Geometric Sculptures by Axel Brechensbauer

Geometric Sculptures by Axel Brechensbauer

Geometric Sculptures by Axel Brechensbauer

Geometric Sculptures by Axel Brechensbauer

This work by Barcelona-based artist Axel Brechensbauer is great. Like obscure chess pieces or futuristic totems, his sculptures demonstrate a wry sense of humor and a wonderful sense of form.

Nature plays an integral part in his practice, and his work attempts to explore man’s obsession with creating systems, patterns and shapes. On his website he draws an interesting analogy, explaining that we create gardens because we feel that we can control the pattern of nature better than that of nature itself. If this is the case, do we then believe that our own man-made systems are better than the systems of nature? Or, as Brechensbauer asks, are we ourselves just another version of nature? Certainly it’s an interesting thought process, and by the look of Brechensbauer’s sculptures, it definitely leads to some great work. Check out more work here.

Found through theCargo Showcase

Philip Kennedy

March 7, 2012 / By

The landscape paintings of Hiromichi Ito

The landscape paintings of Hiromichi Ito

The landscape paintings of Hiromichi Ito

The landscape paintings of Hiromichi Ito

I really like these landscape paintings by Japanese artist Hiromichi Ito. Hiromichi majored in illustration at San Francisco’s Academy of Art University and then returned to Japan to study under the amazing Tatsuro Kiuchi (who we featured recently here). These days, Hiromichi now shares a studio in Tokyo with Tatsuro called Pen Still Writes.

Hiromichi’s paintings are really charming and he has a very playful sense of color. This great use of color also carries over to his other work, which is well worth checking out. His porfolio is filled with editorial projects and illustrations which features cute characters and adorable animals.

Philip Kennedy

March 6, 2012 / By

Catacombkid – Sigur Rós vs. The Beach Boys

We’ve featured Catacombkid on this blog a few times before, but there’s no reason to not feature him again – especially when he keeps putting out such great music.

Normally I’m not one for mash-ups but this just works really well. The track starts off with the soothing hum of Sigur Rós before an addictive beat cuts in and the whole thing builds up to a catchy vocal hook from The Beach Boys’ Barbara Ann. The harmony of The Beach Boys over such a synthesized beat sounds great and it means that that the track doesn’t sound too dissimilar to the music of Panda Bear – which is always a good thing!

When Harrison Mills (aka Catacombkid) posted this track on Soundcloud last night he also accompanied it with a photograph by Thomas Jackson, so I felt it was right to do the same thing here. Make sure to grab a free download of the song here.

Philip Kennedy

March 5, 2012 / By

The illustrations of Graham Samuels

Illustrations by Graham Samuels

Young Folks

Illustrations by Graham Samuels

First it was the album cover for Peter Bjorn and John’s Writers Block. Then came the music video for Young Folks. After that it was the cover and illustrations in Stuart Murdoch’s book The Celestial Café. Every time I see an illustration by Graham Samuels I love it.

Originally from England but now based in Sweden, Graham’s illustrations often come with a nostalgic sensibility. This is informed by his love of vintage commercial art and his collection of old records, paperback and comics. Over the years he’s worked on numerous illustration projects including advertising and editorial work, as well as books and animation projects. You can see more of what he does online here.

Philip Kennedy

March 2, 2012 / By

Photographs of the ‘Jardin d’Agronomie Tropicale’ by Shane Lynam

'Contour Exotica' - A Photo Series by Shane Lynam

'Contour Exotica' - A Photo Series by Shane Lynam

Photographs of the 'Jardin d'Agronomie Tropicale' by Shane Lynam

'Contour Exotica' - A Photo Series by Shane Lynam

I hadn’t heard of France’s Jardin d’Agronomie Tropicale until discovering the work of Paris-based photographer Shane Lynam. Originally opened in 1907, the gardens were once home to a colonial exhibition, an international event which hoped to boost trade with France’s colonial empires.

It was here that six distinct villages were built – one from Madagascar, one from Congo, one from Sudan, and others from Tunisia, Morocco and Indochine. These villiages were horrifically populated with inhabitants, monuments and product all taken from these territories. In another words, the Jardin d’Agronomie Tropicale was a ‘human zoo’.

It seems shocking to think that this sort of thing existed, but colonial exhibits were a big part of early 20th Century European history. Indeed, it’s said that one million people attended the 1907 exhibition in Paris, and French historian Pascal Blanchard estimates that one and a half billion people visited universal or colonial exhibits throughout the world from 1870 to 1930.

Today, the Jardin d’Agronomie Tropicale is a different place. Over time, parts have become vandalized and burned. The French authorities simply neglect it. Buildings remain abandoned and the exotic plantations have disappeared altogether.

Despite what you might feel should be done to a place like this, it’s understandable that France has it’s hands tied. If they restore it, many would say that they were paying service to a part of their history that doesn’t deserve to be commemorated. Yet destroying it would feel like they were attempting to cover up their past. And so, for now, it remains. Standing as a ghost town, haunted by the spirits of it’s past.

More photos from Shane’s series can be viewed here.

Philip Kennedy

February 29, 2012 / By

Record cover designs by Nathaniel Russell

Record cover designs by Nathaniel Russell

Nathaniel Russell Record Cover - Ruthann Friedman, White Dove

Indianapolis-native Nathaniel Russell is an artist with many strings to his bow. Not content with simply drawing and making prints, he also makes shirts, bags, sculptures and posters. On top of that he’s even got his own band, Birds Of America, who sound really good. Oh, and did I mention that he also designs record covers for great bands such as Port O’Brien and Vetiver? All-round he seems like a really talented chap.

His record cover designs are particularly great. His folky lettering is really nice and the way that he combines text with image feels just perfect. It’s a look which also really suits the bands he makes artwork for. Make sure to check out more of his work online by clicking here.

Philip Kennedy

February 28, 2012 / By

Lisa Hannigan’s ‘Safe Travels (Don’t Die)’ Video by Cliona O’Flaherty & Chris Judge

Safe Travels (Don't Die) by Lisa Hannigan

Safe Travels (Don't Die) by Lisa Hannigan

Irish photographer Clíona O’Flaherty and illustrator Chris Judge recently collaborated in producing and directing a really sweet music video for the singer-songwriter Lisa Hannigan. The track is called Safe Travels and the video shows a man making his way across the country to meet with his companion. It all looks amazing and I really like the stylized feel of the imagined rural Ireland of the 1950′s and 60′s.

The central character is adorable and I’m particularly taken by how successful the collaboration is at combining the warmth and beauty of Clíona’s photography with the wit and whimsy of Chris’s illustrations. It just works really well! They’re a perfect duo and I’d love to see more work from them in the future.

Safe Travels is taken from Lisa Hannigan’s album Passenger.

Philip Kennedy

February 27, 2012 / By

‘Divers’, A short animation by Paris Mavroidis

'Divers', A short animation by Paris Mavroidis

'Divers', A short animation by Paris Mavroidis

This week in Dublin I’ve been spending most of my free time enjoying our annual film festival. There’s nothing quite like throwing caution to the wind and seeing a bunch of films you normally wouldn’t get the chance to see anywhere else. Over the years, I’ve been to a number of film festivals and one of my favorite screenings was an evening of animated shorts curated by the Irish/UK collective Synth Eastwood. It was during this screening that I got to see Paris Mavroidis’s wonderful short, Divers.

Paris describes the film as an experimental animation and says that he was inspired by Busby Berkeley, mass gymnastics and experimental cinema from the 20s and 30s. Created while he pursued an MFA in Digital Arts at Pratt, the film is a wonderful slice of animation and I also reckon that it fits rather nicely with the Niki & The Dove video I posted earlier this week.

Philip Kennedy

February 23, 2012 / By

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