Thursday, 29 December 2011

Enrique Gomez de Molina...

Taxidermist Enrique Gomez de Molina (previously blogged about here back in April) has been arrested and faces huge charges, and a possible 5 year sentence, for use of endangered species in his work.

In typically outraged fashion, the Daily Mail dubbed the artist 'a modern day Dr Frankenstein' whose works are 'the sickest ever'...

The artist has admitted to illegally importing parts and whole specimens of endangered species such as pangolins and orangutans. The case will be heard in court in March 2012.

Friday, 23 December 2011

The 'Car Atlas Rainbow' by David T Waller.  Reminds me of an artificial Goldsworthy.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011


Another great find from the Colossal blog... the 'green' organic graffiti of Stefaan De Croock, AKA STROOK.

Taking a simple mossy wall, Strook 'drew' the piece freehand by selective use of a pressure hose to wash off lines of moss, creating crop-circle like results. Fantastic!

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Pipe Sculpture

Great fun - new sculpture by Korean artist Kang Duck-Bong primarily made from plastic piping.

(via the great Colossal blog)

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

A few showreels from leading post-production and special FX companies:

Friday, 2 December 2011

NESTA - Livingstone/Hope Report

In advance of next week's exciting visit from post-production/special FX agency The Mill, it's recommended that you watch this video on the Government report on the UK-skills shortage in this rapidly-expanding sector (about 5mins in you'll recognise some staff and buildings...also available here)

In July 2010, Ed Vaisey, Minister for Culture, Communications and the Creative Industries asked Ian Livingstone and Alex Hope to work with NESTA in compiling a report on the skills needed for school leavers in order to meet the needs of the UK's world-class video games and visual effects industries.

The resulting analysis and action plan, 'Next Gen' was published by NESTA back in February.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Bill Drummond

Bill Drummond is imminently visiting us, to undertake one of his performances - the sixth of his 'Forty Beds' project.

Penkiln Burn Three, Cornwall, 2010
As his poster states, Drummond will make the bed by hand over two days, and is open to passers-by engaging him in conversation and discussion about the work.  He will also be selling 1000  inexpensive raffle tickets at £1 each,  The winner will win the actual bed - although the 'art' is stated to be whatever happens in/on/under the bed, rather than the object itself.  The rules of the 'lottery' are quite demanding - at the moment of the draw, Drummond will ring the contact number of the first ticket drawn from the hat - if they don't answer, he'll move on to the next.  The winner has to guarantee not to sell the bed in their lifetime, and to also submit a photo of the bed after it has been in use for a month, which may be exhibited alongside the other 39 beds.

Drummond has had a hugely varied career of audience interaction; first as co-founder of 1980s pop group 'The KLF' and its later incarnation as 'K Foundation'. He was met with outrage and controversy in 1994 when he burned a million pounds on the Scottish island of Dura.

Here's an extract:

The resulting film of the act of burning the money was toured around the UK, followed by debate and discussion about the possible meaning of the act, between the audience, and Drummond with Jimmy Cauty.

Follow this link to a fascinating series of clips in the 10 minute film below - from the KLF's performance on Top of the Pops; to their infamous final appearance on the Brit Awards; to their disbanding and move into positions as full-time artists, under the new name of the 'K Foundation'.  The KLF was not only disbanded in 1992, but Drummond and Cauty went to the lengths of having their entire back catalogue deleted - you can't buy their music in the UK. In 1991, they had been the biggest selling act in the world.

They quickly garnered attention - on the same night as Rachel Whiteread was announced as the 1993 winner of the Turner Prize (you're likely familiar with her work 'House', or indeed her more recent installation in the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern, both below) - the K Foundation awarded her 'worst artist of the year', with a hoax prize of £40,000.

The £40,000 'prize' was nailed to a picture frame which was then chained to the Tate gallery before being awarded, somewhat reluctantly, to Whiteread. 

Although the later burning of a million pounds of their own money (the last remaining profits from the KLF's success) has been much discussed, it could be said to essentially be an issue of control. In burning the bundles of brand new £50 notes, the duo destroyed its inherent control over the possessor - they could no longer spend it, save it, invest it, or give it away - it immediately ceased to exist. Similarly, just as the existence of the KLF was snuffed out in the deletion of the back catalogue, Drummond and Cauty dissolved the K Foundation in 1995, and pledged not to discuss the act of burning the million pounds for a period of 23 years. Further screenings of the film have taken place, and while Drummond and Cauty have continued to refuse to discuss the act, they have posed questions to their audiences. 

Although Drummond maintained that he didn't regret the act, in 2004 he reportedly said 

"It's a hard one to explain to your kids and it doesn't get any easier. I wish I could explain why I did it so people would understand."

Much more recently, Drummond has operated under the brand of 'Penkiln Burn', derived from a river near where he grew up. 

His major output under this name has been in the form of a choir, The17. It is essentially concerned with Drummond's view that recorded music has now run its course.

Throughout the two days it will take Drummond to build his bed, he is open to discussion from passers-by regarding the project: clearly he'll be less interested in discussing some of his previous creative destructions. 

I'm keen to ask him what he made of Jeremy Deller's use of The KLF's music, within a project which eventually contributed to Deller himself being awarded the Turner Prize in 2004. 'Acid Brass' saw Deller 'curate' a traditional brass band in playing arrangements of classic acid house tunes, thus forcing two apparently disparate genres together, emphasising what he saw as their inherent social connections. 

Finally, here's a couple of clips of the KLF at their heights: 

followed by the Williams Fairey Brass Band 'acid brass' cover...

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Cereal Sampler

Judith Klausner's unbelievably careful embroidery of everyday objects caught my eye recently:

More here on her website.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Tokyo Subway Good Manners Posters

Some classic and frankly bonkers graphic design here from the 70s, advocating good manners on the Tokyo subway system.

More here.

This one is really weird. It loosely translates as:
 'I look like Santa because you're drunk. It's only October. If you drink, be considerate of other passengers.'

Like Watching Paint, err, Drip

Bizarrely mesmeric...

More time lapse related video here.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Art of America

If you haven't been watching the BBC's 'Art of America' short series, get over to the iplayer immediately!

Andrew Graham-Dixon is as succinct and refreshing as ever as he revisits old favourites from Hopper, Sheeler, Stella et al in between key works of architecture and societal issues. Great stuff.

Monday, 21 November 2011


I don't tend to flag much in the way of Graphics, so here's an illustration/typography/graphics portfolio from 'Aeiko' (Pete Harrison) I was recently shown. Some great stuff for Nike especially to check out.

Saturday, 19 November 2011


Big fan of the photographs of Bryan Alexander, particularly his series investigating the lives of the Arctic peoples.

Thursday, 17 November 2011


Red Bull are currently running an animation competition in their hunt for new talent (and indeed free, sorry - 'crowdsourced' advertising).  You can vote for your favourite entry - the top 10 go to a judging panel - with prizes including internships at some seriously prestigious creative agencies.

Check them out and comment on your favourites - the most 'shared' and 'commented' rise to the top.

Red Bull Gives You Springs from Max Martin on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Podcasts: Royal Institute of Philosophy

Follow this link for some excellent podcasts from the Royal Institute of Philosophy, on visual arts. Mark Rowe's discussion of 'perfect fakes' looks particularly good, examining the issues surrounding works which appear aesthetically identical to the originals they mimic.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

House of Thorns

I was drawn by an image of Alice Maher's 'House of Thorns' sculptures in one of this weekend's newspaper supplements, and thought I'd post a few examples of her dream-like work.

House of Thorns

Shirt of Nettles
Bee Dress

I think her work on ostrich eggs is particularly intriguing though:

More here on her site. 

You can read an interview with the artist here.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Tokyo Compression

I had to commute today (I know, dreadful!) and later happened upon a copy of a photography book by Michael Wolf, 'Tokyo Compression Revisited'. 

It seemed pretty apt.

A great concept and some really beautiful results.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

New York City

Just back from a trip to NYC. After over half a dozen visits, it has to be one of my favourite cities anywhere, and still offers surprises and visual treats at every turn.

I didn't take many photos on this trip, but here's a few 'details'.

View from the High Line Park

Brooklyn Bridge

Architectural concept model for WTC, MoMA

Lee Bontecou, MoMA

Natsuyuki Nakanishi, 'Compact Object', MoMA

Takako Saito, 'Smell Chess', Met Museum (each identically-shaped vial contains a different perfume to establish which chess piece it represents) 

Patrick Oliphant, 'I Have Returned', lithograph, Met Museum

Detail from Rauschenberg's 'Canyon', Met Museum

Detail from Rosenquist's 'House of Fire', Met Museum

Kiki Smith

Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, 'Ugolino and his Sons', Met Museum

Detail from 'Sloth', from Paul Cadmus' 'Seven Deadly Sins' series,  1947

Tracks in the High Line Park