Topical Cream has put together a list of simple suggestions to help keep you safe and sanitized.


Photo Credit: David Brandon Geeting

Depending on where you’re sheltering in place, and how local stores have been dealing with hoarders, toilet paper can be virtually impossible to find. But there’s a surprising place where it’s readily available, eBay. One ply, two ply, three ply, all are available on eBay. Though most listings are legitimate, be sure to check for the seller’s star rating and the delivery expectations. Another alternative route is Amazon novelty toilet paper, it’s not ideal but if you’re in a pinch it’ll ship to you quickly.

To be clear, buying toilet paper isn’t the only solution. If you’re an environmentally conscious person, now might be a good time to try a bidet. The word “bidet” itself invokes visions of grand European hotels, but they’re actually relatively simple devices that can just attach to your toilet. There are many options available on Amazon for around $40.

Rubbing Alcohol (especially that of the 99% potency) has been the white whale of COVID-19 shopping, and it makes sense. Pre-Ides-of-March 2020 Rubbing Alcohol (was) relatively cheap and ubiquitous. However, prices have soared and supplies are scarce as more and more people have started to hoard this necessity. However, it’s not the only option for home cleaning, — Hydrogen Peroxide and H20 in a spray bottle is a great option for cleaning COVID-19 from your counter-tops.

 

While taking your temperature is a good barometer of your health and wellness, COVID-19 is a disease of the respiratory system. To get a full picture of your health (especially if you aren’t feeling well), monitoring your oxygen levels is just as important. It’s very easy to do with a home pulse oximeter. A pulse oximeter is a noninvasive simple device that is placed on a non-polished finger or earlobe. It uses infrared lights sent through your capillaries to get a reading of your current blood oxygen level.

Touch has been put on notice. As a safety precaution, the CDC recommends that we stay at least 6-feet away from each other, and wash our hands as often as possible. As this new reality alters the way we connect with everyone and everything around us, we wanted to suggest a simple object that “hits,” both crucial guidelines recommended by the CDC. A touchless soap dispenser is a great option right now. Even if this is something you wouldn’t normally consider, it’s a simple object that can help keep you and your hands cleaner, and safer for now.

If you have any other tips to share, please contact us @ rx@topicalcream.info

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Woman applying elbow cream, isolated on a white background


Topical Cream is committed to supporting Women and GNC artists during the 2020 COVID-19 outbreak.
Please check out the many free resources compiled below.

Queer Writers of Color Relief Fund This fund is for queer writers of color who are in need of financial assistance. The fund will make disbursements once per day.

CERF+ Emergency Relief Fund Artists who have suffered from a recent, career-threatening emergency, such as an illness, accident, fire or natural disaster, can apply for funding. CERF+ also has a list of resources centered around the pandemic.

Freelance Artist Resources A list of resources specifically designed to serve freelance artists, and those interested in supporting the independent artist community, including actors, designers, producers, technicians, stage managers, musicians, and more.

Rauschenberg Emergency Grant NYFA and the Rauschenberg Foundation have teamed up to offer visual and media artists and choreographers in the US grants of up to $5,000 for medical-related emergencies.

Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant
Do you have an unanticipated opportunity to present your work? Did you incur an unexpected expense that you didn’t budget for? The Foundation for Contemporary Arts offers Emergency Grants between $200 and $2500 for visual and performing artists. They review applications once a month, so you can quickly take advantage of momentum or solve any budget errors.

NYFA Emergency Grants List
The New York Foundation for the Arts has a running list of additional emergency grant opportunities for artists, categorized by disciplines.

Gottlieb Emergency Grant Program
This emergency grant provides financial assistance to painters, printmakers, and sculptors whose needs are the result of an unforeseen incident, and who lack the resources to meet that situation.

Boston Artist Relief Fund
The Boston Artist Relief Fund will award grands of $500 and $1000 to individual artists who live in Boston whose creative practices and incomes are being adversely impacted by Coronavirus.

Arts and Culture Leaders of Color Emergency FundThis emergency fund can provide up to $200 for people of color that are either working artist or art administration and are affected by COVID-19.

COVID-19 Financial Solidarity
If your livelihood is being impacted by the Coronavirus crisis and you need support, post requests here.

Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council Emergency Fund for Artists
As of March 17, we will be temporarily modifying our Emergency Fund for Artists (EFFA) application guidelines to address the current needs of artists in the Greater Pittsburgh area. The Emergency Fund for Artists will now provide up to $500 in assistance to artists experiencing loss of income due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Find a Blood Drive Here

Sign Nada’s Change.org petition Here

Rent Relief Here

2020 was an aspirational year; with the start of a new decade, many felt it symbolized a new beginning. Now that COVID-19 has taken over every technophile’s child-hood dream and instability seems to infiltrate us with every ping; what can art have to say during this time of disillusion in 2020? Doesn’t Whine by Blue Moon, opening before the virus crashed into our lives, sold itself in the text accompanying the exhibition as “a love song of warning,” and it seems now even more poignant. The group show at Ochi Projects in Los Angeles looks at decay, anxiety, and grief, leaving an open-ended resolution for the viewer.


Installation View, Zoe Koke and Bri Williams Doesn’t Whine by Blue Moon, OChi Projects Los Angeles.

The exhibition curated by Alix Vernet and Zoe Koke looks with an archaeological eye at images and objects left over from a recently lost past. John Divola’s photographs of derelict structures juxtaposed against Zoe Koke’s “Red Tide” and “Castle for the Left” by Papademetropolous, suggest an illusory landscape that once held life, but now only seems to expel it.


Zoe Koke, Red Tide, 2019 C Print 36x52in (91.4×132.1cm) OG2474.

Alix Vernet’s “Office Ruin,” is composed of upcycled fiberglass ceiling tiles repurposed into a small cornerstone, these bricks have no actual substance or weight and point to the emptiness of culture in corporate culture. Vernet is one of the curators of the exhibition and recently commented that “All these concerns around confinement/quarantine, are things that have historically existed in women’s art practice; including traditions of domestic poetry, sculpture, and activism.'”


Installation View, Alix Vernet and John Divola, Doesn’t Whine by Blue Moon, OChi Projects, Los Angeles

A decaying horse, with no head, “Medusa,” bucking in vain, seems a relevant metaphor for the landscape of 2020.

Bri Williams, Medusa, 2018, soap, carousel horse, rubber paint, rhinestones, 36x48in

Doesn’t Whine by Blue Moon, includes work by Arielle Chiara, John Divola, Zoe Koke, Ser Serpas, Kamaria Shepherd, Alix Vernet, Bri Williams and Ariana Papademetropoulos at Ochi Project in Los Angeles.

Kim Gordon’s second solo exhibition “The Bonfire” presents a body of new works that mix together a range of cultural vantage points and disparate iconographies through multi-media works, photographs and painted canvases. Gordon tackles the issues of safety and privacy reflecting our current reality where it seems no image is uncaptured and the concept of intimacy has been reduced to a digitized frame of constant surveillance.


Kim Gordon, Installation view: The Bonfire, 303 Gallery, New York, 2020. Photo: John Berens.

The photographs are accompanied with “Los Angeles, June 6, 2019,” a film in which Gordon walks around Los Angeles with a guitar, utilizing objects around her- from handrails to light poles to public sculpture in a performance that quite literally uses the city as a sounding board. The show is a striking look at the artist’s nuanced and expansive oeuvre: we may know we are being watched but it is up to us to reassert control over the ever-growing tech evolution.


Kim Gordon, Los Angeles June 6, 2019. Video installation with one channel of video (color, sound), eight monitors, three resin stools, 16:06 minutes. 303 Gallery, New York, 2020. Photo: John Berens.

New exhibition of work by Aria Dean, Helen Marten, Kelley Walker, Olga Balema, and Raque Ford brings together a selection of contemporary sculpture by international artists. Once considered the domain of male artists, these female artists deconstruct the gendered division of the medium and help evolve the future of sculpture.


Installation view, Aria Dean, Helen Marten, Kelley Walker, Olga Balema, Raque Ford, Greene Naftali, New York, 2020.

The display weaves together various narratives and subject matters: whereas Aria Dean questions modes of representation in her “Replica,” Raque Ford’s “I did it for myself” explores the ever-complicated mother-daughter relationship. These women embrace industrial materials and techniques as part of a bold sculptural language, choosing to reject traditional methods of casting or modeling.


Raque Ford, I did it for myself, 2019 (detail), Acrylic, Greene Naftali, New York, 2020.

While Helen Marten and Olga Balema used found objects and assemblage in their works, Kelley Walker constructed her “So We Joked about Always Wanting” with a contorted windshield. Subject matter is suppressed, the figure abandoned; and emphasis is placed on the art object itself indicating the artists’ interest in methods of display and how the display is used to enhance or twist truths and meanings.


Olga Balema, Manifestations of our own wickedness and future idiocy, 2017, Rowlux Paper, steel, photographs, 100 x 204 x 80 inches (254 x 518.2 x 203.2 cm), Greene Naftali, New York, 2020.

Jessica Stoller uses porcelain and china painting to reassess the history of ceramics and its gendered prejudice. Stoller employs complex techniques such as hand-building and carving to create a myriad of objects that challenge patriarchal power structures. The exhibition’s centerpiece Bloom, a surreal sprawl of flora and fauna with an abstracted decaying body emerging all-around a myriad of richly colored flowers, represents miraculousness of the female body in its ability to give life. Though playful and aesthetically pleasing, “Spread” explores the constructed world of idealized femininity and desire, gender discrimination of the medium, and the natural cycle of life.


Jessica Stoller, Untitled (lift), 2019. Porcelain, glaze, china paint. PPOW Gallery, New York. Courtesy of the artist and PPOW Gallery.


Jessica Stoller, Spread, 2020. Installation view, PPOW Gallery, New York. Courtesy of the artist and PPOW Gallery.

“There is always an element of dark humor in my work as there is in my personality.”


Marie Karlberg, Illusion and Reality, 2019. Installation view. TRAMPS, New York. Courtesy of the artist and TRAMPS.

“Illusion and Reality,” a solo exhibition by Swedish artist Marie Karlberg, which includes seven single-channel video works where participating art workers and artists improvise in common settings of the art scene using satire. From a gallery dinner to a studio visit to the opening of an exhibition…the footage highlights the established absurdity of the scene. Karlberg is a master of placing dark humor and exaggeration to examine the FOMO machine in which global markets flourish.


Marie Karlberg, Illusion and Reality, 2019. Installation view. TRAMPS, New York. Courtesy of the artist and TRAMPS.

“Illusion and Reality” includes a number of sculptures, prints, and installations that goes hand in hand with three performances by Marie that will take place over the course of the exhibition.


Marie Karlberg, Illusion and Reality, 2019. Detail. TRAMPS, New York. Courtesy of the artist and TRAMPS.

“It just came to me, the memory of my mother telling me about the rag rugs grandma wove; how a favorite worn-out shirt was the very thing needed for a stripe in a rug. For grandma, the garments in the stripes held memories, like layers in slate…”


Linnéa Sjöberg, Upwards Through The Ceiling, 2019. Installation view. Company Gallery, New York. Courtesy of the artist and Company Gallery.

Upward Through The Ceiling, the first solo show by Swedish artist Linnéa Sjöberg with Company Gallery. Sjöberg’s work is concise and evocative, her tapestries are glassless mirrors of memories and introspection, finite narratives, a kind of archive.


Linnéa Sjöberg, My light orgasm, 2019. Used garments, cotton, plastic, metal, applique, 63h x 52w in. Company Gallery, New York. Courtesy of the artist and Company Gallery.

“Museums were to offer the individual space of contemplation and quite and the white box and to keep out other world, the real world, in the space of aesthetic appreciation and contemplation, perhaps self transformation, but that is old now and certainly in this century that is not the model of the museum even in Europe anymore. It’s the educational institution, the interpreter of people’s lives and experiences and reinterpretation of the past.”


Susana Pilar, If You Lived Here…, 1989. Installation view. 77 Wooster Street, New York City. Courtesy of of the artist. Photography by Oren Slor

One of the social function of art is to define an image or a response to a blurred social picture and bringing its outlines into focus. In 1989, Martha Rosler transformed Dia Art Foundation’s space in New York into a voice of resistance. If You Lived Here… sought to contest stereotypes about homeless people and reassert their presence in public life. The exhibition consisted of three installations. The first part ,“Home Front,” was a representation of neighborhoods that were contested. The second part “Homeless: The Street and Other Venues” focused on homelessness as an aspect of capitalist urban conditions portraying the visible and invisible homelessness of streets. The latter, “City: Visions and Revisions,” offered different solutions to urban problems.


Susana Pilar, If You Lived Here…, 1989. Installation view. 77 Wooster Street, New York City. Courtesy of of the artist. Photography by Oren Slor

With If You Lived Here…, Rosler attempted to blur the distinctions between the public and the private. She brought things that were associated with the private world in the public space of an art gallery, from an old couch to a washed out blanket. A number of forums and meeting were held, where the public was invited to talk with the participants of the exhibition about homelessness and its possible solutions.


Susana Pilar, If You Lived Here…, 1989. Installation view. 77 Wooster Street, New York City. Courtesy of of the artist. Photography by Oren Slor

Rosler’s approach to art curation as a form of resistance changed the perspective on institutions and how they interact with society. If You Lived Here… was a demonstration of how art can be used to exhibit different conditions in society through diversification of objects and construction of alternative social spaces.

“Cuba was built by migrants. In towing the boat, I was towing the history of my family, my ancestors’ sea voyage, the stories of Africans who cross the sea today and my own experience as a black woman. The boat was made of solid wood; it was heavy and I only managed to move it a little bit.”


Susana Pilar, Body Present, 2019. Installation view. KIOSK, Ghent, Belgium. Pennsylvania. Courtesy of the artist and KIOSK.

Body present, a solo show by Cuban artist Susana Pilar, is oriented towards the artist’s past and history. Pilar focuses on social and historical issues of gender and race by taking her own experiences and family history and relating them to contemporary concerns such as migration and violence against women. Through her family history and particularly her Sino-African roots, Pilar utilizes her body as the genesis of her practice. Through various mediums, Pilar emphasizes women’s power and courage throughout colonial history.


Susana Pilar, Body Present, 2019. Photographic series, Llave maestra (‘master key’). KIOSK, Ghent, Belgium. Pennsylvania. Courtesy of the artist and KIOSK.


Susana Pilar, Body Present, 2019. Installation view (detail), Historias Negras (‘black histories’). KIOSK, Ghent, Belgium. Pennsylvania. Courtesy of the artist and KIOSK.