Paul Buckley, the VP Executive Creative Director for Penguin USA, has continued to art director and design some of the most eye-catching book covers I’ve ever seen. Instead of relying on a simplified photograph with super-clean typography, or reaching back for a retro look, Buckley hires the best-of-the-best in illustration and independent comics (Burns, Hanuka, Millionaire, to name a few) to create wonderfully fresh graphic images that leave little to be desired. And since these books are all classics, you don’t have to worry about being deceived by these alluring covers, because the interiors are guaranteed to be just as perfect as the exteriors. It is encouraging that the daunting sterility of the Kindle and Nook are being combated by men like Buckley, Kidd, Gall, and so many more, and if such devotion remains to be ceaselessly put into future book production, there should be little fear of physical books disappearing anytime soon. For a complete look at all of the book layouts (fronts, backs, interiors) see Sir Buckley’s Flickr.
Minneapolis born John Lurie is a jack of all trades. He was originally a musician, playing sax in NYC no wave group Lounge Lizards. Later, in the 1980s, he moved on to acting, having a number of memorable roles in Jim Jarmusch movies like Down By Law. Mostly recently however, and especially since isolating himself due to what seems to be Lyme disease, Lurie has been a painter, creating dark, absurdist works with unusual titles. If you like his work, I recommend adding him on Facebook. His online updates are little gems of black humor, just like his paintings.
Ilona Gaynor is a designer and image maker hailing from the UK. Her latest project, Under Black Carpets, leverages bank heists as a medium of design. Through a series of intensive design and research exercises, Gaynor is using the strategies and vocabularies of robbery as a method for storytelling. Perhaps the most bizarre fact about the project is that is actually a collaborative effort with the NYC FBI Department of Justice and the LAPD archival department. Geoff Manaugh puts it well, stating that the project is an investigation into the “use and misuse of the cityscape where by architecture is considered both the obstacle and the tool to bridge or separate you from what you’re looking for” in both legal and illegal agendas. The project, ongoing, is currently comprised of an obsessive collection of materials that range from photographs of bank entrances to scale-models of get away cars. The project truly feels like the work of an insane person… and I mean that in the best way possible.
Michael Mallis, former candidate for Pittsburgh mayoratorial race, is now a devout scientologist. He makes sloppy drawings, comics, videos and animations that rely on toilet humor. His work has been screened on every continent except Australia. You’ll weep, you’ll laugh, and you’ll knit your eyebrows in ecstatic confusion. His video Natural Selection, in particular, sort of reminds me of Fantastic Planet…and that story I read as a child about some big man lost in in the sea who woke up being strapped down by midgets.
Hailing from Valencia, Spain, Vinz Feel Free’s large scale wheat paste street art installations where nude women’s heads are replaced with bird heads and the heads of business men are altered to look like reptiles.
“Birds and naked people are extracted from the book of Genesis in the Bible. Mayas, Aztechs, Sumerians etc. talk about the figure of reptile as the animals which take control over us, like police in our world. And the frog appears in Apocalypse scenes and is responsible for Humanity disasters. This is why I use them to build men in suit characters.” (via)
Korean born and New York City based Jay Sae Jung Oh’s dynamic functional sculptures is made out of manufactured objects conspicuously transformed into unexpected new forms, making a strong statement about our current cultural condition of abundance. Sharp attention is focused on reconsideration of the ordinary. In this project, Jung Oh started by collecting discarded plastic objects, assembled them together, and finally wrapping them with a natural plant fiber (Jute). The transformation occurs in the amalgamated form and its concealment. Innovation, invention, and beauty can emerge from anywhere, even the most familiar, ordinary and everyday. (via)