I came across a wonderful debut book by Korean-born graphic designer Ji Lee called Word As Image. What is great about it is the wit and intelligence used to add life into the words by crafting fonts that visually mimic the meaning behind the word itself. This sounds confusing, so it’s best explained and enjoyed by figuring them out for yourself.
I really love street art that is whimsical and gives me a mind smile. Aakash Nihalani has taken an ephemeral and more legal approach to street art by ditching the stencils, krink markers and wheat-paste for pop-coloured masking tape. Aakash produces unique 3D geometric shapes playing with illusions and the context of the location. I wonder how he would do at a fresh forensic scene.
Love sneakers? Love compacted cars? Then this graphic designer has taken two of your favourite things and mashed them up. Sneakercube is a design project by Pawel Nolbert, who takes his wish list of swagged-out-high-end sneakers from Raf Simmons to Louboutin, and puts them through a process of cubification. There is not much more to it, but the result would make even the squarest person want to rock kicks. For comparison, each cubed sneaker is displayed next to its highly coveted original.
I remember thinking that I would never experience an art installation as profound as Olafur Eliasson’s artificially created rainbow in a room. Well, Dutch artist Berndnaut Smilde has created a installation where, by controlling the humidity and atmospheric pressure in a room, he can conjure up surreal clouds that float elegantly inside a room. An ephemeral beauty that lasts for just a moment but is captured forever as a photograph, proving Daliesque scenes can occur with a little help from science.
Jasmin Schuller saw her vegan roommate make a turkey out of tofu. This inspired her latest creation: beautiful images of delicious looking desserts. That sounds normal, right? The catch is that they are made entirely out of pig’s blood, raw meat, lard and organs. There is something intriguing and devious about seeing objects that make you feel hungry, only to leave you repulsed when the truth behind them is revealed. Just like McDonalds, I guess.
I always admired the way traditional Japanese ink paintings have an uncanny ability to capture a frozen moment with such simple brush strokes. Riusuke Fukahori takes this to the next level by painting hyper realistic 3D goldfish using traditional techniques. The fish are meticulously painted on resin, layer-by-layer, like wafer slices that come together to create life-like marvels of beauty and technique. What I love about this is his inspiration came from a humble pet goldfish that he only started painting because he was going through an artist’s version of writers block.
Info-graphics and witty illustrations have been all the rage since IBM’s Smart Planet campaign. So it’s refreshing to see someone create some smart posters for actual positive change. Mental disorders are difficult enough to explain in words, but by using intelligent colour and shape choices, Patrick Smith makes sense of these conditions. The result are intuitive and instantly understandable minimalist posters that get to the core of these mental disorders. Guess it doesn’t work if you’re colourblind.