The animator and designer St. Francis Elevator Ride’s delightful animated gifs read like the 21st century’s response to the Pop Art masters of the 1950s; using vintage ad imagery, the artist marries retro aesthetics with modern technology. The 1950s moon landing even makes a subtle appearance! Using the seductive visual powers of color, form, and motion, he explores the endless allure of kitsch appliances, electronics, and other pop culture or commercial materials.
Like Richard Hamilton did with the iconic collage Just what is it that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing?, the mixed-media artist focuses much of his attention on domestic consumption. A chipper 1950s nuclear family is shown to be enjoying a night of bonding over screens, and a woman with perfectly coiffed hair replaces her eyes with dollar signs. The human body and sex drive become fused with images we intellectually associate with the media; as with the work of Roy Lichtenstein, flesh is rendered in polka dots, and women’s tears are represented in dramatic comic book-style shapes.
The body of work, dripping in a charming sort of irony, is made in a way that parallels its content. Like the Cleaver-esque family before the television, the viewer is seduced and transfixed by St. Francis Elevator Ride’s images. The eye is manipulated by an expert understanding of color; opposite colors like green and magenta alternate and flash at break-neck speed, forcing a sort of optical illusion that commands attention (this technique was widely employed by Andy Warhol). As technology and media integrate seamlessly into our home lives, our sense of identity shifts in challenging new directions; from these charming gifs, we might draw insight into the changing definitions of personal agency, selfhood, and intimacy.
If you’ve ever taken a road trip, you are probably familiar with tourist attractions (also known as tourist traps). Caves are not an uncommon destination for these off-the-highway places, and are often ostentatious with not a lot of intellectual substance. Large-format photographer Austin Irving travelled across America and East Asia photographing these places, which were developed for weary travelers. She titled the series Show Caves.
The caves feature unnatural lighting, revolving doors, public restrooms, and man made design elements. There are penguins, for instance, that line the path of one interior and feels like a disingenuous attempt at showcasing the wonders of the wonders.
There aren’t any crowds in these photos, which allow us to see the attractions clearly. It also showcases the fact that these places are not much different than some place like a suburban shopping mall. (Via Artlog)
The hilariously witty graphic designer Viktor Hertz takes the ever-annoying, monotonous progress bar and turns it into an image full of funny graphics that cleverly reference things like The Walking Dead, Star Wars, and existential questions. Each “progress bar” is turned into similarly shaped objects such as a chocolate bar and a cigarette. Even the buttons are now comical pop-culture references and decisions like “use the force” or “join the dark side.” Instead of just the decision of clicking “okay” or “cancel,” we now have interesting choices to make. Some of the buttons are not unlike video games, such as The Walking Dead progress bar asking us if we want to use a knife or a headshot to ward off the impending crowd of zombies. Other buttons are possible real life decisions such as whether or not to quit smoking. Nevertheless, the shapes and phrases Hertz offers us in these unusual graphics are much more appealing than the irritating and disruptive real life progress bars.
Being a talented graphic designer who has created many posters and logos, this fun side project takes Hertz’s love of icons and symbols and turns them into silly pictograms. These amusing images remind me of what someone might doodle in school when they are bored, just to entertain themselves and get through the day. If only computers really did use these graphics instead of the normal, mundane “progress bars” and other delays that cause such a nuisance in our everyday lives.
Oriental Garden Couture Dresses Collection by Kelly Ng
The winners to A’ Design Awards was recently announced and we couldn’t be more excited! The global design award was established to create awareness for groundbreaking design in a wide array of genres. The ultimate aim of the A’ Design Award & Competition is to build strong incentives for designers, companies and brands from all countries to come up with better products, services and systems that benefit mankind.
This years winners included some of the most talented creatives from around the planet. With over 1958 Winners from 98 countries in 97 different design disciplines, there is truly something new to discover for everyone.
Artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg uses DNA extracted from items like chewing gum and cigarettes to create three-dimensional portraits. For her project, “Stranger Visions,” Dewey-Hagborg collected discarded trash from the streets of Brooklyn, New York and sequenced them at a biotechnology lab. Through this process, she was able to isolate specific DNA strands, which helped her unravel the ethnic-gender identity of the past users. She used that information to create a sketch of what each of these people might have looked like. This information was then relayed via three-dimensional printer into the final hanging works.
As an information artist, Dewey-Hagborg is interested in the intersection between technology and art but her work is more complex than that. Through “Stranger Visions” Dewey-Hagborg confronts the impossibility of privacy. If even the smallest bit of rubbish can detail what we look like, what else could be used to expose us to the world at large? Is DNA the identity theft problem of the future? (via Design Faves)
Leslie Clerc has some delicious French flavor for you to savor. Her body of work contains a nice variation of styles and approaches. After the jump, you can catch some goodies like a little girl who wants candy, a toy weiner dog and designs for an animated music video for Ba Cissoko. She has also started a studio along with a few other artists called La Mondaine.
Lauren DiCioccio uses a simple needle and thread on cotton muslin to mummify and honor an endangered artifact– the printed newspaper. In each piece, as The New York Times’ text fades, its correlating cover portraits puncture the surface with pockets of strung together color, reminding us of a certain tactile human unraveling as we adaptively wave goodbye to the Industrial Age.
Of her craft, DiCioccio states, “The tedious handiwork and obsessive care I employ to create my work aims to remind the viewer of these simple but intimate pieces of everyday life and to provoke a pang of nostalgia for the familiar physicality of these objects.”
Working out of Oslo, Mats Sivertsen has created a series of images exploring the “man/machine dichotomies, masculine identity, sexuality and commodification,” according to the artist. His “myBorg” images are crisp and clean; lit with the bright white of modernity, the viewer very easily accepts Sivertsen’s unsettling reality.