Date Archives November 2010

José Parlá, Fragments

The guys over at Arkitip have done it again with their eighth Curated series, this time with collage/graffiti artist José Parlá. I love José’s work, it’s so filled with texture and ideas and life and his writing looks like some kind of alien language. It’s great to be able to see him work like this, how he layers all these random bits of papers and found objects, how he ages and distresses his tags. I have to give props to my buddy Felipe Lima for directing this gem, he really capture the energy of his work.

Bobby

‘Se7en’

When the pressure was on to choose a career path in my final year of high school, I proclaimed that I was going to go to film school and become a cinematographer. In retrospect I know that this rather whimsical idea was inspired by Darius Khondji’s photography for David Fincher’s Se7en (1995). From the opening credits (I dare say one of the best opening sequences in the history of cinema), I was entranced by the stylistic visuals and horrific imagery that filled each and every frame. Yes, I was going to make dark and moody films that commented on the decay of society and shed light on psychological deviance. However, much like a jaded character from one of Fincher’s film, I went to law school. Go figure.

I don’t want to be constrained by having to do something new. I look at it as: What are the movies that I want to see? I make movies that other people aren’t making. I’m not interested in the Hero With a Thousand Faces – there’s a lot of people that do that. A friend of mine used to say there’s a pervert on every block, there’s always one person in every neighborhood who’s kind of questionable. You’re looking for that one pervert story.

– David Fincher

Bringing to life a screenplay by Andrew Kevin Walker, which was purportedly based on his impressions of New York, Se7en tracks two homicide detectives (played by Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman) as they try to piece together the details of a series of murders that thematise the seven deadly sins: gluttony, greed, sloth, lust, pride, envy and wrath. The John Doe serial killer (Kevin Spacey) chooses victims based on their transgression of a particular sin, employing the most sadistic and tortuous methods possible to end the life of each sinner. Following from this, one of the central motifs of the film is the moral degeneration of a contemporary society that is wilfully blind to social ills. It is no coincidence that the opening sequence features the eyes of a person being effaced.

Significantly, the first time I watched the film, back in the days of VHS, I thought that I must have rented a bad copy because the exposure and saturation of the film image was so dark. Of course, the film effects and the low-key lighting are completely intentional and complement the idea of a morally filthy city filled with people lacking in vision and foresight. Considering concepts of sight, part of the reason why I find Se7en so evocative is the fact that you never actually see any of the murders, but witness the aftermath as the film camera fetishises rotting corpses, blood and disfigured bodies.

Fincher is extremely gifted at capturing characters that reside on the margins of society and at providing a view into the perversion of humanity, but his films are so satisfying to watch because he is truly an aesthete. In interviews he has discussed his fanatical attention to every element of the set design and this can be see in his near perfect creation of a morbid and depressing simulacra of the modern city in Se7en. It is slightly gut-wrenching and arduous viewing, but well worth it in the long run.

Danica

Cowboys and Aliens

The new trailer for Cowboys & Aliens is out and I’m totally surprised and impressed. I knew of the comic book, but I never read it before. I also had no idea who was in it and who was making it, so I was shocked to see Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford, along with Jon Favreau directing. As my friend Ryan described it, this feels like Unforgiven meets Independence Day. I’m glad Favreau chose to go the “serious” route with this and not make it silly or campy, like what that stupid looking Green Lantern is doing. I can’t wait to see this movie.

Bobby

Degeneration by Hugo Arcier

Yesterday, we saw how errant robots could make houses look fat, and today we’re looking at work from digital artist Hugo Arcier and his series of digitally degenerating forms. As Arcier describes his work: “All my 3D objects are afflicted with a degenerative disease. Gripped by terror, they understand what fate awaits them. Gradually they disintegrate, face after face they lose their appearance, with a fatal outcome.” For whatever reason, watching the shape of the body become more and more abstracted seems less fatal than it seems fascinating.

The body forms remind me of these body forms, which were created for Air’s album Pocket Symphony by artist Xavier Veilhan who has a larger body of faceted sculptures. Among much amazing work is this, a monumental yellow portrait of his friend Sophie.

Alex

Sights & Sounds Presents Wilco: ‘A.M.’ by Adam Hanson

Adam Hanson

Here it is folks, the reincarnation of the Desktop Wallpaper Project, a new project I’m calling Sights & Sounds. Our first musical artist is Wilco and we’ll be releasing a wallpaper for each album every week and then move onto the next artist. I’ll be throwing random wallpapers in between each series to mix it up a bit, so no worries.

Our first album is A.M. and was interpreted by Adam Hanson. A.M. came out in March of 1995 and overall is considered to be not so great of an album. It had a lot of the alt-country sound that Uncle Tupelo had but it overall it didn’t really hit the nail on the head. That said I think Adam did an amazing job of creating a wallpaper based on the ideas of the album. Here’s how he did it:

My wallpaper based on Wilco’s ‘A.M.’ record is a pretty straight forward interpretation of the song “Passenger Side”. It’s definitely my favorite song on the album and I kept listening to it over and over for this project. To me the song, much like most of the album, is about a relationship on the rocks and that feeling of uneasiness when realizing it’s not going to work out. I wanted to capture the moment of “well it couldn’t get any worse than this so I might as well smoke”, which is pretty much the subject matter for the rest of the album. The album is full of twang and a pretty heavy country influence so I wanted the imagery to have a bit of a light-hearted take on the situation.

I tend to mostly work in the realm of screen printing so my brain is pretty much wired to use a really restricted number of colors when I design. This wallpaper was no different. I love using color overlays to create extra colors and am a sucker for halftones.

Check back next Wedensday for the next wallpaper, Wilco’s Being There.

Bobby

A Night of Tim Biskup and Fiat

Yesterday I got a text from Tim Biskup asking me if I’d like to go the grand opening of the first Fiat showroom in North America. That entire sentence in-my-opinion is completely ridiculous, so of course I said yes and brought Kyle along with me. It ended up being a really crazy event for many reasons. First, it was basically a black tie event with older men and women in fancy looking suits and dresses. Kyle and I on the other hand wore red plaid (yes the both of us, not on purpose) and we may have also been some of the youngest people there. When we ran into Tim he was actually hanging out with Brian Bell from Weezer, which was random and funny as well. Turns out Tim was there painting the hood of one of the Fiat’s as a part of a promotional campaign the company is doing. The car will be travelling around the country and other artists and creative types will be adding to it.

It’s always fun to hang out with Tim but it was even better getting to watch him work. I’ve known Tim’s work for at least 10 years now so it was a real treat to see him working in person. He’s truly an amazing painter who has an amazing amount of control when he works. He’s able to paint a perfect circle, which I thought was pretty impressive. I even got to learn little details like how he adds blue and red to black to give it life because without it the black is too grey.

All in all it was a pretty great night. Mozza catered the event so we ate lots of yummy meats and cheeses and drank a ton of Prosecco. We even got to see Robin Thicke perform Lil Wayne’s A Milli on the roof… it was just one of those nights.

Update: Tim sent me an image of the finished car, it turned out pretty amazing, don’t you think?

Bobby

Concrete Misplots by Zeitguised

Imagine a future where the spaces we inhabit are fabricated by gigantic 3-d printers, or manufactured with robots given precise instructions.  Now, imagine that something goes wrong with either the printer or the robot and Zeitguised is his hoping that we end up with something as fantastic as the images above. Zeitguised supposes that these defective housing units will be sold to cash-strapped seniors– but with defects looking this good, who would prefer a mass-produced dwelling with less personality?

Also, note that future people will live in concrete houses floating above the ocean, where I imagine a net would be more useful than a set of stairs: you can’t catch dinner with a set of stairs. And unless all of the fish in the ocean have mutated into something unhealthy, that’s some fresh seafood.

Alex.

Forestbound

It is no secret that I am a sucker for a beautifully crafted handmade bag. Naturally, I was instantly smitten when introduced to the designs of Alice Saunders for Forestbound. Using found and salvaged materials, Saunder’s artisanal bags have a charmingly rustic feel that extends from the sense of history captured in the vintage hardware and textiles, all of which are carefully sourced throughout New England. Each bag is one-of-a-kind and possesses a utilitarian aesthetic and subdued palette that makes her totes perfect for both ladies and gentlemen.

Every piece features an abundance of style, a little piece of history, a nod to eco-awareness and functionality. How can you resist? You can’t?! Well, you can shop online here.

The bags featured are the Recycled Canvas Carryall, the Buckled Leather Utility Pouch and the Leather Bottomed Carryall.

Danica

Sights & Sounds Presents Wilco

Continuing the Desktop Wallpaper Project and spinning things back to its Radiohead Countdown Wallpaper roots we wanted to present a new wallpaper project to tie music and visual art together: Sights & Sounds. The idea is to get creative folks involved in work inspired by popular music artists. Each series will feature a guest artist who will curate the series, selecting visual artists who are up for the challenge of making a new wallpaper. They will be assigned with a past LP or EP within the music artist’s catalogue that expresses and expands upon their original message. We’ll start with the first album in the musicians catalog and work our way through week by week. Once we finish we move onto another musical artist, into infinity.

Tomorrow we’ll debut the first series which will center around the band Wilco. I’ve been a big fan of theirs for years now, so this was a no brainer. I decided to ask my friend Joe Van Wetering if he’d want the very exclusive role of curator for this first series and he gladly said yes. Who did he get to participate? Well, that’s a part of the mystery of these, you’re not gonna’ know until we release them. The first one drops tomorrow, some time in the morning, California time.

There are some seriously rad wallpapers coming your way… so are you excited now?

Bobby

Kris Knight

I’m totally in love with these sultry looking paintings from Canadian artist Kris Knight. These are from a series called All Babes Are Wolves which was actually shown here in Los Angeles at KMLA. What really works for me on these is the colors and how they’re being used. There’s something really sexy and alluring about these images, their glistening eyes, rosy cheeks and blood red lips. It’s also interesting that the subjects are looking directly at you, almost engaging you. Really beautiful, amazing work.

Bobby