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Warp your reality with the art of Istvan Orosz

orosz lead image
Around the end of the ‘90s, an art dealer friend of mine began bringing traveling exhibitions of Polish posters to town. It was eye-opening stuff—Eastern Europe has long had a tradition for outstanding poster art, its artists boasting stunning skills, married to an admirable obeisance to the visual legacy of traditional printmaking methods and jaw-droppingly inventive surrealist-influenced illustration. It was at one of those poster shows that I bought an item that remains one of my most cherished possessions: Istvan Orosz: Etchings and Posters, a slipcased, hand printed letterpress book from 1998, from an edition of only 750 (a second edition of 300 was made in 2000), published by the apparently now defunct GrafikARCHIVE Publishing of Kansas City, MO. From an archived mirror of the company’s web site:

This first book features the work of internationally renowned Hungarian designer ISTVAN OROSZ. Fold out pages, envelopes with small printed pages of art, several different types of paper; “a feast for the eyes and the hands” (International Paper). The book received the ADDY Award in 1999 for its imaginative presentation by the firm DESIGN RANCH. Slipcase, wire-O bound in portfolio form, 82 pages with numerous 1 to 3 color illustrations. Essays by Roberta Lord (US) and Andras Torok (Hungary).

orosz book
Other books of his work are more readily available and affordable, but it’s sad that this one in particular is such a rare item, as it’s a wonderful way to experience Orosz’s work—it’s a very playful book for a very playful printmaker, who shows strong influences from the likes of Magritte and Escher. But there are deficiencies. The printing technique makes it impossible to show much of his poster work in full color, and it excludes, due to obvious realities, his anamorphs and his animations.

First, feast your eyes on a few lovely posters.
orosz poster 1
orosz poster 2
orosz poster 3
orosz poster 4
orosz poster 5
Now, check out his anamorphic work. Anamorphoses are artworks that look indecipherable until viewed from a specific angle or in a distorting mirror, often a cylinder. Check out how, on top of just the basic anamorphosis, Orosz goes the extra mile and embeds a hidden portrait into the drawing, or uses the anamorphic drawing and mirror as an extension of a larger work. Stuff like this always amazes me.
orosz verne
Jules Verne
orosz poe
Edgar Allen Poe: The Raven
orosz anna
Anna Draws A Circle
orosz bodyscape
Anamorphic Bodyscapes 1

Finally, enjoy a few of Orosz’s marvelous animations. If the stuff on the printed page suits your fancy, I don’t suggest passing up the opportunity to watch his work dance.

More after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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The awesome spare-parts sculpture of Edouard Martinet
07:17 am


Edouard Martinet

From detritus like bicycle parts, chains, flashlights, corkscrews, spatulas, even steel toes from work boots, Edouard Martinet assembles these astonishing sculptures of birds, fish, and insects. Mainly insects. But WOW, what insects!

When Edouard Martinet was 10, one of his teachers introduced his pupils to insects, but in a rather obsessive way. Subliminally, the fascination sunk in to the young French boy. Fast-forward 40 years, and Martinet has become the art world’s virtuoso insectophile, transforming bits and pieces of cast-off junk culled from flea markets and car boot sales into exquisitely executed insect, fish and animal forms. What sets Martinet’s work apart is the brilliant formal clarity of his sculptures, and their extraordinary elegance of articulation. His degree of virtuosity is unique: he does not solder or weld parts. His sculptures are screwed together. This gives his forms an extra level of visual richness - but not in a way that merely conveys the dry precision of, say, a watchmaker. There is an X-Factor here, a graceful wit, a re-imagining of the obvious in which a beautifully finished object glows not with perfection, but with character, with new life. Martinet takes about a month to make a sculpture and will often work on two or three pieces at the same time. It took him just four weeks to make his first sculpture and 17 years for his most recent completion!

Not exactly the first thing that leaps to mind when one thinks of “scrap metal sculpture,” is this? Be sure to check the individual images on Martinet’s gallery page—he lists the specific materials used for every body part, and some of them will likely floor you. DM readers in London can see these on display at Sladmore Contemporary through January 31, 2014. If you can’t be there, a GORGEOUS book is available.

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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World’s greatest shower curtains, hands down!

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?: eBay listing is here.

I never thought I’d be blogging about shower curtains, but here I am blogging about shower curtains. Come on, you have to admit these shower curtains by NYC-based artist Glen Hanson are pretty damned spectacular, right?. I’d totally own that What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? one in a heartbeat.

I’ve selected a few of my favorites from his eBay listings at 99wooster. There are plenty more. All of ‘em have a “buy it now” for $125.00.

Grey Gardens: eBay listing is here

The Shining: Overlook Hotel shower curtain eBay listing here.
More after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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Amazing ‘sketchy’ furniture will make you look twice!
05:11 am


Daigo Fukawa

fukawa 1
I will freely admit I got chumped. When these images of Daigo Fukawa’s Rough Sketch Products furniture started blowing up the design blogs over the last few days, I figured I was looking at photos of models digitally superimposed onto sketchbook pages, and, accordingly, I thought “meh.” But no, this is actual furniture, made of bent wire to resemble scribbles. Via Bored Panda:

Usually it takes a long way for a sketch to be turned into an actual product. Japanese designer Daigo Fukawa just might change all that, however, with his series of furniture called “Rough Sketch Products” that look like they’ve just been transferred directly from his sketchbook to reality. The project was submitted as Fukuhawa’s senior thesis exhibition at Tokyo University of the Arts.

Made from cleverly arranged wire and photographed with a perfectly blank background, his various benches and chairs trick our perception of dimensions. Suddenly, 2D meets 3D, and the people sitting on these unique scribbled creations seem to be levitating  in the air. It might not be the comfiest furniture out there, but it will definitely put a smile on your face.

It blew my mind all the more to learn that that this incredibly executed stuff is student work! I can’t imagine it’s something anyone not big into hairshirts would care to actually sit on for very long, but regardless, I now have a new and totally unrealistic dream: when I make my first million, I will hire Fukawa to remake a room in my house after a Cy Twombly painting.
fukawa 2
fukawa 3
fukawa 4
fukawa 5

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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Chihuahua skeleton made from old typewriter parts
09:05 am



I wish there were more photos of this chihuahua skeleton sculpture made entirely from typewriter parts by artist Jeremy Mayer. I wonder how big it is? Is it life-size? It must be.

According to Mayer’s Tumblr, he’ll be posting more photos of this piece in the next few days. Hold tight.

Via Boing Boing

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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The dazzlingly psychedelic wildlife watercolors of Daniel Mackie
06:44 am


David Mackie

mackie rooster
Not much to say about these but DAMN. Award-winning London illustrator Daniel Mackie has created a gorgeous series of animal images, all hand-rendered in pencil and watercolor on paper, an increasing rarity in this age of digital art. From a Tangled Fingers interview:

I abandoned Photoshop in 2010 having used it as my main illustration tool for over ten years. Photoshop was making me cut corners and it was driving me crazy with its flat colours. Once I started using watercolour it became instantly clear to me that one of the reasons I was becoming so frustrated with my work was that I never had to make a solid decision. I could always undo something. When you’re using watercolour, you can’t undo it. You have to be brave, and as a result your decision-making gets better.

His blog features copious work-in-progress photos that give evidence of his considerable skill, and prints are of course available.
mackie tiger
mackie gator
mackie fox
mackie squirrel
mackie hare
mackie monkey
Via I Am The Trend

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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Curtains made from vintage 35mm film slides
09:14 am


Home Decorating

I wish I had thought of this; these gorgeous curtains made from 1,152 35mm vintage film slides by Scott Sherwood. I’ve seen lamps made from film slides before, but never curtains. Clever idea.

The slides were meticulously sorted and put in order by color theme from pink at the top , followed by red, orange ,yellow, green, blue, and purple.

All the 35mm slides are original photographic images from the the past 50+ years from various amateur photographers around the world and the subject matters are as diverse as the planet itself.

By night the slides are visible from outside when the interior lights are illuminated acting as a privacy window for you.

According to Sherwood, the project took over 4 months to make.

Below, what it looks like when sunlight shines through.


Via Neatorama

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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The Incredible Art of the Matte Painter: From ‘Dr. Strangelove’ to ‘Erik the Viking’
11:06 am


Bob Cuff

My childhood Saturdays were spent at the cinema enchanted by the fluttering beauty of the images on the screen. It wasn’t just the story, or the acting, but the sets, the costumes, the props, the number of scales scored on the back of a Harryhausen dinosaur, the special effects that made Dracula vanish into dust, the superimposition, the incredible backdrops and painted mattes.

One Christmas, I received Denis Gifford’s classic book A Pictorial History of Horror Movies, which I read and studied more assiduously than my schoolbooks, and learnt almost by heart. Indeed, there was once a time when I could recount with ease all of the casts and crews of Universal and Hammer horror films—what strange portfolios we invest in our childhood knowledge. One of the names I noted was Bob Cuff, a matte painter, and model maker, whose name appeared on several of my then-favorite films: The Day of the Triffids, The First Men on the Moon, The Masque of Red Death, and One Million Years BC.

As you no doubt know, a matte painter creates painted representations of a landscape, set, or distant location, which allows the filmmaker to create wonderful illusions of real or fantasy environments that are usually far too expensive to build. It’s a technique that’s been used since Norman Dawn painted crumbling mansions on glass for Missions of California in 1907, and has been used extensively in cinema ever since.

Today, it’s all cold clunky digital, which for me lacks the beauty and craft of the matte paintings by artists like Bob Cuff. I was, therefore, delighted to discover a site dedicated to Cuff’s long career in film with examples of his work from Dr.Strangelove, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Monty Python’s Life of Brian, The Princess Bride, right up to his last film before retirement,Terry Jones’ Erik the Viking.

Cuff’s work is beautiful, painterly and seamlessly adds an incredible richness to all of the films he worked on. Alas, Cuff died in 2010, but at least his wonderful artwork lives on.

Check here to view a gallery of Bob Cuff’s work.
‘Richard III’ (1955) Director: Laurence Olivier, Matte painting: Bob Cuff.
‘Alexander the Great’ (1956) Director: Robert Rossen, Matte painting: Bob Cuff.
‘I’m Alright Jack’ (1959) Director: Roy Boulting, Matte painting: Bob Cuff.
‘First Men on the Moon’ (1964) Director: Nathan Juran, Matte painting: Les Bowie Co. with Ray Caple and Bob Cuff.
‘Monty Python’s The Life of Brian’ (1979) Director: Terry Jones, Matte painting: Bob Cuff.

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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Amazingly detailed octopus coffee table
11:16 am



Here’s a stunning—and major décor statement piece, IMO—500 lb. bronze octopus coffee table by Los Angeles-based sculptor, artist and designer Isaac Krauss.

It’s pretty incredible, eh? I can’t find the price for this, but I’d wager that this sucker ain’t cheap…
You can contact Krauss via his website if you’re interested.


h/t Everlasting Blort

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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At long last, the invisible bike helmet is here
07:46 am



bike helmet
I regard bike helmets simultaneously with contempt and reverence. Reverence because I have flipped over my handlebars - unhelmeted - and gone skull-to-pavement in such a way that the temple arm of my eyeglasses ended up embedded in my forehead. I still have that scar. I could have majorly fucked myself up for life that day, and absolutely should have been wearing a helmet, there is no question about that at all - those things have saved some of my friends lives, and I have never been so reckless as to go without since. Contempt because, well, every complaint about the goddamn things has a point. They’re heavy, bulky and uncomfortable. They mat your hair down, which can legitimately be a problem if you’re commuting to a job where appearances count. And there will always be a tremendous temptation in how great the breeze feels when you ride bare-headed. Helmets rob you of a lot of the sense of freedom in the open-air experience that’s such an important part of cycling’s appeal.

But now, two Swedish design students have invented a helmetless helmet. It has its basis in a familiar automotive technology, but I will not describe it to you in any further detail. The video below has an amazing reveal that I don’t wish to spoil. I believe you will find yourself wondering - as I did - why nobody has thought of this before.

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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