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Archives: December 2013

Art Directors Club Convinces Milton Glaser, James Victore to Feed Their Art to Laser Cat

The feline world takeover continues apace, one adorable kitten Vine at a time. Cats have even infiltrated the highest reaches of the creative community, as evidenced by the Laser Cat that has been gobbling up the work of designers such as Stefan Sagmeister, Milton Glaser and Sue Walsh, Kevin O’Callaghan, and James Victore, with plans to project the artworks onto Miami’s Bass Museum of Art. Then it’s onto the moon. Say what?

Laser Cat is an art installation dreamed up by Barcelona-based Hungry Castle, also known as Dave Glass and Kill Cooper. The poptastic duo has joined forces with O’Callaghan, the original Mr. Big Stuff, to create a giant cat armed with powerful “laser” projectors that will be part of the Art Directors Club’s 93rd Annual Awards + Festival of Art and Craft in Advertising and Design, which takes April 7–9 2014 in Miami Beach. Still confused? Just watch these videos—pew, pew!


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Chinese Artists Will Transform Your Instagrams into Oil Paintings

pixelist
Watch your back, Richard Estes. A photo and, at right, the resulting Pixelist painting.

Make 2014 the year that your Instagram masterworks break free of their pixellated prisons and start a new life as…photorealist oil paintings! That’s the transformative promise of Pixelist. The startup offers handmade oil paintings of any image you can capture or create, with “commissions” starting at $150. How? A bunch of willing and able Chinese painters sourced by founder Will Freeman, an Emory grad now based in Hong Kong. He made time to answer a few questions about the burgeoning business.

pixelist exampleHow did you get the idea to start Pixelist?
Pixelist came from a love of all things custom and creative. We’ve spent years designing our own clothes, shoes, furniture, and art and hunting for the best craftspeople to bring them to life. So we were naturally attracted to the idea of harnessing the popularity of Instagram to revive commissioned painting.

That part really describes me and my years in China and Hong Kong. But my business partner, Conor Colwell, originally came up with the idea. Conor and I used to work together and would always bat around startup ideas on our lunch break. I took him to visit one of China’s “art villages” in Shenzhen and he was hugely impressed by the painting quality. Conor has always been into Instagram, so he thought it would be a great way to immortalize photos people already loved. I loved the idea because I was already deeply into getting things custom made.
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Smithsonian Acquires Video Games

flower
Flower, which co-creator Jenova Chen has likened to “video game poetry,” is now in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

The Museum of Modern Art isn’t the only cultural institution shopping for video games. In the wake of its 2012 “The Art of Video Games” exhibition, the Smithsonian American Art Museum has added to its permanent collection Flower by Jenova Chen and Kellee Santiago of thatgamecompany and Halo 2600 by Ed Fries. “The best video games are a great expression of art and culture in our democracy,” said Elizabeth Broun, the museum’s director, in a statement announcing the acquisitions. “I am excited that this new medium is now a permanent part of our collections alongside other forms of video, electronic, and code-based art.”
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Design Jobs: MRM, Living In Media, Photo District News

This week, MRM is hiring an art director, while Living In Media is seeking an editorial graphic designer. Photo District News magazine needs a designer, and the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association is on the hunt for a marketing communications writer. Get the scoop on these openings and more below, and find additional just-posted gigs on Mediabistro.

MRM130

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.

Arem Duplessis Leaving New York Times Magazine for Apple

Your Sunday is about to get a lot less visually stimulating: Arem Duplessis has decided to leave his post as design director of The New York Times Magazine [muffled sobbing]. Come February, he’ll begin his new position as a creative director at Apple, where he’ll lend his creative genius to the internal marketing team. Word of the move follows the recent announcement that Facebook has tapped Apple advertising veteran Scott Trattner to serve as its executive creative director. We asked Duplessis a few questions as he prepares to relocate to the promised land of Cupertino.

Why is it the right time for you to make this move?
I’ve been at The New York Times Magazine for almost ten years. I have worked with some of the smartest people on the planet and it’s been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I feel very fortunate to have been able to experience such a great gig. With that said, it’s time for a new chapter and a new challenge.

What will you miss most about working at The New York Times Magazine?
Without question the people. I have made so many great friends over the years and I will miss them dearly.

Bonus question: What’s the best gift you received this holiday season?
Hearing my son proclaim “THIS IS THE BEST CHRISTMAS EVER!” No way to beat that, right?

Drink Champagne, Design Tiny Chair, Repeat

champagne chairs

Two of our favorite things—Champagne and chairs—come together in a festive contest from the bubbly furniture fans at Design Within Reach. Your mission, should you choose to accept it: create an original miniature chair using only the foil, label, cage, and cork from no more than two Champagne bottles (glue is the only permitted adhesive). Entering is the easy part. Simply snap a photo of your tiny, fizzy throne and upload it here. A panel of Champagne-loving chair experts, including David Weeks, the dapper and effervescent gentlemen of Rich Brilliant Willing, and design journalist Pilar Viladas, will judge the chairs, and three winners will receive a DWR gift card. Drink fast, because the deadline for entries is Tuesday, January 14.

Quote of Note | Jon Rafman

Jon Rafman
El Lissitzky Video Editing Suite (2011), part of Jon Rafman’s Brand New Paint Job series

“Digitally skinning an object in a 3D program is a simple process of changing the surface of an object or environment. That’s what I like about Brand New Paint Job—it walks the line between art and design by forcing High Modernist painting into becoming wallpaper, and in the process realizing one of painting’s greatest fears, which is becoming decorative. In the same way the functional room or object becomes somewhat useless in having itself covered and being turned into an art object. It’s also a comment on the nature of the relationship between art and design, and how important design is to art. Design is a huge part of the art vernacular—even though it’s deconstructed and used in anti-design ways—especially for my generation, where people are using and appropriating branding techniques and corporate aesthetics. It’s almost troll-like: on one level I’m trolling the paintings and on another level I’m trolling interior-design chic as a concept.”

-Jon Rafman in an interview with Stephen Froese that appears in the new issue of PIN-UP

Experimental Animation Meets…Pottery?

It’s experimental animation! It’s pottery! Stop, you’re both right! Watch the creations of Devon, England-based Ramp Ceramics (that stands for “Roop & Al make Pots”) come alive in this film by Jim Le Fevre, Mike Paterson, and the aforementioned Rupert (“Roop”) and Alice (“Al”) Johnstone. The production was commissioned by the UK’s Crafts Council.

Paddle8 Launches Sister Site for ‘Extraordinary Experiences’

Still museum
Still got it. A private, curator-led tour of the Clyfford Still Museum in Denver is among the experiences now up for grabs on Gavel&Grand.

Did Santa (or UPS) fail to deliver for you this year? Still in search of a worthy cause for an under-the-wire 2013 charitable donation? Head straight to Gavel&Grand. The recently launched site expands Paddle8‘s online platform, rounding up philanthropic auctions that are studded with extraordinary experiences. Hurry to get your bids in for the Aspen Art Museum’s Freestyle auction, which runs through tomorrow evening on the site. The big-ticket items include a stay at a private chalet and a membership at The Caribou Club, but we’re coveting the Inez and Vinoodh commissioned portrait, private tour of the breathtaking Clyfford Still Museum, and a San Francisco art junket that promises an intimate look at Ai Weiwei‘s forthcoming Alcatraz Island installation.

The Making of the Gingerbread White House

One of the benefits of being President of the United States that you won’t read about in civics textbooks is the opportunity to admire for at least four and as many as eight Decembers, a 300-pound, edible replica of your home without ever leaving it. (And because you are the President, no one can stop you from uprooting a fondant fir or two for a quick taste test.)

This year, the White House chronicled the creation of its gingerbread doppelgänger in this video, which compresses several weeks of work—led by Pastry Chef-in-Chief Bill Yosses—into less than two action-packed minutes. The finished product, now on view in the State Dining Room until what we imagine to be an epic New Year’s Eve demolition party, includes a functioning replica of the North Lawn fountain and not-to-scale models of the Obama family dogs, Bo and Sunny.

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