(Video link here.) In this short, great clip from design legend George Lois‘ CreativeMornings talk, he gives what he considers to be his most essential piece of advice for creatives — for anyone — : “be courageous!“.
“Wake” by Michael McGillis is a 95-foot long pathway enclosed on both sides by brightly-painted cut logs; it’s on display at the Franconia Sculpture Park in Minnesota. Although the installation is apparently a commentary on humanity’s disruption of nature, for us (barbarians!) it’s an idea for embellishing the logs we hauled home after Hurricane Sandy, or still have our eye on out in the park…or a way to sparkle up part of a stash of fire wood. read more…
We LOVE gifs, and are amazed that a little bit of code that can animate an image, making it live. Lately, we’ve noticed gif artists applying the process to create new visions of things, like this fire hydrant that a gif-artist “saw” as voluptuous statuary.
Here’s a whole Tumblr-full of gifs from Moving the Still, an exhibition done in honor of the gif’s 25th birthday.
…And our favorite gifs from the past year:
moment of ocean and pink sky gif
banksy’s “no stopping” reimagined (twice)
an open door: gif for an improvised life
an evening gif: gratitude…
what have you been making today?
peep show gif: funny, risqué, slightly x-rated
(Video link here.) When commercial photographer John Dugdale lost most of his sight almost twenty years ago, he did not give up photography as one would have imagined. Instead, he started photographing in a new way, using a huge view camera and employing 19th century forms and processes. Life forced him to “see in a new way” and his art photographs became highly acclaimed.
Among his many commissions was the ad campaign for a revival of William Gibson’s play The Miracle Worker. This video gives insight into his unique process and the “lesson” he took from his blindness.
“There is an alternate world out there that is as powerful as anything one might describe as normal. Whatever it is that you think is your adversity is actually your strength.” read more…
This surprising kitchen is the brainchild of Austrian conceptual artist Thomas Feuerstein. It is an artwork, but like many artworks we come across, it contains wonderful ideas to be had and used, like scrabble tiles on the walls.
Just for the hell of it, we started hunting down scrabble tiles. We didn’t find any ceramic ones, but found vinyl ones in Sweden at Bokstavskakel…We thinking they’d make a fine floor.
Related posts: glossy white tile wall as erasable white board
rug and tile designs as painted floor (or wall) inspiration
christopher niemann’s fab color-tiled bathrooms
insta fridge fix: dalmation spots
d-i-y reverse painted glass as wall covering and…
We’re not big on bought gifts, preferring to donate money to charity in our friends’ name, or give food gifts we’ve made. That being said, it’s nice to have an arsenal of useful, well-designed, not-too-expensive treats to give on the holidays or otherwise — our favorite gift-giving is just for the hell-of-it when we’ve found just the right thing for someone we love. Mostly those gifts are things we’d love to have ourselves, like these this set of numbered, Bauhausian espresso cups designed by Arne Jacobsen (he also did letter cups; the letter of your choice for $21). They’re available from The Finnish Design Shop which has all sorts of swell stuff. A pack of four is $55.
Recently, New York Magazine published a photo essay by Henry Leutwyler Behind the Curtain at the New York City Ballet. We can’t help viewing his image of a ballerina’s feet — one pointe shoe on, and one off — as a powerful metaphor for the often-hidden and difficult “inside” of a creative work that appears effortless and in control on the “outside”. The ballerina’s unadorned foot speaks volumes about the harsh realities, discipline, suffering and committment she (we) must sometimes experience to do what she (we) loves.
A number of people we showed it to thought otherwise. read more…
(Video link here.) You could say that the renowned artist Alexander Calder, the creator of the mobile, was a major influence on ‘the improvised life’. When I was 13 or so, I babysat his grandkids, and first saw his work around their house: a mobile casually placed on a dining table, household objects made of wire and tin (sometimes a tin can): lamp, tea ball, ashtray, all with his inimitable style. They CHANGED the way I saw things, and opened my mind possibilities inherent in ordinary things, though I didn’t know it at the time.
The Calder Foundation‘s redesign of their website reminded me of that time because it provides such stunning access to the Calder’s life and work, starting with a mobile-in-action on the home page (much better than my iPhone video of it, above). Once you enter the site, you can move sideways and up-and-down to navigate through the artist’s stunningly varied work, by subject or period of his life. (Check out Household Objects, Jewelry, and Toys to see how Calder applied his creative vision to practical matters.) He is, to my mind, one of the most inspiring of improvisers.
There are lots of unexpected bits to discover, read more…
Recently, we were stopped in our tracks by this yellow exclamation point. It is by artist Richard Artschwager, whose work is the focus of a retrospective at the Whitney. Knowing nothing about him, we poked around and found this potent snippet about his amazing !.
…Artschwager’s “blps,” black punctuation-like marks..are intended to make their immediate environment, in the artist’s own words, more “see-able,” and they also offer a chance to pause and reflect.
We figure Artschwager’s exclamation points are a fitting image for Thanksgiving: reminders to pause and reflect on all the teeny miracles around us…
We recently stumbled on Uncopy, a website that collates images of artworks under surprising categories and keywords. As always, we hunted for ideas we could use or that would shake up our everyday thinking. Our thinking was definitely shaken up by Bookend by Helmut Smits. Smits simply placed a book under one end of an classic Ikea Billy bookshelf to set it intentionally askew and make something very ordinary into something ELSE, in one fell swoop.
Related posts: naked and defiled: book bricks as decorating element?
a perfect set of wheels for making furniture mobile + a great sapien bookcase hack
ikea hack: reverse-painted glass brick room divider
clipped-together shelving pt. 1: wood (help needed)
clipped-together shelving pt. 2: cardboard boxes
We recently stumbled on Flavorwire’s tour of 10 famous artist’s studios, a welcome break from cleaned-up interiors pictures that are everywhere. These spaces are interesting because they’re fluid, unconcerned with conventional notions of stylishness, yet uniquely beautiful in surprising ways. Often they reveal important elements of the work process — like taping a nap, resting or hanging out — as indicated by the lounge chair in Georgia O’Keefe’s studio in Abiquiu, New Mexico, Alexander Calder’s living room of a home studio in France…
Over the past week, we’ve posted a number of ways to give to Sandy relief. Now there’s a way to ‘get’ when you give. Jan Bekman’s 20×200 online gallery is offering limited edition, archival pigmant prints of Blue Marble:
…NASA’s GOES-13 satellite captured this visible image of the Northern Hemisphere on Sunday, October 28 at 1302 UTC—that’s 9:02 a.m, approximately ten hours before NYC’s MTA shut all transport service down throughout the tri-state area and less than a day before Tropical Storm Sandy gathered full force in the Atlantic Ocean and hit land somewhere in New Jersey.
Some time ago, Marella Consolini of the Chinati Foundation alerted us to the poignant sculpture of artist Jane Hammond. Since it is about fall and leaves, it seems the perfect time to post it. Called Fallen, Hammond’s installation comprises leaves: “each unique handmade leaf has been inscribed by the artist with the name of a U.S. soldier killed in Iraq.”
The work started with 4229 leaves; Hammond continued to add leaves and names as the war went on. We find that the work has greatly expanded our view of fall/change/life, and especially, what happens when we really focus our attention on something. Hammond describes it well in her Artist’s Statement: read more…
Through small deliberate interventions, I altered these vintage images, allowing light to pass through them. (After all, photographs are made possible with light.) In a literal and somewhat playful manner, I aimed to give the photographs back to the light, hence the title of the series, Dare alla Luce, an Italian phrase used to describe the moment of birth.