Concrete isn’t just tough, it can sometimes be surprisingly elegant. Yesterday, we looked at sturdy monuments, and while looking for something to continue concrete into today, I came across this great little… law equipment store. Akihisa Hirata, the architect, say he “tried to create a place similar to natural environment in an artificial way. People are invited to go deep into the continuity without whole view, where they can find different spread of things in every minute.”
The store is planned on a diagonal grid, but the slices taken out of the walls, in elevation, disguise this order. I’m not sure how expensive these lawn implements must be to afford a nicer showroom than many car dealerships state-side, but one commenton the ArchDaily article simply said “only in Japan.”
I got an email the other day from John Wyszniewski over at the School of Visual Arts sent me a nice rundown of some of the students doing some great work. One of them really stood out to me, a woman named Jungyeon Roh, a Korean born illustrator studying at SVA. I love her unique style of illustration, and one of her projects in particular caught my eye, it’s called Today Is Sushi Day, which in my mind should be every day. I think it does a perfect job of showing just why sushi is so good and how you can’t help but eat your body weight of the stuff. She also does a great job with the colors in this piece, which really makes the piece even more delicious looking. Be sure to check out the rest of her work if you enjoyed this as much as I did.
Unloveable by Esther Pearl Watson has to be the best contemporary comic strip. Yet, neither Bobby nor I had heard of it until we stumbled upon the box set at Meltdown Comics a few weeks ago. It’s bright neon covers were winking at me, trying to be sexy, but very obviously failing. Nonetheless, I was taken by it: the intentionally bad diary drawings, the scrawled and scribbled words, and the terribly unattractive main character, Tammy Pierce. I didn’t quite “get it,” but I loved it. I knew I had to buy it.
The comic follows the over embellished antics of a 1988 suburban Texas high school sophomore. She tries to smoke, thinks every guy is attracted to her, and is terrible at shaving any part of her body. One would think the story of some suburban high school girl in the eighties has been done before. And, yes, it has been done before time and time again. Yet, what Watson does is somehow find a strange world that has yet to be traversed, regardless of time period: it crosses the lines Ghost World drew and that Freaks & Geeks clarified, but it views it through the eyes of a more confident Anaïs from Fat Girl. The result is a brilliant and “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg” account from a high school wannabe who thought she was–and wanted to be–it all. It’s brilliant: the comic anthology is the best piece of literature that I have read since the last time I read any sort of book in its entirety (which, honestly, was in 2009).
The reason why it is so great is because of Watson’s eye for humor and pop culture (both then and now) as well as the source material. What Watson does with the comics is project them through a 1980s lens, while also placing modern pop culture atop of it. When reading it, I was shocked and not surprised (because it was brilliant!) that the entry portrait of main cool-girl villainess Cassie Smallwood looked surprisingly like a modern pop culture villainess. The comic also pays plenty of attention to things of the then, dropping homages to Teddy Ruxpin, Scrooged, Crocodile Dundee, Aliens, Smokey the Bear, Big, Grease 2, and many more: it is a visual, comedic, and pop cultural cornucopia.
Yes, Unloveable is the story of the worst teenage in the world (or, at least, of 1988). But, it’s based on a true story: Watson found the diary of a girl in a gas station bathroom and used it to create the comic. The result is spectacular, raw, and brilliant. Even though taking place in the eighties, it is so “now.”
I devoured the eight hundred or so pages in twenty four hours. I highly recommend the collection and feel that its booger and glitter covered gorgeousness demands to be on your bookshelf. Or, the least you could do is ask it to prom!
This is kind of last minute, but I’ll speaking at Otis College of Art and Design tomorrow morning and I’ve found out it’s open to the public, so I wanted to invite everyone to come. The rough title of the presentation is How To Be Super Rad on the Internet, and it’s intention is to help people give young creatives tips on how to use the internet to really help them out and get work. I figure this could apply to anyone interested in internet things, so be sure to stop by if you’re in the area.
Talk goes from 11:15 to 12:15.
Otis College of Art and Design
9045 Lincoln Boulevard
Los Angeles, California 90045 (map)
Telephone 310 665 6800
It’s with a heavy heart that I have to announce that Danica will be moving on from The Fox Is Black, and will no longer be writing for us. Danica is beginning to submit her PhD thesis for examination and it’s become too hard for her to juggle her job with that and and writing for the site, which totally makes sense, she’s a busy woman. I’m totally bummed to see one of my first writers leaving but I absolutely support her decision and I’m thankful for all she’s created here on The Fox Is Black. You can continue to follow Danica on her personal blog, Oh, Hello There.
Please take a moment to leave her a note in the comments, to wish her luck on becoming the master of all things Wong Kar Wei, and for filling our lives with beautiful ideas every day. In the next week or two we’ll begin looking for someone new to join the site but we’re still figuring exactly what role this new person will fill.