Robert Crumb’s ‘A Short History of America’

Robert Crumb's 'History of America'

Kyle and I speak often about gentrification and some of the effects it causes. You might view it as helping neighborhoods look better or you might see it as kicking people out of their homes. Either way it made me think about Robert Crumb’s A Short History of America which illustrates how the country has progressed over the last 100 years. It would be interesting to see how he’d update the street for 2014. In some respects you have areas like Brooklyn which have been completely gentrified, but you also have areas of Detroit where neighborhoods have been neglected and abandoned.

You can see a high-res version of the illustration by clicking here.

Bobby Solomon

June 27, 2014 / By

Fun and Psychedelic Illustrations from London’s DogBoy

Dogboy

Dogboy is the name that London-based illustrator Philip Huntington works under. I’ve been loving his illustrations ever since I saw one of them on the cover of a flyer for a late-night opening at London’s V&A (above). While his bio is quick to point out that his work process “does not involve experimentation with mind-altering substances”, it’s clear to see that the language of psychedelia has clearly made a way into the crazy alternative reality he creates.

DogBoy frequently works on personal projects and produces work for independent magazines. If you like what you see here make sure to head over to his site and see some more of his work.

Dogboy

Dogboy - Audiovision

Dogboy

Dogboy

Philip Kennedy

June 27, 2014 / By

Google’s Street Art Project is a Step in the Right Direction for Graffiti

Google-streetart-1

Google’s Paris-based Cultural Institute has recently launched a database called the Street Art Project. This initiative features street art from across the globe, much of which no longer exists. Working alongside various cultural organizations worldwide, and putting to use their very own Street View, the Cultural Institute and subsequent Street Art Project is making these public works increasingly more public, democratizing art, and chronicling it’s contemporary impact for the future. It’s one of those projects that makes Google hard not to love.

 

The Google Cultural Institute, founded in 2011, is composed of a staff around 30 engineers. It’s a project that’s documenting the physical and bringing it to the web for the public to access. They want users to be able to view the Art Projects, Historical Moments, and World Wonders that have shaped our world, from the comfort of your home. As of now, they’ve already helped create online archives for historic figures, such as Nelson Mandela, or used Street View to provide renderings of World Heritage sites. But what really grabs my attention is the focus they’re placing on graffiti—handling it with the respect and admiration that is traditionally associated with works found in museums or on gallery walls.

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“I’m not treating street art as anything different from what I would do with the Impressionist collection I’m getting on Art Project,” said Amit Sood, director of the Cultural Institute. The Street Art Project is sister to the Art Project, another Cultural Institute initiative that has provided technical support to more than 460 museums and helped in bringing their collections to the web for all to see.

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The Street Art Project is searchable by artists, city, genre and other categories. Not only does it consist of current art viewable in the public, but it also documents much of which that doesn’t exist anymore. Of the 30 institutions that have furnished the platform with images is the Museum of the City of New York; the Dallas Contemporary; Living Walls: The City Speaks in Atlanta; and the Museum of Street Art in France.

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On one side, Google is helping bring street art to a more respectable level. On the other, it’s perpetuating what street art already encompasses, that is public art in the public space. The New York Times encapsulates this in stating, “Google is formalizing what street art fans around the world already do: take pictures of city walls and distribute them on social media.” It’s an effort to make art more available to viewers, a public domain gone more public, and it’s fascinating to see it happen thanks to the developments of technology and the culture-bridging, border-crossing abilities of the internet.

 

Shepard Fairey stated that, “I’ve always used my street art to democratize art, so it would be philosophically inconsistent for me to protest art democratization through Google.” Street art often comes with a bad rep, where people have a hard time distinguishing it from vandalism.

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Lois Stavsky, who runs Street Art NYC says that most artists like the idea of of enabling more people to view their work. Especially the Street Art Project’s potential to preserve work. Take 5Pointz for example, the famous NYC graffiti landmark that was whitewashed last year. Working alongside the Cultural Institute, Stavsky sorted through hundreds of 5Pointz photos to uploaded several to Google’s new platform—making a location available to thousands that otherwise would’ve never had the opportunity to see.

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As is expected from a company like Google, the platform itself is designed to utilize the web’s functions and perform smoothly. It’s intuitive and features a bunch of interesting features, from documentaries to dipping into street view to have a look at building’s interiors. Perhaps the most innovative feature is a special camera they used to document certain pieces (such as VHILS who’s famous for sculpting work into walls), allowing users to zoom in and take a closer look in stunning clarity.

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Nick Partyka

June 26, 2014 / By

Tranquil shots of Nature in Miren Pastor’s ‘Bidean’

Bidean Miren

Sometimes it’s nice to encounter work where you don’t know the full story. This is the case with Bidean; a beautiful series of images from Madrid-based photographer Miren Pastor. Pastor’s work explores open fields and deep recesses. Her images are bathed in a beautiful light where nature seems to either be dawning a new or where the sun is slowly taking its final crawl across our planet. Whatever state these images are captured in, it’s hard not to get swept up in their lush beauty.

More images from the series can be found on Pastor’s website with a series of words in Spanish.

Bidean Miren

Bidean Miren

Bidean Miren

Bidean Miren

Philip Kennedy

June 25, 2014 / By

Los Angeles Stories: Design Edition

Los Angeles Stories: Design Edition

This Thursday June 26 I’ll be hosting Los Angeles Stories, a special storytelling night put on by TFIB sister site, Los Angeles, I’m Yours. Each month the stories focus on my beautiful city of Los Angeles but each of the stories will be design related in honor of the Los Angeles Design Festival, which is happening this month.

Jon Setzen, Creative Director and the man who makes CreativeMornings happen in Los Angeles.
• Bobby Solomon, creative director at disney and the dude behind The Fox Is Black.
Peter Zellner, fantastic local architect and former LAIY cover man.
Kyle Fitzpatrick, writer and editor of art, design, and food culture site Los Angeles, I’m Yours.

We’re super stoked for this. Can’t wait to see you next Thursday! Make sure to reserve a ticket here.

Bobby Solomon

June 24, 2014 / By

Looking at Future Classics Part 2: Panama’s ‘Always’ EP

panama

Future Classic casts a wide net of sounds, certainly. While we can say they’re purveyors of contemporary dance music, they seem to also get into Australia’s burgeoning synth pop / rock scene. This draws from a lot of different resources – shimmering electro-pop, gritty grungy roots, and that inevitable influence of the sun reflecting off the ocean. No music (or art, for that matter), exists outside its influences or environment, and Jarrah McCleary’s project, Panama, synthesizes the sea and sky into a digital backdrop. McCleary emerged from Darwin, Australia, moved to Perth and then then Sydney. Somehow he found himself starting Panama in Los Angeles. ‘Always’ is their second EP, recorded in San Francisco, a glimpse into their growing indie electronic career.

Comprised of three tracks and three remixes the EP could feel like a truncated examination or even incomplete. The title track, light, airy and breezy, will be the backdrop of so many summer make-outs and road trips. The lyrics betray someone being forced outside of their shell, “Deep down you said I’m a coward when it comes to love / Deep down your words changed my mold.” The second track, “How We Feel,” remains upbeat with that now-classic Australian indie house sound. “Destroyer” fits in the classic 80s synth pop update, moody and pulsating. The EP ends with 3 remixes, “Always” getting treatment by Classix and Wave Runner while “Destroyer” getting touched up by Cosmos. But for me? That remix by Classix is unreal, funkify-ing an already intoxicating rhythm. It’s my early favorite for the 2014 epic mixtapes (including my own) and that-song-you-want-to-give-your-lover. Panama may be a young project but it’s the product of adventure and travel, captivating like the road and the ephemeral moments on it.

Alec Rojas

June 23, 2014 / By

Sponsored – Kickstart your Creative Career with The Shillington Graphic Design Course

The Shillington Graphic Design Course

Looking to kickstart your creative career? A world class design education shouldn’t take forever. The Shillington Graphic Design Course takes just 3 months full-time or 1 year part-time. Most students have had no previous design experience, and come from a variety of professional backgrounds. Finance, hospitality, construction, nursing … you name it! With passion, determination and some friendly guidance from Shillington’s talented teachers, students graduate with everything they need to begin their exciting and rewarding new career in graphic design.

Find out more about the Shillington teaching method at our Info Session on Wednesday July 2 (315 Madison Avenue, 6th Floor, Manhattan). Alternatively, join us at our summer graduations on Friday July 18 for our full-time students and Friday 25 July for our part-time students where you can see their amazing student work.

Bobby Solomon

June 23, 2014 / By

Natalie Adkins’ Tongue-in-Cheek Look at Life In Your Twenties

Twenties by Natalie Adkins

Twenties by Natalie Adkins

Twenties is a great little project by the London-based illustrator Natalie Adkins. Taking a tongue-in-cheek look at life in your twenties, her smart image changing volvelles present one version of how life could be before quickly revealing the more-plausable truth.

In the image above a smooth Lothario asks “Your place or mine?” yet the realistic version is far less sophisticated. A quick turn of the dial presents our lover’s lady friend less than enamored by the suggestion that maybe they might want to take things back to his parents house!

Twenties by Natalie Adkins

The image above is called “It’s Not That People Won’t Give You The Time of Day, They Won’t Give You The Morning After” and below you can view the volvelles in action.

Twenties by Natalie Adkins

Natalie’s final image in the seires is called “If You Fell In The Shower and No One Was There To Hear You Fall, Would You Still Make a Sound?”. Make sure to see more of her work by visiting her website.

Philip Kennedy

June 23, 2014 / By

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