Date Archives July 2010

Inspiration: Andrew Holder, Todd St. John & Jon Contino

Yesterday I came across a few minimal pieces from some of my favorite creative folks and thought I’d share it as a bit of inspiration. All of the images above have a really similar vibe to me, they’re extremely simple in color and form but still absolutely detailed and hard to fully understand at a glance.

The first piece is by Andrew Holder, it’s called Sun Chaser, and I love the chunky halftone pattern in the sky, it’s almost overwhelmingly busy. The second two sculptures are by one of my all-time favorites Todd St. John. These are from his series of intersections and I totally wish I could buy one of these, I’m really in love with them. To round things out is a drawing by Jon Contino, which is a beautiful bit of text with some nice weathering that makes it perfect.

Maybe you’ll gain a bit of inspiration from these as well?


Prickly Pair Chairs

It’s that time of summer when the optimism of spring is evaporating as quickly as the turgidity of the potted plants on my front porch. It’s the heat that kills them. In the spring, it seemed like a good idea to plant dozens of delicate, thirsty flowers; but in the summer the ghosts of dead plants are reminding me that I should have planted cacti… or maybe just rocks.

New to me are the Prickly Pair Chairs by Valentina Gelz Wohlers. Introduced last year during Milan Design Week, the chairs cleverly bend a very French, oval-backed chair with the pads of a prickly pear cactus.  There are even little spiny things in the tufts of the upholstery. The chair made me laugh the first time I saw it, and I’ve been thinking about how to downplay the absurdity of the chair in an interior ever since.  I haven’t come up with anything.

But I still like the chair, and I need somethings other than dead plants on my front porch. Is there a waterproof version? Well, honestly, I’m not sure that water is a realistic threat… just ask the dead plants.


Peter Mendelsund

Most of the time I groan when I see that a designer or artist has a “portfolio coming soon” on their portfolio site. But then I saw Peter Mendelsund interim design and was excited to see more, almost like a JPG teaser trailer. Peter is a book jacket designer who’s body of work is epic to say the least. He’s designed jackets for all kinds of authors from Dostoevsky (which you can see above) to manga god Osamu Tezuka. Hopefully Mr. Mendelsund puts his true portfolio up soon so we can enjoy the full breadth of his work.

In the meantime you can see a ton of his covers over on The Book Cover Archive, in case the image above made you curious.


Some Musings on Tie-dye

There is a scene in the first season of The Mighty Boosh in which Vince Noir, who for this episode has become the self-proclaimed “king of the mods”, meets Tommy, a die-hard rocker. They have a brief – albeit rather pathetic – confrontation that made me think about one’s allegiances to fashion subcultures. Vince is always “buffeting about on the wings of fashion” and, throughout the show’s three series, also inhabits the uniform of a goth, a punk and an androgynous electro boy. In the same vein, fashion is an extraordinarily fickle beast and will never commit to just one look.

So where am I going with all of this reflection on mods and rockers and what not? As I’ve always felt a bit mod at heart, I have never been much of a fan of the hippie movement that heralded the death of mod culture. However, anyone who pays the slightest attention to the contemporary fashion climate will be aware that the tie-dye of the hippie era has once again made a comeback. It all began with the spring and summer collections in the Northern Hemisphere and has now even made its way to Australia. The frightening thing is that, after initally ignoring it, I have grown rather fond of the look.

Subtler colour combinations and intricate tie patterns have replaced the psychedelic, acid trip-inducing colour explosions of 1960s tie-dye. The majority of designs look soft and dreamy without venturing into “Groooovy, man” territory. Even a mod wannabe like me might just be able to pull it off. Will you?

Dip-dyed bowtie from Cavern Collection, Summer Storm bodysuit by Shabd, Joanne tee from Joie and tie-dye sleeveless shirt dress by Wikstenmade.   


Astrid Yskout

Astrid Yskout is a Belgian illustrator with a knack for adorable characters and wonderful textures. Her color palette is muted with lots of yellowed whites and faded colors which gives her work a sense of age and antiquity. I also love the fact that when she draws people they’re all a little off. Nothing is quite perfect in her drawings and that’s exactly how they should be.


M/M (Paris)

pradalphabet by M/M (Paris)

Mathias Augustyniak  and Michael Amzalag met 22 years ago while both were students in Paris. 14 years ago.  Together, they founded M/M (Paris) in 1992 and have collaborated on projects with an insane list of musicians, designers and artists.  The “ABC” above is from the pradalphabet, which you can probably tell was developed for Prada.  You’ll also find a camouflage they designed hiding in the Marc Jacobs Fall/Winter ’09/’10 men’s collection.  Their work is witty, messy and I hope you enjoy it.


P.S. Here’s a video they directed for Benjamin Biolay

The Gentlewoman

I can usually spot a gentleman a mile away, but I’m not entirely sure what a “gentlewoman” looks like. If the contents of the first issue of biannual magazine The Gentlewoman can be accepted as the exemplar, a gentlewoman is extremely well dressed, a master at old-fashioned etiquette and a doyenne of culture and the arts. Basically, eveything I aspire to be!

I have actually been keeping an eye open for a copy of The Gentlewoman since its recent release overseas, but only managed to snap up a copy in Australia over the weekend – and boy, am I impressed! From the layout to the writing, there is something very polished and intelligent about this magazine. The contributing writers are seemingly uninterested in fly-by-night trends and celebrity culture; instead, they concentrate on fascinating people working within the wider arts community.

A frank conversation with model Daisy Lowe about housekeeping, a feature on 2010 Architecture Biennale director Kazuyo Sjima and an exquisitely photographed spread on hair knots are just some of the pieces artfully arranged on the magazine’s glossy pages. A bible for the modern lady and the enlightened contemporary gentleman, The Gentlewoman is definitely worth seeking out.


Things From Today

1) Julianne Moore for the 2010/2011 BVLGARI Collection: Julianne Moore playing with lion cubs, would more could you ask for?

2) Japanese Owl Transistor Radio: This thing is way too amazing. He should live on my shelves.

3) Frank Espinosa: His take on Spider-Man and his villains are grade A genius. Such brilliant colors!

4) Jarvis Cocker and his son Albert: Like father, like son.

5) Hipster Puppies: Yeah, you should probably look, it’s dogs being adorable.


Remed Murals

Making this Monday more enjoyable is Remed, an artist whose work adorns the streets in cities all over the globe, including his hometown: Lille, France. Remed describes his work as follows: “I make rhymes with colors, shapes and sounds in order to express a feeling, the evolution of a thought, with the recurring themes of evasion, infinity and rebirth.” What’s not apparent from his description is how sophisticated his work really is. I haven’t been fortunate enough to see his work in the wild, but he has a great website, flickr and (flashback) a myspace.


Holga D Concept by Saikat Biswas

Taking an old standby and giving it a new twist is always a great design exercise and this rethink of the Holga by Saikat Biswas is quite a gem. I bought my first Holga about 7 years ago after hearing that people really enjoyed it for it’s inaccuracy and light leaks which in turn gave the photo some really interesting character. These days you’ll find Holgas all over the place now that Lomo has made them cool again, selling them in every Urban Outfitters in the world.

Saikat’s version though is a digital take on the classic, but with some interesting twists. My favorite idea is that the camera is digital, but there is no view screen to see the photos you’ve taken. This is totally interesting to me because you won’t know what your photos would look like until you download them, making it somewhat like a traditional photo development process. The features are also stripped down much like the original Holgas instead of the 8 million features you get on modern day digicams.

Overall I think the idea is extremely well thought out and is totally beautiful. If the digital version created the same kind of beautiful photos the real version did I’d be all over this. be sure to click here and check out the rest of the photos and (imaginary) features.

Found through Polkadot