Nestled around a fire, inside a cozy cave, the first painter picked up some charcoal and drew a Mastodon. The Cave is also the place where Plato described the world unenlightened people view as “shadows of the images the fire throws” against the back wall. Courbet painted his cavern, The Source of the Loue, with an oarsman like the mythical Charon, ferrying people across the river Styx for a coin. Caves are mysterious places, tied into our deepest roots: metaphors for our experiences, fears, and knowledge. Melissa Brown, who we did a studio visit with a few months ago, has been working with an interesting group of printmakers at Random Number. She has a new silkscreen out – Cave View. Check, it, out.
Asuka Ohsawa masterfully uses gouache on paper to create a world rife with dichotomous flair. Long Japanese scroll paintings depict cute anthropomorphic animals frolicking the town in seeming innocence and naivete but upon closer inspection there is a child ready to detonate a bomb and a crowd ready to capture and devour. There is underlying tension in all her works, reflecting on ideals and grievences of family and home, social and cultural norms, sexual moires, and moral righteousness. Each character and its surrounding environment is tightly rendered and outlined in sharp and precise lines, executed in flattened perspectives and limited color palates.
French designer and illustrator Maxime Francout’s quirky designs are super fun and are sure to brighten up your day! Much of the time, you can find Francout’s designs on T-shirts (he’s made some for Urban Outfitters), but he’s also designed art zines, loves to create hand drawn type, and he’s even made some wallpaper for Studio Nommo.
You can never have too many of these. Here are a few posters from classic Horror/Cult/Sci-Fi/Foreign B movies. Aliens, robots, vampires, zombies, slashers, babes. All the good stuff right here. If you’re having trouble finding inspiration for a design/illustration project, or just looking for a new stylistic direction, it’s not a bad idea to go over a few of these and loosen up a bit. Do it right, though. We’re not talking about straight copying or even borrowing here. Don’t be boring. And if you’re looking for more of this sort of thing, check out Wrong Side of the Art, a great archive for cult/low budget movie posters and stills.
Damien Hirst’s exhibition at White Cube Sao Paolo, called Black Scalpel Cityscapes, is surprisingly compelling conceptually and technically intriguing. Hirst, though I’m sure I don’t really need to tell you this, reader, is a very divisive artist. His practice is a slippery one. It’s difficult to dismiss him, because he’s carved out a big space for himself in commercial galleries, but to some work, in example his spot paintings, feel a bit like an emperor wears no clothes scenario. It’s easy to argue that Hirst’s legacy is the success of his practice itself as a sort of art piece, and it would be true that he’s figured out some notable strategy for success, but whether it’s particularly honest or admirable is a question often dismissed by the powers that profit from Hirst or uphold his ideology.
In contrast to all this, Hirst’s most recent series is unexpectedly insightful. He recreates bird’s-eye view images of international cities using paint, surgical tools, and other industrial instruments. The materials for the Rio painting consist of Scalpel blades, skin graft blades, zips, stitching needles, aluminum filings, pins, stainless steel studs, fish hooks, steel wire cutting spool and gloss paint on canvas. On the White Cube website, Hirst’s statement reads:
Hirst investigates subjects pertaining to the sometimes-disquieting realities of modern life – surveillance, urbanisation, globalisation and the virtual nature of conflict – as well as elements relating to the universal human condition, such as our inability to arrest physical decay.
In the paintings, manmade features and natural elements such as buildings, rivers and roads are depicted in scalpels as well as razor blades, hooks, iron filings and safety-pins, all set against black backgrounds. For this exhibition, Hirst selected 17 cities, which are either sites of recent conflict, cities relating to the artist’s own life, or centres of economic, political or religious significance
What’s exciting about this series is that the themes Hirst claims to be examining are clear and his execution is effective. The paintings are visually impressive and also hold up conceptually, and most importantly, they tackle relevant political issues. Basically, it’s not bullshit. Congratulations, Damien Hirst. (Via The Fox is Black)
Applied Science wiz Ben Krasnow conducted a series of tests to capture how information is disseminated on vinyl record, dvd, and cd rom. What he found was that the grooves of each device is shaped differently sending out unique signals. In the vinyl study Krasnow added a metallic surface to pieces of the waxy substance and allowed the electron microscope to pick up and photograph the action. In a magnified state vinyl looks similar to a used paper towel. The movement is recorded at 1/400th of actual speed. Under the magnification the needle looked like a pencil making arrow marks.The friction created over the tiny shapes is eventually translated into sound.
With a DVD Krasnow split apart the disc to locate the coded aluminum material. This was seen under the microscope as little dashes similar to morse code. In order to make gifs the scientist then took the material and downloaded it into photoshop. These resembled old super 8 movies.
Krasnow currently works at Google. He is best known for inventing keyboards, mice and joysticks for MRI machines. He sold these to academic institutions who in turn wrote about their use in science journals. (via demilked)