The twentieth century has provided a plethora of methods to communicate quickly to the masses, and it is becoming increasingly rare to find anyone taking the time to write a handwritten letter, much less create a large-scale public mural to share ideas with the public. However, for almost all of human history, wall paintings have served as one of the most effective ways to chronicle the events and progress of our time. Artist Josef Kristofoletti has tapped back into this method of communication and it has led him to some amazing places. From the gymnasium of his former high-school to a year long road trip around North America with the Transit Antenna artist collective, Josef’s desire to paint in public spaces has kept him moving. Perhaps the most impressive of these large-scale murals took place at CERN, the world’s largest particle physics laboratory, situated in the Northwest suburbs of Geneva on the Franco–Swiss border. There, Kristofoletti created a four story mural of the ATLAS particle accelerator, directly on the walls that contain the actual structure. Since the completion of the project just a few months ago, I’ve been dying to talk with the artist about his experience of seeing the world’s most ambitious laboratory, as well as the completion of his most impressive mural to date.
32 seconds of symmetrical bliss courtesy of 2veinte. Watch the full video after the jump.
Inka Järvinen is an illustrator/designer from Helsinki. Järvinen works mostly in detailed collage’s, her output is dark, as she draws inspiration from the old sci-fi aesthetic of the future in the 1960’s and 1970’s. I love her illustrations and simple use of color.
Brooklyn based artist Matt Phillips creates colorfully complex paintings that act as vibrant odes to the ordinary. Phillips’ practice meditates on his comprehensive observance of classic aesthetics, including modernist abstraction, folk art, and African textiles. Drawing notes from these traditions, his paintings meld low and high brow art, creating contemporary pastiches that are just as colloquial as they are clever.
Phillips’ uses notions of pattern, textile, and the decorative to hint at referential codes that allow the abstract to take on tangible, even comforting forms. It is the moment in which each work switches from foreign to recognizable, that invites in humor and endearing relatability. For example, his piece Bungalow (Spring) depicts a warm tonality along soft river blues on a overtly sunny day, and hums the delicate, independent flow of a melodic riddle.
The artist paints with a pigment and silica blend — this mixture results in each brush stroke becoming dry instantaneously. Due to the lack of forgiveness within this process, his work not only speaks about the traditional observation of light, but also to economical choices and purposeful mark making. Although each painting begins as a mapped geometrical formation, his method of building composition pushes through routine constructs of painterly semantics and becomes playful with common structures such as the grid. Phillips has a true touch for quiet beauty and perfected moments of yearned memories.
Check out Matt Phillips’ spectacular solo show, Comfort Inn, at Steven Harvey Fine Arts Projects in New York, running until February 6th. The exhibition is taking over both of the gallery’s two locations located at 208 Forsyth Street and 237 Eldridge Street.
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Brett Manning kills it pushing pens and paint around. This lovely lady has some really awesome work. Brett is based in Chicago and is an amazing illustrator. SHE loves to draw what she loves and all of her work reflects her personality and everything meaningful in her life… like llamas and pretty women.
It is very bad that I am writing about PES today, going into his website, watching his very entertaining and creative videos.. while I am at work here at B/D. It is all very distracting. I love how he finds use for any random object into something recognizable – yet not immediately obvious. I would have never thought of clown cake decorations to stand in for explosions. I could watch these all day.
Black Sheep: An unconventional look at good ol’ family values is a compilation of interesting photos and quotes from a plethora of underground icons… many of whom I grew up admiring, and some of whom I had never heard of (but was happy to be introduced to). Oh Did I mention I’m in it as well?
Essentially, Black Sheep is a collection of photographs, stories, and reflections on family from the perspective of individuals involved in underground scenes, aiming to challenge the presumption that people involved in subcultures—be it hardcore, punk, graffiti, skate, tattoo culture, or whatever else–come from unstable homes or have poor family values.
There are over 100 contributors: everyone from Darryl Jenifer of the Bad Brains to Melissa Auf der Maur of Hole; Ian MacKaye and Henry Rollins to brothers Dave One and A-Trak. In some cases I really felt like a peeping tom looking into a window at the lives of some of the icons who molded my youth. The book is about family values: how these people were shaped as kids, and what values they’d like to instill in their own children.
A big part of this book also seems to be helping people not familiar with underground scenes to break the negative stereotypes surrounding people who are in some way against the grain. Yes, you can be a tattooed hardcore frontman who takes his kids to the park every day and has Sunday brunch with his grandmother each week. This is really “The Osbournes” meets Chicken Soup for the Soul.
Not only is Black Sheep a great book but it was also compiled by Karyn Gray, one of my all time favorite B/D interns. Karyn moved to LA from Canada to work with us for a few months and it’s so great to see that she’s started a career in publishing. Congrats Karyn!