Archives for category: Retro

Disney characters are so ubiquitous in today’s popular culture that they are sometimes the subject of a less wholesome narrative (as seen here and here). In his series Noir Princesses, San Diego-based illustrator/artist Astor Alexander explores Disney princesses in a darker light. These highly stylized portraits harken back to mystery novels and films of the 1940s and 50s and tell stories centered around said princesses as noir fiction protagonists. Alexander’s talent is undeniable, and his aesthetic is right on the money. He captures the individual personality of each recognizable princess character while transporting them all to a less familiar setting with a foreboding cinematic quality.

Prints available here.

Via Behance and Instagram

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When one thinks of hand embroidery, a little old lady in her rocker with a wooden hoop on her lap sewing “Home Sweet Home” may immediately come to mind. Young Malaysian artist Sheena Liam turns that notion of traditional hand embroidery on its head with her simple yet smart creations. Using little more than black thread and her own imagination and experiences, Liam adds another dimension to what is traditionally a two-dimensional art. Hair is the focal point of Liam’s work, and her subjects’ long tresses flowing from her circular canvases is her signature. This clever touch elevates her work, and we absolutely love it.

Via Instagram

 

We can all agree that the 1980s had a very specific aesthetic that proliferated into all areas of our culture, from fashion to music to graphic design and everything in between. So when digital artist/musician/internet persona Future Punk recently took some, ahem, very recognizable brands and gave them an 80s-styled retro makeover, we swooned. Future Punk (we’ve unsuccessfully scoured the internet for any clues as to his/her true identity) employs an arsenal of 1980s mainstays, including neon, chrome and Memphis-style elements to take current brand logos back to the future. Future Punk could honestly continue this great series for quite sometime… here’s to hoping!

Via future-punk.com

Imagine a post-apocalyptic world where social media companies are no longer the powerhouses they are today, but rather crumbling relics from the past. That’s exactly what self-taught Romanian digital artist Andrei Lacatusu envisioned when conceiving his arresting series Social Decay. Not only is Lacatusu’s technical skill amazing, but we love the concept, which flies in the face of all we know to be true at this present moment. And that’s what makes this series so striking. These logos, including Facebook, Google, and Instagram, are slick, closely curated marks that sort of define the current era. So to see them dilapidated, weather-worn and abandoned forces a double take, especially at this level of realism. Lacatusu’s perspective is provocative and timely, elevating this series well beyond a masterclass in CGI.

Via Behance

    

As we’ve mentioned before, we occasionally have a lapse of design envy. It doesn’t happen too often… after all, we are a pretty terrifically creative bunch here at Barbour. But sometimes we encounter work that is just so damn brilliant. So good, in a “why didn’t we think of that?” sort of way, that we have to concede our envy publicly (in a good way, of course). In this instance, it’s the illustrious work of New York-based designer and letterer Nick Misani. Though we are absolutely taken with Misani’s entire stunning body of work, we are particularly impressed with his ongoing Fauxsiacs series. Here, Misani hones his stellar lettering skills in the context of realistic mosaic illustrations to great effect. Misani’s work is clearly historically influenced, with a modern twist, and it’s no surprise that he has worked with design icon Louise Fili, perhaps the highest compliment. We will be keeping an eye on this series, which features destinations from around the world. The possibilities are endless, and hopefully coming to a city near you! Prints available here.

Via fauxsaics.com and Instagram

At a time when our collective consciousness is so acutely aware of gender roles, and (a long overdue) war has been waged against sexist practices and other gender issues, Lebanon-based photographer/visual artist Eli Rezkallah turns twisted gender roles depicted in vintage advertisements on their heads. Rezkallah painstakingly recreated some blatantly sexist ads, but with a reversal of gender roles to convey just how these absurd and deep-rooted gender stereotypes were portrayed to the masses just decades ago. Rezkallah also comments on how past generations continue to perpetuate these oversimplified ideas about the roles of women and men: “Last Thanksgiving, I overheard my uncles talk about how women are better off cooking, taking care of the kitchen, and fulfilling ‘their womanly duties’. Although I know that not all men like my uncles think that way I was surprised to learn that some still do, so I went on to imagine a parallel universe, where roles are inverted and men are given a taste of their own sexist poison.” If nothing else, Rezkallah’s work should make you giggle (and perhaps even gasp).

Via elirezkallah.com

 

As the convergence of our digital and physical lives continues at a rapid pace, art, as it historically has, reflects these shifts. UK-born, NYC-based designer/artist Ben Fearnley, whose award-winning work often features top-notch CGI, explores this juxtaposition through his recent personal project Sculptmojis. Fearnley’s visually engaging and playful CG creations mix traditional sculpture with those ubiquitous emojis we are all so familiar with. The contrast is striking, and honestly might not be as effective in less capable hands. Fearnley’s conceptual thinking and masterful execution elevate this digital art way beyond the very basic ideograms it derives from.

Via benfearnleydesign.com

British artist Nick Smith speaks the visual language of a true contemporary artist. His work is thoughtful, compelling and current. Seemingly inspired by 8-bit graphics of his youth, Smith recreates recognizable paintings from a variety of famous artists using little more than a brilliant sense of color and some custom Pantone Color Chips. Though the work he’s recreating employs broad ranges of color and is often very detailed, his pixelated reinterpretations are still remarkably recognizable. True to Smith’s attention to detail, he does not use standard Pantone chips, but rather customizes them with specific names that relate to the artwork they comprise, adding another layer of dimension to these already impressive works.

More pixelated work here and here and here.

Via smithandstuff.com and Instagram

Posters are some of our favorite, yet challenging, projects. Poster design is a marriage between visual aesthetic and the delivery of information, between textual and graphical elements… the very fundamentals of graphic design. It should come as no surprise, then, that an institution as important and influential as the New York Film Festival places great emphasis on this visual embodiment of its annual event. Festival organizers manage to recruit some truly respected artists and photographers year after year for its remarkable posters. Below is just a sampling, starting with this year’s by renowned sculptor Richard Serra.

Via nytimes.com

Melbourne, Australia-based contemporary artist Ben Frost has a pop art aesthetic with a subversive, confrontational spirit. In some of his most recent work, Frost essentially uses mainly (junk) food and pharmaceutical packaging as a canvas for his bold illustrations inspired by pop culture, Roy Lichtenstein, and manga. His mashups are not random, though… Frost exhibits his mastery of juxtaposition with these works in a way that can be truly provocative. Through his work, Frost continually pushes boundaries and challenges social norms while addressing our advertising-soaked, consumer-obsessed culture. In his own statement, Frost describes: “By subverting mainstream iconography from the worlds of advertising, entertainment, and politics, he creates a visual framework that is bold, confronting and often controversial.”

Via benfrostisdead.com

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