There is no shortage of art and creativity in the City of Light. As Louise Fili shows us in her upcoming book Graphique de la Rue, even Paris’ signage has a resplendence that conveys generations of art styles, from Art Nouveau to Art Deco to Futurism. As an esteemed graphic designer, Fili wandered the streets of Paris for four decades, documenting signs that combined art with typography. Among her photo diary are images of ornate metro signs, vintage café signs, mosaics, and of course, the iconic Moulin Rouge cast in its red glow. In the press release for Graphique de la Rue, Fili describes the source of her inspiration:
“From my first visit to Paris at age twenty, just as I had begun to embrace the world of graphic design, my eyes were opened to the spectacular signage that appeared everywhere . . . With each successive visit, I would continue to be struck by the uniqueness of the signs; in no other city had I seen such distinctive typography on the likes of public school buildings, police stations, funeral parlors, and patisseries.”
Fili’s book comes at an important time, when such original signs are being replaced by their cheaper, poorly designed, and mass-produced versions. Sadly, many of the art pieces documented in Graphique de la Rue have already been destroyed. Fascinated by vernacular design—that is, the designs that give Paris its distinctness as an epicenter of art and history—Fili’s book is a “typographic love letter to Paris,” one that will both immortalize these signs and inspire the imaginations of designers and travellers alike (Source).
It’s time for our weekly exclusive artist feature in partnership with premiere website builder Made With Color. Each week we join forces to bring you some of the most exciting artists and designers working today who use Made With Color to create their clean and sleek websites. Made With Color is a website builder that helps artists create gorgeous websites and allows them to do so in a few minutes without having to touch a line of code.This week we are happy to share the work and website of Evelyn Henriquez.
The Water Box series was conceived by Evelyn Henriquez as a further exploration of the body, specifically the female form, portrayed in a moment of struggle and perhaps transformation where the lines between fear, anxiety, comfort and resolution become blurred. This initial idea translated into images of an adult woman confined to a 48″ x 15″ x 17″ fish tank. In each instance, the model was left to reconcile herself with the water, the tank, and ultimately with her own body. The resulting images capture this process; a psychological, emotional, and physical state that, though under the watchful eye of the camera lens, magnifies the isolated, insulated, and at times meditative state of each model.
San Francisco-based artist and designer Wei Li is making tasty treats with unpalatable connotations. Would you lick a cactus? Suck on a virus? Would just the idea of it change your experience of a dessert? In “Dangerous Popscicle” Li makes desserts in the shape of cacti, MRSA, influenza, chicken pox, escherichia coli and HIV from just water, sugar and coloring. To make the popsicles, Li created a series of one and two part silicone molds modeled in Rhino and printed on an Objet 3d printer. She writes on her website bold or italic:
“What will happen when we put these dangerous things on one of our most sensitive organs, our tongues? Does pain really bring pleasure? Is there beauty in user-unfriendly things?
Dangerous Popsicles create a unique sensory experience. Before tasting with your tongue, you first taste with your eyes and mind. The popsicles are nothing but water and sugar, but ideas of deadly viruses and the spikiness of cacti are enough to stimulate your senses, even before your first taste.”
There are inherent contradictions in this project—the colors of the items look delicious, but the subject is unappetizing, but the surface is pleasingly tactile, but the structure is painful.
Aside from making the molds and freezing the pops, Li is also interested in the social interaction this project fosters. How do people react to the frozen unsavories? Try it yourself—find directions on how to make this project at Instructables. (via The Creator’s Project)
Korean-born Brooklyn artist Timothy Hyunsoo Lee creates 3D escapades in a 2D format. The paper is both painted upon and sculpted: acted on as a canvas for gouache and watercolor, then the paper is cut into and reformed, creating shapes and 3D sculptures which the paintings move across.
Primarily intending to pursue medical school, Lee changed his mind after graduation and instead found a studio and continued working on his other passion, art. You can see traces of his past ambitions in the technical precision of his paintings. The symmetry is scientific.
Some shapes are forming, some dissolving, some reforming. Matter shifts between sections of his work, created in one area and destroyed in another. Rectangle cut-outs fan inward from the edges of the paper like waves of autumn leaves kicked up from the ground, like a school of fish flickering in unison. He paints with gradients, running in and out of them, some color, some grayscale. Faces and eyes are a prominent feature of his work. The Sabrina Amrani Gallery, where Lee has shown work, summarizes his technique rather aptly:
“Hyunsoo Lee’s works are inspired by themes of social stigma, identity, psychological disorders, and more recently, of spirituality and religion. He explores these themes through a novel vector – paintings and sculptures consisting largely of cell-like marks that vary in size, color, and saturation. His works are seen as ethereal and delicate, but the extremely labor-intensive compositions, marked by intensely obsessive repetitions, quickly betray that initial perception. Exploring his own history of anxiety disorders through his art, Timothy confronts and manipulates his tics and compulsions and channels them into his works. In responding to his anxiety with art, he has developed a novel system of mind-mapping – “a cartography of his psychopathology” – to study a part of himself that initially drew him to study developmental biology and neuroscience in college.” (Excerpt from Source)
Joshua Petker has taken a leap of faith so brave that most artists would rather cower at their easels for an infinitum than ever attempt. Yet, he has not only landed successfully, but also staked his claim on an entirely new ground of possibilities, which proves that one can always reinvent themselves whilst still staying true to their initial spirit. After roughly 4 years of painting the exquisite portraits of women he has come to be known for, he has almost entirely exchanged it all for a deeper, richer, and much more personally satisfying subject matter. So, when you walk through the gallery doors at LeBasse Projects in Culver City, you’re not greeted by a woman, but rather a shipwreck. A metaphor that ignites your imagination into so many realms that it’s impossible to choose simply one, since your eye will follow the ship as it circles round a blackened sphere with a rim of color — entrancing you into a deep meditation. However, the most awesome and powerful piece to me was that of a monster storming out from behind an apple tree. It’s face, drafted in an impressionistic rendering of fat colored lines bursting from a beige canvass. Joshua Petker has done what many would consider to be the impossible, so bravo Joshua, bravo!
It’s Monday! Can’t waste anymore time sitting in front of the boob tube rotting your brain away watching Jersey Shore reruns! But before you kick it into high gear watch this investigative and exploratory hands-on gloves-off study into the practice of putting things ‘off”. Sometimes the only way to get something done is to do two dozen other things first.
People trapped in plastics. This is the theme of the 8 oil paintings by Axel Void for his series titled “Sehnsucht”. Forced or consensual wrapping? After examining the paintings for a minute, the debate does not seem so obsolete. Axel Void suggests an alternative explanation on how to consider these people ; they are pleased with their fate. The title of the exhibition translates as nostalgia; a wistful affection for a period in the past; implying the period of time the artist misses and which is called absurdism. Absurdism symbolises the tension humankind has created for himself, wanting to define the value life without ever being able to do so.
The dichotomy between the classic style of the paintings and the psychologic, almost psychiatric representation of the artist’s nostalgia leaves us disturbed. Moreover, the interpretation of the cellophane or plastic bag can evokes protection, eroticism or asphyxiation. Leaving us full of doubts about what will happen next to these people.
Axel Void highlights in a dark way “the confusion and state of wellbeing within our basic necessities and longing for something else”.
This intermission in which those people are caught, some of them suffering, others patiently waiting is the state of mind of absurdism. For there is no explanation to how we all have gotten here and there is no logical reason to how we will get out of this state either.
The art of Axel Void is a picture of the society issues in a social and psychological way. He interprets in his paintings the stigma of what society is experiencing in response to a quest for answers that will have no ending.
We found Tokyo based illustrator, Kimiaki Yaegashi, on our B/D Flickr Pool and I have to say what a find! Kimiaki’s electrifying illustrations of sexual, surreal interactions between beautiful women, men, animals, and a chubby little girl is amazing. Her 3D, sexual, and wonderfully off-center styled would make a killer business card design. We are always on the search for amazing artists, join in on the B/D Flickr Pool and you might find yourself featured on the blog as well.