Date Archives February 2012

Os Gemeos explodes in Los Angeles

An Explosion Of Os Gemeos

An Explosion Of Os Gemeos

An Explosion Of Os Gemeos

An Explosion Of Os Gemeos

Os Gemeos have brought their magical realistic high art street art to Los Angeles, in a show that opened this past weekend at Prism. The artist duo have completely transformed the space from any other white-walled gallery space to a bright red, orange, and yellow world of disembodied heads floating around, rising from the floors, glittery sparkles popping out of paintings, drum based music pumping from various mysterious locations, and even a face that sits above the building, watching traffic.

The show sees new paintings, sculptures, and even a few knitted pieces by the artists, which they have sewn into the space, somehow opening a wormhole from our world into theirs. It’s a phenomenal show. If you are in the Los Angeles area or traveling through here in the next month, you have to stop by to see it since it is just batshit insane. Check out more photos from the show here.

The Desktop Wallpaper Project featuring Always With Honor and Jolby

The Desktop Wallpaper Project featuring Always With Honor and Jolby

Always With Honor and Jolby

Yesterday I posted about the Triforce Tribute, an upcoming art show put together by Always With Honor and Jolby. Today we’ve got a very special wallpaper from them titled Trouble in Lost Woods, which is pretty bad ass. They’ve combined their lofty talents to create this image, which will eventually be a print, I’ll be sure to let you know when it’s available.

This is exactly what I think of when I think of Legend of Zelda. There’s the endless woods with scary characters lurking around every corner. All you can think of is getting more of those damn gems. Brilliant work, gang. You can learn more about the Tribute Triforce show by clicking here.

Musashino Art University guide booklet, design by Daigo Daikoku

Musashino Art University guide booklet, design by Daigo Daikoku

Musashino Art University guide booklet, design by Daigo Daikoku

Musashino Art University guide booklet, design by Daigo Daikoku

Musashino Art University guide booklet, design by Daigo Daikoku

There’s a simplicity to good design, which I think Daigo Dakoku has embodied with these guide booklets for Musashino Art University. When I first saw these I kind of gasped. There’s something so mystical and ethereal about these pieces, like there’s a vibration to them. The colors he chose for the “dots” are so bright and vibrant, slowly fading out to a muted, opposite color that surrounds it. What’s funny to me is that these are just the covers, there’s more information inside, but the covers seem so perfect and flawless. I would love to have all of these image as large prints, they’d look amazing.

Photographs of the ‘Jardin d’Agronomie Tropicale’ by Shane Lynam

'Contour Exotica' - A Photo Series by Shane Lynam

'Contour Exotica' - A Photo Series by Shane Lynam

Photographs of the 'Jardin d'Agronomie Tropicale' by Shane Lynam

'Contour Exotica' - A Photo Series by Shane Lynam

I hadn’t heard of France’s Jardin d’Agronomie Tropicale until discovering the work of Paris-based photographer Shane Lynam. Originally opened in 1907, the gardens were once home to a colonial exhibition, an international event which hoped to boost trade with France’s colonial empires.

It was here that six distinct villages were built – one from Madagascar, one from Congo, one from Sudan, and others from Tunisia, Morocco and Indochine. These villiages were horrifically populated with inhabitants, monuments and product all taken from these territories. In another words, the Jardin d’Agronomie Tropicale was a ‘human zoo’.

It seems shocking to think that this sort of thing existed, but colonial exhibits were a big part of early 20th Century European history. Indeed, it’s said that one million people attended the 1907 exhibition in Paris, and French historian Pascal Blanchard estimates that one and a half billion people visited universal or colonial exhibits throughout the world from 1870 to 1930.

Today, the Jardin d’Agronomie Tropicale is a different place. Over time, parts have become vandalized and burned. The French authorities simply neglect it. Buildings remain abandoned and the exotic plantations have disappeared altogether.

Despite what you might feel should be done to a place like this, it’s understandable that France has it’s hands tied. If they restore it, many would say that they were paying service to a part of their history that doesn’t deserve to be commemorated. Yet destroying it would feel like they were attempting to cover up their past. And so, for now, it remains. Standing as a ghost town, haunted by the spirits of it’s past.

More photos from Shane’s series can be viewed here.

Banksy on advertising

Banksy - Fox and Colonel Sanders

I saw this excerpt of Banksy’s thoughts on advertising earlier today, so I thought I’d share.

People are taking the piss out of you everyday. They butt into your life, take a cheap shot at you and then disappear. They leer at you from tall buildings and make you feel small. They make flippant comments from buses that imply you’re not sexy enough and that all the fun is happening somewhere else. They are on TV making your girlfriend feel inadequate. They have access to the most sophisticated technology the world has ever seen and they bully you with it. They are The Advertisers and they are laughing at you.

You, however, are forbidden to touch them. Trademarks, intellectual property rights and copyright law mean advertisers can say what they like wherever they like with total impunity.

Fuck that. Any advert in a public space that gives you no choice whether you see it or not is yours. It’s yours to take, re-arrange and re-use. You can do whatever you like with it. Asking for permission is like asking to keep a rock someone just threw at your head.

You owe the companies nothing. Less than nothing, you especially don’t owe them any courtesy. They owe you. They have re-arranged the world to put themselves in front of you. They never asked for your permission, don’t even start asking for theirs.

– Banksy

Beautiful black and white photos by Toshio Shibata

Beautiful black and white photos by Toshio Shibata

Beautiful black and white photos by Toshio Shibata

Beautiful black and white photos by Toshio Shibata

Yesterday I inquired about who took the beautiful photo on the cover of the new Fanfarlo album. Helpful TFIB reader Shane informed that it was the work of Japanese photographer Toshio Shibata. What inspired me to post about his work was the fact that he was able to make unnatural, concrete structures look so natural and beautiful. For example, the concrete bricks in the image at top look almost like an extreme close-up of salt crystals. The second photo looks like it could have been taken from space. It’s all so abstract and beautiful.

Brightly painted hallways of the Vincci Bit Hotel by MWM Graphics

Brightly painted hallways of the Vincci Bit Hotel by MWM Graphics

Brightly painted hallways of the Vincci Bit Hotel by MWM Graphics

Brightly painted hallways of the Vincci Bit Hotel by MWM Graphics

Brightly painted hallways of the Vincci Bit Hotel by MWM Graphics

Matt W. Moore is an unstoppable force of brightly colored geometric patterns. I love posting about Matt’s work because of how bright and vibrant it always is, his style is kind of how I think my soul would look like. He’s back with a new project for the Vincci Bit Hotel in Barcelona, specifically the 4th floor corridor. The mural is 50 meters long, he used 14 gallons of paint and it took him 2 weeks of painting.

His effort has totally paid off though, as he’s created such a beautiful experience to walk through. Matt was awesome and decided to take some video of the corridor, so be sure to check that out below. You can also see lots more photos of the corridor by clicking here.

An interview with designer Trevor Tarczynski

An Interview With Designer Trevor Tarczynski

An Interview With Designer Trevor Tarczynski

An Interview With Designer Trevor Tarczynski

Designer Trevor Tarczynski may just be the visual “voice” of all the cool kids in Los Angeles. Located out in Echo Park and working with some of the biggest concert venues, party people, and even dodgeball teams in town, Trevor has carved his own niche of visuals through design: if you live in this city and consider yourself to be hip and with it, you have seen his handiwork, the work of his Studio Destro. We spoke with him a few months back about his work and thoughts on design in the area, which was great considering we haven’t really gotten a chance to sit down with that many graphic designers in and from Southern California. You can read the interview here.

The Triforce Tribute, a multi-medium show celebrating all things Zelda

The Triforce Tribute, a multi-medium show celebrating all things Zelda

Jolby

The Triforce Tribute, a multi-medium show celebrating all things Zelda

Frank Chimero

One of my earliest childhood memories is going to a birthday party of friend and playing Legend of Zelda, mystified by what the hell you were supposed to do. In my young brain it all looked the same, until suddenly a rock was moved and the main character was taken into a dungeon where danger lurked around every corner. I think it’s these same memories that spurred Portland designers Always With Honor (who designed my fantastic black fox logo) and Jolby to curate an art show called Triforce Tribute.

The show opens on Friday, March 9 and runs until April 21 at the Land Gallery, featuring over 30 artists, many of them my friends and favorites. I sent AWH and Jolby some questions about the show, here’s what they had to say.

1) What spurred you and Jolby to get together and organize the Triforce Tribute?

The Triforce Tribute came to be mostly as an excuse to make some Zelda-themed work. We had joked about curating a show for a while, but weren’t sure there would be much interest outside of ourselves.

2) You have over 30 artists in the show, all creating original art. Was it difficult to find so many people?

Initially we were a bit concerned that there wouldn’t be much interest since it’s such a specific subject matter, but the response has been nothing but positive, and we’re super happy that so many amazing people are involved.

3) Were you surprised by other people’s passion for the Legend of Zelda series?

We knew people were passionate, but have been more surprised by the amount of folks that have gotten excited about the show- it turns out there are a lot of Zelda fans out there!

4) I grew up playing the original Legend of Zelda, but what’s your personal favorite and why?

Jolby: Our favorite Zelda game is A Link to the Past for the SNES. The game (at the time) was everything you wanted in a video game; It was filled with puzzles, rich with detail and depth, it had another dimension to explore, secrets to find… it was so good. Even the songs have stuck with us over the years. Hands down our favorite title in the series.

AWH: We agree on ALTTP, it was the first game in the series we ever played so it has a special place in our hearts. It also holds up so well, it’s still just as fun to play today as it was back then.

5) Any future plans for more shows like this?

No plans at the moment, but we’ve had so much fun putting this one together it’s definitely a possibility!

They were also kind enough to send me some preview art of the show, which is both above and below. You can see the level of talent in the show is pretty huge.You can see more previews of the work from the show over on their blo by clicking here.

Also be sure to check in tomorrow, as we’ve got a special Triforce Tribute wallpaper.

The Triforce Tribute, a multi-medium show celebrating all things Zelda

Yehteh

The Triforce Tribute, a multi-medium show celebrating all things Zelda

Dan Cassaro / Young Jerks

The Triforce Tribute, a multi-medium show celebrating all things Zelda - Art by Ping Zu

Ping Zu

The Triforce Tribute, a multi-medium show celebrating all things Zelda - Art by Trevor Bassett

Trevor Bassett

The Triforce Tribute, a multi-medium show celebrating all things Zelda - Art by Jez Burrows

Jez Burrows

Wang Shu: 2012 laureate for the Pritzker Prize

Portrait of Pritzker Prize winner, Wang Shu

Wang Shu: 2012 Pritzker Laureate

Wang Shu: 2012 Pritzker Laureate

Wang Shu: 2012 Pritzker Laureate

Yesterday, the Hyatt Foundation announced Wang Shu as the 2012 laureate for the Pritzker Prize. If you’re first thought reading this is “Wait, who?!” then you’re not alone. His work is fantastic, even if it’s unfamiliar to nearly everyone outside of architecture, and unfamiliar to a sizable number of architects, too. I’ve been reading reactions to the news of his selection, trying to gauge if other folks are as surprised as I am by his recognition. It’s surprising not because his work doesn’t deserve the recognition, but because the committee selected the architectural equivalent of “a band so cool you haven’t even heard of them yet.” So here’s a few of the reactions as well as more information about Shu and his hilariously-named practice: Amateur Architecture Studio.

Christopher Hawthorne just happened to sit down to lunch with Shu this weekend in downtown LA (Shu is in town and spoke last night at UCLA) asking if Shu’s wife, Lu Wenyu, deserved to share the prize with him.

Alejandro Aravena, a member of the selection committee for the prize, wrote an eloquent essay, er talk, about Shu’s selection, describing a moving visit to a history museum designed by Shu (and his wife) in the city of Ningbo. Aravena repeats some of the points from the official announcement about the rapid development of China and Shu’s use of material reclaimed from older constructions.

Aaron Britt, from Dwell, says that Shu’s recognition may signal more awards in the future to Asian architects. Britt’s not alone, as even the press release talks about the rising importance of China:

“The fact that an architect from China has been selected by the jury, represents a significant step in acknowledging the role that China will play in the development of architectural ideals.In addition, over the coming decades China’s success at urbanization will be important to China and to the world. This urbanization, like urbanization around the world, needs to be in harmony with local needs and culture. China’s unprecedented opportunities for urban planning and design will want to be in harmony with both its long and unique traditions of the past and with its future needs for sustainable development.”

I’m not sure this means the committee will rain Pritzker medallions all over China for the foreseeable future, as it’s anyone’s guess where the prize will land next. Some of the more combative comments about Shu’s selection for the award have something do with the friction between Shu’s talent and how his selection is perceived. I would guess that folks unhappy with his selection view the prize as validation of someone’s reputation: a lifetime achievement award that cements some pre-existing reputation. In Shu’s case, the prize creates his reputation for many people. “He’s won the Pritzker Prize so he must be amazing, right?” He is, and I think his selection is appropriate even if surprising. Maybe Wang Shu is a band you haven’t heard of, but maybe you’ll like listening to it, too.

More photos of Shu’s work, and more information, on the Pritzker Foundation website.