I’m a big fan of the nature artist Andy Goldsworthy. In his art he only uses found natural materials: leaves, twigs, flowers, icicles, dirt. From these natural bits he builds amazing temporary arrangements outdoors in the natural settings he finds the material. He photographs their brief existence as a new order and then lets the elements unravel them. For a moment, his fanciful designs capture some invisible spirit that is both completely wild and completely Andy Goldsworthy. Once you see one of his natural sculptures, they seem to be inevitable. A rainbow row of leaves sorted by color. Of course! You can’t forget them. Again and again he seems to summon archetypes – an icicle arch – that ought to occur in the wild. But we don’t see them until he unveils them. Goldsworthy is a prolific maker, with many books of his stunning works. If I had to select only one volume, I think his Collaboration with Nature has the best summary of his early work (up to 1990). I take these as visual poems. If they ring a bell in you, proceed to his later work.
Bob Self says: "Godfather of Lowbrow (although he prefers the term "Feral Art”) and founder of Juxtapoz magazine Robert Williams will be signing a limited number of his forthcoming art book Slang Aesthetics at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery this Saturday, March 28th at 2:00 PM. The gallery is currently exhibiting his epic new collection of paintings and sculpture. It’s well with a trip to Barnsdall Park to see the remarkable work in all of its eye-popping and thought-provoking glory, and the signing this weekend will be the first time the book is available anywhere. Books were flown from the factory specifically for this signing, and won’t be widely available until the end of next month."
I took a bunch of photos from the exhibition, which features work by Williams and dozens of other low brow/pop surrealists:
San Francisco-based Campo Santo is an indie studio currently at work on Firewatch, a visually-evocative game about being a volunteer fire lookout in the wilderness of Wyoming, with a handheld radio and a mysterious supervisor your only companion.
Recently at the Game Developer's Conference, the team's Jane Ng gave a fascinating talk about creating the game's art -- layers of burnished color, stark vivid shapes, long shadows and the lonely outlines of endless pines create a poignant image of a world that invites the player. Ng's talk is remarkably accessible for anyone even a little bit interested in visual design. I found it interesting to watch and soothing to listen to, and my artistic ability stopped developing after the school notebook anime characters of yesteryear.
I'm friends with a couple of the people on the Firewatch team -- we play board games and Netrunner sometimes -- but I haven't even seen anything of their game yet, so I have no special interest in whether you watch this lovely art talk or not. I just thought you'd like it, that's all.
In the small southwestern Wisconsin town of Lone Rock, Darren Klingaman makes fantastic painted snow sculptures on his lawn. Read the rest
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Ronald Wimberly is a comics and animation artist, the author of Vertigo's Prince of Cats, and a character designer for Black Dynamite: The Animated Series. Wembly has illustrated a work experience he had while coloring an X-Men comic. His story, Lighten Up, appears on the excellent blog The Nib, a site devoted to "political cartoons, comics journalism, humor and non-fiction." Read the rest
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Robert Wechsler makes sculptures by notching and connecting coins to one another to great effect, thanks to the familiarity of the materials and the seeming impossibility of their arrangement.
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Rory The Dinosaur is a new children's picture book by cartoonist Liz Climo. This is an outgrowth of her hobby, drawing cute panel comics, but she's not quitting her day job any time soon. That's because her day job is working on storyboards for The Simpsons. Her simple, funny and cute comics made her a familiar sight online, at Reddit and Pinterest, with a little help from George Takei.
She tells me, "I started writing the book around the same time I found out I was pregnant, and finished before [my baby] was even born (then I did most of the illustrations with her chilling in a bassinet next to me). Now that I'm a mom, I relate to the story way more than I did when I wrote it. Rory's dad is following him around, wanting to let him have his independence while still making sure he's safe and taken care of - something I'm very familiar with now! I just wrapped on my second Rory book, and that one Marlow gave me a ton of inspiration for. I am definitely hoping to do more, and I think being a mom has a lot to do with that."
For a video promoting an art book, this is unusually fun and funny. To promote the 320-page Dark Horse book The Art of He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe, IGN made a promo video starring Skeletor, his evil adversary. Bad guys are always trying harder to take your money; if you're a fan of the 80's TV cartoon icon, then you'll need the power of Greyskull to hold onto your wallet.
The book itself is a comprehensive look at the Mattel property, from cartoons and concept art to Dolph Lungren. There are even knitting patterns.