This video just sorted out where I would spend my next vacation. Watch it and then join me in the private B/D jumbo jet as we head off to Spain, where the Goths, the Romans, and the Moorish left their mark. Where Don Quijote fought against the windmills. And where El Greco, Diego de Velazquez and Francisco de Goya all once lived. Watch the full video after the jump.
Filmmaker Dave Altizer’s short mini-documentary Porcelainia features Bobby Jaber, an educator, scientist, and artist. After Jaber retired from teaching chemistry, he was able to focus his energies on porcelain work, specifically geometric designs based on molecular shapes. Jaber’s approach to his work is inspired by his scientist/artist predecessors, most notably Buckminster Fuller, inventor of the geodesic dome. Though he’s had a little financial success with some of his work, Jaber is clearly motivated by love and dedication to his craft. Be sure to stick around after the credits to catch Jaber’s priceless reaction to current technology.
Merry Gifmas! London based artist and designer Ryan Todd has curated a collection of Christmas gifs over at the aptly named christmasgifs.org. The project features work from an international group of illustrators, animators and directors. Most of the animations are stylistically conceptual or humorous, with bright color palettes and hypnotic loops. You can check out Todd’s Christmas 2012 collection here.
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).
Graphique de la Rue can be ordered from Princeton Architectural Press.
Tom Price melts a lot of plastic in his work. He bends the distinctly man-made material to his specifications, creating highly conceptual chairs, tables, trees, and other objects. It’s easy to see which aspects of Price’s sculptures are the result of his molten process, and some element of intense heat and power lingers long after required cooling periods. You can almost feel the plastics melting in your hands, and smell the awful scent of burning tar. Such lingering power is what makes these works so intriguing. They’re also beautiful, but who’s counting? (via)
Andy J. Miller successfully meshes with the likes of Starburst, Sony and the Science Council without seeming to conform to corporate styles. With a splash of handdrawn and wonderful silkscreened colors, Miller adds a bit of whimsy with each of his designs.
Tenmyouya Hisashi is a Saitama-based artist who infuses traditional Japanese art with non-traditional media (mostly acrylic paint) and images from modern life. Calling his work “Neo Nihonga,” Tenmyouya seeks to renew the relevance of Japanese-style painting by portraying old motifs through a modern lens, thereby celebrating a long history of Japanese culture and artistic tradition. Among his images are samurai playing soccer, armor-clad animals, and a Japanese/American street “dance-off.” His work is also informed by contemporary cultural theories and critical thinking; for example, in “Japanese Spirit #3,” a man wearing a traditional tsuna rides a motorized skateboard. This painting “draws upon and amplifies the stereotypes foreigners hold of Japan and was intended to be viewed by a foreign audience” — hence the odd mix of traditional Japanese imagery with high-tech apparatuses (Source).
In 2010, Tenmyouya proposed a new art concept called Basara, referring to an aestheticization of defiance, extending from the “outlaw samurais” of the Nanboku dynasty era to the youth subcultures of present-day Japan. Exploring this trend through neo-traditional Japanese art unravels assumptions about a conservative and subdued cultural history (Source). Basara is also a response to enculturation from the West — the inflow of Western culture and media that immensely influenced Japanese life. As written on his website, Tenmyouya seeks through his art to bring back the vibrant “sun” in Japanese art, where before it was relegated as the passive “moon”:
“Basara aims to reverse traditional values in order to restore the fertile light of the sun that originally characterized Japanese art. It is at once an attempt to claim back through relativization within Japanese art—rather than by comparison with the outside—the diversity that it is supposed to abound in so much more.” (Source)
Kyle Thomas is still crankin’ out covers for our new book, check out some of the more newer ones after the jump. I’m sure we’ll have a trash can full of dried up Sharpies by the end of this…