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Alexander Calder's (1898-1976) father was Alexander Stirling Calder (1870-1945), who sculpted George Washington as President
on the Washington Square Arch in New York. His grandfather, Alexander Milne Calder (1846 – 1923), sculpted the 37-foot tall William Penn statue, which stands atop Philadelphia City Hall. His great-grandfather was a tombstone carver.
So it's not surprising that Calder become a sculptor as well. But unlike his forebears, Calder was not interested in traditional sculpture. Instead, he invented a new art form -- kinetic sculpture -- the most famous of which were his "mobiles," (a word coined by his friend, the artist Marcel Duchamp). These delicately balanced sculptures consist of biomorphic shapes cut from sheet metal and painted in black, white, orange, red, white, yellow, and blue, and which hang from metal rods and wire.
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After working as a volunteer usher, Matthew Lew reimagined Ticketmaster's hard-to-read tickets. His ticket stripped out the redundant info, made the seating information clear, added an anti-counterfeiting strip, and is the size of a business card so it fits in a wallet without folding.
Dear Ticketmaster: It is time to redesign the master of all tickets
I want someone to do a comic book series about moonshine crooks. (Via Shelley Rickey)
Earlier today David posted a 1962 LIFE magazine photo of a ski mask that would appeal to the family in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I took a look at the scanned copy of the magazine at Google Books and came across this article about human digestion, titled "How Food Becomes Fuel: The Phenomenal Digestive Journey of a Sandwich."
The hallucinatory illustrations were painted by Arthur Lidov and I have to assume that they reflect LIFE publisher Henry Luce's wife Clare's strong interest in LSD.
The World's Best Ever has been showcasing tattoo artists in a series called Flash Us, and they brought to my attention the work of Wan Tattooer, who works at Wild Rose Tattoo in Seoul, South Korea. His Instagram feed is terrific!
Ben Marks of Collectors Weekly says: "We just published an exclusive interview with MAD magazine cartoonist Jack Davis, who spoke to us about his Tales From the Crypt years in the early 1950s. Our article, which features a new drawing by Davis of MAD publisher William Gaines posing alongside the Crypt-Keeper, coincides with Mondo's Tales From the Crypt exhibition opening on October 25, 2013, in Austin, Texas.
Interview with MAD's Jack Davis about his Tales From the Crypt comic book days
It was Bill Gaines who gave Davis—recently honored in a 2011 Fantagraphics retrospective book called Jack Davis: Drawing American Pop Culture — his first break. The young artist, who’d been drawing since kindergarten, had published comic strips in middle school and high school, in the Navy, and at the University of Georgia. When he graduated in 1950, he hoped to land his dream job working on the newspaper funny pages so he could afford to marry his college sweetheart, Dena Roquemore.
“I wanted to be a cartoonist and get syndicated,” says Davis, who worked as an assistant to Ed Dodd, creator of the syndicated “Mark Trail” comic strip, while he was in college. “I figured I had to go to New York City because that was where everything in publishing was, including the comics syndicates. I took a year at the Art Students League in New York, and I’d look for work. I’d go up and down Madison Avenue, where I was rejected at the syndicates and at a lot of the publishers.”
But not all of them. “I saw a comic book one day and went down to the offices of Entertaining Comics, where I met the publisher, Bill Gaines. My work was bad, and they liked it,” he says, laughing. “They gave me some stuff to work on right away, and I was very excited about that.”
Soon, Davis, who was sick of being a starving artist, developed a reputation for speed, as an artist who could sketch and ink sometimes three pages in a day. “I’d have to be fast, because when you turned them in, that’s when you’d get your money,” Davis says. “The faster you drew, the faster the money came in.”
“I find myself using a large Rowney sketchbook to carve my way through the evening crowds around Piccadilly Circus, following Eros’ arrow up to the narrow streets of Soho, London’s notorious sleaze quarter.”
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Eric Bradley says: "I saw this eBay listing for a wingtip shoe some guy’s dog chewed up. He positioned it with a very well-written description as a ‘work of modern art’ from his dog, Jack. It sold yesterday on eBay for $378. The seller says he is donating a portion of the proceeds to a pet rescue center in Washington, D.C."
"A fibreglass replica of Ronald McDonald having his shoes shined by a real live boy. The sculpture will visit the sidewalk outside a different McDonalds every lunchtime for the next week. Today: South Bronx." -- BanksyNY (Be sure to click on the link to get a good look at Mr. McDonald's facial expression.)
James Gurney says: "Using colored pencils and markers, Marcello Barenghi draws a super-realistic potato chip bag. Here's his list of the art materials he uses for these videos."
Eric Godtland and Dian Hanson have lovingly compiled a picture book about crime magazines from the mid-20th century called True Crime Detective Magazines 1924-1969. It's loaded with exceedingly lurid, attention-grabbing magazine covers and illustrations.
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At the height of the Jazz Age, when Prohibition was turning ordinary citizens into criminals and ordinary criminals into celebrities, America’s true crime detective magazines were born. True Detective came first in 1924, and by 1934, when the Great Depression had produced colorful outlaws like Machine Gun Kelly, Bonnie and Clyde, Baby Face Nelson, and John Dillinger, the magazines were so popular cops and robbers alike vied to see themselves on the pages. Even FBI boss J. Edgar Hoover wrote regularly for what came to be called the “Dickbooks,” referring to a popular slang term for a detective.
As the decades rolled on, the magazines went through a curious metamorphosis, however. When liquor was once more legal, the Depression over and all the flashy criminals dead or imprisoned, the “detectives” turned to sin to make sales. Sexy bad girls in tight sweaters, slit skirts, and stiletto heels adorned every cover. Cover lines shouted “I Was a Girl Burglar—For Kicks,” “Sex Habits of Women Killers,” “Bride of Sin!,” “She Played Me for a Sucker,” and most succinctly, “Bad Woman.”
True Crime Detective Magazines follows the evolution and devolution of this distinctly American genre from 1924 to 1969. Hundreds of covers and interior images from dozens of magazine titles tell the story, not just of the “detectives,” but also of America’s attitudes towards sex, sin, crime and punishment over five decades. With texts by magazine collector Eric Godtland, George Hagenauer and True Detective editor Marc Gerald, True Crime Detective Magazines is an informative and entertaining look at one of the strangest publishing niches of all time.
Andrea Chirichelli, a journalist, writer and video-maker, says:
I made a documentary called Illustrators, that describes the job of four Italian illustrators who are world famous and have been awarded many prizes and recognitions: Alessandro “Shout” Gottardo, Emiliano Ponzi, Olimpia Zagnoli, and Francesco Poroli.
The documentary lasts approximately 70 minutes, is subtitled in English, and offers a wide view on the secrets of a new job, that has transformed completely ever since the Internet’s arrival, that has marked a pivotal change in the world of publishing, commercials, and magazines.
Illustrators is a journey of images in the creativity of a nation, Italy, depressed and mortified under the political and economic aspect, but still capable of showing its best side and bound to live, at least under the artistic profile, an outright “Second Renaissance.”
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Bob Knetzger let me know about this fun museum of old art supplies. Above, The Jon Gnagy Pantograf Drawing Device.
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The talented illustrator I-Wei Huang reviewed this $300 articulated artist's mannequin. His verdict: awesome!