Monthly Archives: May 2011

Armored Baby Stroller

This armored baby stroller is an artwork by Czech artist Kristof Kintera. The work is titled “Bad Innovation in the Name of Protection (Gulf Style)” and was featured in a 2007 exhibition called “Problems on Top of Problems” at the Schleicher+Lange  Gallery in Paris a few years ago (see second image below). We stumbled across it again while dipping back into a recent edition of “The Trend Forecasters Handbook” (first image below). The stroller is made of painted metal, wheels and bullet proof glass, naturally.

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Vintage Book Cover Design

We were walking up Lafayette Street when we found this vintage-style Western-adventure paperback novel set on the steps to a cast-iron building. (The building was near the mysteriously plain and discreet false-back-front entrance to Imperial Nine and the Mondrian Hotel SoHo.) The book seemed to have been placed on the steps deliberately. The novel is titled “Mr. Tucket.” Its author is Gary Paulsen, who has written a saga of these books for children. The cover design evokes an era of American book publishing from the mid-twentieth century.

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Mr. Brainwash Massive in L.A.

Our man in Los Angeles, Josh, snapped pictures of this massive work by Mr. Brainwash (Thierry Guetta) on Santa Monica Boulevard.  The usual brainwash visuals and messaging are deployed here: Warholian homagery a la Campbell’s soup-can, 1970s-’80s “Memorex Man” TV commercial image and “Life is beautiful.” Mr. Brainwash, as many readers of this blog know, was the subject of Banky’s award-winning documentary film “Exit Through the Gift Shop.” Many thanks for the pix, Josh!

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Photos Copyright 2011 Josh Lucas. All rights reserved.

Q & A with Photographer Major Deegan

In the first post in our new “Creators” series of profiles and interviews, Global Graphica producer Van Corsa speaks with Major Deegan, a.k.a., “Seymour Templar,” a.k.a., New York City-based Belgian photographer Daniel Puissant …

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How would describe yourself?

I’m an artist and I utilize any kind of medium to express what needs to be expressed. It’s beyond my control. It just happens without my knowing. When you create something, you are aware it was a creative act, but I don’t set out to contrive the creative act itself.

Some people think of you strictly as a street photographer, but there’s a lot more to what you do that just taking a picture, yeah?

I communicate. That’s the core of what I do. I’m not good with words, so I fall into using other means to communicate. At the moment, the means is pictorial and based on reality, so to speak.I would not call what I do “street photography,” per se, but I would call it portraiture. Because what I do is more about representing an interaction with things that are dear to me. It can be a person on the street or my friends or my cats in the backyard.

So what is “street photography”?

If I were making a documentary on street thugs and documenting their life and situations, then it would be purely street photography. Then it would be in its own context. But I don’t focus on stuff on the street itself. When I travel, it’s really hard to do street photos in cities I don’t know. I have to love someplace, have an existing relationship with the place, to be able to capture these things, people on the street and so on.

Explain how this happens?

It’s the moment when the subject recognizes me and pulls me in. I don’t set out to discover these things. They discover me. I’m just “good enough” and consistent enough with my camera that I can receive these moments. They are like presents. I’m attracted to people who stick out. People who are affirming their existence in interesting ways.

How did you start?

I started realizing how important it was to me to simply become better at taking pictures and really, really devoted myself to using photography as my own language, a distinct style that is recognizable. I was interested in the existence of photography as a language only very recently, in the last three years or so.

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I always see you with a big camera everywhere, even while sitting down to an after-hours dinner in a Chinatown restaurant at 2:00 am. It’s like the camera is permanently attached to your hand. I imagine you sleep with it next you. Do you ever just take a break and put the camera away for a while? Sometimes when I’m exhausted mentally, I leave my camera at home. Mostly it was feedback I would receive on Flickr by other photographers. When I started getting approached by magazines and getting positive feedback, I became conscious of this talent and that I should take care of it, be true to it. It kind of took on a life of its own.I was just “paparrazzied” on the street last week. I noticed this guy taking pictures of me. Since he was doing what I kind of do, I recognized what he was doing and I approached him and said “I know what you do.” And he said, “I know, I know who you are — you’re Major Deegan!” It’s happened pretty frequently.

A lot of people must know you from the Hello Kitty picture, the one where the cops are arresting the person in the Hello Kitty costume in Times Square.

Yeah, I’m kind of famous for that picture. It’s been published everywhere, by everyone.

Continue reading

Cursive Roll-up Shutter

Thing of beauty. Love the line(s).  This looks like the cursive typographical lines used in a recent tequila ad campaign (can’t remember the name of the specific brand of Mexican spirit), but this is not an obvious ad. Hmm ….

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What’s Outside the Window? – Vol. 2

The second in our photographic series of posts called “What’s Outside the Window.”  Below are pix of the view from a New York City yellow taxi cab headed west on East Houston Street on a recent weekday morning. Seconds before the picture was taken, a man from the garage as washing down the sidewalk with a hose. The women is at one point saying something to the garage employee off-camera and waiting for the water and soap on the sidewalk to run down to the curb before continuing to walk along the pavement.

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Interview with Edward Tufte

We recently stumbled upon  an interview with “information sage” Edward Tufte in the Washington Monthly. The statistician and graphic design theorist is one of our heroes of visual culture. From the article …

Edward Tufte occupies a revered and solitary place in the world of graphic design. Over the last three decades, he has become a kind of oracle in the growing field of data visualization—the practice of taking the sprawling, messy universe of information that makes up the quantitative backbone of everyday life and turning it into an understandable story. His four books on the subject have sold almost two million copies, and in his crusade against euphemism and gloss, he casts a shadow over the world of graphs and charts similar to the specter of George Orwell over essay and argument.

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Fashion Show on the Street

Fashion Forward Fashion Show is just that, a fashion show but an unusual one that’s really more a local promotional event. The show was staged on a blocked off stretch of Broome St. between Orchard and Ludlow streets in a neighborhood enclave increasingly influential in the New York and international art and and fashion world. We’re talking about the neighborhood in the Below-Delancey Street  (“Bel-Del”) part of the Lower East Side.

The show was set up in the middle of the block with the runway forming a rectangular path with small pedestal-like stages at each of the four corners. The models walked each of the four segments connecting the corner and then posed on each of the four stages. Surrounding this style spectacle was seating for the audience as well as the usual Saturday bustle of residents, tourists, hipsters, gallery-crawlers and brunchers crowding the sidewalks.

A cadre of photographers shot each model at various points along the circuit. The models were wearing clothes from current collections of designers with shops in the Lower East Side, including Robert James, Earnest Sewn, and James Coviello. DJs played a live-PA set during the two-hour show. Lots of fun.

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What Happened to Air France Flight 447?

Two years ago Air France Flight 447 suddenly disappeared above the Atlantic ocean en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris.

A recent New York Times Magazine feature article titled “The Deepest End” looks closely at the investigation and explains why the investigation has been so difficult and taken so long. It’s a riveting, fascinating breakdown of the complex logistics and political hurdles involved in investigating the accident.

Per the Times mag’s usual standard, the article is presented in a beautiful layout with graphics and images that tell the story. The cover photo – a black and white image of the sea (see below) – is a poignant reminder of the mystery and remoteness of the air disaster and the many unanswered questions that remain.

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Light Floor at Chelsea Market

The beautiful floor lit from below at Chelsea Market in New York City.  The market is an early, successful and massive example of the re-purposing of old industrial space on Manhattan’s West Side for mixed use office and retail space. Many original industrial artifacts have been integrated into the new architectural design of the interior space. Other design elements are new, such as the light-floor. The market is a shopping mecca for foodies. Fittingly the cable TV channel Food Network is located in the building’s upper floors.

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Terry Barrier

We found another stencil of downtown celebrity-fashion photographer Terry Richardson in the Meat Packing District. This one is on a concrete road barrier under the High Line  at W. 14th Street, in New York City. More Terry Richardson stencil stuff was recently posted on the site and you can read more about him in this previous post.

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Building-Size Desigual Ad

Following on the successes of other Spanish clothing retailers such as Zara and Mango, Desigual entered the U.S. market a couple of years ago and has increased the visibility of its colorful brand in bigger and bolder ways. Here an entire building in New York City’s Herald Square shopping district has been taken over by a massive Desigual billboard-style ad.

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The “What’s Outside the Window?” Series – Vol. 1…

In a new series of posts, we’re going to take pictures of our view looking out windows from the various places our day-to-day travels takes us.

The idea was inspired by a question posed in the Roberto Bolano novel “The Savage Detectives” and by the pleasure derived from watching city life pass by while looking out a restaurant window or the heady view afforded by 34th floor office.

Below is our first post in the What’s Outside the Window series. It’s the view from a Starbucks at the corner of Ninth Avenue and W. 15th Street in the border area of Chelsea and the luxury fashion-centrale Meat Packing District, in downtown New York City.

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James Perse’s Japan Window

To raise awareness and charitable contributions for victims of the Japan’s recent Tohoku Earthquake disaster, acclaimed clothing designer James Perse has designed a clever window display at the brand’s shops on Bleecker Street in New York’s West Village.

The window shows a Japanese flag or hi no maru. The sun is on the window and the field of flag is a hanging scrim in the background, which gives the usually fixed and flat graphical elements  a dynamic quality, as the the composition changes as shoppers walk by the window and view the display at a different angle.

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Matt Siren + Milk + Cookie

Paintings by artist Matt Siren hang in Panade, a cafe that doubles as a gallery on Eldridge Street in the Lower East Side of downtown New York City. Below the delicious oatmeal and chocolate chip cookie they serve at Panade.

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