April 26, 2012

Postcards from Italy

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July 29, 2010

Beyond the Pyramid

Pic-What-Are-We-Eating-via-psfk

ThePerfectPour-via-twbe

Also: What America Spends on Food and Drink & The 20 Most Caffeinated Cities in the U.S.

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July 25, 2010

Periodic Update

I’ve recently come across several periodic table-style infographics lately, though none of them seem to do justice to the Periodic Table of Elements, which is organized, well, scientifically—by nuclear protons and valence electrons. Thus, the biggest problem with arranging curses, typefaces and Mad Men trivia in the iconic castle-shaped schematic is simply the fact that Mendeleev’s original diagram is organized by the realities of the physical world—where the empirical properties of the elements dictate their atomic numbers and layout—while none of the data tabulated in the following infographics has a similar logic flow.

periodic-table-of-swearing-uk-by-modern-toss-via-boingboing

periodical-typeface-table-via-twbe

Periodic Table of Mad Men

One more for good measure (I guess this trend dates back to this March): The Periodic Table to End All Periodic Tables

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July 11, 2010

World Cup 2010, Visually

All in all, I thought that the both sides played well in the final—I’m tempted to draw a comparison to the NBA finals, which was equally physical, not to mention prolonged for the teams’ defensive prowess and perhaps even grueling to the point of ennui, yet entertaining nonetheless. Contrary to the subtext of recent imagery, I was hoping that David Villa, the Creative Force in Spain’s Attack, would pull through with the epic overtime clincher, though Iniesta’s execution was also worthy of, say, Donovan.

w37_24296885-via-bostons-big-picture

  • Boston.com’s Big Picture photoblog documented the excitement over four dramatic chapters. The well-curated selection of superlative photos is coherent (and readily minable) with a palpable narrative arc: in a word, beautiful.

radialbracket1

michael-deal-for-umbro-wc2010-infographic-via-designboom

multicultural-sports-550x285-via-flowing-data

O'Keeffe-esque

O'Keeffe-esque

Plus:

w01_24018461

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June 6, 2010

Items

guggenheim-tilt-shift-by-bryan-solarski-via-good

I’ve mentioned tilt shift photography before, but it continues to blow my mind.

…it gives the viewer a sense of being in a smaller world, a bit like the way the world looks to a kid.

–Bryan Solarski, GOOD Picture Show, June 2 2010

Equally amazing: photos of the semi-dystopian ruins of Kowloon & Battleship Island & Kowloon (below) (Dark Roasted Blend via Boing Boing)

kowloon-via-dark-roasted-blend

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howlawsmadeWIRTH2

The “How Our Laws Are Made” infographic above is well-executed and fairly clear, if a little busy (GOOD); the Pulp Fiction one below is neat but, as one commenter points out, the story makes more sense the way it unfolds per Tarantino’s script (Flowing Data).

pulp-fiction-infographic-by-dehahs

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Art vs. Art:

greater-new-york-via-nytimes

Greater New York at PS1: I only got around to seeing about half of the exhibit when I stopped by PS1 last week, but I’m sure I’ll have many opportunities to revisit and engage with the work over the next few months, especially once Warm-Up is underway. Nevertheless, I would imagine that Greater New York stands for everything that Jeff Koons’ BMW Art Car (below) is not. (NYT)

bmw-art-car-jeff-koons-paris-1-via-arrested-motion

That said, I thought that Koons’ art car (unveiled at the Centre Pompidou) turned out fine, though I was a little disappointed to learn that “the design isn’t actually painted on the car; it’s a vinyl wrap covered with two layers of clear coat. BMW says the wrap was lighter than paint and it could be applied much more quickly. That was a key consideration because Koons had just two months to complete the project.” (Wired)

via Animal

See also: Image gallery of previous BMW art cars via Wikipedia.
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May 28, 2010

Cartographic Design

mta-subway-map-2010-via-nyt
It’s no secret that I love maps, though my ambivalence about the MTA applies to their newly revised NYC subway map—the first major update since 1998—set to launch in the next month. In any case, the New York Times has an interactive feature on old vs. new (only the new map is pictured above).

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Chinese Globe

Chinese Globe

The Daily Mail has a feature on ““Ten of the greatest: Maps that changed the world,” in conjunction with an eponymous exhibition at the British Library. (via Freakonomics Blog)

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neighborhood-flags-array-via-good-mag

In other geography-related news, GOOD has posted the submissions to their open call for ‘Neighborhood Flags‘; unsurprisingly, the majority of them represent the likes of Portland, New York, boroughs in the Golden State (Nor- and So-)… and Minneapolis? (via FreeWilliamsburg)

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Be On Guard! - also via Daily Mail

Be On Guard! - also via Daily Mail

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May 26, 2010

Assorted Links

UPDATED, one last time before midnight.

Os Gemeos & Blu (Works in Progress) in Lisbon

Os Gemeos & Blu (Works in Progress) in Lisbon

Street art’s symbiotic relationship with the Web makes you wonder whether the genre’s broad popularity stems from the fact that its characteristic features—swift execution, quicksilver response to pop culture and politics, the dominance of quotation and commentary, snarky attitude, fragmented statements embedded in the world rather than meant to stand apart from it—actually reflect the way that plugged-in people process information, more so than “traditional” art. There is something particularly contemporary about street art’s whole M.O., in this sense.

–Ben Davis, Is Street Art Over?, Slate, May 26 2010 (Highly recommended)

Fresh Stuff from Ron English in Queens

Fresh Stuff from Ron English in Queens

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Two perspectives on Marina:

She and MoMA have brought some magic back into art—the sort of magic that all of our courses in art history and appreciation had encouraged us to hope for.

–Arthur C. Danto, Sitting with Marina, The Stone blog on NYT, May 23 2010

There are euphoric moments and then intensely sad feelings of heaviness. Whatever you’re feeling becomes intensified. Certain truths about things I need to fix in my life are revealed to me. Marina says that in her own life she’s not so disciplined—that the performance gives her structure.

–Deborah Wing-Sproul, The Performer Made Bare, NYMag, May 23 2010

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prokhorov-bloomberg-jayz-via-espn

[As Prokhorov] explained to “60 Minutes,” “I don’t use a computer. We have too much information and it’s really impossible to filter it.”

You know what? He’s not necessarily wrong. Do we REALLY need all this information? Like, right now—you’re reading this column and hopefully enjoying it, but ultimately, could you have survived the weekend if you missed it? I say yes. Just about everything online fits that mold—you have to sift through loads of bad writing and irrelevant information to find the occasional entertaining/funny/interesting thing, and even then, it’s not something that’s making or breaking your week. Ever been on a vacation and had little-to-no Internet access that week? You survived, right? Maybe the big Russian is on to something.

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Candy-Darling-by-Peter-Hujar-via-huffpo

Candy reminds us of the postmodern notion of self-creation—the way we don social signifiers with the same ease as clothing, constructing our selves bit by bit from cultural cues and images. Rather than the solid frameworks we cast them as, our selves are more like sweaters we put on and take off. When it comes to social identity, we’re all a wee bit in drag.

–Caroline Hagood, New Documentary Tries to Solve the Riddle of Andy Warhol’s Candy Darling,
The Huffington Post, May 21 2010

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Was2651110

The problem of negative externalities [refers to] costs that accrue when the self-interested actions of one person leave bystanders worse off. The biggest example of a negative externality is global warming: When we burn carbon-based fuels, we benefit ourselves while imposing a great cost on billions of other present and future inhabitants of the planet.

–Felix Salmon, The Man Who Could Unsnarl Manhattan Traffic, Wired, May 24 2010

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j-bennett-fitts-land-of-ahs-via-good

GOOD Picture Show has a gallery of J. Bennett Fitts' incredible photos of Middle America

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May 20, 2010

Imagery

Like Images… but, you know, ending with “-ry” instead of “-s”

http://tinyvices.verbsite.net/__data/tinyvices_andrew-kuo.jpg

  • Andrew Kuo’s “My Wheel of Worry, May 2010″ (Tiny Vices via TWBE)

cremaster-cycle-via-ifc

matthew-barney-bjork-marina-via-moma-flickr

paco-blancas-participating-in-the-artist-is-present-via-flickr

lichtenstein-at-gagosian-via-arrested-motion

When we think of still lifes, we think of paintings that have a certain atmosphere or ambience. My still life paintings have none of those qualities, they just have pictures of certain things that are in a still life, like lemons and grapefruits and so forth. It’s not meant to have the usual still life meaning.

–Roy Lichtenstein.

Roy Lichtenstein
Still Lifes
Gagosian
555 W 24th St (at 11th)
New York NY 10011 [map]
212 / 741-1111
May 8, 2010 – July 30, 2010

Banksy_NYC_2010-via-animal

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May 4, 2010

Images: Super Deluxx Follow Up

More on the Images (below), as well as several new ones; as always, too much, too much. But seriously, how often do you see something like this.

cartier-bresson-01

Hyères, France, 1932 / Magnum

First of all, the Henri Cartier-Bresson exhibit at MoMA is really quite remarkable, and I echo Kottke’s rave review (he mentions the image above, which was the first of many that caught my eye).

What he excelled at was seeing things in a different way from most other people.

A Father of Modern Photography: A Hunter and His Prey, The Economist, April 15 2010

The retrospective has a personal resonance on several levels: I’ve become increasingly interested in photography, journalism and photojournalism in the past couple years; his photographs of early and mid-century China are vaguely nostalgic (probably because I recently spent a couple months living in Beijing with my grandparents, who lived through it); and I recognized HCB’s portrait of Sartre from a book cover.

Jean-Paul Sartre

Discovered while eating a turkey hoagie and contemplating the meaning of life at a roadside stand. Also, admit it: he’s cute as a goddamn bug!

–Mike Sacks, Famous Philosophers and How They Were First Discovered,
McSweeney’s, May 2010

(More on HCB at Vanity Fair via 3qd.)

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liu-bolin-on-fire-at-eli-klein-0

Liu Bolin at Eli Klein: an excellent show despite the blue-chippy crowd at the opening. It might be more of the same and it probably has a certain loaded cultural content that can only be appreciated as someone who has recently spent time in China, but I would still say that the pieces in On Fire are visually compelling even without the political subtext.

liu-bolin-on-fire-at-eli-klein-1

His works have been communicated via emails, blogs, magazines and journals on a massive scale.

Liu Bolin’s earlier Hiding in the City photography series, in which he paints himself into the urban landscape, was inspired by the Chinese government’s demolition of the Suo Jiacun Artist Village in Beijing in 2006. He drew attention to great landmarks in China, both old and modern, while highlighting the lack of recognition which was paid to the citizens that built them. He portrayed the tragedy of the increasing insignificance of the individual in China as the government focused on presenting a modern commercial and industrial image. Rather than trying to fight, people attempted to hide and adapt to these forced changes.

–Liu Bolin’s On Fire press release & additional images via Eli Klein.

liu-bolin-on-fire-at-eli-klein-5

Click images for larger versions.

liu-bolin-on-fire-at-eli-klein-2

索家村 – Suo Jiacun [Artist's Village] (apparently, Liu Bolin reps it); 中国当代 – Contemporary China

liu-bolin-on-fire-at-eli-klein-3

折 – fold, discount, break, bend, snap, lose, roll over, convert, rebate, twist, double up, be convinced, turn back, turn over, lose money in business, change direction, be filled with admiration, suffer losses (Google Translate)

Dude's shirt (bottom right) matches the photograph...

Dude's shirt (bottom right) matches the photograph...

Liu Bolin
On Fire
Eli Klein Fine Art
462 West Broadway (near Houston)
New York NY 10012 [map]
212 / 255-4388
April 30, 2010 – June 4, 2010

liu-bolin-on-fire-at-eli-klein-6

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I didn’t make it to the Scott Campbell opening, but it made it into other “emails, blogs, magazines and journals on a massive scale”: TBWE has a nice gallery of the work and the opening; OC has a gallery of the work itself; HB recap; Interview studio visit via HB; Terry stays relevant.

I did make it to Faile & BAST‘s DELUXX FLUXX NYC opening (after stopping by Liu Bolin), but my photos didn’t turn out so well. Again, you can find more/better coverage elsewhere.

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Keith W. Bentley - “Cauda Equina” (1995-2007)

Keith W. Bentley – “Cauda Equina” (1995-2007)

The New York Times has an interesting article on the kind of organic art that is currently on display at the Museum of Arts and Design.

nyt-angier-skulls

Jan Fabre – "Skull" (2001); Fabián Peña – "The Impossibility of Storage for the Soul I (Self-Portrait)" (2007)

Of course, people have always used natural materials to make their art, for the simple reason that until recently nature was all they had, said Ellen Dissanayake, a scholar on the evolution of art [who notes that] from the beginning, art demanded transformation. “Even in hunter-gatherer societies, they tend to make their stuff look not organic,” she said. “When they’re painting, they’ll use geometric shapes, make a row of triangles or circles, as though to show humans are more than nature.”

As Ms. Dissanayake sees it, when people make art, or “artify,” they follow several “aesthetic principles,” whether they know it or not. “They simplify, repeat, exaggerate, elaborate and manipulate expectations,” she said.

–Natalie Angier, Of Compost, Molecules and Insects, Art Is Born,
The New York Times, May 3 2010

– (2008)

Billie Grace Lynn – "Mad Cow Motorcycle" (2008)

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I didn’t particularly regret missing the Shepard Fairey opening until I saw this:

Classic.

Animal / TWBE

More Shepard Fairey and many more after the jump… Read the rest of this entry »

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April 30, 2010

Leslie Buck's Legacy

Leslie Buck (NYT) & his Masterpiece (Core77)

Leslie Buck (NYT) & his Masterpiece (Core77)

Leslie Buck passed away this week at the age of 87. Born in 1922 in what was then Czechloslovakia, he survived Auschwitz and Buchenwald, where his parents were killed, and came to New York after the war. He started a paper goods company with his brother Eugene and in the 1960’s set out to corner the city’s hot cup market. Since so many of the city’s diners were owned by Greeks, he decided to design a cup using the colors of the Greek flag. He executed the design himself, and despite his lack of formal art training, it was an instant, and enduring, success.

Leslie Buck, Dossier

While the Greek elements unironically evoke mythology and classicism, Buck’s “Anthora” has achieved NYC icon status through sheer ubiquity.

I Lego NY by Christoph Niemann for the New York Times

I Lego NY by Christoph Niemann for the New York Times

If Starbucks represents America’s corporate muscle and the likes of Stumptown, Blue Bottle et al find an audience among foodi-elitist connoisseurs, the Anthora is the mark of true blue everyman: Anthora’s richness lies in its cultural heritage, which at once captures the spirit of the country and its greatest city (that’s right, I said it).

As a recent transplant, I find that Buck’s design is iconic in a fundamentally different way: it is a relic of Old(e) Noo Yawk, a winsome vessel of unassuming kitsch. Major cities the world over have signature buildings, bridges, parks, landmarks, taxi cabs, subway iconography, but where else can you stake a claim to a local coffee cup?

Also on Core77 & DQM, among other blogs.

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