Archives for posts with tag: engaging

We’ve featured California-based contemporary artist Andrew Myers before (here), but his awesome work deserves a revisit. Myers amalgamates sculpture and portraiture in some really intriguing ways. Whether intentional or not, on some level Myers’ work bears some resemblance (at least conceptually) to that of the great Chuck Close. Rather than splotchy “pixels” of paint, Myers’ work is comprised of screws (yes, as in something you’d get from a hardware store). He painstakingly drives thousands of screws by hand (ranging from a few thousand to over 10,000) at various depths into his “canvas”, then paints over each screw head to create these brilliant works, that in the end are basically three dimensional sculptures. These stunning portraits are engaging viewed from near or far, but as one gets closer, it’s clear that Myers spends some serious time creating these works. He has an obvious love for working with his hands and clearly knows his way around a tool bench… hardware seems to be a common theme in all of his work, from these aforementioned screws to steel rods and even automotive paint. You will see in the video below, Myers has the hands of a carpenter, and we can see why. Tremendous, tactile work… we absolutely love it.

Via andrewmyersart.com

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With the latest Apple releases, so too will come the flood of YouTube videos of folks “testing” the new devices in all sorts of precarious scenarios (submerging your new iPhone in a vat of soda, then freezing it for 12 hours, anyone?). New Zealand-born, Brooklyn-based photographer/artist Henry Hargreaves (whose stellar work we’ve discussed here and here) takes a more cerebral approach to a practice that is no less cringe-inducing to us gadget geeks. Hargreaves, along with his stylist partner Caitlin Levin, whose incredible collaborations almost always employ food as the medium, juxtaposes said electronic devices with fast food in their series Deep Fried Gadgets. While we do shudder slightly at the sight of intentionally defacing these gizmos that we hold in such high regard, we certainly appreciate the concept and commentary, not to mention the fascinatingly engaging visuals. In Hargreaves’s own words, “I like to play with food and the juxtaposition of different worlds. I found a video of some Japanese kids trying to deep fry a PSP and eat it, it didn’t work and they made a mess of it, but I loved the idea and thought it could be expanded and photographed in a beautiful way. Electronics have become almost a holy device, the way a new apple device sends people out of their minds. But as soon as the next model comes out the last is immediately forgotten. This is a commentary about the similarities between tech culture and fast food. Quickly devoured and then discarded because of our appetite for the newest product.”

Via hargreavesandlevin.com

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The work of Montreal-based Mathieu Lévesque is, quite simply, a masterclass in food photography. We are in awe of Lévesque’s ability to apply his own creative vision to everything he (re)touches. His attention to detail is remarkable. And the wit and whimsy present in so much of his work elevates it to the next level. We are engaged on many levels by his work… inspired, envious and hungry!

Via Behance

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In keeping with our (hopefully) weeklong theme of Create Upstate 2015 (other posts here and here), we turn the spotlight on fellow Rochester-based designer (and educator/writer) Mitch Goldstein. Those behind the planning of Create Upstate clearly made a deliberate decision to have Goldstein kick off the main event. Goldstein is the perfect blend of adept designer and engaging speaker, and his talk about The Habit of Making got us charged up right out of the box. It almost felt like church for designers, and Goldstein was giving a homily. In essence, Goldstein discussed his habit of making for the sake of making, and how it has made him a better designer. This daily 30-minute creative exercise, which he and his wife Anne Jordan call “inside walking”, has given way to some pretty impressive work (below and here). Goldstein stressed the importance of letting go, and not worrying about making something “good” or even “finished”, but just focus on the making part. We are not really doing Goldstein’s sermon any justice here, just know that this is sage advice that we hope to get into the habit of following. Be sure to scroll down for products from Goldstein’s “walks”, and a sampling of his superb client work, some of which originated directly from said walks.

Via mitchgoldstein.com and Tumblr

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A couple members of the Barbour team had the honor of witnessing a speaking engagement by the incomparable Dana Tanamachi at Create Upstate in Syracuse last week. The event itself was terrific, from the impressive venue (great food, btw), awesome vendors, and stellar lineup of speakers. One highlight was undoubtedly the inspirational work and philosophy of Tanamachi. Honestly, we’re not saying anything new here, just bowing down, as most who are exposed to her transcendent work tend to do. Texas-bred, Brooklyn-based Tanamachi, whose lettering work is quite ubiquitous (you’ve probably seen it, or a rip-off of it, and may not have realized it was hers), seems quite gracious, humble, passionate and sincere when discussing her craft. She’s not some Brooklyn hipster who is too cool for school. Her tremendous talents seemed to have emerged over time, and her rise in the design world happened organically, which we truly admire. Tanamachi is a rock star among our peers, and we are just happy to have spent an engaging hour in her presence. Here’s a small sampling of her formidable body of work… prepare to drool.

Via tanamachistudio.com

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Full disclosure: we’re having a moment of design envy. And for several reasons. The subject of our aspirational glares is Big Apple-based designer/illustrator José Guizar’s self-initiated, ongoing weekly project Windows of New York. First, we are truly inspired by “daily” projects. We admire the commitment of artists who hone their craft through some sort of consistent work, whether it be daily, weekly, monthly (for example, here and here and here). It truly is a creative exercise, to motivate one’s self to conjure creativity for the sake of it, and at regular intervals, no less. Second, with distractions aplenty, from our Apple i-devices, to social media, to everyday hustle and bustle, being mindful enough to stop and appreciate architectural details around us is easier said than done. Such inquisitiveness and passion are what drives Guizar. Finally, his incredible illustration skills really make this project what it is. In the hands of a less-skilled artist, this undertaking wouldn’t be quite so notable. But Guizar’s spare, yet detailed design approach is perfectly engaging. From his flat style, to his terrific sense of color and composition, to his attention to typography, Guizar’s growing collection of diverse architectural specimens reflects his personal spirit of curiosity and exploration, and should be cherished and admired by designers for quite sometime. Hats off to Guizar for a well-conceived and expertly executed personal project.

Via windowsofnewyork.com

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When it comes to an art medium we can really sink our teeth into, food is near the top of our list. After all, few things bring people together like food. It’s relatable, familiar, often comforting, and let’s face it, essential to our very being. Philadelphia-based photographer Dominic Episcopo invites viewers to “Meat America” through this engaging and polarizing series of photographs of, well, meat — carved, molded, manipulated — to look like American icons. Episcopo describes the project as “an eye-opening and artery-closing tour of America’s spirit of entrepreneurship, rebellion and positivity.” From Elvis, to Lincoln, to the Liberty Bell as subjects, Episcopo’s carnivorous wit shines through. And his photography skills are not too shabby either. Patriotic protein aside, Episcopo’s sense of composition and lighting is stellar. A less skilled photographer would not have pulled this off so well. Episcopo’s book available here.

More food art here and here and here.

Via meatamerica.com

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You may already be familiar with the work of contemporary American artist Scott Blake. Blake’s work is not only visually compelling, but also engaging and usually interactive. Some of his most prominent works involve bar codes (aptly called Barcode Art), which fittingly mock consumerism and the increasing societal dominance of big data. Blake has a clear love of technology, and uses it in incredible, sometimes controversial, ways. His “Chuck Close Filter” which emulated a technique made famous by the celebrated artist, for instance, was shut down by Close himself, citing jeopardy to his livelihood and trivializing his work. We are not even scratching the surface of Blake’s growing body of work, nor are we doing it much justice. Be sure to visit Blake’s site and take it all in first-hand.

Via barcodeart.com and YouTube

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Given the abundance of fonts out there (many of which are often free), one would think that the tradition of lettering would be dead. But similar to the rise of vinyl in music these days, the opposite is actually true. Lettering is experiencing a sort of renaissance in the design community. Call it novelty or nostalgia, but there is something very special about lettering, especially in this era of (and we don’t particularly like this term) desktop publishing. Styles run the gamut, and we have an appreciation for the great variety of lettering work currently being done. We are particularly fond of London-based freelance digital letterer and illustrator Linzie Hunter. Her colorful, whimsical style has served an impressive list of clients very well. Those clients include New York Observer, Washington Post, Random House Publishing, Harper Collins, Scholastic, Hallmark, American Girl, Time Magazine, Wall Street Journal, Nike, and many more. Hunter’s work is really quite something… she has a distinct ability to make a heap of information engaging, and even beautiful. And her illustrations are fantastic too. What a talent!

Via linziehunter.co.uk

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There’s a lot of buzz surrounding the new Christopher Nolan science-fiction film Interstellar. Given the genre, and anticipation leading up to its release last week, it’s no surprise that a considerable amount of inspired art has surfaced online. Much of it is fan art, but these poster comps by Los Angeles-based designer/art director James Fletcher are more than that. Certainly a fan, but also an entertainment industry insider, Fletcher has loads of experience working in the field. And it shows. We love the variety of his layouts, and the level of detail he brings to the table. There’s nothing static about them… they could be part of the movie itself. These posters are impactful, engaging, and just darn good. Well done. Be sure to check out more of Fletcher’s stellar work.

Via dreamstateconcepts.com and Behance

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