Archives for posts with tag: historical

In an effort to pay homage to some superb Italian design manifested widely through consumer goods, Italian-American designer Gianluca Gimini conceived this series of fictional co-branded sneakers. Looking at Gimini’s body of work, particularly this imaginative series, appropriately titled “Sneakered”, it’s clear that Gimini operates on a creative plane not easily defined. At a time when consumers (very broadly speaking) seem to be steeped in the marketing of nostalgia, Gimini capitalizes on that trend and also taps into a youth culture that holds footwear, specifically sneakers, in high regard. Think of it as an exercise in mashing up historical examples of excellent product design with a vehicle that has global youth appeal (sneakers). Brilliant.

Via Behance

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We have long commented on the convergence of history and art. They are intrinsically intertwined, reliant on one another in many ways. So when an artist turns the documentation and storytelling aspect of said junction on its head, we surely take notice. For his series The American Revolution Revolution, Denver-based artist Shawn Huckins masterfully juxtaposes early American portraiture with social media jargon. Thoughtfully conceptualized and brilliantly executed, Huckins’s incredible work succeeds on so many levels. And it’s also important to note that these are physical paintings, should Huckins’s artistic ability ever come into question. Huckins is a superb American artist who is clearly inspired by American Neo-Classical painters, as well as more contemporary Pop artists. In his own words, Huckins explains the series: “The American Revolution was conceived through an exchange of a few well-formed ideas communicated in person and by handwritten letters. Imagine what George & Co. could have done with the Internet. Or not. Technology influences how much we know and what we believe, as well as how quickly and intelligently we convey our ideas. But does how we communicate govern the value of what we communicate? The physical act of typing very fast on small devices has undeniably impacted spelling, grammar, and punctuation, encouraging a degree of illiteracy that has become the new social norm. As goes our grammatical literacy, do our social and cultural literacies follow?”

Via shawnhuckins.com

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It is said that art is often an honest reflection of societal issues at large. History shows that for centuries art has been a sort of barometer, documenting larger issues through the lens of the artist. This certainly holds true for the work of Italian artist Alessandro Rabatti. His series Facebank serves as commentary for the very uncertain financial state of the world today, with a humorous bent, of course. Rabatti alters iconic faces on currency (related posts here and here and here) from around the world, “disguising” them as fictional superheroes. Despite the seemingly fun nature of these pieces, Rabatti’s intent and message is likely much deeper. For one, by altering the faces of these historical figures to look like familiar comic book characters with a rich (albeit fictional) history of their own, Rabatti remarks on their economic and political status, looking to them as possible “saviors” of the global economic crisis. There is an implied trust in these figures, both real and fictional, so the dialogue Rabatti initiates with this series could really go on and on. Oh, and these works are just plain cool looking. From conception to execution, we’d say Rabatti has creative super powers of his own.

Via alessandrorabatti.com

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Legos and art have been crossing paths for years now (here and here and here). These colorful bricks that come in a vast spectrum of colors inspire not only young children, but also creative-thinking adults the world over. We are in awe of this brilliant ad campaign for Lego from a few years back, featuring highly minimalistic configurations of single-stud bricks depicting some of the most iconic paintings by masters from da Vinci to van Gogh. The human brain is truly intriguing. The fact that most people would recognize these works of art, with mere hints of details, really is amazing when we think about it. Kudos to Milan-based art director Marco Sodano for the clever concept and flawless execution.

Via Behance

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It’s not often that we, the general public, are exposed to the ancestry of superheroes and other fictional characters. Stories of family roots have sometimes been depicted on the pages of comic books and graphic novels, and briefly on film. But Italian photography duo Carlo Marvellini and Andrea Marvellini, otherwise known as Foto Marvellini, have documented their heritage through some very impressive “historical” portraits. We are really taken with the authenticity of their work… well done. In their own words: “The historical company “Foto Marvellini – Milano” was founded when photography was born. As their old motto used to say, the Marvellini brothers performed “Portraits for everyone. Even for those who don’t want to be portrayed”. Through the generations Marvellini’s historical grew higher, becoming a great gallery of phantomatic characters. Hidden until today, this precious collection is now spread all over the world, as Andrea and Carlo Marvellini, the last heirs, desired.”

Another “historical” post here.

Via fotomarvellini.com and Facebook

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There’s an old adage that states “less is more.” And that maxim certainly holds true for this minimalist icon set developed for Schick. There was a notion in the Philippines that Schick was a female brand because of their popular line of lady razors, so the Manila branch of marketing and advertising giant J. Walter Thompson developed this slick set of graphic posters to combat that misperception. These fantastically bold graphics, by the team at JWT Manila, feature recognizable historical and pop culture figures with distinct facial hair (Mr. T from The A-Team, V from V for Vendetta, Salvador Dali, Groucho Marx and Charlie Chaplin) that one can achieve using Schick razors. We love how the product is seamlessly integrated into the designs. There’s certainly market research and number crunching that goes into how and where to market with visuals like these, but we don’t see why a campaign like this wouldn’t be effective here in the US. There seems to be a sort of facial hair renaissance happening right now, and aggressively bold visuals like these would be hard to miss.

Via jwt.com

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It seems as if we are currently in the golden age of superheroes, at least if the release of major motion pictures is a gauge. These characters seem so pervasive in popular culture today, not just in the US but worldwide, that inspired works of art are almost inevitable. French photographer Sacha Goldberger really raises the bar with his phenomenal series Super Flemish. Goldberger uses not only superheroes, but also science-fiction and a few other characters from popular fantasies, and poses some intriguing questions: What if Superman was born in the sixteenth century? What if the Hulk was a Duke? How might Van Eyck have portrayed Snow White? And he answers them beautifully in this mashup of modern day superheroes, Flemish painting techniques and Elizabethan-era fashion. These works are really quite exquisite, and certainly thought-provoking. Well done, Mr. Goldberger!

This series is slightly reminiscent of work by British artist Steve Payne. More superhero related posts here and here and here.

Via sachabada.com

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For those in the NYC area, venerable type foundry Monotype is putting on a must-see exhibition for designers and type geeks out there (ourselves included). Pencil to Pixel is a comprehensive exhibition spanning over a hundred years, featuring rare artworks and artifacts relating to type history, chronicling the development of typography up to its present technologically-advanced state.

Via penciltopixel.org

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