humor

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Design

Smell Like A Million Books With Powell’s Books New Fragrance 'Eau de Bookstore'

November 13, 2020

Grace Ebert

Waft this new scent for hints of wood, violet, and… musty paperback? Powell’s Books, the beloved independent shop in Portland, recently announced a limited-edition perfume that smells just like its seemingly endless rows of new and used titles. “This scent contains the lives of countless heroes and heroines. Apply to the pulse points when seeking sensory succor or a brush with immortality,” Powell’s says about the forthcoming release.

Termed an “Eau de bookstore,” the unisex fragrance was spurred by customers saying they missed the aroma of the shop during the ongoing pandemic. The packaging of Powell’s by Powell’s even resembles a bright red hardback that can sit inconspicuously on a shelf with other titles.

If you’re in the United States, you can pre-order a bottle now. As Powell’s notes on Instagram, you’ll smell “like a million books.” (via Kottke)

 

 

 

 



Animation

Nobody Is Normal: A New Animation Reveals What Lies Just Beneath the Surface of Being a Kid

November 11, 2020

Christopher Jobson

However weird you feel inside, you’re not alone. That’s the literal message of this delightful animated short created for the UK children’s charity Childline — a 24-hour hotline that helps kids navigate bullying, abuse, sex education, and pretty much any other stressor you can imagine. Directed by Catherine Prowse (previously), the film imagines the sometimes unbearable anxiety of growing up and the ultimately futile attempt to bottle it all up. Prowse also shares a fun making-of clip. (via Vimeo Staff Picks)

 

Animation still

Animation still

Behind the scenes

Behind the scenes

Behind the scenes

Behind the scenes

 

 



Animation

'Awkward' Revisits the Embarrassing Moments We All Experience in an Amusing Animation

November 5, 2020

Grace Ebert

Nata Metlukh’s animation “Awkward” lives up to its name as it transports viewers right back to the last time they bumbled a handshake or didn’t properly judge the distance during a parallel park. Through uncomfortable and comical scenarios, the San Francisco-based animator captures many of the embarrassing moments even the most graceful folks experience: a man’s stomach growls loudly, another enthusiastically waves at a stranger, and a simple haircut goes awry. Despite their innocuous nature, the situations exude uneasiness.

Earlier this year, “Awkward” was awarded Best Short Film of the Year at Promofest in Spain. For more of Metlukh’s humorous animations, visit Vimeo, Instagram, and her site, where she shares a collection of quirky gifs.

 

 

 



Art

Miniature Figures Navigate Human-Sized Threats in Slinkachu's Humorous Interventions

November 5, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Slinkachu, shared with permission

At first glance, Slinkachu’s scenes might appear to be a heap of multi-colored pills or a mess of children’s toys left behind on a London street corner. Closer inspection, however, reveals minuscule figures navigating human-sized items as if they occupy an alternate, miniature world occurring in sidewalk alcoves and planter boxes. Characters find themselves in a sea of medication that’s reminiscent of arcade ball pits, while others create a tower to fend off a nearby bee that’s triple each of their heights. Imbued with humor, the site-specific scenes often comment on contemporary social issues.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Slinkachu (previously) has shifted to creating works in his home to minimize exposure to passersby. Although many of his projects were canceled or postponed, the Natural History Museum commissioned both the mushroom and bee works shown below for its Urban Nature project, a biologically diverse green space in central London. “My work has always reflected the sense of isolation and loneliness that a big city can imbue, but the isolation of being inside is new to me,” he shares with Colossal. “These were recreations of small parts of city streets built in my living room with concrete paving slabs and weeds and moss.” The shift in venue has the British artist reconsidering parts of his practice:

It was a bit surreal recreating the outside world inside, but it has opened up new possibilities for me to create narrative images. By experimenting with mixing miniature sets and photographic backdrops, I’ve had many ideas about creating images that are not always possible to create outside on a real street without digital manipulation. It is different from my usual street work but a new avenue to explore.

Follow Slinkachu’s latest installations on Instagram, and pick up a puzzle or print of his miniature figures from Affenfaust Galerie.

 

 

 



Animation Music

Who Dat: A Suave Pigeon Struts Down the Sidewalk and Shows Off its Groove Thang in a New Music Video

October 8, 2020

Grace Ebert

The swaggering pigeon in Emmit Fenn’s new music video might upend the notion that peacocks are the proudest avians. Animated and directed by Patrick Jean, “Who Dat” opens on a quiet street corner before zooming in on the lone bird. As the bass drops, the pigeon begins a subtle strut down the street while it grooves to the beat. Soon, the bird reveals in its dancing skills after a shake of its tail feather. To see more of the Los Angeles-based director’s humorous animations, head to Vimeo.

 

 

 



Art

Subjects Undertake Futile Pursuits in Satirical Paintings by Artist Toni Hamel

September 16, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Loves Me Loves Me Not” (2020), oil on canvas, 12 x 12 inches. All images © Toni Hamel, shared with permission

Based in Oshawa, a suburb of Toronto, artist Toni Hamel (previously) is concerned with human morality—or lack thereof. In her subtly hued artworks, Hamel portrays subjects in the midst of futile and trivial pursuits: children pluck stars from the night sky, a couple attempts to reconstruct a flower after its petals have fallen, and a young family literally watches wet paint dry. Many of the satirical pieces consider socially accepted anthropocentrism and the relationship people have with the surrounding environemnt.

Since 2017, Hamel has been adding to High Tides and Misdemeanors, an ongoing series that is intentionally political. “It confronts us with the repercussions of our actions and denounces the current thinking models. In this age of alternative realities, ‘fake news’ and a culture that is increasingly more self-absorbed and superficial, I feel that it’s even more important for me to carry on reporting what I must,” she writes.

Explore more of Hamel’s visual commentaries on culture and politics on Instagram.

 

“The Harvest” (2020), oil on canvas, 12 x 16 inches

“The Prototype 1” (2020), oil on canvas, 12 x 16 inches

“The Spill” (2020), oil on canvas, 12 x 10 inches

“Family Night In Kodachrome” (2020), oil on panel, 12 x 12 inches

“The Replacement” (2019), oil on canvas, 14 x 18 inches

“Ikebana 1” (2019), oil on canvas, 18 x 18 inches

“Ikebana 3” (2020), oil on canvas, 18 x 18 inches

 

 

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