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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
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
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.
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
Contact: [email protected]
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
For many years, Pelletier has been researching and experimenting with methods of creating multidimensional portraits. Using his research in thermal imaging and MRI scanners as a technological basis and as inspiration, he started using Microsoft’s motion-sensing Xbox device, Kinect, to create cool artwork with a strong, edgy look.
Pelletier’s 3D images made of a sitting subject appear to be pictures of a metallic sculpture, strangely alive yet scarily cold at the same time. An updated C-3PO with a beating heart, perhaps?
Pelletier has participated in exhibitions and festivals around the world including the Netherlands, Canada, Finland, Spain, UK, US and Australia.
He is originally from Saskatchewan, Canada, and works currently at Random Studio in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. - Tuija Seipell
These designs are printed on metallic paper and mounted behind perspex for a dazzling and bold look. They can be wall mounted or free standing.
We fell immediately for the dynamic feel and dramatic colours of this image of profiles by Magnus Voll Mathiassen.
The tension and sense of occasion invites the viewer to consider and ask questions. What are they doing? What are they looking at? Where are they going? Who are they?
With this much going on the image still manages to exude a sense of cool calmness. This piece will look magnificent in many kinds of interiors from living rooms to commercial spaces.
The Drammen, Norway-based Voll Mathiassen is a graphic designer and illustrator who has done work for Nike, Sony PlayStation and Microsoft.
Filmed at sunrise on the 57th floor of 4WTC in lower Manhattan, this short film captures an extraordinary and moving performance of Christopher Wheeldon's After the Rain. It is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit, and a tribute to the future of the city that New York City Ballet calls home. Beautifully shot.
Spiegel Im Spiegel by Arvo Part
After the Rain by Christopher Wheeldon
Ask la Cour
Directed by Davi Russo
Do you really think there is an interior environment that wouldn’t be made more beautiful, more tranquil, more cool with the addition of a peaceful image of ocean scenery?
We don’t think so. Without a doubt, the cure for the visual noise and image overload in our lives comes in the form of a stunning photograph by Luke Shadbolt of the central coast of NSW.
The picture seem like an oil painting, but it is in reality an expertly composed photograph.
Imagine a quiet beach, a soft morning breeze on your skin, the scent of the ocean, the sound of the soft waves. This image will transport you to your favourite seaside places as they expand and calm down any interior with its serene atmosphere and gorgeous colours. Now, just take a deep breath and relax.
Buy it here -Exclusive to TCH store or see it in person at our Summer Lovers store in Sydney which opens this Friday (details on Friday)
More than 400 invited guests attended the opening event of The Art Hunter in Sydney on Tuesday night.
The Art Hunter launch is a collaboration between The Cool Hunter and Jaguar, and the opening night was also the Australian debut of the spectacular Jaguar C-X17 concept car.
To present The Art Hunter, we engaged our dream team of collaborators, led by the incomparable Natalie Longeon and Peter Pengly from The Artistry (they designed and executed our Summer Lovers Rotate store as well), to transform a 500 m2 warehouse in Alexandria into a genuinely exciting, temporary three-week art exhibition experience.
The Art Hunter is not a white-walled space where you quietly walk past pieces of art. Instead, it is an eclectic and vibrant environment where every wall is a different color (by our paint sponsor Taubmans), where there is no natural light and where the work of more than 40 artists, curated by us, is not only on display but also for sale.
Every one of the seven exhibit spaces has its own unique theme in addition to having its own wall and floor texture and color.
In this corner, more CJ Hendry art with Oliver Tanner sculpture and floor designed by Hollie Martin.
The incredible artwork of CJ Hendry-all hand drawn by pen – drew much attention via Instagram even before her public debut at The Art Hunter. Five of the six works shown, were pre-sold before the opening night. (CJ Hendry is now exlusively represented by TCH)
At every turn, The Art Hunter surprises by serving up powerful, stunning art, capable of turning heads in any environment, from private residences to public spaces.
And to further prove the point that art does not need to presented in a boring, bland environment, we engaged Joe Crossley to create an incredible pattern with tape on the concrete floor.
The video room at The Art Hunter has a continuous show of five videos by different artists but you need to visit The Art Hunter to find out who they are!
The visual artists represented at The Art Hunter include both well-established masters and startling new discoveries, such as CJ Hendry. Other artists involved include Stephen Oramndy, Dorryce Rock, Daniel Hollier, Phil James, Friends With You, Paul Ryan and Jasper Knight to name a few.
I would like to thank Jaguar for making this all possible. It is incredibly rewarding to work with an iconic brand like Jaguar and to create an environment that is truly worth experiencing. And, of course, the Jaguar C-X17 is beyond incredible.
Matthew Beaven, Jaguar’s Chief Designer, Exteriors, Advanced Design, flew in from London to host the evening with us.
At The Art Hunter, the Jaguar C-X17 concept car and brand positioning – How Alive Are You? was brought to life by TThe Creative Shop through the use of both audio and visual stimulus. Entering the room to hear a solid heartbeat that increased in speed and tempo, all the while visualising this through red pulse graphics on the walls, helped to create an immersive experience that demonstrated that the Jaguar C-X17 is a living and breathing machine.
I also want to thank our creative producers The Artistry specifically. I have never worked with a team of people who so enthusiastically showed so much interest and care in everything they do. The attention to detail, the design and execution, the construction of our enormous set, the managing of the food and drinks of the launch evening - every single detail was executed to an extraordinary level of professionalism. I am so lucky to be working with them.
In this space, the floor was created by Tania De Bono of #thewritings and the photograph is by Nick Samartis.
The confession room designed by Hendrik Gericke where people walk into a neon-lit room to write a confession and share it on the wall.
Neon art in this space is paired with the Rainbow Trooper by Super Future Kid.
At the opening, we also had incredible edible food art provided by the talented team of Studio Neon with Andy Warhol soup cans for serving fermentad tomato gazpacho with prawns. Large terracotta pots with zucchini flowers, goats cheese hazelenut and honey and vegetable puree served as edible paint. And of course, we had the best mobile bar staff in Sydney with the Trolleyd boys along with our partners, Peroni, Nakd Water from NZ, Grey Goose, Karma Kola, Bombay Sapphire, Milagro Tequila.
The Art Hunter – open for three weeks only at
90-96 Bourke Road
Alexandria (directly opposite the Grounds)
Mondays - CLOSED
Tue-Fri - Midday until 8pm
Sat & Sun - 10am - 4pm
Want to see more? Use the hashtag #thearthunter on instagram to see everyone’s images.
The Art Hunter is The Cool Hunter’s latest, and so far the largest, offline experiential endeavour. It started with two The Cool House wildly successful temporary boutiques in Sydney and Melbourne in 2012, followed by The Cool Hunter ‘Rotate” Summer Lovers store in Sydney in 2013, and now in 2014, The Art Hunter
We can do much more with brands. If you have a corporate event, product launch, fashion show, or other happening in mind the near future, let us know. We have not only the ideas, but also the teams to make your next event a stunner. Want The Art Hunter in your city - get in contact?
We discovered Australian artist CJ Hendry through her Instagram account and were immediately blown away by her work. Armed with only paper and pen, she creates magnificent, photorealistic black-and-white images in large format. Her subjects are generally high-end fashion objects, such as a Hermes scarf or a Louis Vuitton horse head, but they can also be other inanimate objects including sculls and guns.
The pieces are mesmerizing visual objects in their own right, but once you realize they are created by just pen and ink, you really start to appreciate the skill and patience involved.
We are very happy to be the first to introduce her work to the world at large. We are usually pretty good at knowing when we have found a winner, and we know she’s one.
All six of her pieces were sold prior to the opening of The Art Hunter in Sydney and all via Instagram.
CJ Hendry’s creative process starts with selecting an object, or in some cases the objects selects her and she becomes obsessed with it to the point of having to create an image of it in ink. She then photographs the object in different positions and lighting, sometimes taking more than 100 images. She looks for a strong contrast with negative space that then draws the focus onto the object itself.
She selects the image that evokes a sense of simplicity and balance, or that in her words “shows off” the item the best. She then prints a black-and-white image and creates a grid on a large sheet of Arches paper. She spends sometimes more than 200 hours painstakingly creating the final piece using only black UniPin pens
Having dropped out of two university programs, the former almost-Olympic-level swimmer (she just missed the Athens Olympics and left full-time swimming after that) has now found a satisfying life to channel her creativity, mental endurance and obsession with fashion.
CJ explains: “The main reason I am so obsessed with expansive white backgrounds and highly detailed objects was through my early years of studying architecture. I was completely obsessed with the large plans with perfect lines, and this is where I was introduced to the black UniPin pens. I was not very good on the computer so I drew all my plans for all the assignments and drew detailed renderings of the buildings. The lecturers were not happy with me because I wasn’t using CAD and said I better learn, so I dropped out.”
CJ Hendry does not do private commissions and is exclusively represented by TCH. We will be having 4 shows a year of CJ Hendry's work in the coming next 12 months. Subscribe to our newsletetter to be updated.
Do you really think there is an interior environment that wouldn’t be made more beautiful, more tranquil, more cool with the addition of a peaceful image of ocean scenery?
We don’t think so. Without a doubt, the cure for the visual noise and image overload in our lives comes in the form of a stunning photograph by Luke Shadbolt of the central coast of NSW in Australia.
The picture seem like an oil painting, but it is in reality an expertly composed photograph.
Imagine a quiet beach, a soft morning breeze on your skin, the scent of the ocean, the sound of the soft waves. This image will transport you to your favourite seaside places as they expand and calm down any interior with its serene atmosphere and gorgeous colours. Now, just take a deep breath and relax.
Buy it here - Exclusive to TCH store
Francoise Nielly's massive, colorful 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.
Six of her prints are available exclusively through TCH online store - 1000mm x 1000ml & 1200mm x 1200 metallic print on acrylic.
CJ Hendry is an exceptionally talented artist. Plain and simple. She has blown us away and created a major reaction among the art-buying public.
Her large-scale, black-and-white, pen-on-paper images are simply astonishing. They are so incredibly detailed and perfect that it is hard to believe that they are in fact unique, one-of-a-kind works of art, and not reproductions of a photograph.
CJ Hendry’s creative process starts with the selection of the object, continues with taking more than 100 photographs of the object to discover the shadows and angles that best present the object, and then starts the painstaking two-week process of transferring the selected image onto paper with a pen, one scrible at a time.
We have never seen work like hers, and we have never ever encountered a response similar to what the reaction to her incredible work has been. And we are now her exclusive agents.
As soon as we post an image of one of her pieces on Instagram, it is reserved and sold in a few hours.
We have written about her work before, and were the first to show her work at our art exhibition in Sydney
But her current project of creating massive (1.8 x 2.4 m), photo-realistic, original pen-on-paper works of shopping bags of iconic brands – from Tom Ford and Hermes to Lanvin and Chanel - really has had us gasping for air.
Each piece is absolutely stunning and art buyers are competing to own them. Each piece is painstakingly drawn by CJ Hendry with only pen and ink. Each takes about two weeks to complete and there will be only one of each image.
The series of IT Bags will include 12-15 bags in total. Serious art collectors get in contact
CJ Hendry is exclusively represented by thecoolhunter.
We are planning CJ Hendry's first solo show in December, but want to give you a preview of some of the work we will be showcasing.
Penfolds Grange Hermitage 105 x 155 (sold)
Pool balls - 1 through to 15 - 60cm x 60cm - framed
All the pool balls have been sold - to pre-purchase the others, please get in touch.
Old School soccer ball (sold)
3 x Cricket Balls - 60cm x 60cm - framed
Golf Ball (sold)
Nike Soccer Ball - 120cm x 120cm - Framed (sold)
Basketball - 120cm x 120cm - Framed (sold)
We arranged for CJ Hendry to meet Kanye West on the last leg of his Australian tour. She presented him with his very own hand-drawn US$100 bank note
Cj Hendry is exclusively represented by thecoolhunter.
Current issue of Vogue Living
Our most recent artistic pick is Milan-based, London-educated artist and sculptor, Benedetta Mori Ubaldini.
There is something strangely intriguing and mesmerizing about her chicken-wire sculptures.
Trying to put our finger on it, we came up with more than a few explanations why we love these so much.
One appealing aspect is that they look somehow unfinished and raw. The wire frame is usually the part of a sculpture we do not see. It is not the final product. And yet, these airy and lightweight pieces seem to lack nothing at all. They are very much finished and completed.
And the lightness and weightlessness, that floating feel, is another endearing quality. These pieces seem to be almost nonexistent. Barely there. About to disintegrate and vanish.
And that fleeting property of Ubaldini’s work is yet another reason why we cannot take our eyes off them. Something sneaky, shady, secretive and sly. Maybe even a bit evil and sinister. Maybe we shouldn’t be seeing these ephemeral sculpture innards at all?
Ubaldini’s work has graced store windows, art galleries and event spaces in many countries, and two of her smaller pieces are even on sale at Magis Me Too as decorations for children’s rooms.
In their incredible simplicity, her wire-frame, 3D-pieces leave us much room to interpret and come up with our own viewpoint. Is it good or bad, happy or sad, fun or sinister, serious or just plain playful junk?
For some reason, we want to take this artwork very seriously. We want her to do larger installations. Massive worlds and environments.
After all, if an artist’s work gives us reason to ponder, consider and think, it has given us the best gift art can give us. - Tuija Seipell.
New and old Berliners, together with the entire world, will take to the streets on November 9, the global 25th Anniversary celebration of the Fall of the Wall in 1989.
The city, its citizens and friends will participate in the joyous events that commemorate the Peaceful Revolution. Among the key projects are the web portal Fall of the Wall 25 where everyone is welcome to post their memories, opinions and thoughts about the world-changing event.
Another project is a concept called Lichtgrenze by artists Christopher and Marc Bauder. It is a row of 8,000 white luminous balloons creating a 15-kilometre Border of Light, that will mark the former course of the Wall and divide the inner city of Berlin from Bornholmer Strasse to Mauerpark and the Berlin Wall Memorial on Bernauer Strasse to the Reichstag, past the Brandenburg Gate and Checkpoint Charlie to the East Side Gallery. - Tuija Seipell.
Those of you who are regular TCH readers know of CJ Hendry already. She is the extraordinary pen-and-ink artist whose work we fell in love with and then introduced to the public, first through Instagram and then at our Art Hunter temporary art experience in Sydney that we hosted with Jaguar.
The success of her work has been absolutely phenomenal, and for a good reason. Nothing compares to the mesmerising result of her painstaking work. Each image appears to be an enlargement of a black-and-white photograph, except that it isn’t. It is a one-of-a-kind, hand-drawn piece of art.
Since the first images of her meticulous work were published on Instagram, CJ Hendry has been exclusively represented by thecoolhunter.
She started her series of images of playing cards, one image per crumpled card, and we posted one of the cards on Instagram a week ago. Since then, more than 40 cards have been sold.
We are in the planning stages of introducing the cards – and other CJ Hendry exclusive artworks – at a live space in Sydney or Melbourne next month, but we cannot reveal the details just yet. Keep an eye on The Cool Hunter for final specifics.
We are also planning a show of her work in New York for summer 2015.
Each card is 60cm x 60cm framed - To pre order before the show email [email protected]
****UPDATE - All 54 cards have now been sold via our Instagram in 5 days*****
We first discovered CJ Hendry hyper-realistic drawings at the end of last year and were stunned immediately.
In early April this year we launched the Art Hunter in Sydney in conjunction with Jaguar and introduced CJ Hendry’s work as one of the featured elements of the occasion. Her reputation took off like a rocket and her work is selling out at record time.
For those who have just discovered The Cool Hunter or CJ Hendry, here’s some of the background story.
Her rise is extraordinary in the art world as it has all happened in just six short months. It is a testament to her talent and once again, a testament also to what we call “The Cool Hunter Effect.” We hear about it all the time. How careers have taken off, reputations have been established, sales taken off because we have featured their work on The Cool Hunter.
We are happy to be the catalyst and supporter of excellent work, but CJ Hendry is unusual even among the ones we’ve supported before. So much so, that we became her exclusive agents/gallery.
And we HAVE supported her from the start because we saw the striking talent and the strong appeal of her old-school hand-drawn artistry in today’s technology-heavy world.
A few days prior to opening the Art Hunter, we posted an image of one of CJ Hendry’s works on Instagram to introduce her as one of the many artists we’ve been showcasing.
Within a few hours, we had received more than 50 enquiries from international buyers wanting to buy the piece we just posted. We did the same thing the following day and posted a different image and continued that a few days in a row. The result: All of her works were sold BEFORE we even opened The Art Hunter!
And this is how 90% of CJ’s work have been selling ever since. We recently introduced her playing card series, also on Instagram, and sold out the entire set within five days. All 54 cards, including two Jokers
Her $50K Fashion IT Bag series sold out. Her Boxing gloves were sold to a buyer in Saudia Arabia, the Nike ball went to London, the basketball to an employer at Apple in San Francisco. Even Kanye West now has one of CJ’s pieces.
Her mailing list now exceeds 1000, all serious potential buyers wanting to know what’s next.
So, to market her work further, we have wanted to take a new route, to continue to do things differently. To put an extraordinary talent into the boring same-old, white-walled art-gallery setting somehow just did not make sense to us. Her work deserved to be the talk of the town, an event, a happening, a celebration.
We decided to showcase her work in a private home in Sydney - a perfect match to her talent. After a long period of scouting, we found the incredible house that fits the style of CJ Hendry’s work impeccably.
It is a two-storey warehouse in Surry Hills converted to what is possibly Sydney’s coolest house. Home to a young savvy entrepreneur who likes to entertain, the house features its own private nightclub complete with gold bar, see-through glass smoking room, four bedrooms/bathrooms, a pool that looks into the nightclub and a super impressive sound system.
Plus a sleeping pod shaped like a UFO - the owner’s bedroom. The house alone offers limitless talking points, yet it served perfectly as the background for CJ’s pieces. They literally belong there. Neither overpowers the other, both the art and the house get to shine, they are flawlessly aligned.
Opening night was a huge success with over 500 people turning up to an art event they hadn’t experienced before - all being driven to and from the space courtesy of Uber.
The CJ Hendry art show residence was open only for four days to the public (4 Dec - 7 Dec). All the works sold out, 95% were sold before we even opened the doors and only 3 were available on opening night which were snapped up fast.
The gold bar in the private nightclub with flowers by Melbourne based florist FLEURS who we flew up for the event to create flower installations within the space. The gold flowers on the bar were sprayed 24 carat gold.
Pool balls, gold sofa and gold flowers.
Cj's sports artworks
The entrance to the private nightclub was a perfect setting to display Cj's playing card and pool ball series.
The bathroom in the private nightclub.
We had 2 large grazing tables that our talented event stylist Natalie Longheon had created.
The food was the talk of the night, super quality provided by the Louis Vuitton of butchers - Victor Churchill in Woollahra and incredible cheeses by Salt Meat Cheese in Alexandria. Mud Australia provided the plate ware
Guests admiring the detail in CJ Hendry’s work
Admirers taking selfies in front of CJ’s work.
A huge thanks to our sponsors: Penfolds wine, Ciroc Vodka, San Pellegrino, Peroni, Rekorderlig Cider.
Up close and personal
"Can you believe this is an actual drawing” was the most overheard comment of the night.
- In March 2015, we’ll be showcasing CJ’s new works in Melbourne in yet another exceptional, un-gallery space.
- And Summer 2015, we’ll show more of CJ’s works in New York City and Art Basel Miami.
- CJ is exclusively represented by TCH. To be updated on CJ’s upcoming works and to get on her mailing list, send an email to - [email protected]
Photos by David Wheeler and Damien Milan.
Pen of Paper artist CJ Hendry Debut solo show in Sydney.
Pen on Paper Artist CJ Hendry Debut Solo Show, Sydney
Contextually it’s pivotal, an artistic exploration of the metaphysical, developed in the digital; all rhymes aside, Los Angeles based artist Anthony Gargasz,’s new collection ‘Metallic Faces’ simply cannot be ignored for these three reasons.
Fifteen years ago there was no such thing as ‘Photoshop art’. The thought that art could be generated on computers would have made traditionalists cringe.
However, what Anthony has managed to achieve by using his background in digital design is breathtaking and its art in the finest sense of the word.
His work is far more than simply ‘generated’, instead it’s an array of elaborate details carefully constructed, layer upon layer to create clean and unique imagery.
Anthony follows the exact same artistic progression as somebody who paints, sculpts or draws yet the main point of difference is that his tools are a keyboard, mouse and drawing tablet.
Essentially it’s digital collaging and in the same way architects and other designers are moving into the technological age, so are artists. This is why Anthony’s work holds such contextual importance because he is using such a widely spread platform in a unique manner to create beautiful one-of-a-kind pieces.
It’s a process which has allowed him to collaborate with the likes of Paramount Pictures, VH1, Sony Pictures and Nickelodeon; designing key art.
His work does what good art should do, it takes familiarity and makes you question it. In relation to ‘metallic faces’ he uses the familiar organic form of the human head, giving it mechanical and architectural qualities.
There is a real juxtaposition of the familiar and unfamiliar in this collection. In one sense the overall form is clearly a human face yet then you begin to question if it really is as you study all the small details that hold similar properties to a luxury car design, e.g. liquid fluidity and metallic solidity.
In many ways these pieces are on a similar frequency to Joseph Kosinski’s 2010 remake of the 1982 hit ‘Tron’. Kosinski used objects people would be familiar with, however repurposed them, gave them digital qualities and this in turn forced the viewer to consider what life could be like in the not too distant future.
Anthony Gargasz has done exactly this by repurposing the human face and giving it digital qualities.
Another unique aspect of Anthony’s work is the movement each piece seems to have, despite it being a still print. Each individual element meticulously flows into another through a variance of colors, shadows and tones; as to suggest some sort of motion far beyond being passive.
It’s more than just a series of conversation pieces, in fact each piece appears to be having an internal conversation with itself. How each element comes together and blends strikes a chord with the way music is composed or some sort of digital brain-storming process.
Is this collection the story of a bionic man? Is it some sort of futuristic exploration? Perhaps it’s a representation of how complex the human form is, either way the beauty is in looking at each piece and trying to decipher its true intention for yourself.
Anthony Gargasz has well and truly found his way onto the list of The Cool Hunters favourite artists and has been commissioned to complete three very impressive prints. Purchase from our online store here - David Mousa.
Solitary confinement, food, high end design, prisoners on death-row, final meals, twenty-four hours, and fifty days. It sounds like the subplot for a quirky action film yet instead it’s actually an artistic collision of the senses, represented through beautiful one-of-a-kind hand drawn art.
“50 foods in 50 days” is CJ Hendry’s newest collection and it’s a bold endeavour for an artist who continues to deliver the unexpected.
Time has placed zero artistic boundaries on quality. The fact that each piece is completed in a 24 hour time frame is truly amazing.
The realness of each piece can bring about a reminiscence of a time or place in which a food held personal significance.
Contextually it’s a far more relevant way of connecting art lovers with art and it adds a theatrical element to the art viewing experience.
What began with the question “if you were a death-row prisoner, what would your final meal be?”, resulted in CJ being confined to a room for 50 days straight. Jailed by her own artistic ambitions in order to complete the ambitious task at hand.
This was the birth of ’50 foods in 50 days’ and so far 48 of the 50 artworks have already been sold. - David Mousa.
CJ’s Melbourne exhibition is expected to be a completely different experience to her highly successful Sydney show in Dec, 2014. It opens March 27 in Melbourne and will be active for three weeks. In the mean time for those who want a taste of the collection visit CJ’s Instagram page @cj_hendry and for purchasing enquiries [email protected]
A New York show is planned for Summer 2015. Cj Hendry is exclusively represented by thecoolhunter.
The work of an extraordinary artistic talent such as CJ Hendry deserves and demands more than plain white walls for its showcase.
That was the approach The Cool Hunter took right from the beginning with her meticulous hand-drawn art work.
TCH first introduced her in Sydney, Australia, as part of the Art Hunter experience in conjunction with Jaguar.
This was followed by her first solo presentation, a four-day exclusive art and food reception at a private luxury residence in Sydney.
Following that successful sell out debut, TCH has just launched CJ Hendry’s 50 Foods in 50 Days Gourmet Experience in Melbourne.
Every one of CJ Hendry’s pieces has been sold out prior to the three events, and such was the case with 50 Foods in 50 Days as well. Each of the 50 square black-and-white hand-drawn pieces, depicting photo-realistic French designer plates with various food items, was sold as soon as the series was announced. The hunger for her art seems to be insatiable!
The CJ Hendry Gourmet Art Experience takes place from March 27 to April 12 at 166 Gertrude Street in Fitzroy, Melbourne’s most interesting neighbourhood. The space used to be a paint store until Kalex Boutique Property Development transformed it into an event space.
To create an arresting milieu for the art and the food, The Cool Hunter briefed its go-to event designer extraordinaire, Sydney-based Natalie Longheon, to create a minimal monochrome gourmet food store stocked with the best packaged food products from Australia and around the world.
As usual, Natalie more than delivered. Dramatic black envelopes the viewer and draws all attention to the mesmerizing art and intriguing gourmet food. The dramatic launch event build and production was by Moth Design.
Catering for our opening was by Melbourne’s best caterer, Georgina Damm from Damm Fine Food. Black cones filled with Parmesan and horseradish gelato topped with caviar and flowers.
Coffee is provided by Melbourne’s coffee tasting specialists at Sensory Lab who created a pop up coffee store for the duration of the CJ Hendry experience.
Photography by Peter Tarasiuk.
CJ Hendry Gourmet Art Experience
166 Gertrude St
27 March - 12 April
Tue to Friday - 12pm - 8pm
Sat/Sun - 10am - 4pm
Closed Good Friday and Easter Sunday - open Easter Saturday
Phenomenal. Mind-boggling. Exhilarating. Exhausting. The success of CJ Hendry’s art is all of these. The Cool Hunter’s most recent CJ Hendry event, the 2.5-week Melbourne 50-plates and food art experience out did all of our previous successes with her meticulously hand-drawn, one-of-a-kind drawings.
But the unstoppable CJ Hendry is already making here next move. A move to New York, no less. The Cool Hunter will be there with her to create a special event unlike any we’ve created before. To celebrate her American debut, she’s drawn an American flag.
You are seeing it now, If you want it, react immediately and contact us with your bid. This is an auction, open from now till Monday, April 20, 2015, 11 pm New York time.
Includes delivery globally
Buren, known for his use of bold stripes in his installations, cooperated in this work with French architect Patrick Bouchain.
As his inspiration Buren used the ideas of Friedrich Wilhelm August Fröbel (1782-1852), the German pedagogue who created the concept – and word - of kindergarten.
A large room on the museum’s first floor is now a colorful miniature city where the guests, adults and kids alike, can walk and play and interact with the many shapes.
The installation aims to celebrate the relationship between the museum the institution and its guests, the community.
We love the intriguing vistas, the complete lack of text or explanation, the honest openness of the invitation to enter, explore and play . - Tuija Seipell.
At some point in time within the space of your existence you’ve imagined escaping, not to any place in particular, just merely escaping from everything you know. Winding down the windows and setting yourself loose with reckless abandonment. It’s that moment where the thrill of the moment far outweighs the thought of the final destination, a feeling that’s so unnatural within the day to day psyche
Commissioned by The Cool Hunter, this stunning and unique photo by LA based photographer Jared Chambers is reminiscent of that exact feeling. Art is intended to evoke an emotion and this piece does exactly that sitting on your wall reminding you to take a walk on the wild side every now and again.
Limited Edition of 50 - Purchase here
We love design, architecture and art that exudes confidence, strength, character and drama. We love pieces that make a bold statement; that can stand alone.
Unsurprisingly, we’ve fallen for the photography work of the multi-talented American Sarah McColgan.
We have now commissioned her to create a series of photo portraits of horses exclusively for The Cool Hunter, and we are happy to introduce the first one of the series here.
The strength, stillness and sheer power of the black-and-white portrait is iconic. There is no way one can ignore this in a room.
Numerous other prestigious brands and publications have recognized Sarah McColgan’s talent. Her work has appeared, for example, in Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, Rolling Stone and In Style.
And brands, including NFL, Pepsi and Pantene have also used her images in their campaigns.
She has also worked with many stars, including Heidi Klum, Beyonce, Kelly Ripa, Sheryl Crow, Mary J Blige and Bruce Springsteen.
Mesmerizing, intriguing, stunning, elegant. We could not stop staring at this enchanting photographic image of a bubble by Mathieu Missiaen and so we had to have it.
The image is called “Bubble” but we keep seeing all sorts of strange worlds in it. This piece has all the hallmarks of an eye-catching conversation piece. It does stand out. It will be noticed in whatever space you’ll hang it.
In addition, it has a hypnotizing effect. In its enigmatic core there appears to be an explanation. If you just look at it long enough, you will solve the puzzle. You will figure it out. You will see something in it. You will know how it was created.
And yet, you don’t really want to know.
We are usually pretty tough on facts. We want to know the details, but in this case, we do not want to know. It would break the spell. We just want to stare.
Buy it online here
We are excited to announce that CJ Hendry is working on another super-cool, exclusive series of hand-drawn images: The Alphabet!
Never one to take the easy way out, she has chosen to draw shiny, metallic helium balloons.
Drawing anything with just a pen is tough enough - impossible formost of us - but to draw massive photographic images of reflective 3D objects is incredible!
But in her typical low-key fashion, CJ Hendry says she decided to create the alphabet series from a set of shiny balloons because she "just likes the mirror effect and the reflection of the balloons, but mostly because it's just fun!"
Only one image of each letter will be available plus two special characters: $ (dollar sign) and & (ampersand).
She has just started drawing the images and half of them are already sold! If you are interested, contact us;
Framed size: 90cm x 90cm
Even in phone-screen size, this image of a tranquil field of lupins in the volcanic moonscape of Iceland looks incredibly beautiful.
Blown up to oversize poster proportions, the same view is absolutely mesmerizing with its magical sense of undisturbed, cool silence.
In Lupins Mountain, in a dramatic contrast to the other image we feature by him – Chasing Epic – photographer Jared Chambers shows off his ability to capture different moods perfectly.
As a decorative centerpiece, Lupins Mountain works in an amazing variety of interiors. In a soft pastel-toned environment, it adds to the feel of tranquility yet holds its own as a center of attention rather than fading into the background.
In more dramatic and stark surroundings, it adds a surprising contrast of colour and softness, while also exuding strength, power and drama.
Limited Edition of 50.
French minimalist conceptual artist, Daniel Buren has since the 1960s been known for his stripes and bold colours. Temporary, bold, wide stripes created by Buren have graced the walls of – and transformed the spaces themselves - at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Picasso Museum, in Paris, for example. Permanently, Buren’s stripes adorn a bridge in Bilbao and the Palais-Royal in Paris, stunning his critics who have implied that his work is not art at all.
In Naples, at the Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Donnaregina (The Madre museum), an installation and solo exhibition by Buren opened a month ago (and will stay open till early July 2017). Axer / Désaxer. Lavoro in situ, 2015, Madre, Napoli – #2, curated by Andrea Viliani and Eugenio Viola, was commissioned to celebrate the museum’s first decade of activity and to highlight the relationship between the museum and the community.
This installation is the second of two commissioned by the Madre on this occasion. The first, Come un gioco da bambini. Lavoro in situ, 2014–2015, Madre, Napoli – #1, will close at the end of February 2016.
Axer / Désaxer was created specifically for the atrium of the museum building, the 19th-century palazzo Donnaregina located in the historical centre of Naples.
Walls painted in bold, warm colours of orange and yellow dominate the installation that includes mirrors and Buren’s famous 8.7-cm-thick black-and-white stripes that cover part of the floor, suggesting an unusual escape route and the street outside.
The description of the installation says that the artist has created “… an area of perceptual and cognitive mobility, of vision, mediation, mutual attraction and communion, in which interior and exterior, museum and community penetrate into each other and merge. Each visitor is thus welcomed and invited, literally at a glance, to be a part of the work, to actively participate in the relation it celebrates between the institutional sphere and public dynamics.”
In our view (and in plain language), the Axer / Désaxer installation acts as an art installation in itself while creating a happy, welcoming and whimsical entry point into the museum. - Tuija Seipell.
To take people on a completely new journey while doing what you have come to be admired for is a creative’s dream. The latest piece by New York-based artist CJ Hendry is an epic example of just that.
She’s bought a pair of Nike AirMags for $9,000, dipped them in black paint, photographed them and then hand-drawn a massive nine-foot black-and white piece of it. She’ll auction it off in Miami at Scope Art Fair and with 100% of the profits she and The Cool Hunter are purchasing shoes for children in New York.
Yes it's still thousands of scribbles on a page, yes it's a hand-drawn enlargement of a high-end fashion item, and yes it's the same flawless attention to detail that we'd associate with CJ's work. Yet within this piece there are many cool firsts we haven't seen before.
For instance, CJ has never produced a piece that illustrates movement like this. As the paint drips off the shoes and pools at the bottom of the image, it evokes images of much greater issues. In many ways it mimics an oil spill tarnishing an irreplaceable commodity.
Also worth reflection was the outrage of some sneaker fanatics when rumors of CJ dipping the Nike AirMags in a bucket of black paint surfaced on social media.
Such a reaction is true to the time we live in, when sneaker culture and being a sneakerhead is no longer a hobby but a near-religion. To sneakerheads their collection of shoes is their holy book and each piece is like a part of scripture. When you consider CJ's bold statement in this light, it was essentially the ultimate act of blasphemy. Sneakerheads, movie fanatics and fashionistas alike have dreamt for thirty years of owning these shoes, ever since 1985 when Michael J. Fox took us back to a future that we now live in.
Not everybody can own a pair of AirMags though, even if you did have a lazy $9,000 laying around. With only 1500 pairs ever made, finding your size and a seller is a near-impossible task. This makes destroying them seem even more like the ultimate act of insanity.
But as controversial as this piece may be, there is an equal amount of generosity attached to it. CJ and The Cool Hunter will be donating 100% of the profits to charity in the form of sneakers to those less fortunate than ourselves. Instantly, this work goes from being far more than just an outrageous conversation piece.
Instead, it inspires discussion on important and socially challenging questions and at the time, attempts to do something that helps. Would you have dipped the shoes in paint? How much do material items really mean to you? At what price would you destroy something so rare and cherished? And most importantly, would you destroy that item if it meant you could be helping many people far less fortunate than yourself?
In essence CJ has taken an expensive, highly valued and sought-after item, devalued it and then transformed it into a valuable commodity – much-needed footwear - to help those who are less fortunate.
There's no affiliation with Nike, the shoes are very real and the possibilities as to how many people can be helped rely squarely on how much someone is willing to pay for this career-defining piece when it goes up for auction at her upcoming Miami show.
They say you can't understand a person's journey until you've walked a thousand miles in their shoes. This transformation of Nike AirMags is an attempt to help in that understanding.