Nope, not communism–it’s Kickstopper, a “website that raises funding to crush people’s dreams, at the exact moment when they need to be crushed.” The team from YouTube’s Universal Comedy channel imagines the anti-crowdfunding force with the help of a trio of floundering creative entrepreneurs: a guy who once yearned to make a semi-autobiographical film about his failed college romance (“set in the Jazz Age” and featuring “a wide variety of fedoras”), a young woman who looked to Kickstarter to make her glassblowing dreams come true, and an inventor of a killer smartphone accessory.
Taking a good photo of a great building is no easy task, as Flickr or Instagram can demonstrate. Meanwhile, even the most expansive Pinterest page of stunning architectural images is likely to feature the work of a relatively small group of photographers–those who have mastered the tricky art and science of capturing the utility, spirit, and beauty of the designed environment. Many of those names are followed by “Esto,” the firm built on the image collection of Ezra Stoller. Esto assignment photographer Albert Vecerka was on hand last week at the Cooper-Hewitt Design Center for the latest in the museum’s “Harlem Focus” series. “I look to tell a story about a place; a neighborhood, a building, a room,” Vecerka has said. “Looking for the right light, right day, or right time of day is a part of that narrative, and it is no different for commercial assignments than for personal projects.” Watch the event below and then mark your calendar for June 26, when architectural historian John Reddick will be joined by curators and gardeners from the Central Park Conservatory Gardens to talk “Garden Design: The Art of Color, Variety, and Form.”
“They kind of exist at the spiritual center of our lives, really,” says Dave Kapell of refrigerator magnets. And he should know. The Minneapolis-based musician-slash-inventor is the founder of Magnetic Poetry, which has sold over three million kits (that’s more than a billion word tiles) worldwide. Faith Salie chatted up Kapell and more magnet magnates–including Louise Greenfarb, who made the Guinness Book of Records for owning the most refrigerator magnets in the world (45,000, but who’s counting?)–for this recent CBS Sunday Morning segment, which concludes by considering the bane of magnet lovers everywhere: the stainless steel fridge.
Rick Owens, how do we love thee? Let us count the pricey bruise-hued t-shirts. The buyers at Italian boutique Antonioli caught up with the designer in Paris following his spring 2013 womenswear show to discuss inspiration, hairstyles inspired by the work of Gustav Klimt, and foam, which bubbled down in clouds along the back wall of the runway. Enjoy a few minutes of Owens’s musings on ferocity, serenity, islands, and “creating a hallucinogenic vision of warmth and loveliness.”
Holocaust survivor Ben Baseman spent four years fighting off Nazis in the birch forests of what was then Poland (now part of Ukraine). Decades later, the episode inspired his son, Gary, to create the Buckingham Warrior, a “defender of strong ideals and a stark reminder to the fragility of our own ecology.” The artist, illustrator, and cult toy maker’s multi-headed deer character comes alive in a new MOCAtv animated short released to coincide with Baseman’s megashow, “The Door Is Always Open,” on view through August 18 at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. Directed by David Charles and animated by Peter Markowski, the allegorical tale plays out against a raging score by the South-African rap-rave duo Die Antwoord.
Design legend Saul Bass would have turned 93 today, and Google is celebrating his creative legacy with one of its most elaborate daily “doodles” yet. Visit the search giant’s homepage before midnight to see and watch the tribute, an animated riff on some of Bass’s most well-known film titles, including those for The Man With the Golden Arm, Anatomy of a Murder, and Around the World in 80 Days. And turn those speakers up, because this doodle is in stereo, set to Dave Brubeck‘s “Unsquare Dance.”
It’s time to swap the surreal shoe hats for safety pin-encrusted fedoras as the Metropolitan Museum of Art puts the artfully distressed finishing touches on “PUNK: Chaos to Couture,” which will be unveiled to attendees of the Costume Institute gala on Monday evening and then opens to the public on Thursday. But before we say “ciao” to Elsa Schiaparelli, who shared the spotlight last spring in a series of “impossible conversations” with Miuccia Prada, we bring you video of her 1952 appearance on What’s My Line?, in which she attempted to preserve her “Mystery Guest” status as long as possible by grunting answers to the panelists’ yes or no questions.
Previously on UnBeige:
• Frank Lloyd Wright on What’s My Line?
• Schiaparelli and Prada: Sneak a Peek at the Met’s ‘Impossible Conversations’
• Chaos to Couture: Metropolitan Museum Goes Punk for 2013 Costume Institute Exhibition
The awards-gala season is in full swing, and Creative Time is cooking up a night to remember at Brooklyn’s Domino Sugar Factory. The arts organization, which recently trotted out Nick Cave‘s soundsuited steeds in Grand Central terminal, will cap off the month with an April 30 benefit to honor the multitalented Julian Schnabel. Mario Batali is handling the food, daughter Lola is crafting the playlist, and the likes of Laurie Anderson and Al Pacino are lining up to praise the man of the moment in charming yet succinct video tributes. As you prepare to fetch your credit card to buy a ticket (after all, gala proceeds provide nearly a third of Creative Time’s annual budget), watch Anderson’s salute to Schnabel:
“It used to be that design was all about industry and it was very geographically anchored to the means of production. Then it became more dependent on the tertiary sector of design, on showrooms and fairs. In my opinion, the geography of design is now set by schools. You can’t talk about Italian design or British design—it’s old-fashioned. It really is about whether someone comes from [the Design Academy of] Eindhoven or the Royal College of Art in London. In this kind of scenario, meetings like the Salone are still very important because they are great business opportunities. The problem is that design has spread out in many directions and I think it’s important for the Salone to attract corollary events that are about interaction design and interface design.”
-Paola Antonelli, director of research and development and senior curator of architecture and design at MoMA, in an interview with Ermanno Rivetti for The Art Newspaper
Watch Antonelli’s recent appearance on The Colbert Report:
Detail from Gary Baseman’s “The Celebration of Toby” (2005)
The countdown is on to Gary Baseman‘s first major museum exhibition, which will turn L.A.’s Skirball Cultural Center into a fun house full of paintings, photographs, toys, sketchbooks, and videos. More than 300 artworks and objects will be installed in thematic “rooms” of a gallery designed to evoke Baseman’s childhood home, complete with family photos, Super 8 home movies, and furnishings. The creative exuberance of “Gary Baseman: The Door Is Always Open” will be revealed on April 25 with an opening house party at which Baseman will create a “spontaneous artwork” amidst pinata smashing, mask making, a performance by Nightmare and the Cat, and a DJ set by Shepard Fairey. Prepare yourself by taking a virtual trip into Baseman’s world (and studio), thanks to filmmaker Eric Minh Swenson: