Published June 9, 2010 by Molly
Sarah De Bondt has done a whole bunch of things we could praise, but we’re gonna hunker down and focus on a few for now.
Her project The Free Library appeared a few years ago in New York and Philadelphia, and was based loosely on a film (La Chinoise) by Jean-Luc Godard. Erase any thoughts of pretense from your mind, however: the traveling installation turned each gallery into a functional library-type space where visitors were encouraged to hang out, browse books, lounge on beanbags and explore the space.
“Overthrowing the King in His Own Mind” is another highlight of the De Bondt oeuvre, a persimmon-colored catalogue, poster and invitation to an exhibition at Kunstmuseum Solothurn, Switzerland. Finally, we suggest checking out Wiels, De Bondt’s ongoing work for the new contemporary art center in Brussels.
Published June 7, 2010 by Molly
Benbo George’s images are the sort of thing a very talented person might come up with in a lucid dream about image manipulation. Cosmic and shimmering, the images use repetition and mirroring in ways that thwart facile interpretation. The graphic designer/illustrator claims to divide his time between Liverpool and London, but we wouldn’t be surprised if the astral plane figured into that itinerary somewhere.
Published May 19, 2010 by Molly
“Graphic designer” sounds so much cooler in French (”Designer graphique”) and that is one of many reasons why we’re in love with Alexandra Roucheray, whose work is as varied and glorious as her native language.
Explore her books and record designs and manifestos and more here, at her website. Employ a translator if necessary.
Published April 23, 2010 by Molly
Go With The Guts is an excellently-titled online shop for purchasing limited edition prints. The pieces are hand-printed using traditional printmaking techniques like lithography, wood-block, monoprinting, etching or silkscreen. See guys, this is what the internet does best: collect and curate the best that’s out there and bring it to the world in controlled doses.
Contributors to the project include Lukas Zimmerman (prints from cardboard cutouts) Linus Bill (silkscreen prints), Eric Anderson (wood-block prints) and many more. If the individual efforts are all completely respectable, the cumulative effect is radder than rad.
Published April 2, 2010 by Molly
Apropos of our post on the Theme Park Maps archive, WLYS reader Hugh kindly pointed us in the direction of the Bill Tracy Project. Reader, if you are interested in spelunking down into your most fearful childhood memories, we’d recommend you start paying attention right now.
According to its manifesto, the Bill Tracy Project is a website founded in order to “consolidate all known Bill Tracy information into one dedicated resource, thus, creating the largest official source of information pertaining to this subject in existence.” Um…who is the Bill Tracy to whom we owe such a fervent resource? Good question!
As for an answer, hmm. Where to begin. Tracy was a master of dark rides—theme park rides, that is, designed to convey guests through an indoor space. Early dark ride technology centered around things like ultraviolet lights and fluorescent paint and moved onto mechanically complex systems designed to give the illusion of, say, a female victim being severed in two by a circular saw.
Tracy’s hallmarks included complex facades and detail-oriented creepiness, and some of his most famous rides included the Whacky Shack at Joyland Amusement Park in Wichita, Kansas and The Haunted House at Trimper’s Amusements in Ocean City, Maryland. Check out the site’s insanely comprehensive biography as well as the section full of rad concept drawings and ride layouts. Spectacular!
Published March 31, 2010 by Molly
It’s hard to put your finger on Felicie Vachon’s style. Bold in places, muted in others, her work speaks mostly in whispers but with the occasional shriek. Spending time with Felicie’s work won’t necessarily lead to a unifying theory of the artist, but it’s without doubt a fascinating way to expand your visual horizons.
Witness, for example, this series of photographs based on the phonetic similarity of the words “leaving” and “living”, posters illustrating the damaging effects of alcohol on the brain, and drop, a magazine about a simpler life. The artist is also a part of the ubud collective of artists, consisting of 6 actors, 6 musicians, 1 chef, 1 artist, 3 video artists, and herself. More work is here.
Published March 29, 2010 by Molly
Jane collects vintage matchbox covers from (mainly) Eastern Europe in the 1950s and 1960s. “My interest in matchbox labels lies primarily in the design,” she writes, “but also the concept that these small images can communicate to a large number of people.”
The images that make up Jane’s rad collection demonstrate the possibilities of modern design as well as the ability of labels to speedily convey propaganda and public service announcements alike. We love the old-school East German trucks the best, though the geometrically-abstracted Polish dancing couples are a close second.
Published March 25, 2010 by Molly
Could this be more straightforward or more amazing? (That’s a rhetorical question.) Theme Park Maps is exactly what it sounds like: an online archive of theme park maps ranging from 1931 to 2009. You’ve got your Busch Gardens, your Disneyland, your Splash Lagoon, your Dollywood, Fantasy Land, Magic Harbor and Shipwreck Island. Also Floridaland, Lakeside, Libertyland and something called Kentucky Kingdom.
If you have any interest in treasure maps or the graphic appeal therein, you’ll want to spend some QT with this archive!
Published March 17, 2010 by Molly
It’s hard to summarize the work of about someone as varied and un-pin-downable as Paul Sahre (pronounced “say-er”), but here’s a stab at it. (Deep breath.)
First, Sahre is an illustrator and graphic designer who contributes to places like Good Magazine and the New York Times, among many others. He also designs book covers for Rick Moody, Chuck Klosterman and Ben Marcus, lives in New York and, in his own words, “finds comfort in the fact that we are hurtling thru space.”
Sahre’s brilliance lies in the fact that his illustrations—always surprising, always ingenious—manage to broaden and deepen whatever text they accompany, no matter how disparate the topic. An OpEd about fixing Washington? No problem. A book that makes the case for vegetarianism? Why, yes. And so forth.
And last but not least, here’s a nice little video of Sahre talking about Old Spice, beauty and G.I. Joe.
Published February 8, 2010 by Molly
It is equal parts intimidating/awesome to encounter an artist who can do everything under the sun. Literally everything.
Miss Lotion draws the kinda stuff you dreamed of drawing during dull moments in high school chemistry: perfectly-proportioned, expressive and loony ice cream trucks, smokestacks, helicopters, psycho cats, magicians and piglets. Also stunningly accurate portraits. Also cool typefaces and commercial illustrations. Also paintings and logo designs.
The Danish-born artist— “born with a pen strapped to her hand”—is clearly the kind of compulsive mark-maker who can’t help herself from filling pages. We hope nothing ever stops her.