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Art Photography

Swirls of Electrifying Ink and Found Crystal Formations Transformed into Hair by Lorna Simpson

May 23, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Brooklyn-based artist Lorna Simpson combines images of black men and women pulled from vintage advertising photos with bright ink washes to give her subjects kaleidoscopic hairstyles erupting with color. The photographs are snipped from old issues of Ebony and Jet magazines and are either layered with ink or found textbook imagery like crystalized growths to explore the deep and varied language of hair. In one piece the subject is adorned with a thick slab of rock, while in another a cross-section of a human brain acts as the subject’s coiffed hairstyle.

Over 150 of these collages have been compiled in her recent book Lorna Simpson Collages, out early next month through Chronicle Books. The volume contains an artist’s statement and an introduction by poet, author, and scholar Elizabeth Alexander who explains, “Black women’s heads of hair are galaxies unto themselves, solar systems, moonscapes, volcanic interiors.”

You can currently preorder the book on Amazon, and view more collages by Simpson on her website.

 

 



Design

Miniature Installations Transform Bookshelves into the Back Alleys of Japan

May 18, 2018

Johnny Strategy

The back alley bookends, on display at Design Festa in Tokyo. Photo by twitter user @riku_ton

If you’ve ever wandered around Tokyo on foot you’ll know that it can sometimes be like a spider web of side streets and back alleys. It’s one of the things that makes Tokyo so unique and therein lies the allure of exploring the massive city. Now, one designer has brought that magic to bookshelves by designing back alley bookends.

The clever idea is the brainchild of a Japanese designer who goes by the name monde. Based in Tokyo, monde creates objects inspired by the city but also animals and insects. The back alley bookends come in a pair and can be used together to replicate a small back alley, or they can be used individually, exposing the intricate stepping stones, A/C units, piping, plants and other details that have been carefully recreated by hand.

Monde exhibited the back alley bookends, along with other works, last weekend at Design Festa, a Tokyo-based arts & crafts event where artists, both amateur and professional, come together to exhibit their artwork. The event has since ended but the next dates (August 2-4 and then November 10-11, 2018) have already been announced. If you’re interested, you can also try reaching out to the artist directly. (Syndicated from Spoon & Tamago)

Photo by monde

Photo by twitter user @riku_ton

 

 



Art

Minima Muralia: A Collection of 15 Years of Murals by Street Artist Blu

March 23, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

The newly published book Minima Muralia condenses more than 200 larger-than-life murals painted by Blu (previously) into one 288-page collection. The compendium covers every piece made by the Italian street artist over the last 15 years, including backstage shots and unreleased works pulled from his archive. A special edition of the book has also been released, featuring a 32-page zine, two posters, and a specially-designed book casing. You can order both releases on Zooo Print & Press.

In addition to putting out this recent compilation of his works, Blu has also painted a new mural in the town of La Punta, just outside of Valencia, Spain. The piece was created as a part of the Sensemurs Project, a group of muralists attempting to raise awareness about the preservation of peri-urban orchards in towns affected by rapid urbanization across Europe. You can see this new mural, along with work by Borondo and Daniel Munoz SAN, over on Juxtapoz.

 

 



Photography

Dazzling Chickens Strut for the Camera in a New Photo Book by Moreno Monti and Matteo Tranchellini

March 6, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

All photographs by Moreno Monti and Matteo Tranchellini, courtesy of the artists.

Italian photographers Moreno Monti and Matteo Tranchellini have created a glamorous book of dozens of chicken portraits, photographed in a sleek, high-fashion inspired style. The endeavor began in 2013, when the artists were inspired by the beauty of these domesticated birds at an avian exhibition in Milan. It has since evolved into a 190 page book featuring 85 high-resolution photos of some of the world’s most eye-catching avians. The photos were shot on location at the exhibition, and the photographers worked with chickens who are groomed as show birds; they struck their photogenic poses at will. Chicken is currently funding on Kickstarter. You can also follow the project on Instagram. (via My Modern Met)

 

 



Art Design

Art in Ad Places: A New Book Collects 52 Public Artworks Installed in Pay Phones Across NYC

February 20, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Artwork by Andrea Sonnenberg, all installation images by Luna Park

Artwork by Andrea Sonnenberg, all installation images by Luna Park

Frustrated by the daily bombardment of advertising on the streets of New York City, artist Caroline Caldwell and writer RJ Rushmore decided to produce a project that would dampen the sheer volume of visual marketing strewn throughout their environment. The pair didn’t have the budget to prompt an entire overhaul, but they did have the incentive to construct an intervention that would offer an alternative glimpse to the city’s high volume of print-based advertisements.

For their 2017 project, Art in Ad Places, the pair recruited 55 artists and collectives from across the country to produce 55 works to be temporarily displayed on pay phone booths across New York City. The installations were each presented for a week, and documented by their collaborator, street art photographer Luna Park.

“Pay phones were a perfect choice because they’re disappearing from the streets,” Rushmore told Colossal. “So I’d like to say that our ad takeovers were intended as a swan song for pay phones. Plus, contemporary pay phones serve no real function except to serve advertising, and that feels wrong. Nobody’s using pay phones to make calls, so why do we put up with their ads?”

The 52-week campaign ended in December of last year, however it has recently been compiled into a new book that documents the year-long installation. Art in Ad Places: 52 Week of Public Art Across New York City is available through Rushmore’s street art blog Vandalog and features statements from each artist alongside essays written by the project’s three collaborators. You can see the entire range of poster-sized artworks produced for Art in Ad Places on the project’s website or Instagram.

Bones Not Bombs by Pat Perry

Bones Not Bombs by Pat Perry

My Ad is No Ad by John Fekner

My Ad is No Ad by John Fekner

Artwork by For Freedoms with Hank Willis Thomas

Artwork by For Freedoms with Hank Willis Thomas

"I HATE THE SOUND OF SILENCE" by Cheryl Pope

“I HATE THE SOUND OF SILENCE” by Cheryl Pope

Artwork by Martha Cooper

Artwork by Martha Cooper

The Ecstasy of St Katsuhiro Otomo by Nomi Chi

The Ecstasy of St Katsuhiro Otomo by Nomi Chi

Stop Telling Women to Smile by Tatyana Fazlalizadeh

Stop Telling Women to Smile by Tatyana Fazlalizadeh

Artwork by Louise Chen aka Ouizi

Artwork by Louise Chen aka Ouizi

Blue Lady by Parker Day

Blue Lady by Parker Day

 

 



Art

A Single Book Disrupts the Foundation of a Brick Wall by Jorge Méndez Blake

February 14, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

The Castle is a 2007 project by Mexican artist Jorge Méndez Blake that subtly examines the impact of a single outside force. For the installation, he constructed a 75 x 13 foot brick wall that balances on top of a single copy of Franz Kafka’s The Castle. The mortarless wall bulges at the site of the inserted text, creating an arch that extends to the top of the precarious structure.

Although a larger metaphor could be applied to the installation no matter what piece of literature was chosen, Méndez Blake specifically selected The Castle to pay tribute to Kafka’s lifestyle and work. The novelist was a deeply introverted figure who wrote privately throughout his life, and was only published posthumously by his friend Max Brod. This minimal, yet poignant presence is reflected in the brick work—Kafka’s novel showcasing how a small idea can have a monumental presence.

 

 

 



Design History Science

Werner’s Nomenclature of Colours: a Pre-Photographic Guide for Artists and Naturalists

January 31, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

First published in the pre-photographic age, Werner’s Nomenclature of Colours was the preeminent guide to color and its classification for artists, scientists, naturalists, and anthropologists in the 19th-century. Without an image for reference, the book provided immense handwritten detail describing where each specific shade could be found on an animal, plant, or mineral. Prussian Blue for instance could be located in the beauty spot of a mallard’s wing, on the stamina of a bluish-purple anemone, or in a piece of blue copper ore.

The system of classification was first devised by German mineralogist Abraham Gottlob Werner in the late 18th-century. Shortly after Scottish painter Patrick Syme updated Werner’s guide, matching color swatches and his own list of examples to the provided nomenclature.

The book’s poetic names, such as Arterial Blood Red, Berlin Blue, and Verdigris Green, added flourish to the writings of many researchers, allowing vivid descriptions for prose which had previously been limited to a more elementary color palette. Charles Darwin even used the guide during his voyage to the Madeira, Canary, and Cape Verde islands on the H.M.S. Beagle.

The 1814 book has now been republished by Smithsonian Books as a pocket-sized guide, providing a historic connection to vivid colors found in the field for a future generation of artists, scientists, and curious naturalists. You can preorder the 2018 hardcover for its release date on February 6, 2018.  (via Co.Design)