Rob and Christian Clayton hail from Pasadena, California, where, together, they create fascinating and somewhat nightmarish images portraying the ‘unique people, animals, and places that occupy the outskirts of the American psyche’. The sad-faced, tired-eyed characters that inhabit their bright, almost suffocatingly busy pieces seem bemused by, yet unarguably a part of, their hectic surroundings, […]
Andrew Zuckerman’s beautiful photographs make me imagine how it would feel to be in close proximity to a menagerie of amazing creatures — orangutans, mountain lions, chameleons, and zebras. With a careful eye for what makes these animals unique, Zuckerman has, in his wonderful book Creature, shown the intimate side of animals that are usually considered ‘wild’. Up close and personal, these animals reveal what might be termed an innate humanness, or, perhaps, as I prefer, a pure and primal sense of emotion, a capacity that is too often denied to them by humans. Captured in this way, we see that it is not animals that are human-like, but humans that are animal-like: each of us share the same glimmer in our eyes, the same need for safety, food, companionship and belonging.
I really like the work of Craig Phillips, an Australian illustrator whose notable achievements include creating the cover art for the new EP from Sydney band Lions At Your Door and being named as one of the 200 Best Illustrators Worldwide (Leurzers Archive).
I’ve been keen on Mandy Ord’s work since we were both involved in the Australian underground comic scene of the late 1990s and early 2000s. She shared my love of the dark and the bizarre, and her cool little self-published comic, Wilnot, inspired me greatly in my own work. While I drifted away from the scene a few years ago, Ord continues to draw her darkly witty, autobiographical comics and has just had her first full-length graphic novel published by Finlay Lloyd. It’s entitled Rooftops, and it tells the tale of a night spent out and about in Melbourne with friends, discussing, amongst other topics, the existential nature of coincidences.
Several years ago I spent five weeks hanging out with friends who lived in the friendly environment of Copenhagen’s Freetown, Christiania. A former military base, Christiania is a self-governing borough set on 85 acres of mainly lush forested grounds, surrounding a lake. It is a beautiful and idyllic location where 850 residents have built their […]
Late last year, I spent a month volunteering at Northern Thailand’s Elephant Nature Park, located 45 minutes from Chiang Mai, in a lush valley by the Mae Taeng River. This was truly one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Every day was spent working on projects like building fences and huts and collecting food for the 35 elephants who call the Park home. Almost all have been rescued from terrible situations.
I recently pinched a copy of w.e.b. magazine from a friend who’d just returned from Korea. Flicking through the pages, my eye was caught, and transfixed, by Japanese artist Marumiyan’s colorful, bold illustrations. After tracking down and perusing his online gallery, I also fell in love with his beautiful green and pink cover art for […]
Chinese artist Yan Wei, aka Kokomoo, creeps me out. Her linear, black and white drawings of cute little girls with maniacal grins and soulless eyes look deep into my psyche with a hunger for destruction and pain. Luckily, in their two dimensional forms, they are unable to leap off the page and sink their sharp little teeth into my soft flesh. Instead, I can enjoy their evil cuteness from a safe distance, while pondering the reasons why Kokomoo’s style gets darker and darker as the years go on.
Like many girls, I loved My Little Ponies when I was young, especially their bright, unnatural colors, their long, comb-able plastic hair and their collectability, which made them an endless source of gifts. Finnish sculptor Mari Kasurinen has taken these toys to a new level with her range of modified Ponies.
Fafinette (aka Fafi) is a graffiti artist whose works decorate many buildings throughout Europe, from the crumbling squats of East Berlin to the clean white walls of Parisian apartment blocks. In recent years, she has travelled around the world, finding obscure places to mark with her distinct, pop, girlie style. With humble roots painting walls […]
I am both fascinated and perturbed by the story of Nadya Suleman, aka Octomummy, the Angelina Jolie wannabe who gave birth to octuplets earlier this year. Already the mother of six young children, Octomummy’s fourteen-strong brood is the product of numerous IVF treatments. The latest eight are also the subject of much speculation and concern for members of the United States medical fraternity, who question the unorthodox decision to implant eight embryos in Octomummy’s womb.
I’m a massive fan of Platinum Brunette, a trio of cross-dressing Sydney rockers who belt out excellent hair metal riffs and hilarious lyrics. Starting the band was long time dream for lead singer and bass player Justin (aka Demonica Lewinsky), who had ads posted up around the city for some time seeking guys tough enough […]
Sydney-based Emily Valentine Bullock sculpts, primarily using feathers, which she collects from birds killed by cars and cats, and from people’s dead pets. More recently, she bought a trapping and killing machine to collect feathers from Australia’s registered pest, the Indian Mynah. From these oddly sourced materials, she creates very odd, but rather beautiful sculptures. […]
On the roof of Bangkok’s Banyan Tree Hotel is a dining experience like no other. The Vertigo Bar sits sixty one floors up, and serves delicious gourmet meals and cocktails. These are expensive by Thai standards, but cheap enough for shoestring travellers to indulge in now and then (a cocktail costs around AUD$12). I’ve spent […]
The Badonkadonk Land Cruiser/Tank is on offer from Amazon for only US$19,995 and for this you are guaranteed a ‘completely unique’ battle vehicle with a ‘cozy’ carpeted interior and room for up to five people. Unfortunately, it only tops speeds of 40mph and is not registered for use on public roads, which is a shame […]