I enjoyed watching Steve Schoger make changes to a poorly designed website, explaining why he made the changes as he made them.
While it sure is a sight to behold, there’s much more to this magazine than meets the eye. I met Steve and Tanya, the duo at the top of the Singapore counterculture scene best known for curating Kult, the top local alternative art magazine and galley, and learned more about EYEYAH!
Their new initiative aims to leverage their global network of 1000 plus artists to produce engaging multimedia content, events, and social campaigns to “inspire children, changing perceptions and provoking new points of view”.
Their flagship creation, EYEYAH! Magazine, was launched this January. The first issue brings together interactive artwork, launches a social campaign for kids to contribute their own pieces, and comes with six visceral stickers. It kicks off with the below invitation where the authors rightly proclaim the magazine to be the “Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Wild Wild Web” and overall does a kickass job of teaching kids about the Internet.
Though they just launched the first issue in January, selected pages are already being distributed to local schools in a black and white zine format, spicing up education about the Internet in participating local schools. While the magazine and curriculum are currently only available in Singapore, there are plans for a global launch later this year (which I am helping their team with). For now, you can check out their website to learn more about the magazines, prints, and tees they have to offer.
"I INHABIT IMAGES" is the Instagram bio chosen by David Henry Nobody Jr., the playful yet apt moniker of New York artist David Henry Brown Jr. Nobody's artwork often involves being totally engulfed by food, pigments, advertisement cutouts, or household items, sometimes to the point where he is only recognizable by a glaring eye or wide smile. While this project has been documented on Instagram and ongoing for three years, David Henry Nobody Jr. has always been fascinated with ideas of representation and identity.
In 1999 Nobody, disguised as a fan, made it his mission to follow and meet Donald Trump as many times as possible over the course of a year. He totaled six interactions but decided to stick with the theme of impersonation for a new project in 2000 where he adopted the identity of Alex von Fürstenberg, VIP son of the fashion designer Diane von Fürstenberg. During this time, "Alex" was documented at numerous celebrity parties among figures like Puff Daddy and Bill Clinton.
Nobody's current Resemblagè art, from the terms "resemble" and "collage", is a series of images and videos posted to Instagram that record performances of the artist covering and immersing his face in foods, paints, magazine cutouts, toys, and other objects. His inexhaustible creativity keeps the posts new and exciting by exploring new objects and textures, or ways to affix and camouflage himself with his art. These Resemblagès reflect the landscape of social media itself and toy with conceptions of self image, intimacy, and reality while also highlighting its far-reaching and immediate influence. Read the rest
I met science illustrator Paul Mirocha through a personal Discord server I set up and when Paul started posting his illustrations in the "Show your creations" channel, I was blown away. His style reminds me of the old Giant Golden science books, which I love. Paul's illustrations celebrate both the diversity and the surprising strangeness of nature. He lives in the Sonoran desert in Tucson, Arizona.
I asked him to tell me a bit about his work:
Some projects call for a high level of realism, like food, botanical art, animals, or a city skyline. Yet, despite how well-researched, super-real, or detailed an image is, it may still lack something in the viewer’s mind, something hard to define. Appeal? Sparkle? I call it romance. It’s what makes a viewer understand, want to know more, buy, or maybe begin to salivate. That’s my formula: accurate plus lyrical equals a motivating image. One more thing–my work is digital, using all the expanded possibilities contained in that medium, yet I want it to still look like a traditional painting. That’s what makes it emotional and engaging.
Don’t forget about scientific illustrators, a dying breed in this brave new digital world! Armed with only a Mac Mini, an extra large trackpad, a stylus, photoshop, and a passport, I travel, observe, sketch, and digitally paint. The natural world is crammed with surprises, and rather than merely create images, I try to show the spirit within, shining out.
I know very little about this webcomic, called "Синие Зубы городская легенда" (Google translation: "Blue Teeth Urban Legend"). The beautifully-rendered panels (many of which are animated) look like they were made on a circa-1985 Macintosh. The comic is quite NSFW, so be warned.
Old-school pagers are still in use today -- even though they're wildly insecure. The messages aren't encrypted, so each pager receives every message in its region, and simply discards all the ones that aren't meant for it.
The artist Brannon Dorsey leveraged this insecurity to create "Holypager", an art installation that receives all the messages being sent in Chicago, anonymizes them, then displays them on three pagers in an art gallery -- while also printing them on a huge scroll of receipt paper.
While creating this artwork, Dorsey has discovered that a substantial percentage of pager messages today are medical, with doctors and hospitals trading info about patients. This, as Dorsey notes, makes it all the more bonkers that such sensitive material is being transmitted in the open:
Given the severity of the HIPPA Privacy Act, one would assume that appropriate measures would be taken to prevent this information from being publicly accessible to the general public. This project serves as a reminder that as the complexity and proliferation of digital systems increase the cultural and technological literacy needed to understand the safe and appropriate use of these systems often do not.
A video about the project shows what it looks like in action:
Image used with permission of Brannon Dorsey
Viktor Kalvachev is one of the most exciting figures in comics today. I love his art, which reminds me of the great paperback book illustrators of the 1960s. He's the creator of Blue Estate, a hardboiled crime series that takes place in modern day Los Angeles. It’s got a sleazy action hero actor with a passing resemblance to Steven Seagal, the Russian Mafia, the Italian Mafia, a geeky fanboy private eye in his 40s, a B-movie actress, drugs, alcohol, strippers, hookers, and seedy establishments. It’s dirty and gritty and a lot of fun, in an LA Confidential way.
Viktor now has a Kickstarter for an art book called Inspire: The Art of Viktor Kalvachev, which I just learned about and backed immediately.
Here are some exclusive sample pages from the book:
Here's a recent interview with Viktor:
Viktor was born in Bulgaria and now lives in France. He is known for being a "visual storyteller", and his career has taken him across the globe. In this interview he talks with Bobby about his new exciting book "Inspire" which is up on Kickstarter, and his journey within the art world. Although Viktor isn't an artist full-time, he shares his decisions that have taken him along the career path that he has today, and some incredible advice on his process.
Don’t miss painter Brandi Milne’s art exhibit which begins this month at the Corey Helford Gallery in Los Angeles. The opening reception will be held on August 19th from 7-11 pm.
Milne is a self-taught artist and was born in the late '70s in Anaheim, California. Growing up close to Disneyland had a large impact on her imagination. She was constantly surrounded by classic cartoons, crayons, coloring books, candy, and Disney, which all became influences on her paintings. Milne’s paintings portray a surreal, candy-filled world that reflects emotions such as love, heartbreak, and pain.
Milne has displayed her work all over the world and has been featured in Hi Fructose and Bizarre Magazine. Milne has also has two books of her work published. If you live in LA, don’t miss your chance to attend the exhibit and take a look into the unique, fantastical world that Milne has created.
Photo of Brandi Milne by Jessica Louise Read the rest
This exhibition invites the public to step into the whimsical mind of dreamer and designer Rolly Crump with the world premiere of a walk-through exhibition highlighting his 65-year career as one of the most imaginative attraction creators in theme park history. As a nonconformist member of Walt Disney’s hand-picked Disneyland design team, Crump was the eccentric architect of endearing and enduring environmental art installations that have stood at the forefront of a vibrant pop-culture landscape for over half a century. Crump’s contributions to It’s a Small World, The Enchanted Tiki Room, The Haunted Mansion, and other Disneyland attractions were trendsetting at the time of their creation, and they remain entirely relevant today in a multibillion-dollar industry that has grown perpetually and exponentially from the creative seeds planted by Crump and his peers. From his days within Disney’s inner circle of pioneers, and throughout all of his personal and professional endeavors, Crump has been a good-natured contrarian—a visual provocateur who infused each of his projects with his own offbeat aesthetic. This will be a journey through a world of spinning propellers, marching toys, living clocks, and talking tikis. Museum-goers of all ages will encounter magic, humor, and inspiration at every turn. Crump is a master of the fine art of fun. This exhibition is supported by Mary Scherr and Marvin Sippel
Open until August 18, 2017 at the Joshua Liner Gallery in NYC is Summer Breaks, a group show exploring conventions in Western Art History. The seventeen artists, including David Henry Nobody Jr., Wayne White, and John Gordon Gauld, are limited to working within three of Western Art’s staples - portraiture, landscape, and still-life.
Despite being confined to these historical genres, the artists produce works that are seemingly void of convention. There is a thorough review on Juxtapoz that notes:
While we know history repeats itself, painting will continue to shift and change and build upon the traditional motifs of the past. Summer Breaks is a vessel for this transition and through multiple perspectives comes an exhibition that nods to the past while simultaneously showcasing some of the best and brightest of the future.
Images from Joshua Liner Gallery
Top image: Aaron Johnson, Swampy. Acrylic on paper. 2017. 14 x 11 inches Read the rest
Artist Annie Owens’ exhibition titled “A Place Worth Knowing” will be on display at La Luz De Jesus gallery in LA from August 4th-28th. If you can’t make it to the gallery, you should definitely check out her work on her website here.
Annie’s watercolor paintings are delicately haunting. They simultaneously look like antique photographs and scenes out of an eerie fantasy world. Her work features desolate landscapes and floating houses. The women in her paintings are isolated, ghostlike, and almost appear to be translucent. Here is an excerpt from Annie’s artist’s statement about “A Place Worth Knowing”:
Read the rest
As one of my favorite authors Algernon Blackwood put it, “No place worth knowing yields itself at sight, and those the least inviting on first view may leave the most haunting pictures upon the walls of memory.”...Taking my queues from Blackwood’s quote, “A Place Worth Knowing” allegorically speaks to our habit as humans of turning away from the seemingly unknowable in ourselves and in others. Preferring to view the strange and unusual from a safe distance in much the same way mysterious and unexplored mountain ranges appear daunting and unreachable – opting to observe rather than to interact.
From Futility Closet:
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In 1965, Polish artist Roman Opałka hung a 196 × 135 cm canvas in his Warsaw studio. In the top left corner he painted a tiny numeral 1, then a 2, and so on until he had filled the canvas with numbers. Then he put up a new canvas and continued where he had left off. He called these images “details”; all of them had the same size and the same title, 1965 / 1 – ∞.
He vowed to spend the rest of his life on the project. “All my work is a single thing,” he said, “the description from number one to infinity. A single thing, a single life. … The problem is that we are, and are about not to be.”
At the start he painted white numbers on a black background, but in 1972 he began gradually to lighten the black with each detail, saying that his goal was “to get up to the white on white and still be alive.” He expected that this would happen when he reached 7777777 … but at the time of his death, in 2011, he’d got only as far as 5607249.
Check out this rad skate deck illustrated by Hellen Jo. She lives in LA and makes bad-ass comic books and zines. LA Weekly stated that “Her zines show teenage girls in everyday scenes (like chilling at the skate park) but also in more violent settings.” The illustration on the deck is from one of Hellen's zines. “The scene comes from Frontier #2, a work filled with 32 full-color pages of troublemaking youths unleashed on the world.”
I met Hellen at the Giant Robot store in Los Angeles while she was signing the decks. I’m really into comic book art, and Hellen’s punky style of illustration stood out to me right away. You can buy one of Hellen’s decks at the Giant Robot store, in person or online.
Paper Mate introduced the Flair felt tip pen in the 1960s. I liked them when I was a kid because the lines were so clean and you could vary the line width. I kind of forgot about them until I was at Maker Faire and my toy inventor friend, Bob Knetzger, said he uses them to produce his wonderful sketches. They are also cheap! Amazon sells a dozen black Flair pens for $6.71. A set of 12 colored ones go for $11. Read the rest
I have a nice espresso machine (a Rancilio Silvia) but I hate using the frother to make foamed milk for my cappuccino drinking guests. On our last trip to Ikea I bought this battery-powered milk frother. Wow, is it great. It whips up milk to a voluminous foam in a matter of seconds. It also makes matcha, cocoa, and butter-coffee with ease. Just stick the business end into the mug and turn on the switch. It's better, quieter and cheaper than one of those blender sticks. Amazon sells them for $6 including shipping. It takes 2AA batteries (not included). Read the rest
After watching this short documentary about sculptor Jeff Koons (narrated by Scarlett Johansson), I have more appreciation for what he does. I used to resent the fact that he has a team of artisans that do much of the actual work, but now I think, "so what?"
Video has nudity.