Brain Pickings

Posts Tagged ‘art’

31 JANUARY, 2011

Word on the Street: Found Urban Type Timed for Social Commentary

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For the past 30 years, photographer Richard Nagler has been capturing urbanity’s ephemeral moments of existential irony by pairing found typography from the urban landscape with perfectly timed random passersby. His original inspiration for the series came one summer in the late 1970, when he was wandering the streets of Oakland and noticed the word TIME bolted in large letters on the side of an old building. As he looked up, a very old woman gazed out at him from a window near the type sign, and in that micro-moment he founded embedded a powerful visual metaphor for aging and the passage of time.

Word on the Street is a fantastic collection of Nagler’s richest such images from the past three decades, which iconic poet Allen Ginsberg eloquently and accurately described as “visual poetics.” Sometimes shocking, often surprising and invariably compelling, these portraits invite you, with a wink, to complete the barely bespoken narratives and look for those hidden yet staggeringly obvious human truths that interlace with the fabric of mundanity.

Image courtesy of Richard Nagler

Image courtesy of Richard Nagler

Image courtesy of Richard Nagler

Image courtesy of Richard Nagler

Image courtesy of Richard Nagler

Image courtesy of Richard Nagler

Image courtesy of Richard Nagler

Thoughtful, amusing and deeply human, Word on the Street is an absolute treasure trove of meticulously timed serendipity, captured with a keen eye for poetic irony.

via NPR

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28 JANUARY, 2011

David Carter’s Pop-Up Books for Children of All Ages

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Given my spot for all things pop-up and unrelenting belief in lifelong childhood, I absolutely adore David Carter’s wonderful series of pop-up books for children of all ages.

One Red Dot is a graphically ambitous gem that invites you to find one red dot hidden in each of 18 paper sculptures.

One Red Dot pop-up book

One Red Dot pop-up book

Blue 2 pairs Carter’s tenderly architectural paper sculptures fragmented text stringing together words in alphabetical order, asking the reader to look for a hidden “Blue-2″ on each of nine stunning spreads. Though arguably far too abstract for the recommended 4-8 age range, with vocabulary that might make even an MBA stumble, the book is so aesthetically mesmerizing that it sparks a visceral, intuitive understanding of the words.

Blue 2 pop-up book

600 Black Spots is another brilliant scavenger hunt of a pop-up, spanning across 20 gloriously engineered, endlessly entertaining pages to hide — and invite you to seek — 600 black dots.

600 Black Spots pop-up book

Yellow Square takes Carter’s signature paper sculptures to a new level by incorporating unusual, unexpected found materials like yarn, netting, and beautiful translucent waxy paper. A yellow square is hidden on each marvelously engineered page, tucked between stunning illustrations in primary colors that invite you to probe and interact, inevitably extracting a well-deserved “wow.”

White Noise is Carter’s latest gem, concluding his phenomenal series with an interactive pop-up book that plays with multiple senses: Touching, seeing and, now, hearing. Vibrant and poetic as ever, his beautifully engineered paper creations are accompanied by subtle yet rich sound effects produced as you touch the sculptural marvels — an absolute sensory treat, whether you’re 4 or 104.

White Noise pop-up book

White Noise pop-up book

Playful and poetic, Carter’s books are a three-dimensional manifesto for perpetual curiosity and the eternal child within.

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27 JANUARY, 2011

PICKED: Color Story Parallels, Past vs. Present

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Street style photography has evolved from being a hobby for the style conscious to source for inspirational personal style. We recently featured a documentary on Scott Schuman, better known as The Satorialist, who is partially responsible for today’s surge of street style photography.

Originally inspired by Shuman’s work, Color Comparisons is a series of image pairs that draw comparisons between the art world and street style photography, presenting fashion photography alongside vintage ads or classic art with the same color stories. The results are pretty incredible.

Explore the Color Comparisons archive for more color story doppelgängers across the space-time continuum.

Shenee Howard is a writer, designer and creative tactician based in Atlanta, Georgia. She is also an avid story and pop curator. The 90s are her favorite. She founded design/strategy firm You’ll Look Great and is in the process of launching the storytelling blog eight thirty seven. She also spends way too much time sharing links on Twitter.

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26 JANUARY, 2011

The Black Book of Colors

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Today must be the day for tickling the outer limits of our senses. From the synesthetic explorations of sound through color earlier today, we take the creative mind-bending a step further: Experiencing color through the lack of color. The Black Book of Colors, from author Menena Cottin and illustrator Rosana Faria, is a remarkable book of simple, elegant illustrations of natural objects — from strawberries to rain to bird feathers — depicted not through color and shading but through embossed lines, inviting the viewer to experience them tactilely rather than visually.

The book is designed as an empathy tool that allows a sighted person to step inside the world of the blind, who experience the world through their fingers rather than their eyes.

Though intended for children, The Black Book of Colors is an absolute treat for adults — not merely as a feat of aesthetic elegance, but also as a beautiful philosophical metaphor for all those things in our lives that both are and aren’t, like the nature of reality or solitude or some great love we can touch with the tender tips of our fingers but never fully grasp.

Thanks, Kirstin

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