Dumb Starbucks, a parody store located in a Los Angeles strip mall, opened its doors on February 7th, 2014. From the sign up front, to the cd’s next to the cash register, everything had original Starbucks branding except for the fact that the word dumb was printed in front of each and every SB logo.
The author of DS was unknown until earlier this week, when comedian Nathan Fielder held a press conference at the parody store revealing that he was responsible. Until then, Conceptual artist Marc Horowitz was taking credit for it on Twitter:
“Would love to do interviews about #dumbstarbucks — just waiting for @TODAYshow or @jimmykimmel” as well as “my project is causing quite a stir – lol.”
After the mystery was solved, Nathan Fielder released a video in the Dumb Starbucks youtube channel that assured his newfound ‘customers’ that DS was “no joke, this is a real business,” a business, he says,”from which I plan to get rich from.” The serious sounding Fielder, assures that he can keep it going, however, yesterday (February 10th, 2014) the city of Los Angeles closed the place down due to a lack of health permits. It is hard to believe that that was the only reason for the shutdown , as the real Starbucks was not happy with the parody coffee shop calling itself Dumb Starbucks.
“We appreciate the humor but they can’t use our name,” Starbucks spokesman Jim Olson told CNNMoney. “It’s a protected trademark. It’s our trademark.”
If you are hating your Monday morning, do yourself and favor and looks through these gifs- they will make your day! Not only will they make you laugh, but you will also relate to them. I’m sure you are slapping your face away on your way to work this morning. Wake up, sleepy !
These ironic, hilarious, and surreal animated portraits are part of commercial photographer Romain Laurent‘s photography challenge. Laurent’s desire to break the routine (of working on commercial photography) ended up on a quest to create silly-looking looped animated portrait each week since last September. He says the bizarre and often laugh-out-loud experiments are a low-pressure way to experiment and be creative without expectations.
“As far as the intention of the series, it’s a way for me to explore a hybrid medium, experiment and being spontaneous while still sticking to a short weekly deadline. There isn’t a common concept between each loop, I just ‘go with the flow’ and see what comes to my mind each week.”
You can keep up with Laurent’s weekly animated portraits on his Tumblr. (via Colossal)
Chuck Close is best known as a photorealist painter, but he is also interested in photography. Close achieved amazing results as a hyperrealist portrait painter working from gridded photographs. Suffering from a condition known as Prosopagnosia, also known as face blindness, Close is unable to recognize faces. Because of this condition Close was drawn to painting and photographing portraits. A seizure left him partially paralyzed in 1988 and after that he continued to paint, but had to adopt new techniques.
Recently Close created a series of portraits for Vanity Fair. Close decided to use poloroids so that his subjects could immediately see the image. After every shot he and his subject viewed the photograph so they could decide what to change for the next one. “No hair, no make-up, no wardrobe, comb your own hair,” were the guidelines Close gave his subjects. He didn’t want to produce “glamour shots,” and it was important that his subjects played an active role in the process, and moreover, that they trusted him. Seeking to show the “humanity” in each of his celebrity subjects Close wasn’t concerned about flattery or status, but rather with accuracy. The results are a series of distinguished and honest portraits. Check out the Hollywood issue of Vanity Fair.
For Ruined Polaroids, William Miller uses a broken polaroid SX-70 that he stumbled upon at a yard sale; quickly discovering that its decades-old gears mangled the film and transformed the exposure, the artist submitted the the whims of the photographic relic, allowing it to form blurred and unpredictably patterned abstractions from his shots.
Within the “ruined” images, we find a surprising emotionality, with the faulty chemical process producing expressionistic renderings of a less literal kind of photographic memory. Cataloging the accidentally lovely results of mechanical happenstance, each shot enters a richly moody realm evocative of the work of mid-century abstract expressionists like Jackson Pollock or Mark Rothko. As the spastic movements of gears, chemicals, and fingers become the subject of the work, the artistic process overrides a predetermined result. Rather than serving as a record of a particular instant, Ruined Polaroids poignantly archives the accidental deterioration of a camera past its time.
Ultimately, the conceptual work also serves to refute contemporary understanding of the photograph. In her seminal work On Photography, published in 1977 at the height of polaroid popularity, Susan Sontag discusses the illusion of a photographic truth, theorizing that the photographer, unlike all other artists, is capable of disguising subjectivity for objective fact. Miller’s work expertly challenges this assumed power of the photographic medium, acutely presenting each image as evidence of its failures. The immediacy of the polaroid image only accelerates this process; printed instantly and held against some imagined reality, the bleeding lights and darks veer jarringly from what we expect from the camera. Take a look. (via Lost at E Minor and This Is Paper)
While many mediums have a constant back and forth debate between an emphasis towards using traditional, conventional methors or more recently available techniques, printmaker Carolyn Frischling does not concern herself with the argument. The Pittsburgh-based artist investigates new techniques in both image creation and printing methods, while continuing to honor the constantly-evolving history of the medium. “I’m proud that printmaking comes out of a long line of democratic, inclusive ideals, that today is at the forefront of technology and creativity.” Like many makers of prints, Frischling uses several simultaneous techniques to achieve the airy and colorful visual textures in her work, differentiated only by the image creation beforehand using computer editing programs. When asked by Beautiful/Decay to explain the benefits of working digitally versus using traditional methods, Frischling first explains, “Digital art enables me to use the same thought processes of traditional printmaking without the toxicity of using traditional materials on a daily basis.”
These moody and ethereal digital works are printed with archival inks on paper, silk, glass and aluminum, heavy with an abstract beauty attached to their process. Frischling further explains her methodology, “Digital printmaking is incredibly nuanced. There is so much more I can do that I couldn’t do in traditional printmaking, although the only reason I understand digital as well as I do, is because the thought processes are the very same. Sometimes I do miss the physicality involved in other kinds of art-making, but my art isn’t about physicality, so I think in this instance,”The medium is the message.”
Ultimately, whether created by physical process or digital manipulation, the works speak for themselves with strong compositions, moody palates, delicate forms and attest to the time spent mastering any artistic discipline. When Frischling explains, “My instinct is always to create movement and energy through use of color and form”, it is a goal separate from process and more located in ambition.
Combining Western cinema and traditional Ottoman motifs, Turkish artist Murat Palta designed a series of images that blend the style of the Ottoman empire with films like Pulp Fiction,Alien, and Clockwork Orange. They are made to look historic and aged, and once you see past that, Palta has illustrated some of the iconic scenes of the particular film.
The Ottoman Empire, also known as the Turkish Empire, was one of the longest running empires in history. Palta’s works recall the Miniature Style of the Ottomans, which was a part of Ottoman book arts that included illumination, calligraphy, paper marbling, and bookbinding. Miniatures were usually not signed because they were not created entirely by one person. Production included the head painter who designed the composition, and his apprentices that drew the contours and then painted the scene.
Like the Miniature Style, Palta has included stylized two-dimensional characters, flattened views of architecture, and a lot of contrasting patterns. He references the Ottoman tradition while still making it his own – After all, I don’t think that the old illuminations included men beating someone senseless with a nightstick or a tiny green Yoda. (Via That’s Like, Whoa!)
Chris Ritson combines ceramics with elemental transformation to create these stunning bismuth sculptures. The smoothness and seeming purity of the ceramic form contrasts with the spontaneous explosiveness of the bismuth that emerges from the heads of his subjects, demonstrating a gorgeous dynamism of form and content.
From his artist statement: “Bismuth is an archival element, that under specific, synthetic conditions crystalizes into a distinct hopper shaped crystal form. This crystalline structure of multicolored lattice of cubes within cubes is utilized to simulate the Tesseract, a 4th Dimensional cube. Imagine the Tesseract is to the cube as the cube is to the square. In our thoughts, as well as dreams, we construct a reality within countless imperceivable dimensions, and the realm of the Tesseract is the first that evades our five senses. As artwork is meant to herald a great movement in the viewer into unknown lands of experience, these works are manifestations of the great mythic beacons of ineffable transmissions: Immortal Gods plucked form our literary tradition, all linked to the bridge that connects humans to the imperceivable truths beyond the body.” (via my amp goes to 11)
We are all familiar with the attractive female student stock photo, right? It is everywhere,
and it has been everywhere for the last few years. Net Artist Parker Ito appropriates the infamous stock photo and turns it into multiple works of art. The hilarious implementation of paint, animation and text creates a series of works that ridicule the stock photo ideal. Ito is not really after our attractive model here, however, it seems as he is trying to defame or degrade, and make fun of the ridiculous archetypes that reign over stock photography.
The avid web surfer and culture mixer, creates videos, paintings and sculpture out of popular images in internet culture; he does so with materials not typically associated with art production (highly reflective 3M Scotch-lite fabric, automotive flip flop paint and a top layer of vinyl over some paintings). He has described some of his works as stand-ins for paintings claiming that the real artwork is the iPhone pic posted by someone else. Ito’s practice is one of high activity and high volume: ”I heard that Picasso made around 250,000 works in his lifetime. I could make that many jpegs in 5 years. And when I say 5 years, I mean 5 minutes.” (via Steve Turner Contemporary)