It was to be a “disco trip” to Hong Kong. The year was 1982, and 54-year-old pop artist and international art star Andy Warhol was visiting China for the first time. Invited over to Hong Kong by a young industrialist, he brought along a small entourage, including photographer Christopher Makos, who documented Warhol’s journey to Beijing, Tianamen Square, and the Great Wall. Though rarely seen—unless you have a copy of Makos’s book—the photos are currently exhibiting in Shanghai.
Katrin Rodegast is redefining the worlds of graphic design and illustration. The recent university graduate and former assistant to equally talented tactile artist Sarah Illenberger (she of the wooden hamburgers), has already won numerous design awards thanks to her clever usage of paper as an artistically transformative tool. With an impressive client list that boasts everyone from The New York Times and GQ magazine to Mercedes Benz and Herman Miller, Rodegast’s work stands out for its irreverent take on simple subject matter.
It’s interesting to note that in our current online-based climate—with magazines and newspapers ceding to the web—printed zines seem to be on the rise. As much an enduring act of creation as a symbol of revolt, the zine remains a tactile response to our ever-growing culture of content. Synonym is one such journal. And though it functions as a bi-annual design and culture magazine, it is born out of a desire to marry both the worlds of web and print under the boundaries of a given theme.
Upon seeing the word swine, one might conjure the image of a pig or boar. But such is not the case with Studio Swine, a London and São Paulo based design studio who use the word to spell out their company’s ethos: Super Wide Interdisciplinary New Exploration. A collaboration between Azusa Murakami and Alexander Groves, the company explores design through innovation to create everything from luxury pieces crafted from waste materials to small offices that maximize space—all built using recycled materials.
Artist and creative director Brock Davis has a charming sense of humor when it comes to his personal work. Though we’re already fans of his affinity for food—like the “Emo Pineapple” wallpaper art he shared earlier this year—as well as his editorial and advertising work, which includes everyone from the New York Times and Wired to Harley-Davidson and Jack Links beef jerky, he also makes time for work that captivates his imagination. And, often, his subjects are food items taken to a whole new level.
Though most people associate David Lynch with his career as a filmmaker, the man is a prolific polymath whose work also spans into the realms of writing, acting, painting, furniture design, weather reporting, coffee production, comics, meditation education, web design, and music. One could argue he’s just as adept as a composer and music producer as he is a director having produced and collaborated on eight albums. And in addition to writing lyrics and performing on tracks, Lynch also plays guitar, though his technique involves playing it upside down and backwards. His last full-length album, Crazy Clown Time, was a bluesy foray into electro pop that included a collaboration with Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman Karen O. His latest, The Big Dream, out on July 15, sees him teaming up with Sweden’s Lykke Li.
In continuing my fascination with surf films, and in honor of handmade week, I’d love to highlight the DIY cinematic magic of Stoked and Broke, an independent film made for zero dollars. Dubbing it a “staycation surfari epic” by director Cyrus Sutton, the movie follows Sutton and fellow surfer Ryan Burch on a 30 mile foot and surfing journey throughout their hometown of San Diego. Created as a response to the increasingly expensive world of surfing documentaries and to further promote the spirit of independent filmmaking, the duo make their own boards, construct bamboo rickshaws to carry them, and build solar cookers and “hobo stoves” to cook their own food along the way.
Feit footwear—and that’s pronounced “fight” rather than “feet”—is a handmade shoe line made from natural materials. Launched in 2005 by former Royal Elastics founder Tull Price, the company was created to act as a direct response to the saturated synthetic market. Aside from offering a wide range of beautifully designed men’s shoes and boots, Feit abides by its ethos to make products without the use of a single machine.
To say that Chiaozza (pronounced “chow-za” like “wow-za”) is a design studio would be an understatement. The duo of Terry Chiao and Adam Frezza are more like a creative life force dedicated to handmaking playful shelves, mirrors, and wall objects in addition to their respective art. And, beyond that, their unique “cabin in a loft” home—which they also built themselves—is something of an architectural wonder and real-life landing pad for artistically-inclined travelers to Brooklyn, New York.
While most art can be considered handmade, there are certain pieces that beg a closer look at the details. Artist Katy Horan’s mixed media paintings fall into this category. At first glance, one might notice her affinity for regal-looking ladies adorned in antique lace, but upon closer inspection her materials tell an even deeper story.