Date Archives April 2012

Space Suit of the Week

Alec Huxley - Calm of the Storm

Alec Huxley - Never Know When to Quiet Down

Alec Huxley - Cook Your Little Souls

Alec Huxley - Way Back Then

San Francisco is a city that can really make you feel like a transplant. You ended up here like a tumbleweed, blown into this golden city by the bay by some sort of random chance.

Alec Huxley’s acrylic on canvas spacemen trapped in San Francisco struck me in this regard. His artist statement states that his work captures the reality of a lucid dream through the lens of a vintage space helmet. The city of San Francisco truly seems like a lucid dream; in what other city in the world does every house have excessively large bay windows and is painted the primary colors akin to a kindergartener’s lunch box? It is many ways an urban version of Alice’s Wonderland. Huxley’s San Francisco is stripped of its iconic colors and its other trademark identifiers, captured in a greyscale whose figures are floating above it rather than immersed within it. They are outsiders, transplants, tumbleweeds like me.

Alec Huxley is  from California, Alaska, Texas, Scotland and Washington. His work is currently showing at 111 Minna Gallery in San Francisco. Scope his work this weekend before the exhibition closes on the 28th.


Painted portraits by Anthony Cudahy

Painted portraits by Anthony Cudahy

Painted portraits by Anthony Cudahy

Anthony Cudahy is a recent graduate from Pratt and is a phenomenal painter. His work is reminiscent of a time gone by, a romantic view of the world with a lot of his work focusing on portraits of men. There’s something really captivating about these portraits that I keep getting drawn back to. A part of me really likes them because of the color palette’s he chooses to work with, with streaks of blue and pink popping up unexpectedly in the piece at top. A sense of vagueness also seems to be there, which I caught mention of on his Tumblr.

It doesn’t come down to the style of the image, but more so it comes down to this one question: Does the image invoke or tell? I hate images that tell me things- that explain. I love mystery and something resonating on a deep level that goes beyond words.

It’s Nice That interviews frieze magazine art Director Sonya Dyakova about the recent redesign

frieze magazine redesign

Over on It’s Nice That they have a look at the newly redesigned frieze magazine as well as an interview with their art director, Sonya Dyakova.

I wanted to project the Frieze personality — authoritative, confident, on the pulse — by creating something that was contemporary, instead of trendy. I wanted to create something intelligent — a design that can evolve with time and last. Setting up design principles and a typographic palette rather than a rigid system is what I’m striving for.

It certainly does look a lot cleaner and sharper. The organization and layout seems to be on par with a publication like Monocle, and it certainly fits the same crowd for the most part. Really excited to grab a copy for myself this weekend.

The Cache Storage Cabinet by Zoë Mowat

Zoë Mowat - Cache Cabinet

Zoë Mowat - Cache Cabinet

Zoë Mowat - Cache Cabinet

Freelance designer Zoë Mowat lives and works in Montreal. Her ‘Cache’ cabinet is just one of a number of great pieces which she has designed over the last few years. Combining color, material and form in unique ways – Zoë creates work which continually strives to question the value of objects and what it means to have them.

Her combination of simple forms, smooth lines and bold colors are really fantastic. Her designs feel fresh and her use of materials are appealing. Her ‘Cache’ cabinet is a really good example of what she does so well. Here we see solid walnut sitting beside a simple grey and a strong blue; together they form a cabinet which is as fun and playful as it is simple and elegant. For me, it’s a winning combination and I’d love to have one of these in my house.

City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, Spain

Santiago Calatrava's City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, Spain

I was totally unfamiliar with the Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències (City of Arts and Sciences) up until today, and I’m still having a hard time believing it’s real. Designed by Santiago Calatrava and Félix Candela, the city is split into eight pieces like the bridge, an open air park and even an IMAX theater. To get a good look at the building I suggest taking a look at this Flickr set from James Leng, who took the photo above.

Laser cut seaweed makes the most beautiful sushi ever

Laser cut seaweed makes the most beautiful sushi ever

I’m a huge sushi eater. I’m sure I could eat it everyday if I had to. Making good sushi is already a form of art on it’s own, but with these laser cut pieces of nori it’s just gotten even more beautiful.

Developed by international ad agency I&S BBDO for the umino seaweed shop, ‘design nori’ is a series of intricately laser-cut seaweed for rolling sushi. each sheet of five designs– ‘sakura’ (‘cherry blossoms’), ‘mizutama’ (‘water drops’), ‘asanoha’ (‘hemp’), ‘kikkou’ (‘turtle shell’), and ‘kumikkou’ (‘tortoise shell’)– is based on an element of japanese history or symbology, meant to bring beauty, good fortune, growth, happiness, and longevity.

Jimenez Lai: Not just the comic book architect

Drawing by Jimenez Lai of Bureau Spectacular

Drawing by Jimenez Lai of Bureau Spectacular

Jimenez Lai is the leader of Beureau Spectacular. In this short(ish) lecture he is quick to point out that he is not just the comic book guy, but it quickly becomes clear how integral his drawings are to his design process. The strange amalgam of narrative drawings and designing buildings manifests in sentences that would otherwise be perplexing or cringeworthy: “The abstraction of his dance leads to a new skyline in her heart.”

It’s a Family Affair – Comic-Con: Episode IV – A Fan’s Hope

Comic Con Episode IV A Fan's Hope

Popularity is context and situation specific. In the case of Morgan Spurlock’s documentary Comic-Con: Episode IV – A Fan’s Hope, the context is Nerdom and the situation is the famous 42 year-old comic book conference held annually in San Diego. For those who have never skimmed the frail pages of a comic book, or fallen prey to the lure of the newest video game, Spurlock’s film will come as a surprise that a bizarre world of ambitious geeks and obsessive nerds exists on such a grand scale. For everyone else, the documentary is an exposé and ode to their pseudo Promised Land which allows nerds, geeks and gamers of all shapes and sizes to feel accepted into their own tribe. As Spurlock presents it, Comic-Con: Episode IV – A Fan’s Hope champions the allure behind the event’s progressive success.  The initial buy/sell comic book zone of close to 300 attendees in 1970 has since morphed into a pop culture arcade marketplace that boasts over 125, 000 people each year. Its phenomenal success is rendered as a two sided coin. Yes, the event seems to have choked its comic book roots in order to integrate new film and digital mediums, but it is these evolving mediums which continue to attract throngs of fans each year.

The five fold expository structure of the film follows, Skip, “The Geek” an amateur illustrator who also works at a Sci-fi Fantasy bar in Colombia, Missouri; Holly, the tireless “The Designer” who hopes to catch a break in the costume design industry; Chuck “The Collector” and owner of Mile High Comics who laments the passing glory days of comic book popularity; Eric “The Soldier” from a small town hoping to catch a break in illustration, and finally James and Se Young “The Lovers” who publicly celebrate their love in an unorthodox way.  The pastiche of each story spans a full-scale of emotions from desperation to happiness, to relief.  Few might understand the connection between Holly and her passion for Mass Effect. But having passion for something is a topic that most people can identify with. Knowing this, Spurlock is less concerned with shaping each Subject’s plight into a common ground story; he wants us to root for them, regardless of if we understand their cause or not.

In a change from earlier films such as 2004’s Supersize Me and Freakanomics (2010), Spurlock has acutely chosen an observational approach to construct the meaning and importance behind Comic Con. Famous fans from Seth Rogan, Seth Green, Kevin Smith and Joss Whedon (who is also a credited writer) to the everyday sci-fi junkie in a cape, straight talk to the camera about their personal attraction to Comic Con and it’s significance in their lives. As Eli Roth so delicately puts it, Comic Con is the only place where you can take a piss between a ‘Klingon’ and a ‘Strom Trooper’ – at least on Earth anyway.



Music video for ‘Heaven’ by Lai Lai Lai Team

Music video for 'Heaven' by Lai Lai Lai Team

Music video for 'Heaven' by Lai Lai Lai Team

This video directed by ONIONSKIN for Lai Lai Lai Team and their song Heaven is a great example of what you can do with a lean budget and a lot of imagination. The entire video is made up of hundreds of drawings of the band in all kind of weird and bizarre ways. It’d be great to be able to flick through this frame by frame as I feel like I’m missing a lot of what’s going on. And even though the song is in Japanese, I actually really liked the song a lot as well. Hopefully we start seeing more hand drawn videos in the near future.

If you know Japanese you can probably find out a bit more about the band through their label, Take A Shower Records.