Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Shepard Fairey's VIP Opening of "Printed Matters"

Last Wednesday was the VIP opening of Printed Matters, the first solo show of iconic designer, illustrator, street artist, and author, Shepard Fairey at his Subliminal Projects gallery in Echo Park. The creative that spoils the everyday pedestrian with beautiful displays of his distinguishable and sometimes controversial pieces features imagery printed on smaller-scale wood and metal panels in this solo show. The images may be recognizable from his recent May Day show that closed out NYC's Deitch Projects last may.

Personally I find Shepard exceedingly inspirational. He represents the two of my foundational qualities being creativity and liberal thinking. His pop iconographic propagandist works are very well crafted and can be admired in skill, concept, and sacrifice of self for the life of the message.

Below are a few images from the opening night.


Above is an artist brief by Shepard Fairey on the "Printed Matters Show."

Here's the brief for you to read better:

"Printing has changed the world. With the invention of the movable type printing press around 1450, Johannes Gutenberg created arguably the most important instrument for the global democratization of knowledge. Not only did the printing press facilitate the spread of text-based information, it also spread images. Prior to the invention of the printing press, artwork had to be viewed in person, limiting the influence of styles and specific images to local audiences or those wealthy enough to travel great distances.

The printing press may have begun the democratization of art, but another printer evolved it both conceptually and practically. Andy Warhol made art based on accessible products and personalities from pop culture. In addition to his attempts to democratize art through his subject matter, Warhol used screenprinting to produce multiple versions of his images. Where elitism, preciousness, and scarcity had been the ruling principles in the art world, Warhol embraced commercial reproduction techniques and mass culture. Further down the line, two of my biggest street art influences — Barbara Kruger and Robbie Conal — used printed posters to spread their artwork and messages in public spaces.
I’m a product of the era of mass production and the mass culture it has created. I can’t imagine my art practice without the influence of, and the use of, printing. Some of my biggest art influences were not paintings, but printed things like album covers, skateboard graphics, punk flyers, and T-shirt designs. When I discovered stencil-making and screenprinting in high school, I used them to make T-shirts and stickers, but by college I began to use screenprinting to make art. I enjoyed illustration, photography, collage, and graphic design separately, but with screenprinting I could synthesize those techniques into an integrated final product. Screenprinting also provided latitude for experimentation and the ability to make multiples, and my style began to evolve as I explored the graphic nature of the medium. I tried to make images that would translate well to screen-print production. A harmony of beauty, power, and utility was my goal.

I always believed in art as a part of public dialogue, and my Obey Giant street art campaign aspired to arrest visually and provoke intellectually. With the need for me to compete with well-funded advertising, screenprinting posters myself was the only way I could afford to create large quantities of materials to share on the streets. My theory was that I could print an image on thin paper for the streets and on thicker paper to sell. I was broke, so I needed a process that was affordable and efficient. I printed my posters in a consistent size and color palette so I could build modular grids of images and constantly expand my image library for large outdoor installations.

Repetition, consistency, and persistence over the years yielded a growing audience for both my outdoor and gallery art. As people started to request more versions of my images, I began to embellish upon my utilitarian printing techniques by printing on wood, metal, and canvas, as well as incorporating stenciling back into the work. Some of these pieces began to function as one-of-a-kind mixed media paintings. To keep my work affordable and accessible, I also made screenprint-on-paper editions of my fine art pieces.

The Printed Matters show incorporates every variety of my printed works, including prints on wood, metal, album covers, and fine art collage papers. Some people say print is on its way out, that it will be wiped out by digital media, but I say you can never replace the provocative, tactile experience of an art print on the street or in a gallery. Printing still matters.”

Related Links:
Studio Number One
Subliminal Projects Gallery
Obey Giant

images via complex.com

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Designer of the Day: Coralie Bickford-Smith

I've been drooling over these specific book covers on so many blogs I figured it was only appropriate to moderate my saliva and feature their creator on 'Designer of the Day.' It's only polite.

Coralie Bickford-Smith is a senior cover designer at Penguin Books, where she has created several series designs. She studied typography at Reading university and has recently been sharing her experience with students at London College of Communication encouraging a sense of play in the process of design.

The designs for which she's best known are from the Penguin Cloth-bound Classics collection. She very strategically planned out each cover, first by simply reading the books. From there she paired with one of out picture researchers, Isabelle De Cat, and created mood boards full of ideas, narrowing it down from there. Their beautiful color schemes and intricate patterns make them appealing not only alone but populating an entire row together on a bookshelf.

 Below are some of my other favorite designs by Coralie.

Related Links:
Official Site of Coralie Bickford-Smith
Design Sponge Interview

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Designer of the Day: Jessica Hische

"We are starved of tactile things." -JH

I really love the work Jessica does, but I really love her attitude the most. She's so passionate about what she does and very conceptual in her thinking, yet she doesn't enjoy doing deeply conceptual art. She's a difficult one to kind of put your finger on and I think that's what makes her most intriguing.

Here are a couple of videos and photos of her work to introduce you to this captivating Designer/Illustrator/Typographer...etc.

SP 2010 Speaker - Jessica Hische from Semi Permanent on Vimeo.

Art In The Age Presents... Jessica Hische from Art In The Age on Vimeo.

So as you can see she is extremely creative and has done some amazing work. Another thing that I enjoyed about Jessica was her apartment. Creativity isn't just something she conjures up when she decides to go to work, she lives creativity. Her eclectic style caught the attention of the infamous Apartment Therapy who featured photos of her original space on their website.

You can see the full tour they did HERE.

Related Links:
Jessica Hische - Official Site
Daily Drop Cap

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Daily Inspiration: Design Matters Podcast

Every day, when I come to work or when I sit down at home in attempt to create something, I love to have music or podcasts going in the background. Sometimes it's difficult to have podcasts because it's distracting to have people talking while I'm trying to be creative, and other times I love it. I'm not sure why it's different on certain days. My middle school creative writing/art teacher told me that because art and creativity is a right brain activity that the spoken or written word, which is a left brain activity, would hinder the right brain performance. She also was a very eccentric woman that, when angered, would rush out to the hallway and dance around in circles until she was calm again. So I'm not sure how solid that theory is.

Regardless, I am currently listening to another of Debbie Millman's podcasts on Design Observer today. It's one of her podcasts from 2009. She's interviewing the infamous Stefan Sagmeister. Not only is the interview extremely captivating (maybe I'm just bias because I worship both of these designers) but so is her short personal story at the beginning. Debbie Millman has a gift to bring the listener into her reality and make you feel comfortable. I highly recommend listening to all of her podcasts on Design Matters as well as buying her new book Look Both Ways. She's charming and unique and will inspire you to build that critical relationship between design and every day life.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

"Art-Like" things by Miranda July

The installations by Miranda July challenge the everyday person to interact and volunteer themselves to become a part of the messages. I absolutely love her work because I appreciate the honesty they display and the time she took to develop such concepts. If you want to create something good, you should document something well. Below are two of her featured exhibitions (via mirandajuly.com).

Eleven Heavy Things


Eleven Heavy Things, created for the 53rd International Art Exhibition at the Venice Biennale, is comprised of eleven sculptural works installed in an enclosed garden within Giardino delle Vergini. The cast fiber-glass, steel-lined pieces are designed for interaction: pedestals to stand on, tablets with holes for body parts, and free-standing abstract headdresses. A series of three pedestals in ascending height, The Guilty One, The Guiltier One, The Guiltiest One, ask the viewer to ascribe their guilt relative to the people around them. A large flat shape, hand-painted with Burberry plaid, hovers on a pole, waiting to become someone’s aura. A series of tablets invite heads, arms, legs and one finger: This is not the first hole my finger has been in, nor will it be the last. A wider pedestal for two people to hug on reads, We don!t know each other, we’re just hugging for the picture….
July assumes and invites the picture — these are eleven photo opportunities, in a city where one is always clutching a camera. Though the work begins as sculpture, it becomes a performance that is only complete when these tourist photos are uploaded onto personal blogs and sent in emails — at which point the audience changes, and the subject clearly becomes the participants, revealing themselves through the work.

Eleven Heavy Things has been installed in the Center Lawn of Union Square Park in New York from May 29 to October 03, 2010.

Production of this work has been supported by Deitch Projects.


The Hallway

A 125 foot hallway lined with fifty wooden signs, hand-painted with text. As the viewer/participant walks down the seemingly endless hall, weaving between the signs, the text acts as an internal voice, “It’s too late to go back now, but the end seems far away…” The “you” in text realizes that you’ll be walking down this hallway for the rest of your life. And like life, the hall is filled with indecision, disappointment, boredom and joy - and it does end.
English in one direction, Japanese in the other.

Commissioned by the Yokohama Triennial, 2008. In the collection of The Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan.

The Hallway from The Hallway on Vimeo.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Honesty of Sally Mann

Creatives. Artists. We are communicators. We are visionaries. We are active and alive. We are honest. None of these qualities remain popular with the entire society we live in. In fact, most of the time, they are downright shunned. I believe I've been given my talent by God and with that comes the greatest responsibility. With talent comes power and what you do with that power defines who you are as an artist and human. Being honest should never be wrong.

Sally Mann is one of the greatest photographers this earth has come to know. She has captured beauty in death, innocence in nudity, and has challenged people to trust rather than fear. With numerous awards for her breathtaking photos and books she's successfully inspired, shocked, and turned the heads of people in both awe and disgust. Her "Immediate Family" book featured photos of her family, mainly her children, in their everyday life. Many of these photos contained the children without any clothes becoming a controversy to some. To me, it was pure beauty and inspiration. The photos below come from that book and can't be denied the brilliance in concept and technicality. They are just gorgeous.

Here is a video of an interview from 2003 with Sally Mann discussing her book "What Remains" which is filled with photos of decomposing canine and human bodies; the canine being her beloved dog Eva and the bodies being corpses donated to a forensic research center.

As in the video, Sally Mann dedicated this book "To My Father, Unafraid." She also talks about how death is unmentionable in society and how it used to be sex, but death is now the last taboo. Honesty. Honesty in death and sex and life is what sets Sally Mann apart. Isn't it our responsibility as artists to do all we can to understand life, the good and the bad, and then to tell the truth we come to discover? You decide.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Yummy Typography

My show is over, graduation is over, and I finally have time for the little things I love like sharing delicious type with you on my blog. Here's some to drool over.

Invite to the opening of a worship center called Lumen by Theis & Khan.

Identity for London cafe Milbar. Check out the 'mapkin'!

Custom Invites by Suzy Tuxen

Five Boroughs Shop's hand painted signs


Slab Serif - friendsoftype.com
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