I bought a new wallet earlier this year (because sadly, my bag was stolen inside of a restaurant) but unfortunately, I find it to be too large. In an age of digital payments the number of cards I really need to carry day-to-day is rather insignificant. Not that I even carry my wallet anymore, opting for a cross body or tote bag usually. Still, I find my current wallet, however beautiful the natural leather may be, unnecessarily large.
I feel like I’ve been posting About Christoph Niemann a lot lately, but he’s been creating such a wide range of interesting pieces that I feel like it’s warranted. He created a large scale mural in collaboration with The Horst Janssen Museum in Oldenburg, Germany, illustrating a person drawing, with their creations springing to life along the outside of the building. What’s quite novel is that what you see during the day is then transformed at night because of a carefully laid out white neon, giving the space an entirely new meaning. Such a wonderful public intervention, I bet this is lovely to see throughout the day and the night.
Barcelona’s Bar Brutal is well-known for being perhaps the center of natural wine in the city, having opened their doors back in 2013. To this day, they continue to be one of the most delicious and fun places to visit in the city, always packed and always popping. To celebrate Brutal’s ten year anniversary, they teamed-up Camper, Spain’s footwear darlings, to create a special “Walking Pack” edition. The pack includes special artwork on the sole by another Spanish legend, Alex Trochut, two pairs of socks and some bright red laces to really pop.
W. David Marx is an author who has lived in Tokyo for the last 20 years. Recently, he shared what I thought was a rather interesting way to approach visiting Tokyo for the first time, creating a guide that takes a unique perspective. “This three-day guide provides a way to experience very old Edo period spots, mid-20th century establishments, and early 21st century cutting-edge culture.” Ultimately, he’s planned a guide for 72 hours in Tokyo, and I have to say, I would absolutely follow what he’s laid out here. Obviously cities grow and morph over time, and I find it interesting to plan your trip around these different phases of a cities evolution. Also, big shout out to illustrator Yuki Oebo, who created thee super charming art that accompanies the guide.
Honestly, 2023 was a fantastic year for music, a shockingly beautiful year that constantly surprised me. And I listen to music nonstop. It’s usually Apple Music, sometimes mixes on Soundcloud, or I tune into NTS when I’m feeling indecisive, and TikTok has been a valuable source for discovering new artists as well. Apple sent my end of year wrap report thingy, and on Music alone, I listened to 80,272 hours of music. That’s basically 56 days straight, which is so wild.
So, I’ve compiled a mixtape containing some of my favorite tracks of the year, those songs that really stuck in my head, that I hum while I’m walking around the city. It was challenging narrowing this down but in the end I really love this mix, I feel like it’s one of the best I’ve made in a long time. There’s a really eclectic range to the tracks selected, I went all over the place for this one, which I think helps create a kind of musical journey. It’s a really joyful collection of songs, I think you’re really going to like it. By now I’ve listened to this mix a couple dozen times and I’m still not sick of it.
YellowStraps — Slowdown (girl what’s up) Miksu / Macloud — Nachts wach Alice et moi — J’aime pas sortir Alex Sloane — Mine Barry Can’t Swim — Deadbeat Gospel Sampha — Dancing Circles Sofia Kourtesis — Habla Con Ella Troye Sivan — In My Room Jungle — Back on 74 Natural Wonder Beauty Concept — Natural Wonder Beauty Concept Avalon Emerson — Hot Evening Eartheater — Pure Smile Snake Venom Oneohtrix Point Never — Krumville a.s.o — Love in the Darkness André 3000 — Ninety Three ‘Til Infinity and Beyonce Kelela — Enough for Love
I’ve been spending a lot of time on Posts lately, a social app that still feels like a cute little community of creative folks. I’ve been able to find some interesting folks to follow, such as designer and illustrator Hannah Lee. She recently announced her upcoming 2024 calendar (it’s available for pre-order) which features a super clean design paired with her very charming illustrations. I love how they come as loose sheets so that you can hang up as she has photographed, it looks so wonderful.
There is such a calm and tranquil feeling in the work of Korean illustrator Han Yoomi. I happened upon their work on Twitter, and I was instantly struck by their use of negative space and color. Like the first piece below, which captures an idyllic farm scene, a woman feeding a rooster with vegetation framing them, creating an intense intimacy. I’m also so impressed with their range, as far as illustrative styles go. The second piece below is ethereal and dreamy, a young girls vivid imagination brought to life, while the third piece is rather realistic, like a portrait done with pastels in nature. Really beautiful work here, so glad I came across their work.
I think we all love an eye-catching magazine cover. And usually, illustrator Chris Ware is one of those artists who does bring a unique angle, tapping into something that’s happening in the world that really resonates in a touching way. The New Yorker tapped Ware for their Thanksgiving cover this week, and unfortunately they’ve decided to play into a tired trope.
We’ve already seen this concept with Ware’s iconic Halloween cover back in 2009, which at the time, felt like a sign of things to come. It was the rise of smartphones, of mobile devices starting to be more ever-present. In 2023 though, everyone has a phone. They’re engrained in our lives, we often use phones to stay connected to those who are distant, who we can’t see everyday, and who want to share our lives with. This cover is giving big boomer energy. Also, can we talk about the arms of the two people in the foreground? What the hell is happening there?!
New Poetry is a recent addition to Rashid Johnson’s ongoing series of steel-grid sculptures, which he began in 2004. This installation, which is located at The Whitney in New York, consists of an illuminated grid structure made of steel bars, spanning both indoor and outdoor spaces of the museum. The grid features live plants nurtured by grow lights and placed in ceramic pots handmade by the artist.
Additionally, the installation incorporates poetry books, carved blocks of shea butter, and TV monitors displaying Johnson’s 2010 silent short film titled Black Yoga. The intention behind this work was to create a brain-like space that combines diverse materials and information, enabling the generation of new connections and modes of thinking. The living elements and exposed location of the installation explore the boundaries of institutional stewardship and engage the empathy and responsibility of viewers.
I love how the piece bisects the space, living both inside and out, transporting your eye through. His work reminds me of a contemporary version of that scene from the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark, with each shelf holding some kind of wonder or curiosity. I’m sure the work is even more impactful now, as New York in winter can be quite cold and snowy, and this exhibit gives you the exact opposite feeling.
We need to talk about André 3000 and his new album, New Blue Sun. Interviews starting ramping up last week about the album, with André saying, “there’s no bars,” that he won’t be rapping on the album. This is paired with the fact that he’s been seen wandering around the literal globe with a massive flute in tow. Clearly this record was going to be something different.
From my perspective, it’s an ambient, new age, world music endeavor. It sounds like echoes of Alice Coltrane and Laraaji, Hiroshi Yoshimura’s Green, like a warm afternoon laying in the sun. To really help me understand this record, it was actually the Pitchfork review that gave me the most insight. I knew he had worked with some of the folks from Leaving Records, who I came across in the last couple months, but it sounds like it was truly a jam record, for lack of a better term. And I think it’s that variety of artits and sounds that really make this record something special.