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Archives: March 2013

Quote of Note | Adam Gopnik

“My own theory about why Picasso agreed to do it [create a sculpture for Chicago's Richard J. Daley Plaza in 1965] after many stops and starts, and despite being a totally unreliable and temperamental character, as all interesting artists are, is–and it’s buried in the Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill correspondence–is that somebody told him that Miró was doing something even bigger in a related space in Chicago. And Picasso really was the Michael Jordan of modern art, not just In the sense of being incredibly accomplished but in the sense of being utterly driven by competitive fire and an unrealized sense of grievance at every turn, that somebody else would outdo him or do better than him. And I suspect that played a significant role in getting him to do it.”

-Writer Adam Gopnik on the Chicago Picasso (pictured), in a recent talk at the Art Institute of Chicago, where “Picasso and Chicago“–the first large-scale Picasso exhibition organized by the museum in almost 30 years–is on view through May 12.
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Mediabistro Job Fair

Mediabistro Job FairLand your next big gig! Join us on Janaury 27  at the Altman Building in New York City for an incredible opportunity to meet with hiring managers from the top New York media compaies, network with other professionals and industry leaders, and land your next job. Register now!

Design a Better Condom and Bill Gates Will Beat a Path to Your Door

Superior mousetraps have their public health benefits, but they’ve got nothing on condoms. Reinventing the modest but life-saving device (some 15 billion are produced each year) is among the latest round of “Grand Challenges Explorations,” an initiative of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which has previously thrown its substantial resources behind design-minded projects such as rethinking the toilet and, in parternship with IDEO, a human-centered approach to poverty-related challenges. Grand Challenges Explorations is ready to award $100,000 grants to anyone–students, scientists, entrepreneurs–with a transformative condom idea:

We are looking for a Next Generation Condom that significantly preserves or enhances pleasure, in order to improve uptake and regular use. Additional concepts that might increase uptake include attributes that increase ease-of-use for male and female condoms, for example better packaging or designs that are easier to properly apply. In addition, attributes that address and overcome cultural barriers are also desired. Proposals must (i) have a testable hypothesis, (ii) include an associated plan for how the idea would be tested or validated, and (iii) yield interpretable and unambiguous data in Phase I, in order to be considered for Phase II funding.

The entry process is as streamlined and agile as the grant-making program itself: simply complete the two-page online application. Puzzled by prophylactics? Check out the other new Grand Challenges topics, which include increasing interoperability of social good data and labor-saving innovations for women smallholder farmers.

Mr. Longo Goes to Washington: Aldrich Museum Presents ‘The Capitol Project’


Robert Longo, “Capitol” (2013)

Want a good look at our nation’s Capitol? Take a detour from D.C. and head to Ridgefield, Connecticut, where the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum has unveiled Robert Longo‘s monumental charcoal drawing of the United States Capitol building. “The building appears to be moving forward toward the center of the room,” writes curator Kelly Texter in a publication that accompanies the exhibition, on view through August 25. “Varying opacities of black create clouded sky and landscape, which blanket and surround the building executed in tonal grays and chalky whites. A differently shaped moulding adorns the top of each window, with snippets of tapestry unique each opening barely visible through glinting glass.” The 41-foot-long work, which spans seven panels and gets an entire wall of the museum’s South Gallery to itself, is shown with 81 of Longo’s ink and charcoal studies, with subjects ranging from the furniture of Sigmund Freud and Franz Kline‘s 1956 AbEx classic “Mahoning” to the Hollywood Sign and Steve Jobs.

Watch This: In the Studio with Gary Baseman


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:

Triangle Fire Memorial Jury Seeks ‘Something That Can’t Be Ignored’

It was 102 years ago this week that a fire broke out in the cutting room of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York’s Greenwich Village. When the fire department responded to the blaze, which soon spread to the “fireproof” building’s eighth, ninth, and tenth floors, the ladders and hoses didn’t reach past the sixth floor. Some 146 workers perished in less than 20 minutes. The tragedy, which played a pivotal role in the movement to enact worker safety laws, is getting a permanent memorial, but what form should it take? (We’re thinking three sides?) The group spearheading the initiative is now seeking ideas with an international design competition.

“We need something that can’t be ignored,” says Mary Anne A. Trasciatti, executive director of the Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition. “That compels passersby to take notice, stop, and reflect. That will make them work for a better world where something like the Triangle Fire never happens again.” To enter, simply sketch out your idea for the memorial on a 24” x 36” sheet and submit it online (register here by April 5 and upload your entry by April 12). A jury that includes Daniel Libeskind and Deborah Berke will select a shortlist of ten entries to further develop their designs and later reconvene to make a final selection of the top three prizewinners and honorable mentions.

New Show! Elevator Pitch Fast Forward: I-Ella

They came on the mediabistroTV series “Elevator Pitch” hoping someone would take a chance on their ideas. In our new show, “Elevator Pitch Fast Forward,” host Alan Meckler checked up on the new business owners to see how they’re doing.

In our first episode, we dropped in on I-Ella CEO and founder, Ella Gorgla to see where the fashion insider’s marketplace is today. Gorgla showed us how giving clients a red carpet experience put new life into her business. She also gave “Elevator Pitch” hopefuls some solid advice to make sure their startups never go out of style.

For more videos, check out mediabistroTV, and be sure to follow us on Twitter: @mediabistroTV

Design Jobs: Hollywood Life, Clarkson University, Daily Mail Online

This week, Hollywood Life is hiring a photo editor, while Clarkson University needs a designer. Daily Mail Online is seeking a deputy photo editor, and Macmillan is on the hunt for a designer. Get the scoop on these openings and more below, and find additional just-posted gigs on Mediabistro.

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.

Think Spring! USPS Sows Antique Seed Packets, Reaps Fresh Flower Stamps

Chalk it up to the privileges and pressures of designing for eternity (“Forever” beats first-class any day) or the security that comes with a future of free Saturdays, but the United States Postal Service is on a roll when it comes to fetching stamps. The agency is following up its Armory Show centennial “Modern Art in America” stamps with a fresh take on flowers, a perpetual crowd-pleaser for philatelists and Johnnies-come-philately alike. Behold “Vintage Seed Packets,” a bouquet of ten self-adhesive blossoms sourced from antique seed packets (pictured at right, printed between 1910 to 1920) and cropped to highlight the detail of flowers from asters to zinnias. Each flower is identified in bold capital letters, lest you mistake a calendula for a phlox. USPS art director Antonio Alcalé is to thank for the design of the stamp booklet, which debuts next Friday, April 5.

Bloomberg Businessweek Gets Surreal, But Ceci N’est Pas un Matisse!

Creative director Richard Turley and his crack/dream team, including design director Cynthia Hoffman and graphic director Jennifer Daniel, are behind the sight for sore eyes that is Bloomberg Businessweek. Smart, inventive, and with a stream of bold, gutsy, stop-’em-in-their-tracks-at-the-newsstand covers and artfully integrated infographics, the book buzzes with jazzy layers–a syncopation of pictures, display typography, charts, captioning, illustration–that Turley has likened to “graffiti-ing the pages.” This week’s cover is a standout, using René Magritte‘s famous 1964 self-portrait, “The Son of Man,” to tackle the topic of Greenlight Capital’s David Einhorn and his recently aborted battle with Apple. However, when we consulted the credits to see who was responsible for the surreal photo-illustration (bowler hat’s off to Justin Metz), the surrealism continued, with a shout-out to…Henri Matisse? The Treachery of Images, indeed.

Moleskine Opens First U.S. Store, Preps IPO

Moleskine is following through on its big plans for little notebooks. The Milan-based company, which affects a storied history but in fact was created by design-savvy publisher Francesco Francheschi in 1997 to revive the sleek jotters favored by the likes of Ernest Hemingway and Pablo Picasso, is following up last summer’s foray into pop-up shops (at train stations in Milan and Rome) with permanent stores around the world. The first American Moleskine shop–stocked with notebooks, journals, bags, pens, digital device accessories, and cases–opened Friday at the Time Warner Center in New York City.

Among the Moleskine-y touches at the new ground-floor kiosk (pictured above) is a map floorcovering that “symbolizes the mobile identity of contemporary nomads,” according to the company. The NYC location follows recent openings in London (at Heathrow’s Terminal 4) and Shanghai. A Beijing outpost will bow in May. The timing of Moleskine’s retail push is no coincidence: it’s all systems go for a €500 million ($654 million) initial public offering that should see Moleskine shares begin trading on the Milan stock exchange next week.

Previously on UnBeige:
Mickey Mouse Makes Mark on Moleskine
Beyond Notebooks: Moleskine Taps Designer Giulio Iacchetti to Expand Product Line
Moleskine Enters the Digital Age with Kindle Cover/Notebook Hybrid

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