An hour-long special made by Banksy charting the history of behaving badly in public, from anarchists and activists to attention seeking eccentrics.
Contributors include Michael Fagan talking about breaking into the Queen’s bedroom: ‘I looked into her eyes, they were dark’; and Noel Godin, who pioneered attacking celebrities with custard pies: ‘Instead of a bullet I give them a cake’.
Explaining his reasoning behind the show, Banksy said: ‘Basically I just thought it was a good name for a TV programme and I’ve been working back from there’.
Narrated by Kathy Burke and produced by Jamie D’cruz, The Antics Roadshow examines the stories behind some of the most audacious stunts of recent times and what motivates the perpetrators, from mindless boredom to heartfelt political beliefs.
It includes a world exclusive first interview with the man responsible for putting the turf Mohican on Winston Churchill’s head.
Max Bill - Five Decades May 19th - July 30th 2011 Annely Juda Fine Art
Architect, sculptor, painter, typographer, draftsman, curator and professor… a beautiful exhibition spanning five decades of work from the 1930s to the 1980s. Really great to see the works of Max Bill in true scale and colour. Go see it!
Above: Max Bill - Drei gleichgrosse farbteile (three same sized colour parts) 1959 oil on canvas 120 x 120cm (diagonal: 170 x 170cm)
Following previous collaborations also curated by Arkitip, including works by artists such as Krink, Parra and Evan Hecox, Incase present their eigth installment with artist José Parlá.
In keeping with the seven past collaborations Parlá has created custom designs for three of Incase’s products; this time for a 15” Sleeve for a Macbook Pro laptop, a Convertible Book Jacket for the iPad and a Slider Case for the iPhone 4. All three designs feature new work by Parlá using his characteristic graf inspired decaying calligraphy aesthetic. Check them out below and click here to see more shots and to purchase.
In addition, Incase and Arkitip have created the above video to accompany the three products which is great for witnessing the process and evolution that a Parlá piece experiences whilst being created.
Recently saw this abstract constructivist piece at the Chromatic Structures exhibition at the Tate Modern. This one, being a structure, has to be observed in three dimensions to be best appreciated. Based on the six sides of an opened out cube, the Fibonacci series is employed to determine the size of each plane.
Chromatic Structures includes works by Josef Albers, Mary Martin, Victor Pasmore, Charles Biederman and others - definitely worth dropping in on the way up to the Gauguin exhibition.
American conceptual artist Elaine Sturtervant is best known for exhibiting exact replicas of existing artworks. All of her artworks are copies of works by other artists such as Andy Warhol, Marcel Duchamp and Frank Stella. Obvious choices one might say, but in most cases Sturtervant chose her subject before they reached fame. Some say that talent borrows, genius steals, I’d say Sturtervant’s genius is in revealing the underbelly of an art world preoccupied with surface. Her artworks can be interpreted to strongly coincide the theories of Benjamin’s ‘The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction’, or Baudrillard’s concept of simulacra and in this latest exhibit, Deleuze’s concept of the movement-image.
The video installation, Elastic Tango, seems to explore notions of repetition, sequence, entertainment and image. These are pertinent subjects of discourse in media (especially digital media) today. Being surrounded by relentless streams of visual stuff has lead people to become ever more accustomed to constructing meaning and narrative through seemingly unrelated images. The blogging platform allows people to re-appropriate images and load them with alternate messages within new sequences of context. These phenomena are not new but they increasingly affect our ability to interpret meaning and value not only in media and visual art but also in our consumer driven lifestyles. Perhaps it is this post-critical lifestyle that Sturtervant seeks expose in her more recent works.
For designers there are a variety of processes by which creative concepts are realized, one might attribute impulse, some intellect, others craft and experience. Even constraints are conducive to creativity, for where constraints present obstacles creativity is required to navigate them.
The typographer, when setting about creating his glyphs acknowledges the rules set before him by the paradigmatic system that is the alphabet. However, he knows that it is the careful obscuring of those rules that results a unique and creative typeface or composition. The rules must be challenged and manipulated until no element of the typographic form is arbitrary to its purpose of communication or application.
Graphic designers are notorious for their love of pedantically applied rules; grids, geometry, re-occurring patterns and equally spaced increments. It is within their professional nature to approach graphic problems in an almost scientific manor. It is in this nature that the relationship between creativity, technique and technology becomes increasingly apparent. Often graphic designers look to the rules of their discipline to provide rationale in the absence of a creative concept. Many graphic designers seek to establish an internal logic in their work, one that is coherent with certain accepted ways within the industry. However, it is problematic when a set of rules generic to the graphic arts overrides the principle purpose of communication.
For example see the ill-received new GAP logo. The process resulting in this design appears to have been purely cathartic. It has a creative value equal to that of knitting. It employs a pleasing technique that satisfies certain design rules but ceases to be engaging because it relies too heavily on a pre-defined internal logic. It strikes me that this mode of thinking is incredibly outdated.
I’m reminded of antiquated art forms such as ancient Greek sculpture and its dedication to rules. Ancient Greek concepts of art were rooted entirely in technique and technology, involving little freedom of action or impulse. Like the Okinawan Karate kata, the more tightly the martial artist executes the choreographed pattern, charging the movements with intent, the greater the artist. But the emphasis on technique for the designer is shifting due to technology. Today’s creative cannot validate his ability based on craft as he once did. If one’s creativity is rooted in the craft of a specific medium then his creativity is subject to the validity of that medium. With digital technology steadily ironing out any hierarchy embedded by years of a technique driven graphic design industry, I believe designers must invest more than ever in conceptual and strategic thinking to bring value to their work. It’s important that designers cease to chase the medium of the moment and attempt to generate inspirational ideas, ideas that are greater than any one medium or technique and are no longer dictated by the tools at hand.
‘Up There’ by Malcolm Murray (sponsored by Stella Artois)
A few months behind on this but it’s great so I’m going to post it regardless. Stella Artois present this melancholy yet romantic short film documenting the fading art-form that is traditional mural painting in advertising. The film focuses on a group of passionate painters (Sky High Murals) based in NYC whose dedication to their craft is both endearing and inspiring.
The film is especially prevalent when you consider that print once threatened and eclipsed this prior medium the same way that digital is currently doing so to print. Despite technological advancements, these brave men remain wholeheartedly devoted to painting these huge adverts. They do confess that this is partly due to painting being ‘all they know’ but they are still positive in mentoring, albeit over years of tuition, the next generation of mural painting talent. Obviously, they believe that their medium is not going to become completely redundant any time soon.
Stella Artois have recently been great in supporting traditional forms of image-making in their advertising as the Stella Artois 4% campaign below shows. To avoid pastiche, ad agency Mother commissioned the semi-retired illustrator Robert McGinnis, who has worked on countless film posters and book jackets, to create this authentic feeling artwork.
Read more and see some of McGinnis’ preliminary sketches over at the Creative Review blog. And check out some extra content at the ‘Up There’micro-site.
Perhaps it’s the inner J.G. Ballard obsessive within me, but I absolutely adore this beautiful work from Nicolai Howalt’s ‘Car Crash Studies’ project. Particular favourites of mine are the tighter cropped images which exemplify the true elegance and passion of the modern day car crash; the subject that Ballard explores deeply in his controversial 1973 novel ‘Crash’.
‘Car Crash Studies’, a thought provoking photographic study of cars that have been involved in severe and potentially fatal accidents. The series moves between documentation and abstraction. While the car crash studies are typographical in nature, seeming in some instances to be closer to sterile accident report photographs, the subject matter most obviously begs the viewer to confront the human fear of trauma and death.
The interior shots provide a post-event, almost autopsical, interrogation into the fate of the vehicles. With no view of the outside world the shots are devoid of context and place of incident. Despite the visually stunning evidence of man-made destruction the images are also devoid of the cause: people. The only clues to the personalities of the protagonists involved in these narratives are the occasional objects which remain within the vehicles. Some objects, such as the keys and magic tree air freshener, remain ordinarily hanging in place whereas other items litter the interiors.
I also really like that all the pieces are appropriately mounted on aluminum.
I recently attended a lecture by Guy Dammann titled,Music, Morality and Mysticism. Dammann is the music critic of the Times Literary Supplement and writes on classical music and other subjects for the Guardian. The lecture took place at The Swedenborg Society, west London; a friend of mine who holds membership kindly invited me along. On arrival, quick glances around the room made me feel slightly under qualified, I was surrounded by scruffy looking mature intellectuals, the type so far beyond brainy that they look remedial. The feeling didn’t get any better as we made our way through the library and down the stairs to be seated in the grand neo-classical Swedenborg hall.
The lecture focused on the experience of understanding music, an experience Dammann describes as being mystifying and moralistic. He suggests that the popular, more scientific approaches to this subject often discard the moral language of music by attempting to understand it on more empirical terms such as how it affects cognitive development.
Dammann urged us to regard music as art object, highlighting the meaning of the word ‘moral’, which has its roots in the Ancient Greek word for ‘manner’ or ‘custom’ and therefore related to a shared or common method of doing or understanding. This implies that if art objects are items of common interest then they are of a moral nature. The pursuit for answers in the investigation of art objects is rarely conclusive; rather, the process of answering questions on art often leads to more questions. Furthermore he argued that our engagement with art and other people is based on valuing individuality; music is not moral because it is persuasive, it is moral because it engages the individual, and at its heart is a sense of mystery that is also at the heart of individualism. Dammann eloquently supported his statements with the words of various philosophers and poets such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Ted Coen, Ludwig Wittgenstein and Ralph Emerson. My favorite quote of the evening is the following from Wittgenstein,
“We speak of understanding a sentence in the sense in which it can be replaced by another which says the same; but also in the sense in which it cannot be replaced by any other. (Any more than one musical theme can be replaced by another.) In the one case the thought in the sentence is common to different sentences; in the other, something that is expressed only by these words in these positions. (Understanding a poem.)”
The lecture concluded with two live performances of Chopin’s Nocturnes, with so much talk about music it seemed only right to listen to some. When the final notes were struck a series of severely protracted questions were slowly delivered to Dammann, who answered in a comparably laconic manor. I thoroughly enjoyed Dammann’s lecture, he did a good job of articulating concepts on a somewhat elusive subject and managed to present ideas transferable to other aesthetics.
I hear talks at The Swedenborg Society are usually quite good, next one is ‘Imagining Heaven and Hell’ by writer Scarlett Thomason Wednesday, 19th May. Check it out here.
Below: Lichtspiel Opus I (1921) by Walter Ruttmann.
The Mitch Griffiths show at the Halcyon Gallery that I blogged about a few weeks back is now open and it’s awesome. I’d previously never been to the Halcyon Gallery but it’s a great building and environment to view Griffiths’ large format classically inspired oil paintings. Check it out now. More information here.
To capture the lightweight speed and adaptive nature of the Nike Mercurial Vapor Superfly II football boot, Nike Stadiums commissioned creative lensman, Sølve Sundsbø. Known for his unique image manipulation, Sølve’s shoot encapsulates a kinetic look, highlighting the groundbreaking and ground sensing design of the boot’s innovative adaptive traction studs.
With his trademark clarity and post-production digital flair, Sølve plays on the extensive craftsmanship that lies within the Mercurial boot. His rationale is simple, “The great amount of research that has gone into this shoe is not necessarily immediately visible. That’s why I wanted to visualise its technological and scientific aspects first.”
Channeling the boot’s technology and clean aesthetic with Flywire carbon fibres and traction adapting studs, this imagery reinforces football’s future – style with substance.
In the same vein as the paintings of Mitch Griffiths, who I last posted about, Hendrik Kerstens creates beautifully haunting portraits with a similar painterly quality that harks back to the stylistic aesthetic of the Old Masters. Kerstens uses his daughter as his muse and apparently documents the events and occurrences of her life through his work. I’m still wondering what significant event he is attempting to document through the first two images here though.
What I find most interesting is how, unlike the work of Griffith’s work which parodies the past and classic stylistic qualities of the same medium, Kerstens uses a different medium: photography to create a similar painterly result. On first glance, you could easily mistake one of his portraits for an unknown Vermeer or Rembrandt, until of course you acknowledge the contemporary objects, which are normally placed on his daughter’s head. And then the level of detail which makes you realise that this is in fact a photograph.
I’d really like to see the process which Kersten’s and his daughter go through to create a final portrait. As well as the amount of re-touching that is completed, I’d also especially like to know how the daughter feels about being immortalised and having her life constantly documented by her father.