Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Roy Lichtenstein

Roy Lichtenstein is one of my all time favorite artists. Hands down, he's one of the most talented artists to come out of the pop art movement. His keen eye for perspective and his ability to create a comic book scene out of anything, even a paint brush stroke, made him one of the most famous artists within the pop art scene. Though critics were highly dismissive of Lichtenstein and his replications of comic book scenes, when he moved on to his own subjects his artistic ability and sense of humor brought him great notoriety.

Though he is often known for his paintings, Lichtenstein also did many sculptures, all in the pop art style. Some are still on display worldwide, permanent installations that are often satirical in nature. The above sculpture was originally titled "Us Looking at a Girl Looking at a Yellow Cup" which is a great example of Lichtenstein's sense of humor. Eventually it was retitled "Woman Contemplating a Yellow Cup". Either way, I love the perspective of the sculpture because it's fairly out of character- both for the artist and the comic book world. Notice the Picasso-esque pop art painting in the frame on the wall?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Polymer Food Sculptures



As you can probably tell, I love to cook. And I also have another love, sculpture. Put those two things together and you can go one of two ways-giant towering cakes, or the other end of the spectrum: miniature food sculptures- not quite edible but still delicious. After having made some myself, I can very safely say I'd rather work 12 hour shifts in a bakery than deal with just one miniature pastry. And yet I keep making more, wonder why that is? Anyways, the above examples were so cute I felt I had to share them with someone.

The clay I use when I make these is called Cernit polymer clay- slightly toxic and definitely something you need to follow all the instructions with. But it does really come out wonderfully once you bake it properly- and with a quick dusting of gloss spray you can have a professional looking item of your choice. They make really great gifts!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Logos & Typography

It's incredible how important font choice can be. How the slightest nuances in a font can make or break a design, how a font can develop into a brand and vice versa. The above logos are all great examples of how an identity can really tie into a font. Whether it's script, sans serif, thin or thick, fonts can come to represent a company and their products in a way that really sticks in our mind. The fact that a font can stand on it's own, free of logo and still be recognizable to a brand is quite a feat.

Take the Coca Cola font for example- it has managed to not only become the Coca Cola image, but can be recognized by most viewers with only a fraction of the logo. Simply by choosing the right font they have been able to reach a worldwide audience, and not just reach them, but be remembered. This is something every company wants, and one of the many reasons that font choice is essential to making or breaking a brand identity. In a world where we are constantly viewing graphic design and logos, it's now more important than ever to really grasp the feel of a company through type.

Friday, November 12, 2010

David La Chapelle

David La Chapelle

David La Chapelle is one of my favorite photographers. And if you know me and my intense love of color/pop culture, you can probably guess why just from the above image. But if you look back through the past two and a half decades of his work, it's both amazing and inspiring how much he has actually produced. From working with celebrities from Madonna to Elton John, his music videos and multiple major ad campaigns, he has definitely been a busy guy.

Some might call his work provocative or grotesque, but it almost always carries a message. His photographs have a huge amount of symbolic and even literal imagery, often revolving around problems the modern world faces. Since moving from magazine photography to his own personal work he has been freed to tackle even more complex and sometimes unfavorable subjects. His ability to blend popular celebrities with his subject matter has brought him the fame he deserves, but his eye for composition, color and creative flair have made him the amazing designer he is today.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Being John Malkovich

Being John Malkovich

I am a bit obsessed with movies. Especially movies that no one else likes or wants to watch with me, it seems. On the other hand, everyone I have ever gotten to watch this movie has said two things: "it's weird!" and "that was a really good movie!". I'm not sure if it's Cameron Diaz's obsessive love of animals or the concept of taking over another body, but it remains one of the few movies I can watch over and over and not tire of. Spike Jonze is an amazing director, and his use of space, color and unique camera angles throughout the film only enhance the already unusual plot line. Every moment of this film is a grotesque exaggeration of the world we live in, but lies just enough in reality to make it almost believable. The cinematography alone makes it worth checking out, but throw in a crazy plot, a few famous faces and you have an equally eccentric and brilliant movie.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Robots & Donuts

Eric Joyner

I must admit, Eric Joyner's one of my favorite painters. His unusual pairing of robots and donuts are sometimes cute, sometimes humorous, sometime apocalyptic-but always well done. His display of famous locations, bright color and the subtle reference to pop culture are all just an added bonus. All in all, the subjects of his painting are the perfect recipe for yet another obsession of mine. A decade of traveling robots in various adventures is displayed on his website, as well as what seems like an obsessive sweet tooth. That's fine with me, it just inspires me to make more miniature food sculptures. Perhaps my next blog should feature some of them?

I like that he includes a lot of his original studies alongside his finalized works, it's nice to see differences between the idea and the paintings themselves. Reminds me that I should start documenting my sketches before a painting; often the original concept changes drastically for me as I work.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Codex Seraphinianus

Codex Seraphinianus

In 1978 an Italian artist by the name of Luigi Serafini wrote and illustrated a beautifully detailed encyclopedia of a surreal world that he created. Throughout the book there are numerous illustrated references to the real world we live in, but with whimsical variations on things that make it unlike anything we have seen. From flowers that bleed, insects that double as keys to unknown doors, and fish that grow hair-nothing is what it seems. Though the book is written in an unknown and possibly indecipherable language, it has enchanted countless viewers and is quite valuable to those who know of it. The artist himself said that he wrote the book in his own carefully crafted language intentionally. Luigi wanted to give the feel of a child studying a book they cannot read, despite the knowledge that adults can understand the words on the page.

Linked above is an online copy of the codex in almost it's entirety. A physical copy of the book itself is quite expensive, but I recommend you check it out if you get the chance, even if it's only through the above link. The creativity of Luigi and his imaginary world has inspired multiple reprints, and leaves its viewers questioning reality and trying to make sense of everything presented.