Date Archives April 2008

The Desktop Wallpaper Project featuring Tavis Coburn

The Desktop Wallpaper Project featuring Tavis Coburn

Tavis Coburn

Welcome to another Wednesday! I’m writing this at 1 am right now, totally exhausted from a night of packing, cleaning and retouching, but The Desktop Wallpaper Project must go on! This weeks wallpaper comes from the uber-talented Tavis Coburn, and is definitely one of the fancier wallpapers. Tavis went to the Art Center School of Design in Pasadena, California where he earned a fine art degree. Nowadays he’s headquartered up in snowy Toronto where he works for clients like ESPN, Nike, Entertainment Weekly and The Discovery Channel. He also has an amazing online print store that sells his work, definitely something to check out.

As for his wallpaper, I love it for multiple reason. The first is because of the amazing style it’s done in. It totally looks like it could have ben created 50 years ago, with the faded whites and halftone patterns all over. Secondly, I love how frigging random this is. A giant dude chewing on the backboard of a basketball hoop? The way it’s framed is pretty clever as well, with not as much info as you’d like to be shown. My last favorite part is that this looks like a fat-boy version of me, or at least I think so. I’m not sure if this was on purpose or not, but I hope it was!

I think for next week we might do things a little differently. How about you all let me know what style of background you want, and I’ll pick one that matches what you guys want to see most? Don’t say artists names because a) They might not be participating and b) I’m not telling who is participating anyway, haha… So if you want some illustration, design, painted, digital, analog… whatever you all want I’ll try and make it happen.

Puppy Break

Posting is gonna be slow today, we’re shooting puppies in the studio today and I can’t NOT pay attention to them. The puppy in the picture with me is a miniature schnauzer who I’ve named Bert, even though it’s a girl, haha… I might try and post later, even though I have to do more packing and clean more of my apartment, so I’ll be playing it by ear.

Update: Seriosuly, Bert was the cutest puppy ever. If she wasn’t $900 I would have been taking her home tonight. LE SIGH!


Jill Freedman

If I had to describe Jill Freedman in a couple of words it would be, “OG Boogie”. Jill Freedman is a photographer who lived in New York in the 70’s and 80’s, taking photos of the darker, seedier side of life. She captured all sorts of facets of life, from prostitutes to firefighters to men dressed in drag to homeless children on the street. Her gritty documentary style photography echoed that of the 30’s, capturing moments that now look completely foreign to the streets of New York.

I think her photographs are beautifully gritty. They showcase such a diverse range of people, places, and events but they paint such an amazing picture of incredibly crazy city. The New York Times has a great article about her and her life which is pretty interesting and also hints at a possible return to photography in her future.


The Artist In You by Tim Biskup

It’s not everyday that I wake up to an email from Tim Biskup, especially an email with a PDF version of a book he’s releasing, but last week that exact thing happened. Coming up on May 17th, Tim is having a solo show at Jonathan Levine Gallery called The Artist In You, and along with the show he’s releasing a book as well.

The book is also titled The Artist In You, in which he writes, “is intentionally unpoetic and bland and therefore compels me to explain my intentions. It also, hopefully, will compel the audience to seek an explanation.” Part of the reason he sent me the book was because I had mentioned that I’m not a bigger fan of “deeper meanings”. I’m okay with art being purely a visual experience. The best example I will ever be able to give is the tampon in the teacup, this is what I think of your “deeper meanings”.

But the book argues that sometimes you need a little bit of both to make really good art. That’s because he personally is thinking more and more about his art, that he feels like he’s creating better artwork. He also isn’t shoving this poitn of view in anyone’s face though, which I think makes a difference. This is my interpretation by the way, I could be totally wrong, haha… One of my favorite parts though is a passage called Sour Grapes For Rotting Vegetables, which is basically written for all the pretentious, art leeches out there:

Fuck you art intelligencia. Weak fuckers. You can all get in circle and talk about how art is dead and in need of re-contextualization, but it is your art that is dead. Your fake meaning and questions have spirale d into a post-art wasteland. Your need to control the situation and fear of risk and truth is what got you here. You must continue with your high art jack off if you want to maintain your relevance. It is only in the flimsy context that you and the other pathetic vampires have put forward as important that you retain a shred of meaning. Faced with time tested professional artistic ability and deep conscious personal truth you will wither and die. Put me in context and I will stomp your fucking head into pulp. Your greed has created a blood sucking, soul shattering beast that is growing full and sick and purple with the blood of the weak and brilliant. You can’t be like us and you don’t want to do what it takes to get to that point because you are so full of pain, evil, denial, mountains of bullshit, miles of rocky path and insurmountable passages. When the brave return they are battered and strong. If you control them, then who will doubt your power?

They may be strong, but your shame is stronger. Hear this: there is no elephant in the room. It is far worse. There is a crippled and shaking old theorist taking their last breath. We are coming. We are here.

I giggled while I read this because I’ve thought those exact thoughts before, even though I don’t even make art. I also asked him if that last part had anything to do with Banksy and he said I was onto something, haha… But he also argues the other side of the coin, getting rather deep and even poetic in some parts. I don’t know, maybe it’s because I respect and admire Tim Biskup so much, or maybe he just seems like a humble guy, but I have a lot easier time agreeing with the “deeper meaning ” philosophy when it comes from a guy like him. I feel like he isn’t a pretentious person, I mean he makes little plastic dinosaurs on one end of the spectrum, and fine art paintings on the other. I think that constitutes a rather well-rounded individual, as opposed to someone like Tobias Wong, who makes a living out of questioning the “deeper meanings” of everything.

So if you’re in New York next month, be sure to check out his show, and if you’re looking for a good read, grab the book as well.


Music From The Forest, A Podcast by James Pants

Being a big fan of Stones Throw Records I subscribe to their podcast, especially because they consistently release them and they’re made by awesome guys like Madlib. I was excited to see that they released a new podcast over the weekend featuring James Pants called Music From The Forest.

James’ story of how he got onto Stones Throw is probably the best part. The night of his prom he and his date went to a rave where Peanut Butter Wolf, head of Stones Throw, was spinning and asked if he could take PBW record shopping. From there James ended up getting an internship, and now he’s gonna’ have an album coming out on May 27th. talk about lucky.

The podcast itself is all over the place, from Kraftwerk to old sould hits, it’s well put together and totally made my morning. If you’d like to listen to it, head over to the Stones Throw Jukebox where you can listen to it there or follow the iTunes podcast link.


Last Week in Music | 04/20/08 – 04/27/08

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Gloomy Planets by The Notwist

I’ve really been enjoying the same bands for the last couple weeks, so there weren’t any big changes on what I was listening to. French Kicks came out on top yet again, they seriously have one of the very best albums of the year. I know many of you have checked them out, but if you haven’t yet please do so. Then came The Notwist because of their new album, The Devil, You + Me, which my best Swiss friend FW suggested to me. It’s a brilliant little album, not so gloomy as Neon Golden and a little more experimental as well.

After that was Broadcast, I can’t stop listening to Tender Buttons, then Devendra Banhart, Belle and Sebastian and Cut Copy. Grizzly Bear was next, I’ve been listening to their first record Horn of Plenty a lot because I need more music for them but there’s been no word on when their next album is coming out. The end of the list includes Earlimart, Radiohead, and Elliot Smith, all normal faces on my weekly list.


A Tour of ‘Quit Your Sobbing And Call Me in the Afternoon’

Saturday night I headed out to New Image Art Gallery to check out the newest show by Anthony Lister. The show is called Quit Your Sobbing And Call Me in the Afternoon, and I have to admit, I was expecting a little more. I’ve been to about 4 or 5 shows at the New Image, and usually there’s a ton of art, Swoon and Neckface being two prime examples. But Lister’s only had 4 paintings in the main room, a bunch of masks tied together, and the a performer in a small room which seemed to have more art in than the rest. Nonetheless, I’d say it was pretty rad to see his art up close. His paintings were beautiful, and it was really cool to see the brush strokes and splatters in the art. There were also a ton of great little details hidden all over the space, so it was fun trying to find them as well.

I took a bunch of photos as I usually do, but instead of posting them to my Flickr, I decided to edit together a video of the show. I’d love to know what you guys think of this. I hosted the video on Flickr, which means that it could be a maximum of 90 seconds long, so that was a fun limitation. I can still post the photos if you all would like, just leave me a comment and let me know! I hope you enjoy it!


P.S. The song is Light Powered by Daestro off of the Ghostly Swim album!

Rubber Johnny

This is far from new, but yesterday I was thinking about how awesome Chris Cunningham’s Rubber Johnny was, so I figured I’d post it because I’m sure some of you out there haven’t seen it. The video/short film came out in 2005 and features Johnny, a creepy naked guy in a wheelchair who bends, stretches and generally freaks out while his chihuahua watches. The whole thing is really weird but amazing at the same time, especially if you enjoy good special effects and amazing editing.

That being said, this might not be for everyone. It’s got sort-of-nudity and a crazy Aphex Twin soundtrack, nor does it really make any sense. It’s also kind of disturbing, especially the beginning. I wouldn’t suggest watching this at night time alone, in fact this video sort of freaks me out.

But that’s sort of the fun of it!