Date Archives March 2012

The wonderfully strange paintings of Sophie Alda

Heavy Brains by Sophie Alda

Block of Flats by Sophie Alda

Melon Static by Sophie Alda

There is definitly something kind of strange about these paintings by the English illustrator and painter Sophie Alda. That said, there’s also something kind of wonderful about them too. Painted in gouche, her images are filled with beautiful pastel shades and are populated with odd and ugly characters. The flat nature of her paintings is really beautiful, but for me it’s her warped view of people that I really like. They’re strange, awkward and creepy – yet in many ways they feel like very honest depictions of people.

If you get the chance and if you’re a fan of the absurd make sure to check out more of her work online here, I’m particullarly fond of her Wobbledogs, GIF PARTY!

Vibrant images from British illustrator Daniel Frost

Vibrant images from British illustrator Daniel Frost

Vibrant images from British illustrator Daniel Frost

Daniel Frost is a British illustrator I stumbled across recently, his vibrant working catching my eye immediately. There’s a simplicity to his work, the shape of his characters are whimsical and his color palette is bright and primary. It’s really a treat to look at his work, it’s all so dynamic feeling.

I was particularly drawn to these postcards he did along with YCN called Trademarks. The idea is that types of people have a trademark quality to them, like a sailors sea legs or a bicyclists muscly thighs. It’s a funny concept and some of the images he’s created are hysterical. I also like these because of their colored backgrounds, as he usually uses only white in his backgrounds. I think it makes a huge difference in his work an I hope he starts putting more color in.

You can grab a set of the postcards from YCN by clicking here.

A Crematorium in Lithuania by Architektu Biuras G.Natkevicius ir Partneriai

A Crematorium in Lithuania designed by Architektu Biuras G.Natkevicius ir Partneriai

A Crematorium in Lithuania designed by Architektu Biuras G.Natkevicius ir Partneriai

A Crematorium in Lithuania designed by Architektu Biuras G.Natkevicius ir Partneriai

Even though I don’t want to be be buried, or die anytime soon, I’ve spent an embarrassing amount of time sketching what I’d want my grave to look like. I don’t want to be buried though, so it’s more likely that I’ll be found toe-up in a vat of formaldehyde, medical students picking me apart until there’s nothing left. What’s most likely is that I’ll be cremated after I die, no frills or education involved. It has never occurred to me think about where I’d want to be cremated until after seeing images of this Crematorium in Lithuania designed by Architektu Biuras G.Natkevicius ir Partneriai.

There’s a distinct attitude about this crematorium: it’s very visible. The windows are expressive and almost look like confetti strewn across concrete walls. It’s easy to want to hide crematoriums because they can be morbid places that we’d rather not think about, but these places can also mean more. Maybe shopping for a crematorium isn’t so far fetched, but by the time I end up in one I really won’t care. It won’t be about me, but my friends and family, and what they want to do. So if it’s two hundred years from now, and you’re a relative of mine and wondering what to do with my body: figure out if they’ve built something like this in Hawaii and go there.

This particular crematorium is the only crematorium in Lithuania. It was realized in spite of opposition by deep-seated religious traditionalists, so it may not be too surprising that it’s in a strange part of town, surrounded by factories and industrial plants instead of green space with actual plants. The project is introverted, in part, to shield visitors from the context, but also to minimize distractions for visitors. One curious detail about this project, and it’s context, is that even though it is surrounded by sugar mills and fertilizer factors with tall chimney stacks, the architects intentionally kept the chimney of the crematorium as small and out of sight as possible; they didn’t want the sight of the chimney to cause bad feelings.

Found through Dezeen

‘Building Nothing Out of Something’ by Modest Mouse, wallpaper by Deke Smith

'Building Nothing Out of Something' by Modest Mouse, wallpaper by Deke Smith

Deke Smith

We’ve reached, in my opinion, the pinnacle of Modest Mouse, the last great album they ever released. I’m talking about Building Nothing Out Of Something, a collection of songs that were released between 1996 and 1998. The album was released in the beginning of 2000, 12 years ago, it seems like a life time ago. Listening to this album I think of how I had no idea that this wasn’t a cohesive thought, that I never paid attention to the fact that it was a menagerie of tunes.

This collection to me is the embodiment of what Modest Mouse sounds like. It encapsulates the uneasiness of Brock’s lyrics, the fascination with travel, math, the moon, ice. It also has some of the most sensitive lyrics he’s ever written. Songs like Broke and Baby Blue Sedan are what Modest Mouse sounds like, though I’m not sure others hear them that way. There was something about their sound back then that was honest. They sounded like a bunch of guys trying to make an album with the best tools they had. Brock’s voice is slightly out of tune, as are the guitars. The flaws and character were a part of the charm.

If you’ve never been a fan of Modest Mouse, I implore you to listen to this album. It defies all the expectations you may have, and could maybe show you a side to their music you didn’t know they had.

As for the wallpaper, super illustrator Deke Smith has created this awesome piece that sums up the album so well. The album is made up of pieces and parts and so is his wallpaper, but each work as a cohesive thought. He’s created some pretty rad symbols, and I love the color palette he chose as well. A huge thanks to Deke and be sure to check back next week as we hit up The Moon and Antarctica.

A perfect pattern by Harriet Seed for Steven Alan

A perfect pattern by Harriet Seed for Steven Alan

A perfect pattern by Harriet Seed for Steven Alan

The other day I popped into my local Steven Alan store and stumbled across the a shirt with one of the most beautiful patterns I may have ever seen. As it turns out it was created by friend of TFIB Harriet Seed, who you may remember recently did a beautiful, folk inspired wallpaper for us. Her work for Steven Alan happened because of a partnership they created with Threadless to find interesting talent. Clearly it’s worked.

What I love about the pattern, the version at top being the one they used, is how it feels both older and contemporary at the same time. The age comes through in the mild distressing of the images, while the contemporary feeling comes through in the colors. Seeing this shirt on the rack, and of course on a person, is a thing of beauty, and it’s exciting that the folks at Steven Alan can see just how talented Harriet is. You can see more by clicking here.

Imeüble Shelving by Bjørn Jørund Blikstad

'Imeuble' - Shelving by Bjørn Jørund Blikstad

I was flicking through an old issue of Wallpaper today when I came across these great looking shelves designed by the Norwegian designer Bjørn Jørund Blikstad. I love the idea of shelving units that make a statement, and that’s exactly what Blikstad’s design does.

Called Imeüble, the completed piece is made up of a series of modular and brightly colored shelves and Blikstad believes that the 3D nature of his design will help people to easily remember exactly where they have put their documents, books and whatever else they need to store. “I’m interested in storage” he tells Wallpaper. “Everyone wants to make beautiful chairs, but there hasn’t been that much innovation in ways of storing things.” He certainly has a point, and I definitely think he’s on the right track with this excellent design.

Although originally created in 2009 as part of his Master’s degree from Oslo’s National Academy of the Arts, Imeüble was officially launched last month through By Corporation at the Stockholm Furniture Fair. More details about the shelves can be found on their website here.

Tell us what California art means to you, win a Pacific Standard Time poster

Tell Us What California Art Means To You, Win A Pacific Standard Time Poster

Tell Us What California Art Means To You, Win A Pacific Standard Time Poster

Tell Us What California Art Means To You, Win A Pacific Standard Time Poster

The landmark Pacific Standard Time in Southern California is drawing to an end, an art event/happening/showcase that shared the history of mid-century Los Angeles and Southern California. The series of art shows kicked off in October and pushes on (officially) through Saturday, when it will end. To celebrate its closing and wish it a fond farewell, we have acquired a ton of limited edition matte posters that we want to giveaway!

We have three posters in total–one Ice Cube Celebrates The Eames, one Jason Schwartzman Celebrates John Baldessari, and one Anthony Keidis Celebrates Ed Rushca–which you can win if you tell us a few things. We want to hear what Southern California art means to you. Tell us who your favorite artists are and how you think they’ve shaped the greater artistic landscape in the world. Have any directly influenced you? How has that influence manifested itself? Give us your answer via Twitter with the hashtag #TFIBpst or on our Facebook post here.

This answer could be as long or as short as you want it to be: we just want to hear why Southern California art is important to you and what you think its place in the world at large is. Entries are due by April 10. If you want to up your chances of winning a poster, you can also enter a concurrent contest over on Los Angeles, I’m Yours. We can’t wait to hear what you have to say!

A surreal cave (it’s a foyer) by One Plus Parntership

A surreal cave (it's a foyer) by One Plus Parntership

A surreal cave (it's a foyer) by One Plus Parntership

A surreal cave (it's a foyer) by One Plus Parntership

When I first saw these photos, I thought they must be renderings, but they’re not and the space actually exists. The project just looks surreal, too surreal– with more cuts and folds than a Libeskind project. And to make things less clear, the function of the space isn’t obvious (is it an entryway?). So we’re left imagining a client that would call up an architect, in this case One Plus Partnership, and ask for a lobby that looks more like a movie set than the foyer of an office building.

As much as I don’t want to like the space for being completely over the top, I can’t help but want to go there and admire the work of the folks that designed this.  It is absolutely a cave: there are wonky walls, tricky floors and stalactites (or maybe those lighting fixtures are supposed to be glow worms). The overall effect is definitely neither warm nor inviting, but cold and compelling in a way that is simultaneously exciting and absurd. So I recognize the skill that went into realizing this space even if the result is a little too much… too much.

Found through Contemporist

A Look Inside Malin + Goetz’s Newest Store

A Look Inside Malin + Goetz's Newest Store

A Look Inside Malin + Goetz's Newest Store

A Look Inside Malin + Goetz's Newest Store

A Look Inside Malin + Goetz's Newest Store

Everyone’s new favorite grooming product makers, Malin + Goetz, has skipped coasts and has very recently opened up shop in Los Angeles. The store they opened is very much like their products, impeccably designed, cool, and clean, definitely a very inspiring place to pick up things that keep you looking your best. We got a chance to take a peek at it opening night, which brought out Mr. Malin and Mr. Goetz themselves to kick off the store’s opening and to welcome Angelenos into the store. It also must be noted that the brand scored a great spot in Larchmont Village, a cool, historic, and central neighborhood, making it easy for everyone to visit. They’re right next door to fellow New Yorkers Babycakes‘ second Los Angeles location, which definitely confirms that they are destined to do great business and keep their cool train running quite quickly. Take a peek into the store here.

The beautifully drawn illustrations of Kareena Zerefos

'Kareena; The Siren Girl' by Kareena Zerefos

'Girl with Raven' by Kareena Zerefos

'From the Menagerie' by Kareena Zerefos

The Sydney-born and London-based artist Kareena Zerefos creates these stunning images using graphite, markers and ink on paper. Her work often explores the connection between children and animals, and that childhood desire to “run away and join the circus.”

Indeed, Kareena herself notes that her work is inspired by a yearning to escape. Her images are about journeying to a world of make-believe, and for her, this has led to illustrations that are filled with isolation and bittersweet nostalgia. They are beautiful images and the combination of her style and the touching nature of her subject matter form a magical body of work which I’d be quite happy to escape to for any length of time.