The act of translating art from one medium to another can never be completely clean cut. Indeed, the unavoidable limitations of adaptation can be the very factors that lend the work an unexpected new dimension. Think of the automatic poetry that results from translating text into a foreign language and then back again. Those flaws and gaps are rarely put to good use, but in this instance, the graceful execution of Matthews’ interpretations allow the mismatched equivalences to shine and transcend both the photographs and the illustrations that inspired them. Matthews and Edwards have created something here that’s far greater than the sum of its parts.
See Also: It’s Nice That 2, a printed compilation of the blog’s featured artists.
Sedate and reverent, Jennilee Marigomen floats toward scenes of scenic splendor. Reveling in the warm mysteries and cold carnality of natural light, her camera impossibly captures, in microscopic detail, the fleeting visceral feeling of each atmosphere its sly lens fixes upon. Whether or not people are physically present in Marigomen’s images, each one is marked by a ghostly trace of humanity. There is a very long rope invisibly tying these ethereal images back to a nameless group of compatriots. We only glimpse them through tree branches and fiery lens flares, but they always feel nearby, protecting us from the detached desolation of the Northwestern wild.
The best part of a childhood rainy day was, without a doubt, the fort-making part. The second best part (maybe the third, after hot chocolate WITH MARSHMALLOWS) was the crafts. Usually these involved things like paper plates, popsicle sticks, yarn and googly eyes. Also glue. Glue was crucial. For an update on past diversions, check out this DIY Where The Wild Things Are mask tutorial from Spins and Needles.
We’ve written about the considerable charms of letterpress recently, but we’ve hardly exhausted the field. Witness Smock, a letterpress outfit whose workshop boasts 20 antique presses, 50 tons of equipment and 17 employees, and occupies a former John Deere Factory in post-indusrial Syracuse, New York. Their mission statement is ridiculously appealing and worth quoting at length. Here’s a snippet:
Who are we? We are faithful lovers of historic craft. We have letterpress ink in our veins. We are idealists. This means we believe in things. We are trying to make the world better right now. This affects everything we do. We read Walt Whitman (he was a letterpress printer too, by the way) (Stuff’d with the stuff that is coarse and stuff’d with the stuff that is fine). We fall head over heels for heavy cast iron presses. We believe in the creation of beautiful things. And we want, like you, to feel good about where our beautiful things come from.
Kinda makes you want to quit your job and move to Syracuse to dirty your fingers with some of that ink, doesn’t it? Not to mention Smock’s designs, which are amazing. A mixture of whimsy and sheer delicate loveliness, they include things like beetles and reindeer and ducklings and vintage tennis rackets and rocketships, all printed on bamboo paper in the most carefully-chosen hues. We are in love!
A month after the premiere, people around the globe are still creating amazing homages to Where the Wild Things Are. We’ve received so many great emails in the past few weeks, we had to share a few of our favorites. Check out the parade of adorable costumes and art projects. These smiling wolf-suited kids are so sweet, I can already feel the diabetes setting in.
Spanish street artist Rodriguez Ledesma transformed a crumbling wall into a vision of Carol taking Max for a ride. Max Records sent us that fantastic photo of a jack-o-lantern– carved by his social studies teacher. Stop-motion animator Jessica Bayliss‘ larger than life Carol costume is one of the most brilliantly detailed we’ve seen yet. And cartoonist Steven Weissman’s sketches of the Wild Things playing chess and Rampage (the arcade classic) are positively inspired.
Last but not least, don’t miss this clip of rad pint-sized skater George Karvounis tearing up the skate park in a Max costume!
Really, it’s no surprise that the 1800s produced people like Rimbaud, Tesla, Freud and Darwin. When those guys were kids, they weren’t messing around with portable gaming consoles or mini-robots or NERF guns designed to look like semi-automatics.
Nope. They were doing stuff with balls, hoops and sticks that we probably can’t even imagine. When you consider the creativity and determination it takes to entertain oneself with a stick for, say, fifteen, years, it suddenly becomes easy to see how things like experimenting and making discoveries would be child’s play as an adult.
Not saying we can recapture the magic of boredom in these fast-paced modern days, but it’s worth a try. Start with a sock monkey and work your way up to a spinning top. If that works out, considering graduating to a balsa plane or (whoa) some Lincoln Logs.
Fun fact #1: Charlotte Gainsbourg dubbed the voice of KW in the french version of Where the Wild Things are.
Fun Fact #2: Beck and Charlotte’s new video is awesome.
From her forthcoming album IRM it’s directed by Keith Schofield who is probably best known for that internet dynamo “Diesel XXX SFW” ad and his UKVMA-winning Supergrass “Bad Blood” video. Both of those are on his site as well as his Justice/Kravitz “Let Love Rule” video which is also fantastic.
VBS has been putting out some pretty choice material lately. This series about urban exploration is definitely at the top of the list of things worth looking into on the internet. As an added bonus the above LA oil episode features our good friend Nate Harrington of Family fame. It’s great to see Vice is still pushing new ideas and offering fresh ways of presenting them fifteen years into its existence.