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Illustrator Spotlight: Théo Gennitsakis

Loving these delicate and funny illustrations by Paris based. Théo Gennitsakis.

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Guillermo Bert’s QR Code Textiles at the PMCA

Over the weekend I had the pleasure of dropping by my neighborhood museum, the Pasadena Museum of California Art (PMCA), to check out new work by Guillermo Bert. The digital age has managed to find its way into places the mechanical age was never quite able to get to. In the exhibition’s accompanying essay, Peter Frank claims that this phenomenon has resulted in the poor becoming “confident operators” of this advanced technology. Of course accessibility is a good thing, but one can also argue that the arrival of this kind of technology can also put indigenous culture and tradition at risk. By combining QR Code technology with the very traditional art of textile weaving, Bert is bringing this infiltration of culture to the surface. The codes, when scanned with your mobile device, play one of a series of documentary films that contain several engaging protagonists who help unfold the story of the Mapuche people. Throughout history, textiles have been used by indigenous cultures to pass on the story of a culture from generation to generation. Perhaps Bert’s “encoded textiles” are a strange evolution of that tradition.

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Timothy Archibald Photographs His Autistic Son As Therapy

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autistic son

Echoliia, a collection of photographs taken by Timothy Archibald, is a heart-warming study of the photographer’s 5-year-old autistic son, Eli. In hopes to get his frustrations out through creativity, Archibald photographed his son’s odd but endearing behaviors in order to understand him better and create a stronger, trustworthy relationship between the two of them.

The collection reveals the child’s unique perspectives and interaction with the world around him. With a trashcan on his head and a cardboard tube ’arm’, Eli conquers his world. His dad couldn’t be prouder to capture the uniqueness he exudes.

“I never wanted [Eli] to think that he was normal. I wanted him to be aware of how different he was and see that as an asset.”

Through this series, not only do you acknowledge Eli’s quirks, but also witness Archibald’s accepting and loving gaze.The father and child collaboration is available in book form on the artist’s website. (via My Modern Met)

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Disturbingly Real Shooting Targets Sold In The US

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For those who are not regulars at their local gun club, you might be surprised to know that shooting targets aren’t all the classic bullseye or silhouetted portrait. No, some of them are much more realistic, as the Amsterdam-based magazine Useful Photography has pointed out. The publication collects everyday images, and for issue 11 depicts several decades of targets from tens of thousands of shooting ranges in the United States. The results are disturbing, to say the least.

While traditional targets were once anonymous figures, they are now much more lifelike. You’ll find photographs of dictators, women, children, and everyday people pointing a gun back at you. It gives the target a personality, and you can practice your aim and get swept up in the grim, suggested narratives. Some manufacturers have gone too far, and which includes a line of targets called No More Hesitation that featured small children and pregnant women holding guns, and a bleeding “ex-girlfriend” (masquerading as a zombie). Both were pulled off the market.

Erik Kessels publishes the magazine and explains to Fast Company:

We found that shooting targets in the U.S. are getting more and more bizarre with what they show. Our biggest question on the topic was what scares a nation–gunman who hold children ransom or infamous terrorists? In this age of high impact gun crime, are the participants seeking protection or accelerating the violence?”

He goes on to say,

“By taking these images from their original context and putting them together in a magazine we hope that people start to look at them again.”

(Via Fast Company)

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Died Young Stayed Pretty

I gotta admit that I was really excited to see Died Young Stayed Pretty, a new full length documentary focusing on the DIY rock poster (see gigposters.com) movement that has brewing in the US and beyond for the the last decade. The doc has hundreds of interviews with big names (many of whom you’ve never heard of) within the close knit rock poster scene,who discuss personal taste, poster philosophies, and what role money,drugs, and 70’s&80’s porn plays in rock posters. Many of the artists interviewed are amazingly talented (i.e. Tyler Stout & Brian Chippendale) and interesting, sharing with the viewer a small glimpse of their creative process.

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Corporate Logos As Traditional Chinese Ceramics

Li Lihong sculpture2 Li Lihong sculpture6

Li Lihong sculpture7

Artist Li Lihong expertly juxtaposes two familiar but disparate sets of imagery.  He renders familiar corporate logos as three dimensional sculptures.  However, these are more than just sculptures.  Li uses traditional ceramicist techniques coupled with Chinese iconography.  The pairing of traditional and contemporary, East and West, corporate and fine art isn’t such a violent clash one may expect.  Rather, the over arching familiarity, through from contrasting sources, is nearly complimentary.

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Julianne Moore as Famous Works of Art

Hollywood, fashion, and art history collide in the photographs of Peter Linderbergh of Julianne Moore for a 2008 issue of Harpers Bazaar. Linderbergh photographs the talented actress side-by-side some of the most iconic and famous images of women pulled from art history. See Moore as an Egon Schiele, John Currin, Gustav Klimt, Richard Prince (pictured above), and more. All after the jump.

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Andreas Englund Paints a Portrait of an Aging Superhero

Andreas Englund - Oil Painting

Andreas Englund - Oil Painting Andreas Englund - Oil Painting

Andreas Englund - Oil Painting

You might have read countless comics and watched all of the movies, but how often do you see a geriatric superhero? Not much, I’m sure. Arguably, these types of stories are less fun and offer less fantastical possibilities. A lot of stories are action-driven; The less action means potentially less appeal. The paintings of Andreas Englund, however, offer a different perspective. In his series of realistically-rendered oil paintings, Englund highlights mundane, amusing, and the occasional ass-kicking moments by an aging Superhero. We see him eating clementines, watching tv, and choking at a dinner party. And it’s not boring.

Age is the overarching theme in this series. Author Philipp Windmüller’s writes a short essay about Englund’s Superhero and highlights his transition from young to old. He states:

… the character himself needs to face up reality and the aging process. He has to acknowledge to himself that he cannot live up to expectations and that the “perfect life” is nothing more than wishfulness. Englund’s artworks are focused on the maturing process. Even in the old age it is still possible to achieve something valuable although someone’s drive and vigour won’t bluster out explosively. Nevertheless everybody in his advanced age deserves to be recognised and respected for what he has achieved in life.

Recognizing that we live in an ageist society, Windmüller goes to write that we should identify and have empathy for this character:

Every one of us will find himself in the same situation as the “Aging Superhero” anytime soon. Of course, all good things must come to an end but we don’t have to bow to social marginalisation. One day we all will be old and start realise we need to dial it down and stop pushing on harder. In a worldwide society where mostly older people live, we need a survival packet with superpowers in order to make sure that everybody can film his own superhero blockbuster. (Via This is Colossal)

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