Chicago

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Photography

Chicago Lights: Flash Street Photography by Satoki Nagata

March 14, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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This winter Chicago-based photographer Satoki Nagata produced a series of abstract, black and white street portraits of people caught in the frigid elements. Nagata says that he lights his figures from behind with a flash using a slow shutter speed and doesn’t rely on double exposures or glass reflections as it may appear. The results are some pretty striking photographs of people that look nearly transparent yet appear to be almost perfectly surrounded by a crisp halo of light. Nagata’s primary work centers around documentary photography which is also well worth a look.

 

 



Art

Animated Lake Michigan Ice Floes Captured by Dave Gorum

March 13, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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Even after living here for 14 years I’m always struck by the juxtaposition of Chicago’s towering steel skyline against the brutal midwest winter as it transforms the lakefront into an arctic landscape. Dave Gorum, co-founder and creative director over at Carbonmade, went out last week and shot some footage of the densely packed ice chunks as they sloshed around in Lake Michigan off Lake Shore Drive and then converted them into these great gifs. You can see more over on his Tumblr.

 

 



Documentary Photography

Finding Vivian Maier: A New Documentary About One of the World’s Most Mysterious Street Photographers

February 16, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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In 2007 Chicago 26-year-old real estate agent (and president of the Jefferson Park Historical Society) John Maloof walked into an auction house and placed a $380 bid on a box of 30,000 prints and negatives from an unknown photographer. Realizing the street photographs of 1950s/60s era Chicago and New York were of unusually high quality he purchased another lot of photographer’s work totaling some 100,000 photographic negatives, thousands of prints, 700 rolls of undeveloped color film, home movies, audio tape interviews, and original cameras.

Over time it became clear the photos belonged to a Chicago nanny named Vivian Maier who had photographed prolifically for nearly 40 years, but who never shared her work during her lifetime. Since the discovery Maier’s photographs have received international attention with collections touring in cities around the world as well as the publication of a book. Now, a documentary called Finding Vivian Maier directed by Maloof and Charlie Siskel is nearing completion and the trailer above is a tantalizing preview of what promises to me a fascinating film. Can’t wait. (via gapers block)

 

 



Art

You Are Beautiful: An Art Movement Turns 10

February 8, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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Ten years ago Chicago artist and designer Matthew Hoffman decided to print a batch of 100 stickers that read simply “You Are Beautiful” which he gave to friends and colleagues who found the phrase to be inspiring, hopeful, and infectious. Requests for the stickers began to trickle in so Hoffman started selling them in small batches online at You-Are-Beautiful.com. Demand quickly began to swell, so much so that he’s now printed over 500,000 of them. Soon the stickers were accompanied by numerous public art installations in Chicago and eventually the message began appearing around the world on fences, street overpasses, and sidewalks. To celebrate 10 years of ‘You Are Beautiful’ Matt is putting together a book with help from Kickstarter that documents the evolution of the project including photography, stories, and tons of really awesome rewards including his hand-cut wood signs and of course tons of stickers. Join me in helping Matt get this thing off the ground, there’s just three days left.

Update: Several You Are Beautiful products are available in Colossal Shop.

 

 



Photography

Fire and Ice: The Frozen Aftermath of a Chicago Warehouse Fire

January 24, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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It seems like just a few days ago Chicago had huge ice news, and now this. For the past few weeks things have been pretty darned frigid here in the windy city with temperatures dropping down to the single digits, and just when we couldn’t take it anymore things started to warm up, in a massive-abandoned-warehouse-bursting-into-flames sort of way. Nearly 200 firefighters were on the scene in Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood to battle the blaze and incredibly nobody was injured. Temperatures were so low during the fire that water sprayed on the building froze almost instantly leaving behind a spectacularly beautiful ice-encrusted wonderland. Photographers Robert R. Gigliotti, David Schalliol, and Darek Szupina stopped by yesterday and snapped these extraordinary photos. You can see much more over on the Chicago Tribune.

 

 



History Photography

Defrosting a Building: Otherworldly Icescapes Inside a Historic Chicago Cold Storage Facility

January 16, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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For nine decades Fulton Market Cold Storage Company operated in Chicago’s meatpacking district with a full ten stories of freezing storage situated close to major railways. Last summer the company decided it was time to start fresh in a state-of-the-art facility outside of Chicago, so the building was sold to SRAM, a bike component manufacturer who will use the space for its global headquarters. Architects Perkins + Will were hired to help convert the ice-encrusted space into a new, modernized office building and were also tasked with the most epic refrigerator defrost in history. Luckily photographer Gary Jensen was asked to snap some incredible photos prior to the thawing which was actually caught on video (sorry no embed). See more photos on his website. (via gapers block)

Update: I’ve been asked to clarify that the building owner is technically Sterling Bay and the architect of the conversion is Hartshorne and Plunkard. SRAM is a potential tenant in the building and Perkins & Will is their architect.

 

 



Art Design

The Happiness Machine: Exquisitely Detailed Architectural Drawings by Mark Lascelles Thornton

December 11, 2012

Christopher Jobson

Using a rotring pen on white paper, Cornwall-based artist Mark Lascelles Thornton has embarked on a massive architectural drawing project called the The Happiness Machine. Each panel represents a stylized red and grayscale representation of architectural highlights from eight locations, so far including Chicago, New York, London and what appears to be a mix of Asian skyscrapers (Taipei, Kuala Lumpur, etc.). In addition to the meticulous detail of the buildings and clouds, the piece is all the more incredible considering its scale: the final piece will include eight panels spanning 8 ft. by 5 ft. (2.4 m. x 1.5 m.). The images here are great but you can see everything in much more detail over on his Tumblr.