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Art History

A New 5-Hour Advertisement Records a Single-Shot Walkthrough of Russia’s Hermitage Museum

March 12, 2020

Grace Ebert

As travel slows due to the global coronavirus pandemic, a new advertisement released by Apple provides an expansive view of one of St. Petersburg’s most-visited institutions that’s accessible without having to venture into crowded spaces. Clocking 5 hours, 19 minutes, and 28 seconds, the single-shot video spans the Hermitage Museum in the nation’s cultural center. It includes a look at 45 galleries, 588 works, and even has live performances from Russian composer Kirill Richter and a ballet duet from the Hermitage Theater.

The ad was shot to showcase the iPhone 11’s battery life but also offers an impressive view of artworks by Rembrandt, Raphael Loggias, and Caravaggio. “This video to me is all about connection through time,” filmmaker Axinya Gog told ArtNet. “Art that is timeless meets modern life and state-of-the-art technology.” Using a complex system of handheld stabilizers, cranes to span rooms, and even a custom app to control the camera, Gog and the group behind the ad created the single-shot take during the course of six hours in the museum.

If you can’t commit to the full five-hour video, check out the one-minute trailer. For a similar look at the Hermitage, take a look at the 2002 film Russian Ark by Alexander Sokurov.

 

 



Design

Bushfire Brandalism: Guerrilla Campaign Replaces Ads Across Australia with Climate Crisis Appeals

February 3, 2020

Grace Ebert

In an effort to draw attention to the ongoing climate crisis and the unprecedented number of bushfires across Australia, 41 artists transformed the streets of Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane into the nation’s biggest unsanctioned campaign advocating for immediate action. Last week, those behind Bushfire Brandalism (previously) replaced 78 posters across the three cities with original designs focused on the fossil fuel industry, heroic local firefighters, and the devastation of wildlife and natural habitats across the country.

As a collective group of Australian artists, we have been driven to reclaim public advertising space with posters speaking to the Australian government’s inaction on climate change and the devastating bushfires.

We do not accept that this situation is ‘business as usual.’ We are making these issues visible in our public spaces and in our media; areas monopolized by entities maintaining conservative climate denial agendas. If the newspapers won’t print the story, we will!

Many of the pieces were installed at bus stops and other public spaces complete with a QR code, allowing viewers to scan and access more than 30 charities aiding in the crisis directly. Considering one company controls 59 percent of daily newspaper sales in Australia, the artists also wanted to push back against general advertising practices, questioning media coverage of climate issues.

Artists involved in the campaign include Georgia Hill, Tom Gerrard, Sarah McCloskey, Amok Island, Andrew J Steel, Blends, Callum Preston, Cam Scale, Damien Mitchell, Dani Hair, DVATE, E.L.K, Ed Whitfield, FIKARIS, Fintan Magee, HEESCO, JESWRI, Ghostpatrol, Leans, Lluis fuzzhound, Lotte Smith, Lucy Lucy, Makatron, Michael Langenegger, Peter Breen, The Workers Art Collective, Stanislava Pinchuk, The Lazy Edwin, Thomas Bell, Tom Civil, WordPlay Studio, and Peter Breen, among others who remain anonymous.

Follow the activist action on Instagram and Twitter.

 

 



Design Photography

Nairobi’s Motor Taxi Drivers Sport Extravagant Costumes in ‘Boda Boda Madness’

January 16, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Machete Rider.” All images © Jan Hoek, shared with permission

Captivated by the motor taxis occupying the streets of Nairobi, Dutch artist Jan Hoek collaborated with Ugandan-Kenyan fashion designer Bobbin Case to document how the drivers elaborately design their bikes to attract customers. The resulting series, titled Boda Boda Madness—the motorists are referred to as boda boda in the Kenyan city—captures this advertising strategy with a little bit of added flair: each driver dons an extravagant ensemble developed by the designer that matches their rides. The lavishly outfitted bike operators are photographed by Hoek against the Nairobi landscape in stances of their own choosing, resembling real-life action figures.

“Because of their new outfits their income went up, so they really kept on using their costumes. Maybe if you by chance visit Nairobi one of them will be your taxi guy,” Hoek says of the series. You can see the eccentric project throughout 2020 at the Circulation(s) festival in Paris and as part of a group exhibition at Now Look Here in Amsterdam. Keep up with both Hoek‘s and Case‘s latest work on Instagram. You might also want to check out these Japanese work trucks. (via designboom)

“Vybes Rider”

“Ghost Rider”

“Lion Rider”

“Mad Max Rider”

“Rasta Rider”

“Red Devil Rider”

Hoek and Case stand with the riders

 

 



Design

Teeth-Baring Dracula Reveals Himself on Sinister Billboard Only When the Sun Sets

January 8, 2020

Grace Ebert

In a newly released advertisement for BBC One’s remaking of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the iconic vampire stays true to his vile nature and appears only at nightfall. During the day, the sinister promotion depicts blood dripping from stakes driven into the billboard, an allusion to theories about killing vampires. When the sun sets, a haunting shadow appears resembling Dracula with his mouth open and teeth bared, seemingly ready to prey on his next victim. To add to the darkly themed advertisement, creators have included a glass case complete with daggers below the billboard that reads, “in case of vampires, break glass.”

Dracula was created by Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat, who also worked on the classics Sherlock and Doctor Who. Chris Hooper, who is in charge of marketing at BBC One, noted in an interview with The Drum, that the advertising campaign wanted to revitalize the portrayal of the classic character. “Each element has been designed to surprise⁠—from the cheeky campaign line, ‘Bloody Legend’, to the use of Lust For Life on the trailers, and this special build, which takes a playful, tongue-in-cheek approach to the legend,” he said. If you’re in either Birmingham and London where the billboards are located, you might even encounter the creepy vampire in person. This play on shadows is also in a similar vein as artists Kumi Yamashita and Tim Noble and Sue Webster. (via My Modern Met)

 

 



Animation

Dozens of Expressive Puppets Encourage Kindness and Acceptance in a Series of Sing-A-Long Short Films

February 19, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Irish director and animator Johnny Kelly (previously) is known for his puppet-based films, most notably his 2011 piece for Chipotle titled Back to the Start. His most recent project, Right on Tracks, is a series of short sing-a-long videos for Cheerios. Kelly worked with the art collective Nous Vous and Andy Gent, who was also the lead of the puppets department for Isle of Dogs.

The catchy anthems have an inclusive message that focuses on building confidence in yourself while practicing kindness to all. Walter Martin of The Walkmen created songs such as Just Be You which teaches acceptance of your own quirks and unique traits, and It’s All Family which showcases a look at familial structures in a much broader light than we typically see on TV.

“We wanted to show diversity,” Kelly told It’s Nice That. “Nous Vous’ characters are so otherworldly and abstract that they could be anyone and everyone. It was important that people empathize with them too. With such simple designs, you can read a little more into their expressions, project your own loneliness onto a lonely character, or warmth onto a happy character.”

The cast of puppets are large, small, and every size in-between, with characteristics that range from colorful tufts of hair to necks that extend out like tree branches. You can take a behind-the-scenes peek at how Kelly created the four-part series in the video below, and view more of his short films on his website and Vimeo. (via The Kid Should See This, It’s Nice That)

 

 



Craft Design

Cut Paper Illustrations Create Shadow and Depth in Imaginative Environments by John Ed De Vera

December 21, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Multidisciplinary designer John Ed De Vera builds cut paper illustrations that jump off the page, inviting his audience into the minds of deep sea divers, astronauts, and long distance runners. To more deeply immerse viewers in these imagined worlds, he creates depth and shadow by layering cut pieces of paper. The Philippines-based designer first traces each element out on bond paper. These shapes and designs and then transferred to thick paper that is cut and stacked into colorful arrangements. You can find more of his sculptural illustrations, on Instagram and Behance.

 

 



Illustration

Creative Lego Constructions Bring Fantastical Moments to Life

July 25, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Imagine

Imagine

Creative constructions of Lego bricks spring to life in these advertising campaigns developed by Asawin Tejasakulsin, a senior art director at Ogilvy & Mather in Bangkok, Thailand. The two series, Imagine and Build the Future, amplify the childhood wonder central to the Lego brand, devising playful scenarios that successfully interact with reality. In Imagine, storybook animals come to life, while in Build the Future, children assemble the uniforms of their dream jobs, all using Lego bricks. You can see more work by Tejasakulsin on Behance.

Imagine

Imagine

Imagine

Imagine

Build the Future

Build the Future

Build the Future

Build the Future

Build the Future

Build the Future