The spoon. It’s a ubiquitous tool that perhaps most of take for granted. I looked up the definition of a spoon (because when was the last you did that?) which states it is “an implement consisting of a small, shallow oval or round bowl on a long handle, used for eating, stirring, and serving food.” And if there’s anyone who’s testing this definition it’s probably Stian Korntved Ruud, an Oslo School of Architecture grad and former intern at Tom Dixon. He has a wonderful ongoing project simply titled Daily Spoon, where obviously he creates a unique looking spoon every day for one year straight.
By repeating the production of a spoon every day for a longer period of time (365 days), the goal is to challenge and explore a spoons aesthetic and functional qualities. I make all the spoons in a traditional way with only hand tools. The point of this is to actively cooperate with the material, in this case wood. In a modern industrial production the machines overwrites the wooden structures and natural growth pattern. When using manual hand tools my hand collaborates with the wood structure during the forming process. This underpins all the spoons unique qualities.
Stian has made big spoons and small spoons, wide spoons and knobby spoons. There are spoons with spikes and spoons with holes. His creations, although all quite beautiful and considered, begin to feel Seuss-ian in their variety. It’s incredibly impressive that he’s been able to create such a diverse number of shapes where I think a lot of people would have given up after doing 50 or so.
If you’re interested in following Stian’s progress you should visit his Instagram where he posts spoons daily, or on his website.
I came across this old piece by Banksy the other day and it reminded me of how funny the guy is. If you haven’t visited his site lately you should take a minute and see what he’s been up to. I found a bunch of new street pieces I hadn’t seen before.
I don’t understand the kind of people who appear in this video, or who appear in Kinfolk, whom the video was shot for, but I’m certainly fascinated by them. They live privileged lives that most of us can never imagine having, and for me personally I love having a voyueristic spotlight into their worlds.
Directed by Chris and Sarah Rhoads, the feature shows the life of a Yippy looking family at their lovely home in Venice Beach, California. It’s a well shot video featuring gliding steadycam shots of beautiful interiors and a charming backyard space that’s so very Venice Beach. Again, I have no idea who these kind of people are, but this gives a good look at life on the West Coast and the types of folks who reside here.
Editor’s Note: I was informed of the couple’s identities so I thought I’d clear up the mystery. The man is John Moore, who helped found the Hollister brand under Abercrombie & Fitch, who also runs The Pop Studio, and designs a fantastic menswear line called M.Nii which just won GQ’s 2014 Best New Menswear Designer of the Year. His partner Hannah Henderson and he run General Store, a fantastic home good shop in Abbott Kinney. Quite a prolific duo!
Frequent readers of the site know I love plants and artist Paul Wackers makes just the kind of plant paintings I would love to own. Paul has an MFA from San Francisco Art Institute and BFA from Corcoran where he honed his unique style of painting, which to me looks like a contemporary vision of 19th century folk painting.
His latest works center around still life set-ups, almost all of them prominently feature plants, and each are created in an outrageous palette of colors. One of the details I love about his work are the objects which appear to be collaged in. The brush strokes that make up these objects go against the grain of the background as well as the other objects around them, giving them a real energy. I also like his juxtaposition of flat versus rendered that creates an interesting sense of depth to each piece. Probably one of the best artists I’ve come across in the last year or so, really beautiful works.
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When visiting an unfamiliar city it’s always fascinating to see it through the eyes of a local. A resident of the city has an ability to show you the special places, avoiding the cliché destinations and nonsense that interests the common tourist. This is the feeling I get when I’m watching this beautifully shot short film, Paris Through Pentax.
Maison Carnot frames the video through the viewfinder of a Pentax 67, an approach that makes for an incredibly different way of looking at things. We’re all so used to taking photos with our phones these days but the viewfinder of the Pentax has such a romantic feeling to it. It’s both active and full of life but antiquated in a lot of ways. I also like that you can see the photographers hands in each shot which gives it a human element. Every now and then you see the hands keeping the focus on the subject. A subtle touch that adds to the feeling of it all.
Take me to Paris.
One of the founding principles of art is understanding the balance of light and dark and how the two define shape. Once you fully understand these primary elements making art becomes easier… especially if you happen to be color blind. This the case with Kilian Schönberger, a German photographer who is both color blind and has a fantastic grasp of contrast.
Kilian’s type of photography is exactly the kind of photography I love most. The dramatic shifts between black and white make for such impressive photos. His choice of scenery doesn’t hurt either, whether it’s a leafless stretch of fogged out trees or a spooky Bavarian church. You’re drawn because of their dynamic lighting and textures. The lack of color doesn’t detract one bit.
German artist Mark Gmehling has an elastic view on life. He makes fine art prints from 3D renderings of abstract characters and bizarre scenarios, all illustrated in a playfully fluid manner. It’s interesting to see 3D modeling being presented as fine art which you don’t see very often. The aesthetics of each of his figures are highly polished though and resemble beautiful, glossy ceramic pieces.
These pieces in particular are from a show that opened last Thursday called Plastic Relations, which is on view at the RWE Foyer in Dortmund, Germany. I wish I could see the images up close and pick Mark’s brain on how he makes these.