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Now Read This: Favelization

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Is the exotic Brazil that we see referenced and traded upon in contemporary film, fashion, and design real or imaginary? Or perhaps a little of both? These are among the questions addressed by author Adriana Kertzer in Favelization, a new ebook that is part of the DesignFile series launched last year by the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. Kertzer, a curatorial assistant at the Museum of Arts & Design, sets out to understand the ways in which specific producers of contemporary Brazilian culture capitalized on misappropriations of the favela (informal squatter settlements that grow along the hillsides and lowlands of many Brazilian cities) in order to brand luxury items as “Brazilian.”

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Different Strokes: Lichtenstein Sculptures Bound for Parrish Art Museum

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It was during a break in a college art history course discussion of Saussurean signifiers that we got to chatting up the dashing head teaching fellow, then in lukewarm pursuit of his Ph.D. After some good-natured banter about the arbitrariness of the sign, we ventured into more rational territory: “So, what are you writing your thesis about?” The color swiftly drained from his face and he stared at the ground before mumbling words that were only later discernible as “the sculptures of Roy Lichtenstein.” Everything turned out for the best, and the TF in question is now an associate professor at a leading research university, but to this day we can’t pass one of the Pop artist’s fiberglass houses or aluminum brushstrokes without feeling slightly queasy.

If anything can undo that association it’s the Parrish Art Museum. Next week the museum’s stunning new(ish) Herzog & de Meuron-designed home in Water Mill, New York will get its first long-term, outdoor installation in Lichtenstein’s Tokyo Brushtroke I & II (1994), part of a series of sculptures constructed mainly in the 1990s. The soaring, two-piece sculpture, made of painted and fabricated aluminum, tops out at 33 feet, taller than the museum itself: a monolevel extruded barn-as-studio made both rugged and stealth by cloudy concrete walls and a white corrugated metal roof. A temporary loan from collectors Glenn and Amanda Fuhrman, Tokyo Brushtroke I & II will sit (in a cement brace) near Montauk Highway, acting as a colorful signpost of sorts for the Parrish.

Last Chance to Enter Core77 Design Awards

Core77 is back with the fourth edition of its dazzlingly ambitious Design Awards program, with progressive categories (speculative, DIY, food design), professional and student entry fields, globally distributed juries, in-depth video testimonials, and live-webcast jury announcements. Among the international design luminaries tapped as jury captains are Marian Bantjes, Livework CEO Tennyson Pinheiro, and UnBeige editor emeritus Alissa Walker.

So what’s in it for you, provided that you submit your entry by the March 20 April 6 deadline? Fame and fortune, or at least the former: honorees will be published in the 2014 awards gallery, across the Core77 online network, and in the awards publication. Then there’s that swell trophy (pictured), created by Rich Brilliant Willing with an eye to the team-based nature of design. “In our discussions with Core77, we came to realize that an inherent pitfall of the iconic trophy is that it is shared by a group, yet not literally divisible among that group,” said the designers, who seized on the image and symbol of a mold. “Our solution for the Core77 Design Awards trophy has a functional value: winning teams can create ingots from the trophy, and provide these cast facsimiles to their collaborators, clients, and staff.”

Quote of Note | Jonathan Ive

jonathan_ive sm“We’re surrounded by anonymous, poorly made objects. It’s tempting to think it’s because the people who use them don’t care—just like the people who make them. But what we’ve shown is that people do care. It’s not just about aesthetics. They care about things that are thoughtfully conceived and well made. We make and sell a very, very large number of (hopefully) beautiful, well-made things. our success is a victory for purity, integrity—for giving a damn.”

-Jonathan Ive, Apple’s senior vice president of design, in an interview with John Arlidge for Time
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Snuff Bottles and Moon Jars! Five Must-See Asia Week New York Exhibits

Writer Nancy Lazarus heads to the Far East without leaving Manhattan as she takes in the sixth annual Asia Week and offers up five highlights.

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Kaneko Toru’s Blue Rust #1 (2009) is on view during Asia Week at Lesley Kehoe Galleries.

Spring marks the arrival of Asia Week New York. The nine-day event (March 14-22), a marathon of 47 gallery shows and 19 auction sales, along with museum exhibitions and special events, offers the opportunity to admire a wealth of ancient and modern treasures. We’ve picked five exhibits where the themes, settings, timeless works, contemporary pieces, or unique techniques reward close looking. They’re listed by location, starting in midtown.

Lesley Kehoe Galleries (Melbourne, Australia-based gallery specializing in Japanese art; has Asia Week gallery space in Fuller Building at 41 East 57th Street, 5th floor)
The Transcendent Spirit, a special Asia Week exhibit, highlights works of seven Japanese artists. Owner Lesley Kehoe believes “there’s not another culture with the patience and self-discipline to master these complex techniques.” Mitsuo Shoji creates paintings, calligraphy, and objects. He’s inspired by Buddhist chanting and fascinated with fire, using traditional Japanese foils to fire canvases. Kaneko Toru and Kidera Yuko specialize in metalworks. Yoku hammers flat metal sheets to create spirited female forms of dance and song. Toru uses copper oxide and enameled metals to craft colorful tin-plated decorative vessels with exotic textures.

Ralph M. Chait Galleries (specializes in Chinese art; 730 Fifth Avenue at 57th Street, Crown Building, 12th floor)
For Asia Week, the oldest U.S. firm dealing in Chinese art is focusing on porcelain, silver sculpture, root carvings, and a collection of 20 snuff bottles dating from the 18th-20th centuries. Though miniature in size, the bottles were quite eye-catching, especially given the variety of animal and botanical motifs, shapes, and design types. Some were inlaid, while others were carved, painted, or embellished. Among the gemstones were lapis, jasper, jade, rhodonite, and moss agate. A stopper in a matching or contrasting color sat atop each bottle.
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Design Jobs: Lincoln Center, Fab, Pace Communications

This week, Lincoln Center is hiring a graphic designer, while Fab needs a jewelry buyer. Pace Communications is seeking a digital creative director, and St. Martin’s Press is on the hunt for an art director. 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.

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?

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

Wanted: Graphics Pro Who Can Perform

The world’s leading performing arts center—that would be Lincoln Center— recently celebrated its 50th anniversary [cymbal flourish]. Some say that such a milestone calls for a gift of gold, but it’s actually a graphics maestro. That’s right, design fans, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, one of 12 organizations resident in the Lincoln Center complex (how many of the other 11 can you name?), is on the hunt for a graphic designer to “develop and create communications and advertising which promote Lincoln Center’s programmatic offerings and services and express the Lincoln Center brand.” Bring your portfolio of dazzling typography, design, and branding work but leave your stage fright at home.

Learn more about and apply for this graphic designer, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts job or view all of the current mediabistro.com design/art/photo jobs.

So What’s the Deal with 3D Printing?

Put on your rapidly prototyped dress (the one pictured here was created for Dita Von Teese by the architect-designer duo of Francis Bitonti and Michael Schmidt) and get the inside scoop on the technology that Wired editor-turned-robotics entrepreneur Chris Anderson has described as having the world-changing potential of the first desktop publishing tools at the Inside 3D Printing Conference & Expo. The two-day confab, set for April 16-17 in Sao Paulo [insert 3D-prototyped Caipirinha here], will explore business opportunities, policy considerations, and the latest 3D printers and services. Learn more and register here.

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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