When art and science collide, some pretty spectacular things can happen. Dutch visual artist Berndnaut Smilde applies a fascination with the complexities of duality (construction vs. deconstruction, inside vs. outside, etc.) to his work. Some of his most notable pieces involve literally bringing what is otherwise an outdoor phenomenon, clouds, indoors. And this makes for some pretty strikingly unfamiliar visuals. The ephemeral nature of this work is so powerful, existing for just a short time, and constantly changing (building up and falling apart) in the process. Smilde’s combination of smoke and moisture (and dramatic lighting) is an achievement in both visual art and science, even recognized by Time Magazine as one of the “Top Ten Inventions of 2012”. Be sure to check out the video at the bottom of this post to see Smilde’s clouds in motion.
At first glance, one might deduce that this series of vivid, eye-catching photos is for some high-brow fashion campaign, or conceptual art project. Much to our surprise and delight, they are actually part of a bold print and outdoor advertising campaign from a few years back, entitled Adaptation, for, of all things, Barcelona City Council. That’s right, government, more or less. Shot by acclaimed Spanish photographer Paco Peregrín, and art directed by London-based Conor Cronin, this campaign is so different from what we’d expect from anything remotely bureaucratic, that’s it’s certainly attention getting, and even slightly refreshing. Could you even imagine a campaign like this for your local city council? Perhaps Spaniards are more culturally and artistically evolved. Or maybe the aesthetic sophistication juxtaposed with a purpose, though noble, rather mundane, was exactly the point. Either way, we’re talking about it thousands of miles away, and that is impressive by any measure.
It is said that patience is a virtue. And French artists/designers Xavier Casalta and Rémy Boiré are just oozing with it. Casalta’s specialty is pointillism, a technique in which small, distinct dots are applied in patterns to form an image. Boiré is a masterful hand-letterer, whose line work is impeccable. Together they created this phenomenal piece. Clocking in over 300 hours of patience and discipline, Casalta’s and Boiré’s passion for highly detailed design could not be more evident. Not only is this a great example of seamless collaboration, but also of deliberate forethought and planning, as well as hand craftsmanship in an increasingly digital design landscape. Just incredible.
Milan-based designer/illustrator/author Gerald Bear seems to have a bunch of questions in that tremendously creative brain of his. And he answers many visually in his ongoing series Unconventional Heroes. What if all Doc Brown could afford was a Fiat (instead of a DeLorean)? What if Michael Knight did his life’s work from a talking VW Beetle? What if the Mystery Van was a Ford Thames van? Unconventional is a great adjective to describe these fantastic illustrations by Bear. He taps into not only a love of automobiles/transportation, but also a fascination with pop culture, and of course, the art of illustration. Bear marries these altogether in a pleasantly unexpected series that keeps us wanting more. Keep ‘em coming!
We are big fans of reimagined movie posters done well (here and here and here). San Francisco Bay Area-based Concepcion Studios, led by art director Patrick Concepcion, seems to do better than well with each new project. And these reimagined Wes Anderson film posters, for Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, and The Life Aquatic, are no exception. We love the the bold colors, clean and timeless typography, and vintage hipster feel employed here. Film buffs and design nerds alike should swoon over this series, as well as other work in Concepcion’s portfolio. There’s some pretty terrific work.