Sunshine Coolin’

We hate using umbrellas for practical purposes, like rain or sun protection. Why not explore these other, more useless, options?

• Alfred Lombard’s Marthe et Pauline à la Terrasse looks like a rainbow of colorful popsicles melting under the summer heat. The brushstrokes give the impression of looking through a haze and seeing the patterns of their clothing loosen up under the golden sunlight. These women are made of color, not flesh. Why isn’t Lombard more well-known? Marthe and Pauline are the worthy sisters of Matisse’s Woman with a Hat. Lombard exhibited this work in 1910, five years after the Fauves had caused their scandal. He must have seen that exhibition; look at how Pauline’s hat approaches abstraction just as Madame Matisse’s? Cubism was the new rage in 1910, and Lombard may have just missed the boat.

• In the Portuguese town of Agueda, Umbrella Sky was a Marry Poppins dream come true. The colorful umbrellas caught the sun in mid-air, floating above a street like a canopy of stained glass.

• Luke Jerram’s Just Sometimes floated one thousand umbrellas upside down in the waterways of Rotterdam. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone started spontaneously whistling the tune of Singin’ in the Rain.

• Takekasa has a wide array of exquisite parasols. Her Red Parasol has silk strings wrapped around the bamboo spokes. Her Yellow Parasol has a golden center and stripes of brown, peach, and pale blue along the outer edge.

• This iPhone Case by Sew Posh Designs is padded with a pattern of colorful parasols.

• Jordani Sarreal’s Travel Pouch keeps all of your essentials together for, perhaps, a trip to Japan.

• Allison Patrick’s Pendant Light is made from interlocking cocktail umbrellas that create a watercolor glow.

• Nichole’s Paris Graffiti prints capture corners of the city hiding bits of wit and whimsy.

• Claudia’s Parasol is hand painted with pink, green, and orange swirls, allowing the brushwork to show through. It would fit perfectly in Lombard’s painting.

• Marabara’s Bag is made of deep red canvas with a graphic pattern of white parasols.

Highflying Colors

A pot of paint has been flung in the face of the public!

— Camille Mauclair at the first Fauvist exhibition

Here I’m supposed to mention how the Fauves were, in fact, revolutionary and high-minded artists, and provide a detailed psychological analysis of the nuanced relationship between paint and ideas in their work. After much mind-numbing, self-satisfying confusion, however, I will probably still think of their work as a pot of paint flung in my face. I most certainly mean that in the best way possible, because not only did the Fauves open up a new perspective of looking at art, but it would also be incredibly enjoyable to throw paint onto someone’s face.

So, enjoy the last of the fall colors, and experimental brushstrokes of the Fauves.

Fashion: Ritsuko Shirahama incorporated scanned images of leaves into her patterns • Abstracts: New Work. Art by Katherine Treffinger

India Fashion Week • Art by Katherine Treffinger

India Fashion Week • Art by Katherine Treffinger