Date Archives June 2012

When a non-existent sister becomes a crystal chandelier

Lucas Maassen Valerie

Lucas Maassen Valerie

Artist Lucas Maassen never had a sister. His parents separated before making another baby, so he did what any scientifically-inclined artist would do: he crystalized bits of his parents’ DNA. He then made larger copies of the crystals and had his parents assemble a sculpture from those crystals as part of an exhibition titled Confrontations. There’s something personal and endearing about his mission to personify his sister that was never born, but there’s also something strange and chilling about his experiment to materialize her. He explains the project here. For interested folks, there’s a longer video here that overlays his parents talking about their relationship and scientists describing the chemical structures and processes enabling the project.

Beirut’s newest video for ‘The Rip Tide’ takes us on an inky voyage across the sea

Video for 'The Rip Tide' by Beirut

Video for 'The Rip Tide' by Beirut

Video for 'The Rip Tide' by Beirut

For whatever reason I’ve been on quite a Beirut binge lately. I’m not sure what it was that spurred it, but it may have had to do with my trip to New York. I’ve enjoyed his music since the Gulag Orkestar days. I can still remember the day my old co-worker Becca brought the CD into work. She put it on and I thought she was totally crazy. What was this insane, horn inundated Balkan weirdness she was assaulting me with. Over time though we grew to like it, to understand what he was doing, and the rest is history.

Last year Beirut released a new album, The Rip Tide, which seemed to arrive with little fanfare. It was a good album though, but it seemed like there was surprisingly little hubbub around it’s release. Cut to now, nearly 11 months since the albums release, comes a brand new video for the title track directed by Houmam Abdallah. It’s a beautiful video shot on the ocean, featuring a mysterious ship sailing blindly to who knows where. You never see the ship’s crew. Really the only living things you see are the seagulls which fly about it. Then towards the end of the video things get weird in a good way. Brightly colored ink stains come swirling and crashing down from the sky, nearly overwhelming the scene. It’s a lovely yet enigmatic touch that’s rather well done. Perhaps there’s more to this adventure in an upcoming video?

Photographs of Jesolo by David Wilson

Jesolo, 2011 by David Wilson

Jesolo, 2011 by David Wilson

Jesolo, 2011 by David Wilson

Photographer David Wilson was born to an English father and an Italian mother in a small town in north-eastern Italy. He says that he lived there until he began to wander backwards and forwards between Venice and Trieste. The photographs above come from a series entitled Jesolo which were taken in 2011. Jesolo is the name of a popular tourist town in the province of Venice in Italy. Wilson describes the series as such:

Every year more than 5 million people visit this huge seaside resort, be if for a single day, a couple of weeks or the span of entire summer. I did that too when I was a kid. Now, as I recall my youth, I always felt at home there. Nobody else would ever call that strip of beach ‘home’ and i couldn’t envision any of those people sharing that same narrow strip of sand with me. You won’t see any of them in this series of picutres, either.

I was on my own. I was home.

It’s a wonderful series of images and Wilson has a terrific eye for capturing beauty in some of the simplest and strangest of places. Check out the series in full on Wilson’s website here.

3 inspiring projects tied together by the idea of “string”

It was difficult narrowing down something to post, so I grouped a few of the articles I came across into this post about different kinds of string:

Kawahara Krause Architects  installation Line Surface Space

The first is an installation in Hamburg, Germany by Kawahara Krause Architects titled ‘line, surface, space.’ The installation is a part of the 2012 Summer Architectural Triennial hosted by Hamburg.

Oyler Wu Collaborative installation "screenplay"

The second is an instllation by the Oyler Wu Collaborative with the clever title Screenplay. The installation was on display for only two days outside the LA convention center.  Lebbeus Woods has opinions you may or may not agree with concerning the installation here.

Finally we have this: a “false-coloured scanning electron micrograph shows connective tissue removed from a human knee during arthroscopic surgery.” The picture is one of this year’s 16 winners of the Wellcome Image Awards, which recognizes images captured by high-powered microscopes rather than more traditional cameras.

The Desktop Wallpaper Project featuring James Kirkup

The Desktop Wallpaper Project featuring James Kirkup

James Kirkup

I recently reached out to readers over Twitter and Facebook, looking for some new talent for The Desktop Wallpaper Project, and today’s wallpaper is the first of this new batch of fresh creative talent. Today’s wallpaper is from a fella’ named James Kirkup, a London based designer who’s work is beautifully geometric. To see what I mean check out this poster he series he did for London promotor God Don’t Like It. The man is a black-ops tech ninja wizard when it comes to shapes and colors.

For his wallpaper he created an angular masterpiece decked out in shades of teal, blue and white. I think it’s nice to have a wallpaper that’s so design-centric as most of the wallpapers for the last few months have been really illustration heavy. A huge thanks to James for making my iPhone screen way more awesome.

Raymond Meier shoots high fashion near hot lava

Raymond Meier shoots Miu Miu shoots next to lava

I came across this amazing photo by Raymond Meier over on the T Magazine Tumblr and haven’t stopped thinking about it. They’re a part of a small series that he shot for this story called Naughty by Nature, about the Big Island of Hawaii. But there’s just something to fascinating about this photo. I didn’t know you could stand that close to “flowing” lava and not melt, but clearly you can. It’s also quite lovely how the pinks and yellows of the shoes almost match the lava. Wonderful work.

Inside the brand new Poketo Store

Inside The Poketo Store

Inside The Poketo Store

Inside The Poketo Store

Inside The Poketo Store

Inside The Poketo Store

Ted and Angie of Poketo have been very busy lately. Not only is Poketo rapidly expanding as a brand but they’ve been in the process of switching spaces from a small Downtown Los Angeles loft to a spacious new hub for the brand. Oh, it also has space for their first brick and mortar store, too. That’s right: Poketo have finally opened up their first store!

The retail space soft-opened Saturday and is now officially open. We popped in over the weekend to check out the final space and were blown away with how many things they have. We were very aware of the products they carry on their website but seeing everything in person on shelves, tables, racks, and more you really realize how they have become this empire. No longer are they simply selling cool wallets but there are now t-shirts, cups, books, towels, soaps, plates, pots, shoes, socks, and so much more.

The goods are all very nicely curated in a very open, warm space that perfectly translates the online Poketo experience to the IRL Poketo experience. From the red painted entry way to the small upside down planters, their space is totally them and unlike any other art/design/lifestyle store because they have such a heavy hand in creating the goods. The store has personality and a homeyness to it that truly is unrivaled.

As mentioned, the store is now open and is located in the Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles. If you are in town, stop into the store and tell them we sent you. They would certainly be glad to see you. You can read more on the store and the space here.

Colorful, smoky photos by Carson Davis Brown

Colorful, smoky photos by Carson Davis Brown

Colorful, smoky photos by Carson Davis Brown

I received an email yesterday from Carson Davis Brown, a Grand Rapids, Michigan based photographer and designer who’s doing some nice work with smoke. The series is called Cabin Time Project and features a number of folks treading about the woods in colorful bursts of smoke. It’s a simple but beautiful effect that I’ve been seeing quite a lot lately. Is smoke the new lens flare? Maybe, but I don’t think it’s played out quite yet.

Colorful, smoky photos by Carson Davis Brown

Colorful, smoky photos by Carson Davis Brown

Colorful, smoky photos by Carson Davis Brown

Michael Cina’s wonderful paintings for Matthew Dear’s ongoing ‘Beams’ project

Michael Cina's wonderful paintings for Matthew Dear's ongoing 'Beams' project

Michael Cina's wonderful paintings for Matthew Dear's ongoing 'Beams' project

I’ve been lucky to work with Michael Cina in both a personal and professional manner, and he’s without a doubt one of the hardest working individuals I know. He’s also one of the most multi-talented guys I’ve ever encountered as well. Somehow he can effortlessly maneuver between design and fine art without missing a beat. A perfect example is the ongoing project he’s been working on with Matthew Dear called Beams.

The Beams project has been the most ambitious music packaging project that I have worked on to date. It started in November of 2011 and ended in May of 2012. The full scope involves almost 100 paintings, two of the paintings being 20 feet long, flying to NYC to be filmed painting a 6 foot portrait, another porttrait that took 2 months to paint, a custom typeface, and countless designs. There will be four singles to come off this record as well, each requiring new pieces as well.

Michael Cina's wonderful paintings for Matthew Dear's ongoing 'Beams' project

Michael Cina's wonderful paintings for Matthew Dear's ongoing 'Beams' project

The work is really remarkable and so dynamic feeling. I love that he chooses to get so close paintings, cropping these beautiful fragments of art. When I go to a museum the first thing I want to do is look at the paint up close, to see the subtlety of the strokes and how the painting came together. With these works I feel like Michael is giving us a peak inside his brain, and that he sees value in each every stroke, whether consciously made or not. I’m really looking forward to seeing how the rest of the project turns out.

Michael Cina's wonderful paintings for Matthew Dear's ongoing 'Beams' project

Michael Cina's wonderful paintings for Matthew Dear's ongoing 'Beams' project

Michael Cina's wonderful paintings for Matthew Dear's ongoing 'Beams' project

Michael Cina's wonderful paintings for Matthew Dear's ongoing 'Beams' project

Fantastic colourful portraits by Rich Pellegrino

These portraits are brilliant! Painted by illustrator and artist Rich Pellegrino, they capture their subject in such a unique and colorful way. Based out of Providence, Rhode Island – Pellegrino’s pop icon portraits are particularly great. From Molly Ringwald’s Andie Walsh to Owen Wilson’s Francis and on to Gene Wilder’s Willy Wonka – Pellegrino’s ability to capture the idiosyncrasies of these characters is uncanny. Filled with bold strokes of color, his work is definintly worth taking a look at. See more online here.