Michael Beitz kicks of our first Design Month, in which we will be exploring all the best stuff the design world has to offer.
Michael Beitz’ Picnic Table was commissioned by the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, in Omaha, Nebraska, as a permanent installation on its front loading dock, in conjunction with the Bemis Gardens exhibition and design laboratory.
Los Angeles-based artist Kevin Appel‘s Screen series shows trivial nature photography layered with coloured, transparent materials in different graphic shapes. Appel uses a range of media – acrylic, ink, enamel and print – to achieve this effect, in order to distort the photo by adding a ‘screen’ of new material. More images from the series here:
New York-based designer/illustrator/art director/what have you Mario Hugo is a talented guy. Working mostly in print, he creates work that utilizes his painting skills in a way that feels very sophisticated and contemporary. Mr. Hugo is also the co-owner of an artist management firm called Hugo & Marie.
In December 2006, American photographer Tim Mantoani embarked on a unique and fascinating project to document living photographers with their most iconic images. Since then, he has collected over 150 portraits, ranging from the historic to the contemporary, the cultural to the political. Included among the vast series is Harry Benson and his famous photograph of The Beatles engaged in a pillow fight (1964), as well as Lyle Owerko holding his devastating image of the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers (2001). All of Mantoani’s portraits are taken on the “rare but mammoth format of a 20×24 Polaroid,” using a large camera originating from the 1970s (Source). Only a handful of these Polaroid cameras still exist (you can learn more about the devices he uses here). Mantoani’s reasoning for using such unique, classic technology is rooted in a respect and passion for the photographic tradition; as he explains, “If you are going to call the greatest living photographers and ask to make a photo of them and you are shooting 35mm digital, they may not take your call. But if you say you are shooting 20×24 Polaroid, they will at least listen to your pitch” (Source). As further homage to these artists, as well as their impact on the history of photography, Mantoani has had everyone write a story about their iconic image on the bottom of their portrait.
Mantoani’s project is simultaneously intimate and historically significant. It is an undeniably powerful experience to see the faces behind photographs which have defined cultural eras and signified shifts in social consciousness. So often, despite the impact of their work, photographers remain the unseen observers while framing the world in profound ways. We don’t often have the opportunity to connect with the mind and personality behind the lens. Mantoani’s work crystallizes these important artists in the records of photographic history. Suddenly, with the Polaroid and its accompanying, hand-written inscription, we can imagine Steve McCurry in 1984 in the midst of the Soviet War in Afghanistan, capturing the face of Sharbat Gula (“Afghan Girl”), who would wordlessly tell the world an intimate story of hardship and perseverance. In regards to an iconic moment in the history of American music, Jim Marshall’s portrait shows us the face to which — for an intense, fleeting moment — Johnny Cash held aloft his middle finger. These portraits bring the bodily, human presences back into the images and their associated histories.
In 2012, all of these stunning portraits were compiled in the book Behind Photographs, published by Channel Photographics. The book is available in multiple formats, including a regular edition, a slipcase limited edition, as well as a cloth-bound deluxe limited edition that comes with signed collector cards. It is also available as an eBook. The print versions are available for purchase on Mantoani’s website. More photographer portraits after the jump. (Via 123 Inspiration)
Gavin Potenza is a designer living in Portland, OR. “He enjoys thought-provoking design that is both unexpected and inspiring. He strives to do many things in his life. As well, he enjoys working on projects, and thinking about projects.”
Well rounded photographer Laura Austin is starting to make an impact in the extreme sports world. Originally from Vermont, Laura is now living in Newport, California, where she has been working on a few fun projects. This girl is rad. She is always willing to go the next mile to get the shot. Whether she is freezing in a tree in the middle of the backcountry or banged up on the front row fence at a concert, Laura will roll home with some pretty awesome photos.
Allan Peters, a Minneapolis based designer is a man of many hats (to say the least). Ever since he was a kid, Peters has always coped with an overwhelming passion for drawing, hoping to one day make a career out of it. Not surprisingly, Peters is currently working for Target as an Associate Creative Director and has been doing so successfully for the past 6 years. Along with being a Creative Director, Peters also manages his own design firm, Peters Design Co., as well as manages his highly successful blog with more than 100,000 page views each and every month.
Although Peters is excelling in our highly-contemporary, modern world, he has an obsession with good old-fashioned hard work. He reserves a special place deep down for design works that were created by hand for one specific customer, contrasting that with the mass-produced work done today that is highly impersonal and churned out by the hundreds.
This is where Peters found his calling—vintage design. A large majority of his work features antiquated elements of retro nostalgia. He seamlessly blends hand drawn script fonts with contemporary illustrations that take you back in time without feeling dated. These designs work on everything from window designs and store displays to flyers and branded products giving his clients a unique edge that stands out in todays world of generic logos and mass produced design. Here’s a selection of some of our favorite logos designed by Peters between 2006-2015.