After a six year gap John Maus is back with a new song called “The Combine” which comes off of his upcoming album, Screen Memories. The track is clad in synth, backed by a tireless drum beat, and smattered with Maus’ signature, breathy vocals. If you’re a fan his previous albums you’re certainly going to enjoy this track. As for the album overall:
Screen Memories was written, recorded, and engineered by Maus over the last few years in his home in Minnesota. It’s a solitary place situated in the sub-zero winter temperatures creep into the songs as do the buzzing wasps of summer.
Definitely looking forward to this. Check out the trippy video for “The Combine” below. It’s worth a watch for the crazy crop mirroring effect. You’ll get it when you see it ;)
Chinese artist Liu Bolin is a master at this craft. Meticulously painting his body, he seamlessly blends into the environments behind him, as a means of commenting on mans role with nature and social strife. So it’s interesting to see that his latest project is a collaboration with American photographer Annie Leibovitz who’s well known for her glamorous cover photos of A list celebrities. Even more surprising is that it’s an ad campaign for super fancy outdoor brand Moncler, who admittedly make some really great clothes.
The campaign started last season, photos from the SS17 collection are toward the bottom of the post, and now continue to FW17 with a journey through Iceland. I’m shocked that Bolin’s art of painting of himself still feels exciting and new through the years. It feels like he continues to try and outdo himself with each project and utilizing the incredible backdrop of Iceland is a smart choice. I love the incredible contrast of bright blues with the deep grays and blacks. Really stunning work created by all.
Shawna X is a New York based artist and visual designer who’s work is an ecstatic explosion of colors, gradients, nude women, and fantasy landscapes. I am always all about crazy colors and Shawna X gives me all the feelings. Her ability to balance colors and contrast means all of her imagery is super impactful.
I found an interview with Shawna from March 2017, where she speaks about creating art during these tough times, which I found quite relatable. This is why I’ve started writing again, because we all need some good vibes and inspiration from the art around us.
Q: How do you see your role as an artist in these increasingly fucked up times? A: It’s suffered. Sometimes I feel like it doesn’t matter. When our world is suffering, the last thing anybody cares about is artistry and creativity. However I must remind myself that being an artist is a privilege because my life thus far has given me the space to think, feel and create freely- and that inspiration from art is almost as good as faith, it speaks and helps people who need it.
I’m a big fan of Eleni Kalorkoti, an Irish illustrator with a distinctive vibe made up of lots of greyscale with pops of bright color. Proud to say I own a little original piece by her! Anyhow, she recently teamed up The Good Pin Club to release the pin below, a lovely little lady framed by her majestic plume of hair. It’s a sweet little pin on it’s own, but what makes it even better is that all profits go to the London Fire Relief Fund, which helps people affected by the horrific Grenfell Tower fire.
Combine one of my favorite publishers, Nieves, with one of my favorite illustrators, Tim Lahan, and you get one sweet new book called The Hot Seat. Lahan employs his signature art style (simplifying, objectifying, beautifying the mundane) but this time he’s melted everything.
The Hot Seat is made from a series of drawings that focus on the impermanence of the physical things we perceive in our reality. The destruction of these objects is motivated simultaneously by the primitive desire to see things destroyed, the resentment of existence and our inability to control the effects of nature.
PichiAvo is a pair of Spanish graffiti artists working together to create pieces that combine ancient art with urban art. These pieces are manifested as Grecian sculptures, created with spray paint, which are surrounded and embedded with tags and marks. These distinctive styles may be separated by thousands of years but PichiAvo brilliance is in making it look easy.
Yesterday, Artsy posted this great piece on Emma Allen, the semi-recently appointed humor and cartoon editor at The New Yorker. Previously the position was held by Bob Mankoff, who held the position for 20 years, and was the subject of the documentary Very Semi-Serious: A Partially Thorough Portrait of New Yorker Cartoonists. The documentary was interesting to me because it highlighted that the world of New Yorker cartoons were primarily driven by mostly older, white men. Diverse voices didn’t seem to be a priority.
Cut to Emma Allen, a 29-year-old New York native who was a double major at Yale in English and Studio Art who ended up at The New Yorker in 2012. She took on a multitude of responsibilities, including “Cartoons, Daily Cartoons online, Shouts & Murmurs, Daily Shouts online, and humor videos and podcasts.” Such a huge feat. And now it’s clear that her goal is to bring new ideas to an older medium that stays true to it’s identity while bringing in a diverse range of voices.
The website has become a fruitful place for Allen to experiment with strategies that she hopes will keep the magazine’s humor content fresh, funny, and relevant. She sees the Daily Cartoon and forthcoming Daily Comic sections, for instance, “as a nice way to get in new voices that aren’t necessarily selling to the magazine every week and have different takes on current events.”
David Lewandowski’s time for sushi is a beautifully shot, incredibly fucked up nightmare of video and CGI that I can’t get out of my head. It’s the sequel to going to the store, an equally fucked up vision, but time for sushi was filmed in Japan, has a much larger “cast of characters” and brings more insight into this strange, naked world. It makes me think of Attack on Titan but without the giants and the people being eaten alive bit.