I hopped on a plan in london, hopped off in LA, and within hours i ran off to Manifest Equality ~ art for change strikes again ~ the location: this time in LA in a converted Big Lots in Hollywood ~ the cause: equality! Last time it was Manifest Hope in DC during the Obama Inauguration. Tonight was the pre-opening night event kicking off this week of Manifest Equality. With artworks from hundreds of artists ~ and The gallery will be open to the public, Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010 through Sunday, March 7th, 2010. There are so many unmissable pieces, quite the music lineup for the next week, and if you’re in the LA area, it’s a must see! I took so many pics, i couldn’t even decide what to share with you, so on the next page is a look at my favorites views of Manifest Equality ~ including a video of one of the most incredible water/reflection/reactive to music pieces that is definitely worth seeing in person!
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While i’m a bit swamped in the UK ~ Linhchi has been playing with the penguins at my house in LA… and put together our second “Dear NOTCOT,” postcard! The first part of the evolution of this particular magenta penguin started here. See the details of her latest adventures with the penguin on the next page!
If you’ve been wandering around San Francisco lately, you may have noticed a lot of colorful mummified mannequins and objects around the city. Possibly accompanied by colorful posters that are large fabric swatches. If you’re really lucky, perhaps a mini of these swatches even arrived in your mail ~ in the form of one of the VIP Tickets to tomorrow night’s Levi’s x Opening Ceremony Launch Party! (If you weren’t so lucky, you still can be ~ just convinced Philip to give a few away ~ ENTER TO WIN, HERE!)
What an incredible collaboration ~ Levi’s x Opening Ceremony and design collective, CITIZEN:Citizen. There’s an unmistakable signature to all things CITIZEN:Citizen touches ~ and this is certainly the work of Philip Wood! Playful, with a high art flair, bringing a smile to your face before you even understand what is going on fully… and as you delve deeper into it, his concepts reach further than you expect! I can’t wait to see what the transformed basement of the Levi’s flagship store will be like tomorrow night, unfortunately i’ll be on a red-eye to NY, but hopefully some of you can go experience it for me! For now… take a peek at the scene around san francisco, and the beautifully designed invitations and posters!
p.s. don’t forget! Chance at VIP tickets… ENTER TO WIN, HERE!
Oh, Incase, you’ve done it again. Your surprise packages always blow me away… and now i’m terribly jealous of your amazing TAPE!!! Matte black with the Incase signature topographic pattern in gloss… you’ve taken packing tape lust to a new level! AND its on a soft touch rubberized feeling matte black BOX. Yes, i couldn’t help rubbing the box before i even got to opening it.
Of course, once inside the box, there is one of the 3 new Evan Hecox (Incase curated by Arkitip) sets of iphone cases and laptop sleeves ~ this one is the Tokyo edition (there is also London and New York!)… Beautiful details, take a peek at the artwork and unboxing on the next page…
And as always ~ love the Incase motto “A better experience through good design.”
It was one of those nights. Just needed something amusing and random to do ~ so a late night adventure with Linhchi meant scheming over the fire pit at Johnnies, then suddenly going to Home Depot to buy spray paint, popping by the other house to grab some penguins… then to the garage! To lay on lounge chairs, take silly pictures (testing out my new purse cam the d-lux 4 ~ it makes some impressively pretty colors, esp in low light), and spray paint tester pieces of a sad broken puma penguin… we learned things like, penguin looks awesome just about anywhere… lacquer and gloss weren’t working so well… light coats of matte seem ok, but needs a few coats and then some clear gloss… perhaps tomorrow in the hot sun we’ll try spraying down a whole penguin… but as for tonight, the pictures looked adorably eerie as the purple penguin cast poignant shadows and sprayed down pieces of his orange friend. or enemy. you can make up your own backstory. See the pics on the next page!
Laguna Beach ~ so many surf brands have their home base in the OC ~ and recently so many hotels with special designer suites ~ but somehow i never heard about the Casa Surf Project over at La Casa del Camino until now! The hotel is perched less than a block from the beach, has an old spanish styled look and feel… and somehow the smell and hallways remind me of college… something frat house-y about it? Or maybe that was the crowd too… fascinating thing about the Casa Surf Project is that they gave 10 brands and their designers 10 suites, and let them have their way with it - “Action sports icons like Billabong Men’s and Billabong Women’s, Rip Curl, etnies, Roxy, Quiksilver, L* Space, Lost International along with Riviera Magazine and Glaceau have teamed with Southern California’s finest designers to create the Casa Surf Suites with a portion of the proceeds from each room donated to key charities for the first year.” I love the moroccan inspired Lost room… how far they took the decor, and the furniture choices… you have to see how fun the lights looked at night! And the way they really customized the walls… so beautiful! Billabong and Quicksilver are my other favorites ~ see more pics on the next page, and see full information on each suite here!
I think i fell in love with the video installations of Jennifer West at the Calvin Klein Collection + LAND art event tonight… or perhaps, it’s the way people interacted with it. a large open space, multiple spastic video projections pulling you in ~ colorful, intriguing, and apparently the perfect thing to make stunning shadows as people passed in front of them. While i can’t seem to find a website for her, i did find this fun interview on Flash Art Online about these pieces! Turns out she’s a topangan! And the way she works with and physically manipulates real film fascinates me in this digital age… her love of and experimentation with abstraction and representation is beautiful! Beautiful and fun enough it certainly needed a post of its own! So take a peek at some of my favorite pics involving her projections from the night ~ as well as a video! That really gives you a good feel for the experience… i suggest playing it full screen in HD mode!
On incredible and unexpected inspiration tonight ~ i ended up at the Calvin Klein + Los Angeles Nomadic Division event. As the invite stated - “CALVIN KLEIN COLLECTION AND LOS ANGELES NOMADIC DIVISION (LAND) TO PRESENT FIRST-EVER EVENT IN LOS ANGELES IN CELEBRATION OF L.A. ARTS MONTH AND ART LOS ANGELES CONTEMPORARY (ALAC) Brands’ Creative Directors Francisco Costa and Italo Zucchelli to Host Special Evening; Unique Collaborations with Jean Shin, Neville Wakefield, and Special Installation by Jennifer West” Firstly the space across from the Pacific Design Center is absolutely stunning. A beautiful culmination of art and fashion, these collaborations were breath taking ~ Jean Shin created “Pattern Folds” commissioned by Calvin Klein, and first unveiled in Seoul. She’s known for her ability to create installation which transform castoff materials. In this case she created a beautiful installation on the first floor of the event. Upstairs in a specially lit stark white room, Neville Wakefield presents Zuchelli’s Spring 2010 collection… it was quite a trip to wander through the room as the collection is suspended and the lighting constantly shifts from incredibly bright, to dark. See the images of these collaborations as well as the space itself on the next page, and videos and images of Jennifer West’s installation have a post of their own here.
On unexpected gifts that made me LOL and people who’ve helped me navigate the fun intersection between design, advertising, business, online media, and more ~ Chas ran off to India for the holidays (surprisingly, not to find himself, like others i know have been) ~ as advisor and old friend of NOTCOT ~ i asked him to show me some awesome design from india ~ leave it to an ad man to find a way to mix his passion and mine ~ i was gifted with this book (and lots of pictures of india! including ads of india! But also the beautiful found throughout on his adventures.) But back to the book: Welcome To Advertising Now Get Lost by Omkar Sane. The book cover cracked me up. The idea that it had so many playful illustrations throughout was great as well. And if you read it ~ it’s a playful look at the world of ad agencies in india… from the creative directors to the art directors to the clients to the pitches and more… perhaps a lot of it is similar to how it works here. And amidst making a mockery of much of the process (filled with local references), it’s pretty funny, and an amusing perspective on how things work. And as creatives who may either live in a similar world, or tap in to it regularly ~ you’ve got to take a peek at some of the illustrations inside by Aindri Chakraborty on the next page.
On silly little kid stories, when i used to hang out at guitar stores with my dad, i’d be that little girl the store guys would let play with the pick drawers, and they’d always let me have a few… my favorites? Dunlop Tortex! In Green of course! Because i was in that rational “it HAS to be green, its a turtle” little kid mindset, and while knowing it made a difference, i refused to care about how thick it was, what the different colors meant, etc… i just wanted the green ones… flash forward about 20 years, and is it any wonder that my absolute favorite booth encountered at NAMM is Dunlop? The graphic design of the posters and the design of the booth itself were so much fun, the kind of inspiring that makes you want to go design gig posters… and i could have stayed and stared at the panels of custom guitar picks for hours. Also, how exciting is it that there will be a documentary film coming this spring on the Cry Baby? Seeing that awesomely designed poster just made me remember being a little girl balancing on the wah wah pedals amused no end with all the noises i could make… And really, how could i not post the Bad Mutha Fucka Shut Yo Mouth posters… all of the graphics at this booth were really far too fun to pass up. Take a little tour of it all on the next page!
CES is always madness, but in recent years when there have been more and more people i get excited to meet up with there, you’ll notice that my posts about the technology become more discriminating (and there’s less awesome to share, sadly) ~ and i actually end up finding more inspiration in the unexpected and beauty in the chaos. The other night patterns seemed to be my thing… large crazy vegas patterns that were popping up and screaming to be photographed… Or maybe me + drinks that night = pattern obsessed, but really i blame the mandarin oriental bar. It started with dinner hosted by HTC (where i might have gone unexpectedly fangirl when next to me was PCMag’s Sascha Segan mentioned his wife is the awesome artist Leontine Greenberg)…. great conversations with some fun journalists, the HTC marketing and design folks (SO fun and sweet)… followed by “O”… then regrouping for drinks at the Aria with the boys of Cool Hunting… then drinks at the Mandarin Oriental… and as the group dwindled down, and the drinks and inspiration kept flowing… you can take a peek on the next page of the visuals that captivated me!
They’re heeeeeeere!!! Meet the Puma Penguin Army that arrived yesterday. Sorry i lost a few hours of my day yesterday to unpacking the fort of 20 massive boxes that showed up. And then carefully pulling out each of its foamy filled box… only a few casualties. 1 poor orange guy totally shattered (we’ll consider him a sacrifice in the name of science to see what’s inside a Puma Penguin)… one green guy lost a foot (don’t worry he’s being superglued as you read)… another orange guy has a special sunburst like color fade with a cracked neck (watching him carefully to make sure not to snap his head off!).
Need a little background story? Haven’t walked by a Puma store this season? Well Puma’s window and instore displays internationally have these incredible life size plastic penguins around. And they are simple beautifully designed glossy little statues. For those of you who , you know I’ve been obsessing over them since Stockholm. And then every time i walk past the Santa Monica store. They are truly one of the awesomest window displays i’ve ever seen. Awesome enough that i couldn’t help reaching out to Puma in hopes of telling their story and begging to buy one. And then 20 showed up.
PUMA - i just have to say, you guys are amazing. Like, best christmas present ever amazing. THANK YOU! Now that being said ~ go see the many photos of where i first spotted these guys, how they arrived, and just how fun they are en masse. Now the question is, what to do with them???
Sometimes i get so excited i think in pictures. Too giddy for words? So many stunning details to show you? SO, after showing you the awesome ads that came together in McSweeney’s San Francisco Panorama ~ as promised, here is a look inside the newspaper itself. Basically i sat down outside with newspaper and camera in hand, and as i got excited reading through it, snapped pics of the visual details that grabbed me… and omg there are a LOT, so here is the curated down visual inspiration from the Panorama to give you a taste. As for the intellectual literary goodness, you’re really going to have to grab a copy and catch up on that yourself, but for the visual overview and some of the hilariously inspiring details this should whet your appetite for the moment. Hope you enjoy it as much as i do!
We need more of this in our lives. I feel like such a slacker right now. Suddenly i want NOTCOT in print. Anyhow… go see the pics of what newspapers SHOULD be like!
p.s. … also, blogs and websites will never be as fun to take outside and shoot… with a camera.
This morning i woke up and fell for Keith Noordzy’s “Man Made Disaster Studies” which he has in the latest Gallery 1988 show Paper Pushers. So clean, so thoughtful, so dangerous (both the enormous sea creatures and the weapons of mass destruction) ~ love them! See them all on the next page!
HAPPY BLACK FRIDAY!!! To kick off the holiday season, i’ve decided to do something a little different this year. We’ve invited a few people and companies that we’ve grown to love over the years and inspire us constantly to share their stories, processes, and/or a behind the scenes look at their world and the amazing products that come out of it. Also, they love you guys enough that most of them also wanted to give you guys presents ~ so this year it’s about feature stories and giveaways! And i might not be able to resist and might make a few new gift guides or more products as well. Additionally we’re working on bringing back and cleaning up the gift guides of the previous years, since 99% of those products i’d still gift in a heartbeat! So i’m working and shopping this black friday, expect to see the new NOTCOT Gift Guide 2009 section evolve a bit over the next few days, its my fun sandbox to play with some new ideas…
First up! is the amazing Scott Hansen of ISO50. He has not only given us a peek into the way his breathtaking prints are hand made and cut in his studio… but also offered a generous bundle of prints and more for you to win! So take a peek at the featured post for his story, as well as details on how to enter for a chance to win all the goodies!
You've seen the other Target Gift Cards ~ but the incredible detail of the artwork and illustrations on the Winter Fishing Hole Game Gift Card deserved a post of its own! Full scan of the game board as well as the pieces/packaging are on the next page in addition to some fun closeups. From the signature on the game's board, figured out that the design is by brothers, Don and Ryan Clark, of Invisible Creature ~ who posted about the project earlier this month. They do some amazing gig posters, illustration work, and more ~ in particular i'm loving their monsters and creatures tonight! Take a peek at one of the coolest gift cards i've seen in a while on the next page ~ and if you think about it, it's a pretty cheap piece of art that is practically free... you can load it up with $5 to buy the gift card, then use that to buy something else and have the fun game to play or pin up somewhere! Details on the next page aren't to be missed!
Would you believe that pile up there contains 4 different Target Gift Cards? After seeing a magazine ad for some of the new gift cards this season, Linhchi and i took a little field trip to 2 targets tonight to see what there was... i'm absolutely in love with the beautifully illustrated Winter Fishing Hole Board Game of a gift card as well as the adorable wind up dog that pulls a woody sleigh gift card ~ both of which are new for this year! Unfortunately between those two targets we weren't able to find the remote controlled mouse in a shopping cart, but you can still see pics of that on the next page. We're also now very familiar with exactly where around the whole layout of their stores you can find gift cards (different ones in different sections, often at the ends of aisles)... also found were a really fun coloring birthday card with a box of crayons as a gift card ~ and a relaxing car with a bathtub on a box filled with bath salts! I'm impressed with what playful and thoughtful ways target has come up with to enhance the often boring gift card giving experience. While this isn't a new phenomenon (remember the light up Target Wii gift card we dissected?) ~ this year's did seem particularly noteworthy for fun design! See closeups and others on the next page...
Click for Art has branched into Cups & Saucers ~ and i'm totally smitten by the Nanami Cowdroy Suspended Animation black and white goldfish one as well as the Si Scott Lovebirds. Can you imagine cuter cups to serve espresso in? Staring at these just makes me dream up the most adorable little cafe ~ with an outdoor patio of course. And we haven't even started to look at the packaging! Such a lovely gift idea ~ and they are each a limited edition of 250 - shipped with a sequentially numbered mini art print signed by the artist and a Certificate of Authenticity! See more pics of my favorite two on the next page...
On breathtaking gallery openings ~ SHAG's "Autumn's Come Undone" show at the Corey Helford Gallery is incredible. I showed you a preview earlier, and now the full show preview is available here... the show consists of new paintings as well as huge 6-foot wide panoramic giclee panels on canvas ~ in singles, pairs, and triples ~ these larger than life panoramas have so many details going on at once you can literally stand and stare at them constantly discovering more and more! The way they are displayed in the gallery is beautiful in and of itself ~ take a look at the scene on the next page!
Back in March of 2007, Dave Pressler sent over some adorable little Endorphins ~ and ever since, they've moved with me to various homes and always lived under or near my monitors. Who doesn't need some super happy little endorphin critters nearby at all times? Well, he's gone and dissected one of his larger ones, and anyone fascinated with anatomy can't help but to stare at what he's dreamed up is really INSIDE these guys... look at those fangs! And that skull in its... stomach? And that mini spine! It's all so fascinating, go see closeups on the next page!
On intriguing art that just showed up in my inbox, Moss in association with Edelman Arts presents Remains by Cathy McClure. "Hands wielding scissors, McClure massacres the motor-driven robotic plush toys, eviscerating them through a Geppetto-like taxidermy until she gets down, as she says, 'into the guts of the piece'." The truly amazing part isn't that she guts these toys (didn't we all as kids?) ~ but she then re-casts the parts in bronze and reassembles them! The result is fascinating... is it now high art? is it still a toy? do they still work? Apparently the original circuit boards, batteries, gears, and voice boxes are all re-installed, but you can't help but wonder how those gears will handle the new weight... looking forward to seeing these in person, they will be at Moss in NY November 20th through December 31st, with a quick trip to Miami for Art Basel Dec 2nd through 5th... see more pics and information on the next page.
On late night art lusting ~ these 4"x 4.5" laser engraved wooden ovals with one of a kind drawings with colored pencil were Audrey Kawasaki's contribution to the give away gift bags at Baby Tattooville (which, yes, i'm very sad i wasn't at this year!)... see a few more of these mini's up close on the next page as well as a stunning medical curiosity themed complimentary limited edition giclee print...
On upcoming shows i'm rather giddy about ~ SHAG's "Autumn's Come Undone" at the Corey Helford Gallery opens this Saturday, November 21st at 8pm. The press release has me intrigued "For the past decade, Agle's iconic environments and playful narratives have sublimely captured California cool, mid-century modern design and lifestyles of the retro glamourati. His new exhibition "Autumn's Come Undone" represents a turning point for Agle, adopting darker themes and a deeper palette to explore life's excesses. "Something happened to me in the last year - call it an unexpected change-of-heart, if you like, but a lot of the unfettered hedonism my artwork espoused has begun to catch up with me," Agle explains. Somber hues of okra, burnt oranges, and delicate grays, replace Agle's signature acid brights, and as his subjects near the autumn of their lives, they venture away from suburban comforts to embrace a simpler, more authentic way of life." And from the images (a few more sneak peeks on the next page!) i'm excited to see so many animals showing up in this series!
Adorable! Brain Pattern Egg Qee ~ hand painted by Emilio Garcia. I've loved his brainy frogs ~ and this egg is too cute ~ its fun to see the creation process step by step ~ see pics on the next page!
Popped by the opening of the inaugural PRISM Gallery exhibition, MindTheGap, featuring the stunning works of Barry McGee and Phil Frost. There are so many angles a post on this opening could take, just doing a quick google of it, quickly you can see who's who that showed up, the architecture, the artists, the gallerist... so let's just focus on what was truly most inspiring about the event. The art. The details. The space. And to take in such overwhelming amounts of pattern heavy art that took a bit to process... and perched on sunset in West Hollywood, the three tiered roof with breath taking LA views were exactly what you needed... although the sparkling lights of the city felt as if you were staring into another patterned piece of art to lose yourself in. With all of the work shown, you could easily spend some time discovering details, turning away, turning back, and still see something new. So explore some of my favorite views of the show on the next page...