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Here’s Your August Arty Moodboard
For when the art world comes back from its snooze
Art Stuff 31 Aug 2021

The last day of August is here, summer is almost over. And with it, your August arty moodboard.
Art girls blessed with long vacation times are currently returning from the French Riviera, while the rest of us must content ourselves with a mental escape. But there’s an upside to dragging sales and empty halls: a much-needed chance to catch our collective breath.

I Must Rest elephant

Working tirelessly year after year, from Basel to Basel, and lockdown to lockdown, it’s easy to burn out. In this author’s humble opinion, the French are doing something right with their five weeks of state-sanctioned vacation time and constant campaigns to lower the weekly hours of work.
While we’re all for smashing our career goals, perhaps it’s time to reevaluate what “work” really means in the first place. To quote recent birthday boy Andy Warhol, “I suppose I have a really loose interpretation of ‘work’, because I think that just being alive is so much work at something you don’t always want to do.”
With that in mind, our August moodboard is all about winding down, letting our hair down, staying cool and staying groovy. Summer only comes around once a year, so if you haven’t spent a day laying out by some body of water (even if it’s just a city fountain), maybe it’s time to reevaluate your priorities.

1) Cindy Crawford as a surf babe Aphrodite is everything

The art history reference to top all art history references, this 1991 Vogue photo is the only possible was to kick off our arty August moodboard. While everything about this is pure gold, my personal favorite bit is Crawford’s expression.
Oblivious to the attention being lavished on her, she’s completely blissed out, perfectly content to relish in the sun, salt and sea. Let this be a lesson that if you want to be this adored (and who doesn’t?), it pays to develop killer self-sufficiency and self-love. It’s a state of mind, ladies, available to you regardless of the presence of hot surfer men (although that does help). Did someone say Big Goddess Energy?

2) A vintage Jane and Serge pic from the archives

While a vintage Jane and Serge pic is appropriate under all circumstances, this one especially captures our collective August mood. Instead of choosing a “couply” couples pic, we went with one where they’re just chillin’. Serge seems to be in the middle of snapping some steamy pics of Jane, but here, they’re caught staring off into the middle distance. Serge looks mildly concerned, but Jane is cool as an English cucumber.
There’s so much to unpack here, but focus our attention on Jane’s outfit. Her shirt looks like it suffered a tragic laundry accident that pulled off the bottom half (and that’s coming from an incurable Brandy Melville crop top addict). And yet, somehow, it works. The gently flared white jeans, loafers, and straw basket complete the look. This is an advanced look, my friends—don’t try it at home. Or do.

3) Deep musings from Jimi Hendrix, fifty years ago

Every August, time seems to grind to a .75x speed. The days are long, but beginning to grow shorter, the hours coated in a translucent layer of nostalgia. When dusk descends, if it catches you alone, you can’t help but feel like the only lonely soul floating through a peachy-pink universe. In those suspended moments, we are all Jimi, wondering if maybe the spirits who wrote the universal plan made a typo when they got to our chapter. Whoever you are, wherever you are, the question becomes: what am I doing here, anyway?

4) Life in the fast lane (or in Las Vegas)

If you’re not a nostalgic soul, maybe you’re more of an Ann Margaret, always ready to jet off to new lands. If you’ve ever felt like your life is hurtling at breakneck speed on a road trip you don’t remember signing up for, you might relate to this pic. Instead of getting scared and wondering why the f#*% nobody gave you a helmet, you might as well kick your heels up and enjoy the ride.

5) When all else fails, keep it saucy

No deep musings here. Just a reminder to take yourself, and life, a little less seriously. It’s physically impossible to keep a straight face wearing a hat like this, so getting one could be a good first step. If you can’t pull it off with your face shape, don’t worry—just remember to wink once a day and you’ll be golden.

6) A serious case for fountains

You don’t need a beach to go for a swim. In fact, you don’t really need anything to do anything, ever… except your taxes. The point is that most of the limits in your life exist only in your mind, so don’t get too wrapped up in your own ideas of what can and can’t happen.
Your homework for the day? Do something that the typical you wouldn’t do, or even consider. It could even be something small, like buying the full-fat creamer instead of your usual non-dairy macadamia nut stuff. Anything that gets you feeling as free as this girl is fair game.

7) Sun’s out, buns out
Speaking of freedom, check out this lovely ‘70s tableau. Like sea nymphs temporarily beached for a quick tanning sesh, these ladies look perfectly at ease in their birthday suits. If August is about anything, it’s about keeping that level of nonchalance in all situations.

8) Even The Beatles lose their guitar picks sometimes: a parable

Apart from how aesthetically delightful this picture is, it also contains a powerful life lesson, perfect for our arty August moodboard. Even rocks stars—nay, even Beatles—lose their guitar picks sometimes. Nobody’s perfect, and you’ll feel much better if you learn how to stay calm when things go awry.

9) California dreamin’

No deep lesson here. Just a scene that defies all the normal laws of physics.

10) We all float on, all right? 

I’ll leave you all with this glorious picture of Mr. Big floating and reading a newspaper. May your entire August be as delightfully carefree as this scene. Au revoir!

Text by Katya Lopatko
Image via @manrepeller.

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