Designer Nickolay Lamm has designed a “Normal Barbie,” who has the same body issues as “regular” people. This doll, called Lammily, comes with stickers to show acne, tattoos, stretch marks, and other imperfections that make us (and her) human. Now, before you rush out and buy one for every child in your life, it’s probable this design is tongue-in-cheek, and questionable how much kids will enjoy it at first.
However, it is a good barometer to measure ourselves against. Barbie- the old school Barbie I had growing up- embodies the idea of perfection, one that is fed to children at a very young age and subconsciously produces vast feelings of inadequacy and the idea that woman should measure up to specific proportions, proportions that aren’t even attainable. Everyone knows that Barbie’s curves cannot exist on a real human’s body. So why do we form her that way? What role models are we giving our children and what does that say about our society? Food for thought.
Here is some more about Lammily:
“A sticker pack that comes with the doll allows kids to apply all the sorts of skin imperfections that real people have, teaching kids that they don’t have to aspire to or value the unrealistic body images promoted by Barbie or Ken dolls. And, judging by the reactions of the 2nd-graders Lamm showed his doll to, the message has been received with open arms!”
One of our best and zaniest magazine covers (which is saying something!) was designed by French illustrator Skwak, exclusively for B/D Issue J. We profiled Skwak for that issue, and we interviewed him again when he collaborated with the Mr. Chiizu crew. He described the genesis of the crazed creatures he features:
“My maniacs are born to pollution. They have since evolved and created a world with its own rules and codes, all based on the absurd and the idea of “excess”. Every day, new maniacs enter this world and make it evolve. This world is becoming more dense, more rich everyday.”
You can get this totally radical Skwak B/D cover print now in our newly relaunched shop. Hungry for more of Skwak’s style, just like we are? Well whet your art appetite with his Feed Me print, a beautifully tangled composition of hungry creatures, weaving in and out of one another as they eat everything in sight. Take some critters home with you today!
On the lookout for cool art gifts for friends and family? We’ve got a big holiday sale on all of our posters, books and magazines. Now you can find the work of Skwak and other talented artists at 15% off full price! re3Use the promo code “beautifulposters” during check out and instantly save 15% on everything on our shop!
Tully Arnot has a great sense of humor. His sculptures, installations and videos all have a subtle sarcasm to them, and are all a clever commentary on the man/machine connection, and the part technology plays in contemporary society. His latest sculpture in particular (Lonely Sculpture) is a amusing look at the current online dating app Tinder. Setting up a mechanical finger tapping mindlessly away at nothing, Arnot just places a mobile phone underneath the finger machine and proceeds to interact with other humans on the internet. Luke Letourneau sums it up perfectly in his essay about Arnot’s work:
[Lonely Sculpture] is a piece of technology that reflects the way we interact. Dating apps like Tinder are an aspect of socialization that allows for isolation: it reduces identity and demands judgement. The work heightens an absence or disconnect that already exists with this form of interaction. However, Lonely Sculpture does not reserve judgement. The artist’s mechanized silicone index finger taps yes to every dating profile that appears on the screen, even when the screen is loading new profiles the finger keeps unconsciously tapping, anticipating, longing. (Source)
Lonely Sculpture is not the only display of Arnot’s cynical sense of humor. As part of a larger show at Wellington Street Projects called Uncanny Residues, it is one of many pieces. All are concerned with the line between reality and the digital world, humans and technology, and how we interact and utilize different interfaces. Tuley definitely gives us something to think about next time we reach our fingers out to touch the screen.
French muralist Seth Globepainter paints large, expansive scenes of people on the cusp of going some place else. The fantastical compositions feature young men and women whose heads are often in the proverbial clouds. Their bodies are obscured and half-hidden in another mysterious dimension that’s as easy to access as lifting a curtain.
These murals read as dreamscapes where the surreal and impossible happens. Everything is beautiful, nothing appears to hurt, and the color of the rainbow surrounds us wherever we go.
With their backs and side turned away from the viewer, it’s clear that Globepainter’s characters aren’t concerned about us. They’d rather make it to their next big adventure, or at least find out what’s behind that curtain. This creates a lot of intrigue, and we are founding asking questions about where they are going or what they’re leaving behind.
Notoriously awe-inspiring Japanese pop artist Keiichi Tanaami has featured some spectacular new works in his show Cherry Blossoms Falling In The Evening Gloom. Since 2010, Tanaami has focused his energy toward the creation of large scale paintings focusing on prominent elements of his childhood, living in wartime Japan. The comic-like characterization of bombs, Mickey Mouse, and war planes, spin together his chaotic dreamscapes, full of hypnotic colors, patterns, and a nearly mirage-like quality.
An excerpt from the exhibition, at Nanzuka Gallery in Tokyo, details the symbolic elements within his work:
“Glowing, grotesque creatures personify bombs and the light of their explosions. Beams of emanating light are the searchlights of Japanese troops keeping watch for American bomber planes. The skeletal monsters that appear in his works represent war casualties, and at the same time function as figures of us, ourselves, who know no fear. A recurring character based on a motif that comes from Tanaami’s wartime memory of goldfish also frequently appears in his works, and is deeply connected to the sight of the light from the American bombs reflecting off of the scales of the goldfish his grandfather kept. Pine trees, seemingly pregnant with animal-like life forms, are based on hallucinations Tanaami witnessed when he nearly died from a pulmonary edema at age.” (Excerpt from Source)
Sydney based photographer Petrina Hicks produces large scale, hyper-real, glossy images reminiscent of advertising catalogs or billboards. Simple, graphic and highly stylized, her work is sensual and glamorous. Her latest series called The Hippy And The Snake explores the relationship between women and snakes throughout literature and art, but with a decidedly Australian twist. She has placed women either smoking behind a wall of unnaturally bright foliage, lying in a tropical rainforest, hiding behind dripping wet leaves, or floating on a background of unbelievably bright blue, and scattered snakes throughout. The whole atmosphere of the series is one of a sweet teenager meandering through a sugary dreamworld, but one where there is always danger lurking behind the next leaf. It is a seductive setting and Hicks uses this unease purposefully.
There is a tension between the organic and synthetic. Ambiguity and duality is something I often aim for. On the surface, I use images that have an advertising aesthetic to explore its own language and codes, but it is the subtext in the content that works in opposition. (Source)
Hicks uses her background as a commercial photographer to her advantage. The models have blemish-free perfect skin, not a hair out of place and clean silhouettes. Using simple compositions, minimal props, and no unfussy details, Hicks’ aesthetic is as seductive as the snake is in her narrative.
Matthieu Bourel creates surreal collages that, despite their dream-like qualities, feel somehow rooted in reality. It might have something to do with his use of black and white photos, summoning up a specter of the past and lending a sort of mythic quality to his art.
In some of his pieces, it almost feels as though they’re still frames of a tall tale as opposed to utter fiction. They feel historically relevant, which, according to Bourel, is part of the intended effect. “When successful, all the elements fall together with irony and tension while all other realities are obliterated, leaving the viewer as participant inside the picture, with his own codes and connections,” Bourel explains. “The image then carries the weight of a personal reality.”
The phrase “personal reality” aptly encapsulates the quiet strangeness of his collages. Bloodless cross-sections of torsos and bodies are more contemplative than gruesome, as though they’re textbook diagrams.
Bourel describes his process as finding pictures and photographs that spark inspiration. He’s drawn to pictures that “evoke a fake history or inspire nostalgia for a period in time that never truly existed.”
“A piece often becomes about the search and desire to combine those emergent narrative symbols that seem charged with a familiar yet distant emotion,” Bourel says.
Barcelona-based graphic designer Alex Trochut is one of the most innovative typographic artists we’ve ever seen. In his work, he takes all states of matter–– liquids, solids, gases–– and turns them into eye-catching type. His aesthetic style has been tapped by clients ranging from Nike to The Rolling Stones. For fans of sculpture, check out Alex’s Dalí-inspired collaboration with Xavier Mañosa, Skate Fails.
Get your hands on three different prints by the inimitable Alex Trochut, including Chains, Eggs, and Spaghetti at the newly relaunched B/D Shop. In addition to the posters, his art was featured on the cover of Issue T. The same issue features an interview and more full-color spreads of Alex’s work. In it, he had this to say of his design philosophy:
“I think there’s always to be a balance between your work and the time you are living, something you call ‘yours’ in your design and something that is ‘ours,’ as the work should be a reflection of our present moment, too, the cultures that surround us.” (Source)
To bring you all some holiday cheer we’re having a big holiday sale on all of our posters, books and magazines. Now you can get the work of Alex Trochut and other talented artists for a fraction of the price. Simply use promo code “beautifulposters” during check out and save 15% off everything on our shop!