October 11, 2014


Happy Weekend to all of our agents out there in the field. Thanks to Kat Boyd of Mod Tales for putting this brilliant image on my radar. We may be enthralled with our iPhones these days, but gadget-envy is nothing new. This vintage cover design of 8MM Magazine from the UK managed to promise Cold War adventure, Space-Age Mod fashion, creative filmmaking, and a fireside tryst all in one dynamic image. It could be the new poster for Spy Vibe! I like to imagine cool lounge LPs spinning off-camera on one of Dieter Rams's stereo systems for Braun. See below for a bit of family history and some cool interior designs from the 1960s.

Many of you know that filmmaking has loomed large in my own career. I've made a few experimental films that have done well on the international festival circuit, including a short piece for a winning music re-mix I made for Yoko Ono and the Plastic Ono Band. Last week I had a chance to create a short project for my students about how my family has shaped me. I struggled with it for many days and really felt stumped. I had a pretty non-traditional upbringing (I could have invented the "it takes a village" slogan- no Prisoner pun intended). What stories could I tell them that would be appropriate and meaningful? The kids know that I'm all about art, teaching (and sushi!). I began to wonder if there were patterns in the family that could shed light on my own path as a teacher and artist. So I decided to do some detective work. And boy, did I make some discoveries! I knew about a few of these people, but I had no idea how far back the trends actually went- five generations of artists and teachers! I should post the film later on Youtube, but here are some highlights of careers and major vocations I discovered: parents (photographer, teacher, acting, music, recording), grandparents (concert musicians and teachers, advertising company founder, NY School Interior Design head, radio singer, drama school founder), great-grandparents (concert musicians and music professors, NY School Interior Design founder, Who's Who American Women, art teacher, muralist/Radio City Music hall), great-great grandparents (concert musician/Oberlin treasurer, architectural decorator/Vanderbilts/Whitneys), uncles/aunts (voice teacher, educator/poet/photographer, literacy project founder, admin private school, advertising director), great-great uncle (PT Barnum), and the list went on and on! So, did I find my path by nature or by nurture? I learned a lot by making the project, but the real take-away was finding a deeper appreciation and connection with the whole tribe. Maybe we've been non-traditional for generations in that our focus is primarily on art and education. That can be a bit isolating. But I'm glad I inherited that mission and wouldn't have it any other way. How about you Spy Vibers? Do you see patterns in your families? 

I'll leave you today with some interesting images from a 2013 exhibit at the NY School of Interior Design (founded by great-grandfather Whiton), featuring hotel designs by Neal Prince. Can't you just hear Mancini music? Enjoy!

Selected Spy Vibe posts: New Richard Sala BookNew 007 ComicsUnseen Fleming in new 007 by HorowitzDesigning Bond BooksFoster SpiesGreen Hornet MangaMargaret Nolan ArtNo 6 FestivalBarbarella Returns007 Audio Books ReturnHarry Palmer BluOne Million PrizesDesigner: Gene WinfieldAvengers Blu-RayAvengers Interview: Michael RichardsonIan Fleming: Wicked GrinJane Bond Hong Kong RecordsRyan Heshka Interview, Comics Week: Man From R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E.Comics Week: ArchieComics Week: Robots, Comics Week: Cold War Atomic, Comics Week: SPYMANComics Week: Jimmy OlsenDiana Rigg at 76Gerry Anderson DocMr. Hulot's Box SetRare Avengers ScriptsMan From Uncle UK ComicsMattel X-15Thunderbirds ComicsShakespeare Spies: Diana RiggShakespeare Spies IBatman NewsMonty Python Fathom SpiesRodney Marshall Avengers InterviewAvengers Book: Bowler Hats & Kinky BootsGeorge Lois Design & Mad MenRichard Sala: Super-EnigmatixBig Fun ToysDanger Diabolik SoundtrackMod Fashion DollsCold War Archie, Playboy Bunny InterviewThe 10th Victim Japanese and KindleU.N.C.L.E. Japanese BooksThe 10th Victim German EditionThe Saint books returnTrina Robbins InterviewCatsuits, Batman '66 Green Hornet Interview: Ralph Garman Ty Templeton.

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