Princeton Architectural Press sent over a box of books ~ and to be honest, i have not quite mastered the online book review… especially on design/art oriented books. But to me, a first impression is key (as it is with people), and that initial flip through says a LOT, i mean seriously, if a book full of pictures can’t grab you quickly, what’s to make it seem any more interesting later? SO! That being said, and my experimenting with the camcorder while back in LA earlier this week, here’s a video flip through of the books they sent over. I was particularly taken by Tools of the Imagination and Blackstock’s Collection… so take a peek if you’re interested, and let me know if this is a format worth trying again?
I Am 8-Bit @ Gallery 1988 - So i made it afterall - quick one night trip to LA, figured i’d stop by. Gut reaction from the show? Overhyped. And i haven’t seen a line like that for a gallery in… forever? It felt like a hipsterfest line up for an amusement park ride or something, absolute madness. And it is a Tues night! Amusing to see the GameJew wandering around in his shirtless mario overalls… mtv took over a corner in the tiny gallery… g4 was interviewing artists on the sidewalk… and the line practically went around the block… not to mention the insane packed party out back with giant gaming going on.
Oh… and there was art too. Some great pieces from our faves like Stella Im Hultberg, Amy Sol, Luke Chueh, and so many more… and a surprisingly large number of rather dreary mario scenes… a giant snake sculpture… window full of pixelblocks… Might need to go back when the crowds settle… it was a strange mix, as colin pointed out to me, you heard a lot more “omg, thats donkey kong/super mario/[insert game name here]” than “wow, thats an incredible painting”. To see my mass of unedited images from the night see I Am 8-Bit in Gallery NOTCOT.
.org #3909 just opened my eyes to Take Away Shows by french Blogotheque and i can’t stop watching them… and they also create an urge to up and move to Paris… because can YOU imagine walking down the street and having the Shins just playing there in the middle of Montmartre? There is something so magical about their ability to bring bands and their music back to the people and the real world through these walks, impromptu jam sessions, etc. Currently watching Arcade Fire playing in an elevator. Wow.
“You meet a band. You take them outside, in the streets, and ask them to play there, shoot the movie in one unique shot, whatever happens. Those are the Take-Away Shows, the weekly Video podcast from french weblog La Blogothèque.”
It’s that time of year again. Can’t you just feel it in your bones? All the new designs launching - party invites floating around - designers from everywhere descending upon Milan? Milan Design Week 07… it’s almost here. And i’m kicking myself, hard. Been super swamped with projects, late on booking/planning/etc, so as much as Milan is one of my homes away from home… can’t make it this year.
BUT… what’s better than covering it personally? and even better than reading about it on all the other design blogs? Virtually tagging along with the brilliant designers of Big Chief this year as they share their adventures through design week… nothing like having some locals show you the way, not to mention they have a great list of their picks of parties and events going on so far (and if you know of more, please email me: jaw-at-notcot.com). So throughout the week, Daniela, Luca, and their crew will have some great pics and stories to share with us.
Ink on paper. Hand drawn typography turning intricate messages into incredible images… smitten by the work of Fiodor Sumkin. And the story of this artist is quite a fascinating read as well… starting as “I was born in a Byelorussian family of artists. As a child I loved drawing and painting from an early age. I left school at the age of 16….” and continuing to draft dodging to Moscow, showing in Milan and Rome, Paris living, and now an illustrator based in Amsterdam… “For the last three years I’ve been living without a passport. I’ve been using my girlfriend’s credit cards and can actually travel freely because there is not much passport control within Europe.” More of his incredible works below… these are my favorites.
Today was one of those sundays, the ones where you get a big burst of inspiration from so many new places… spent far too much time wandering about in the sun, people watching on haight, climbing up to the top of a park and staring out at the city… and then finding a treasure trove of designers, artists, and portfolios online that i’d never noticed before. Basically hours have passed and there is too much i’m dying to post ~
On fun simple gorgeous portfolio interfaces, i’m loving the simplicity of Soren Hald’s photography portfolio, the subtle rollovers (and frames), the way the whole strip recenters as you click… and the way it fits nicely regardless of width. Not to mention the stunningly playful images presented. (This and many other paths of inspiration today via Andrei Robu)
On exciting gallery news ~ two big announcements from Gallery 1988. 1) it is time for gamer inspired art again with “i am 8-bit” - seriously one of the best group shows every year. Opening is on April 17th. 2) they are opening a San Francisco gallery! Grand opening with “The Indie: an art show celebrating alternative press artists” - including some of our long time favorites like Jason Sho Green. Opening is on April 21st.
While i can’t personally make the LA opening this year (if someone is going, want to cover it and take some pics for us?) ~ Shade Elaine and i will be at the SF opening for sure, so feel free to let us know if you’ll be there!
Büro North, a design studio based in Australia and founded by Soren Luckins in 2004, does it all. While their print work is impressive, what really interested me are their environmental designs and sculptures. Pictured above is the cover and sleeve design for Inside Magazine which illustrates their “belief that creativity is not dictated by your surroundings.” So true. How many designers do you know who are working out of their homes or a less than stellar office setting? A lot of amazing work is being created outside of what many of us would consider dream studios which I think is pretty amazing in itself (but I’m still dreaming of that future super studio..!). Check out a larger image from Inside Magazine and more of Büro North’s work after the jump!
Here at NOTCOT, a picture is worth more than any words could ever say ~ and following that perfectly, i got a mysterious email from Moriceau Mrzyk with a subject line saying “we love notcot!” and no body, just 4 images… 4 images that i can’t stop staring at… breathtakingly playful and black and white, pushing the way you view frames and murals and sculpture, see more below. I can only guess this email is from the dynamic duo Petra Mrzyk & Jean-Francois Moriceau which we posted about previously here… Anyhow, i felt the need to share these while they were still mysterious to me before i wrote back to find out more.
Ahhhh Chipotle, how we love thee. Yes, we have a bit of a Chipotle addiction going over at NOTCOT… we jest that there is crack in the rice (don’t worry, to the best of our knowledge there isn’t, just some sugar and cilantro) because since the college days in SD we keep coming back for more… even if it is efficiently run by the mcdonalds folks… Not to mention they have just great graphic design, and playful marketing.
Freshly launched today for xbox 360 ~ Guitar Hero II has been my between work distraction of the day ~ its far too fun “strumming” to possum kingdom between posts… just discovered one of the gorgeous ad spots over on Stash Media’s Feed. “Pete Candeland, the Passion Pictures powerhouse director behind the Gorillaz videos does it again, this time for the Xbox 360’s Guitar Hero II. The agency is McCann Worldgroup out of San Francisco.” Its a really beautiful spot, view it here.
I’ve always been amused by knock offs, especially the ones that change the name of the brand slightly. The founders of The Museum Plagiarius in Germany, however, don’t share my view. The museum displays about 300 products along with their rip-off counterparts in the hopes of bringing to the public’s attention how harmful this practice is for small designers. From BusinessWeek.com:
For 30 years, the museum’s co-founder, Rido Busse, has given the annual Plagiarius award to a handful of unscrupulous product rip-offs. Busse, a design professor, created the award in 1977 when he discovered that a Japanese company had copied a set of scales he had made for the German interior design company Soehnle Waagen. He decided to publicly shame the Japanese outfit by symbolically awarding them a prize—a black garden gnome with a golden nose—which he handed out at the Hanover Fair in the presence of the only journalist who decided to turn up. (Naturally, the counterfeiter didn’t show up to accept the award; it’s safe to say that was one bizarre ceremony.)
Aktion Plagiarius, the non-profit group that runs the museum, also offers legal advice and workshops to designers to help fight counterfeiters. Definitely check out the slideshow on businessweek.com. The knock off of Alfi called “Albi” cracks me up.
Bigfoot - Survival in the Modern World Show is currently running at the Corey Helford Gallery in Culver City ~ and apparently he’s transformed the space into a forest, faux trees and all according to the great pics over at Vinyl Pulse. Also fascinating was the interface over at the Corey Helford Gallery that lets you browse all pieces on display.
But most intriguing of all to me tonight, are these pieces in which the bigfoots emerge from the natural woodgrain of their medium. I’m a huge fan of the traditional styled Bigfoot pieces, but loving these. More of these woodgrain based pieces below.