Currently it’s degree show season here in London so I’m making the most of my time by visiting as many shows as I can. The other week I hit up the prestigious Royal College of Art to take a look at what their students have been up to and I was really impressed by the talent on display. My personal favorite was the work of David Herdberg; a graduate of the college’s Information Experience Design course.
For his major project David designed a TV, which, on first impressions, looks fairly innocuous. “It may have poor reception”, I thought to myself, “but its wooden legs look nice and they work well with its white plastic casing”. It wasn’t until I sat down in front of the set that I noticed a small label which read “SMILE TO WATCH”. Being a typically obedient gallery-goer I kindly obeyed and forced the muscles of my face to form the requested smile. Suddenly the signal shot quickly into clarity. My face – still proudly wearing its solicited expression – was repaid with a montage of surreal clips played out on the screen. As I continued to watch my face began to relax back to its typical scowl and, as my faux-cheery demeanor faded, so too did the television’s reception.
For David, the work examines how our society has the ability to access endless amounts of content. He notes that, in the past, a TV’s reception relied on an antenna to work. What this TV does is play with that idea. It is a set that must rely on the receptive nature of the viewer to function. “By expressing that we like something, we have very much become antennas ourselves – transmitting the content on to somebody else” he says. By combining a set from the last-decade with modern facial recognition technology, the piece asks us to re-consider how we engage with content and how we access it. It’s a fantastic idea and David’s execution is simply top-notch!
You can see more from David Hedberg on his website.
I hadn’t heard of Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy before but these illustrations by Patryk Mogilnicki have me intrigued to find out more. The images come from the Polish edition of Annihilation – the first book in the trilogy – with illustrations for Authority and Acceptance to follow in June and September.
Patryk is a Polish illustrator and graphic designer based in Warsaw. Besides working with an impressive list of clients in his native country, Patryk also has worked on a number of great independent projects including zines, comics, posters and CDs.
Personally I love this series of illustrations. The limited colors are great and they really hint at the mood of the books. I can’t wait to see how the next two turn out. You can keep up-to-date on Patryk’s work by visiting his website here.
I’m a big fan of sketching. It’s not something that I’m particularly good at, but I do enjoy the process of it and and it’s something I keep telling myself I should do more often. I like the sitting, studying and translating the world into lines and I love the challenge of trying to capture the essence of a place with nothing more than a series of well considered gestures with a pencil. It was through my love of drawing that I discovered the work of Gérard Michel.
Gérard is an architect from Belgium who also teaches courses in sketching and drawing at the school of architecture in his hometown of Liége. A fan of urban sketching, much of his works focus on architecture and he says that every one of his pieces is drawn freehand and on-site. With a Flickr account consisting of nearly five thousand drawings, that’s pretty impressive stuff!
Last year he released a book of his sketches of Liége which I hear you can find in the bookshops of Beligium. I can’t think of a better souvenir to come home with from a trip abroad! Frequently Gérard’s work can be found on the Urban Sketcher’s blog where you’ll also find many more budding artists and sketchers. A video of Gérard in action can be found here, while more images can be viewed on his Flickr account.
Have you ever grazed a flock of montivagant sheep? Perhaps you’ve once received a recumbentibus of righteous indignation? Maybe you were once the recipient of a glare so angry that it left you completely gorgonized? … No? … Not sure? … Don’t worry! I didn’t know the meaning to any of these words either until I discovered this wonderful A-Z of Unusual Words by Irish graphic-arts duo The Project Twins.
Combining bold graphics with visual wit the series explores the meaning behind 26 words. Starting at “A” (Acersecomic – A person whose hair has never been cut) and heading all the way to “Z” (Zugzwang – A position in which any decision or move will result in problem) the series is bound to offer a few new words to add to you’re vocabulary while also putting a smile on your face.
The Project Twins are James and Michael Fitzgerald and they recently launched a new website. It’s full of both personal and commercial projects that range from large scale art pieces to great design and illustration projects.
Prints from this series are available from their online shop.
I didn’t think I’d be posting about dolls’ house this week on The Fox Is Black but I really couldn’t pass up an opportunity to share these delightful creations by Polish company Miniio. Inspired by the Bauhaus and Brazilian architect Marcio Kogan; Miniio’s creations feel like a breath of fresh air in a world of flashy, plastic toys and garish pink dolls’ houses.
These designs brush aside the cliched gender stereotypes so often seen in the world of toys and instead focus on producing beautifully crafted models and smartly thought out designs.
The project is the brainchild of two mums from Warsaw who like to take play seriously. They seek inspiration in the best grown-up designs, materials and solutions and then they make it smaller. Everything they do is finished by hand and the results are terrific. If you’re a hip parent I can imagine this is something you’d love to have in your kids playroom!
More information on Miniio and their modernist designer furniture and dolls’ houses can be found on their website.
Dogboy is the name that London-based illustrator Philip Huntington works under. I’ve been loving his illustrations ever since I saw one of them on the cover of a flyer for a late-night opening at London’s V&A (above). While his bio is quick to point out that his work process “does not involve experimentation with mind-altering substances”, it’s clear to see that the language of psychedelia has clearly made a way into the crazy alternative reality he creates.
DogBoy frequently works on personal projects and produces work for independent magazines. If you like what you see here make sure to head over to his site and see some more of his work.
Sometimes it’s nice to encounter work where you don’t know the full story. This is the case with Bidean; a beautiful series of images from Madrid-based photographer Miren Pastor. Pastor’s work explores open fields and deep recesses. Her images are bathed in a beautiful light where nature seems to either be dawning a new or where the sun is slowly taking its final crawl across our planet. Whatever state these images are captured in, it’s hard not to get swept up in their lush beauty.
More images from the series can be found on Pastor’s website with a series of words in Spanish.
Twenties is a great little project by the London-based illustrator Natalie Adkins. Taking a tongue-in-cheek look at life in your twenties, her smart image changing volvelles present one version of how life could be before quickly revealing the more-plausable truth.
In the image above a smooth Lothario asks “Your place or mine?” yet the realistic version is far less sophisticated. A quick turn of the dial presents our lover’s lady friend less than enamored by the suggestion that maybe they might want to take things back to his parents house!
The image above is called “It’s Not That People Won’t Give You The Time of Day, They Won’t Give You The Morning After” and below you can view the volvelles in action.
Natalie’s final image in the seires is called “If You Fell In The Shower and No One Was There To Hear You Fall, Would You Still Make a Sound?”. Make sure to see more of her work by visiting her website.
JohnnyExpress is the title of a wonderfully funny animated short by Alfred ImageWorks; an animation and motion graphics company from Korea. Set in the year 2150, it tells the tale of Johnny – a lazy delivery man responsible for dropping off parcels on planets throughout the galaxy. As Johnny awakes from sleep with a new package to deliver, he soon discovers that this simple delivery may be harder than he had hoped. Things quickly go from bad to worse and hilarity ensues.
The animation is brilliant but what really got me is the short’s wit and charm. They say that the secret to good comedy is timing, and if that’s true then JohnnyExpress is most certainly a really great comedy! If you have time, make sure to put five minutes aside today and go check it out. I’m certain that you’ll enjoy it!
New York-based Canadian artist Aurora Robson makes some amazing sculptures and installations. Described as a “subtle yet determined environmental activist”, her work is made from everyday waste such as junk mail and discarded plastic bottles. Her resulting creations look like strange alien-beings or bizarre creatures from the deep. I love them!
Behind her organic forms lies some incredibly intricate work. Often lit by solar-powered LEDs; her sculptures are immense – taking over entire galleries and filling rooms with bizarre forms and shapes. At the core of what she does is a hope to raise awareness about plastic waste.
You can find out more about her practice in the video below or visit her website for more images and examples of her work.