I got an email last week from Annie Collinge, a Londoner now living in New York, with a link to her portfolio which is filled with a range of beautiful photos. The images above were my favorite though, from a series she did called Project with Sarah May where she explores portraiture with these intensely patterned fabrics. I love that these are slightly ridiculous, they’re playful but still really well done. She has a lot more wonderful work including her Linda series and her still lifes are really beautiful as well.
Allow me to set the scene for you: in the middle part of 2010 Jillian Tamaki, a Brooklyn-based illustrator and comics artist, took to needle and thread. The result was her Monster Quilt – not a monster due to its size but because of the sweetly garish characters interwoven into its fabric. The fact that this was her first attempt at producing an embroidered work speaks volumes about her inherent talent for the quaintly old-fashioned medium. Cut to 2010 and Tamaki her returned with a new embroidery project: Penguin Threads Deluxe Classics.
The fact that this project came to fruition is pretty incredible as, after completing her Monster Quilt, Tamaki decided not to take any future commissions in embroidery. That is, unless it was from Penguin Books. The three covers that she has completed as part of this project are intricately detailed and wonderfully encapsulate the mood and narrative of each book. To my mind, there is no better way to commemorate the enduring power of these tales than through a handicraft that gestures towards the past and that celebrates tactility. Furthermore, Tamaki has updated the medium for contemporary audiences and infused each design with her unique artistic sensibility. If this doesn’t make people want to pick up a book, I don’t know what will.
I’m in love with everything about this branding by Canadian firm Concrete for Fabbrica, a new restaurant for celebrity chef and entrepreneur Mark McEwan. The branding was inspired by “the design aesthetic that emerged out of postwar Italy” which is a great starting point. I love the typography of the name, and I’m guessing the triangles the F inspired the triangular pattern you see on the side of the building. And how cute is that tiny triangular sign that sticks out from the side of the building? Such a great detail that gives the facade a great bit of character.
I love how fresh and original this feels, especially for a restaurant. I think more eateries could learn a few things from Concrete’s work.
I had been under the assumption for a long time that the work of Felice Varini was a recent phenomena. And, after further research, the Swiss artist has been around and doing his thing for over thirty years now.
The artist is known for his site specific geometric paintings, which he has done on building exteriors, inside of rooms, hallways, staircases–basically, any architectural surface. His works with projections and stencils to create these illusions, which require a very specific point of view in order to “see” the art. Otherwise, the piece is fragmented and seems to be weird, even ugly, shapes thrown around a localized area.
Like site specific artists Christo, Andy Goldsworthy, and James Turrell before him and current street/graffiti art alike, Varini’s work melts buildings and spaces into each other through art. In his work, he uses shapes outside of the local architectural vocabulary to bind all these structures together. He has his hands in a lot of pockets, borrowing a bit from the old and a bit from the new, creating these cross-referencing pieces.
His work is incredibly surreal and terribly fun, very reminiscent of those Magic Eye illusions of the nineties–but without the required squinting and eye crossing. I would love to be able to see one in person, as I am most definitely sure that they are quite the mindfuck.
If I had kids I’d probably read them really weird books. Not like, scary stuff, but things about architecture and art, less Curious George and the such. Another good example that’s not necessarily for kids but is still awesome is The Robot Book by Thomas Jackson. While Thomas describes the book as “a narrative series of photographs depicting a robot living a sort of post-apocolyptic nightmare in the woods of upstate New York” I think he’s done an amazing job of creating this huge battle in a beautiful, DIY way. The book itself comes in a limited edition of 11, each one being made of “sheet metal, old wood salvaged from a fallen-down chicken coop and a few electronic components.”
If you’re in the New York area you can stop by Central Booking in DUMBO to see his photos and books up close and personal. Also be sure to watch his video walkthrough of the book, it’s pretty dang nice looking.