Tag Archives: Art

The 10 best arty and musicky and designy and webby things that happened this year, to the best of my memory

A meta-list of notable and memorable things from 2014, in more or less chronological order.

1. Getting to see Vermeer’s famous Girl With a Pearl Earring in person, albeit with about a thousand other sweaty persons stuffed into the Frick on the last day of this Dutch painting exhibit. I couldn’t get as close as I hoped, but it was still worth it. The painting is luminous.

2. St. Vincent’s better-than-ever live show in support of her best-to-date record. I love how she shreds. And shreds.

3. A trip to Vienna, where I took in the Egon Schiele- and Gustav Klimt-heavy Leopold Museum, and a day running around spying murals in Berlin, including this massive spaceman:

spaceman

4. Graphic designer Adam Lewis Greene was looking for $37,000 to Kickstart the designing of a new Bible and wound up blowing well past a million dollars. Why? It’s a simple but cool idea: to present it in the format of a novel, with no chapters or numbers or annotation, with the possible benefit that someone might read it for what it means on the whole (and not to “aggressively” pull out single verses to clobber people with). It’s called Bibliotheca, elegantly presented with a font he designed especially for the project, and with stylish letterpress prints that caught my eye.

biblioteca

5. Boyhood. Coulda watched it for three more hours. It ended just as my interest was peaking.

6. Wait, is it still 2005? I wouldn’t have anticipated that both Spoon and the New Pornographers would put out fantastic releases this year – arguably the best of their careers? – ten years after the height of their popularity. Or whatever you call popularity in the world of indie rock. “Educated folks singers want my soul.” I’m feeling you, Britt.

spoon pornos

7. TL;DR Wikipedia: Wikipedia condensed for your pleasure, in this parody site from someecards. (Full disclosure: I’m a contributor, but if I wasn’t I’d still be on here all the time.)

conf call

8. The street art show at the now demolished but long defunct Precinct 21 police station on East 22nd St. in Manhattan. “four floors of dope.” I wrote about it in August.

9. Um, Too Many Cooks.

10. Lucius at Terminal 5. I liked Lucius’ more-or-less debut album in 2013, and I liked the band even more after seeing them live at the beginning of the year – the kudos they get for their live act is well-earned. This show was a homecoming for them after a year on the road, and it was a total home run, from the goosebump-inducing opener of “Go Home” to the ambitious crowd surfing to the confettied John Lennon Christmas-cover finale.

 

HONORABLE MENTIONS

honorable mentions 2014

Swoon at the Brooklyn Museum, the (announcement of the) resurrection of Twin Peaks, Over the Rhine’s continued excellence in the musical space they call “reality Christmas,” The Juan Maclean keeping DFA dance music on the map, and – is this really the only book I can recall reading this year? – my New Yorker editor Bob Mankoff’s entertaining cartoon memoir.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under list

What does your wine label say about you?

I don’t know anything about wine (although I did this cartoon about the language of wine). I prefer whiskey, honestly. But sometimes you have to buy a bottle of wine. And when I do, I’m just as likely to be influenced by the label as anything else, because – yeah, art. I made a list over at Curator about the different categories of wine label design, and what each says about it’s buyer. Read it here.

winelabels

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Art, Graphic Design

Wrecking Brush

The 21st Precinct police building, on East 22nd St in New York City, is a long-defunct building targeted for demolition. But before it gets the wrecking ball, it is the temporary home of a plethora of great wall art, curated by Robert Aloia. Brooklyn Street Art has the story behind the exhibit as well as a good documentation of images, so I won’t merely repost anything that you can see there. But I went to the opening this weekend (it is up for one more week) and here are some shots from that. It was hot, crowded, and claustrophobic, but as they wrote at BSA, there aren’t too many things like this in Manhattan. As Gothamist put it, it was “four floors of dope.”

01

03

click here to see the rest of this post

Leave a comment

Filed under events, street art

While Supplies Last!

I just uploaded a t-shirt design to TeePublic. It’s only $14 today, but will be $20 after. Hey, I think it’s worth it at either price, but why not get it now?

Jack_preview

Leave a comment

Filed under t-shirts

Interview: Jeff Thompson

I did an interview with Jeff Thompson last month, which is up at Curator magazine. Officially he’s the Assistant Professor and Program Director of Visual Art Technology at Stephens Institute of Technology, but what that means is that he’s an artist who prefers to mess around with computer code. He does fascinating work. We talked about abusing Photoshop, Twitter bots, Andy Warhol, and why Nokia will probably never hire him to write a ringtone. Check it out!

art-assign-bot

Leave a comment

Filed under Art, Interview

Work in Progress

Orange-PylonThis pylon is going to be here for a long time, because I’ve only just started working on my first children’s book. Did you know that? I suppose I should have made some formal kind of announcement.

ANNOUNCEMENT: I’ve written a children’s book that’s going to be published by Christy Ottaviano Books, an imprint of Henry Holt, some time in 2015.

So yeah, that’s out of the way. I’m illustrating it, too, and I couldn’t be more excited to be doing it. It’s been fun working with Christy so far, even though we’re still in the early stages of nailing down the final product (Christy said “cartoonists are usually good with deadlines,” but I’m wondering if that’s an observation that’s not shared by all in the industry). It doesn’t sound like a huge step up – it’s a 32-page picture book – but it’s definitely a major transition from small black-and-white spot drawings to full pages in color. And at the end of the book the reader can’t say “I don’t get it,” like some people do when they read my cartoons… come on, nobody does that, do they?

I don’t want to say what the book is about, but I wanted to show a teaser of the first part of the process: writing, editing, sketching, rough layouts. There’s also a fair amount of coffee built into each step, but you already know what that looks like.

photo 1Even within the framework of a standard picture book, there are different layout options that are available, depending on what you want to do with the story. You can’t just add or subtract a few pages at the end. So that’s the first step. click here to see more pics

2 Comments

Filed under Children's book

Street art, part 2

I recently did a short interview with Franki Elliot, who often does sidewalk poetry (meaning while sitting on a public sidewalk, not writing poems about sidewalks) using a typewriter. It’s performance art, in a way, without the safety nets of AutoCorrect and, you know – being able to be at home without strangers staring over your shoulder. The horror! But she’s the real deal. The interview is now up at Curator Magazine. Check it out!

franki

Leave a comment

Filed under Interview, street art