Archive for May, 2009
1. Amassing Mickey Mouse collectibles (see above)
3. Listening to records and free-drawing
5. The eighteenth century
In the past few years, there’s been a popular trend in the art world towards appropriating the aesthetic of the Internet’s early days– deriving nostalgia from the quaint visual follies of a once-fledgling network that has now become predictably slick and refined. On the cutting edge of cyberspace homage, artist Stephanie Davidson works in collage, painting and video (check out her awesomely abstract SNL recap)– but some of her best work is in the unlikely medium of the animated GIF. GIF, perhaps the lowest-tech of motion graphics formats, was once thought to be limited to the realm of trifling novelty, like 19th century steroscopy.
Indeed, the format is probably most widely known for powering The Hampster Dance and slow-mo analysis of Tyra Banks’ face. But the GIFs Davidson makes are unique: landing somewhere in between living collages and microscopic films, Davidson uses found photographs and neon patterns to create eye candy with substance. Her GIFs each have a unique sense of place and mood, often contradicting or obscuring the intentions of the source material. And, well, they’re kind of hilarious.
“This is a picture of my preschool teacher Eileen Keane dressed up as Max. It was probably around 1988 or 89. The preschool I went to was amazing.” – Carla Frances
Reorienting your reading habits toward the internet makes for a certain reduction in clutter (no more Wall Street Journals to recycle; no more Betty Crocker cookbooks moldering on the pantry shelf), but there’s something to be said for keeping a reserve of printed materials on hand. Occasionally you want to read without a phosphorescent machine lighting up your face and toasting your lap.
CapGun is a poetry magazine out of Brooklyn. Tidy, well-curated, and filled with young writers of note, the magazine is produced in limited editions that tend to sell out quickly. For good reason, too. CapGun is far too lovely to outsource to the internet.
The other day I was leafing through an old issue of Bad Day Magazine when I happened into an interview with WLYS buddy Nick Zinner. During the interview Zinner makes a point to stop and offer “a shout out” to his favorite website – “Foundphotos.net- it’s basically a guy going through people’s p2p files, looking in their photos, and carefully selecting the best ones. It’s pretty amazing.”
Well put Nick. We’d forgotten how much fun this little gem could be, especially set to the right music.
Need a gift for an especially deserving (or misbehaving) individual? Investigate Hector Protector and As I Went Over the Water, Maurice Sendak’s 1965 illustration of two nursery rhymes. The tidy tome is little talk and all action–like the best children’s books–and Sendak renders its lessons with his customary detail-rich drawings. Morality tales were never so fun.
Hello, Brute is the brainchild of Portland-based designer Jon Knox. Employing a cast of adorably droopy-eyed pseudo-anthropomorphic fashion-forward young fellas, Knox has constructed a veritable universe of saccharine saturated sherbet-colored cuteness. Through pencil drawings, paintings, skate decks, t-shirts and limited edition toys, Knox’s characters are poised to take over the world, Takashi Murakami-style. Hello, Brute is like the hipster Precious Moments, minus the greeting card platitudes and creationist undertones. Check out this rad recent Hello, Brute release: a pair of wild thing-esque custom toys sculpted by Toronto creature-makers We Kill You.