DXV by American Standard is a landmark product line that represents the company’s storied history spanning 150 years. The collection spans four broad movements: Classic (1880 – 1920), Golden Era (1920 – 1950), Modern (1950 – 1990), and Contemporary (1990 – today). Each piece in the carefully curated collection harkens back to the era it was inspired by and combines it with modern sensibilities, technology and performance. Although each fixture is inspired by a distinct era, the entire collection has a dialogue and the ability to cross over and create a remix of eras in one space. The pieces in the Classic Movement by DXV echo the curves, details and flair of times passed while integrating the technology of the present. Whether you’re a restoration buff who wants true-to-period pieces or someone who loves modern finishes with a nod to the past, the Classic Collection has something to round off any design. The designers working with DXV created timeless spaces with a nostalgic flair that feel both traditional and contemporary. Artists like John Currin, John McAllister and Cecily Brown all take cues from classical periods in art history, while recontextualizing them into modern color schemes, subject matter and treatments.
Krzysztof Domaradzki or Studio KXX for short has a eye popping portfolio full of illustrations and designs. Visit his site yourself for a visual feast.
Here’s to one of my favorite designers Alexander McQueen. He had an unparalleled way of transforming fabric and fashion into uniquely outrageous creatures, seemingly coming into being from a parallel dimension. In McQueen’s world, taxidermied bird feathers become opulent headpieces fit for Marie Antoinette, or Red Riding Hood’s famous scarlet cape is given new life as a shining silk mantle ready to write its own new fairy tale. His shows always shocked and awed, featuring over-the-top performative aspects, whether a life size hologram of Kate Moss wearing flowing fabrics, or recreating the scene of a shipwreck on the runway. McQueen’s cosmic creations pulled from antiquity and the future simultaneously, creating a whole new sensational language all its own. His unique vision will be missed!
Natalia Evelyn Bencicova is a Slovakian photographer who creates works of surreal beauty and supernatural unease. Characterized by dark, sterile rooms built of tile and cement, her settings are eerily reminiscent of abandoned hospitals and vacant catacombs. The models are washed-out and almost alien in their beauty, contorting as they pose nude, or draped in cloth with additional limbs that reach from underneath. They appear human, but also inhuman — and no better is this obscuration of humanity demonstrated than in the images portraying piles of nude bodies sprawling on the floors, crawling up against the walls, or aligning themselves in fleshly, geometric structures. With their faces obscured by torsos and furniture, they seem engaged (or possessed by) a strange ritual that is more about the multitude than the individual.
Part of what makes Bencicova’s work so powerful and provocative are the environments and quasi-theatrical narratives she creates. The hospital-like settings foster an atmosphere that is unsettling for the psyche; writhing and embracing on cold floors or groping at sterile furniture, the characters resemble ghosts in an abstract, emotional ballet. In some of the images, the bodies look like they have been stowed away and forgotten, and are struggling to survive. But in all of Bencicova’s works, there is a haunting magnificence, a reverence for the strength of the human body, and an “opening up” of beauty that extends into the alien and absurd.
Cris Bruch’s work might be found on a more tasteful version of planet Pandora. His shapes have this mysterious, organic quality that I imagine existing on an alien planet populated by giant blue people who are really into saving the environment and stuff. His exhibition at Elizabeth Leach Gallery, Gather and Wait, from July 1st – August 28th explores the artist’s creative process through a series of drawings, photographs of works in progress, and completed sculptures.
I’m loving these massive installations by John Von Bergen. It’s as if the building has all of a sudden come alive.
In late 1978, an exhibition of cartoonist Chester Gould‘s (d. 1985) art for his strip, Dick Tracy, was held at the Museum of Cartoon Art (now defunct) in Port Chester, NY. In the catalog published to coincide with the show, there is a massive appendix of 200 characters Gould created for the strip over the years. Now I’ve never read Dick Tracy as it was a bit before my time, but I had absolutely no idea it was so weird. The characters have bizarre appearances and names like Flattop, Nothing, and Vitamin Flintheart. Matt Masterson, the man who put the appendix together, says:
When I asked Chet Gould where he got the names for some of his characters, he told me he used to ride the train from his home in Woodstock, Illinois to his studio in Chicago and sketch various people he observed on the train. He would exaggerate upon certain features or characteristics. The name would follow, with he one exception being Flattop, whose name came from the popular aircraft carrier of World War II.
Some of my favorites are after the jump, but if you want to see the whole collection, click here.
Sam Green’s illustrations are a collage of the best of traditional skill and digital embellishments. Though he does often combine two different worlds together (traditional vs. digital, realistic vs. contorted, and serene vs. avant garde,) they are all held together by his consistently fluid style.