Having grown up in Switzerland, those that know me are no stranger to my fondness of the country. Those that know me also know of my relentless affection towards Japan—a nation I often refer to as “the Switzerland of Asia.” This is the 150th year of diplomatic relations between the two nations. Surprised? I’m certain everyone is. What’s actually thrilling about this is that to celebrate, the Museum für Gestaltung Zürich has organized an exhibition, Japanese Poster Artists: Cherry Blossom and Asceticism, showcasing the stellar exemplars of renown Japanese graphic design. The exhibit is reflected in an accompanying book, Japan – Nippon, which marks the 26th release of the Lars Müller Publishing’s poster collections.
Geoff McFetridge teamed up with Bigelow, makers of teas and stuff, to create this charming little video for a project called While You Were Steeping. In the two minutes it takes for your tea to steep, Geoff paints a lovely image that spreads from his notebook and onto the table itself. Honestly I’ll post anything with Geoff painting, it’s awesome to watch.
You can visit the
There’s something almost shocking about the work of Sarah Coote. All teeth, tan and hand-on-hip poses, her paintings take aim at the clubs, societies and balls frequented by the upper classes. As a painter, Coote is interested in providing a psychological look into the American class structure and the spectacle that it has become.
Her brush strokes are bold, brash and expressive; forming a picture of society which feels warped and aggressive. Take for example her painting ‘Ladies Hat Day I’ (above). Here we see a row of youthful socialites all melded into one large blur of artificial smiles and summer dresses. It’s like haute couture meets Chris Cunningham by way of Elizabeth Peyton. I think it looks great!
Having just moved into a larger apartment, I’ve realized that as much art as I currently have it’s still not going to be enough, so I’m already on the lookout for new pieces. Thankfully I’ve got a lot of talented friends who make amazing art, like this new series from Vacation Days called “Cannonball”.
The “Cannonball” series is a continuation of my “Future Desert” project, exploring the mass of objects and the relationship between nature and a man made environment. This time the collages use mass-produced, factory-made materials that carry a texture mimicking nature but in mass are fundamentally different in every way. The pieces are all macro photographs collaged into familiar, yet fractured, shapes as a means to isolate sections so the process of looking is interrupted and more deliberate.
I’ll tell you the secret to these pieces. They’re actually macro photos of marbled balloons, chopped and spliced into these incredibly lovely/familiar shapes. When you look at them though they appear to be tiny swirling galaxies or something you’d see under a high-power microscope.
Update: You can get 10% off a print by entering the code TFIB when you checkout. Snag one by clicking here.
Riitta Päiväläinen is a Finnish artist based in Helsinki, a place that I imagine to be very cold. I don’t know what I would have to wear to be warm there but I imagine it would be a lot more than the shorts and sweater usually donned in Southern California: Finland is a long way climatically from where I am. Her makes this known very clearly as she studies clothing placed against stark, clear snowy backdrops. They are photographed and always appear frozen, stiff and caught in limbo between falling and flying: they are transitional. The objects in the image represent former wearers and the way she presents them emphasize said lost pasts. Who knew freezing clothes could mean so much?
The name of this typography display says it all. Uselessness is Gorgeous, or at the very least, what appears to be uselessness is. The 72 by 10 foot tall mural made of cigarette papers, glue and little wind power should really be viewed live but for those of you can’t make it to La Gaîté Lyrique in Paris anytime soon, here’s a small clip.
Work in a creative industry? Then chances are you’ve seen Stefan Sagmeister’s Things I Have Learned in My Life So Far kicking around the office. Sagmeister has managed to establish himself as one of contemporary design’s household names, and his book, a bible of sorts to the design-orientated. If you’re not familiar with Sagmeister, Things I have Learned, or modern design, then there’s no better time to grab Abrams Books’ updated release, which contains everything the book is famous for, and then some.
Sharon Louden is a well respected and very talented artist who does a bit of everything. She’s taught at several universities over the past twenty years and has shown all over the world. Most recently, she’s edited a book of essays about artists making and living called Living and Sustaining A Creative Life. Through forty essays from forty different artists, you get a look at how creatives work and how they are able to propel themselves forward within often amorphous creative fields. It’s a very real, very honest peek into the world of artists.
This relationship to other artists and their practices has also found its way into her work. While she has been busy book touring and getting the project off the ground, she also created a body of work called Community. The works are made from oil and enamel and feature strings of color in very patient settings that easily could be left at being studies of shape. They aren’t, though: they are symbols of all the work she has been doing, explained visually.
You probably already know the work of illustrator Jon Burgerman. His idiosyncratic pictures are fun, playful and instantly recognizable. Filled with bright colors, cute smiles and vibrant characters, they almost feel a world removed away from this small project he’s currently working on. Called Headshot, these images show Jon seconds after he has been shot in the head by an advertisement. The resulting images are as striking as they are entertaining and the series works really well.
Some of my favorite art is that which makes me laugh. When most people traditionally think of art we think of old world masterpieces painted with oils depicting those that have been long dead. So what if you took those venerable works of art and put a ridiculous twist on them? You’d end up with these lighthearted series of collages from Zeren Badar.