Showing 26 posts tagged art

Inside The Plastic Menagerie: William Sweetlove’s Designs

Just what are we supposed to make of William Sweetlove’s animal sculptures? While the realistic forms of dogs, cats, bunnies, pigs, and penguins speak to Sweetlove’s artistic skill, their undeniable cute-factor puts a smile on your face. But we’d be remiss to stop there when thinking of this Belgian artist’s instantly recognizable plastic animals, as these water-and-food toting wild ones are meant to disturb and motivate as well. Including sculptures, decorative plates, and supremely printed lithographs, Sweetlove’s work can be found on Fab for the next few days, so we thought we’d provide a primer to the work of this contemporary Pop Artist.

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Passion & Hives With James Victore

James Victore (b. 1962) is less a self-taught artist than a self-made man. A graphic designer whose specialty lies in poster design, he attended The School of Visual Arts in New York until receiving an invitation to…not return the following year. Never a man for school, he apprenticed under book cover designer Paul Bacon before spending most of the late ’80s designing books himself.

It wasn’t until 1992 that his true passion for poster design was reignited by a poster contest meant to commemorate the discovery of America. Called “Celebrate Columbus” or “The Dead Indian,” Victore’s now famous design was a reaction to the jingoistic posters that were chosen as winners. It was also printed and distributed with the artist’s own money in a feat that covered New York City in 5000 posters.

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Celebrate Columbus 1492-1992

The graphic design guerilla method of distribution garnered Victore a reputation for scoffing at authority. It also drained his bank account. Still, the notoriety he gained lead to greater opportunities in commercial graphic design, and Victore followed them. It wasn’t until 2002 that he realized how unhappy he was as a commercial artist. “I wasn’t pursuing my dharma,” he says.

It was time for a change. After spending years in Beacon—a small town in New York’s Hudson ValleyVictore moved back to NYC, this time as a successful graphic designer and teacher at SVA (his not-so alma mater). He’s now based in a live/work studio within Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood. When not teaching, Victore—along with his wife and assistant—runs what’s best described as an independent three-person design studio, creating work that has brought him back to his roots of socially engaged, culturally provocative graphic design.

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Heartless Machine’s Enigmatic Reality

Last night, I dreamed about a curious new world. As I wandered through fields abuzz with Swiss army knife bees and dragonflies, I realized—in the way you suddenly know things in dreams—that this place was called Heartless Machine

A few minutes into my surreal stroll, I felt a smooth cold object tap me on the ankle. A very large, sharply gleaming spider with scissor blades for legs and wingnut joints peered up at me. My eyes widened, and I backed away from it carefully. As I moved, it shook its metal head impatiently and motioned for me to follow it.

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LIVIN’ LA VIDA LEGO: My Character-Building Exercise

Most of us remember building LEGO sets as a childhood pastime—spending hours sprawled out along the floor, piecing together the vehicles and scenery as instructed by the included booklet. But the world of LEGO expands far beyond kids’ games. In the hands of creative individuals, these building blocks can be shaped into impressive machinerymedical advancements, and grandiose works of art. Artist Sean Kenney isn’t just a proponent of the latter—he’s one of only 13 officially LEGO Certified Professionals in the world. When he’s not working on his national touring exhibits and inspirational children’s books, Sean also designs practical LEGO housewares like these sculpture lamps that are making their debut today on Fab.

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Milton On Lincoln

Today, we’re selling several fantastic pieces from Milton Glaser’s library of work. One of them is a timely and updated version of his poignant Lincoln portrait.

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Milton Glaser has been a force in the world of graphic design since he helped found New York’s legendary Push Pin Studios in 1954. While Push Pin has now closed its doors, Glaser continues to produce work that retains his razor-sharp, yet never self-serious eye and inimitable range of styles. 

This week, Fab’s offering a collection of Glaser’s work, and in a timely bonus, Milton has included a series of Abraham Lincoln portraits that present our crusading former president in a wonderfully direct design. As you have no doubt noticed, this prominent president is having a moment. But it’s not the first time, as he seems to pop up from time to time in popular consciousness, and that includes the mind of Milton Glaser.

In Milton’s words, the original Lincoln design, “Was done as a book jacket for my friend, and publisher, Elisabeth Scharlatt. After I saw the new film, I was so moved, and found it so inspirational, that I did an updated version. It’s understandable that the Lincoln character appeals to us now at a time of such shifting values. His modesty, decency and consistent honesty seem like attributes we desperately need.”

Taylor Quist