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For Picasso’s Birthday, a Guernica Made of Legos

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Picasso’s Guernica made of Lego bricks by Legoland Discovery Center Westchester’s master model builder Veronica Watson. (Photo: Legoland Discovery Center Westchester)

Today marks the 133rd anniversary of Picasso‘s birth, and while some will celebrate by taking in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s spellbinding show of Leonard Lauder‘s Cubist collection, others will admire the artist’s famous Guernica—recreated in Legos in Yonkers. The blocky birthday tribute is the work of Veronica Watson, a master model builder at Legoland Discovery Center Westchester. It took her a couple of days and 800 Legos to create the replica, which is seven inches tall and just under fifteen inches wide, but little convincing: Guernica is one of her favorite Picasso works. “The style used to represent the chaotic subject matter of the Spanish Civil War makes it an incredibly powerful piece in 1937 and in 2015,” Watson told us, before answering a few of our questions about her Lego homage.

What was the most challenging aspect of making a Lego version of Guernica?
The most difficult aspect of making the Lego version was deciding how much detail to include. There is a lot going on in the painting. Rather then explicitly recreating every detail, I worked at suggesting the right forms so that the painting would be instantly recognizable.
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Mediabistro Course

Online Production for Writers and Editors

Online Production for Writers and EditorsStarting October 30, learn how translate your written work into multi-dimensional and editorially relevant digital content! In this course you'll learn how to navigate a CMS, crop, resize, and optimize photos, create graphics, enhance static text through HTML/CSS, and measure the effectiveness of your content using analytics. Register now!

In Which We Seek Your Design News

If we’ve heard it once, we’ve heard it a thousand times: “I could tell you this Big Design News, but then I’d have to kill you.” Now you can give us the scoop and skip the messy task of plotting murder, thanks to our handy “Anonymous Tips” box nestled in the menu bar at right, below the search box. Simply type in your news—design happenings, movements of the Revolving Door, scandalous revelations, a designer’s hidden talent, or any newsy, design-y morsel—and click “Send.” And for those not inclined to clandestine tipping, we’re still just an e-mail away.

Exhibition Showcases Five Decades of Michael Graves’ Designs at Home and Abroad

The upcoming Architectural League of New York symposium is but one (aqua-hued, curvy, multi-windowed) component of the Michael Graves 50th-anniversary extravaganza happening this fall. A show of the architect and product designer’s paintings are on view through the end of the year at NYC’s Studio Vendome gallery. And over in New Jersey, Grounds for Sculpture has mounted a Graves retrospective. Writer Nancy Lazarus visited the latter exhibition—and then followed Graves home.

graves GFSGolden banners hung from the rafters and bearing sketches of now-famous products greet visitors to Michael Graves: Past as Prologue at the Grounds For Sculpture in Hamilton, New Jersey. The retrospective, on view through April 5, is a festive tribute to Graves and his architecture and design firm as they mark their fiftieth anniversary.

Organizing an exhibit spanning Graves’ prolific and ongoing career was no easy feat. “This was planned as a series of vignettes” chronicling the practice’s interdisciplinary work along with Michael’s owm drawings and paintings, explained Karen Nichols, principal at Michael Graves & Associates, at a recent press preview. The firm’s core values: aesthetics, functionality, and humanistic design, connect seemingly disparate projects.

Few architects can claim commissions as varied as the Portland Building, Louisville’s Humana Building, the Denver Library, decorative scaffolding for the Washington Monument, various Disney Resorts, and Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore. The photographs and architectural models tell the stories of Graves’ broad geographic scope.
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Ready the Creamed Corn! Canstruction Returns to New York

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“Polarized Against Hunger,” the Canstruction NY 2013 entry by GACE Consulting Engineers

Ever dreamed of recreating a Richard Serra sculpture with tomatoes from the pantry? Erecting a monumental tribute to Alexander McQueen’s armadillo heel using only canned peas and elbow grease? What about constructing a truly giant giant panda that can feed hundreds? Teams from top architecture and engineering firms will prove that they can do it, and for a good cause. The international charity competition that is Canstruction returns to New York City next month and with it the opportunity for teams of architects, engineers, and students they mentor to design and build giant structures made entirely from unopened cans of food—all of which are ultimately donated to City Harvest. The competing teams’ carefully stacked creations will be judged in categories that include Best Use of Labels, Best Meal, Structural Ingenuity, and Most Cans. The works will be on view from November 6 through November 20 in the Winter Garden and lobby of Brookfield Place. Bring non-perishable foods when you visit, and they’ll be donated along with the cans used in the competition.

Happy Birthday, David Zwirner! You’re (Still) the Art World’s Second Most Influential Person

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A birthday comes but once a year, as does the ArtReview Power 100. The two tend to coincide for ubergallerist David Zwirner, who has two reasons to celebrate today: his fiftieth birthday [insert Kusama-dotted sheet cake here] and clinching the number-two spot on this year’s Power 100, which appears in ArtReview’s November issue (on newsstands today). Zwirner is outranked only by Tate director Nicholas Serota, who has held onto the top slot since the London-based magazine’s list debuted in 2002. The mind boggles at the power to be concentrated when Zwirner artist Marlene Dumas’s retrospective opens at Tate Modern in February.

Rounding out the Power 100’s top ten is Zwirner’s former partner in erstwhile Zwirner & Wirth, Ivan Wirth (#3), MoMA director Glenn Lowry (#4), and Marina Abramović (#5), who the magazine describes as a “performance artist turned celebrity inspirer and admirer.” At #6, Serpentine Gallery directors Hans Ulrich Obrist and Julia Peyton-Jones come down a peg from 2013, while Jeff Koons’s stellar year zooms him up to #7, just ahead of Larry Gagosian (#8), Marian Goodman (#9), and Cindy Sherman (#10).

Guggenheim Reveals Submissions for Helsinki Museum Design Contest

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The world is one step closer to Guggenheim Helsinki. The open, international competition for the design of the the proposed art and design museum, to be located on city-owned land in the southwestern part of Helsinki’s South Harbor, is nowhere near its big Finnish finish, but today the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation cut the virtual, Marimekko-patterned ribbon on an online gallery of submissions. The featured entries, which were received from 77 countries and can be filtered using trait-based tags (dome, glass, opaque, concrete, twisted, shiny, and more), are for stage one of the competition. Now it’s up to an 11-member jury chaired by Mark Wigley, Dean of Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture, to convene in Helsinki to select six finalists on the basis of their architectural design, relationship to the site and the cityscape, practicality for users (including criteria for the use of materials), and feasibility. Stage two begins next month, and the big voittaja (winner) will be announced in June 2015.

Wanted: Graphic Designer Who Seeks Better Living Through Chemistry

magicliquid.jpgDo you have a longstanding fascination with the periodic table? Do you remain confident in the power of space-age polymers? Are you surrounded by limiting reagents? If so (and even if not), you might consider seeking a better living through chemistry as an art director for the American Chemical Society. The Washington, D.C.-based organization—the world’s largest scientific membership association—is seeking a creative services manager to “create and develop branding guidelines and best practices” as a member of its marketing department. Bring your Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, and Flash skills, and don’t forget to balance your equations.

Apply for this art director, American Chemical Society position or view all the current mediabistro.com design jobs.

In Brief: RIP Oscar de la Renta, Banksy Riffs on Vermeer, Istanbul Design Biennial Update

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• Fashion designer Oscar de la Renta died last night after a long battle with cancer. The bon vivant, whose fashion house announced last week the appointment of Nina Ricci veteran Peter Copping as creative director, was 82.

Banksy is back. His latest work, painted on a building in his hometown of Bristol, is a pierced-eardrum riff on Vermeer‘s Girl with a Pearl Earring.

• It’s all systems go for the second Istanbul Design Biennial, which kicks off November 1. Curated by Zoë Ryan and associate curator Meredith Carruthers, the biennial will host 53 projects created around the theme “The Future Is Not What It Used To Be.” The list of participating designers, announced this week, includes Elena Manferdini of Atelier Manferdini, Sissel Tolaas, Beth Schechter and Eric Rodenbeck of Stamen Design, and Atelier Bow-Wow’s Yoshiharu Tsukamoto and Momoyo Kaijima.

• The Museum at FIT holds its fourteenth fashion symposium—Dance & Fashion—this Thursday and Friday. Speakers including Wendy Whelan, Narciso Rodriguez, and Valerie Steele will explore topics ranging from tutus and ballet shoes to African-American dance and the trend of tapping fashion designers to create dance costumes. Don’t miss the wrap-up session: a tango performance that will inevitably evoke the dearly departed Mr. de la Renta. Register for free here.
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Design Jobs: TYR, Meredith, Levine/Leavitt

This week, TYR is hiring a senior graphic designer/associate art manager, while Meredith needs an assistant art director for More. Levine/Leavitt is seeking a studio manager, and  is on the hunt for a staff photographer. Get the scoop on these openings and more below, and find additional just-posted gigs on Mediabistro.

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Find more great design jobs on the UnBeige job board. Looking to hire? Tap into our network of talented UnBeige pros and post a risk-free job listing. For real-time openings and employment news, follow @MBJobPost.

Twitter Along with UnBeige

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Famed literary critic Lionel Trilling once described Henry James as a “social twitterer.” Sure, he meant it as an insult, but it makes us feel better about having joined the tweeting masses. Look to the UnBeige Twitter feed for up-to-the-minute newsbites, event snippets, links of interest, design trivia, and our exclusive photo of Rem Koolhaas in mid-ponder—it makes for smashing smartphone wallpaper.

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