I received a nice email from long time TFIB friend Mickey Duzyj letting me know he’d completed several sports related illustrations for the recently released Grantland Quarterly, issue three. Mickey created such an amazing cover, which covers the most important events of last winter.
The New York Giants’ second Super Bowl victory over the New England Patriots, the very sudden rise of New York Knicks’ guard Jeremy Lin, the death of the ultimate diva Whitney Houston, the sweet spot of NBA nerd fashion, and much more.
It’s amazing how he’s able to convey these epic scenes so seamlessly. The plotting and layout of this image is a work of art all on it’s own. Plus it’s pretty rad that he used a Giants themed color palette for the whole piece, making it even more consistent. On the inside he’s illustrated how to Dougie, and in the back he’s got a wide variety of different people (and creatures) taking a Tebow knee to pray, which is pretty hysterical. A big thanks to Mickey for pointing this my way, I’m totally going to pick up a copy.
English illustrator and designer Mike Lemanski has created a wonderful t-shirt which is bound to get you in the Olympic spirt! His design is filled with great colors and energy, combining a number of sporting events together including diving, swimming, rowing and sprinting.
Created for Nike USA and released late last year, Lemanski’s style of illustration seems perfect for this type of project. Here Lemanski finds the patterns amid the arms, legs and sporting-equipment of the athletes and turns them into fantastic looking image. It’s certainly a t-shirt I’d like to wear! Go see more of Mike Lemanski’s work online here.
Although the events of the Olympics are ephemeral, the games last only 17 days, the infrastructure that supports the olympic games is more stubborn. There are some exceptions this year, but buildings (along with roads, pipes and other concrete things) don’t typically pack up and leave after the closing ceremonies. So what will be the most stubborn, the most lasting remnant from this year’s games in London? Will it be the sensuous Aquatics Centre? The pokey stadium where so much of the games will take place? Maybe neither. It might end up being the less flashy and less frequently discussed Olympic Village that has the most enduring impact. These are the places where the atheletes stay, and there’s an excellent overview of the history of Olympic Villages on Design Observer, including this interesting tidbit:
“The first Olympic Village was built in 1932, in the Baldwin Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles, but it was dismantled after the games and virtually no trace survives today.”
The essay talks about the economic potential of these villages, but I’m not sure if the London Olympic Village will become a booming economic neighborhood after the games – in part, because these things can’t really be predicted and in larger part because I went to architecture school and have no idea how money works.
A detail on one of the completed buildings in the Olympic Village caught my eye. Specifically, this athletes housing that was designed by Niall McLaughlin Architects. As you can see in the photo above, the facade is finished with pre-cast concrete panels that feature low-relief motifs taken from the Elgin Marbles in the British Museum. It’s a reference to the history of the Olympic games – games that originated in Greece. But because Greece is also known for it’s classical architecture, it might be construed as reminder about the timescale of architecture in the midst of fleeting sporting events. Architecture isn’t a stubborn remainder that’s hard to get rid of, but an enduring accomplishment and artifact about who we are at the time we make it.
Still, it isn’t the nicest reminder since not everyone agrees who should have the Elgin Marbles. And if the Olympic Village becomes derelict in a decade’s time, the thin concrete might be better interpreted as evidence of how prohibitively physical architecture will always be in a world that is now more compelled by things ephemeral and fleeting.
Every time I see something new from Nike it feels like they’re helping to usher in the future, as least where clothing design is concerned. The 21st C. Windrunner V. jacket is a perfect example of that, tailor made for the American gold, silver, and bronze medalists at the London Olympics.
Nike worked with renowned artist Marcus Gaab to explore the 21st C. Windrunner V. jacket and it’s highly reflective properties. Modeled after a sportswear staple, the Windrunner is detailed with the trademark V-shaped chevron across the chest, dotted with ventilation perforations across the back and finished off with a hyper reflective shell that burns bright under the most subtle lights. Serving function and aesthetic, The “United States of America” is applied with precision laser technology, while the lower back is detailed with 50 perforations — one for each state. A badge on the inside of the jacket, placed over the heart reads “Team USA.” The jacket will be worn, along with two other key styles, by athletes from different sports on the podium as the world watches on.
It really is a beautiful jacket, and the way they’ve integrated the technology is so interesting. I love the idea of the 50 laser perforations for all the states, and the reflective material used will be pretty amazing when it’s photographed, as you can see in the video below. If you’re interested in getting a jacket like this for yourself, look up Nike’s Vapor Flash jacket, it’s pretty close to the same thing.
On my drive home tonight I started thinking about this track from The Books which does a good job of combining all sorts of sports sounds into one track. It starts out with the sound of a golf game, someone getting an eagle on a hole, then progresses into a tennis match, and then it just gets weirder from there. I’m pretty sure there’s some samurai sword action at the 1:58 in. That’s a sport, right?
The photo above was taken by Derek Hudson, a Paris based photographer who’s quite a talented guy. It’s from a series of photos he took in the Hebrides, which is an area off the west coast of the Scottish mainland. I love how odd this photo was, it’s just so crazy that this tennis court is seemingly out in the middle of nowhere. Be sure to click his name and check out the rest of his work, he’s got a really great portfolio.
These are images of the 2012 Olympic shooting venue designed by Magma Architecture. The German-based firm has finished supervising the construction of the three temporarily London-based shooting pavilions where athletes will line up and aim weapons at targets 10, 25 and 50 meters away.
The temporary structures are covered in white PVC that stretches between huge, colorful dimples that accommodate ventilation as well as doors in and out of the venues. What’s more, the dimples keep the PVC skin held in tension, so the skin won’t flap around in the wind. When the London Games are done, the three structures will be dismantled and packed away, ready for reuse in future sporting events.
We here at TFIB don’t normally talk about sports (ok I always do). But Richard Swarbrick always hits close to home with his awesome interpretations of football. I still cannot get enough of his last video, an interpretation of El Classico. It’s awesome, better with every viewing.
For Euro 2012, which played out over the past two months (and in many a pub across the world, including one where myself and a friend sat around too many Italians cheering and too many Brits using the word “bollocks”), Swarbrick upped the ante of minimalism. Instead of using his now-trademark one line animations, he has decided to animate the drama of Euro 2012 with mere string. These are an enthralling forty seconds, dripping with the passion of representing your country. From Carroll’s massive header to Pirlo’s gutsy penalty kick, it is simply incredible.
As we’re going to be featuring sports-related posts all this week on The Fox Is Black I thought it would be nice to share some sports-related music with you this morning. Obviously there’s plenty of places where you can find music for something like this. With a little thought it’s easy to find plenty of songs that cross the sports/music divide: there’s the brashness of the football anthem, the adrenaline-fueled tracks designed for running, the inspirational music heard during cinema’s fine musical montages – all fine examples! Personally though, none of them come close to the greatness that is The Duckworth Lewis Method.
Back in 2009 the duo created an entire album inspired by cricket! Made up of The Divine Comedy’s Neil Hannon and Pugwash’s Thomas Walsh, the pair have described the album as being “a kaleidoscopic musical adventure through the beautiful and rather silly world of cricket”. It’s a fantastic collection of songs and it’s an album which relishes in the oddities and traditions of the sport – featuring tracks with names such as The Coin Toss, Mason On The Boundary and Meeting Mr Miandad.
The track above is called The Age of Revolution; a song about the English spreading cricket throughout the world. I particularly love how it samples Bix Beiderbecke & His Gang’s excellent Rhythm King. If you’re a cricket fan and haven’t checked out The Duckworth Lewis Method before make sure to grab a copy of their album!