Wednesday, March 14, 2007


NOTE: I apologize for the typos -- I'm in a rush and a small wire fox terrier is trying to bite my sleeves as I type -- I'll try to fix them as soon as I can.

Ryan is such a bore that when I've thought about writing something about him this past week it just made me so tired that I would have to go and take a nap.

My favorite description of him comes from Jonathan Adler: "he is a person who thinks he is an artist." I have come up with a name for this: an artard.

ARTARD, n: an ill-informed, often comical or foolish person who believes they are an artist and who publicly acts out the role of the tormented artist in order to get attention (artardary, artardesque):

Ryan's silly hackneyed speeches only evoked derision in the judges. For the record his "art" was hardly original. Ooooh black walls! broken glass!). Avant Garde artists have been reclaiming and reworking interiors for well over a century. I won't even get started on this because if I think too much about the fact that he doesn't know this does know this I might perish of grief. You know how I get when people have not done their homework. I'm not sure whether his ignorance is the fault of Ryan since he is clearly the kind of person who is determined not to learn anything or his teachers who have not taught him but given him passing grades.

As for being an artist in your napalm slum, uh, Ryan:
  1. Words are attached to meanings -- they aren't just sounds, right? You do know that?
  2. Napalm is something other than a band name; it has some associations (The Kim Foundation) that are not really apt comparisons for your creative expressions although listening to you one does start to feel ones skin crawl. (That said, Ryan's whole speech is so laughable that it is hard to be offended.)
  3. If you want to go to a napalm slum, you're in luck because it turns out we are using napalm in Iraq even though it is banned
At any rate, Top Design missed an opportunity to inform the viewers about the profession by letting Ryan's stupidity stand unchallenged.

Interior design is full of people doing extraordinarily innovative work bringing together aesthetics, conservation, recycling, and the built environment. (Not for nothing but Todd Oldham has something to offer in this area.) Here's a house build from freeway salvage that I just read about yesterday. There are a many amazing furniture designers who only work with recycled and sustainable materials. There is incredible work being done with land and landscape reclamation in former industrial sites in Eastern Germany . . .

Where I live in the Bay Area land is so expensive and the small house movement is very popular. I have a friend, also a metalworking artist, who helped create a mobile grocery store for fresh organic food in Oakland (People's Grocery, which is now a model for a project in New Orleans).

There is a world of people thinking about living spaces and the made environment that is recycled, restored, sustainable, small, transformable, and mobile.

What I'm saying is that there is so much Indy and DIY stuff that is really cool. Frankly, it pisses me off that for six weeks this artard has had a national television platform to spout his bullshit and meanwhile the people who are doing all of this fantastic work don't get the attention they deserve.


Angie said...


Ms. Place said...

Artard is now a new word in my vocabulary.

Years ago my husband and I built a small passive solar house. People thought we were nuts, but we took full advantage of the space and land. Outside I scattered wild poppy seeds amongst the daisies to mimic the fabulous fields in Italy. We grew raspberry bushes over the septic field, and planted Russian olives for the deer and wildlife, who rewarded us by stopping by frequently. Our deck had a clear view of the Blue Ridge mountains and the valley below, and when thunderstorms swept in from the horizon we knew we had 15 minutes to watch the spectacle before we had to move inside. Our indoor/outdoor space was fabulously designed and the house never felt small.

I agree with you that Top Design failed to take advantage of teaching us something about interior design and how our environment enhances (or diminishes) or lives, and affects our moods and our relationship with each other.

Anonymous said...

Top Design has failed to inform on so many levels, beginning with the first episode.

I wish I had known that Alexis Arquette has an art degree during this episode. I found out only from reading the guest judges' blog on the Bravo site.

It also would have been nice to know at some point that the silver and black head painting was done by Alexis.

Hey Bravo, I would like to have some dots to connect, and maybe something interesting to think about or learn.

Top Design seems to squander every chance they have to connect with their viewers or show much of anything to do with actual design.

They could teach us a little about interior design and it's history AND still hawk products, too, couldn't they?

Oh, and Ryan, Mr.sk8t punk rebel poser, you totally lost me when you mistook an almost 6 foot tall transgendered Alexis for a 5'1" Iggy Pop in drag. What an artard!