Date Archives May 2011

Jakko Mattila

Jakko Mattila

Jakko Mattila

I’m posting these purely because I’m obsessed with them. They’re both prints by Jakko Mattila, a Finnish artist who’s work is really geometric but abstract at the same time. He uses a lot of the same motifs and patterns, lots of dots and lines and random drips. It’s really impressive that so much of his work looks digital when all of it is done by hand, especially his works on canvas. If you enjoy these images you’ll definitely be love the rest of his work.

Bobby

‘The Accidental Sea’ by Ransom Riggs

'The Accidental Sea' by Ransom Riggs

'The Accidental Sea' by Ransom Riggs

'The Accidental Sea' by Ransom Riggs

Technically, the Salton Sea is a “saline, endorheic rift lake located directly on the San Andreas Fault predominantly in California’s Imperial Valley,” so says Wikipedia. It’s a haunted place that’s been mostly abandoned since the 60’s but still draws in the curious and the adventurous. Recently, a documentarian named Ransom Riggs made a short film called The Accidental Sea which gives the background on this forgotten place and how it got to it’s current state. He likens the Salton Sea to the way the world will be one day, devoid of people, nothing left but our skeletons littering the land. It’s a beautiful, sad film, but I enjoyed it quite a lot.

Found through Devour

Bobby

‘Carl Fisher’s Roads’ by Sam Bosma

'Carl Fisher's Roads' by Sam Bosma

'Carl Fisher's Roads' by Sam Bosma

'Carl Fisher's Roads' by Sam Bosma

Wow! Picking images from Sam Bosma‘s portfolio to share on the site is tough work. The Ohio-born, Baltimore-based illustrator really has an impressive collection of work online and anyone could easily loose a substantial portion of their day simply clicking through it. The images above come from a series of five that he created for the current issue of Muse magazine for a piece about the American Entrepreneur Carl G. Fisher.

Fisher was a tireless pioneer and promoter who had a keen interest in America’s growing need for personal transportation during the first half of the 20th century. I think my favorite of Sam’s illustrations shows Carl Fisher’s unique promotion of bikes by throwing one off the roof of a building and awarding a free bike to whoever returned the wreckage back to the shop. Sam’s style is so much fun and his combination of composition, rich color pallets and a beautiful painterly style all add together to make really wonderful work. He also keeps an excellent blog which gives a great insight into his work process.

Philip

The Joys of Fat Albert

The Joys of Fat Albert

The Joys of Fat Albert

The Joys of Fat Albert

The animated series Fat Albert and The Cosby Kids premiered on CBS in 1972 and ran for 12 years, spawning 110 episodes. Fat Albert, Mushmouth, Weird Harold, and Dumb Donald were all based on characters Bill Cosby supposedly grew up with and had been involving in his standup routine entitled “Buck Buck” – a game kids would play in his neighborhood.

So many talented and unfortunately forgotten animators had a hand in the design of the characters including Amby Paliwoda (Flintstones) and Ken Mundie (Little Nemo) and it’s striking how their funky images have become influences to so many modern designers and illustrators. The franchise was almost ruined when a terrible live-action film was made that starred Kenan Thompson, but luckily there are artists out there like KAWS, Jamie Hewlett, Michael Lau, and James Jarvis continuing on the tradition of fun and colorful work.

Daniel

You Need To See Trolljegeren, AKA TROLL HUNTER

Troll Hunter, Trolljegeren, Written and Directed by André Øvredal

Troll Hunter, Trolljegeren, Written and Directed by André Øvredal

Troll Hunter, Trolljegeren, Written and Directed by André Øvredal

It is with great excitement that I am able to introduce a mildly horrific cinema item on to the site today. The item at hand is a delightful Norwegian film entitled Trolljergeren, which in English translates to Troll Hunter.

Yes, Troll Hunter, folks.

The movie is an extremely fun mockumentary, designed to creep around at dark looking for creatures via night vision goggles. The film follows a small crew of university students who are making a documentary about the Norwegian hunting scene as many bears (“bjørn”) have been found killed. After snooping around a bit, the crew is able to deduce that something else is afoot here, something suspicious and generally not right. They catch sight of a particular hunter, Hans (played by fabulous curmudgeon, Otto Jespersen), and stalk him to find out some great surprises–particularly, trolls (which translate to “trolls”).

You can guess what happens in the film, which really isn’t that groundbreaking in storytelling: mockumentaries are inherently flawed, from the rough way it is shot to the inevitable abrupt end because the cameraman/camera dies. However, what is really so fantastic about this film is its subject matter: trolls! Has there ever been another movie besides Troll & Troll 2 and Ernest Scared Stupid to discuss trolls? No! There hasn’t been! And, the ones that do exist are silly non-mythological looks at this sub-genre. What makes Troll Hunter so important is that it is a moment in (horror) film history where the troll is explained and made logistically possible, which is exactly what makes the movie so entertaining.

Moreover, the film is technically amazing. All the troll effects and animation surrounding the creatures are executed perfectly and never take you out of the movie to say, “PSSSSH: that looks fake.” Instead, the film is able to really embrace its use of night vision and darkness to make these creatures look absolutely great, something Blair Witch and Paranormal Activity did not do, but District 9 did in a more commercial way. You will not be scared by the trolls or by anything else in the film, but you will definitely have fun and be impressed with the creatures.

Troll Hunter is one film released this year that I urge you to seek out. It’s fun, it’s smart, and it will definitely be remade in America and probably introduce a whole new canon of troll horror, which I happily embrace to give us a break from zombies and vampires. You can catch the film today, on your computer, courtesy of Apple or in limited release on June 10.

KYLE

PS. Please note: I recommend you only watch the above (teaser) trailer, as the other full trailers give away a bit too much plot information away. You have been warned!

‘Black Forest’, A Trippy, Looped Video by Charles Huettner

'Black Forest', A Trippy, Looped Video by Charles Huettner

'Black Forest', A Trippy, Looped Video by Charles Huettner

This clever animation above was created by Charles Huettner, a Pennsylvania based illustrator and animator. It’s about… well, I’m not sure what it’s about. But it features this little, black critter that falls from a tree, absorbs a bunch of little black slug guys and then turns into some kinda’ humanoid. But then this jellybean looking guy climbs out of his body and rockets onto the tree, killing the humanoid thing-y. Totally weird, right?

Well here’s the thing. You need to Control + Click the video (or right click if you’re a Windows user) and select Turn Loop ON. This weird little short will play over and over until you’re content. I watched it about 4 times in a row last night, it’s just so weird to see it happening again and again. Charles created this clip for loopdeloop, a site devoted to looping films, which I highly suggest you check out as well.

Bobby

‘Strawberry Shortcake’ by Tom Rubnitz

'Strawberry Shortcake' by Tom Rubnitz

'Strawberry Shortcake' by Tom Rubnitz

Tom Rubnitz shot Strawberry Shortcake in 1991, right at the end of the Cold War and the height of VHS camcorders. The Chicago born video-artist unfortunately died of AIDS when he was only in his 30’s, but he still nonetheless helped build the image of RuPaul and the East Village drag queen scene by featuring them in his shorts. No one else but Tom Rubnitz could’ve put transvestites, cheap food, and neon colors together to form artistic masterpieces that have already been viewed by 1,000,000+ individuals because of the internet. If you feel like this clip makes you want to see more of Rubnitz’s work then you’re in for a surprise…a pickle surprise.

Daniel

Please Welcome Daniel & Alec… And A Call For (Female) Writers

Daniel RolnikAlec Rojas

There’s a lot of stuff going on behind the scenes here at The Fox Is Black right now, and if there’s one thing I’m most excited about is getting more unique voices on the site. So after a bit of looking around, I came across two fellas that I thought fit the bill. The first guy is named Daniel Rolnik, he’s the guy on the left. Daniel lives here in Los Angeles and is the biggest ball of energy I’ve seen in my life. The guy introduces himself to everyone he runs into and he writes a mean interview. The second guy is Alec Rojas, who’s technically a legal advisor but I think another life he was some kind of shaman working for Jim Morrison. He’s got a great taste in food and music and is entrenched in the LA music scene. Daniel is going to providing daily posts on the site and Alec will be helping out much like Philip does, one or two posts a week. Please give them a warm welcome, I think you’re going to enjoy what’s coming.

But there’s just one problem… the site has become a sausage fest, and that needs to be remedied. So I’ve decided to simplify things a bit and I’m looking for two amazing female writers. It doesn’t matter where in the world you live, so long as you’re ahead of the curve on art, design, food and fashion. You know the difference between a passing fad and an upcoming trend and you want to inform people on the rad shit that’s out there. I want to find the female equivalent of me, wherever you are.

So please hit me up with an email of your work, specifically your blog that you keep freshly updated and the reasons why you think you’d make The Fox Is Black a thousand times better. Send it to thefoxisblack at gmail and be sure to title it New Writer for The Fox Is Black. We already have a couple of strong applicants but I wanted to open the flood gates a bit more. If you’re picked for a daily writing assignment, you will be paid after a short trial period.

Thanks everyone for sticking around this mad house. I promise that our content will continue to be the best, and that I’m not going to write any less, in fact, this just makes me work even harder.

Bobby

Sneak Preview of the Tim Burton Exhibit at LACMA (74 Photos)

Tim Burton Exhibit at LACMA

Tim Burton Exhibit at LACMA

Tim Burton Exhibit at LACMA

Tim Burton Exhibit at LACMA

Click images to enlarge

Yesterday Kyle and I had the opportunity to see a sneak peak of the upcoming Tim Burton exhibition at the LACMA’s new Resnick Pavilion, which opens to the public on Sunday, May 29. The exhibit is a retrospective of Burton’s career, starting with his early work as a kid growing up in Burbank and how he slowly became the creative genius we know today. The exhibit is filled with a mix of everything like paintings, sculptures, videos, short films, movie props and even a huge, black light installation.

My favorite part was seeing all of the old drawings and sketches he did when he was younger. You can totally tell that he was really bored when he was growing up, and channeled this boredom into art. But so many of these little drawings were the seeds of ideas, which would eventually translate into larger ideas, some even progressing into characters in his films.

There were also a ton of movie related sketches and items such as Jonny Depp’s costume from Edward Scissorhands, 3 Batman mantles and even the eyeballs used for Large Marge from Pee Wee’s Big Adventure. Another awesome part was The Nightmare Before Christmas section which contained about a dozen maquettes from the movie and about two dozen Jack Skellington heads. I’m a huge fan of The Nightmare Before Christmas so I was totally nerding out in this section.

I really liked the show overall, but Kyle mentioned that the exhibit could have been way more creative overall. Maybe they could have ran it during Halloween? Or maybe they could have made the experience more interactive and less… a standard exhibit. Especially after seeing Art In The Streets so recently, it’s hard not to make a comparison. Nonetheless, if you’re as big of a fan of Tim Burton’s work as I am you’ll still love this show.

Under the cut I’ve posted 71 more photos from the show, so if you don’t live in L.A. or don’t plan on visiting in the next 3 months, you’ll get a good taste of what the show was all about. I hope you guys enjoy it!

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The Flaming Lips and Prefuse 73 Join Together and Get Weird

The Flaming Lips and Prefuse 73 Record

The Flaming Lips and Prefuse 73 Record

The Flaming Lips and Prefuse 73 Record

The Flaming Lips and Prefuse 73 Record

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The Super Moon Made Me Wanna Pee!!! by The Flaming Lips with Prefuse 73

To some extent, this was a psychedelic meeting waiting to happen. The Flaming Lips has teamed up with Prefuse 73 to release a four track, limited record… in Oklahoma. Far out, right? From the most serene to the most artificial of noises, Prefuse 73 and his many incarnations are collages of sound, retrofitted and mashed into the same sonic canvas. And the Flaming Lips’s often go to as many different musical places as possible, but never venture outside their sonic universe.

The overlap from these two groups resides in their galactic forays. This conceptual little record might as well be music to take for a planetarium, and names of the songs are exactly what they mean. Lead track, The Supermoon Made Me Want To Pee!!!, feels exactly like that: a frantic drum beat and pace pushes the song until it ends into a satisfying-as-a-piss ambient synth. Heavy Star Moving… takes shape as a slow celestial dirge, with guitars contrasting to create a sweeping fuzz for Coyne to sing over. Be Like That…That…That… might as well be a lost transmisson from space while Guillermo’s Bolero rocks as a piano driven synth blend. It’s star gazing and light-show fun.

These hand pressed records are imbued with a variety of colors, as colorful as the music they contain. I’d kind of want to have one for that day I buy a really expensive telescope to pair with a record player. Or go outside with a telescope with a portable record player. Or gaze at the stars with a beer and google skymaps. When’s the next supermoon? Seriously… when?

You can also see more photos of the all the records that were pressed by clicking here.

Alec