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Originality is rare these days in the art world but we're pleased to report that we've stumbled upon an artist whose work is both innovative and modern. Matt Bilfield, California based artist, won us over with this incredible three-dimensional piece 'Peggy', a brilliant and ambitious interpretation of a painting by famous artist, Roy Lichtenstein. The mammoth work - its seven feet wide and three feet tall - is comprised of 2788 hand cut, sanded, and painted dowels that where then assembled together to recreate Lichtensteins image. The result is a cross between a graphic art image, sculpture, and installation which offers the viewer a different experience from every angle. By Bill T
Francoise Nielly's massive, colourful portraits are delicious to look at. Even more wonderful – and particularly infuriating to those of us who have timidly dabbled in painting – is to watch her create them. She, in her confident, strong hand, wields her painting knife shaped like a miniature garden trowel, and makes painting look easy like cake frosting. She paints her vivid, passionate canvases — some as large as 78 x 25 inches (195 x 62 centimeters) -- from black-and-white photos, further proof of her unfailing ability to interpret light, shadow, hue and tone by applying brilliant colors and daring strokes.
Born in Marseille, brought up near Cannes and Saint-Tropez, and now living in Paris, Nielly is at home among bold contrast and dazzling light. To add to her likeability, here is the list of her loves: Life, wide open spaces, sushi, blue lagoons, the Internet, humor, books, Paris, New York and Vancouver.
Three of her prints are available exclusively through TCH online store - 1000mm x 1000ml metallic print on acrylic with free delivery in Australia/NZ.
Take a look at these incredible abstract and retroesque pieces by designer and illustrator Andy Gilmore. Born, raised and based in Rochester, New York, Gilmore applies the understanding of one practice with the other - applying the proportions of harmony to form and colour - colours as chords - and scales as tonal gradations, in order to create these geometric works of art.
His clients include: the new york times, foursquare outwear, seed magazine and the webby awards. If you love his work as much as we do, you can get your hands on a print (or even a t-shirt) over at Etsy
Andy was also the first illustrator we contacted to design a poster for our first offline event - TreeLife
We may be leaning toward minimalist design and monochromatic surroundings, but we also admire artists and designers who can handle color well.
Francesco Lo Castro from Florida is currently drawing our attention with his multicolor paintings.
He uses oils and acrylics, spray paint and silkscreen as well as layered epoxy resin and gold leaf, usually on a wood base.
We love the combination of explosiveness and strict order, vibrancy and dreaminess, power and release in his work.
Lo Castro was born in Italy, grew up in Germany, and has been active in the Miami art scene for more than a decade.
He is currently working on producing 3D animations based on his paintings, set to premiere at UR1 Festival during Art Basel week - Bill Tikos
The name Gary Fernandez has started to appear often enough to warrant a closer look. Fernandez is a freelance illustrator and graphic artist based in Madrid, Spain, and currently living in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. His client list is impressive, ranging from advertising heavies DDB, McCann Erickson, JWT and Grey to superbrands such as Coca Cola, Nokia and Camel. His illustrations have appeared in numerous magazines and books.
Fernandez's intricate, retro-esque illustrations marry a liquid stroke with a rigid tension, which in turn projects an underlying seething mood and latent danger. For some reason, I'm thinking Dadaism and Salvador Dali mixed with the sixties London vibes and New York's retro fashion illustrations. At the same time, some of his work is almost whimsical and merry; evoking images from Cirque du Soleil and old European circus posters. Whatever you see, you are irresistibly drawn into his world.
A fantastic recent example is his elaborate illustration book titled Introduction to Fantastic Girls, Future Landscapes & the Most Beautiful Birds Ever Seen, available -- possibly -- on his site in limited quantities.
Gary Fernandez is also the founder and creative lead of the T-shirt brand VelvetBanana. The name VelvetBanana draws its parts from The Velvet Underground and Andy Warhol banana cover for their first album The Velvet Underground and Nico (1967).
Fernandez started VelvetBanana in 2005 with the goal of redefining the "Art Rock T-shirt" by producing thematic collections. The themes capture certain moods, songs or bands. The latest, Collection #3, is described as having electrifying, abrasive, furious and hypnotic graphics full of energy, although the photo book of the collection appears indoorsy and tame, with clean yet fashionably brooding models photographed against a pristine white background.- Tuija Seipell
New York artist Tara Donovan is a master of seeing. Not just looking, but actually seeing. Her sculptural, one-of-a-kind art is based on her ability to see, imagine and create forms, shapes and textures from ordinary objects that most of us don't even notice. She creates art from rolls of tape, pieces of pencil, Styrofoam cups, paper plates, napkins. Her sculptural works evoke thoughts of nature. A perfect example is the 'Untitled' cloud formation she created in 2003 from Styrofoam cups and glue.
The 38-year-old Donovan has recently accomplished several things many artists never achieve. This September, the first monograph of her work was published by visual book press, Monacelli Press (now owned by Random House). A couple of weeks later, on October 10, a traveling retrospective of her work opened at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston.
But perhaps the biggest deal is the extra half-a-million dollars that she will have to work with in the next few years. In late September, she received a phone call from the John D. and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation. She was informed that she had been made a Fellow of the Foundation and that she will receive a $500,000 MacArthur Foundation 'genius' grant. It is a no-strings-attached support of her work over five years. She was selected as one of 25 recipients in 2008. Others include a physician, an astrophysicist, a violinist, a computer scientist and representatives of many other endeavours who were selected for their creativity, originality and potential to make important contributions in the future. - Tuija Seipell
Earlier this year, the angular and colorful illustrations of Star Wars characters by UK-based illustrator and animator Liam Brazier drew everyone's attention.
In addition to the Start Wars characters that in their clunkiness lend themselves to geometric treatments, Brazier has also attacked Superman whose billowing cape and bulging muscles are far less boxy.
What makes Brazier's work even more interesting is that the illustrations are not created in Illustrator using vectors. Instead, he draws each shape with Photoshop's polygonal selection tool and then fills them in with color.
We love these powerful images full of intention and action. We can see them covering an entire wall in a kids' room. Or in our office .- Bill Tikos
We have a hunch we will be seeing much more of the work by the young, London-based graphic designer and illustrator, Nikki Farquharson.
Her ongoing project, Mixed Media Girls, gives the viewer a lot to look at. The collages appear innocent and sweet but at the same time exude sharp, pent-up energy that does not feel altogether safe. The title of the work is also wonderfully suggestive – or not, depending on how the reader wishes to understand it.
Farquharson’s work extends from the one-dimensional world to book projects and 3D pieces in which she often ponders and twists the meaning of words and proverbs, spies on conversations, and questions established truths.
In 2007, she started the website Random Got Beautiful that is open for anyone to submit images focused on a specific color. - Tuija Seipell
She was born in Sweden, worked in Brazil and is now settled in the Portland area. The prolific illustrator and mixed-media artist Linn Olofsdotter is a global citizen of the most interesting kind. Her own life in different locales gives her many sources of inspiration and most likely helps her flex her illustration muscle to meet the needs of a vast variety of clients.
Her work has appeared in Computer Arts and Bon Magazine; she’s created T-shirt graphics for Levi’s, wall murals for a hotel in Los Angeles, CD covers for artists and illustrations for Oilily and La Perla. Nearly all of her work has a collage-like feel, with many layers, nuances and media. The somewhat surreal and psychedelic look of some of her pieces attests to her ability and willingness to trot not just the globe but regions beyond. - Tuija Seipell
We are currently working on some projects (still under wraps) with a 23-year-old London-based illustrator, Dan Stafford. Born in Manchester, Stafford graduated this year from Loughborough University School of Art & Design with First Class Honours in Visual Communication. He is now busily producing slightly mad illustrations for clients such as Who’s Jack Magazine.
Stafford says filmmakers such as David Lynch and Stanley Kubrick influence his art, but we detect a Tim Burtonish sense of the bizarre — an aggressive duality of sweet and sinister, meek and macabre. In Stafford’s work, the dark side is mostly up-front in the subject matter while the softer side is represented through the choice colors and the softness of edges.
Indications of his future success include confirmed participation in 2010 in exhibitions in at least London, San Francisco and Glasgow. We believe that we will all see a lot more of his striking art in the future. - Tuija Seipell.
Welcome to Matt W Moore's world. His retro, abstract inspired graphics with a steely, graffiti-edge have seen this young Portland-based artist's work traverse the globe. Moore's vast commercial portfolio includes gigs for mega brands including Burton, Nike, Wired, Citroen, Vodafone and many others. Fascinated with symmetry, geometry and saturated colour, he creates retro-spirited, abstract graphics with a wild, graffiti edge.
A process of experimentation led to Moore's lauded signature "Vectorfunk" style of digital illustration, inspired by abstract geometry, vibrant colour combinations, dynamic compositions, depth and contrast. He also works across the spectrum of design and art disciplines - from canvas paintings to textile/apparel design and to logo/identity work. His typography, type treatments and icons are featured in his annual monochrome series, and in a comprehensive solo book called Vectorfunk by ROJO. - Lisa Evans
The Mini Cooper has been created for a TCH Special Mini Cooper project which we will unveil soon.
Gianluca Fallone is a designer/illustrator from Argentina, currently based in London. At only 23 years old, he has managed to build up an impressive folio that includes work with clients such as MTV, Nike and Cartoon Network.
Fallone’s stance is simple —’I love type and design, and I particularly like when both are present — and evident in much of his work. He is inspired by Japanese animation and comic books that also triggered his ’illustration-design rollercoaster,’ and his pieces are beautifully crafted and extremely detailed. Fallone is putting his mark on the Argentinean design world, and we are expecting to see great things from this young and amazingly talented artist. - Brendan McKnight
Creative duo Kirsten Rutherford and Lisa Jelliffe from London’s Brothers & Sisters agency drew our attention to their current poster installation “Making the invisible visible” that hit the streets of London this past weekend.
It is a collaboration with the Berlin-based, three-person photographic street art collective Mentalgassi in support of Amnesty International.
The London poster campaign is specifically in support of Troy Davis, a man described as having “been on death row for 19 years in the USA, despite serious doubts about his conviction.”
The posters, depicting a close-up Davis’s face, are mounted on fence railings that disguise the posters so that the face behind the bars is revealed only when viewed from an angle. View the video.
The three posters are located at 4-7 Great Pulteney St, 21 Great Pulteney Street, and 5 Berners St (all W1). - Bill Tikos
Seriously one of the greatest mountain bike edits you'll ever witnessed. Impressive filming and riding.
The song is by Radical Face - Welcome Home
Eclectic, electric, electrifying and energetic are words that describe the work of art director and designer Pedro Vilas-Boas. Stationed in Lisbon, the Portuguese-born Vilas Boas collaborates with a variety of complementing talent and comes up with fascinating web sites, online and offline projects, graphics, posters and even T-shirt designs for A-list clients such as Nokia and Carlsberg.
His work is characterized by a mix of contrast, electricity, motion and bold lines. The result is an effective blend of energy and punch. Lucky for his high-energy clients that Pedro Vilas-Boas chose this type of punch as his preferred medium, and did not fulfill his childhood dream of becoming a policeman. - Tuija Seipell
Floral designers are just floral designers but Andreas Verheijen is a "flower engineer." The strange title may sound like a bit of bad PR until you see his work. It's startling, it stops you in your tracks. Are they real?
How did he do it? Wow. He sculpts a plant display the way a sculptor would handle marble or wood or clay. He reveals the sculptural beauty of a branch of a palm. He creates a hair piece of feathers and moss. He carves a gourd into sensual art. He makes color pop in ways that look unnatural, yet the pieces are real.
Events, shows, displays, massive theatrical floral extravaganzas. We never knew you could do all this with flowers. The master florist was born in the Dutch dahlia town of Zundert, spent 15 years in charge of sales at Harrods floral department in London and now works as a freelancer in Europe. - Tuija Seipell.
We continue our curiosity with bicycle art. Here is the latest installation by the activist Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. This piece is one of 21 works by Ai from 1983 to present that form the “Ai Weiwei Absent” exhibition, opened at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum at the end of October.
“Forever Bicycles” is made of 1,000 bicycles installed in a 10-meter high space in a moving, abstract shape to symbolize the way in which the social environment in China is changing.
Ai Weiwei is known for example for his cooperation with Swiss architects Herzog & Meuron as the consultant for the 2008 Beijing Olympics Birds Nest building.
Ai is prohibited from leaving Beijing and cannot attend the exhibition. In a Reuters article, Ai was quoted as saying: “This is the first time I’m having an exhibition of my art works in the wider Chinese world. I’m really happy that it can be exhibited in Taiwan, because recently it has not possible to have an exhibition in my own place of residence. I have been notified that I won’t be allowed to go -- that was the outcome of my application -- so right now I cannot attend. But my family members will attend.” - Bill Tikos
Anyone who has ever attempted to master various forms of visual art will attest that watercolor painting usually turns out to be one of the most challenging.
This has not discouraged Cate Parr, a UK-born fashion illustrator, who has managed to capture the ethereal, fleeting and vulnerable qualities of fashion imagery in her watercolors.
There is a dreamy, beautiful undertone, yet the images are not entirely virginal. A darker undertone, beneath the pastelly beauty demands the viewer to look closer, a quality we admire in any image-maker's work. In today's world of a million images a second, it takes a lot to make any of us stop and pause and really see.
Parr's work, which has appeared in both editorial and brand contexts, hasn't been seen in massive formats or super-brand environments yet, but somehow we envision these images appearing in enormous window displays in the world's fashion capitals this coming spring. - Tuija Seipell
The construction is made out of gütermann thread, wood and nails attached at either end to blocks of wood, the effect is like a real-world version of computer generated imagery. Stunning.
TCH has been active online for 6 years and sometimes it seems we forget how amazing it is that the community that follows us just keeps growing. Many of our articles are read by millions of people, and the numbers of regular readers, followers, friends keeps growing and growing.
To celebrate this community, we commissioned artist Fernando Volken Togni from Brazil to create a poster. It reflects the multicultural, multi-discipline, multi-everything environment of the cool world of TCH.
Fernando also designed one of our car wraps which will be available in 2011.
We are excited to soon be launching TCH customized designer car wraps, so that car can really feel they a cut above everyone else on the road. We are imagining the fun that owners will have in selecting their favorite design for their very own car.
We would love to hear from designers/illustrators/art directors who would be interested in submitting a design for consideration as one of the final 25 options. If you are interested, please email us and we will give you the details on how to submit your design. Have you seen our Mini in Neon colors?
The stunning elegance of Jeff Nishinaka’s paper art calls for a new definition of paper. His meticulous sculptural 3D work appears to have been created from marble or extremely fine sand or vanilla ice cream or thick foam — definitely of something other than “just” paper. The Los Angeles-born artist works mainly with white, which makes the exquisite play of light and shadow a large part of the appeal of his work.
One might assume that there is very little demand for work that uses one medium and one color. Not so. Nishinaka’s work pops up everywhere in the most unexpected places, from medical illustrations of the structure of the eye, to private portrait commissions, to a life-size garden for a hotel.
He has a prolific career working in advertising, fashion and fine art, and also creating some larger installations. His commercial work includes commissions for fashion catalogues for Bloomingdales and Galeries Lafayette, advertising work for Visa, Coca Cola, Playboy, American Airlines, Toyota and Mattel. Even the colourful characters of Disney’s Lion King — Pumbaa, Timon, Rafiki et.al. — look absolutely stunning in Nishinaka’s white paper world (image below). If you want to see a lot of Nishinaka’s work in one place, you need to talk to his personal friend, actor Jackie Chan, the owner of the largest Nishinaka collection. - Tuija Seipell
We believe you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but you can judge your favorite drink by its label. Vitaminwater is crowdsourcing its next flavor through the launch of their Flavorcreator app on Facebook, marking the first time that fans of Vitaminwater can collaborate to create the next flavor.
Vitaminwater enthusiasts will have the opportunity to name the flavor, write the bottle copy and design the label via a contest with the winner or winning team receiving a $5,000 prize from Vitaminwater.
Bottles designed by Access Agency
The three-dimensional wall art, “I feel good today,” is a result of creative minds coming together. The location: A popular morning coffee and lunch spot, the erste liebe bar in Hamburg (erste liebe means first love in German). The bar’s owners are the video producers at erste liebe film who work right above the bar.
The artist: Niels Bruschke of Santiago Design, who used a Viktor bike from Schindlehauer as the focal point. The partner: Bruschke was asked to do this piece by Two Wheels Good, a bike shop and promoter and creator of urban mobility concepts. Their first location is at Bismarckstrasse and the second one opened this summer at the new bike-loving 25hours Hotel HafenCity.
All of which just proves Oprah Winfrey’s point: “Here’s what my love affair with quotations has taught me: the more you focus on words that uplift you, the more you embody the ideas contained in those words.” - Tuija Seipell
Tobias Rehberger won the best artist Golden Lion this summer at the 53rd International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale. This year’s Exhibition is titled Making Worlds (Fare Mondi).Rehberger won the prize for the cafeteria of the Palazzo delle Exposizioni della Biennale, formerly known as the Italian Pavilion. The cafeteria is open to the public at least till the end of the Biennale Art Exhibition (November 22).
Rehberger calls his cafeteria “Was du liebst, bringt dich auch zum Weinen” (Whatever you love, will bring you to wines). It is a crazy, retro-inspired space, juxtaposed with a jumble of forms and colors with black and white as the combining theme. He collaborated with the Finnish furniture house Artek that created custom furniture for the space.
The Art Exhibition is part of the venerable Venice Biennale, established in 1895. The Biennale promotes new artistic trends and organizes events, including the International Film Festival, the International Art Exhibition, the International Architecture Exhibition, the Festival of Contemporary Music, the Theatre Festival and the Festival of Contemporary Dance. - Tuija Seipell
New from our favorite French artist - Francoise Nielly
Forget about wandering through an art gallery and wondering if you’re the only one who has no idea what anything means. Acess Agency has brilliantly invited the cultural elite to grab a glass at an exhibition in Dresden, Germany, and drink away the art.
Regardless of what we do or do not understand about art, we can all agree, it stimulates our senses. Access has aroused our sense of taste (not to mention eliminated the need of elbowing our way to the bar) by hanging flat, glass containers with a variety of cocktails in the exhibition space. As the night progressed, the levels of the multi-coloured infusions diminished. By the end of the event, the art, itself, ran dry, and empty drinking glasses were returned to where they were originally placed. - Andrew J Wiener.
Minjae Lee is a young South Korean artist whose work expresses a semi-disturbing inner tension that is tough to ignore, even if you feel that you'd like to. It draws you in with its powerful colors, halting imagery and clever juxtaposition of beauty, innocence and fragility with brash, loud and aggressive.
The 19-year old artist is mainly self-taught and uses old-fashioned tools — such as markers, pens, crayons, acrylics — to create his illustrations. He has yet to break into commercial success, but as his style is developing and improving each time new images appear, we will likely see a lot of him in the future.
What characterizes his work overall is drama. The ethereal females that populate most of his work exude a dark, organic tension, and it seems that even the brightest marker colors do not quite manage to save them from some sort of looming peril. Or are we, the viewers, in fact, the ones who are in danger? Whatever the case, we are drawn in, interacting on an emotional level, surprised, looking for something.
Minjae Lee’s penchant for dramatic expression is clear also in the work of those he admires. His favorite photographer is the 55-year-old Japanese Hiroshi Nonami, whose women are equally capable of telling a dramatic, dark story. Not surprisingly, Lee’s favorite fashion designer is the king of runway drama, the Gibraltar-born, 49-year-old John Galliano. - Tuija Seipell
Robert Bradford creates his life-size and larger-than-life sculptures of humans and animals from discarded plastic items, mainly toys but also other colorful plastic bits and pieces, such as combs and buttons, brushes and parts of clothes pegs.
Contrary to some reports, he’s not a self-taught artist who tinkered in his shed one day and suddenly decided to create something out of his kids’ discarded toys. He is a London-born and U.K. and U.S.-trained visual artist who, like many artists, also had another career on the side. His was that of a psychotherapist.
In 2002, he started to consider the possibilities that his children’s forgotten toys could have as part of something bigger. Bradford says he likes the idea that the plastic pieces have a history, some unknown past, and that they also pass on a “cultural” history as each of the pieces represents a point in time.
Recycling is not his primary concern, but each sculpture certainly keeps quite a few pieces from becoming landfill. Some of the sculptures contain pieces from up to 3,000 toys and sell for £12,000 (US$19,000). - Tuija Seipell
1948 is Nike’s creative playground-retail store in the old brick railway arches of Shoreditch, London. In addition to displaying and selling shoes, 1948 offers an entire art floor for events, installations and assorted fun.
The installation created by Finland-born illustrator/artist/designer Kustaa Saksi is all about the historical fun journey of the Nike running shoe. Typical for the currently Amsterdam-based Saksi, the sprawling scene has a pop-art, retro feel that fits Nike’s history as a brand. Saksi’s Volkswagen van and psychedelic colors illustrate the pre-swoosh era in an earnest and deliberately clunky way.
Saksi’s last name translates as “scissor,” or it could also be “Saxon,” depending on your preference. He is proficient in many media, including print, sculpture and now also more frequently 3D. Saksi has also designed massive building wraps, and even clothing and wallpaper. His book, Offpiste (2008), is a visual feast of his recent work. In addition to Nike, Saksi’s client list includes Comme des Garçons, Citroen, Diesel, Issey Miyake, Lacoste, Levi's, New York Times, Mercedes Benz, MTV, Playboy and Wallpaper. - Tuija Seipell
Matchstick Art of the Day: Pei-San Ng’s “Passion” — 2,500 matches glued to a piece of reclaimed plywood.
This is how you market real estate and take advantage of social media. Draw attention like this fantastic video drew ours! It was created by Tronic Studio in New York, the same team that is busy putting on the finishing touches on the TCH TV video we will be showing here next week!
The real estate in question here is the 57-story luxury residence, 56 Leonard, in Tribeca, designed by the Pritzker-prize winning, Beijing Bird Nest-creating Swiss firm of Herzog & de Meuron. Tronic tapped into their architecture background to envision this video where the elements of each floor fall down from the Manhattan sky and land on the custom-designed sculpture by Anish Kapoor. Absolutely brilliant.- Bill Tikos
Nothing turns heads faster than a cool retro print on an über hot car, and our Space Invader and Pac Man inspired Mini Coopers had half of New York & L.A in a neckbrace from all the attention. Average Joes on the street became home-schooled paparazzi as they snapped away at the Mini on their mobile phones and forwarded them on to friends.
If you think your design has what it takes to get wrapped around a Mini then send it in to us this month and you could see your work blazoned across our exciting new global launch.
See also our Space Invaders pop up skate ramp
Some city councils get it, others don’t. Tapping the creative talents of street artists, illustrators and graphic designers is an effective and cool way to make bland public spaces, old buildings, bridges and car parks new again, and to freshen up the concrete jungle.
It is also an effective way of keeping graffiti away. Plus it draws attention to the building or structure as “potential” not as something to be hated. Maybe it will even bring a buyer, a new occupant or additional creative ideas about how to revitalize the building? Anything but the current dilapidated state of abandoned spaces!
Street artists and muralists bring with them vibrant and a new perspective that architects or designers may not have. This does not mean that millions need to be spent to upgrade the buildings immediately, all you need is vision, courage, local creative talent and some colorful paint like these perfect examples here. Our subscriber list reads like the Who-is-Who of city councils around the globe. So here’s a challenge to you: You need to step up and change the face of your city. There are way too many ugly, run-down buildings, bridges, tunnels and walkways that can be completely transformed into exciting and fun environments with some creative input.
Contact Access Agency so we can help. - Bill Tikos
Lexus has taken its fifth hybrid, the compact CT 200h, on the road in more forms than one. This eerie and artistic sculpture, titled CT Umbra, was part of the Lexus debate series tour called Darker side of Green
Created by Los Angeles-based Nondesign, the installation aimed to highlight the two seemingly opposing features of the vehicle - luxury and eco-friendliness – by changing colors from luxurious gold to earthy green and blue. This contradiction was also the underlying question during the debates.
The sculpture is based on a map of vertical lines created from the CAD model of CT 200h. It was built of 2,500 half-inch anodized aluminum bars cut to the exact measurements of the map.
Lexus introduced the debate concept in March with a celebrity-attended press event at Skylight West in New York just before the car’s launch at the New York International Auto Show.
In July, the debate travelled to Los Angeles, Miami and back to New York, and ended on August 5 in Chicago. Cool locations (Palihouse Holloway in L.A., Bowery Hotel in N.Y., Ivy Room in Chicago), music and art, and moderators (comedian Tracey Morgan and singer Mark McGrath and actor and comedian Jamie Kennedy), spiced up the 40-minute debate between two hard-hitters, one pro and the other skeptical about sustainable energy and the green economy.
The goal was to highlight these issue is general and to seek common ground between the two sides. The discussions highlighted the question Can green and luxury go together? In Miami, almost 750 people attended and enjoyed the pre-debate cocktail reception sponsored by Patrón.
After the debate tour, Lexus will take the CT 200h to each of the tour cities to offer local customers and VIPs the chance to test drive it. - Tuija Seipell.
A year before the Lexus launch, London-based designer, Laura Micalizzi, created a similar-looking “car” installation called 10M3 DI PAUSA for the Milan Furniture Fair
Micalizzi’s car-shaped sculpture aimed to draw attention to the value of space in the city and to the growing necessity of cars.
Brands are tapping into the art space and we are, perhaps surprisingly, noticing some pretty awesome art installations as a result. It is a precarious feat for a brand to attempt because it can easily go wrong and have the exact opposite of the desired effect. A branded piece of art can be viewed as too promotional, too gaudy, too imposing and an intrusion into “public space.”
But done right, this kind of branded experience can work wonders for a brand and achieve the desired kind of street credo. Of course, brands such as Absolut, BMW, Nike and Adidas have been doing this for years quite effectively. These brands nurture new and up-and-coming artists and also garner huge online buzz for the brand, for the art piece, for the location and for the artist.
We’ve gathered some examples of both branded and non-branded cool public (and private) art in the hope that great branded art will replace the already-so-boring pop-up shops and flash mobs.
Nike’s 20-meter-high, 4.75-ton Ball Man made of 5,500 Brazilian Skill Balls was a huge hit during the FIFA World Cup in South Africa. It was the centerpiece of a Nike installation Carlton Mall Atrium in Johannesburg. Leicester-based Ratcliffe Fowler Design created using a 3d image of Carloz Tevez. The Man was designed so that the balls remained virtually intact and can be donated to the community after the closing of the exhibition in August.
Also at World Cup, Coca Cola took advantage of the Crate Man craze and installed 54-foot CrateFan in Cape town at the Victoria an Albert Waterfront/harbor. It was built of 2,500 Coke bottle crates and weighed 25 tons.
At the BMW Museum in Munich, the Kinetic Sculpture of 714 metal orbs seems to float in space. The orbs hang from thin steel wires attached to individually controlled motors. The orbs animate a 7-minute “mechatronic narrative,” starting from chaotic and settling at the end into the six square-meter “flying carpet.” The installation, developed by Berlin-based ART+ COM is to be “metaphorical translation of the process of form-finding in art and design.”
When it is original, fresh and fun, this kind of public art is cool because it creates real viral attention. As actual live pieces, even if seen only online, they are exciting and seem real for the viewers who feel they are sharing it with those who have actually experienced it live.
There are also many ways of enhancing and expanding the live experience with online and on-site kiosk applications. As a way to create viral buzz, brand recognition and positive impressions, they are an effective marketing tool for the brands. - Bill Tikos.
Yes, Advertising can be beautiful.
For more info contact our marketing agency ACCESS
Tomokazu Matsuyama’s work -- mostly acrylics on canvas or paper -- has a sense of intrigue, mystery and secrecy that draws the viewer in and demands a further look. There is also a feel of lightness, floating and movement that seems to suggest fleeting glimpses of something impermanent. At the same time, his art carries a strong implication of tradition and of enduring order.
His colors are subdued but lively, and much of the work suggest a paper-cut collage. Humans, mostly men, and animals, especially horses, populate his art, and even in the abstracts, there is a hint of an eye, a wing, a presence just beyond the immediate first glance. The implication of story and the touch of subtle whimsy make his work accessible and inviting, yet the viewer is not hit with rigid answers. One is left with an oddly comfortable sensation of incomprehension.
Tomokazu Matsuyama was born in Tokyo in 1976. He is a graduate of the Pratt Institute in New York and the Sophia University in Tokyo. He lives and works in New York City. He has held solo exhibitions in San Francisco, New York, Tokyo and Osaka and participated in numerous shows and installations around the world. He has also worked with well-known brands including Levi’s and Nike and Adidas. Tuija Seipell
Dutch artists, mother and daughter Michèle Deiters and Bibi van der Velden, have created a series of sculptures that demand a double take. Their new partnership, Bibi Michèle, combines van der Velden’s conceptual vision with Deiters’s sculptural talents. The resulting pieces of art seem both new and timeless. The reflecting surfaces of the bold human-head sculptures incorporate the texture and light of the surroundings, and ask the viewer to participate.
The viewers can also see themselves reflected back from the sculptures which evokes a feel of conversation and communication. According to the artists, the viewer is an essential ingredient in the art by contributing emotion.
Weightlessness and an eerie out-of-placeness characterize the powerful pieces that are the duo’s first main body of work as a team. - Tuija Seipell
Beautifully shot video of iconic blogger - Scott Schumann, aka, The Satorialist
New York artist Tom Fruin’s outdoor sculpture Kolonihavehus in the plaza of the Royal Danish Library in Copenhagen has the appearance of a friendly and colorful stained-glass house, yet it also evokes thoughts of churches and Charles Rennie Macintosh.
Fruin’s sculpture is constructed of a thousand reclaimed pieces of plexiglass ranging in size from 2x2 to 24x36 inches. They originate from many sources, including a closed- down plexi distributorship near Copenhagen, a framing shop, the basement of the Danish State Art Workshops, and the dumpsters outside the Danish Architecture Center.
The sculpture was brought to life by daily performances by Copenhagen-based CoreAct headed by Anika Barkan and Helene Kvint. The performances included poetry of the Danish Vagn Steen, Computer-controlled light sequences by Nuno Neto and a sound installation by Astrid Lomholt.
Kolonihavehuses were originally small garden sheds that were designed to give cramped and often impoverished city-dwellers a small plot and a refuge from city life. - Bill Tikos
Theo Altenberg has been active in so many artistic genres that it seems like a silly simplification to call him a painter.
There is an intriguing drama in his yummy olis-on-cardboard that hints to his other talents. In these seemingly random splashes and smears of mixed oily color, the viewer finds him- or herself looking for scenery, people, recognizable forms.
Whether this was Altenberg’s intention or not is irrelevant. What matters is that it gives us pause. We look. We see.
The 59-year-old Altenberg was born in Mönchengladbach, Germany, and lives in Berlin. He is an actor, singer, painter, photographer, writer, performer.
He’s even played the role of Andy Warhol in a 1991 film, Andy’s Cake, directed by Terese Panoutsopoulos. Most of Altenberg’s work and collaborations have taken place in Europe. - Tuija Seipell
Madrid-based illustrator, engraver and painter Gabriel Moreno is attracting attention with his great illustrations. His latest work with the Jüng von Matt/Limmatt agency in Zurich for the 80-year-old Swiss shoe brand Vögele plays a fun visual trick.
You need two takes to figure out that you are looking at an illustration with real feet/legs and real shoes. Somehow the eye fights this reality, trying to convince you that it is all the same; either all illustration or all “real.” A perfect example of a creative idea that has not yet been overused and therefore it delights and surprises. Which is what we want. - Tuija Seipell
Since Samsung’s well-promoted 3D TV projection on the historic Beurs van Berlage building in Amsterdam in May 2010, dozens of brands from Ralph Lauren to Mattel have dabbled in the 3D projection mapping concept. Unfortunately, many of them are not really investing in the creative which is why it all very quickly started to feel and look the same. They’ve gone down as boring and repetitive, just like the hundreds of flash mobs that had no real reason to exist. The fun and surprise factor lasts only for the first few times. The impression copycat attempts leave is boring, not creative, negative. An emotional connection with the brand is essential regardless of the medium. It is still always all about creativity, not the tools. Adidas France is succeeding here with their 3D experience.
The TCH Access Agency is busy taking it even further, planning events such as concerts, fashion shows, movies and circus performances with 3D. The technology is there, but it is the creativity that will evoke the wonder. - Bill Tikos.
Our story follows a group of Cool Hunters, evolved humans who used to live among regular humans, but as time passed, they infiltrated the global wired infrastructure system and live connected within the technology.
The Cool Hunters have adapted themselves to the challenges of the future. They are faster and more accurate at retrieving and distilling exorbitant amounts of information. As they become one with the machine, they access all and extract the essence of an idea, in mere seconds.
The Cool Hunters are connected to every one of us. They have access to all digital and analog structures. We see a glimpse of this in the first scene, as we watch a Cool Hunter looking through the machine and analyzing every detail of a young couple's life - the architecture and design of their home, their clothes, their possessions, nothing is lost on the Cool Hunters as they scan for nuggets of ideas. They live to share their findings.
If Paul Gauguin hadn't died four years before Frida Kahlo was born, one might suspect that Gavin Brown is their lovechild. Certainly his art carries the organic lushness and slight madness of Kahlo's many self-portraits and Gauguin's Polynesian-period art.
You cannot blame the Melbourne-born, 47-year-old Brown for subtlety or minimalism. His world is populated by richly colored graffiti-like images of people and situations where fleshy faces and tattooed skin compete for attention with birds, fruit and flowers. The vivid richness and underlying drama contradict each other.
The color palette is happy and lovely, but these people are not happy. There is something sinister, tormented, going on. Which of course brings us back to impressionists and the most tormented of them all, Vincent van Gogh, whose self-portraits, if combined with his sunflowers would look completely comfortable with Brown's gallery of people.
Brown has had an illustrious and multi-faceted career in fashion, film and many other forms of art and design, but his focus is on painting.
He has participated in more than 25 solo and group exhibitions. Several of his large commissions adorn the luxurious Marina Bay Sands Singapore hotel and casino. - Tuija Seipell
With its black-and-white richness and its familiar graphic themes integrated into a smooth flow, this short contemplation of the Circle of Life is stunningly beautiful. It is based on Edgar Allan Poe’s quote "The boundaries which divide life from death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?”
The film was created by Saskia Kretzschmann as part of her fifth-semester studies at the famous Anhalt University of Applied Science, in central Germany. The music is by Thomas Mayer. - Tuija Seipell
Pencils, pegboards, pins, pixels — we’ve been fascinated for a long time by the notion of creating big things from tiny parts. Hiding the image in plain site. Creating pointillist art with physical objects.
So whenever we see yet another iteration of this idea, we pay attention.
Apparently, Stockholm-based photographer Philip Karlberg has also been twirling his pencils for some time, and now all that toying has resulted in a photo shoot for Plaza Magazine.
Karlberg’s six famous sunglass wearers were created using 1,200 sticks and photographed over six days.
From top: Karl Lagerfeld - Jackie O - Lady Gaga - Johnny Depp - John Belushi
We envision using something like this for an eyeglass or sunglass brand, a movie theatre, an optometrist office. The fertile pointillist idea continues to fascinate us every time we witness the power of tiny components exploding into huge impact. - Tuija Seipell
In Christchurch, New Zealand, 10 massive optical illusion-inducing mixed-media art pieces by Mike Hewson pay homage to the former Christchurch Normal School which opened in 1876.
The building, completely renovated for apartment and retail use in 1981 and renamed Cranmer Courts, was damaged badly in the February 2012 magnitude 6.3 earthquake and it is now destined for demolition.
Before it is gone forever, Hewson wanted to pay homage to the building that used to house a vibrant community. He covered the total of 130 square meters of plywood with mixed-media images depicting artists and others who lived and worked in the building.
Private donations and Hewson's own money covered the $15,000 installation costs. New Zealand-born (in 1985) Mike Hewson is a civil engineer, graduate of Canterbury University (2007). He has worked as a civil engineer in Port Hedland in Western Australia, but has travelled regularly to New Zealand to complete works of art there. He will move permanently back to New Zealand next month and focus on his art full time. - Tuija Seipell
Fiddian-Green was at Reschio, working on a commission for the owner, Count Antonio Bolza. And, of course, the subject matter of his massive sculpture was the horse, in this case Count Antonio's favorite stallion, Punto, born and bred at Reschio.
We say "of course" because the British sculptor, who normally works at his hilltop studio near Guildford in Surrey, UK, has been obsessed with the equine head for nearly three decades.
Ever since he saw a fifth-century B.C. carving of the head of a horse of Selene from the Parthenon at the British Museum he has worked at perfecting the form of the horse's head, as well as mastering the ancient 'lost wax' technique. He works in clay, plaster, beaten lead and marble, and he oversees the casting into bronze himself.
Fiddian-Green's colossal, classically inspired equine heads are exhibited around the world in prominent locations, including 'Still water ', the 30-foot head of a drinking horse right next to the Marble Arch in London.
Celebrities have also found his work irresistible and collectors include J.K. Rowling, Ringo Starr, Tom Cruise and Russell Crowe.
Of his work at Castello Di Reschio, Fiddian-Green said in a statement: "At Reschio, I found new inspiration not only from the study of these wonderful Andalusian horses, but from the light, the smell, the hills, the sense of ancient peace that pervades the land from the days when St. Francis wandered through these hills, and before, way back to the time of the Etruscans. In fact the very air that fills this land upon which Reschio sits has ignited a new fire in my work." - Bill TIkos
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We have written about a Nike store display by the Finland-born, Amsterdam-based illustrator Kustaa Saksi before, but this time, it is his fantastical paper display at the Stockholm Furniture and Light Fair that drew our attention.
Saksi and Swedish architect Gert Wingårdh created the breathtaking display for the Fair’s third annual combined exhibition and talk show area called Hello!
The project is an initiative by the Fair to inspire and start a conversation about contemporary and future workplaces. This year’s theme was Communication.
Saksi created the intricate and delicate display from 1120 stacks of A4-size paper (total of 700,000 sheets of paper) suspended from 44,000 points in the ceiling. Ceiling frescoes, church domes, altars – these were all part of the inspiration for Saksi and Wingårdh who concluded that paper is still them most commonly used means of communication and therefor the perfect material for the display.
The Finnish forestry and paper giant Stora Enso donated the paper for the space that also hosts uses seminars and panel discussions. Tuija Seipell
Photos by Tord-Rikard Söderström
We love this particular series of abstract paintings by French artist Gerard Stricher. There is a fantastic mix of nature and industry in them.
We see waterfalls and ships at sea, cities and factories, all dynamic and slightly dangerous yet somehow limitlessly beautiful. Dreamlike, not nightmarish. Stories full of drama and feeling. Perhaps his one-time studio, an old mill in the French Vexin, has given him inspiration for some of these.
The 65 year-old abstract painter creates mostly large-scale works of vibrant color on multiple themes, including people as seen here.
Stricher has become better known in the U.S. in the past few years and he is now represented by Gallery Schwab Beaubourg in Paris and the Canfin Gallery in New York where his work will be exhibited this May. - Tuija Seipell