Sunday, October 31, 2010

Framework Collection Does It Again For EveryGuyed

The aforementioned has come through again with this look at the distinct eyeglass frames of iconic individuals throughout history.

Again - great stuff. Check out the whole set here.

Music Ensemble Collections Are Cool

Over at the up and coming, they have been putting together some pretty awesome design pieces of late.

Here is one of about 20 different pieces focusing on the style of musicians throughout time, called ENSEMBLE: The Style of Music.

Check out the whole set here. Super appealing stuff.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Saville's Gravestone For Tony Wilson Is So Fitting

One of my favorite designers of all time, Peter Saville (he of Joy Division/New Order/Suede fame to name just a few) designed the gravestone for fellow luminary Tony Wilson (he of Factory Records/Joy Division/New Order/Happy Mondays fame). Wilson is significant enough to have had one of my Top 25 Films of the Decade made about him, to typically hilarious results.

This gravestone is incredibly beautiful and understated, which is to say nothing like the man it represents (just kidding). Wilson was a man of incredible vision and drive, and the world would be a very, very different place had he not existed.

PS - thanks Phil for the heads up.

Banksy Does The Clash, Typical Brilliance Ensues

Banksy, one of the most significant artists of the past decade, has created many, many pieces that comment on the state of affairs both in the United States and Great Britain. But this piece, truly is spectacular. By pairing the iconic image of spirit of punk - Paul Simonen smashing his Fender bass on the cover of The Clash's London Calling (one of the Top Ten Albums of All Time) against the symbol of modern man's vacuous lifestyle - the office chair, Banksy has said more about the contemporary state of youth than any academic treatise ever could.

Powerful, thought-provoking work. What true art should do.

Minnesotans Poster of Minnesota Is Great Dontcha Know

This tribute poster to Minnesota by Burlesque of North America is awesome. So are the 'Sotans themselves - they don't call it "Minnesota Nice" for nothing. Some of the best people you will ever meet.

Lots more great stuff to be found here.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Nike Poster For Renaldo Is Explosive

Ever have a designer or artist, that drives you crazy because everything, everything, everything they do is totally mind-numbingly fantastic? Yeah, I do, and that person is Cristiana Couceiro. Literally everything she does is incredible.

Check out tons more of here ridiculous work here. And keep kleenex handy to wipe up all the drool you will have while looking at her site.


Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Infamous Chelsea Hotel Is Up For Sale

I really don't know how to begin this post, so I will just roll out the facts of the matter. The legendary Chelsea Hotel in New York City is officially (and sadly) on the market. Recently, I was able to fulfill a lifelong dream and go there.

Why was going to the Chelsea a goal for me? How about this (from Wikipedia):

Built in 1883, the twelve-story red-brick building that now houses the Hotel Chelsea opened in 1884 as one of the city's first private
apartment cooperatives. At the time of its construction, the Chelsea Hotel stood as the tallest building in New York, and its surrounding neighborhood constituted the center of New York's Theater District. However, within a few years the combination of economic worries and the relocation of the theaters bankrupted the Chelsea cooperative. In 1905, the building reopened as a hotel (which was later managed by Knott Hotels and resident manager A. R. Walty). In 1946, Joseph Gross, Julius Krauss, and David Bard became partners in the hotel and managed the hotel together until the early 1970s. With the passing of Joseph Gross and Julius Krauss, the management fell to Stanley Bard (son of David Bard).

Owing to its long list of famous guests and residents, the hotel has an ornate history, treasured both as a birth place of creative modern art and by tragedy catching the public eye. Sir Arthur C. Clarke wrote 2001: A Space Odyssey while staying at the Chelsea, and poets Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso and Martin Matz chose it as a place for philosophical and intellectual exchange. It is also known as the place where the writer Dylan Thomas was staying when he died of alcohol poisoning on November 9, 1953, and where Nancy Spungen, girlfriend of Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols, was found stabbed to death on October 12, 1978.

During its lifetime Hotel Chelsea has provided a home to many great writers and thinkers including Mark Twain, O. Henry, Herbert Huncke, Dylan Thomas, Dale Beran, Arthur C. Clarke, William S. Burroughs, Gregory Corso, Arnold Weinstein, Leonard Cohen, Sharmagne Leland-St. John, John Patrick Kennedy , Arthur Miller, Quentin Crisp, Gore Vidal, Tennessee Williams, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac (who wrote On the Road there), Robert Hunter, Jack Gantos, Brendan Behan, Richard Collins, Simone de Beauvoir, Robert Oppenheimer, Jean-Paul Sartre, Bill Landis, Michelle Clifford, Thomas Wolfe, Charles Bukowski, Marty Matz, Raymond Kennedy, Matthew Richardson, Stephen Mooney, Jan Cremer, and René Ricard. Charles R. Jackson, author of The Lost Weekend, committed suicide in his room at the Chelsea on September 21, 1968. Dylan Thomas collapsed in Room 205 at the Chelsea on Nov 9th 1953 and died a few days later in hospital.

The hotel has been a home to actors and film directors such as Stanley Kubrick, Shirley Clarke, Cyndi Coyne, Mitch Hedberg, Dave Hill, Miloš Forman, Lillie Langtry, Ethan Hawke, Dennis Hopper, Vincent Gallo, Eddie Izzard, Hal Miller, Kevin O'Connor, Uma Thurman, Elliot Gould, Elaine Stritch, Michael Imperioli, Jane Fonda, Gaby Hoffmann and her mother, the Warhol film star Viva, Melissa "Rocky" Matthers and Edie Sedgwick.

Much of Hotel Chelsea's history has been colored by the musicians who have resided or visited there. Some of the most prominent names include The Grateful Dead, Tom Waits, Patti Smith, Virgil Thomson, Dee Dee Ramone of The Ramones, Henri Chopin, John Cale, Édith Piaf, Joni Mitchell, Marty Connolly, Bob Dylan, Alice Cooper, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Peter Walker, Nadia marie Belvanson & the valentines, Canned Heat, Sid Vicious, Vivian Stanshall, Richard Hell, glam rocker Jobriath, Rufus Wainwright, Abdullah Ibrahim/Sathima Bea Benjamin, Indian musician Vasant Rai, and Leonard Cohen. More recently, artists such as Madonna, Falco, Ryan Adams, Camden Blues, The Libertines, The Fuse (UK),Michael McDermott, Melissa Auf der Maur, Tim Freedman, and Anthony Kiedis have spent time at The Chelsea.

The hotel has featured and collected the work of the many visual artists who have passed through. Larry Rivers, Robert M. Lambert, Brett Whiteley, Christo, Arman, Richard Bernstein, Francesco Clemente, Ching Ho Cheng, David Remfry, Philip Taaffe, Michele Zalopany, Ralph Gibson, Rene Shapshak, Robert Mapplethorpe, Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, Robert Crumb, Jasper Johns, Edie Sedgwick, Candace Campbell, Bernard Childs, Claes Oldenburg, Vali Myers, Donald Baechler, Herbert Gentry, Willem De Kooning, John Dahlberg, Lynne Drexler and Henri Cartier-Bresson have all spent time at Hotel Chelsea. Painter & ethnomusicologist Harry Everett Smith lived and died at the Chelsea in Room 328. The painter Alphaeus Philemon Cole lived there for 35 years until his death in 1988 at age 112, when he was the oldest living man. Hanuman Books founder, editor & art curator Raymond Foye keeps residence here and has worked with many of the hotel's artists since the 1980s. Bohemian abstract and Pop art painter Susan Olmetti creates paintings outside on the sidewalk during her frequent summer residencies at the hotel. Surrealist painter Hawk Alfredson has multiple pieces on almost every one of the 10 floors and is the most visible of all resident artists.

Hotel Chelsea is often associated with the Andy Warhol Superstars, as he directed Chelsea Girls (1966), a film about his Factory regulars and their lives at the hotel. Chelsea residents from the Warhol scene included Edie Sedgwick, Viva, Larry Rivers, Ultra Violet, Mary Woronov, Holly Woodlawn, Andrea Feldman, Nico, Paul America, and Brigid Berlin. Valerie Solanas, the would-be assassin of Andy Warhol, visited the hotel on that very day looking for editor Maurice Girodias, possibly to make an attempt on his life shortly before she shot Warhol at The Factory at 33 Union Square, a brief walk from the hotel. In his memoir of the period he spent living at the Chelsea, Arthur Miller mistakenly recalled Solanas shooting Warhol in the hotel lobby.

Yeah, pretty amazing huh? Well let's all pray it doesn't turn into some hipster/fashionista/silly den like CBGB's when John Varvatos bought it. At least these guys want to help - check them out here.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Greenville 12X12 Exhibit Is Almost Here

Greenville Open Studios is almost here, as is the 12x12 exhibition at the Metropolitan Arts Council, downtown on Augusta. It opens this Friday, October 29th. Come check it out.

Above is the piece that I have in the show, Valediction (Adieux), charcoal and acrylic on wood.

Goodbye to Kind of Blue

Sent a commission piece off to Chicago this week. Took me way, way too long to get this piece done, most of the summer in fact. I really enjoyed creating 25 individual paintings to make up one big one.

To Kevin and Sara - enjoy Kind of Blue. I will miss seeing it.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

ThinkTank Potluck Pull Party Rocked


au thinktank potluck pull party 2010. from kelly johnson on Vimeo.

The graphic design club I moderate - AU ThinkTank - had a great event last night. Potluck, and a Pull Party (where we pulled a bunch of prints to sell to raise money). Great turnout, great food, great prints, great people. And a great recap video.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Watch Godard's Masterpiece - Breathless - Totally Free

Jean-Luc Godard
's New Wave masterpiece - Breathless - is now available to watch online, totally free. This is super, super cool, as this was a revolutionary film for it's time, one that continues to reverberate in film history.

Watch it above for free, in it's entirety, or head over here.

You won't be sorry.

Monday, October 11, 2010

A Clockwork Orange Poster Is Real Horrorshow

When I was in college back at Central Michigan University in the late Nineties, I fell in love with both Stanley Kubrick and Anthony Burgess. These obsessions came together simultaneously, and naturally dovetailed with A Clockwork Orange. I wound up writing a 40 page term paper comparing the Kubrick film with the Burgess novel, titled, "A Clockwork Orange: Two Sides of the Same Vision, or Two Visions of the Same Side". I still quite like that title.

Anyway, over the years I have enjoyed the film more and more, finding plenty of dark humour where I only saw despair when I was younger.

Here is a great poster for a presentation of the film. Great stuff from an excellent blog. Check it out here.

Santa Monica Legitimate Wear Posters Are Cool

These posters are killer. Check out the whole series here.

Good stuff.

Charting The Beatles Is Incredible

Michael Deal has been creating amazing, intricate, and beautiful informational graphics concerning the career of The Beatles. It's unbelievable, inspiring stuff.

Check them out here.

Friday, October 8, 2010

New Gap Logo Is An Epic Fail

The old logo for the Gap was nothing special - condensed type on a blue square, kind of boring and late 80's but not really awful or great. It was just kind of there. I recently noticed their usage of Helvetica for their 1969 Jeans campaign, and was super impressed with the quality and minimalism utilized there.

So when I saw the new logo, I was not surprised to see Helvetica, but what I was shocked to see was the terrible, horrifyingly bad blue gradient square tucked partially behind the "p". Wow, wow, wow. This looks like it was done in Windows, or Microsoft Word. It looks like a high school student redesign project, where the feedback to the young, inexperienced student would go something like this:

"While I applaud your desire to connect to the successful 1969 Jeans campaign by utilizing a concise, communicative face such as Helvetica, usage of gradients should be sparing and carefully selected. There are few times such an effect is warranted, and this truly is not one of them. I am not sure what you are attempting to communicate to your audience through this execution. For revision, eliminate any elements that are not essential and do not clearly support the message you are attempting to execute. Please continue to revise."

Take heed friends, this is what an Epic Fail looks like.

Monday, October 4, 2010

History of NYC Typography is Engaging

I love typography. I love New York City. I love history.

So the New Type York Project? Done and done.

More here.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Boardwalk Empire Already the Best Show On Television

Created and executive produced by the greatest living filmmaker, Martin Scorsese, (sorry Jean-Luc Godard) Boardwalk Empire comes with unprecedented fanfare for a television premiere. Starring the always great Steve Buscemi as lead character Nucky Thompson, based on the real life politician/gangster of the era, the show sounded like a can't miss proposition. And two episodes in, it has exceeded expectations and already become the Best Show of Television, all due respect to Dexter.

The criminally underrated Michael Pitt (he of The Dreamers and Last Days) co-stars as Thompson's driver and one time protege. But all is not right in his world. Scorsese has created a world (literally building the boardwalk in it's entirety in Brooklyn) so legitimate and true, that you feel like you literally are walking the boardwalk of Atlantic City at the beginning of prohibition.

I don't want to give any more away, other than to say that the Scorsese directed pilot looked and felt like a classic Scorsese film, from the camera pans and jump cuts to the "flash" cuts and character introductions.

Just watch it, you won't be sorry.

How to Be Miserable As An Artist is Accurate

The How To Feel Miserable As An Artist
list is solid advice.

Take heed people, take heed.

The History of Type In One Handy Timeline

Over at Cha Cha they have put together a nice little History of Typography Timeline. Other than a couple mistakes here and there, it's pretty cool (Helvetica is the default setting on PC's? Really? Um, no...). Otherwise, good stuff.

Check it out in greater detail and download the PDF here.

Palladium Abandonment Series Is Awesome

Exploration #5 - Listen in Berlin from Palladium on Vimeo.

Palladium Boots
has commissioned a series of documentary films on abandoned places (Detroit, NYC), but also the odd or surreal living situations (people who live in missile silos, London radio pirates). The entire series is great, they are all worth a look.

Check them out here.

BTW - Above is the Berlin abandonment episode. Enjoy.

Hearts of Love Video Is Too Cool For Words

Crocodiles - Hearts Of Love - Music Video from Mark P. Smith on Vimeo.

10 Ingredients For A Killer Music Video:

1. Knife fights
2. Washed out Super 8 footage
3. Leather jackets
4. Beaches
5. Beautiful girls in bikinis
6. A band that looks just like the Jesus & Mary Chain
7. A band that sounds just like the Jesus & Mary Chain
8. Trick photography so the band can fight themselves
9. Dudes in epic beards & wayfarers (that essentially look like me)
10. Homemade tattoos in the desert

Current Obsession: Sleep Forever, Crocodiles

New post tag here at SA&D, the Current Obsession. This will mostly focus on music, but could be anything.

Really, really digging the garage/psych stuff of late, like the self-titled debut from Darker My Love and Buy The Ticket, Take The Ride from The Black Ryder.

Anyway, this is too long a post. In the future I will just give you the basics. Here goes.

Current Obsession: Sleep Forever by Crocodiles
Essential Tracks: Sleep Forever, Mirrors, Hearts of Love
Interested: Download their instrumental EP here.
: I really dug their first record - Summer of Hate - but the new record is better.