In a weekend wedged between San Francisco’s early October latesummer and late October earlywinter, right before the city erupted into self-congratulations at its Giants going to the world series, the drab wall in Flax Art & Design’s backlot was transformed into something very very awesome. Graffiti-mural duo Herakut are in town, and they’ve brought their giants with them.
The two of them collaborate in an awesome way; Hera paints loose and lyrically, broad washes, quick grids and swooping lines. Akut does something tight, alchemical and mysterious, which amounts to photorealistic tone and texture from spraypaint. Together their work has to be seen to be believed. This mural, which they completed in two days (actually, they may add text after the rain relents) is part of their Giant Storybook Project. This project has them putting up walls in a variety of cities with characters in common, an emerging narrative. Eventually a book will be made, stitched from the giant murals adorning a score of cities. I love that in its scope and execution the project may well may become a world-famous graffitti campaign, but it’s neither hardcore posturing nor Banksy agitprop: it’s an artistically unique children’s book about imagination.
This mural depicts the Silly Monkeys from mural 1 in Lexington Kentucky, being pursued across rooftops by some snake/arms that might belong to Jay’s creative spirit from mural 5 in Toronto, or the mantle of the standing figure in Rochester’s mural 6 – or maybe that figure is Jay, corrupted with power? At any rate, it’s exciting to see this scene of action across our city’s walls. I don’t think it’s just city pride or that I watched it go up that makes me feel this is the best one yet.
A few scenes from the work in progress:
The dissolving, filmic city that provides the base for the mural is as great as the figures themselves: I watched Hera make these cranes, towers and scaffolding in no time flat. As longtime readers know, I am a sucker for an inky cityscape.
Even if they don’t put type on it later, there’s still this “good job!” hiding behind the buildings in the far corner by the garage door which leads off the cityscape.
Word is they will be painting another later in the week in the Tenderloin? I certainly hope so!
So geeky, so fabulous and a little absurd, it’s the The Impossible Instant Lab! The latest product from The Impossible Project aims to help revive the joy of Polaroids, this time taking pictures from your iPhone and turning them into the instant photos of yesteryear. I used to love taking Polaroids at parties and I cannot wait to play with this crazy melding of old and new technologies.
Jessica and I have both pitched in on Kickstarter to make this iPhone-polaroid-fabulousness a reality. The Impossible Instant Lab has reached its goal with 23 days still to go on the fundraising effort. There is still time to get yours; visit kickstarter before October 8th to pre-order the Instant Lab.
Is it a necessity? Obviously no. Is it awesome? I think that’s pretty clear.
Okay, okay. I know it’s been a lifetime since I actually found some time to post. But once I saw the work of Annie Vought, I knew I had to have a little Experts homecoming. Vought, an Oakland-based artist, finds beauty in what sadly seems to be a vanishing art: the handwritten letter. She meticulously handcuts the correspondences, removing all negative space to showcase the forms of the individual letters themselves.
From Vought’s site:
The handwriting and the lines support the structure of the cut paper, keeping it strong and sculptural, despite its apparent fragility. In these paper cutouts, I focus on the text, structure, and emotion of the letter in an elaborate investigation into the properties of writing and expression. Penmanship, word choice, and spelling all contribute to possible narratives about who that person is and what they are like. My recreating the letters is an extended concentration on peoples’ inner lives and the ways they express their thoughts through writing.
My friend Jen recently convinced me to join Twitter and introduced me to the hot topic of the curator’s code. I am returning to blogging after being remiss for months with a tour de force of curation, replete with absolute full disclosure of all sources. I’ll even use the new unicode symbols, though whether I am being ironic in their use or not is up to the reader.
Act 1: Alberto Seveso
I find these ink and water pieces astonishing because they read like ropy solids that dissolve into smoke without ever being liquid. They are beautiful, if a bit frightening in their squid/dementor-like sense of agency.
Seveso’s work reminds me of this Japanese artist, whose inks aren’t blooming in water but bursting and suspended in air. The moments he is able to capture of suspended inks, waters and paints are sublime. While I’d seen his sumi ink pieces before tonight was the first time I’d seen this lush, mysterious “Gardens” series. Its vignetted, moody lighting and levitating-fluids casting shadows give them all the tension of a David Lynch still.
I can’t help but think I’ve been in a water-art kick recently because I keep going back and looking over galleries of work by Moebius, who died last week. Jean Giraud was a one-of-a-kind talent (and a major visual inspiration for Star Wars, Dune, Tron, and Alien, great article ↬coudal ᔥcasualoptimist). His sense of fluidity and float were uncanny.
Plenty more Moebius all over the web especially these days but as usual I like the curation ↬butdoesitfloat
Typographically, he’s been very consistently an all-caps-Futura man. While he outlined it for The Life Aquatic, Bollywood half-opened something not-quite-Futura for The Darjeeling Limited and emboldened and threw it on a curve for Fantastic Mr. Fox, he’s established an iconic typographic style that is very recognizable. That said, I’m not at all sad that he hired the fabulous Jessica Hische to make a custom script for this one! It fits in with his aesthetic perfectly, and grants the coming of age story a wistfulness that the cold caps of Futura wouldn’t.
*Note that all-caps Futura does make an appearance at least thrice in the trailer, notably on the awesome mimeographed-handwriting-practice-paper letterhead.
This Christmas I made my family Blurb books from some of our past vacations. I had such a good time going through literally thousands of pictures — though it did take forever. I thought it would be fun to share them here, so I’ll be uploading some of them over the next few days. This first bunch is from Taormina, Sicily.