07/20/2012 § 2 Comments
“RGB is a work about the exploration of the ‘surface’s deepness’.”
I was happily Stumbling about design this week when I came across this work by Italian artist/designer duo Carnovsky. At first I thought this was just very colorful wallpaper with finely detailed line drawings. Upon closer inspection I realized the images are printed in CMY (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow) and when lit up with filtered light (RGB – Red, Green, Blue) these superimposed images become isolated.Why is that interesting?
Visually, there’s a hide-and-seek effect because the filters will isolate certain images while making others disappear entirely. So depending on the light, you’ll notice completely different things. AND, for nerdy designers like myself, who love depth and reason in beautiful things, the artist is exploring the subtractive and additive color models.
What the heck are those?
In the additive color model visible colors are created by mixing just Red, Green and Blue lights (examples: computer monitors and televisions). In the subtractive color model, colors are created with Cyan, Magenta and Yellow by subtracting (or absorbing) some wavelengths of light while reflecting others (example: printed media)…
I KNOW – I probably lost all of you – MY POINT IS the duo really thought about what they were doing and this is essentially a beautiful science experiment. I love that. And just to be clear, they do sell RGB wallpaper, prints, scarfs, ipad cases, and iphone cases on their website.
This is what Carnovsky knew: cyan ink absorbs red light (which is a long wavelength) but transmits green and blue, the magenta ink absorbs green light(medium wavelength) but transmits red and blue, and the yellow ink absorbs blue light (short wavelength) but transmits red and green. Keep this in mind when you look at the images…
07/02/2011 § 3 Comments
Artist Feature, vol. 6
Though Weston is mostly known for his still lifes of inanimate objects such as peppers and cabbage leaves, his landscapes explored the same subject of form that guided most of his work. Here, in Clouds, Trees, Water Weston captured the flora and scenery at Point Lobos,CA and the desert landscape of Oceano,CA.
If you look closely through his images you’ll note why Edward was a part of the f/64 group (which included legendary landscape photographer Ansel Adams). His images often employed the use of deep depth of field allowing for all planes of the images to be crisp and in focus (achieved through closing the aperture to f-stop 64). As in his still lifes, curves, cracks and shadows seem to bring the objects to life as Weston’s compositions create movement, contrast, and texture.
Perhaps intentionally, or not, you can start to see traces of human characteristics in these images. Limbs within clouds. Bodies within trunks. Faces within stones. You back up to recognize your imagination is playing with your sight but nonetheless clues suggesting anthropomorphism are in place. Now I wonder, did Weston see the same mirages and were they what drove him to take these photographs in the first place?
04/23/2011 § 1 Comment
EVERY YEAR IN MILAN THE MOST INNOVATIVE AND INFLUENTIAL PERSONALITIES of the design world gather for a week to contemplate the newest creations, trends and technologies. This year the event hosted by Baccarat and Veuve Cliquot was held April 12-17th. Baccarat displayed their new collection of crystal chandeliers amongst whimsical cloud installations (as seen above).
So what did all the big names in Italian design bring to the table this year?
Moroso displayed the Biknit Seating collection by Patricia Urquiola: “an exaggerated stitch pattern, an expanded, intense aesthetic transforms a weave into a visible, dramatic design.” They also showed her Klara collection of wooden chairs, Tokujin Yoshioka’s Memory chair and Doshi & Levien’s Impossible Wood chair among several other novelties.
Artemide showed off Karim Rashid’s newest lighting creation, the Nearco pendant, alongside Guido Matta & Enrico Girotti’s Nuboli lamp (a translucent ceiling pendant in the shape of a cloud).
Zanotta presented their 2011 Novelties at the show including the steel asymmetrical Lama Chair by Ludovica & Roberto Palomba alongside the twisted Elica 2576 Table that comes in a white or black high gloss finish.
Domitalia brought to the table some beautiful new seating options with the New Retro chair by Fabrizio Batoni Design, the Playa chair also by the same designer, and the glow-in-the-dark outdoor Baba chairs by Radice Orlandini Designs.
Philippe Starck collaborated with Eugeni Quitllet to create the entirely natural Zartan chair. Made of a new technology using “liquid wood” the chair is molded much like polycarbonate but fuses only with other natural materials such as fibers, wax and fish oil to create a “strong, non-toxic alternative to petroleum-based plastics”. The chair is envisioned in 5 varying finishes: bamboo, flax, hemp, jute and rattan.
Belgian designer Marteen de Ceulaer came up with an innovative method of creating bowls by pouring dyed plaster into a balloon then placing another balloon inside it, blowing it up and allowing the plaster to dry. The result is organic as the bowls have an array of varying color, sizes and shapes in a smooth finish and irregular edges.
Another response towards sustainability was brought by designer Tobia Juretzek with his Rememberme chair made of old garments that would otherwise have been discarded and unused.
* Photos of objects in Other Highlights are (c) of Design Boom
03/06/2011 § 1 Comment
Artist Feature vol. 4
This past week at the TED Miami event I heard Edith Widder the marine biologist state that more than 90% of the Earth is ocean. Yet there is still so much we do not know about the oceans and the seemingly infinite variety of creatures that inhabit them.
The ocean evokes so many connotations from it’s mighty power and volume to the serene tranquility of it’s vastness. The Japanese photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto captured the essence of these waters in his breathtaking meditative series entitled “Seascapes“.
” Water and air. So very commonplace are these substances, they hardly attract attention―and yet they vouchsafe our very existence.
The beginnings of life are shrouded in myth: Let there water and air. Living phenomena spontaneously generated from water and air in the presence of light, though that could just as easily suggest random coincidence as a Deity. Let’s just say that there happened to be a planet with water and air in our solar system, and moreover at precisely the right distance from the sun for the temperatures required to coax forth life. While hardly inconceivable that at least one such planet should exist in the vast reaches of universe, we search in vain for another similar example.
Mystery of mysteries, water and air are right there before us in the sea. Every time I view the sea, I feel a calming sense of security, as if visiting my ancestral home; I embark on a voyage of seeing. ”
02/06/2011 § 5 Comments
Artist Feature, vol. 3
If you haven’t yet heard, this Brazilian native turned world-renowned visual artist went to one of the largest dumpsters in the world (Jardim Gramacho outside of Rio de Janeiro) to create portraits of the “catadores”. The catadores are the individuals who work at the site separating recyclable materials from general waste. This 2011 Oscar nominated documentary entitled “Wasteland” shows Vik and his colleagues throughout the course of a year getting to know each of these characters and their lives as he develops an “image” for the project.
He decides to depict each of them in a series called “Pictures of Garbage” through iconic images of art history such as Jacques-Louis David’s 1793 “The Death of Marat” for Marat (Sebastiao), Pablo Picasso’s 1904 “Woman Ironing” for “Woman Ironing (Isis)” and Atlas, the Titan who held up the world for “Atlas (Carla0)”. This remaking of iconic images has of course been done before. Vik’s originality here lies, as in most of his work, in his choice of medium and context. He photographs these images then projects them from say 40 feet in the air down to the ground. He and the catadores then arrange hundreds of objects found in the landfill to recreate the image out of pure waste. This final sculptural piece is photographed and becomes the final image.
The work is thought provoking and inspiring as his process changes the way we think art is created and achieved. But truly the most impactful aspect of the documentary is the dignity and relentless spirit of the catadores Vik encounters and how this inspires his work and allows for a victorious finale that brings hope and change to the desolate circumstances of life in Jardim Gramacho and to the dreamers, like me, who dream of a better world.
01/27/2011 § Leave a comment
Before ever knowing what I was looking at, every time I have ever seen a work by Matisse I’ve been drawn to it. Though he painted traditional subjects – portraits, landscapes and still lifes – as opposed to abstractions, his use of “un-naturalistic” vibrant colors and “undisguised brushstrokes” produces something truly unique. Though I personally enjoy some abstraction, the distortion of reality to express emotion draws me in as it introduces new possibilities to the world I see around me.
Is my skin really tan? Is the sky always blue? Is the grass always green? I come to realize that, first of all, it isn’t.. that what I see is always influenced by the environment and by the spectator. The natural lighting, the time of day, the colors on the walls, the colors of my clothes, the reflectiveness of nearby materials, all affect my perception of color.
- One of my photo professors once said, “In 1st grade they took away all your joy”. They taught us to make stick figures represent people. They taught us the colors of the objects around us. They taught us symbols to facilitate identification. The problem is, they also took away our full capacity for seeing. From then on we started to see the world not with the infinite details of existence but through the filters we use to facilitate labeling and definition. To define is to kill all the other possibilities.
FAUVISM reminds me to look beyond the symbols society accepts and to instead attempt to create new meaning and new ways of seeing the vast world that surrounds us.
Henri Matisse (1869 – 1954), the leader of the Fauves, focused on creating images based not on three dimensional space but rather on color planes. He came to these ideas after exploring the works of Post – Impressionists such as Van Gogh and Cezanne as well as Neo – Impressionists such as Seurat and Signac. Meurice de Vlaminck was another Fauve recognized for his exuberant interpretations while Andre Derain was another major Fauve that practiced a more restrained style.
Other important Fauvists were Kees van Dongen, Charles Camoin, Henri-Charles Manguin, Othon Friesz, Jean Puy, Louis Valtat, and Georges Rouault. These were joined in 1906 by Georges Braque and Raoul Dufy.
Often compared to German Expressionism, Fauvism also uses color to express emotion though it’s German cousin tends to focus less on “formal aspects of pictorial organization”.
Though most of the Fauves painted in this way temporarily as they later transitioned into another style (many moving into Cubism with Picasso and Braque), Matisse remained loyal to this view throughout his lifetime and continued to uphold and develop the values of Fauvism in his work.
Click Here for more on FAUVISM.
10/07/2010 § Leave a comment
Artist Feature, vol. 2
I first learned about the German photographer when a professor of mine suggested I look at his work. He knew I was majoring in architecture and was trying to motivate me towards this genre. I didn’t find it too compelling. I thought it was too restrictive. Then, I saw the beauty in restriction when I observed the seemingly infinite repetition and grand scale of Gursky’s work.
Architecture is expressed through space and form. I was trying to devise a method to express this third dimension in a 2d format that would be more than a formal study of composition. I wanted to convey a sense of grandeur and space. I wanted the viewer to get a sense of what a space feels like when you are inside of it. Sure, this all sounds great and dandy in writing but to actually achieve it proved a more daunting task.
Andreas Gursky’s work impresses me for I feel it captures the monumentality of architecture I was trying to achieve through photography.
For more on Andreas Gursky and his work please visit:
White Cube Gallery – London
Gagosian Gallery – Los Angeles
Sprueth Magers – Berlin, London