Ei Kaneko is a Tokyo based artist who creates moody and disorienting portraits with graphite. It’s interesting how he uses fragments of images to create a new meaning. What that new meaning may be I’m not sure, but I love that piece at top which juxtaposes a detailed drawing of a skull with the frail figure of an androgynous person. I found an interesting article over on Art is Alive where he describes his work as “a void identity.” If these pieces interest you be sure to click here to read it. Also be sure to click the images to see them larger and to see more of the details.
Chalk is an interesting medium. The first word that pops into my head is “temporary.” And when I think of chalk I imagine kids splayed out on the sidewalk on a warm summer day, their dreams and imaginations spilling out in a chalky mess. But what happens when you take such a simple tool and bring a little craft to it? You’d get something like the work of Dana Tanamichi. Dana does these large scale typography drawings that are simply stunning, harkening back to a time of sign painters creating advertisements on the sides of buildings. Of course, she works for Louise Fili, which makes total sense when you look at what she does because she does it so well.
Over the weekend I was catching up GQ’s coverage of the men’s fashion shows from Milan, seeing what sort of weirdness the big designers were coming up with. There’s a lot of interesting ideas out there but in my opinion Junya Watanabe, the ex-Comme Des Garçons designer, was doing some of the most interesting and wearable pieces that I saw.
It’s no secret that the Japanese have a soft spot for Americana when it comes to clothing, but it seems like Junya has been able to take that style and evolve it from it’s current place. For example, the larger photos show jackets that are inspired by ski sweaters, ornate patterns and bright colors and all. It’s such a clever idea that seems so simple and smart. These heavy patterns and plaids are used all throughout the collection, but in new ways with refined touches.
I wasn’t sure if it was just me, that I was just excited about the collection because it reflects a progression of how I kind of dress. But then I saw The Sartorialist was in the front row of the show snapping photos and I realized I wasn’t crazy. His photos are the larger ones above, the smaller come from GQ. Seeing his photo gave such a human and personal look to the clothes, he did a great job of capturing the personalities of the models, thus making the clothes look even better. Or at least, that’s how I see it.
When I first viewed the work of Japanese photographer Hayato Wakabayashi I said very little, but I am pretty sure that my jaw dropped significantly. His most recent photographs capture natural phenomena in the process of catastrophe and destruction and yet Wakabayashi manages to infuse each shot with astonishing beauty. Having previously filled his compositions with imagery of flowers and plants – and therefore dealing with subjects that are intrinsically associated with aestheticised prettiness – Wakabayashi’s new work draws attention to finding visual splendour in the unexpected.
Wakabayashi also has a lovely photolog that you can check out here.
These are photos of the Bangkok University Creative Center designed by SuperMachine Studios. The most dominate feature of the 600 square meters is the bold use of color… and even bold doesn’t quite portray the magnitude of color cajones it must have taken to realize this space. From the giant array of rotating pixels, to the highlighter-colored “internet center” to the day-lit spaces that line the periphery, this project creates a variety of workspaces for students to be creative. And the room is no blank slate, but another source of inspiration for students who go there.
The variety of spaces in the Creative Center seem to mirror the head spaces you occupy when you’re trying to solve a creative problem. There are more somber and serious spaces like the ones that line the exterior where you get stuff done, and spaces more playful, like the roving internet center where you sometimes get things done. And there’s plenty of space for distraction: not by cat videos, but by a wall of thousands of color-changing pixels. The wall could even be used to make a cat video, but someone would have to have the patience and determination to re-arrange each pixel by hand for every frame of the video. Or just stare around the room, thinking about the polychromatic hues and looking for your favorite one.
The very talented Joel P. West has recently completed a new album, Generous Shadows, with his new band The Tree Ring and I’m really excited for him. He sent me an advanced copy of it and I’d say it’s one of my favorite albums of the year so far (Yes, I know it’s only January!). The first time I listened to it I was walking to the bus stop/on the bus and it complimented my trip perfectly. To give you a taste of the album here’s a video that was shot by Destin Cretton for the song Wore It Deep.
To film the video they told everyone invited to bring a lamp, that was their admittance fee to the performance. The effect is rather sweet and fun, I imagine being there and seeing this live was a total blast. The song is of course wonderful as well, without doubt Joel has one of those voices that you want to sing along with. I believe his album comes out on February 2nd, so be on the look out.
For the last couple weeks I’ve had Destroyer’s new album Kaputt on repeat. If you’re not familiar with Destroyer before it’s just one guy, Dan Bejar, who’s also a part of the bands The New Pornographers and Swan Lake. Not only that but this is his ninth album so far, his first album coming out in 1996. To say that the guy has been busy would be an understatement.
I decided to post the first track off the album, I felt it was the best way into this album. The song is called Chinatown and is sincerely retro. It’s like the 80’s exploded on this song, but in my opinion, in the best way possible. The horns blaring, the electronic dreams and synths streaming in… It’s a really ethereal song and a great start to an amazing album, which comes out tomorrow on Merge Records.
This temporary structure, designed by HHD Fun, housed an interactive video art installation. Since the inside needed to be dark, windows were out and recursive algorithms were in. Which is just a fancy way of saying that the architects played with different computer scripts until they found a script that they liked… and I like it, too. The cracked geometry of the face is highlighted with florescent red paint along the thin, protruding edges. Even though it kind of looks like lava glowing through the cracks of an iceberg, I’d go inside. Inside, interactive projections of google maps feature the small structure embedded in the digital maps. So, to be clear: the algorithms are embedded in the physical structure which is digitally embedded in the virtual geography inside that structure. Have you ever heard that quote about a riddle being wrapped in an enigma?
Last week New York based duo High Highs posted this great new song online. The band is made up of Jack Milas and Oli Chang, who both originally come from Australia. I came across them purely by accident a few months ago when I stumbled across an incredible cover they recorded of Wild Nothing’sLive In Dreams. I instantly fell in love with their sound and have been listening to them on an almost weekly bases ever since. Their sound is stark but beautiful, solemn yet uplifting; it’s the kind of music that never seems intrusive but still grabs your attention. Currently they’re working on their debut album and it sounds like it’s coming quite close to completion. To hear more from the band (including that excellent Wild Nothing cover) head over to their website.
Some of you may remember – from a post in 2009 – Australian graphic designer and illustrator Heath Killen and his series of fake “Ozsploitation” posters entitled, Dreamtime 79. Well, Killen is back with another project that showcases his skill at producing beautifully eye-catching film iconography. Lost Films Vol 1 follows a similar concept to Dreamtime 79, but this time Killen has created posters for films by famous directors that “were either unmade, unfinished or somehow lost before getting a cinema release.”
Killen’s nod to pop art and 1960s/1970s psychedelia, punchy colours and bold typography are stunning. And the titles? I for one would offer a limb to see Jean-Luc Godard’s The Faint Rebellion. And a film by Michelangelo Antonioni scored by The Doors? Yes, please!
The viewer is brilliantly drawn into the creative background of each film, as Killen leaves a number of visual clues that allow the audience to construct their own ideas: “You have a name, a director and a picture. What’s the film about? What happens in it? Who stars? Who scores? Was it any good? And perhaps most importantly – what happened to the film?”
The posters in the series are available for purchase through Print-Process.