I have always admired the craftsmanship and detail required to do embroidery. It is a beautiful form of art that adds so much texture, value and intrigue to fabric and other projects. I have become semi-obsessed with the work of Sydney-based studio maricor maricar. On top of fantastic design, illustration and motion work, they create the most gorgeous embroidery I may have ever seen. It is easy to dismiss embroidery as a traditional art form but one look at the modern, colourful and typographically exquisite work of maricor maricar and your mind will be changed forever! Their embroidery, with its bold colours and incredible layers and patterns is just breathtaking. The detail and vibrancy is unreal. Fingers crossed one day I work on a project with maricor maricar and see how they create such jaw-dropping work!
Many films have a specific colour palette that creates a mood, highlights change in time or viewpoint and overall, creates a creative vision for how the story plays out. My new fascination is a blog called movie barcode that takes every frame of a film, compresses it into a sliver of colour and puts them next to each other. The result? A movie barcode. It is quite incredible how these barcodes capture the colours that dominate a film. From the examples above you can see the gritty brown of Pulp Fiction, the bright colours of animated films Alice in Wonderland and Bambi, the blue hues of ocean-focused Jaws, the dominating green of The Matrix and the teal opulence of The King’s Speech. It is amazing that one can follow the plot through the shifts in colour. I can’t wait to see what film movie barcode captures next!
A piece of art I always imagined would be featured here is Bruce Nauman’s One Hundred Live and Die. When I saw it featured on the fox is black, I was reminded of the beauty and vibrancy of Nauman’s masterpiece and knew I had to post it. One Hundred Live and Die features multicoloured neon phrases outlining 100 ways one could live or die. Installed on four metal monoliths in a pitch black room, the different colour phrases are lit up individually and then in patterns of connected emotions. The result is a commentary on life and the many ways it can be made incredible, difficult, mundane, beautiful, unfair, funny, strange and so forth. Some phrases make perfect sense, some feel a bit more obscure (what exactly does ‘yellow and live’ mean?) As each phrase lights up, the dark room is bathed in glowing, brilliant and ever-changing colour. Eventually the entire piece is lit and the viewer is overwhelmed by not only the spellbinding colour but by the emotion of 100 ways life can be lived and experienced. What is stunning is that this piece was created in 1984. It certainly could have been made today which only underlines Nauman’s talent in creating timeless contemporary art. To me, the story and feeling behind this work of art and the colours used are awe-inspiring. I would love to see the vibrant colours and light patterns of One Hundred Live and Die in person and experience true neon poetry.
These photos are part of a project called ‘Sound Sculptures’ created by photographer Linden Gledhill. Using tiny drops of paint, a stereo speaker and high-speed macro photography, Linden captures absolutely stunning photos of the paint reacting to music being played. Several of the final photographs anchored Canon’s Pixma Printer ad campaign. While the images have been around for a bit, I find myself returning to stare at them often. The shapes are mesmerizing as the paint dances to music and the colour combinations are dazzling. I hope to see more of this beautiful technique.
This installation by artist and urban planner Candy Chang is so creative and impossible not to love. Candy turned the side of an abandoned house in her New Orleans neighbourhood into a giant strip of chalkboard where residents could take a piece of coloured chalk and asked themselves, “before I die I want to…” What a positive way to turn a rundown, eyesore of a building into something beautiful and uplifting. The responses range from poignant to sad to silly to hopeful. I love the way the coloured responses look against the distressed black chalkboard paint. The answers are meant to be rubbed off and rewritten by new visitors – allowing the installation to constantly evolve. I just love this and hope it inspires others to find creative and optimistic solutions to the eyesores in their neighbourhoods.
How beautiful is the ‘snowjob’ chair designed by emiliano godoy? Not only is it an amazing piece of modern yet handmade design, it is probably one of the most environmentally friendly pieces of furniture you will ever find. The wood frame is manufactured in FSC certified wood with a vegetable based, biodegradable finish. Fair trade employed artists in impoverished nations weave and fold post-industrial waste from the candy wrapping industry to create the incredible silver cover. Such a stunning chair with a wonderful message of environmental and social consciousness as well as seeing one person’s trash as your next great project.
Love these handsome silkscreen prints by brainstorm print & design. Using bold colour palettes and design, they feature the layers that make-up the ocean, earth and atmosphere. Such a brilliant and bold poster for any science, nature or design lover.
I really love the work of artist Francisca Prieto and her folded, intricate paper installations. Photos of her amazing pieces are prominent among my boxes and folders of inspiration. Francisca uses many types of paper for her art from written versions of Shakespeare to newspapers and maps. I love them all but my absolute favourite is what she creates with envelopes. I have always been fascinated by the ornate security patterns printed inside envelopes. Francisca folded hundreds of interlocking forms with these intriguing blue designs to create her ‘Between Folds – Envelopes’ series. The colour palette, mix of patterns and 3D nature of these envelope origami installations is stunning. I can’t wait to see what Francisca comes up with next!
This photo, ‘Girls in the Windows’, is jaw-dropping. Even more amazing, it is from 1960 so its brilliance is clear of any Photoshop enhancements or trickery! Ormond Gigli dreamed up this photo when he realized a brownstone across from his New York apartment was being demolished. He quickly organized 43 models in formal attire to pose in the windows and ended up with an iconic photo that perfectly captures 1960′s architecture, fashion and colour. What an incredible image.
From Ormond’s personal description of the shoot: “We had to work quickly to secure City permissions, arrange for models which included celebrities, the demolition supervisior’s wife (third floor, third from left), my own wife (second floor, far right), and also secure the Rolls Royce to be parked on the sidewalk. Careful planning was a necessity as the photography had to be accomplished during the workers’ lunch time! … the 43 women appeared in their finest attire, went into the buildings, climbed the old stairs, and took their places in the windows. I was set up on my fire escape across the streeet, directing the scene, with bullhorn in hand. Of course I was concerned for the Models’ safety, as some were daring enough to pose out on the crumbling sills.”
I am a huge fan of Vancouver artist Bratsa Bonifacho. His 50-plus year career has covered many topics and styles but it is these abstract paintings that I particularly love. Bratsa uses symbols and typography to depict computer viruses and the scrambling effect they create. His use of colour and the intense palettes created are just stunning. Fingers crossed that one day, I can hang a Bratsa Bonifacho painting on my wall. Or, to be realistic, let’s hope prints of these works of art will be available at some point!
I love art in unexpected places – especially when it adds colour to an everyday object or location. In 2008, Kelly Goeller created ‘Pixel Pour‘, a 3D interpretation of water pouring from a faucet in an almost video game, pixelated way. Recently, Goeller created ‘Pixel Pour 2.0′ on Mercer Street in New York City. The brilliant blue is so striking against the industrial surroundings and the layers of blocks really give the sense of a piece of video game magic emerging onto the street. Hoping to see more of these clever street art installations!
Ever stare at the paint chip wall at the hardware store and think that it looks like a piece of art? Canadian artist Peter Combe took that idea a step further by shredding designer size paint swatches and hole punching paint chips to create large art installations. I love the fringe-like texture of the shredded swatches and the reptile skin look of the layers of hole punches. It is really impressive how Peter finds the perfect colour swatches to create such detailed portraits. I think paint chips should be used as an artistic medium more often!
Sarah Illenberger is a Berlin-based artist and photographer that constructs such whimsical and joyful pieces. Watermelon, with its bright green exterior, hot pink interior and striking black seeds, is the perfect medium for this colourful photo. A piece of melon becomes a happy pink raincloud. I love it!
Olly Moss is a brilliant British illustrator and designer. I especially love this illustration – his colourful and clever take on a seesaw!
Living in a coastal rainforest like Vancouver has immeasurable benefits including lush green surroundings, snow-capped mountains and mild winters. Sure, one too many grey days can cause mild frustration but it seems that a gloriously sunny stretch almost always follows a rainy one. Another side benefit? Those daily transitions of weather create beautiful light shows and rainbow patterns reflecting off of lingering raindrops. Have you ever walked into your living room and a chunk of random rainbow appears somewhere? I love when those bits of magic are captured like this photo by Catriana van Rijn. By reflecting on a rustically textured chair, the rainbow takes on new dimension and life. I kind of wish that pattern chair was sold somewhere…
Diem Chau carves crayons (and sometimes pencils) with mind-boggling artistry and attention to detail. She turns everyday crayons into tiny, exquisite sculptures. Diem creates custom pieces for anyone seeking a crayon version of their family, friends or animals. I love her commissioned word currency and chinese zodiac sets and their corresponding colour choices. Diem also created one-of-a-kind metallic crayon cravings of iconic World Cup athletes for Nike. I love the way they were packaged and displayed in an engraved wood stand. I just love Diem’s work and would love to go to an artist or designer’s wedding and see her crayons as the cake topper!