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on the hunt for good art

Film Crush: The Last Days Of Emma Blank

May 3rd, 2013 · 2 Comments

If you enjoy strange-as-hell, visually-striking existential films, you will love The Last Days of Emma Blank. There’s an unforgettable scene when the titular character collapses onto the floor and instead of helping her up, her brother grabs a staple gun and methodically staples the edges of her clothes to the floor making a motionless, living silhouette.
















Images from Yahoo.

FriendsWithYou – Cloudy

August 31st, 2012 · 1 Comment

A short by FriendsWithYou. What can I say about this work other than that it’s delightful and universally infectious?

“FWY take a spiritual and serene approach to form and figure. Their reductive and simplified use of geometric abstraction always contains a whimsical touch. Taking Bourriaud’s Relational Aesthetics to heart and hand, the artists make art of the post-Internet era. Alongside the body of works of Jeff Koons, Takashi Murakami and Damien Hirst, FriendsWithYou is a new breed of artist, actively generating culture beyond the traditional art boundaries and reshaping the current contemporary art scene. Blurring the dividing line between perceived “high and low” art, as explained in Murakami’s Superflat essay, FWY exploits other mediums like design and limited edition products from a fine art perspective… Many FriendsWithYou works reference toys because they are meant for play, a tool for unstructured free association and interaction.Their sculptures and paintings, inflatables and objects are meant to trigger the buried, neglected urges and yearnings; playfulness, laughter and inquisitiveness, with an end result of feeling connected. Influenced by the simple happiness found in everyday life, FriendsWithYou’s work is designed to be accessible to all.” – FWY profile.

Do You Still Dream About Girls From High School?

August 10th, 2010 · No Comments

Yes! I dream that I run into the mean popular girls who, in my fantasy, look sad and worn while my handsome husband and I look straight out of The Sartorialist…

OK, but in seriousness I love everything about this – the song, lyrics and video.

“I am a marble the color of candy.

I’ll make you money whenever you’re gambling.

I am the dice that you roll in the alley.

I am the pennies that come in handy.”

The video, which is a remake of the 1960 Godard film “Breathless“, is spot-on. And dare I say that Eleni’s leading man is way more handsome than the original! Now excuse me while I go add some French New Wave to my Netflix queue.

Media Mash-up: Manfred Naescher’s Film-inspired Watercolors

February 24th, 2010 · 3 Comments

I’m thrilled to present the work and interview of Berlin designer, Manfred Naescher. Manfred is originally from Liechtenstein and attended art school at Emily Carr and RISD before settling in Berlin. He has a host of amazing personal projects, including the zines below: The Endless Summer, Fighting and Conte de Printemps, inspired by the eponymous films. What I admire most about Manfred’s work is that his watercolors are peppered with modern themes such as ambiguity, ugliness, rage and joy, all while depicted in such a traditional medium. Naescher’s zines are available here. Contact the artist for inquiries about originals.

How did you get into art? Did you always know you wanted to be an artist/illustrator?

I started art school at the ripe age of 29. Before that I didn’t know what I was going to do with my life because I had a serious interest in many things, like music, writing, linguistics, literature, comics… So I took a lot of time to acquire an odd variety of skills and knowlegde, without mastering anything really, except how not to enter a traditional career path. I was a radio and TV show host in Liechtenstein, worked at a newspaper, played in bands…

I did draw a lot as a child, and I never really stopped drawing, so in that respect I got into art in a somewhat conventional way. I made multi-page comics and wrote stories as a preteen in the 80s that I stapled together (zines, really, but I didn’t know that then). I made posters, flyers and other kinds of design for punk bands as a teenager and in my twenties. I later was a university newspaper cartoonist, and, to make a long story short, that job lead me to the Emily Carr Institue of Art and Design (now Emily Carr University), from which I graduated as a designer. I also did an exchange semester at the Rhode Island School of Design.

Your zines are inspired by movie stills. Why movies? Are you a film buff?

I’m interested in film as a visual language and as a vehicle for storytelling, and some filmmakers have simply created evocative imagery that I’m drawn to, or situations or moments that speak to me. If I’d be forced to decide on a favorite art form, it would probably have to be film. My film knowledge is pretty fragmented, so I’m certainly not a well-rounded film buff, if I’m one at all.

I do have some favorite directors, periods and genres, but preferences are always shifting, and I don’t want to fetishize films, I just want to be engaged and inspired by them. Having said that, current favorites would be early French New Wave films (especially Truffaut), Film Noir, Hitchcock, Lang, Jacques Tourneur, Vittorio de Seta (not to be confused with Vittorio de Sica, who’s also great!), Otto Preminger, Billy Wilder, Eric Rohmer, just kind of the regular cinephile canon, mostly films from around 1920 to around 1960. As for new films, I totally enjoy big popcorn movies like “2012” on their own terms, or films by Gus van Sant or the Coen Brothers, and I thought “My Winnipeg” by Guy Maddin was one of the best films of the past few years. I’ve recently discovered the work of Owen Land, and particularly his film “Dialogues” (2007-9) made an impression on me. I also like the social aspect of watching movies together. I’ve run film clubs in the past, and right now I run a private bi-weekly film club that only shows french noirs, mostly from the 50s. (more…)

Highbrow, lowbrow and now… NEW BROW!

October 22nd, 2009 · No Comments

Below is the trailer for New Brow: Contemporary Underground Art, a film by Humble Pictures, which documents the movement through the eyes of its artists, galleries and collectors.  Includes interviews with Robert Williams, Shepard Fairley, Juxtapoz Magazine and Jonathan LeVine Gallery.

Very excited about the documentary, but why so few women artists included?