Date Archives April 2012

Weekend fun: the Lyrid meteor shower

The Lyrid Meteor Shower

If you’re not sure what to do this weekend, but you’d like to take advantage of the burgeoning spring weather, you may talk your friends to driving out into the middle of nowhere and watching the Lyrid meteor shower. The meteor shower occurs yearly, when earth’s orbit passes through a field of  debris deposited by some comet a long time ago. If you’ve never set out to obverse a meteror shower, you should know that they aren’t always action-packed. But if you drive far enough away from city lights, and the weather is clear, the stars are impressive enough; seeing radiant streaks of comet dust is just a bonus. So if you’re like me and feel uncomfortable parked on the side of the road in the dark alone in the middle of nowhere, take your friends, some snacks, blankets, binoculars and allergy medicine.

Punk rock meets magic in the illustrations of John Malta

Punk rock meets magic in the illustrations of John Malta

Punk rock meets magic in the illustrations of John Malta

I was introduced to the work of John Malta through my buddy Josh Cochran who’s actually his thesis teacher at SVA. John is currently at SVA working on getting his MFA and creating an amazing looking graphic novel called The Professor and the Paperboy. It reminds me of an adult version of Adventure Time, which I think anyone would take as a compliment.

His style is totally fun and sketchy, and he draws people’s noses like pickles. There’s an amazing sense of fun to everything thing he does, so I’m really excited to see how his book turns out. Be sure to look through his work on his site and then pop over to his Tumblr which is pretty great as well.

Space Suit of the Week

Sally Ride by Philip Bond

Valentina Tereshkova by Philip Bond

Thirty years ago yesterday in 1982, Sally Ride was tapped to ride in STS-7. She was selected to be the first American woman to fly into space. I usually try to share the freshest space artwork that I can find on the outerwebs, but I am selfishly taking the opportunity to share the work that originally got me going in space art, that highlight the LADIES of the manned space exploration- Philip Bond’s 2009 “Women in Space”.

Bond began the series with the intention of drawing each female astronaut; while still shy of capturing the nearly sixty that have flown, his results are cosmic. Bond’s sublime, cartoon-like portraits transform these female space pioneers into galactic superheros. Dipped in hues of lime, violet and blue, the collection forms a vibrant girl power astro yearbook. The series begins with Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman to venture into space beating Sally by twenty years, and includes another twenty women who have bravely taken flight off earth.

You go girls. RIDE SALLY RIDE.

Bringing art and design back into the real world

Bijan Berahimi poster

Scott Barry poster

Last weekend Kyle and I took a short trip up the 5 to CalArts for their first ever Print Fair. We were invited by our friend Bijan Berahimi, who’s work you see at top (and Scott Berry below it, which we picked up at the fair). You can read a full review of the event over on Los Angeles, I’m Yours if you’re interested. I personally wanted to touch upon the nature of the print fair, and how the art and design community should encourage more things like that to happen.

I feel like there aren’t a lot of opportunities for young people to showcase their work in the real world these days. On the Internet it feels like you’ve got a million different venues, but not in the physical world. Maybe this is a Los Angeles problem? But I doubt it. Having a REAL event is especially important with something like a print fair, where you can grab a zine, flip through it, smell the ink on the paper. There’s a tactile sensation that gets lost when you view an artists work online.

The whole thing really inspired me. It made we want to get a ramshackle group of local artists and showcase/sell stuff to random people. Maybe even sell some brownies and lemonade. And I think other people should do the same. Take the talented people, young or old, in your local city and give them a place to shine. That’s part of why we started Los Angeles, I’m Yours. Doing it in the physical world though is where things get interesting again. I’ve already spoken to a couple of close friends about doing something like that during the summer, but one event in a year isn’t enough.

If you live in Los Angeles and would be interested in working together on something int he real world then email me. There’s a little button in the sidebar, it’s easy. Even if it’s insane and we need a million dollars, go for it, we can always find someone willing to give us money to make something happen. This is my attempt at being proactive, hopefully you do the same.

Film Commission Chile branding by Hey Studio

Film Commission Chile branding by Hey Studio

Film Commission Chile branding by Hey Studio

Film Commission Chile branding by Hey Studio

I can’t tell you much about this branding for Film Commission Chile by Hey Studio, other than it’s certainly a treat to look at. Honestly this goes beyond simple branding. They’ve created business cards, stationary, and envelopes, but they’ve also made some really nice posters that explain what FCC is all about.

Overall the feeling of the identity is super crisp and I love the idea of the multi-colored ribbon. The bold colors are really strong and at most each of these pieces come in at 3 colors, so it’s pretty effective from a cost side as well. Really nice work on these.

Stumbling through the Internet Archive

Stumbling through the Internet Archive

Stumbling through the Internet Archive

The Internet Archive is a great resource. The site is non-profit organization committed to collecting and sharing everything, which includes some of the more bizarre things you will find on the Internet that doesn’t involve “no-no parts” of human anatomy. The archive includes collections of moving images, texts, archived webpages and even software. Unfortunately, the archive doesn’t include images, but the 638,000 movies help soften the blow.

I was digging through these movies where I found a strange movie from the 1940’s about Soviet scientists: Experiments in the Revival of Organisms. I have mixed feelings about sharing this video because it has the same potential for being fascinating as it does for being upsetting. So I want to issue a fair warning: even though much of the video is fake, there are parts that may be upsetting to sensitive readers (fake animal testing, fake dismembered dog’s head, fake organs and otherstuff) so watch it knowing that the video is propaganda and fictitious to the point of being absurd.

Still, I couldn’t find much information about who made the video and why (some commenters on the IA website suggest that it was shot outside of LA and used as propaganda to make America’s political adversaries look creepy). It’s the video as an artifact that is more interesting than the specific claims made within the short documentary. The Internet Archive exists to share artifacts like this one: it’s curious and complicated like many things from our past.

‘If You Can’t Trust Your Friends’ – A review of Danny Boyle’s Shallow Grave

Danny Boyle’s Shallow Grave Criterion cover

Good roommates are hard to find. Especially ones that share an equal disdain for humanity and can be easily cajoled into precarious situations. Like for example, dismembering a body and stealing a suitcase full of cash?

Danny Boyle’s early feature film Shallow Grave – set to be rereleased by Criterion on June 12th – will have fans of dark comedy and thriller heist films absorbed in its quick witted script and disturbing tale of spoiled friendship. It is Reality Bites sans heartstrings existing in an insensitive horror world.  David (Christopher Eccleston), Juliet (Kerry Fox) and the fresh faced Ewan McGreggor appearing in his debut leading role as Alex, together form an ensemble cast who exude a disproportionate amount of selfish and immoral behavior. Residing in an enormous Edinburgh New Town Flat, the trio is in search of a fourth roommate who will match their wild temperaments and barbarous whims. A series of harsh and embarrassing interviews with unlikely candidates leads them to the mysterious Hugo, a presumed ‘writer’, who they immediately latch onto, but not for long. There is no spoiler in recounting of Hugo’s unpleasant death, or Alex’s discovery of Hugo’s curiously hidden suitcase full of cash. The film’s question to the unscrupulous trio becomes one of righteousness. Should they return the cash along with the body to the police? Or should they risk the more sinister route of theft, desecration and dishonesty? Their chosen path unleashes a downward spiral of greed and paranoia that piles up the bodies along with their lies.

Shallow Grave is a first glimpse into the confident and energetic style later groomed in Boyle’s smash hit Trainspotting, yet it remains to be the polar opposite of his delightfully touching Slumdog Millionaire. Here, we are dealing with relentless cruelty, where the most disturbing element is our lack of knowledge around motivation. The amount of money left in Hugo’s suitcase is never discussed, making it even more difficult to comprehend the ease in their immoral behavior; these are after all average people. Yet their savagery would more aptly be suited to perpetrators surviving in the underbelly of crime. What Shallow Grave spares us in blood and guts, is plentiful in psychological thrills, specifically concerning David who rises to the role of puppeteer in his effort to control the impending fate their senseless crime.

The three slowly divide from inseparable threesome transcending into individual survival mode until the unforeseen end where trust among friends is no where to be found.

Of Recklessness and Water: A photo series by Elizabeth Weinberg

Of Recklessness and Water: A photo series by Elizabeth Weinberg

Of Recklessness and Water: A photo series by Elizabeth Weinberg

Of Recklessness and Water: A photo series by Elizabeth Weinberg

Of Recklessness and Water: A photo series by Elizabeth Weinberg

I’ve been in a mood to post more photographers lately, so thankfully I came across the work of Elizabeth Weinberg. She shoots a lot of lifestyle photos but I really enjoyed one project of hers in particular called ‘Of Recklessness and Water.’ Looking through the series you totally get the idea that she may have been a dolphin or something in a previous life. She has such a knack of photographing in water, able to capture moments that some people would have trouble getting even on land.

If you’re interested in learning more about Elizabeth you should click here to read an interview she did with Chris Rubino over on idsgn.

The Fun and Colorful Illustrations of Sami Viljanto

Everybody Knows That Elvis Died of Burgers by Sami Viljanto

Sami Viljanto -  Master of Nuggets

Sami Viljanto - Skinny Legged Wolves

Sami Viljanto is an illustrator based between Helsinki and Berlin. His drawings are just bursting with energy. Each image he makes seems to be cram-packed with fun and playful characters and they jump from the page with bright and lively colors. It’s hard not to feel happy when looking at his work. I could honestly stare at the bottom illustration for an hour and not get bored – those crazy little birds of his are just so cute and crazy! Check out more of his work over on his website Grande Deluxe.

Captivating double exposure photographs by Jon Duenas

Captivating double exposure photographs by Jon Duenas

Captivating double exposure photographs by Jon Duenas

Captivating double exposure photographs by Jon Duenas

Captivating double exposure photographs by Jon Duenas

Captivating double exposure photographs by Jon Duenas

Jon Duenas is a Portland, Oregon based photographer who’s got a series of double exposed images which I’ve fallen in love with. It’s amazing how these images lay over one another, the details of nature blooming through portraits of young women. The first image looks alien, like a sentient plant taking the form of a human. My other favorites are the second and fourth images. The way the city lays over the face of the girl in the fourth image, the expression on her face, the sense of drama and panic in her hands. In my opinion it’s the best of the bunch. It seems like he does wedding photography to pay the bills, but it would be great to see him do a larger series of these images, don’t you think?