I’ve been following Merijn Hos’s Wooden Sculptures project on Tumblr for the last few weeks and really love the stuff he’s been making. Originally created for a group exhibiton at Stedelijk Museum Kampen, the Dutch artist and illustrators sculptures recently made their way to the States for a solo show at New York’s Beginnings Gallery (pictured above).
Comprising of 109 wooden sculptures, the pieces range in height from 5 to 14 inches and each one is painted in Hos’s unique and vibrant style. Hos says that the work was inspired by the Art Brut and Folk Art movements, and each one was painted with a rather abstract form in a naïve way using roughly 24 colors and a uniform brush size. The resulting work is fun and playful and his collection of characters becomes even more impressive when viewed as a set. We’re big fans of Merijn Hos work here on The Fox Is Black so make sure to check out more of what he does by giving his site a little visit!
When I saw these drawings by the London-based image-maker and designer Liam Stevens I instantly fell for them. Drawn simply with pencil, I find that his drawings are so beautifully crafted. I love his use of expressive lines and the way that each image is so richly detailed.
As well as drawings, Liam’s portfolio displays an array of work covering a variety of media. From paper-cut abstractions to digital designs, and from animation to typographic design, his work is certainly diverse and yet he still manages to maintain an unmistakable aesthetic that’s truly his own. You can view more of what he does online here and also make sure to take a visit to MakeMake Studio, a fantastic animation studio he co-formed with Chris Tozer for motion experimentation and animation. What a truly talented chap!
Icinori produce some of the best picture books I think I’ve ever seen! The publishing studio is made up of illustrators Mayumi Otero and Raphael Urwiller, and their publications often come in the form of impressively engineered pop-up books filled with beautiful illustrations and incredible paper constructions.
The book above is called Momotaro and it’s a retelling of a popular Japanese folk story. The name ‘Momotaro’ literally means Peach Taro, which is commonly translated as Peach Boy. According to the legend, the story tells the tale of a strange child born of an apricot who undertakes a quest and travels to a distant island to fight oni, eventually becoming a great hero in the process. Like much folklore, Momotaro is a fantastically off-the-wall tale but it also sounds like a really great story. You can learn more about it here. I love the look of Icinori’s adaptation and I really love how it manages to feel very traditional and yet completely modern all at once. Make sure to see more of their work by checking out their website here.
It’s hard to know exactly what the title of Alana Paterson’s new series of photographs – Stay Troublesome – refers to. Her beautiful images of the American landscape feel calm and composed. In many ways they’re almost the reverse of troublesome. Yet, there’s also a feeling of adventure in this series. Old maps, rucksacks and road trips hint at journeys into the unknown and they evoke a sense of moving to new places. These are images about always moving on and perhaps it’s this sense of transience that the title referees to. ‘Staying troublesome’ feels like a motto for reckless abandon. It feels like a cry for moving to new pastures and always being ready for adventure.
Certainly it seems that Alana Paterson enjoys new places. Her bio says that she’s based in Vancouver, B.C. but over the last few months she’s been to Portland, New York and New England (she even adds that she’s available to travel over the next few months too). Originally getting into photography by shooting photographs of her friends at skate parks, her portfolio is filled with a great collection of personal projects. It also includes a growing list of impressive work with clients that include brands such as Norse Stores, HUF and Brixton. You can see more of her work online here and make sure to check out the full series of Stay Troublesome on her site here. It’s a beautiful collection of photographs.
Poland-based creative duo Kijek/Adamski have done some amazing work in this new video for Katachi by the Japanese multi-instrumentalist Shugo Tokumaru. For anyone who knows the painstaking process of stop-motion animation then you’ll know exactly how impressive this video is. Made with approximately 2000 silhouettes extracted from PVC plates using a computer-controlled cutter, the video is a rush of color and a parade of movement. For Kijek/Adamski, the video is “an everlasting chain of convulsive memories”.
Tokumaru’s track itself is pretty wonderful too. Taken from his latest album In Focus?, the album was released late last year in Japan and came out in the US last week through Polyvinyl. There’s a free stream of it currently on Under The Radar which I recommend you go check out. It’s a wonderful album!
If you’re looking for good, honest advice then you should really look no further then the great Woody Guthrie. When it comes to self-improvement then Woody’s your man. Back on the eve of 1942 Guthrie decided to compile a list of the things he hoped to improve on over the next year and by writing it down he created a wonderfully simple guide to living a better life.
We’re big fan’s of Guthrie’s ‘New Years Rulin’s’ here on TFIB and so too is the London based illustrator and printmaker Mat Pringle. Since January 1st Mat’s been taking Guthrie’s rules and creating charming sketches based on them. It really makes the list come to life and I’ve been enjoying getting a new rule everyday throughout the month. You can check out more of these illustrated rules by visiting Mat’s blog. Who knows, you might even learn some good advice!
NODE might just be one of my favorite design projects of the last few years. Set up by the Irish illustrator Chris Haughton and the Nepal-based entrepreneur Akshay Sthapit, the project aims to connect international designers and illustrators with crafts-people in the developing world. Based on a belief that ‘trade not aid’ is the best solution to the poverty trap, NODE has started to make a series of fair-trade rugs with crafts-people at the Kumbeshwar Technical School in Kathmandu, Nepal.
At the moment they’re working on a collection for London’s Design Museum that features 18 hand-made rugs by 18 artists. They’ve got a fantastic array of talent involved including Sanna Annukka (above), Chris Haughton (also above), Geoff McFetridge, Jon Klassen, and many more. Launching on the 5th of March, the rugs will be for sale at theDesign Museum’s shop as well as online as part of Fair Trade Fortnight.
It’s a wonderful project and one that becomes even more special when you find out a bit more about the Kumbeshwar Technical School. Here, employees receive a fair wage and their work also supports an adult literacy and skills training program with 6,000 graduates, a school with 260 children and an orphanage with 25 children. In the video above you can get a great insight into how the rugs are crafted but you should also read a bit more about Kumbeshwar on their website here.
It’s wonderful to see a project like this and particularly one which raises awareness with designers of the possibilities in fair trade. If you’re in London during Fair Trade Fortnight make sure to try and head along to the Design Museum and maybe even pick up a rug! More details and even times can be found online here.
In Pieces is the name of a fantastic multi-media collaboration between the photographer Dean West and the LEGO-sculptor Nathan Sawaya. The series explores the idea that identity exists today predominantly as a cultural creation and something which has been heavily commercialized and manipulated.
West and Sawaya’s images play with the artifice of modern photography, creating hyper-real images that include amazing LEGO sculptures hidden within each picture. Attempting to discover Sawaya’s sculptures is where the fun begins, and once they reveal themselves they highlight exactly how manipulated and artificial photographs can be.
Sawaya’s sculptures are beautifully rendered and their pixelated-forms emphasize the fabricated nature of modern photography. It’s a wonderful series and a great idea. You can view the full series of photographs online at Dean West’s webiste here.