For our final interview from the Kitsune Noir Poster Club we have Garrett Vander Leun, a Los Angeles based illustrator who chose The Road for his poster. Garrett has been drawing since he was a little kid, influenced by his father’s illustrations and comic books growing up. Garrett’s artwork has been featured on music packaging and t-shirts and he is currently working on several series of portraits.
Why did you choose The Road?
The book hit me very hard when I read it, unlike any book has before or since.
I would be remiss if I didn’t say I’ve had some amazing women in my life, and both my mother and grandmother have had a profound influence on me – but there’s something about the relationship between father and son that is almost indescribable, a kind of shorthand where words are often exercised in light of an unspoken understanding. That bond, and that relationship, is so strong in this book and it reminded me very much of the relationship I have with my father. Even without the father thing, the parental instinct in this novel, the need to blindly do anything for your child’s well-being, has never been captured so elegantly and pure. These two characters live in spite of their grim surroundings, live only for each other really, for as the book progresses you’re overwhelmed by hopelessness and despair. At one point, the boy talks with his father:
What would you do if I died?
If you died, I would want to die too.
So you could be with me?
Yes, so I could be with you.
That’s it right there, the subtext of the entire book. Two people trying to survive in spite of the ever-changing times, a world where love and kindness is endangered, if not already extinct. Cormac McCarthy is a modern master, and the beauty of his words are very subtle, they’re all just-so deliberate and perfect. No quotation marks, no dialogue modifiers, no excessive flourishes of any kind. It’s like a novelized poem or something. Cormac McCarthy operates on this other level – he reminds me of Terrence Malick, the filmmaker, in a lot of ways.
KEEP READING →
As I mentioned in my previous post, my favorite video at the Flux event was NASA’s Spacious Thoughts by the duo of Fluorescent Hill. The duo is made up of Montreal based Mark Lomond and Johanne Ste-Marie who make music videos, commercials and short films.
The song has lyrics by both Kool Keith and Tom Waits so the idea of duality must have popped up somewhere. The video features this awesome little character they created, a kind of rain drop guy with a red mouth and a Geordi LaForge visor kinda thing for eyes. He also wears cowboy boots. It’s what they do with the character that is really startling and amazing. I was sitting in the theater and I couldn’t close my mouth, I was amazed. I love how the little guy starts to move and 3D colors start to appear, or he slams his fists into the ground and paint splatters everywhere to increase the emotion.
Whatever you’re doing just stop and watch this, it’ll make your day.
To see more of Fluorescent Hill’s work, click here.
After my delicious meal at Isaac Toast I met up with Matt and we headed over to the Hammer Museum for the Flux Screening Series. This month’s series presented Mia Doi Todd & Michel Gondry as the center piece with a screening of her newest video which was directed by Mr. Gondry.
The night started with music videos for Grizzly Bear, NASA, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Múm and more. My favorite of all of them was the NASA video for the song Spacious Thoughts which features Kool Keith and Tom Waits. The video was made by Fluorescent Hill and as I started to watch it my jaw dropped. More on this video in another post. After the videos they had some of the directors come up and talk about their videos and some of the process behind each of them, which was really fun to see and hear. What I learned is that most directors are totally crazy.
Then we were treated to a live performance by Mia Doi Todd and her band which included Michel Gondry on drums. It was a beautiful performance and Ms. Doi Todd has a really beautiful voice. At times her music sounded like Portishead, Joni Mitchell and Vashti Bunyan, but with a more Latin flavor. I’m hoping she releases an album next year, the songs she played could be a perfect compliment to the summer of 2010.
Overall it was one of the best Flux events I’ve been to and I left with a huge smile on my face. If you’re in Los Angeles next year I highly suggest checking out one of their events.
P.S. Here’s a video of Michel Gondry solving a Rubix Cube with his nose.
On my way to the Flux event last night I was in need of some dinner. So as usual I turned to Twitter to see if anyone had any suggestions for a quick and cheap meal in Westwood. One response was from a guy named Adam who suggested I try a place called Isaac Toast which also happened to just open up yesterday. He said they served Korean sandwiches which totally peaked my interest, so I decided to stop by.
As it turns out Isaac Toast is a chain of restaurants from Korea which all started from as a street food vendor. The new location in Westwood is the first in America as they’re trying to branch out. As for the menu it’s pretty dang simple, basically just sandwiches, but it’s what they put on the sammies that really makes these stand out. You’ll find the basic things like lettuce, tomato and cheese, but then they also throw egg mixed with corn, mushrooms and their special Isaac sauce to top it all off.
Overall the sandwich was amazing and totally fresh tasting. I got a soda and a turkey sandwich and it was only $7, which is quite a deal. I’d much rather get a sandwich like the one above than a crappy, foot long blah sandwich at Subway. If you happen to be in Westwood and want a cheap but yummy place to eat, definitely check this place out.
(Sorry the photo is so crappy, I was in a hurry.)
Continuing our series of interviews with the artists behind the first series of the Kitsune Noir Poster Club I’d like to present a fellow named Cody Hoyt. Cody grew up in Florida, studied printmaking at the Massachusetts College of Art, and now lives in Los Angeles. I don’t remember how I came across Cody’s work but about a year and a half ago I asked him to create a desktop wallpaper and he obliged. Since then I’ve been absolutely in love with his work. It still boggles my mind that Cody isn’t a super famous artist, I tell him this all the time, and his Infinite Jest poster further proves this.
To give a little background, Infinite Jest is a book by the recently deceased David Foster Wallace that was written in 1996. If you haven’t heard of it you should have, because Time magazine put the book in it’s list of best English-language novels from 1923 to the present. Wikipedia sums up the book nicely as being about “tennis, substance addiction and recovery programs, depression, child abuse, family relationships, advertising and popular entertainment, film theory, and Quebec separatism.” So you see, it’s a chaotic book about a lot of stuff, and Cody nailed it on the head.
Why did you choose Infinite Jest?
I made a short list of potential candidates. I had originally chosen A Scanner Darkly by Phillip K. Dick, which was a tragic mind-fuck of a book. Infinite Jest was my second choice, but should have been my first, because its absolutely perfect. Its also a tragic mind-fuck, but more so, and hasn’t been made into a movie starring Keanu Reeves yet. Its an epic, dark and touching jackpot of cinematic imagery.
KEEP READING →