L’Atelier Populaire, was an artistic collective created during of the occupation of the Paris School of beaux-arts in May of 1968. The graphics created by the artists within the school (many of whom slept and lived on campus for months) became the voice of the heated political uprising. All posters were communally anonymous; no single piece was signed.
Mitsuaki Sora’s Woodblock Prints
Japanese artist Mitsuaki Sora (born in Hiroshima, 1933) is actually primarily a sculptor. But Sora has been producing these colorful, abstract woodblock prints as a side-project since the 1960’s…and we are totally into them! Nice one, Sora.
Japanese Game Parks
This series of images was brought to us through our friend & collaborator, Harsh Patel, who said he was gifted these scans from Bay-Area artist Michael Guidetti. With names like Daytona Park, Namco Wonder Egg, and Time Travel House, we can only image the what the experience of stepping foot into one of these obscure arcades would be like. Please enjoy Japanese Game Parks.
Ugo La Pietra’s Heads
We don’t know much about Ugo La Pietra, but we do know the following vases are his bizarre, and mildly-ironic, tribute to the traditional ceramics of his native Italy. La Pietra, who has been called an artist, architect, and designer over the course of his extensive career, lives and works in Milan.
Commune Cement Tile: The Native Collection
Commune’s latest collaboration with Exquisite Surfaces, The Native Collection, takes inspiration from Scandinavian and Native American textile patterns. Four different patterns, titled Malmo, Stockholm, Navajo and Zuni, can be mixed to create an unlimited number of custom patterns. All four patterns come in four different color collections: Zebra, Python, Navajo and Zuni. For more information, check them out here.
Studio Visit: L’Oeil du Vert
Recently, we were lucky enough to visit the private studio of Haley Alexander van Oosten, the alchemist behind the mysterious fragrance label L’Oeil du Vert. Nestled right off of the beach in Santa Monica Canyon, van Oosten’s studio is truly a sensory experience, full of undeniable warmth and energy. We chatted about essential oils, Japanese literature, various types of wood, her installation at Maxfield’s, and the new scent L’Oeil du Vert has created with us.
(Commune) Where are you from?
(van Oosten) LA-Tokyo-LA with many detours.
When did you begin crafting fragrances?
I started blending botanical oils almost 15 years ago to explore plants—their healing and more esoteric qualities. I started traveling rather remotely for certain ones like frankincense, copal, water lily, and became curious about distilling and extracting methods.
How do you design the structure of a fragrance?
Well, since I design with whole botanical oils, sometimes containing hundreds of chemical constituents, rather than single isolated aromatic molecules, I approach the fragrance like a spider’s web. The structure is formed in relation to its surroundings rather than, say, a linear top-middle-bottom thing that could be constructed the same way anywhere, anytime.
Do you feel there are parallels between creating scents and design?
Yes. Visual or olfactive, there has to be a sensorial, tactile and haptic sense in design.
You’ve worked with many different artists and brands. How do your fragrance collaborations usually begin?
The only “usual” aspect of the process is being inspired or challenged. Everyone I work with is so uniquely talented. I’m actually encouraged to create things I’ve never done before.
What are your strongest memories associated with smell?
The smell of salty, sandy tar stuck on my feet from swimming in the ocean when I was little. And oh, that musty tatami mat mildew smell inside under-ventilated Japanese houses. I love it. Everything is so arid in LA. It really jumped into my nose when I first went there.
Would you tell us briefly about the backstory and inspiration for your collaboration with Commune?
One night, Roman started talking about Viennese successionists. And architects like Schindler and Neutra who worked with Frank Lloyd Wright in Japan before building houses that would become icons of California style in LA. This idea of Viennese transplanting Japan into a California context was very cool. So it started to take shape.
Lastly, desert, forest or beach?
Oh for sure, desert, forest AND beach.
For more from L’Oeil Du Vert, go here.3 notes
Daniel Spoerri’s Snare-Pictures
Swiss artist Daniel Spoerri is probably most well known for making what he called “Snare Pictures.” Spoerri and his friends, mostly fellow Fluxus members, would casually consume a meal around a table, and when the meal was complete, Spoerri would miticulously adhere all plates, bowls, cups, silverware, cigarette butts, vases, flowers, dirty napkins, bones, sauces, and crumbs to the tablecloth, cut the legs off of the table, and hang the results on the wall.
French fashion model-turned-sculptor Niki De Saint Phalle began working on her epic Tarot Garden in Tuscany, Italy in the late 1970’s. The work, which is influenced by Gaudi’s Parc Güell and Rodia’s Watts Towers, includes, but is not limited to: a Pope (Jean Tinguely’s favorite), a Sphinx, a Dragon, a Castle, and a Magician. The Tarot Garden was officially completed in 2002 upon the artist’s death.
For more on Tarot Garden go here.70 notes
John Kostick’s Stars
John Kostick’s hand-crafted designs were originally inspired by a Buckminster Fuller lecture he attended in 1962. Fuller’s concepts, based on networks of tension, eventually led Kostick to his own experiments with freestanding “star” structures. Said Kostick, “I like to think of these stars as mathematical truths that you can hold in your hand.”
If ‘technology’ is that which is invented after we are born, and ‘stuff’ is that which has always been around, for those born now, computers, the internet and mobile phones are stuff - in fact, it would be impossible for recent generations to imagine a world without these things. This was the world that the typewriter lived in. Here is some Typewriter Art.
For more see Typewriter Art: A Modern Anthology by Barrie Tullett.30 notes
Goodbye Mr. Vignelli
Massimo Vignelli, the famous graphic designer from Milan whose projects ranged from classic Knoll branding to designing maps for the New York City Subway system, has passed away at age 83. Here is just a small sampling of some of our favorite graphic work by the prolific designer. Goodbye Mr. Vignelli! You are missed.
Bruno Ernst: Impossible Objects
Appearances can notoriously be deceptive. Bruno Ernst (a Dutch math teacher who’s real name is Hans de Rijk), knew M.C.Escher personally, and spent over forty years grappling with the optical problems posed by the master. Although the following airbrush studies, composed by Ernst, are easily visualized here, any attempt to recreate them in sculptures or cardboard models is completely doomed from the start.
Happy Memorial Day
In 1970, Steven Frykholm was working as the in-house graphic designer for the furniture manufacturer Herman Miller, Inc., when a company vice-president stopped by his desk. Every summer, the VP said, Herman Miller hosted a company picnic. Perhaps Frykholm would make up a poster for the event? And so began a 30+ year tradition; here are just a few of Frykholm’s summery posters. Happy Memorial Day!
Kazuo Shinohara: Then and Now
Influential japanese architect Kazuo Shinohara was notorius for controlling how people saw his work. So, it wasn’t until after his recent death, that his family gave permission for new photographs to be taken. Therefore, we have Shinohara then (1960’s–1980’s) and Shinohara now (2010’s); a revealing example of what happens after an architect says ‘done.’ Roll over, Shinohara.