This shoe is problematic for me. As a beginning, I have to say that love the designs put fourth by United Nude. Many of their shoes seem to rely on ideas that are familiar with many designers and architects, but don’t often migrate to the land of lady’s feet. When I read that the founder Rem D. Koolhaas aimed to “downsize architecture to its smallest and most vulnerable scale, that of a woman’s foot” it made total sense. (He’s not the Rem Koolhaas, but he’s the Rem Koolhaas’s nephew.)
So what’s the problem? I’m not sure that the shoes look as good on the feet as it looks when those shoes start bravely marching for the door. If we take the Eamz Shoe as an example, does the shoe look nothing like a doorstop? Of course, the shoe takes its name and visual ques from the Iconic Eames Aluminum Group of chairs, designed in 1958 for Herman Miller. The idea that you could reconfigure the heel of a woman’s shoe so that the shoe becomes a cantilever, is entirely unique (as far as I know) and the initial misgivings I had with the shoes have migrated to greener pastures.
I gotta’ say, this has been a pretty good year for myself and the blog. My first big accomplishment was having an art show, and now my second notch on the bed post is being featured in Dwell… well, the Neverend Clocks I collaborated on with Furni Creations and Dan Funderburgh. I’ve been reading Dwell magazine since just about the time it started and it’s slightly surreal and amazing to see Kitsune Noir written in there. A big thanks to Kyle Blue and Sam Grawe who may or may not have had anything to do with it.
And just as a heads there will be more clocks coming out in the coming months, we’re just taking a little break for the moment. But I can tell you the next two artists will make you poop yourself… yes, poop.
I can’t remember where I spotted the work of Aphte but I think it’s one of the most fun things I’ve seen in a while. Aphte, who’s real name is Daniel Abensour, is a French illustrator who dabbles in both the traditional and digital worlds, creating all these really fun characters that reminds me of Friends With You but with an Os Gemeos palette. Browsing through his portfolio there’s so much work, and since it’s all so detailed an will take you quite a while to soak it all in.
The top image is a bunch of little characters that he found in his backyard and the smaller one is a bizarre skater, which might be my favorite of them all. I would love to see an epic skate video game starring that little guy, it would be trippy and completely insane.
I received an email from UK illustrator/designer Ryan Chapman asking me to check out his work and I found a ton of fun stuff. My favorite of the bunch were these super limited vinyl figures he creates which only come in editions of 10. The guy above is called The Mystical Thinker and comes with a removable ‘piece of mind’. How clever! I also bought a couple of his acrylic paintings, so neener neener.
He also runs a great little blog called Color By Numbers which I guarantee is filled with worthwhile ideas and stuff.
Somewhere between the worlds or illustration and design lies the work of Mark McGinnis, a Brooklyn based artist who creates some really strong images. I use the word strong because everything I saw seemed to tell some kind of story, like they were way more than just pretty images. He has a great sense of color, as seen evidenced above, and the paint-y textures everywhere give his images a nice depth.
I put the funny car images at top because it reminded me of my Art Center at Night classes. I was taking a product and transportation design class so I was drawing 10 fully rendered car designs a week. For those who haven’t attempted such a thing it’s not easy, and coming up with new car shapes is a bit challenging. So I’d make up the most bullshit cars ever, like one that looked like a macaroni (and was inspired by the macaroni salad I consumed nonstop) and another that was fish shaped. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who thinks this way.
Found through Beautiful/Decay
The work of Norwegian photographer Stine Pettersen displays a considered focus on the human form. The eye of her camera rests on nubile torsos, capturing the manner in which natural light inhabits the surface of her subjects’ skin. Further, she frames them in unrefined and isolated settings that require that the body is the centre of each composition.
In so doing, Pettersen zeros in on a certain vulnerability that some of her subjects openly display, while others attempt to keep it hidden within themselves. Like the best photographs, her images take on the characteristics of a film still and encourage the viewer to imagine stories and inner lives for her photographic subjects. There is the overt presence of visual beauty, but there is also the whisper of something else.
Between 1971 and 1977, the Environmental Protection Agency payed freelance photographers $150 dollars a day to document, in a very broad sense, the environment. Now, after almost forty years, thousands of the photographs are available here, with many more of the nearly 17,000 available through the National Archives’ Archival Research Catalog (warning: the ARC can be cumbersome.)
These pictures are fantastic and illustrate that the 70′s were about much “more than disco and streaking.” A lot of the photographs document smog, sprawl and the effects of the gas shortage, but the intentionally broad definition of environment lead photographers to capture a variety of images that you might not expect. For instance, would you expect some guy washing his Frito-Lay truck or expect what looks a lot like the parking surrounding the Hollywood Bowl, but is actually a parking lot in downtown Cincinnati to be the results of a government-sponsored photography project? Gifford D. Hampshire directed the project, and intended for the project to continue in perpetuity, but the project was strangled in 1977 by budget cuts and politics.
About a week ago I mentioned I’d be in Portland and I wanted to throw a little party, so with the help of some friends up here I’m having a little get together at Aalto Lounge and you, my lovely, amazing readers, are all invited. I know it’s short notice but if you’re free from 7PM onward then come on out and grab a drink with me! The party will go on into the wee hours of the night, so if you can’t be there early it’s not a problem.
3356 SE Belmont St
Portland, OR 97214 (map)
Come out and say hi, meet tons of great creative folks, and have some yummy drinks with me!