Afro Samurai

January 16, 2007

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I don’t usually follow much anime but here’s one that really caught my attention. Afro Samurai, as the name suggests, is about a black samurai who seeks to avenge the murder of his father. Sounds like your typical story but what’s salient about this anime is that it features the voice of Samuel L. Jackson. As always Mr. Jackson voices many memorable quotes in his movies and Afro Samurai is of no exception. There are lines such as “AFRO! Don’t fight this fucker! He’s got arrows and grenades-n-shit!”. Afro Samurai also has an impressive soundtrack which boasts a lineup that includes RZA, Q-tip, Talib Kweli and Big Daddy Kane. Whether or not you’re an avid anime watcher, this is definitly one that’s worth checking out. Afro Samurai is currently airing on Spike TV.

[ Afro Samurai ]

-phil

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PingMag introduced and conducted an interview with Japanese artist Kazuhiko Kawahara, otherwise known as Palla. With a background in architecture, Palla took interest in photography and naturally he was led to taking pictures of cityscape structures. In addition, he would make adjustments to the photos by duplicating layers and rotating or flipping it over the original image. The result is a pleasing array of lines and patterns of urban structures. From the interview, you can get a sense that Palla puts a lot of thought into each piece, as it requires meticulous judgment on his part of how much to shift the images. All of his works dating back to 2002 are available on his weblog Pallalink.net.

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The Icelandic artist, Olafur Eliasson,  famed in UK for his installation “The Weather Project” at the Tate Modern in 2003, has come out with a new book called “Your Engagement has Consequences”, documents in detail of his three exhibitions. ‘Your Light Shadow’, Hara Museum, Tokyo; ‘Notion Motion’, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, and ‘The Light Setup’, Malmø Konsthall are featured in his book, which was released earlier this year. “Your Engagement has Consequences” is a terrific ‘coffee table’ book and a great addition if you want to add some culture in your bookshelf.

- Jon

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Paul Smith has just announced that they will be showcasing 16 of Japanese artist Keiichi Tanaami’s silkscreened prints. This collection, known as Kamon, is heavily influenced by family crests and makes use of Tanaami’s recognizable high-colour ‘Pop Art’ style. Known for his psychedelic styles and recurring motifs of goldfish, pine trees and waves, Tanaami is highly regarded upon by many Japanese young contemporary artists.

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Visual Poetry

December 12, 2006

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Great works from Visual Poetry at Abnormalbehaviorchild.com. I don’t know about the artist and who made these pieces but they are truly worth checking out. They look incredible and definitely could fix that ugly wallpaper on your desktop. Definitely check out WALZ 57, a visual-sound research footage. Great use of motion, graphics and animation.

[Visual Poetry at www.abnormalbehaviorchild.com]

- Jon

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Simply amazing. Those were the only two words I could conjure from my mind after seeing this. Hush Studios compiled a showreel of all their works with well known corporations. This fast paced clip blends a whole range of campaigns that Hush has done with companies such as Planters, Chili’s, Evian and National Geographic. Be sure to also check out their projects with Nike. Just click on Works from their page to watch them all.

[Hush Studios]

-phil

Whiteboard Stop-Motion

December 3, 2006

Just too much to describe in words. Art. Check the vid.

-e

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José Parla is holding an exhibition of a series of his latest works under the title “Cityscapes” at Art Basel Miami Beach. The exhibition, which is presented by Spoonfed, will be open from December 6th to the 10th. Parla’s works address the idea of how urban cities are palimpsests and that many individuals who pass by throughout the years leave behind their mark that is inscribed in writing but worn out. José Parla recreates this in his works as he uses construction materials such as cement, wood, and vinyl, as well as those of traditional art like paper, paint, powdered dye, wax and ink. So, for those of you in Miami while the exhibition is taking place, I highly encourage you to take a look at the works of this talented artist.

-phil

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PingMag has a new piece on the DISCOLOR exhibition held by Kiyoshi Kuroda who is known for the use of combining analogue and digital techniques in his works. His exhibition will be held from December 2nd to the 29th at Nanzuka Underground in Shibuya, Tokyo. Read the rest of this entry »

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Surface To Air has released their 3rd publication which is comprised of 50 movie posters. 50 artists have been commissioned by Surface To Air to “recreate, reinterpret, reinvent, reshape, remix a poster for a film of their choosing”. The result is an impressive compilation of re-designed posters of movies spanning from the 1950s. The styles and techniques used for these posters vary greatly making this project all the more unique.

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New items @ Methamphibian

November 22, 2006

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Methamphibian has been known for his amazing artwork, crazy style and unique designs. Check out these new one of a kind items, including a jacket and short sleeve button-up by Methamphibian. They are available at their online store. Get your hands on them before they’re all sold out.

Also, Methamphibian has just announced the date for the first 2 colorways of the DC x Methamphibian shoes. They will be available on December 3rd at Brooklyn Projects in Los Angeles and In4mation in Hawaii.

MDC

- A Style

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A while ago, Stussy created a documentary film called the “World Tour” which takes a look at 16 artists who influence street culture around the world. Last month, there was a screening of this documentary at the Vista theater in Los Angeles. For the most of us who haven’t seen it yet, here’s a short preview of what you can expect. From the looks of this, it looks really well done.

-phil

Timberland’s 10061.COM

November 21, 2006

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The Timberland Company recently announced the launch of 10061.com, a web site that celebrates the intersection of art and community. While 10061.com focuses on an online creative collaboration with designers, artists and consumers to use the Timberland boot as a canvas, the most interesting aspect of the site is the “The Boroughs Project”.

Under the creative direction of Jeff Ng aka Jeff Staple (as you might know from his work and blog), 10061.com features “The Boroughs Project” which brings together various designers/artists representing the five boroughs of New York City to each design a limited signature Timberland boot (which will be available for purchase, just in case you’re wondering). Artists include Jeff Staple himself, producer The RZA, painter Chris Mendoza, photographer Atsuko Tanaka and new media artist David “SKWERM” Ellis, created their own inpretation of the Timberland boot and incorporate their ideas/inspirations from the neighbourhoods of New York City.

Although I am not a huge fan of the Timberland brand or the boots created by the artists (i.e. The RZA’s glow- in-the-dark Tims), it is a very impressive campaign for Timberland in attempts to maintain its position in urban culture. The site alone is great to just explore. The ‘User Gallery’ features plenty of great artwork submitted by various people and as long as you’re at the site, my advice is to check out all the artists’ films in the ‘Art and Community’ section. It is essential. The short videos are well produced and entertaining. Definitely worth taking a look.

[ 10061.com ]

- Jon

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For all you Warhol fans out there, here’s some news which you may be interested in. The Andy Warhol Foundation is working with Campbell’s soup to produce a limited edition line of cans in Warhol’s distinct color treatments based on the late artist’s works. Keep your eyes peeled for when they will be released, because this will definately be one of the hottest collector’s items. Info via Supertouch.

-phil

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Shanghai Creative Bazaar

November 17, 2006

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Zendai MOMA will launch a new bi-monthly ‘Creative Bazaar’ in Shanghai starting on November 18th, 2006. Their mission looks to support creative people living and working in Shanghai with a program that provides an organic platform for expression and small-scale commerce with both a local and international flair. Creative individuals ranging from artists, designers, craftspeople and innovators will be present. Check it out if you happen to be in Shanghai. Directions and info on the event at SmartShanghai.

-phil

The Run Up

November 17, 2006

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Creative lifestyle pioneer Upper Playground and FIFTY24SF Gallery, both out of San Francisco, have released a DVD called the Run Up. Basically, the DVD shows the interviews with various graffiti street artists, designers and photographers that make an impact on the contemporary art scene.
Artists included in the visual commentary are Mister Cartoon, Futura, and Jose Parla. The Run Up will feature one-on-one interviews with each artist and look at their their personal journeys in finding their artistic styles. Definately a DVD to look out for. More info here.

-phil

Reset, Toronto

November 15, 2006

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Situated on Toronto’s hip and trendy Queen Street West, Reset has always been one of my favorite stores to check out whenever I take a stroll around the city. Although the store is far west from the much popular and commercial area of Queen St. (between University and Spadina, more particularly the district where Muchmusic headquarters and all the other commercial shit is located), Reset is (like many trendy stores have) located towards the Trinity Bellwoods Park area (between Bathurst and Dufferin). Currently, the area has rejuvenating due to the high volume of artists and designers residing in the area. The area has converted from a run down, bare district to a very stylish and cool neighbourhood which is home to various art galleries as well as unique and distinctive shops.

Zeeshan and Osman Chaudhary set up their Queen West store about two years ago and the store has become one of the best establishments for high end street fashion in Toronto. Reset offers an exclusive collection of the best in local and international street brands and currently offers merchandise from Obey, Creative Recreation, Freshjive, Boxfresh and Criminal. I find that these brands are difficult to find in the city already and to have them available in one place just makes it so much easier for the avid shopper. What I like about Reset is the fact they don’t stick to the same brands all the time as they change their collection ever so often. The store also offers a selection of collectors’ toys, books and magazines. What differentiates Reset from other stores is they are committed to the “fusion of aggressive visual culture” and art appreciation. Reset has often hosted art events in their shop and this past month have presented guests such as acclaimed photographer Jon Naar.

If you happen to be in Toronto, definitely take some time and check out Reset on Queen Street West.

Reset
803 Queen St. W
Toronto
www.resetclothing.com

Click below to view more photos of the Reset Clothing shop in Toronto, Canada
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Here’s a cool item I came across at We Make Money Not Art. This item appeared at Artissima, the international contemporary art fair that was held last weekend in Turin. This is basically a giant disco ball-like skull that spins around and projects light around. Incredibly ‘bling’ but nonetheless one of the catchiest pieces I’ve come across lately.

-phil

Art Army by Michael Leavitt

November 8, 2006

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Multi-faceted artist Michael Leavitt has created many sculptures made with synthetic polymer clay and elastic of various artists. These figures look to pay homage to these artists who have made a difference through their works. Read the rest of this entry »

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While in Hong Kong, I visited the Levi’s store in Causeway Bay and got to see the previous Warhol Factory and Levi’s collaboration. I was really impressed with the line. Here’s a sneak peek of the Warhol Factory x Levi’s collection for Spring of 2007 where many of Andy Warhol’s ‘darker’ works are reflected upon. The above picture is the 12.5 oz waxed selvedge denim with a collage print of Warhol’s time capsule art on the inside of the jeans. More info on the collaboration and the previous collections are available at their site.

-phil