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SFMOMA to Honor Jonathan Ive

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The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, now in the throes of an epic Snøhetta-designed expansion, is the not letting the absence of an HQ prevent it from bestowing its annual lifetime achievement award. This year’s recipient is Apple’s Jonathan Ive, who will be presented with the 2014 Bay Area Treasure Award at a dinner on October 30 (venue TBD). Past recipients include artists Wayne Thiebaud and Richard Serra, filmmaker George Lucas, and landscape architect Lawrence Halprin.
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Quote of Note | Stefan Sagmeister

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“He seemed to put a tremendous amount of energy into those covers; they are very carefully designed and beautifully produced. When he created them, he used his fame and star power. By that I mean it was unlikely that an unknown artist would have been able to persuade record companies to spend the extra money to produce art with those extreme production challenges and difficulties. Think about it. Having a zipper on an album cover? That was not an easy feat. It was expensive and it destroyed the records next to it. And the banana? With the peel, that you could actually peel. That also required extra cost and added necessary attention to production. Both covers are very interactive. The most legendary and memorable designs have always involved the viewer.”

-Stefan Sagmeister on Andy Warhol’s album covers for The Rolling Stones (Sticky Fingers) and the Velvet Underground in Thank You Andy Warhol by Catherine Johnson (Glitterati)

Documentary Focuses on NYC Cab Driver-Turned-Street Photographer Matt Weber

(Matt Weber)
Van Gogh (1989) by Matt Weber, the subject of More Than a Rainbow.

Matt Weber got his start in photography with one hand on a camera and the other on the wheel of a New York City taxi cab. He soon went from being a taxi driver with a camera to a photographer with a taxi, eventually making photography a full-time pursuit. Weber—and the fate of photography in a digital age—is the subject of More Than the Rainbow, a new documentary that opens today at New York’s Quad Cinema and heads to Los Angeles later this month. Set to the twisting melodies of Thelonious Monk, the film combines live action with still photography and interviews with Weber and fellow photographers such as Ralph Gibson and Zoe Strauss.

“For me the essential thing was to create something that would have its own feel,” says director and producer Dan Wechsler. “We interspers[ed] musically driven montage sequences—some in color, some in black and white—where the audience could feel itself moving along the sidewalks and through the subways of the city that our main subject has been roving for the past quarter century, with a camera around his neck at almost all times.”
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Gary Hustwit’s Design Film Trilogy, Coming Soon in Book Form

design trilogy bookIf you’ve enjoyed one, two, or all three of Gary Hustwit‘s design documentaries—Helvetica, Objectified, and Urbanized—you’re sure to be mesmerized by his forthcoming book of compiled interviews, now available for pre-order. The 400 pages, gleaned from hundreds of hours (and 31 hard drives worth) of footage, are unedited glimpses into the minds of creative types from Paola Antonelli to Hermann Zapf. “What’s striking to me is how wide-ranging the actual conversations are compared to the films, which seem kind of narrow in comparison,” says Hustwit. “I’m actually excited—and a little frightened—about how it’ll all work in one book…we’ll see!”

Like this post? Then you’ll love LiquidTreat, a weekly newsletter designed to quench your creative thirst. Sip generously from past issues and subscribe here.

Eunique Jones Gibson on Expressing Her Passions with Photography

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Photographer Eunique Jones Gibson has used her craft to address societal issues, like the controversial Trayvon Martin verdict. In her latest thought-provoking photo campaign, Because of Them, We Can, children are depicted as African-American heroes, both past and present, as a way to inspire other young people of color.

Gibson went from an advertising account manager at Microsoft to professional photographer in a span of four years. During this time, she used every spare moment to perfect her skills. Here, Gibson shares some tips for those just starting out behind the lens:

Find your passion. “I had to try a number of things to figure out what I liked, from photographing models to shooting parties and events. I realized that wasn’t what I wanted to do. I love ‘love.’ Whether it’s a story about people falling in love, families in love or kids who exude love, that’s what I identify with. I also love being able to share my passion for social justice. That’s a niche carved through trial and error, so try different things to figure out what speaks to you.”

Identify what makes you unique. “Why are you different from all other photographers? There are enough to go around, so you need to carve out your own space, whether it’s how you light subjects or the angles that you shoot from or the type of focus that you have. Partner with other photographers so you can shadow them, but home in on something that makes you different from anyone else.”

For more from Gibson, including details on her plans to expand the “Because of Them” campaign, read: Hey, How’d You Launch an Inspirational Photography Campaign, Eunique Jones Gibson?

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Eight Years B.C.: Bill Cunningham Exhibit Opens at NY Historical Society

Intrepid blue-smocked street photographer Bill Cunningham turned 85 yesterday, and the New York Historical Society marked the occasion with a press preview of an exhibit of his photographs. We dispatched writer Nancy Lazarus—via bicycle, of course—to take in the architectural riches and fashion history of New York through Cunningham’s lens. The show opens to the public today.

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(All photos courtesy New York Historical Society)

billWhile his images don’t depict biblical times, Bill Cunningham did delve back to the Civil War, Victorian era, and Gilded Age for his eight-year-long project, Facades. From 1968-1976, the New York Times photographer who documented social, architecture, and fashion trends collected over 500 outfits and shot more than 1,800 locations around New York City. Editta Sherman, his friend, neighbor and fellow photographer, served as project collaborator and frequent subject.

Cunningham donated 88 black-and-white images from his photo essay to the New York Historical Society in 1976, and 80 gelatin silver prints and enlarged images are on display through June 15. Valerie Paley, NYHS historian and vice president for scholarly programs, curated the exhibit, and she said assistant curator Lilly Tuttle, found the photos in the museum’s archives. “We have so many undiscovered treasures, and we’re delighted to rediscover them,” said Paley.

Although Cunningham wasn’t on hand for yesterday’s preview, Paley said he was enthusiastic about the exhibit and had pitched in to locate details of specific photos. Many of his quotes accompany the exhibit highlights. The display is arranged by historic era, and additional photos in the collection are projected onto the walls of the museum’s side entrance rotunda.
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Olafur Eliasson Visits MIT

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If Cambridge seems a little brighter today, it’s because Olafur Eliasson is in town. The artist will be at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) through Friday to accept the 2014 Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts. In addition to collecting a check for $100,000, taking part in public programs, and attending a gala (hosted by the likes of diplomats from Denmark, Iceland and Germany; Agnes Gund; and Anne Hawley, director of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum), Eliasson is taking part in a residency that focuses on his art and social business enterprise Little Sun, a portable, solar powered lamp that he calls “a work of art that works in life.” He’ll be on campus to discuss sustainable development, community engagement, design, product engineering, and social entrepreneurship in developing economies, and, in a lecture today at 5:00 p.m., “Holding hands with the sun.”
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Now Read This: Conversations on the Hudson

conversationsNew York’s Hudson Valley is studded with artists and craftspeople, and Nick Hand met a bunch of them–by hopping on a bicycle. Conversations on the Hudson (Princeton Architectural Press) chronicles the British graphic designer’s 500-mile, two-wheeled journey between Brooklyn and the Adirondacks. The new book is a charming mix of photographs and interviews with the likes of glassware designer Deborah Ehrlich, ceramicist Michele O’Hana, and stone carver Ted Ludwiczak. “On a bicycle you take everything in,” writes Hand in the book’s introduction. “You can stop anywhere, you don’t miss a thing, and it’s easy to strike up a conversation.”

Like this post? Then you’ll love LiquidTreat, a weekly newsletter designed to quench your creative thirst. Sip generously from past issues and subscribe here.

Tea Time with Geoff McFetridge

While Americans pound coffee and gobble sleeves of Milanos, those in more civilized—if less productive—nations know the restorative power of a pause that involves a fresh cup of tea. Bigelow Tea joined Los Angeles-based artist and designer Geoff McFetridge for tea time and captured the creative magic that can happen in the couple of minutes it takes to to steep a cup of tea. The contemplative short, directed by Bucky Fukumoto, is part of Bigelow’s “While You Were Steeping” series.

Your 2014 AIGA Medalists: Chip Kidd, Louise Fili, Bill Moggridge, and 21 More Design Stars

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Frederic Goudy had one, so did Philip Johnson and Robert Rauschenberg. The Eameses had two. Pentagram is awash in them. George Lois wears his to bed. We’re talking about AIGA Medals, the graphic design world’s highest honor. This year, the AIGA is celebrating its centennial by bestowing medals on 24 design visionaries that “together exemplify the legacy of visual communications and the impact of design”: Sean Adams and Noreen Morioka, Richard Danne, Alexander Isley, Charles S. Anderson, Michael Donovan and Nancye Green, Chip Kidd, Dana Arnett, Stephen Doyle, Michael Mabry, Kenneth Carbone and Leslie Smolan, Louise Fili, Abbott Miller, David Carson, Bob Greenberg, Bill Moggridge, Kyle Cooper, Sylvia Harris, Gael Towey, Michael Cronan, Cheryl Heller, and Ann Willoughby. They will be presented with their James Earle Fraser-designed medals on April 25 at the AIGA Centennial Gala in New York City.

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