Pickled Thoughts Explores the Physical and Flexible Beauty of Dance

Dance Photography by Pickled Thoughts

Dance Photography by Pickled Thoughts

If you visit any professional photographer’s website you’re bound to find that their work is typically – and understandably – divided into some rather traditional categories. Most of them will have a section dedicated to ‘portraits’ for example. Others may photograph ‘Architecture’, ‘Landscapes’ or ‘Models’. If you’ve seen as many sites as I have then you’ll no doubt know how frequently these categories crop up. That’s why I was excited to see that the photographer Pickled Thoughts had one category I haven’t seen appear too often. That category is: ‘Dance’.

Dance Photography by Pickled Thoughts

While my attendance at contemporary dance shows often falls under the remit of ‘boyfriend duty’, I still can occasionally be wowed by a performance. Dance is an art-form which holds such grace, beauty and elegance, but it’s also incredibly physically demanding. It’s one of the wonderful dichotomies you witness during any performance and I feel that these photographs do a great job of demonstrating the flexibility of the dancers while never distracting from the beauty of their movements.

Dance Photography by Pickled Thoughts

Dance Photography by Pickled Thoughts

The lighting, composition and energy in this work is great and I highly recommend you check out the full series here.

Philip Kennedy

October 6, 2014 / By

The Cat’s Meow: Suiyoubi no Neko Can Design by Yo-Ho Brewing

Suiyoubi no Neko by Yo-Ho Brewing

Last week I came upon this lovely packaging for Suiyoubi no Neko beer which is crafted by the Yo-Ho Brewing. I think the patchwork cat on the can couldn’t be more charming with a striking color palette that’s sure to catch your eye. This is but one of a series of great looking beers Yo-Ho is brewing, Serious Eats has a great rundown from last year of their line-up, which shows their care of both flavor and design.

Also of note last week was Kirin’s announcement that it would be purchasing a 30%-plus stake in Yo-Ho Brewing, showing that craft brewing is clearly the way to a larger market share. Still, the major Japanese beer producers, Kirin, Asahi, Sapporo, Santori, make up 98% of the beer market in Japan. It will be interesting to see if more small breweries are snatched up by the big guys to earn more cultural cool points.

Bobby Solomon

October 6, 2014 / By

Listen to “Bother” by Les Sins, Side-Project of Toro Y Moi

Chaz Bundick of Toro y Moi fame has a new project out called Les Sins, going for a more dance-oriented sound. He was inspired by folks like Mr. Oizo and Daft Punk which clearly comes through on this new track titled “Bother”, the perfect anthem for a hard-working creative. In fact, he was inspired by design luminary Paul Rand while making the album.

“My favorite graphic designer, P. Rand always said, ‘Don’t try to be original, just try to be good,’” Bundick says. “When making this record that was/is my mantra—it was just constantly looping in my mind. I believe ‘good’ is timeless and once you can recognize that you’ll see the world in its fullest.”

Les Sins first album Michael comes out November 4th.

Listen to "Bother" by Les Sins, Side-Project of Toro Y Moi

Bobby Solomon

October 2, 2014 / By

David Benjamin Sherry’s Mono-Color Landscapes Are Far From Monotonous

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New York’s illustrious photography gallery, Danziger, has inaugurated its new space at 521 West 23rd Street with the first NYC showing of David Benjamin Sherry’s mono-color landscapes. Featuring a series of photographs that Sherry shot over the course of 2013 and 2014, it’s a heartfelt look at the world in a post modern sense. Having turned classic American landscapes into panoramas of vast and vivid color, Sherry’s renditions reminds us the importance of color in design and how much it can influence the perception of your work. The body of work is stunning and its presentation falls inline with the recent release of Sherry’s book.

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David Benjamin Sherry was born in 1981 in Woodstock, NY and currently lives and works out of Los Angeles. Having received his BFA from Rhode Island School of Design and his MFA from Yale University, he has seen much success and presented forth an impressive body of medium challenging work. I’ve heard him referred to as the modern day Ansel Adams. If that’s not saying a lot, then I don’t know what is.

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You can view his art as a part of the permanent collections at the Wexner Center of the Arts, Columbus, Ohio, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), and the Saatchi Collection, London. Sherry’s most recent success occurred just last month, where he published Earth Changes in collaboration with Mörel Books, London. The book challenges categorical photography ideologies and questions photography’s truth.

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In his latest, Sherry used a traditional handmade wooden camera and shot with the beloved f/64 aperture (admired by classics like Edward Weston and the aforementioned Adams). Sherry adds his signature chromogenic hues by then altering the film in the darkroom. These exaggerated hues are simultaneously surreal, monochrome, and painterly.

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Often acidic and futuristic, they implore the viewer to question the classic landscapes and the role of nature in the world, or rather, what role we have towards nature. This work demonstrates that Sherry is not only a master of bold, sensual color, but also exploration, as seen by the West and SouthWestern American landscapes he reimagines. He portrays geological phenomena such as rock formations and sand dunes with those vivid and unexpected colors, which are a departure from their natural presentation.

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Strolling through the gallery you begin to feel a rhythm to the show, as directed by Sherry’s syncopated palettes of color. It’s a direct engagement with the viewer and an invitation to turn the mind’s eye inward. Sherry’s landscapes remind us, without preaching, of the inherent value that exists in nature—what it offers, what it represents, and ultimately, its ability to connect us to a broader experience. You can even goes as far as concluding that the tones, in combination with the landscapes, are critical of mankind’s relationship to recent climate change.

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where Nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul alike… This natural beauty – hunger is made manifest … in our magnificent National Parks … Nature’s sublime wonderlands, the admiration and joy of the world.”
– John Muir

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I could probably take a page from Sherry’s book and not be so preachy about our relationship with Earth, but seeing works such as the photographs on show at Danziger fill me with passion and insight that I can’t resist. It’s so refreshing to see artists such as Sherry take another look at such a classic and beloved medium, and stock it loaded with contemporary commentary. A must see.

Sherry’s work is on show till October 25th. If you’re unable to drop by, you can order his new book here.

Nick Partyka

October 1, 2014 / By

The Desktop Wallpaper Project featuring Emory Allen

The Desktop Wallpaper Project featuring Emory Allen

Emory Allen

We’re big fans of Minneapolis based illustrator Emory Allen and his seemingly endless amount of creativity. You may remember his Exquisite Beast project where he chained together a new drawing every day for an entire year, a huge feat for anyone. I’m a fan of Emory’s work because of his ability to create such a diverse creatures and worlds with such a beautiful color palette.

The wallpaper he’s created today is a self-portrait of sorts, portraying a feeling that most creatives encounter.

I revisit this theme in my work from time to time because I always feel like I’m always fighting to keep things organized and keep myself pulled together. Just when I feel caught up, there’s always something trying to stress me out again.

I feel you Emory. I also want to note that this week’s wallpaper is the debut of several new sizes. I’ve added an iPhone 6 and iPhone 6+ size, as well as a 3840×2400 size for anyone with giant sized or retina caliber monitors. In theory this should now cover every possible screen size on earth.

Bobby Solomon

October 1, 2014 / By

Next Level Risograph Prints and Postcards by Bienvenue Publishing

Bienvenue Publishing

Bienvenue Publishing is a Zurich based group who are creating some really lovely prints and postcards that are extremely lovely and affordable. Their work is handprinted in limited editions using almost exclusively risography, which allows them to apply each color individually and ensures a high luminosity.

My personal favorite is their print series titled Riverstones (above) which in a vague sense look like stones but in a very artistic, abstract way. As mentioned about it’s all about the amazing colors they’re able to get with these prints that makes them truly shine, literally and figuratively. I’m also impressed with their Morbid Being prints, a series of fighting fish photographed from above.

You can shop their full collection of products by heading on over to their online shop.

Bienvenue Publishing

Bienvenue Publishing

Bienvenue Publishing

Bobby Solomon

September 30, 2014 / By

Ambient Noise Makes Us More Creative

Ambient Noise Makes Us More Productive

My favorite place to work is a noisy, busy coffee shop, specifically, the Intelligentsia in Silver Lake. It’s never not busy, there are always a flood of trust fund kids, yippy dudes with beards writing their screenplays, and the occasional asian tourist snapping photos of the beautifully done Barbara Bestor designed space. Yet with this flood of noise and distraction it’s really the place where I feel like I can focus. The noise to me acts as an enveloping blanket, allowing me to focus singularly on the task in front me.

Thankfully I’m not alone in my admiration for ambience as this 99U piece points out the benefits of noise and how it increases creativity.

Specifically, they separated the participants into four groups and asked all four groups to complete a Remote Associates Test, a commonly used test of creative thinking that asks test-takers to find the relationship between a series of words that appear unrelated. Each of the groups was subjected to a different level of background noise (50 decibels, 70 decibels, 85 decibels, and total silence). When they scored each person’s test, the researchers found that those in the 70 decibel group, exposed to a moderate level of ambient noise, significantly out-performed those in the other three groups. The background noise boosted their creative thinking.

I like that they also included some ambient noise apps as well in case it might be, you know, like midnight and your local coffee shop is closed.

Bobby Solomon

September 30, 2014 / By

Draw Lifelike Faces and Features with a Free Guide from Craftsy (Sponsored)

Draw Lifelike Faces and Features with a Free Guide from Craftsy (Sponsored)

The face can be the most impactful, compelling part of a portrait, but it can also be the most challenging. Learn how to sketch stunning portraits with the free Craftsy PDF guide, Drawing the Human Face: A Primer.

Download the guide instantly and receive 25 illustrated pages of expert guidance from artists Paul Heaston and Sandrine Pelissier. Easily print it if you’d like, and enjoy it forever, in-home or on the go.

Get essential tips and tutorials to capture the human face with riveting realism. Discover easy-to-use formulas for a perfectly-drawn portrait, including lessons on drawing the head and jawline, achieving accurate proportion and placement for the nose and mouth, sketching expressive eyes, and using shading to depict hair with movement and dimension. Bring any subject to life when you learn to draw your best portrait ever.

Get the free guide at Craftsy.com.

Bobby Solomon

September 30, 2014 / By

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