to explore political themes in her work to this day.

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Chewy 1styleboston and my family lost a very dear and loyal friend yesterday and I would like to say a few words about this special little guy. 
#1-he either liked you or he did not…and it was usually not. Chewy was a Brussels Griffon, a funny and spirited breed that always prefers one on one’s to an open door invite. He was a fierce watchdog and could rumble with the best of the Goldens and Labs.
#2-He does NOT look like the “Star Wars” character Chewbacca, Chewbacca looks like him. Apparently George Lucas had several Griffons when he created the infamous character so let’s get the record straight once and for all… I believe that really irked Chewy.
#3-For such a little guy he instilled a lot of fear in some people. Numbering a dozen or so at last count, he’s a “take no prisoners” kind of guy…likes a good nip here and there. But if he loved you, he really loved you.

Rest in peace Chewy, we miss you already ♥

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Eric Levin decided it was time to take a day of indulgence to a whole new level. styleboston visits Hidden Pond in Kennebunkport, Maine. Featuring a “farm-to-fork” dining room named Earth, massage sessions in a tree house, and an afternoon of yoga and cavorting on the beach.

From the runways of London to the streets of Boston, maximalist print mixing is au courant for Spring. Joseph Gordon Cleveland takes on the trend in a surrealist editorial shoot with photographer Eric Levin.

All apparel, accessories and shoes courtesy of Neiman Marcus Copley Place.

Photographs by ERIC LEVIN, Elevin Studios
Art Direction & Styling by JOSEPH GORDON CLEVELAND
Hair by JILL COLWELL, Studio 28
Makeup by STACEY FRASCA, Studio 28
Featuring OKSANA for Maggie Inc.

hat pic 3I had the pleasure of meeting hat designer Susan van der Linde and her husband yesterday at a trunk show to benefit the Emerald Necklace Conservancy for Party in the Park. But before I sat down to look at her beautiful hats, I was greeted with a friendly smile from owner Nicholas Penna and the lovely staff at Salon Capri. I was treated to a beautiful blowout and styling by expert stylist Graziella Lembo. I’ve never been to the salon, but was immediately taken by the inviting decor and comfortable clean sleek feeling. The atmosphere–distressed wood paneling juxtaposed with the clean white cabinets, was like being inside a Philippe Starck hotel.  I asked for something simple as to not overpower the hats, and Graziella styled my locks with ease and speed and made “making waves” seem like a piece of cake (although I know trying this at home would definitely not yield the same results!).

Susan van der Linde

Designer, Susan van der Linde

I walked over to chat with Susan and her husband Tom in the beautiful makeshift boutique and discovered that Susan and I had a lot in common. In addition to an eye for style, we shared a love of France; we had both lived in Neuilly while in Paris. Upon returning to the states, Susan eventually apprenticed with Don Marshall,  the ultimate hat designer who had designed hats for Grace Kelly in his day. After his death in 1995, Susan started her own business to keep up all the trade secrets she had learned from the master.

Named by Vanity Fair as one of the top 10 Milliners of Fascinators,  Susan describes her style as classic styles with a twist or pop of color or texture. I sat down with Susan to see what’s hot in hats.

Fascinator vs a full hat?

Tonya & Susan

Fascinators have their place and should frame the face of the woman. But hats are beautiful and more dramatic –  a woman needs to be certain of her ability to handle the attention wearing a full hat will give. If you are not confident enough to wear a full hat, then a fascinator is a very good option. They can be fun and whimsical and just as dramatic as a full hat too, worn by the right woman.

Trends in hats ?

Wide brim hat

Go big or go home!. Women want to go for drama. Hats seem to keep developing in materials, shape and how it frames the face of a woman. I am also seeing a lot of developments in texture and color. A Texan wants to look good from head to toe, so she is making sure her hat matches perfectly with her outfit, whereas a New Yorker is more concerned about being the perfect fashion plate, and about what others are wearing. Boston has a very polite crowd of hat wearers, who appreciate the beauty of other women’s hats.

Hat Etiquette-Europe vs. America?

Tonya with Fascinator

There are very strict rules about wearing hats in Europe, such as, if you are going to an event after 6pm, you would NEVER wear a hat. It makes sense because there is typically no longer bright sunlight after this hour. Europeans, especially the French, who I have the most experience with, are more sedate, they will wear a single color from head to toe–very monochromatic. It isn’t as exciting for me as a designer, so I spice it up by adding a fun color to a classic shape, or vice versa and a crazy shape in a more sedate color like taupe. I always enjoy giving a little bit of a wink too, like a bumble bee, or other jewel attachment–something the client provides, but I will certainly direct them as to where to pin it on the hat. In the US, rules are more lenient, and you can be more adventurous with your hat. Americans can easily change up the color of the hat, and don’t need to be dressed in a monochromatic palette. I like the flexibility of that, and find it  very satisfying as a designer.

Tonya & Susan

I had a great time with Susan trying on her hats, she had a way of placing them on my head in positions I would not have thought of myself. She tilted the hats more forward and worn this way it gave a sense of allure, as the eyes just peeked out slightly under the brim. I could use her help in my hat placement on May 13th, wonder if she’ll be in town? She helped pick perfect pieces to complement my face and body and I am confident she  chose the perfect hat for me. I highly recommend stopping by to shop her collection and at the very least to try on some of the most gorgeous hats of our time.

Susan van der Linde hat box

Susan will be taking walk-ins to shop her hats at Salon Capri until Thursday at 7pm, and will ship any special orders to arrive in time for The Party in the Park. 15% of the proceeds from trunk show item sales will be donated to the Justine Mee Liff Fund for the Emerald Necklace.

Party in the Park attendees are invited to book hair blowout and/or styling appointments for the morning of Party in the Park (May 13th) at any of SalonCapri’s three Massachusetts locations and the salon will donate 15% of the cost of services to the Justine Mee Liff Fund. Hair appointments can be booked via phone by calling: Boston/617-236-0020, Newton/617-969-1970 or Dedham’s Legacy Place/781-320-0900.

Photocredit: Lisa Richov

Steve heads down to Duxbury to discover where those delicious island creek oysters come from…but after this trip Steve can shuck with the best of them at Island Creek Oyster Bar

Mario Russo’s passion and inspiration extend far beyond hair. Terri Stanley takes a walk through some of Mario’s favorite exhibits at the ICA.

Dyeing to change your hair color? Join the club. There’s just something about the sun that makes me crave color, from florescent bright shoes, to bold lips, and sun-kissed hair, theres no better time to blossom into a new style than spring.

Retro Balayage

First seen in Vogue, Balayage, which was taken from the French word meaning “to sweep,” is a freehand technique in which swatches of hair are sectioned and hand painted against a backing board with a lightening agent. The coloring technique developed in the 1970’s is modern, chic, and creates depth and dimension thats perfect for some fun in the sun. Loved by Gisele Bundchen and those in the know, Balayage is the hottest way to brighten up your look this season.

Salon Mario RussoTo help me spring forward with a new hair-do, I turned to the talented Gina Mancinone, the general manager at Boston’s finest hair salon, Salon Mario Russo. After a consultation, Gina set me up with an appointment with master stylist Elle Proulx Cohen to cut my hair and “Bostons Best Colorist” John Brosnan, to help me heat things up with a new “do.”

For my hair transformation, I sat down with Elle who cut right to the chase by expertly layering my long locks to help add body and shape to my one dimensional hair. Since thick hair that is weighed down can be shapeless, Elle brought my locks back to life with layers to amp up my style power. “From soft face-framing layers to seamless volumizing ones, adding dimension to your cut while removing unwanted bulk is the perfect way to create a fresh new look” Elle told me.

Zoey & Elle

Next, I was off to see John for my Balayage. As a hair color virgin, I was thankful to be in the hands of a true artist like John who immediately made me feel at ease with his expert advice and warm nature. After a consultation, we decided less was more, so John created a “les reflets du soleil sur les cheveux” (sun-kissed hair) look by applying the Balayage around my face to emphasize movement and create depth. Balayage, which is also called “hair painting,” creates the most natural-looking results because the colorist paints on the highlights by hand. This method of lightening gives the colorist more control–and creates the illuminated highlights everyone wants this time of year.

Best of all?  Balayage is low maintenance, and gives a gorgeous healthy finish that looks nature-enhanced, glossy and luxe. Since healthy hair will never go out of style, John and Elle finished my hair transformation off with a treatment and gloss so my hair felt as beautiful as it looked.

Bottom line? Whether you’re looking to lighten up your hair color or are dying to debut a brand-new shade, spring is the perfect opportunity to make a change and the team at Salon Mario Russo will give you the best head of hair in town. Promise.

Zoey - After

Photographer: Lisa Richov

I am a proud member of “the club for husbands who survived the ‘first impression’ even though it was a disaster.” Most guys are not as lucky as I was if they did not make a good impression on the first date. On a professional level, most job candidates do not get a second chance if they do not leave a positive mark on the primary interview.

I googled the definition for “First Impression”. Here’s what I found on Wikipedia:

In psychology, a first impression is the event when one person first encounters another person and forms a mental image of that person. Impression accuracy varies depending on the observer and the target (person, object, scene, etc.) being observed.

Here’s my interpretation:

A First Impression is a one second preview of your personal brand. People will always look at you from the bottom up. Their perception will be greatly influenced by the shoes you choose to wear and the face with which you were blessed.

Basically we are saying the same thing. To quote the great Jay Z “I ain’t invented the game.”

Unlike life itself you can usually count on people to be fair, in the sense that they can be predictable but they will probably have some opinions based on how you choose to appear in front of them. You cannot dress to please everyone. However you can at least try to have some control over their judgements that may affect your life. Especially if their biased decisions are based solely on your appearance.

Will S-photoIt’s well known that the French are great dog lovers, and that your pooch is welcome to enter almost any shop or restaurant that you are when you find yourself traveling with Fido in Paris.  But cats?  In a cafe in the tony 3rd arrondissement?  Cat lovers rejoice!  If your family is missing its feline member during your travels, there’s a place in France…

LE CAFE DES CHATS

Le Café des Chats now has two locations in the center of Paris.  The original one–which opened in 2013 in the Marais, a stone’s throw from the Centre Pompidou — proved so popular (reservations are recommended generally, and on weekends, essential) that its owners opened a second kitty emporium last autumn nearby in the 11th arrondissement, near the Place de la Bastille.  Marie-Claire of the Café des Chats told me that the second neighborhood “is very different and attracts yet a wider range of cat lovers.”

The lucky cats are all rescues that are being given another chance at life in an enviable situation.  While the cafe is not itself in the cat adoption business, a portion of its profits go to rescue activities.  “We wanted to show how a cat from a shelter is deserving and capable of affection,” says M-C.

Wiil S-Les Chats
Will SA:Les CHats

Les chats have pretty much free run of the place, although lunch guests are prohibited from feeding them table scraps, tempting though it may be. The cafe calls itself “un salon de thé et un restaurant,” and happily the food from its full-service kitchen is not an afterthought to the gimmick, but is absolutely delicious in a traditional Parisian way, and the management seeks out organic produce.  Both restaurant locations are open for lunch and dinner, and they also serve a yummy weekend brunch.  Our daughter had a croque monsieur, and her parents enjoyed a veggie-and-chevre quiche with a salad.  And a bowl of cream.

Is this proof that Parisians treat their pets better than they do their children?  Peut-etre.   Meeooooow…

Sean Flood

Sean Flood is a former street artist turned fine artist and somewhat of a local celebrity in Boston. His dynamic paintings of urban scenes and cityscapes are a reflection of his roots in construction and graffiti art. Flood harnesses the inherent intensity of graffiti, using line and form to build his paintings like the high-rises he depicts. Fresh off two very successful solo exhibitions at Kobalt Gallery in Provincetown and Childs Gallery in Boston, Sean sat down with us to discuss his art, his experiences, and his musings on how he got started as an artist.

HOW OLD WERE YOU THE FIRST TIME YOU PICKED UP A PAINTBRUSH? AND A SPRAY CAN?

I was a pencil guy from an early age – drawing as young as 8 years old – because painting scared me. I actually had my first show at 9! The Priscilla Beach Theatre [in Plymouth, MA] hosted a show – so it was coffee and hors d’oeuvres and then my doodles and cartoons on view.

I picked up a paint brush and a spray can – both probably around 15 years old.

Construction Chaos, 2014Sean Flood, American (b. 1982), Construction Chaos, 2014, Oil on Panel, 48 x 38 in.
Abington Woodshop, 2011Sean Flood, American (b. 1982), Abington Woodshop, 2011, Oil on canvas, 46 x 32 in.

WHAT WAS THE MOST EXCITING ASPECT OF BEING A GRAFFITI ARTIST?

Oh, definitely the rush of trying not to get caught. Then seeing it the next day, knowing you had gotten away with it. There’s a speed to graffiti art.

DID YOU EVER GET IN TROUBLE WITH THE AUTHORITIES FOR YOUR GRAFFITI ART?

Yes. I’ve been arrested three times, spent a couple of nights in jail, paid fines, had a probation officer, etc. One time I was painting the pier on Old Orchard Beach in Maine, during a camping trip, and I’m painting away and don’t notice a cop next to me until he taps on my shoulder.

I had to do community service sometimes. One of the best punishments I got was painting a mural for Boston City Lights – a dance studio in the South End. That was a great gig for a graffiti artist.

WHEN DID YOU DECIDE TO MOVE FROM GRAFFITI ART TO FINE ART?

It was really about getting caught, and I moved to painting to try and stay out of trouble. I was good at graffiti art, bad at getting away. Graffiti art continues to influence my technique though. At first, I would try to include hidden graffiti in each of my paintings, but now I just take inspiration from the quick technique and shapes of graffiti.

Sean Flood, American (b. 1982), Approaching Kenmore, 2013, Oil on panel, 26 x 28 in.

Sean Flood, American (b. 1982), Approaching Kenmore, 2013, Oil on panel, 26 x 28 in.

WHY CHOOSE THE CITY AS THE PRIMARY SUBJECT OF YOUR ARTISTIC IMPRESSION? AND HOW HAS YOUR EXPERIENCE IN CONSTRUCTION INFLUENCED YOUR ARTISTIC VISION?

I’ve always been interested in buildings.  My dad has been a builder in Boston his whole life. For me, growing up with that and working with him over the years has really drawn me to architectural subject.  The perspectives and deep space alone excite me.   In school, I tended towards figurative painting, but nowadays, I’m more drawn to cityscape paintings – there is more room there for me to develop ideas than with figurative painting, for now….

Patient View, 2014Sean Flood, American (b. 1982), Patient View, 2014, Oil on panel, 28 x 48 in.
Myrtle Stop Brooklyn, 2014.Sean Flood, American (b. 1982), Myrtle Stop Brooklyn, 2014, Oil on canvas, 48 x 60 in.

DO YOU PAINT FROM OBSERVATION OR IMAGINATION?

When I started out doing graffiti, I was focused on using the alphabet, and these raw, expressive marks. With my cityscapes, I’m trying to infuse some of that same expressive abstraction into my observed settings. Actually, right now I’m working on some paintings that are much more of a fleeting glance of a scene, a quick impression. There’s more room for imagination there.

WHERE WOULD YOU SAY YOUR ART IS GOING NOW?

In the short term, I’m hoping to get some inspiration from an upcoming trip to Europe. I’m headed to Rome, Naples, Venice – for the first time, Umbria, Basel and Ireland. I’m going to see the shows while I’m travelling – the Biennale for example, but also I’ll hopefully get a chance to paint some new places for me.

Sean Flood, American (b. 1982), Little Italy NYC, 2014, Oil on canvas, 28 x 22 in.

Sean Flood, American (b. 1982), Little Italy NYC, 2014, Oil on canvas, 28 x 22 in.

WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE HISTORICAL ARTIST?

In school I always liked Giacometti [Alberto Giacometti, 1901-1966], because of his expressive lines. He builds up forms through all of these different lines.

This is a tough question though. I mean I saw Van Gogh’s work in person in Amsterdam, and I was like “holy shit.”

Watch below to learn more about Sean: Video courtesy of Chris Engles

For the full interview watch here:

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