Photos by Dustin Wax
These are pictures taken in Rhyolite, Nevada. If you had visited Rhyolite in early January of 1905, you would have found nothing more than two dudes living in a tent. If you had visited Rhyolite two weeks later you would have found a town of 1,200 people hoping to strike it rich. Why the big boost? Gold. The town flourished during a gold rush after high quality ore was discovered at a nearby mine. The town added another 1,200 people over the next six months, and by that point the town was home to “50 saloons, 35 gambling tables, cribs for prostitution, 19 lodging houses, 16 restaurants, half a dozen barbers, a public bath house, and a weekly newspaper.”
Of course this rush could not last. The ore that was once so golden was soon used up. The new ore was crappy. What stands now in the once booming town of Rhyolite is actually barely standing these days. There’s a open air museum just south of the city now, the Goldwell Open Air Museum that has a series of sculptures that look like ghosts (as well as a giant, naked lady made from concrete pixels). The ghostly sculptures seem oddly at home in the desert. But one days these sculptures will rot as well, joining the remains of the town in a scattered heap of dust on the ground.
Since we’ve devoted this week to gold it was only fitting that this week’s wallpaper fit the theme as well. I asked Bree Lundberg, a Florida based illustrator, to create a wallpaper that embodied our theme and bring it to life. She decided to take a classic quote and change it up a bit, making it more appropriate for our current times.
I wanted to take an antiquated quote about gold and update for our contemporary times which I thought was fitting for the theme. Silence is no longer golden because I think everyone should speak up/speak out for what is important to them.
Simple, clean, and beautiful, not to mention a good reminder to be proactive.
I was skimming through the Behance network earlier when I came across this wonderful calender made by the Ukraine designer Yurko Gutsulyak. Gutsulyak’s design is a unique gift calender for the Pivdennyi Bank, one of the largest domestic commercial banks in Southern Ukraine. Printed on golden sirio pearl aurum and foil stamped, the calender is devoted to the subject of gold, with each month getting a special design inspired by the element.
Taking an Art Deco inspired look, the calender explores 12 facts about gold, with each month telling a fascinating fact about the precious metal. As seen above, Gutsulyak has created unique icons for each month and the one seen here is for the month of October. Gutsulyak’s gold fact for that month is:
About 100 millions tons of gold is dissolved in the worlds oceans. But as of the moment there is no efficient technology of its extraction.
To view all twelve months and learn some cool new things about gold you should definitly check out the full project here.
Digging around for golden gems I came across these little gold robots which are also 4GB memory sticks. They kind of look like a creepy mixture between C-3PO and a LEGO man, but it’d be pretty rad to have a tiny army of these little guys safeguarding your information.
San Francisco based designer/illustrator Skinny Ships has teamed up with 55 Hi’s to create The Letters, a beautiful poster showcasing a beautiful selection of their typography. The poster measures out at 18 x 24, printed in shiny gold ink and is limited to 200 copies. I think they did an amazing job on this, and it just so happens to coincide with gold week. I’m telling you, gold week was meant to be. Go snag yourself a copy and help support to amazing illustrators (and it’s only $25).
This is Janus, an addition to the Rapperswil-Jona Municipal Museum by MLZD. The project’s name comes from the two faces that the project presents. From the north, the project blends in the the jumble of historic buildings that make up the museum, but from the narrow streets, the project presents a distinctly contemporary folded skin. In the architects’ own words:
“The “janus” project, which won a competition held in 2007, is giving the Rapperswil-Jona municipal museum a new profile commensurate with its public significance. It is designed to attract the attention of members of the public interested in culture without stopping at the municipal boundaries and presents the museum and the town as an appealing destination for excursions. The project to put up the new building has been sensitively integrated in the historic town. The view from the north, which is important for the overall visual impression of the town, is to remain unchanged. The building fits discreetly into the background of the historic picture presented by the narrow town-centre streets. With the new terrain situation and the tasteful bronze façade, the building imposes a new emphasis on its immediate surroundings and can easily be read as the main entrance to a modern museum complex.”
Over the last few months I’ve become a big fan of Tom Sachs. If you’re not familiar you could describe him as an artist, a jack-of-all-trades, a thinker and a dreamer. You could also read his Wikipedia page to get the full rundown, it’s a good read. Tomorrow night he’s opening up a show called SPACE PROGRAM: MARS which seems pretty rad.
Artist Tom Sachs takes his SPACE PROGRAM to the next level with a four week mission to Mars that recasts the 55,000 square foot Wade Thompson Drill Hall as an immersive space odyssey with an installation of dynamic and meticulously crafted sculptures. Using his signature bricolage technique and simple materials that comprise the daily surrounds of his New York studio, Sachs engineers the component parts of the mission—exploratory vehicles, mission control, launch platforms, suiting stations, special effects, recreational amenities, and Mars landscape—exposing as much the process of their making as the complexities of the culture they reference.
At the same time he’s got this amazing collaboration with Nike called Tom Sachs: NIKECraft. The collab features an eclectic range of products – The Mars Yard Shoe, the Trench, The Marsfly Jacket, and the Lightweight Tote.
Nike design and Sachs applied materials that have never been used in sportswear, taken from automotive air bags, mainsails for boats and the space suit itself. Each piece is packed with functionality that would prove useful in the voyage through space. Zipper pulls that double as storage containers, paracord that can be fashioned as a tourniquet and embellishments like the periodic table of elements screened on the inside of a jacket – they all merge visual interest with purpose.
To say I want this whole collection would be an understatement. How cool would it be to walk around in space shoes?
I’ve had a recent affection for pottery lately, sort of an itch I haven’t scratched when it comes to inspirations. Seeing these tiny smoked-fired white earthenware pots with gold interiors makes my little obsession all the worse. These tiny vessels were created by Syma Small Works, a small pottery business from New York, who as far as I can tell only really have a small Etsy shop. I think what I appreciate most about these is the stark contrast between colors and textures. You have a naturally white surface which has been smoke fired, giving it an ashy appearance, which is then contrasted by the rich brilliance of the gold interior. This blend of surfaces gives the pots both a rustic but refined appearance.
Abstract expressionist painter Jasper Johns turns 82 today. I thought it would be nice to include him in gold week, and even though the painting above is titled ‘White Flag’ it still looks gold to me. The New York times wrote a nice piece about Johns back in 2008, I especially loved this quote regarding the art world.
Unlike so many contemporary artists producing in today’s overheated art market, Mr. Johns relies neither on dozens of assistants nor a computer to make his creations. He executes his work by hand. “It’s a different art world from the one I grew up in,” he said, relaxing in his living room in a pair of khaki shorts, a light blue shirt and sandals. “Artists today know more. They are aware of the market more than they once were. There seems to be something in the air that art is commerce itself.
“I haven’t really been a part of it, although I’m sure in some way I am. It just doesn’t interest me.”
Asked what influence he feels he may have had on those young artists, Mr. Johns paused. “To me,” he said, “self-description is a calamity.”
Considering that we are posting about gold all this week on The Fox Is Black, it seems kind of understandable that we’d come across a couple of bizarre things as we scavenged the web for the precious metal. Yet I’m not sure anything could have quite prepared me for this golden bicycle made by the Scandinavian design company AURUMANIA.
Hand built, plated with 24 carat gold and hand-adorned with more then 600 Swarovski crystals; the ‘AURUMANIA Gold Bike Crystal Edition’ costs €80,000 (roughly US $103,700). Understandably it is said to be the most expensive bike in the world, and with only ten in existence it’s a real collectors items. Originally released in 2008, AURUMANIA are still taking orders from their website, so if you have a few spare grand lying around you know what you can do with it.