I’m not sad to see winter say goodbye, but I am disappointed that I’ll have nowhere to write my initials in the snow. For a few months, at least.
Tag Archives: Art
Recently I was asked by my alma mater to participate in a panel discussion regarding the many threats to free speech at the hands of terrorism. We are all acquainted with the brutal and troubling ways in which this threat has played out in recent months. The panel happens April 6 at The College of William & Mary, so if you’re in the area, feel free to stop by and say hello. The alumni magazine thought it would be great to do a cover story on the same topic, and it made sense that I’d illustrate it.
In terms of imagery, there are few things that have been done to death as frequently as the “pen as weapon of free speech” has. Pen vs. gun: the symbolism is natural and obvious, but it seems to me like every working cartoonist drew their own similar version of it in response to the Charlie Hebdo attacks. My colleagues at the New Yorker offered their takes on the issue as well. Some of the images cartoonists created were brilliant and some were legitimately moving, but I intentionally avoided participating because I felt like I was struggling to come up with anything new on the issue. So this was personally a challenging assignment.
The first bunch of ideas I came up with felt a little too contrived, too gauche, especially since magazine covers are not usually the territory for overwrought editorial concepts.
The cover idea that the editors picked was chosen not necessarily for it’s poignance or cleverness (because it’s not to be found there), but merely because click here to read the rest of this post
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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!