It’s not often that a children’s toy grabs my attention but Mister Alphabet is different. Created by Marshall & Haley Roemen, the figurine was designed to bend into every letter of the alphabet while also providing a creative outlet for kids to play. I personally like him because he looks a French mime who’s shoes I envy. The project is currently being Kickstarted, which you should totally support.
To celebrate our 5th anniversary Kyle and I are traveling to Paris from July 24 to August 3 for amazing food, lots of champagne, and some wonderful shopping. The thing is, I’ve never visited before and Kyle hasn’t been for over 10 years. We’re hoping to get some interesting tips on places that are unique, exclusive, off the beaten path, etc. Or if you run a cool design studio, make some cool products, or want us to drink at your secret bar, let us know. We’re looking for experiences that only people in the know would be privy to. Also, we may do a TFIB drinks night as well, so if you’re interested please let me know! Thanks in advance for the advice.
Last week I wrote about Daniel Arsham, one half of design/artist duo Snarkitecture, who this week have debuted their interactive installation The Beach at the National Building Museum. Instead of sand, you’re confronted with thousands and thousands of white balls with deck chairs set along the perimeter.
To me, the concept explores the space of art which is a public, mutually enjoyable experience. Rather than limiting art to sculpture or painting you get to be a part of a grander piece of work, much like what Tom Sachs did at The Armory or Urs Fischer at MOCA. The physical nature of the project is something that people can connect with and be a part of which might make a more meaningful impact on a person. You can see the manifestation of this on Instagram, with #thebeachdc having over 1,000 photos taken in 5 days, a very modern day metric of success. The art world can be so stuffy and staid and ideas like this will hopefully get more average people into museums and piss of the purist snobs.
Arsham summed up the project in a few words on his Instagram, simply stating “Reinvent the everyday,” which is a lovely way to think. On a side note, how great are these photos by Noah Kalina? He’s so good.
Eero Saarinen, famed architect and industrial designer, is well-known for the TWA Flight Center at JFK, a futuristic looking terminal that still stands as an iconic masterpiece. These days the space is no longer open to the public, yet photographer Max Touhey was given access to document the space, which surprisingly is still in amazing shape. Curbed NY has his collection of photos which highlight so many of the beautiful details of the space, which supposedly will be transformed into a 500 room hotel by JetBlue. This news may not please everyone though I’m happy to hear that people may yet again regularly inhabit the space.
If you’ve followed the site for a while you’ll know my favorite artist/designer is Geoff McFetridge. He’s been an inspiration to me since the early 2000’s and his style and aesthetic has certainly influenced my own. Monster Children sat down with McFetridge to speak about his past (working with Girl Skateboards, Grand Royal magazine, and XLarge) his process (which is extremely process driven and a bit OCD) and the themes that continue to show up in his work over and over.
After watching this all I want to do is draw and paint.
Apple Music so far seems to run hot and cold for me. Some days it’s spot on, some days it wants to me to listen to “Deep Cuts: The Decembrists”… yeah, no thanks. My luck seemed to change earlier today when they offered a great collection of DJ Koze remixes, one of them being “Elementary Lover” by Matthew Dear. It’s a perfect combination of Koze’s electronic beats and Dear’s iconic vocals, and a great track for some late night listening.
There’s something beautifully poetic about New Horizon, the sculpture created by Atelier 37.2 for the recent Sculpture by the Sea Festival. As you walk into the simple plywood structure your perspective is immediately forced to take in the view outside though two windows, which frame the view lovely view of the sea and sky outside.
I like that the viewer is forced to enjoy these small vignettes of the world, the structure itself guiding your eyes thanks to the frenetic mix of wooden beams. With all the distractions that face us during our days I enjoy the idea of focusing on such marvelous views. We could all probably use a little bit more of this.
Terms like “food porn” may have passed their heyday, perhaps “_______ porn” is a passé phrase anyhow, but it felt apropos for this short spot for Marks & Spencers by foodfilm. The piece employs time-lapse to great effect, showcasing the process of a meal, lots of macro close-ups so you truly connect to the food, plus high-contrast lighting which makes the food look fresh and delicious. Tying the whole video together are the hyper-cuts utilized which both unifies and invigorates the work, giving it a frenetic energy that you can’t turn away from.
If you enjoyed this be sure to check out the rest of food film’s work on Vimeo.
A couple years ago Kiernan Flanigan released a minimal app version of the card game Hearts that I was a big fan of. I hadn’t played the game in years but I was immediately sucked into the app, playing it while I was bored in line or waiting for meetings.
Cut to now and Flanigan is now back with a similar approach, a simplified version of solitaire called Solitaere (I don’t know why it’s spelled incorrectly). This version takes advantage of the verticality of the phone, displaying your stack of cards in a device appropriate manner, though quite different from the traditional manner. If this new way is simply too much, you can unlock your orientation and turn your device to the side, giving you something close to the old fashioned way.
My only complaint is that you’re only allowed to play it with a three card draw, rather than 1 card at a time, which is much easier, thus more fun. That said it’s still nice to see an old game get a bit of life brought back into it.
You can download Soliteare for $1.99 on the App Store.
I’ve been a frequent supporter of New York based design firm Snarkitecture for a while, truly enjoying their minimal yet clever ideas. Yet somehow I was totally unaware that artist Daniel Arsham makes up half of the design duo, a man well renowned for his incredible sculptures and paintings. Now knowing this there’s a clear through line between the works of his studio and his own output with his sensibilities shining through in both worlds.
Below you can see a few of his works that I truly enjoyed, though to be honest they’re all quite stunning. His three dimensional pieces in particular are great because they’re done to a human scale, increasing the impact of the expression. Crane.tv has an enjoyable video interview with him if you’re curious to learn more.