Category Archives: Art

Diego Rivera: Murals for MoMa

In November, MoMa (The Museum of Modern Art) announced that it would have  an exhibition of Diego Rivera’s murals. When we heard, we went right away! In fact, I think we went the next day, right after the exhibition had opened! It was so fascinating to learn about this tremendous artist who indeed, left a huge footprint on humanity. The exhibition included murals, which Rivera painted specifically for MoMa. The murals are portable.

Diego Rivera With Wife & Artist, Frida Kahlo

Diego Rivera: A Mexican Artist With A Message To The World About His Country

Diego Rivera was a man who strictly worked for the people. Yes, he was a Communist and supported the Communist ideals. He painted people. That was everything he did. He put the spotlight on the workman and indigenous people of Mexico. He saw poor people being worked to death and that’s why Communism was a movement that turned him on. Rivera was closely associated with Communists. He was even invited to visit Russia where he closely studied what was happening there. He had sketchbooks filled with drawings of the people of Russia. Yet, what we must know is that Rivera did not, under any means, support what Stalin was doing. Yes, he did support Lenin and Leon Trotsky.

Check out this beautiful mural of Mexicans gathering sugar cane:

It’s really fantastic what Rivera did for humanity. It astounds me when I look at his art. He completely devoted himself and his art to people. Although the exhibition in MoMa was absolutely excellent, one day I plan to go to Mexico City, because Diego painted that entire city. It’s so common for people to go see the murals that Michelangelo painted in Italy, but let’s travel to Mexico City this time and marvel at the work created for people by Diego Rivera!!!

Just look at this mural, called “The Indigenous World,” by Rivera, located at the National Palace in Mexico City!

So Why Did Diego Paint Murals?

Most artists would have worked with oil paints and canvas at that time, but Diego Rivera painted fresco’s. In his youth, Rivera traveled to Italy and studied the skill of painting a fresco. This is a techniques that requires the artist to paint in sections and very quickly, because a fresco dries fast! A fresco is wet plaster, so basically you have to paint on the plaster before it dries. If any of you have ever broken and arm or a leg and had to get a cast, then you know just how quickly the plaster dries! The great aspect of a fresco though is that it can last a lifetime!

So back to our original question. Why did Rivera paint with frescos? Our theory is that Rivera wanted to leave his mark for a lifetime, so that not only would we never forget him, but for the world to never forget the hard workers and indigenous people of Mexico!

Diego Rivera in New York City:

As Diego rose to fame, he was invited to come to America. He painted the portable murals for MoMa in New York City and soon enough Rockefeller commissioned Diego to paint a mural in the Rockefeller Center.

Although Diego enjoyed the parties and the crowd in New York City. The glitz and the glamour of New York City, did not stop him from realizing the cruel reality that the workman and work-woman had to go through in America. And so when he painted for MoMa, he painted reality. Look at this extraordinary mural of Industrial, dark New York:

Lastly, Was The Famous Rockefeller Commission:

It’s very difficult to show the detail of this immense mural, but please do google it for more detailed images. The title is, “A Man At The Crossroads.” Shortly, after this mural was completed, Rockefeller’s grandson, Nelson Rockefeller, had it covered up. This was a tragedy for Rivera and many lovers of Rivera’s work. This is beacause Rivera refused to remove one detail of the mural. And that was a portrait of Lenin amongst the crowd. Unfortunately, Rockefeller is a true symbol of Capitalism and having Lenin in there would not match, symbolically.

Here is a photograph of Rivera’s mural covered up:

I hope you enjoyed reading and discovering more about this immense artist as much as we enjoyed learning more about him!

P.S. – I just discovered that Diego wrote his own autobiography. I’ve added it on my to-read list and maybe you’ll all be interested as well!

Peace & Love!

Molly and Natalia

In 2010, Molly, graduated from high school, almost two years later she still isn’t in college.

Hi everyone – this is Molly enlightening you with a post and basically sharing more about myself. The next post will be by mom, Natalia, and my brother, Nicholas, but for now – I’ll share about me!

So I’m 19 years old and I’m a college-dropout. Crazy thing to hear in the 21st century, right?

I graduated in 2010 from a fantastic high school specializing in arts in New York City and while I was in high school, I didn’t have an average high school experience. I educated myself in so many ways that I’ve only realized looking back, now. I always knew I wanted to be an artist and so aside from going to an arts high school, from the age of 15 I began working at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, where I continued to work for four years and became incredible friends with my boss there, I took advantage of all the free art classes in New York City, including at the MoMa, and I took free pre-college classes at the Cooper Union, where I learned more than I could ask for!

(me, in front of my painting at my high school in 2008)

Finally came senior year! Everyone’s stressing about college admissions. and I’m just making my art. The sculpture classroom of my school became my personal studio during school hours and after hours. If you wanted to find Molly, you came to the sculpture room. It was complete freedom and bliss! If I wanted to order wood for a project, guess what? My teacher would order the wood on his account for me. But anyways, I didn’t really want to go to college, except for one. So I took a bold move and applied to one college, which happened to be the most competitive art college in America. This was Cooper Union. I don’t want to linger on it too long, but I knew a lot of the staff there and even became good friends with them and had personal recommendations, and had basically studied there for over a year through pre-college classes, but at the end of the story, I didn’t get in. To this day, I still don’t know why, but I’m sure glad I didn’t get in.

Well, there I am, the only graduate NOT going to college. I tried to enroll at the community college, thinking that I’d get by with just taking art classes, but that didn’t work out quite well either, since colleges in America want to stuff your minds with useless crap when you’re planning to become an artist, I decided it wasn’t for me. So for a year I looked around and applied to a few more schools, even had a school beg me to attend, and last of all, I tried the free route and attended the Fashion Institute of Technology for a few days in September 2011. That was the breaking point. “Mom, I’m not going to college.” “Dad, I have something to tell you, I dropped out.”

My mom handled it well since she’s been with me every step of the way. My dad felt it necessary to share this with the rest of the world, but eventually he talked to me and got used to it, knowing that I’m an artist.

Unschooling:

What have I been doing since that terrible September?

I have been working my butt off making art, studying art history, philosophy, reading artist biographies, learning Spanish, and even dipping my toes into a little quantum physics. I love it. I guess this could be considered a part of the now popular, “un-schooling movement.” I have been outlining my own education. I have been experimenting the way I used to in high school, with freedom. I’m truly “finding” myself and my niche! Most importantly, I have no fear. In fact, I have a pretty fantastic and adventurous plan! I can’t share yet what my plan is since I haven’t shared it with the other half of my family yet, but I promise to readers of this blog that in February I will share every detail of my plan!

The thing that’s ironic about it all is just the other day I told my mom, “I figured out what I become blissfully happy from and that’s from learning something new and incredibly fascinating. It just gets me so excited and I could talk about it for hours.” I can’t even express how this makes me feel. And  I have a real obsession with art. I am constantly thinking and talking about art – it must get on my mom’s nerves! I want to do so much in the art world, but that will be in a different post! I’ll post some images of my art, the process, and also books I’ve read or websites I use below this!

This isn’t finished yet, but it’s in the process 😉

This is an embroidery piece, part of an entire series. This ones my favorite!

This is a photo from a performance piece called, ‘Become You’, which I performed at the Occupy Wall Street protests.

The great thing is that you can see all of my art on my website here!

Here are some of my favorite books:

  

Here are some websites & podcasts I use to study:

Learn Out Loud

Coffee Break Spanish

Smart History (I actually took an online art history course w/the teacher who created this)

Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art Lectures by Oxford University

There are many more podcasts I study and many more books and materials I read and study, but the point is that anybody can find free information online and educate themselves these days, and if it’s not free, it’s usually not too expensive.

The other material I use to study Spanish is Rosetta Stone.

So with all the information I receive and educate myself with, I continue to experiment with my art and plan to create beautiful art for museums and fine art galleries in the future. So until February, I shall let my readers know the official plan of my art, unschooling, and dreams.

“I awoke, only to find the rest of the world is still asleep.” 
-Leonardo da Vinci

Peace & Love,

Molly

A look into our daily lives!

A look into our daily lives…

A typical day in our home looks like this…

We eat, my brother’s home school teacher comes in for an hour, we take a nice long walk on the beach, we design, make art, study, read, and we try to get out and show interesting places to my brother as often as possible. Enjoy the photos!

 

Here’s my my brother and I, and his friend, Koala. Just, Koala, that is his name and Koala came from Australia. My Australian aunt brought this lovely immigrant over for my brother!

Here my brother and I again, except this time, there’s me in my papier mache mask, which was part of a performance piece. This was taken when the mask finally dried! I actually performed at Occupy Wall st, so you can check that out here.

This is Nicholas at the clinic, which we still have to go to once in a while for his treatments, but very, very soon, Nicholas won’t have to go to the clinic anymore!!! He’s posing like a model in this photo 😉

This is Nicholas in Central Park, next to one of the best statues in NYC (I personally think!). In fact, I recently met up with a couch-surfer and showed her this statue!

Here we are at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in front of an Egyptian temple. This is one of my favorite parts of the museum. I think Nicholas got distracted in this photo. Perhaps he saw a cute girl!

Anyone visiting New York City, must stop at the Metropolitan Museum. It is not to miss. I can never get enough of it and no matter how many times I’ve gone to the MET, I still feel that I haven’t seen it all.

Nicholas blowing out the candles on his Birthday with our grandparents, though in Russian, they are Babushka and Dedushka for us! This was after we saw Priscilla and we also took our grandparents. For them it was their first broadway show, which just happened to be a showing with men wearing dresses. My grandparents are from Ukraine and they didn’t realize that they were watching men!

Haha – Captain Underpants? I guess he is real…

This year Nicholas dressed up as a pirate! We made the costume ourselves. Coolest costume ever! With some tattoos as well!

Don’t be disheartened by all the meat! And sorry to any vegetarians. Since living in America has its’ ups, but also many downs when it comes to food and health, my family drives to a farm 2 hours away once in a while to stock up on grass-fed beef, humanely treated animals, raw honey, and all those other wonderful things!

And so..yesss, here’s me with a lamb leg!

The AMAZING turkey we made on Thanksgiving!!!

_______________________________________________________

Aside from the above photos, something else that’s extremely important to our daily lives is reading. And so what is on our reading lists? Here it is:

Natalia’s current book:

“Ask and it is Given”, by Esther and Jerry Hicks. My mom is almost finished with this book and basically this books teaches you the principles of the Law of Attraction. Just like there is a Law of Gravity, there is a Law of Attraction, which many people do not acknowledge. Through a clear explanation and then to more detailed techniques you can use this book extremely helps in making your dreams come true.

Molly’s current book:

Although I just began reading this book, it is quite excellent. I’ve only read the first few pages so far, so I will have to share more about it as I go along. Something I found interesting though is the second chapter about “Excusitis.” This is something we all have! I like how the author brings up examples like Roosevelt with paralyzed legs and Truman with no college education, and how strong, successful figures such as these, made no excuse as to what their personal challenges in life are.

Nicholas’ current book:

Since Nicholas is home-schooled, my mom and I study a lot with him! Although this isn’t a reading book, it is an amazing workbook with a Science section along with Social Studies, Math, Reading, etc. The first story he read in this book was a fable about the Sun and the Wind having a competition!

 

Have a lovely Monday everyone!

 

Peace & Love,

Molly and Natalia

Etsy Featured Seller on Athena’s Gown Blog: From the Heart by Eva

Hi everybody! Today we have a special surprise for our blog followers! We’ve gotten the chance to interview a very talented Etsy seller and feature her work on our blog. Her name is Eva and you can visit her etsy shop here. Eva is originally from Latvia and currently resides in London. She’s a very talented jewelry maker and as her etsy store claims, she makes, “free spirit hand stamped jewelry for the world travelers!” There is truly a very unique look and meaning to all of Eva’s jewelry and wearing her jewelry would serve as a constant reminder of happiness in our life in a very special way.

Enjoy the Interview and Eva’s  beautiful jewelry and art! 🙂  

(By the way, if you click the images you will be lead to the item’s listing!)

Athena’s Gown: Hi Eva! I looked through almost all of your jewelry on Etsy and it was a real pleasure!  I love the little phrases you use, such as, “I am a yes person.” Can you tell us more about your idea of using inspirational phrases on jewelry and how you came up with this idea?

Eva: Since I was a young teenager, my older sisters always carried utterly smart life quotes with them wherever they went, whatever they did. I rarely understood them (at age 12!) but they inspired me. And so since then I’ve been addicted to positive inspirational phrases, quotes and sayings. It really can move a person if you allow it to. I mostly use positive quotes, but at times there are some random sassy attitude sayings such as “I’m a Free Bitch, Baby”, “You Smell”, “A dirty mind is better than no mind at all” etc. Laughter is all that I’m looing for when someone wears this. 

AG: What is the biggest inspiration for the work you do?

E: My biggest inspiration for all that I do is my late grandmother. And so, she still, even though not with us anymore, inspires me every day. Someone like her will never be forgotten. When I create my jewellery, I thank her for the wisdom she gave me, for I know without her I would never be the person I am now. Ever in 100 years.  

AG: What are your favorite materials to work with?

E: I love to work with clay and paints. Clay is so versatile and also earth-friendly. I feel like a kid again whenever I work with it. And it absorbs paint so well. It’s a challenge every time I work paint into the clay – lets see what’s going to come out of this… Oooh! nice one!

AG: Any favorite books, writers, or artists that really move you?

E: Right now I’m into “Jane Eyre” – written by Charlotte Bronte, an English writer. I’ve seen the latest film, and I’ve read the book once, and yet I cannot let go of it. Jane’s spirit inspires me big times. Someone who’s so dedicated to her own self, having that strong self-discipline many of us lack today. I guess I want to be more like her. My first 2 books that inspired me in my teens were “Notre Dame de Paris” by Victor Hugo and “Memoirs of a Geisha” by Arthur Golden. They still move me.

AG: I read on your Etsy profile that you do other things, beside jewelry making, like painting. Can you tell us more about that?

E: Yes, I do paint and I draw (mostly weird stuff). Although now I’ve taken a break from painting, I want to get back to it at one point in near future. Now I’d like to concentrate on two things – my jewellery line and my studies. It’s rather difficult to juggle all 3 with equal dedication. I’ve been painting since my teens, but never explored it deeper. For me, painting is playing and discovering. It’s a form of expression, just like Acting. In Acting you see characters thoughts on their faces, in painting you see artists inner dialogues on the piece of canvas. I recommend painting for building patience!  

AG: Do you have any end goals with where you’d like to go with your creations, whether it be jewelry or painting?

E: I’m aiming for brand and product recognition internationally. I’d like to expand it to bigger volume orders and more international shipping. Bigger demand, more creative designs and better management. I’d also really like to devote some quality time in near future for painting only. I really want to explore it more and see where it can take me (tell me a thing I DON’T want to explore! Haha!) . 

AG: And last of all, any advice for the newbies on Etsy?

E: Yes! Dear newbie, please don’t quit when you feel nothing moves. At all times motivate and encourage yourself that you WILL succeed if you work on it. Let any judgement/negative comments roll of your shoulders and replace them with positive, success-driven motivation. Create, improve, socialise, co-operate with other artists. It is not easy if you’re alone, but we can all do this. If I did it, YOU can do it too. I’m no better than you. So good luck! And – do NOT give up!

Thanks for the interview, Eva and we wish you lots of luck! 🙂

 

Peace & Love,

Molly and Natalia

Auntie Mame, a fashion inspiration and an inspiration for life!

 

“Life’s a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!”

Auntie Mame: “Well, now, uh, read me all the words you don’t understand.”

Patrick: “Libido, inferiority complex, stinko, blotto, free love, bathtub gin, monkey glands, Karl Marx… is he one of the Marx Brothers?  …Neurotic, heterosexual…”

Auntie Mame: “Oh, my my my my, what an eager little mind. You won’t need some of these words for months and months.” 

Auntie Mame is one of our favorite movies and one of the most inspirational. This all time classic is filled with many laughs as it is filled with so much knowledge. Auntie Mame is the story about a boy who’s father passes away and must therefore live with ‘eccentric,’ Auntie Mame. Mame lives in New York City, she’s very fabulous, her apartment is filled with ‘Oriental’ art and artifacts, she has cocktail parties every evening, and her friends are artists, actors, teachers, communists, and all the other strange people of the world! (Or perhaps they are the normal ones!). The boy, who’s name is Patrick, adores Auntie Mame and she adores him back. The film shows their story in the best of times, but also in the worst with little money, but nothing can bring down Auntie Mame! She lives her extraordinary life, she falls in love, she travels the world, and so much more!

True, this is a movie, but there is so much truth to it. It is true indeed, as Auntie Mame says, “Life’s a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death.” These words ring incredibly true with us. Although we aren’t financially wealthy, we are incredibly wealthy in terms of love and happiness, and our family is extremely grateful for that.

Auntie Mame being eccentric and all, is also a tremendous inspiration in terms of fashion!

At one point, Mame, comes back from a trip to India wearing a sari! Her taste and style is so elegant and can never get old. It’s that style that we strive for in our own designs. Something that can be timeless and unique! That is probably why our interest in corsets appeared. Corsets have a good and bad history as many might know. For example, corsets were a terrible restraining device for women. Many women died just from wearing them, but corsets have also served to make a women’s figure look incredible. Often a corset was worn by regular housewives because this was something comfortable and it made women feel confident. It gave them the ability to walk with an extra bounce. And so that is why we’ve combined corsets and embroidery as well. To achieve a different look and style, but something that anyone could wear!

You can click the photo above to see our listing for it on Etsy. It was inspired by Henri Toulouse-Lautrec.

That sums up our post on the wonderful, timeless, Auntie Mame! Watch the movie when ya’ get the chance!

Peace & Love,

Molly and Natalia

P.S. – Today’s Nicholas’s Birthday! We’re going to see the Broadway Musical, Priscilla! Come check back to hear more about it!!! 😉

Jackson Pollock, A peak into the way we work, and our Inspirations…

” The thing that interests me is that today painters do not have to go to a subject matter outside of themselves. They work from a different source. They work from within.”

This was said by Jackson Pollock in an interview, which you could read the rest here.

In the work that my mom and I do, we’re inspired by many different sources. Although my mom works with a source from within, making clothes requires incredible techniques. In my personal art, I also work from within. I love details, but mostly I love to let loose, similarly to Jackson Pollock. These two very different styles that my mom and I have, merged together to create a stunning dress, inspired by the master – Jackson Pollock! Here are some photos of the process and the finished piece!

The paint on this dress is permanent and does not wash off. You can see the Etsy listing for this dress here.

Aside from Jackson Pollock, here’s a look into what we did this past summer:

We drove out to Long Island and took a ferry to Shelter Island! If anyone has the means of going there, we highly suggest it! We’ve never known about this place before this summer. It is famous for having a five star hotel called the Sunset Hotel, which is on this beautiful strip of beach, which is covered with magical, little shells! We went to this beach to collect shells and now we’re going to make dresses and other clothes from these shells! The name of these shells are mermaid toenails! Here are some photos from our great time collecting these shells!

Taking the ferry to Shelter Island! This was someone else’s car. Aren’t those dogs adorable!

Nicholas! Most of the time he was splashing around in the beautiful, calm water!

Peace & Love,

Molly & Natalia

Hello World! :D

Well, here’s the first blog post from Athena’s Gown. Although you can read more about who we are and what we do in the ‘About’ section, I will share more about us here, in the 1st post.

My name is Molly and my mom, Natalia, and I have decided to collaborate together on a wonderful new project – Athena’s Gown. I’m an artist of many different mediums and my mom is a great fitter and designer, so the decision came, to merge art and design together. Some of our clothes are corsets with hand-embroidery and some are clothes with paint splattered on top.

The above photo is an example of what we do! It’s a corset inspired by one of our favorite artists, Mr. Gustav Klimt 🙂

Currently, me, my mom, and the youngest member of our family – my brother, Nicholas, live in Brooklyn, NY. We live in an area called Brighton Beach or otherwise known as “Little Russia by the Sea.”

Here are a few photos of the beach!

That’s my brother, Nicholas on the beach.

The beach is our biggest inspiration right now. Our small, but strong family has big goals, we want to travel, study, design, create, and globally educate my brother. This blog will be a record of everything we do. Our biggest project at the moment is getting Athena’s Gown up and running on Etsy. We want to make women look and feel beautiful and we want to connect to the handmade community of Etsy to help it grow! We strongly support handmade items worldwide, but we don’t want to support cheap labor of countries like China anymore! So here is the beginning of our adventure and we hope our followers will enjoy what we share!

Peace & Love,

Molly and Natalia!