Harpa Reykjavik Concert Hall, by Henning Larsen Architects and Olafur Eliasson

Harpa Reykjavik Concert Hall, Facade by Henning Larsen Architects and Olafur Eliasson.

Harpa Reykjavik Concert Hall, Facade by Henning Larsen Architects and Olafur Eliasson.

Harpa Reykjavik Concert Hall, Facade by Henning Larsen Architects and Olafur Eliasson.

Click images to enlarge

I came across the recently opened Harpa Concert Hall in Reykjavik, Iceland and was stunned when I saw the first photos. It was created in collaboration between Henning Larsen Architects and artist Olafur Elliason, who together created an extremely beautiful structure. The facade is made up of hundreds of irregularly shaped pieces of glass, which definitely look like Elliason’s handiwork, and give the structure it’s signature style. Inside though, it’s equally as beautiful, as you can see above in the third photo. The deep red of the concert hall is stunning and it looks like a beautiful place to see a performance.

Hopefully one day I’ll be in Reykjavik to see it for myself.

Bobby

Bobby Solomon

May 23, 2011 / By

Unitportables

Unitportables

Unitportables

Unitportables

Click images to enlarge

Since we have been talking about iPads and Smart Covers, I thought I would throw another good alternative for protecting your ‘Pad and other tech items. Sweedish company Unit Portables have a whole slew of things to protect all of your Apple products in a cool, compact, nesting package.

The Unit Portables System covers a few things: your main bag, your accessory bags, and your iPad tote. The main bag, which is very, very similar in design to the Chester Wallace bag, is the home base for all of your items. You can latch your accessory bags to it, slide your laptop in, maybe a few magazines, and any other items you have that are too small to be an accessory and too big to be an iPad. The accessory bags attach to the front of the main bag and are intended for all your cords, iPods, iPhones, and any other technological loose end you have. Seems pretty obvious, but marketing an area specifically for your cords and phone is pretty smart because one might actually *do* that (because, I for one, just throw my cords wherever my laptop is, which provides for a wonderful ball of tangled cords). Finally, the iPad bag is pretty great and is perfect considering it segregates your laptop from your ‘Pad, in turn protecting both. It’s very sleek and small and has handles, which may or may not be silly to tote around individually.

The Unit Portables System is a pretty great way to tie in all of your electronic children into one group, nesting them together so compactly. They don’t seem to be for sale just yet, but do keep checking in with them to see when they’re ready for buying. And, in the mean time, get acquainted with their cool, highly visual user manual!

KYLE

Bobby Solomon

May 20, 2011 / By

Space Suit of the Week

Peter Tybus Space Suit Illustration

Pete Tybus Space Suit illustration

It wasn’t my intention, but I spent this week teetering on the edge of bad taste–and I just may end the week covered in it. The week started with two buildings that look great in photos, but have both been criticized by visitors as being poorly detailed. Then I made a lame joke about the weather in Canada, only to get the cold shoulder and sassy comment from a few of our northern friends. So, I’m taking this wobbly momentum to the work week’s finish line and posting about some absolutely iffy sci-fi illustrations.

The work is by illustrator Peter Tybus, who is obscure now even though he was quite a prolific illustrator in the ’70s. I’m a huge fan of his bizarre, colorful work even while I realize that it’s not for everyone. The surge of science fiction published in the 70′s featured covers that range from thinly-veiled ladyparts to more curious illustrations like the ones above. Which isn’t to pass judgement on scantily clad sci-fi creatures, everyone’s taste is different.

Alex

Alex Dent

May 20, 2011 / By

Sculpture, Identity, America, and Martin Puryear

Martin Puryear

Martin Puryear

Martin Puryear

I value the referential quality of art, the fact that a work can allude to things or states of being without in any way representing them. The ideas that give me rise to a work can be quite diffuse, so I would describe my working process as a kind of distillation–trying to make coherence out of things that can seem contradictory. But coherence is not the same as resolution. The most interesting art for me retains a flickering quality, where opposed ideas can be held in tense coexistence.
- Martin Puryear, 2007 for MOMA

I first encountered American artist Martin Puryear‘s work at his 2007 MOMA exhibition, a show that I regard as one of the best and most powerful shows I have ever seen. Puryear, whose work I find similar to Richard Serra and Andrew Goldsworthy, works with wood in a large scale and often intermixes them with metal, twine, paint, and found objects.

Post-minimalist and quite abstract, his work–as hinted at in the above quote–speak to something greater, be it an everyday object or frequently used shape. His work juggles a lot of things, confronting notions of art (particularly sculpture), American history, and ethnicity. An African American artist, his work is not without a point of view: many deal with oppression and failed attempts at unity, frequently referencing historical African American figures like James “Jim” Beckwourth and Booker T. Washington.

Three works I find particularly striking: Self, Big And Little Same, and Ladder For Booker T. Washington, shown above respectively. Self rings extremely charged to me: a large, black, painted piece of cedar and mahogany created as a self-portrait of sorts. Large and immoveable, beautiful and iconic, I remember seeing this at MOMA and being so infatuated with it. It demands attention, yet is easily walked past as “a big lump of dark wood.”

I felt exactly the same about the wall mounted Big And Little Same. His wall mounted works, which are typically smaller, more frail, and more straightforward, are–for lack of better means of expression–not as captivating as a humungous pieces like Maroon and Ad Astra. That may or may not be why I was so attracted to this one, but I was obsessed with the obvious incongruity of the piece: a continuous, circular piece of wood that is both the same thing, yet two entirely different things. The big and little end seem to be having a conversation with each other, perhaps staring into each others eyes wondering if–one day–they will in fact be the same. Puryear’s craftsmanship is also amazing, considering how subtly the piece of wood goes from thick to thin.

Martin Puryear

Ladder For Booker T. Washington is one of Puryear’s career pieces. Like Ad Astra, especially in relationship to the 2007 MOMA exhibit, the piece is one of his career defying pieces. You may have seen his work or even read about him or even went to the 2007 MOMA exhibit, but Ladder For Booker T. Washington is one that you definitely walked away with in mind because it’s just so dang cool. First, it’s a ladder–but not a normal ladder. It winds, it twists, it works as a ladder, and it narrows until only a mouse could climb up it. Secondly, it is suspended up into the heavens, eventually disappearing into the sky’s horizon line. Perhaps representing Booker’s being overworked or his being criticized by the NAACP, the ladder is inescapable, endless, and seeming built by Washington himself as a means of escape.

Martin Puryear is an artist whose work is just absolutely splendid and full on contemplation. Representing self, representing American history, and representing the African American experience, I find that he excels at all forms of sculpture. Be it wall mounted or a floor centerpiece, they are absolutely breathtaking. I hope to be able to see his work again soon, as I hadn’t had a better two hours in the MOMA since the 2007 exhibit.

KYLE

KYLE FITZPATRICK

May 20, 2011 / By

Ridiculous Urbanism

Ridiculous Urbanism

RidiculousUrbanism

Let me be clear: this is not a joke. It’s a strange collage of images along with snippets of lectures given by architects and critics. I can’t identify everything happening in this video, but there are some familiar voices. I also know the video was presented in an exhibition called “Students, Patients, Paupers: the many lives of the St. Philips building” before its planned demolition. I cannot figure out who exactly authored the video and if you know, please share!

Alex

Alex Dent

May 20, 2011 / By

Breakfast Interrupted

Breakfast Interrupted, Brouton Stroube, Marlin Network,

Breakfast Interrupted, Brouton Stroube, Marlin Network,

Breakfast Interrupted, Brouton Stroube, Marlin Network,

Haven’t we all wanted to play magician and rip the tablecloth from underneath a dressed table to find everything remain intact? What about get into a sloppy, messy, absurd food fight, like a group of kids at camp in a 1990s children’s film–haven’t you wanted to do that? If not, have you ever wanted to just make a mess out of a meal and walk away from it? Well, now you can!

Well, not you, yourself..but, you can vicariously through Bruton Stroube‘s latest piece for Marlin Network! The artistic advertising group was commissioned by Marlin Network to create a promo of sorts for their annual breakfast event happening this weekend. The promotional material they made was a quick, just-over-a-minute video entitled “Breakfast Interrupted,” based on the title of the event itself. As you will see, a lovely, delectable looking breakfast gets interrupted and deconstructed in slow motion. The video looks beautiful and is a whole lot more than just watching a big breakfast get thrown around. It’s fun, it gets the point across, and it makes you want to attend Marlin Network’s event! (…which you can, if you are in Chicago this Saturday.)

Moreover, Brouton Stroube has also created a fun little behind-the-scenes video to chronicle how they splish, splashed, and crashed food together to create the promo. It’s equally as fun as the main video, but has you thinking: how messy did they have to get in order to create the video?

Continue reading this post…

KYLE FITZPATRICK

May 19, 2011 / By

‘Matter Fisher’, A Strange Tale of Voids and Fishing

'Matter Fisher', A Strange Tale of Voids and Fishing

'Matter Fisher', A Strange Tale of Voids and Fishing

'Matter Fisher', A Strange Tale of Voids and Fishing

'Matter Fisher', A Strange Tale of Voids and Fishing

The collective known as Moth have put together one of the finest looking, thought provoking animated shorts I’ve seen in a while. They describe the short as, “A serendipitous journey in which a lone fisher is united with a form of estranged matter.” I took the easy route with cut and pasting the description because it’s such a heady, who-knows-what’s-really-happening piece of art that I feel like I couldn’t do it justice. What is this piece of matter? How did it find itself on Earth? And why doesn’t it absorb the man? These are just some of the questions I was left with, what do you think it means?

Bobby

Bobby Solomon

May 19, 2011 / By

‘Lindisfarne’ by James Blake

'Lindisfarne' by James Blake

'Lindisfarne' by James Blake

'Lindisfarne' by James Blake

Lindisfarne is the name of a small island off the north east coast of England, and it’s also the name of James Blake’s new music video. It was directed by one of my favorites Martin de Thurah, and is, as usual, filled with all kinds of strange beauty. You may remember that Martin also directed the video to Blake’s first single, Limit To Your Love, which was also pretty odd and magical feeling. I’m not sure what either of the videos mean, exactly, but they both are mystical but mundane, which I think is the best way to describes de Thurah’s work in general.

In the video above you see a group of young people performing some kind of ritual, though it’s entirely vague as to what it is. And in Limit To Your Love it’s almost as if Blake is performing bedroom magic. Lovely work yet again by de Thurah, hopefully he continues working with James Blake, I feel like they have such a really great chemistry together.

Bobby

Bobby Solomon

May 19, 2011 / By

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