There’s something fun about when art and function come together. Take a look at these DEMONBELLS i found on Uncrate! Will these sculptural alternatives to your standard (pretty ugly) kettlebells make your work out better? Probably not. Will it make me more likely to be amused while working out? Possibly. But it will definitely make it less of something that begs to be hidden, and instead will become an intriguing conversation piece… even as a doorstop. Created by former Navy SEAL, Ryan Williams, these DemonBells were commissioned art pieces brought to life by a local San Diego Master Sculptor. They are made in China from 100% recycled steel, not iron, and injection molded for a smooth finish which is then black powder coated. From their site, “Each piece in the DemonBell line started individually with an ornamental design inspired from various global and cultural influences. Through extensive testing and evaluation of working prototypes, we have finally produced the fully functional works of art you see here. Each directional weight carries its own unique modifications, from anatomically designed handle grips and specific weight distribution for balance, to specially angled backs to match forearm angles during snatch movements. We designed each DemonBell while paying as much attention to function as we did form.” Take a peek at the whole collection of 4 on the next page!
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Another highlight from Superdesign was David Roux-Fouillet’s Diamond Shot, a fun and unique way to set a diamond. That’s right, specially made bullets are quite literally shot into jewellery to create the setting. Roux-Fouillet’s bullets are composed of 24ct gold, diamond, tool steel, and ivory, turtle shell, bull horn or silk (depending on the model). Bullets can be fired into rings, earrings or pendant structures made of platinum or 9ct gold. More photos of the setup and a video of the setting in action on the next page!
Last night, popped by the latest show of Peter Gronquist, The Evolution Will Be Fabulous at Gallery 1988 in Venice. It’s AMAZING, definitely something worth checking out in person, because the mix of gilded luxe brands, weaponry, skeletons and taxidermy are just something you can’t completely comprehend through pictures… the shear scale of things is pretty mesmerizing in real life. But for now, take a peek at some pics and details on the next page!
Tara McPherson’s Lilitu (2010) painting is going 3D ~ here’s a sneak peek at the new Kidrobot Black piece by Tara McPherson… rising up out of a pool of black with fiery red hair… This 8” vinyl will have a limited run of 200 pieces.
Who is she? “This painting is based on the Sumerian myth of the demon Lilitu. Representing chaos, seduction and ungodliness. She is a sexually charged yet infertile succubus who behaves aggressively toward men and children killing them at her every whim, her breasts are filled with poison not milk. In her every guise, Lilitu has cast an evil spell on humankind.” See a full spin around of the new vinyl on the next page… (perhaps slightly nsfw).
One of my highlights of this year’s 100% Design event would have to be finally seeing the amazing animal chairs from Maximo Riera in person! You may remember his octopus chair which we previously featured here and more recent rhino and walrus additions. These beautiful throne-like pieces of furniture are even more amazing to behold in person. The detailing on the animals is exquisite and incredibly realistic. Another feature that is evident upon seeing the chairs is their enormous size! Like the animals they are designed to reflect, these pieces are truly colossal. More photos of the beautiful walrus, rhino and octopus chairs on the next page!
While Nalden and I were cruising to the Monaco helipad to catch our ride back to Nice airport this morning, there was a loop of an intersection that confused me far too much, and this bizarre concrete truck/cow thing on a building nearby… so, luckily the quick snapshots came out so i can show you what i’m talking about! I only found two other pics online. Any one know what the story is?
Another unexpected discovery of the festival, was the work of Christopher Jarratt. Some of you may remember Christopher Jarratt’s previous slingshots from NOTCOT.org, but to see them in person and what can be done with these elegant pieces is something different altogether. Jarratt’s ‘Take a Shot’ exhibition at the YCN shop and library on Rivington Street is filled with these beautiful, colorful and playful slingshots. The slingshots are both works of art in their own right as well as a means of making art. See the next page for more photos of the slingshots and photos of them in action!
I tweeted yesterday that i was in Black & White heaven with AMG in Affalterbach, Germany. Have you ever just walked into a space and felt ~ just right in it? The black an white, the beautifully versatile lighting, and so many iconic designer furniture pieces put together so nicely ~ while pulling together car accoutrements, the ducati from transformers, a wall of design inspiration books and toys, and the focal point being a stunning mural made by the AMG designers out of TAPE. You’d barely realize it is layer upon layer of sketches on velum with tape until you get extremely close to it (and check out the making of pics as well). This new lounge only opened a few months ago in early summer 2011 ~ and apparently “The new AMG Private Lounge in Affalterbach is an exclusively and unusually designed meeting-point in which to spend time. We see it as a second living-room for our customers. We want the AMG Private Lounge in Affalterbach to provide the perfect setting for the most exciting day of the year - for example when our customers take possession of their new AMG-Mercedes here in Affalterbach,” said Ola Kallenius, Chairman of Mercedes-AMG GmbH. So, while my car is apparently on a boat headed to LA already, it was still magical to wander into the world of AMG and see where these clean modern designs met the heart of the racing company in what was once a farm house and corn fields. More to come on the engines and factory and the world of AMG, but first, take a peek at the new lounge design and the surprising mural!
Flew Spanair for the first time ~ noticed a fun graphic ad in their inflight magazine… and found it HUGE when i landed in Barcelona. The icons on it for each city they fly to were so cute i couldn’t help taking pics! See the details on the next page!
By sheer luck and an unreliable sense of direction, I discovered Nobrow on Great Eastern Street, in East London. What a gem! Nobrow is part shop, part studio and part gallery. The folks at Nobrow run both a small press of beautifully tactile illustrated books as well as a screenprinting studio. Here’s a look inside the gorgeous shop, a peek at a few of their lovely books, and look at the Masks exhibition by Ben Newman!
I’m a huge fan of the work of Noma Bar, who does wonders with negative space and always achieves so much with clean lined minimalism. So I was very excited to hear about his project ‘Cut-it-Out’ at Outline Editions as part of this year’s London Design Festival, especially when I heard we would have the chance to take part and make our own cut outs with his incredible dog (and cat and rat) shaped cutting machine!
The image making machine is a a 2 m high die cutter that weighs over 750 kg and applies 4 tonnes of pressure when the joysticks (located in the dog’s mouth) and depressed. Visitors during workshops can create their own Noma Bar patterns by selecting an A3 sheet of paper (in any of 36 colors) and their favorite of 8 designs. The paper is then careful set between the die and board and swivels the dog’s head into cutting position. Then, a quick and steady push of the joysticks applies the pressure and cuts the image. Great fun and a beautiful way to create a stunning piece of art. More pics of Noma’s screenprints and cut outs, the stunning machine, and our own die cut experience on the next page!
It is truly amazing what a perfectly designed, executed and situated lens and mirror can do to transform a space! John Pawson and Swarovski Crystal Palace have created a minimalist masterpiece that really showcases the beauty of the iconic St. Paul’s Cathedral. Undeniably artistic, ‘Perspectives’ piece shows great understanding of the science of the optical experience and makes excellent use of light, space and proportion to capture and reflect the beauty of Sir Christopher Wren’s cathedral, 300 years after its completion.
‘Perspectives’ allows all visitors to look both up at the staggering beauty of the Geometric staircase as well as down from the top (a view accessible only to a privileged few). Pawson has accomplished this through a crystal meniscus of Swarovski crystal, situated on a reflective hemisphere. The view from above is then reflected downward from a spherical convex mirror hanging above in the tower’s cupola some 23m above. The project is a beautiful celebration of St. Paul’s and brings Swarovski’s role as a lens maker to the fore. The minimalist design of this impressive 14kg lens puts Wren’s architecture at the fore and provides a beautiful, unique perspective of this London landmark. London Design Festival is off to a great start! Check out more images of ‘Perspectives’, as well as photos of the champagne breakfast overlooking St. Paul’s on the next page!
The Thinkspace opening tonight ~ Dabs Myla “The Best of Times” was like stepping into a twisted colorful wonderland ~ think that disney version of Sword in the Stone where the teacups and such come to life at Merlin’s… meet the psychedelic part of Dumbo… and then make it all a little less PG. It was crazy, colorful and a mix of objects coming to life in all of the installations of painted found objects and wondrous typography. You have to see it in person to get the full effect, but take a peek at some of my favorite little moments hidden within the show on the next page!
I haven’t been able to stop staring at the preview of tonight’s Gallery 1988 Melrose show - 2-person exhibition with artists Dan McCarthy and Jay Ryan. Dan McCarthy’s Inception series of acrylic and screeprinting on canvas look stunning in the pictures, i can’t wait to get back to LA and see them in person!
If you’re in LA check out the opening tonight at Gallery 1988 Melrose 7-10pm! Check out the full Inception Series on the next page… only one series of many new pieces in the show!
I love when a graphic can transport you to another world… or make you wish you were somewhere else… just got an email from our friends at the CIA (Central Illustration Agency) with these stunning posters by Jonas Bergstrand for Soho Beach House Miami… beyond the retrotastic look and feel of beach house living… the tiny modern details hidden in each piece are great ~ helicopter, parachuter, and headphones… Take a peek at the three posters and details up close on the next page!
A few weeks ago, Eric Yang of Gear Patrol, was nice enough to step in for me and go on a British adventure with Bentley on behalf of NOTCOT ~ of the MANY pictures he returned with, one of the first to catch my eye were these from Heathrow’s Terminal 5 at the entrance to the First and Concorde Galleries lounges… Troika’s “All The Time In The World” from 2008 looks beautiful. This 22m long electroluminescent wall “extends the conventional notion of a world clock, which commonly concentrates on capital cities in different time zones, by linking real time to places with exciting and romantic associations like far-away places, exotic wonders and forgotten cultures.” The way the text is drippingly formed is fun to watch ~ take a peek at it i the video and pics in the next page.
Love this Robo Mimicry from Shawn Sims + Karl Willis at CMU. There’s something magical about those huge robotic arms we always run into in manufacturing plants ~ big bright colors, mesmerizing to watch them assemble, paint, and do just about anything more powerful and precise than a human can… consistently… but there’s a lack of the fluidity and possibility within them… and since Shawn Sims showed me what initially looked like lightwriting pics on his iphone that were already visually mesmerizing… i was even more pulled in upon realizing they were 1) created by those awesome robotic arms 2) they were mimicking in z-space what a human had initially shown it through moving a hand around naturally… and using a Kinect as it’s eye…
The playful potential of taking the precise, programmable motions and actions of these robotic arms ~ and exploring their artistic and more “human” or organic motions ~ opens up a whole world of robotic lightwriting graffiti, painting, or a synchronized visual display (whether multiple robotic arms in one location, or across the globe) ~ the ability to explore ways that others may interact or control these robotic arms and have beautiful visual/motion captured results just send my head spinning with ideas… and perhaps that’s exactly why Shawn and i are teaming up for NOTlabs to see where else we can go with this space where art, technology, and culture are constantly overlapping… (While NOTlabs is in quiet incubation mode at the moment ~ feel free to follow us on Twitter as we figure out where we’re headed!) But for now… take a peek at the videos and images of the beautifully organic movements of the awesomely orange ABB4400 robot that is tucked away in CMU’s Digital Fabrication Lab as it fluidly dances and mimics with light on the next page!
Earlier i showed you Scumco & Sons’ ABC’s of offensive rap lyrics, a stunning layering of styles and techniques ultimately cumulating to 26 one of a kind decks. Well, for you fellow process-junkies, here’s a look inside the world of Scumco & Sons… Gorgeous work space!
Popculturally ~ i feel like i’ve grown up on Junk Food’s tees ~ they’ve been doing the super soft, perfectly cut, retro-tastic tees since 1998, licensing everything from star wars and branded goods to your favorite saturday morning cartoons for years. Faded in as if you’ve had them for decades, cheeky designs, and a comfiness that always makes them your favorites…
Well, now they are branching into being an Art House! And their inaugural artist is Anthony Lister! With murals popping up all over LA, super heroes flanking the exterior of their space, paintings to tempt you… as well as letting him do his thing to their ice cream truck… and of course two awesome limited edition tees ( womens and mens)… it was a fun art opening/party tonight! Take a peek on the next page at all the visual goodness to indulge in!
p.s. While they won’t divulge who’s lined up next yet… they do promise that they have quite the line up of artist coming up FAST for their Art House collection! Can’t wait!
Just in from our friends at Ghostly International appealing directly to our geometric love of tessellations… “We are proud to unveil our second art edition from the Ann Arbor-based paper artist and engineer Matthew Shlian. Conceived over a flurry of emails in the spring of this year, The Tessellation Series is an expression of intuitive design evolving from a fixed starting point. To illustrate the process by which the pattern has emerged, the series is presented as five distinct moments, or formations, in its evolution. In each formation, three-dimensional structures spread, in seemingly random order, toward the edge of the page. Closer inspection reveals the fine pencil drawn lines of the geometric shapes from which they rise, a blueprint for a pattern that is at once unfinished and complete.” Aren’t they mesmerizingly beautiful? Especially in animated gif form above? It’s hard to pick which of the various paper sculpture/prints i love best… they seem best when in a full set evolving from one step to the next! “Each tessellation formation is produced in an edition of ten, and comes signed and numbered for a series total of fifty (e.g. the first edition of Tessellation Formation 3 is numbered 31/50).” See details on the next page ~ they are stunning!
The installation is an eerie futuristic work is a collaboration between the National Maritime Museum, UVA (UnitedVisualArtists) and Cape Farewell. The exhibition is designed to capture the scale, beauty and fragility of our arctic environment. The installation was created as a response to the arctic journey of Matt Clark of UVA, who traveled with the arts and climate science foundation Cape Farewell to the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard in September 2010 aboard the 100-year old Dutch schooner, the Noorderlicht.
A highly interactive space, the exhibition turns visitors into explorers armed with handheld blacklights to discover the dark and everchanging environment while listening to snippets of narration from Arctic explorers (a soundscape created by Max Eastley and Henrik Ekeus from the voices of Arctic explorers and poetry of Nick Drake). The beautiful projections respond dynamically to the approach and movements of visitors and the blacklights reveal glimmers in the exhibition floor and to discover the thousands of columns which represent the real glaciers of Svalbard.
The latest intervention by Kyle McDonald is causing quite a stir… with the Secret Service (and Apple?) - People Staring at Computers. It’s exactly what it sounds like ~ and not so different from what i’m seeing (and looking like) now as i co-work over vidchat. All of those moments when he or i are lost in our work or other windows, there’s that fixated stare that glazes over us all as the screens suck us in… As for Kyle’s project ~ the most interesting aspect is HOW and WHERE he got the images.
So if you happened to wander into an Apple store in NY last week, odds are you may have stumbled right into his exhibition. As you played with one of the machines, you might have a moment where the computer took your picture, showed it to you by fading your image in full screen, and the proceeded to show you those others than came before you. A selection of the pics were published to the People Staring at Computers tumblr, as well as a little video documenting the intervention/exhibition. While it clearly brings up issues of privacy and legality ~ i love the way it shifts our perspectives to see how computers see US ~ and it ain’t pretty. Are all our screens making us zombies? Apparently… So flip that camera on and perhaps start capturing what YOU look like when working/staring away unknowingly at your screens, it may surprise you! Check out the video and more info on the next page!
On shows not to miss ~ Leontine Greenberg’s ‘Animal Vegetable Mineral’ solo show opened tonight at Gallery 1988’s Venice outpost, and its stunning! As usual, her birds and other creatures explore vintage tech and umbrellas in their water colored world framed by her hand cut borders! See the full preview of the show at Gallery 1988 ~ and take a peek at some of my favorite close ups from the show on the next page!
On reasons print needs to live on ~ some books are worth owning, and i could flip through the gorgeous new Yuki 7 book by Kevin Dart and Elizabeth Ito for ages. I’ve been following them and falling in love with them one after the other for some time now… from the posters we gave away to their first book ~ and i’m even wearing one of their shirts as i head out for a hike now! So yes, i’m a fan… but then again, who wouldn’t want to live in the magical world of Yuki 7 and her Gadget Girls? It’s that perfect mix of retro-tastic illustration that brings you back to happier place full of mystery and espionage… gorgeous locales, and crazy new technology mixed in… not to mention fabulous outfits?
In her latest adventure and short film ~ Yuki 7: Looks That Kill, she and the gadget girls will take you on quite a ride ~ and the film is beautiful! I can’t wait till they take it further than a short film and go for a full length feature ~ she’s like the ultimate animated Bond Girl ~ only she’s Bond and i guess she has her Yuki-7 Boys… So take a sneak peek in to the new book on the next page… and if you’re in LA, check out the launch party July 16th at Q Pop.
Another british discovery from Justine! One of the pieces which caught my eye at New Designers Part 1 was the work of surface textile designer Francesca Baxter-Hunter. These beautifully detailed wooden panels show delicate, undulating relief that highlights the natural grain of the wood. Baxter-Hunter’s work is inspired by the ocean, using a variety of techniques to echo the coastal landscape which is shaped by the forces of wind and sea. Baxter-Hunter uses a variety of erosive techniques with wood and glass paneling, including dip dyeing, sandblasting, layering and painting in order to create these beautiful pieces. See more of these stunning pieces and close ups on the next page!