There are two clear front runners for most important visual storytelling method: the emoji and the GIF. In the case of the latter it’s becomes increasingly interesting to see how people are experimenting with the media of short, looping animations. One of the most impressive artists I’ve come across lately is designer and illustrator Drew Tyndall, a Nashville resident who has created some impressive looking GIFs that are reminiscent of Sol Lewitt mashed with Piet Mondrian. His ability to create such fluidity and texture in each of these is mighty impressive, and his color choices are absolutely spot on.
You can see more of his looping illustrations in his portfolio.
When you’re a guy like Nicholas Krgovich you’ve had a very interesting career. He made a name for himself with acts like P:iano and No Kids (who I put on this mixtape 5 years ago), though for me it was his appearance on Casiotone for the Painfully Alone’s track “Old Panda Days” that really sold me.
Now he’s back with a new solo record On Sunset which I’ve had on repeat for the past week. It’s a record about Los Angeles which in many ways sounds like Los Angeles and that numerous musical styles that have come from here. If I had to sum up the sound the record in one sentence I’d say it sounds like Jens Lekman tinged with R&B and the lyrical structure of 90s gangsta rap. Sounds crazy right? If you listen to Let’s Take The Car Out, the fifth track on the album, you’ll hear a distinct 90s way of presenting the lyrics yet it’s backed by elegant strings and a graceful piano.
I’m surprised that no one has picked up on this album yet, it might be the dark horse of 2014, but it’s certainly going to be in my top favorites.
I’ve never stopped to think about how we might grow plants in space. I’ve only really thought about those enormous geodesic domes that you see in sci-fi films like Silent Running, but I’ve never stopped to consider what a practical real-life equivalent of those might be. Obviously being in space brings about all kinds of issues and I can just imagine the problems you might face if you tried to water some soil while floating around in zero-gravity.
Fortunately the guys at NASA have been thinking about exactly these issues. Back in 2011 the experts and astronauts there collaborated with designers Piotr Szpryngwald and Mirko Ihrig in developing a means for astronauts to grow food on long duration space flights in a clean, easy and safe way.
Their solution is brilliantly simple. The concept consist of a small pillow which contains the seed and hydroponic media. They also created a special watering device which can both puncture and activate the pillow. The final element is a growing chamber which informs astronauts about the harvesting cycles of their plants. I think the idea is great and I love the look of it.
You can view more images from the project here.
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Earlier this year Rolling Stone described Jack White as “Rock & Roll’s Willy Wonka” and it’s clear to see why. His label, Third Man Records, is undoubtedly a golden ticket for music fans. Its Nashville HQ boasts a record store and a music venue while also releasing some of the most out-there records you’re likely to come across. From a peach-scented LP to records that glow-in-the-dark, White’s label has enough eccentricity to give even Roald Dahl’s imagination a run for its money.
But Third Man Records isn’t just about novel ideas; they’re also passionate about great music. Perhaps that is most apparent in their most recent project; a first of its kind box set that charts the rise and fall of Paramount Records. Spread over two-volumes, the collection is an omnibus of art, words and music… and both volumes look absolutely stunning.
Volume One was released late last year (take a look here) and covers a period between 1917-1927. I now have a whole host of images showing off the second volume of the collection and it’s a beaut! Consisting of 800 tracks released between 1928-1932, this new collection contains six LPs as well as two books filled with bios, art and articles. Not only that, but it also contains a USB drive filled with music and ads from the era. Everything is housed in a beautiful aluminum and stainless steel cabinet that evokes the high art deco styling of the era.
Even if you’re not the biggest fan of music I’m sure you’d be impressed by how great this package looks. Taking inspiration from the likes of Walter Dorwin Teague, Norman Bel Geddes and especially John Vassos; the cabinet looks beautiful and the illustrations and design of the books is just superb. Its creators stated that their intention for the project was to create something closer to an interactive museum exhibit than a conventional music collection and I think they’ve definitely pulled that off.
To say that Paramount was an important record label feels like a bit of an understatement. Its output included releases from jazz legends such as Louis Armstrong and Fats Waller, as well as blues musicians like Charley Patton and Son House. Their contribution to American music is hugely impressive; bringing about the birth of the Mississippi Delta blues while also influencing the style of Robert Crumb and countless other 20th century artists and illustrators through their series of hand-drawn ads in the pages of the Chicago Defender.
A collection like this is a lot to take in. I’ve spent a small amount of time listening to it and feel like I’ve only just scratched the surface. I love the sound of the era and it’s been a joy to discover some great recordings from that time. Paramount was the first and most comprehensive chronicler of what America sounded like during the 1920s and ’30 so it’s great to see their legacy being preserved in a manner as fitting as this.
The Rise & Fall Of Paramount Records Volume 2, 1928-1932 is released November 18. Volume 1 can be purchased here.
Striking out and doing what you truly love is never an easy decision, though it can lead to true happiness. That’s the case with James Chororos, a New York photographer who left his position as an architect with Studio Daniel Libeskind to concentrate on photography full-time. This proved to be a smart move as evidenced by the incredibly rich work that James put online.
His finest photos can be found under his portrait section. He’s captured an incredibly diverse range of people in such interesting places, all of which draw you in and make you want to know more. I hope to see James’ work showing up in more places soon.
German graphic designer Timo Lenzen really has a gift when it comes to creating eye catching posters. The Frankfurt-native has an impressive portfolio of work and his collection of poster designs really grabbed my attention. Not only has the designer produced an impressive quantity of work but so much of it looks amazing and demonstrates his gift for variety and diversity. I was particularly taken by his restrained use of black-and-white.
Lenzen says he enjoys working in a wide range of media and is excited to explore the possibilities that this allows him. If you take a quick skim through his website you’re bound to spot this wide range of media he’s talking about. He’s worked in everything from animation and illustration to typography and space.
I particularly love his poster “The Noble Experiment”. It was designed for a competition run by the blog Totally Drunk and presents an expression used by president Herbert Hoover during the Prohibition Era. I love his typography and the hazy black-and-white sits perfectly with the look and feel of the era.
You can see more from Timo Lenzen on his website.
I know what you’re thinking and no, somebody hasn’t been blowing big bubbles in an art gallery! Sure I featured Nicholas Hanna’s incredible bubble devices a couple of weeks ago but these are very different types of bubbles. In fact, they’re not even bubbles at all, they’re beautiful sculptures made from plastic by the talented German artist Luka Fineisen.
Fineisen’s work is frequently interested in the scientific world, with her ambitious sculptural projects often investigating processes like thermodynamics and other similar instances of transitional found within nature. I love how she takes the ephemeral beauty of a bubble and then captures it to last forever. The results are rather striking and no doubt are even better in real life.
You can view a PDF of the artist’s work online here. Feel free to also thank me for not making a ‘pop art’ joke throughout this post!