The Good, The Bad & The Kitsch.

[May.31.2013]

* In which the first of all single colors is white…

I’ve always loved envisioning great works of art in the wood panelled den of some house in Delaware or in the drab foyer of some insurance company in Pennsylvania. Great Art in Ugly Rooms has done it, and I’m totally into it. These examples are extremes, of course, but it works. I am reticent to say never, but generally speaking, you’re very unlikely to find a Barnett Newman hanging on the wall of a inner city secondhand store, or a Donald Judd in a commode, but if anything, it does make you think: who would Richard Prince or Carl Andre be if it weren’t for the pristine white walls, the expensive track lighting and the concrete floors to showcase their work? The above Carl Andre is coincidentally on view at my work as I write this, and I must say, the meaning and value of the work depreciates significantly when taken out of the context of the “art gallery.” 

[May.23.2013]

* In which “the purest and most thoughtful minds are those which love colour the most.” - John Ruskin
Another lesson in colour.
Horace-Bénédict de Saussure’s cyanometer is a marvel:
"Using suspensions of Prussian blue, Saussure dyed paper squares every shade of blue he could distinguish between white and black. These were assembled into a numbered colour circle that could be held up to the zenith at a standard distance from the eye - the matching square established the degree of blue."
To learn more about Saussure, read this article. He seemed like one hell of a fellow. I’ve always adored the inter-disciplinary nature of art and its history. Here science takes the spotlight.
Speaking of which, a friend (find her here) shared this article about a woman discovered to be a tetrachromat, an individual with the ability to see 99 million more colors than the average trichromat (you or me). The cones in our eyes are what help us distinguish between hue, and this woman apparently has four cones as opposed to the average three. Those with two cones are called dichromats, and they are what we commonly refer to as color blind. Almost all animals, including dogs and some New World Monkey’s, are dichromats. 
Anyway, please read the article to learn how they found this woman, who apparently lives in Northern England. I’m insanely fascinated by what this could mean. Certainly the very idea that there are colors out there unknown to the majority of the world is endlessly intriguing. What is it possibly like to see like a tetrachromat?
Also, if you’re interested, take this color acuity test to see how well you can distinguish between hues. I scored a four, with the best possible score being zero. Naturally I’m quite pleased with myself, but that’s only because I’m not very good at a lot of things, so…go me!

* In which “the purest and most thoughtful minds are those which love colour the most.” - John Ruskin

Another lesson in colour.

Horace-Bénédict de Saussure’s cyanometer is a marvel:

"Using suspensions of Prussian blue, Saussure dyed paper squares every shade of blue he could distinguish between white and black. These were assembled into a numbered colour circle that could be held up to the zenith at a standard distance from the eye - the matching square established the degree of blue."

To learn more about Saussure, read this article. He seemed like one hell of a fellow. I’ve always adored the inter-disciplinary nature of art and its history. Here science takes the spotlight.

Speaking of which, a friend (find her here) shared this article about a woman discovered to be a tetrachromat, an individual with the ability to see 99 million more colors than the average trichromat (you or me). The cones in our eyes are what help us distinguish between hue, and this woman apparently has four cones as opposed to the average three. Those with two cones are called dichromats, and they are what we commonly refer to as color blind. Almost all animals, including dogs and some New World Monkey’s, are dichromats.

Anyway, please read the article to learn how they found this woman, who apparently lives in Northern England. I’m insanely fascinated by what this could mean. Certainly the very idea that there are colors out there unknown to the majority of the world is endlessly intriguing. What is it possibly like to see like a tetrachromat?

Also, if you’re interested, take this color acuity test to see how well you can distinguish between hues. I scored a four, with the best possible score being zero. Naturally I’m quite pleased with myself, but that’s only because I’m not very good at a lot of things, so…go me!

[May.22.2013]

* In which stereolithography by any other name…

In recent weeks, I’ve discovered a real obsession for faceted, geometric objects, and I tend to gravitate toward anything even remotely as such. So it comes as no surprise when some relatively new work of Netherlands artist Michael Pelletier has me salivating. And not only that, but his experimentation with Xbox One’s Kinect camera is nothing short of fascinating. Quoth he,

I’ve been experimenting with alternative ways of using the Kinect since Microsoft released the hardware a few years ago. One of the more exciting possibilities was trying to use the Kinect as a 3D scanner.  By moving the Kinect camera around the subject the software constantly updates to create a detailed 3D model. Within a couple minutes you can get a fairly detailed model from a sitting subject, as long as they sit still. ”

The portraits are at once high tech, and antiquated, but much in the way an episode of the 90s Canadian television show Reboot looks from today’s standards of computer generation. The technology available to your average layperson is not quite there yet, but it does exist, and it’s still pretty phenomenal.  Lucy Skull is just as remarkable a piece.

[May.22.2013]

* In which time spent with cats is never wasted.
Forget Movies in Color. This cat font generator called Neko Font is my new favourite thing. I love the internet. 

* In which time spent with cats is never wasted.

Forget Movies in Color. This cat font generator called Neko Font is my new favourite thing. I love the internet. 

[May.20.2013]

* In which “the script is the coloring book that you’re given, and your job is to figure out how to color it in.” - James Spader

Movies in Color is my new favourite thing. A blue sky, to an artist, is a plethora of varying colors, anything BUT simply blue. Violet, gray, magenta, even some yellow and perhaps a splash of black. Color is integral to film, much in the way it was to Monet, or Jan Van Eyck or Georgia O’Keefe. Color has meaning and purpose. In some films, color is obvious. Have you ever noticed that horror films favor blue, and post apocalyptic films favor gray, washed out tones? 300 was sepia with highly saturated red, an accented neutral scheme also seen in Sin City. The Matrix had a dull green monochromatic color scheme. Action movies in general tend to favor hot and cold lighting or complimentary hue densities, which basically means orange light and blue shadow. Game of Thrones is insanely guilty of this. Any given episode is lit by moonlight and firelight, honestly. Color also indicates different time periods or characters within one film (The Hours, for example), or different story lines within another (Traffic, for example). Characters sometimes wear costumes in specific colors. Wes Anderson, I’m certain, is driven my color, and more specifically primary colors. With the birth of digital intermediary, and the ability to have complete control over the color correction of every scene in a film, color took on an even more important role, I think. Ah color. I love it and I love film, which is why this Tumblr is tremendously fascinating. It forces you to consider the frame, and see real definitive hue where you otherwise would see a neutral shade. Anyway. Whatever guys, who gives a shit what I have to say. This website is awesome and that is that. Just check it.

[April.3.2013]

* In which it’s the final frontier….

Old Shep has designed a patch for CASIS - Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (the folks responsible for the International Space Station) for their upcoming mission ARK 1. I want one. I just recently saw the Endeavour Space Shuttle at the California Science Center, and I’m seriously considering being an astronaut for Hallowe’en, so the love for this is very real. Can I get one? 

[February.15.2013]

* In which we live between two worlds…

These Jeremy Miranda paintings are wild, and I really kinda like them. You can get prints on Etsy!

[December.31.2012]

*In which I give you my top ten favourite posters of 2012.

2011 Part One

2011 Part Two

2012

In no particular order:

1) Killing Them Softly owned it this year. Gravllis Inc., responsible for some of the least interesting posters of 2012 (minus maybe Safety Not Guaranteed and The Imposter), took me by surprise. This was an interesting marketing tactic, but sadly not one many people took notice of unless they were actively following the film’s progress. Killing Me Softly was a sneaky film that came and went, but I love the effort anyway.  

2) This Wreck It Ralph teaser is fairly typical of its kind, but it’s too awesome to ignore. The designers had a choice, and I’m really glad they chose to go with a simple 8-bit representation of the character instead of the full blown version seen in the film. I’m certain this teaser peaked the interest of those adults who grew up in the eighties obsessing over classic video games like Pac-Man and Q*bert. 8-Bit anything is kind of trendy nowadays, isn’t it?

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3) This Skyfall teaser/poster stands out for one big reason: it was always this image and design from beginning to end. There really weren’t any alternatives, embellishments, added images or actors. It’s classic and iconic, and it works. Beautifully.

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4) I don’t actually really like this Looper poster, but I picked it because the tag line is pretty great. Hunted By Your Future. Haunted By Your Past. In the grand scheme of things, it’s not terribly original, but given the context of the film, it’s choice. I do wish they had gone the extra mile, and created a very clean, stylized ambigram type for the title, but I also see how it might have been too much visually. I’m still weirded out by JoGo Levitt’s prosthetics.  

5) Django Unchained is 2012’s Saul Bass inspired poster. There is always at least one every year. Carry on.

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6) Case De Mi Padre was an unexpected contender. The use of 1970s cheese, coupled with Spaghetti Western imagery is inspired, particularly because it has been executed so flawlessly. It’s very A Fistful of Dollars, and very very awesome. The fold-lines are a very nice touch. 

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7) This Zero Dark Thirty teaser is just beautiful. It’s the “Everything and Nothing” poster of the year. 

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8) No matter what you think about The Master as a film, this poster is a work of graphic design gold. It’s gorgeous and original and intriguing and expertly executed, and it hurts me it’s so lovely. Well done. 

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9) This Argo poster is similar Zero Dark Thirty in its approach. Teaser posters don’t have to tell you anything, which is the very essence of why I love them. The problem is, no one is ever going to see a movie with a poster like this. I just wish there was a way to avoid the hideous nonsense that ensued once the trailer was released. I’m surprised they didn’t do a play on the actual Argo poster, even for limited release. 

10) Paranorman escaped my radar, but I really love the variety of illustration in the below posters. This is a good example of where variety really works. The appropriation of 1950s horror film artwork is why I love these so much. That sort of illustration and drawing and imagery doesn’t really have a place in today’s film market anymore, so it’s nice to see. 

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