Author Archives: GG

CURRENT EVENTS: RETRO ARCADE-STYLE WEB VIDEO GAME “THOUGHTS & PRAYERS” REMINDS US OF HOW F*CKED-UP GUN CONTROL IS IN AMERICA

In light of recent news events in the United States and yet another deadly and senseless mass-shooting at a school, there’s this retro arcade-style video game on the web called Thoughts & Prayers, which makes a sobering and obvious point. Play it now for free.

PROJECTS: OUR BAND ALOHA DEATH HAS A NEW TUNE CALLED “SHIBUYA”

One of our current projects here at Global Graphic is a music collaboration turned band called Aloha Death.  We’ve just released our second tune! It’s called “Shibuya” (Yay!!!) and you can find it now on iTunes, Spotify, Pandora, etc.

Check out the band website for more details. In the meantime, follow Aloha Death on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

ICONIC: OFFICIAL PORTRAITS OF BARACK AND MICHELLE OBAMA UNVEILED

The official portraits of former U.S. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama we’re unveiled Monday at the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C. It’s a tradition for outgoing presidents to have their portraits painted and hung in the museum for posterity. For official portraits, the paintings of the Obamas are remarkable, formidable works of art on their own, visually arresting and groundbreaking in style and provenance for the genre.

President Obama’s portrait was painted by a Brooklyn-based African-American artist from Los Angeles, Kehinde Wiley, whose work we’re fans of and we’ve posted here before. The First Lady’s portrait was also painted by an African-American artist, the Baltimore-based painter Amy Sherald.

For these two artists, aside from their African-American heritage, their similarities begin and end with their task of depicting the Obamas. Whereas Wiley is a contemporary international art star with a staffed production studio, Sherald, though well-regarded and established, is an artist of lesser renown and a comparatively quieter career to date. This will likely change now that Sherald has painted Mrs. Obama. 

Sherald’s painting is more graphically striking, and her rendering reflects her distinct, interpretive portrait style. She captures an impression of a First Lady known for a bold sense of fashion and sartorial taste. Wiley’s painting of the former President himself is more straightforward and realistic, but the visual context, the setting and its details, express the artist’s signature style and flair. The President’s portrait is more loaded with graphic symbolism and vision. Barack appears seated, serious and engaged in the moment, but he’s depicted with a flowered and verdant background of ivy that is practically engulfing the former president.

In any case, these artworks represent a fresh, confident departure from the otherwise staid and banal aesthetic traditions of such portraiture, which by and large is a collection of old, white men looking sober, bland, predictably statesmen-like and devoid of personality. The possible exception might be former President Bill Clinton’s portrait painted by Chuck Close in that artist’s easily identifiable style of giant, pixelated close-ups.

. . . . .

これはバラク・オバマ前米国大統領とミシェル・オバマの新しい公式肖像画です。これらの絵は、月曜日にワシントンのスミソニアン博物館の国立肖像画ギャラリーで発表されました。これらの肖像画を描いた芸術家はKehinde WileyとAmy Sheraldです。

KICKS: GIANT FOOT STICKING OUT FROM ROOF OF HOLLYWOOD STORE “TOO INSTAGRAMMABLE”

Can something be too Instagrammable? That is the question, savvy reader. Our initial thought is, “Yes, yes something can be. ‘Too Instagrammablity’ is a thing.”

But then, upon further consideration, doubt creeps in, and we wonder further, “What does ‘too Instagrammable’ even mean?” It’s a binary, yes or no issue in terms of whether anything is Instagrammable at all. It either is or isn’t. And really, anything is Instagrammable by virtue of anybody taking a picture of something and posting it to Instagram.

What the question really means is beyond the literal. It is really to ask whether something — some would be photographic subject matter — has qualities that make it both desirable to share as an image, as an expression of the user taste and evidence of their experience, and easy to present as an attractive, visually compelling image that might garner lots of likes.

The store of the clothing brand Golf Wang on hip Fairfax Avenue in Hollywood, in Los Angeles, is Instagrammable. Architecture and design considerations aside, it’s the giant sculptural foot clad in pink sneakers sticking out of the roof of the store that has become a photogenic landmark. It is highly Instagrammable. Too Instragrammable. And brilliant marketing. 

. . . . .

ゴルフワン衣料品店の興味深い建築とランドマーク。このショップは、ロサンゼルスのハリウッドのフェアファックスアベニューにある人気のファッショナブルなショッピング街にあります。

LEGENDARY: GODDAMMIT DON’T ASK ARTIST JASPER JOHNS WHAT HIS ARTWORK MEANS — NOBODY KNOWS WHAT IT MEANS!

One of modern art’s greatest painters and arguably America’s greatest living artist, Jasper Johns is a giant of the contemporary art world. Recently on the eve of “JasperJohns: Something Resembling Truth,” a massive new exhibition of his work at the Broad Museum in Los Angeles, Johns was interviewed by the New York Times. As he has explained in previous interviews, he doesn’t like offering explanations of what his artwork means. The Times article underscored his sentiments and revealed John’s jokey side with what is now one of our favorite quotes.

Mr. Johns himself is loath to offer biographical interpretations of his work — or any interpretations, for that matter. He is famously elusive and his humor tends toward the sardonic. He once joked that, of the dozens of books that have been written about his art, his favorite one was written in Japanese. What he liked is that he could not understand it.

CAPITALISM 101: ICYMI … EVERY AD IS A TIDE AD!

In case you missed it, one of the best — if not the best — TV commercial from the broadcast of last weekend’s 2018 Super Bowl was this ad for Tide laundry detergent. It’s already being talked about as one of the best ever and an “instant classic.” There are a few more companion ads for this Tide spot that aired throughout the Super Bowl. For example this Old Spice hijack by Tide and these too. All brilliantly conceived and executed.

SIZE MATTERS: EPIC 82-FOOT LONG MURAKAMI PAINTING STEALS SPACE FROM OTHER ARTISTS

This massive painting by Japan’s most successful and well-known contemporary artist Takashi Murakami is displayed in the primest spot of the Broad Museum in Los Angeles. It’s huge. It’s epic. It’s unmissable. Anyone entering the museum’s main galleries, where the core selections from the permanent collection are exhibited, will see it as they arrive from the lobby, whether they come via escalator, elevator or a stairway.

So exactly how big is this painting? And what’s it called? Continue reading