Australian artist WBK is inspired by the perpetual transition from analogue to digital. In his work — which he cheekily describes as “factory made art for a manufactured world” — he references both the obsolete and the modern, using a combination of old typewriter buttons and modern computer keys to create pixilated portraits of influential musicians, athletes, actors, and politicians. Each key serves as an individual pixel, resulting in surprisingly detailed renderings of his very famous subjects. Check out more of WBK’s ambitious portraits after the jump, and be sure to head over to his website to see more. … Read More
After it was revealed that Paul Ryan was a longtime Ayn Rand fanboy, reporters, critics, and the general public had a literary field day. Out came in-depth analyses of how Ryan’s fiscal policies were akin to Randian philosophies, and what character he would play in Atlas Shrugged. It all got us thinking about other political candidates and their literary preferences. Usually politicians are the ones who are being written about in books, not talking about them. So is Obama still as big of a fan of poetry as he was in his college days? Which classic novel for young ladies has a beloved spot on Hillary’s bookshelf? After the jump, we take a stroll through some contemporary politicos’ favorite reads. … Read More
Desperate Housewives spawned many popular (if questionable) offspring. From The Real Housewives series to Basketball Wives to Mob Wives, the cultural term has certainly captured the American imagination. But the societal trope, which is comprised of idle, seemingly perfect settings, restless and beautiful women, and often aloof men, is nothing new in the realm of literature. These ladies were not just throwing dinner parties and getting into petty squabbles like their reality show counterparts; rather, they lived in desperate times and were driven to desperate measures. We take a look at the ladies of literature who rebelled against their domestic constructs, often with fatal results. … Read More
Fashion logos have become so prevalent in our commodity culture, from the ubiquitous interlinked Chanel C’s to the high-school fashionista’s Abercrombie moose, that we rarely think about them as design object. But graphic designer Paul Marren considered them as such in a recent project in which he created new logos for popular 20th-century animated TV shows as they might look if they were marketing themselves as a fashion label. Check out his hipster-tinged reconstructions of classics such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Mighty Mouse after the jump, and then be sure to check out more of his work here. … Read More
Today marks the 119th birthday of poet, critic, and political activist Dorothy Parker. Known for her sharp wisecracks, biting criticism, and caustic social commentary, her wit was a breath of Oscar Wilde air in the 20th century. Parker rose to acclaim while at Vanity Fair, where she wrote theater criticism. It was during this time that she became one of the founding members of the Algonquin Round Table, a group of esteemed New York writers, critics, and actors — who were equally well-known for their active social lives. After moving to The New Yorker, Parker continued to write criticism as well as sharp, humorous poems. Later in life, she became a left-wing political activist and was placed on the Hollywood blacklist.
After the jump, we celebrate the abundance of wisecracks, witticisms, and pearls of wisdom that Parker bestowed on the world by compiling her thoughts on topics such as men, money, writing, style, and love. … Read More
What better way to recreate the likeness of greats such as Jim Morrison, Michael Jackson, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley, James Brown, Freddie Mercury, and Elvis than to depict them using their music as a medium? Mirco Pagano and Moreno De Turco used an array of the musicians’ own albums to create portraits that stunningly capture the facial expressions and body language of each icon. But the project is more than just a tribute to thee stars. It’s part of Piracy, a campaign against illegal file sharing by the advertising agency TBWA based on the idea that these deceased musicians were cheated out of their success and ultimately brought down by music piracy. The theme is underscored in an accompany video, which shows Michael Jackson literally withering away as CDs swallow him up.
Though the images are visually stunning, like Visual News, we’re not sure the campaign entirely adds up. Why was TBWA moved to illustrate the ill effects of Internet piracy using this particular set of musicians, most of whom worked during a time that predates file sharing and were extremely successful during their lives? Let us know what you think. Are these images an interesting way to use art for a relevant cause or an aesthetically cool campaign whose politics and/or execution bother you? Click through to see images and video from Piracy, and head over to Behance to learn more. … Read More
On the spectrum of accessibility and esotericism, public art is often caught somewhere in the middle. It is traditionally commissioned and paid for by a sponsor, which often doesn’t grant artists the creative control they desire, and its open-air setting makes every passerby a critic. As a result, public art has seen its fair share of controversy over the years, as artists clash with local residents and the art world battles government intervention. With an upcoming art installation project in Columbus Circle spurring various debates, the question of who decides what art should be placed in public spaces is relevant yet again. After the jump we’ve rounded up some of the most controversial pieces of public art in America and abroad. … Read More
With the growing number of innovative, covetable toys flooding the market, we generally divide children’s toys into two categories: there are the toys that we wish we had when we were growing up and then there are the toys we wish we had now. The latter group interests us much more for obvious reasons. Gone are the weird, felt-made animals and oddly-smelling plastic figurines of our childhood, designers have started creating beautifully crafted toys that would blend just as seamlessly in a modern loft as a child’s playroom. Inspired by the fantastic Century of the Child exhibition currently up at the MoMA, after the jump we’ve rounded up some of our favorite design-minded toys that we wouldn’t mind showcasing in our homes. … Read More
When we imagine the places where our favorite authors penned their greatest masterpieces, a jail cell usually doesn’t come to mind. But, whether their writers were prisoners of war or victims of bigotry, the solitude and lack of distractions have produced many a great book. From Oscar Wilde’s apologia on spiritual awakening to Thoreau’s thoughts on civil disobedience, we survey authors whose great mental escapes from incarceration resulted in some of their most insightful and profound works, after the jump. … Read More
Known for the absence of pigment in their skin, hair, and eyes, people with albinism are often subjected to ridicule, and in parts of Africa, are commonly kidnapped, killed, and dismembered by witchdoctors who believe their bodies possess magical properties. In a series that we spotted on Design Taxi, Brazilian photographer Gustavo Lacerda celebrates the grace of people suffering from this congenital disorder in poignant and thought-provoking poses. Playing with lighting and color saturation, Lacerda’s subjects appear ethereal and hauntingly beautiful. Check out some of Lacerda’s photographs after the jump and be sure to head over to his website view more of his work. … Read More