Evntiv President shares his picks for the 12 coolest people, places and things in 2012 (in no particular order).
Artist Yayoi Kusama
When in London earlier this year, I stumbled upon an amazing installation at The Tate Modern called Obliteration Room by artist Yayoi Kusama. After seeing this interactive installation (written about on the Evntiv blog in July) I was instantly hooked by her kooky views and ability to challenge viewers with amazing color pallets. Throughout her career, Kusama has worked in a wide variety of media, including painting, collage, sculpture, performance art and environmental installations, most of which exhibit her thematic interest in psychedelic colors, repetition and pattern. A precursor of the pop art, minimalist and feminist art movements, Kusama influenced contemporaries such as Andy Warhol and Claes Oldenburg. Although largely forgotten after departing the New York art scene in the early 1970s, Kusama is now acknowledged as one of the most important living artists to come out of Japan, and an important voice of the avant-garde.
I visited this amazing city in February with my Fiancé and her sister. The town is about 2 hours by train from Paris. Touraine (the region around Tours) is known for its wines. The architecture is amazing, the food is unbelievable and the wine is definitely something to experience at least once in your life!
I love (and sort of hate…) the fact that technology moves so quickly. When my friend Matt showed me his iPhone 5, I was blown away at the weight, size and speed of this new Jobsian device. It quickly went to the top of my “must have” list.
Color blocking has been the trend-de-jour this year for event designers. Color blocking refers to the use of complimentary colors in close proximity of each other to create a multi-dimensional look. I was thrilled to use this technique on several projects including an ultra-VIP donor gala at a prestigious art museum.
You are probably used to seeing giant mouse ears when visiting Disney’s Magical Kingdom… But this is a mouse of a very different variety! Deadmou5 (Joel Thomas Zimmerman) has been pushing the boundaries of electronic dance music (EDM) and incorporating cutting-edge technology to develop amazing theatrical stage shows. His use of video projection mapping, lasers and LED technology rivals any mega rock show or theatrical production. Think this is a fad for teenagers… think again. Deadmou5 was nominated for 3 Grammy Awards in 2012 including Best Dance Recording, Best Dance/Electronica Album and Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical. He was the only electronic musician to perform on the televised awards show.
Bill Whitney, owner of Billy Grey custom clothing, has been making suits and shirts for me for years. He introduced me to an amazing new product… Wurkin Stiffs. These collar stays feature High powered mini magnets to keep your collar from laying too flat. With these little babies, you can choose how much your collar stands up (or down) by adjusting where the magnets are placed. I owned several shirts that were on the verge of being tossed in the “donate pile” because the collar was too flat. These collar stays made them perk up and look like a million bucks.
On June 8, 2012, I launched Evntiv with my business partner Keith Alper. I learned more about building a company in the last 6 months of 2012 than I have in the last 5 years of my career. The feeling can be described as a balance of freedom and consequence. Freedom to choose who you want to work with, what projects you want to pursue and placing value on your time. The consequences come when you don’t choose correctly! Entrepreneurship is not for the faint at heart. It is filled with excitement, pressure and constant problem solving. Luckily, I thrive in this environment. I am loving this new life, new company and all of the people that support me day to day!
The Mission Restaurant in Scottsdale, AZ
This summer, my fiancé and I had a chance to take a few days off and relax in Scottsdale. We wandered in to a fantastic restaurant / lounge in Old Town called The Mission. I am not sure if it was the dizzying potency of the margaritas or the food trance we were both having, but this place was a sexy, contemporary hang out worthy of many more visits!
Lisa Melandri – New Director at Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis
I am very excited that Lisa Melandri is the new director of the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis. As many of you know, I collect Contemporary art and have been an active supporter of the museum for many years. Lisa is a breath of fresh air! She is down to earth; laser focused and has just the right amount of spice to liven things up. Looking forward to a fantastic year as Dada Ball co-chair!
Opening of Central Library in Downtown, St. Louis
I felt very privileged to play a role in the opening event for the Central Library in Downtown St. Louis. On November 17, 2012, St. Louisans gathered at the Central to Your World Gala to celebrate a $70 million construction project that has been 10 years in the making. It is the complete restoration and renewal of the St. Louis Public Library’s downtown Central Library. More than 500 guests attended the sold-out event.
A Man’s Story: Ozwald Boateng
Ozwald Boateng is one of my favorite fashion designers in the world. A MAN’S STORY profiles Ozwald Boateng, his design, his business, his personal life. Charismatic, glamorous, hard-working and very humanly flawed, Boateng’s personal and professional triumphs and set-backs are the fascinating heart of this film which is set against a back-drop of models, movie stars and fabulous locations. I decided two things after seeing this documentary… 1. I will work my fingers to the bone to own an Ozwald Boateng suit. 2. True success comes from relentless pursuit of your dreams.
In 2012, I was introduced to Mark Sawyier, Co-Founder of a new event-based app called Bonfyre. Bonfyre was born from a frustration with the increasingly public world of social media. It’s organized around events, called bonfyres, and allows users to chat and share photos with other attendees. I finally found a way to create, catalogue and share the photos I take at events with friends, clients and colleagues. With Bonfyre, I avoid all of the Social noise on Facebook with an invite-only place to share memories. Definitely worth a try!