MITSUSHIGE NISHIWAKI

Mitsushige Nishiwaki.. an artist from Tokyo, Japan who is focused mainly on etchings for Print, fashion and textile design. He has had numerous shows in London, Paris and New York City.  I discovered his art on linkedin of all places. It came up on my feed and I was quickly hooked. His work is very spirited and ethereal. It reminds me of Edward Gorey but merged with bold colors with street scenes and landscapes that capture emotion. It is quite infectious. His work can be seen in NYC at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on May 20-23rd. 

http://mnetching.art.coocan.jp/

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SUPERMAN IS 80

One of, if not THE greatest super-hero icon ever Superman is now 80 years old. How they (DC COMICS) have managed to keep this character relevant and popular through out all of the years dealing with harsh changes in our culture is a testament to the creative and marketing force of the company. This character is my all time favs in comic books. The characters message always resonates and generates aspiration for better. That is how I look at it anyway. In addition to becoming 80 years old, Action Comics had published it's 1,000th issue this month. Many of the top industry artists had composed their own version of what the cover should be. I decided to compose my own. Here is to another 80 years!

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STEAMPUNK BIBLE

Years back, my wife purchased the book "The Steampunk Bible: An Illustrated Guide to the World of Imaginary Airships, Corsets and Goggles, Mad Scientists, and Strange Literature" by Jeff VanderMeer. I always thought it to be a cool looking book but sadly, never came upon it again until recently while reorganizing our bookshelves. I am so happy to have found it. This is a really gorgeous guide which serves as a solid introduction to the world of Steampunk in regards to writings, art and culture. Now, I don't think this book should be calling itself a bible. I think their is a lot more content that needed to be added. That being said, it is bold, it is impressive, it is a deliberate piece which inspires creativity and elegance. 

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THANK YOU TOYS "R" US!

Saddened by the closing of one of the great institutions of joy that was Toys "R" Us, let us remember the amazing marketing and story telling that they put out. It reached so many at a personal level that it made us feel something good and virtuous. It didn't matter if it was actually real or not, what mattered is that we believed it was possible. For that time period in where the masses were starving for something to believe, their campaign delivered. At least for me any way. 

 

ANA BENAROYA - NO REASON BUT I DO!

I feel sort of guilty. It has been a while since I blogged about anything. I thought I was being lazy but to be honest, I had nothing to be excited about. Not until I visited the 313 Gallery in Jersey City. During their “PRESS GANG” show, I had a glimpse of the painting work of the young artist Ana Benaroya. She is a working illustrator based out of NJ. Word is that she is obsessed with hot sauce and thinks of quantum theories in her spare time, but I won’t entertain such rumors. 

I find Ana Benaroyas work to be amazingly uncomfortable, vibrant, bold, playful, grotesque, and most of all emotionally provoking. Every piece I see brings out a strong feeling within me. Some good, some bad, but consistently strong. I hope she never loses that ability. Attached is a link to her site and some of her work.

http://www.anabenaroya.com/

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JOANNA BARNUM - ILLUSTRATOR

One of the finest water color painters I have ever met, Joanna Barnum is an illustrator and painter who is based in Harford County, Maryland. She approaches water color painting with such excitement and movement, she almost makes it look painfully easy. It's not. It's thought through and deliberate. Whether it be fantasy related art, personal portraits or good old landscape, her work explodes off the canvas. I have known her for many years. Getting to witness how this artist evolved puts be in awe of her talent. With the holidays are upon us, I can not think of a better gift to a loved one than a commission. 

Check her site out!

http://joannabarnum.com/

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CHIP KIDD - BOOK 2

https://www.amazon.com/Chip-Kidd-Book-Two/dp/0847860086/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1511716906&sr=8-1&keywords=chip+kidd+book+two

I was recently gifted CHIPP KID: BOOK TWO - 2007-2017. This is a fantastic journey through creativity in what is the 2nd leg of this accomplished designers career. Chip Kidd quietly has become one of the great Graphic Designers of our time. He continues pushing boundaries as time goes on with such confidence of the final outcome. If I could re-name this book, I would call it STRONG CHOICES. Go check it out!

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INKTOBER 2017

http://mrjakeparker.com/inktober

It's that time of year again. INKTOBER! It's a time when artists all over the world take on the Inktober drawing challenge by doing one ink drawing a day the entire month of October. For every time a drawing is done, you post it on social media and hash tag. #inktober2017 (or what ever year it is). The concept was created by artist Jake Parker and it is something that has taken off over the years. What I do love most? How top professionals in the industry part take in this event and interact with other professionals or just hobbyists. It is really neat. Here are a few that I did the last few years. 

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EVERY BODEGA IN MANHATTAN

I recently saw a show with photography displayed by Gail Quagliata. She is a New York-based mixed media artist focusing predominantly on urban landscape photography. She did a series in which she photographed every Bodega in Manhattan. I found this to be ambitious and thought provoking. Capturing an essence of NYC that is always transforming in landscape and in character. She also has a cat named Optimus Prime and that is just awesome! Check her site out!

 http://www.gvbq.org/nycbodegas

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Richard Gerstl and the Neue Galerie

http://www.neuegalerie.org/content/exhibitions-landing-page

I was at the Neue Galerie in NYC over the weekend and was privileged to see the work of Richard Gerstl. An Austrian painter from the very early 1900's. Though he lived a short life, the amount of high quality work that he produced in that time frame was quite extraordinary. His use of color and stroke technique just jumped off the canvas. I do not recall enjoying and exhibition like that in a long while. The Gallery itself is great. If you have a chance, go see it!

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JESSICA DAVIS HAS CLASS

https://www.brooklyncraftcompany.com/collections/all-workshops/products/watercolor-nebulas

Or.... Jessica Davis is teaching a class in Watercolor painting. This is a class for everyone! No painting experience is needed, but even avid artists can enjoy learning some new techniques for watercolor. Your instructor, Brooklyn-based artist Jess Davis, will guide you and help you find your own creative path in this fun Sunday afternoon workshop.

This is not a shameless plug for a talented friend (which it is). Nor is it me telling you what to do (which I am).  My point is that (paraphrasing Kevin Spacey in American Beauty) .. The best gift to give yourself if is the ability to surprise yourself. I think everyone should take a class in some form of art or another... So... take a class. Take her class!

JESSICA DAVIS CLASS

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BATMAN COVER ART

Very recently for a freelance illustration project, I had to do some quick research into Batman Comic book cover art. Obviously, any one that knows anything about my interests would know thatthis would be quite fun for me. However, I got into my “High Fidelity” Top 5 mode. Meaning I was compiling my top 5-10 favorite covers. Problem? That list became 75!.. So I paired it down to a set of five. ONLY Batman cover art from the continuing series. This helped slim down my choices. The problem with this list is that it is fluid. It changes every few hours. So far, at this moment, this is my top 5. SHARE YOURS WITH ME!

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GEORGE WASHINGTON ZEUS

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Washington_(Greenough)

George Washington (1840) is a massive sculpture by Horatio Breenough commissioned for the centennial of U.S President George Washingston's birth in February 22, 1732. It was based on Phildas statue of Zeus Olympios.

It was to be displayed at the Capital Rotundain Washington D.C., however it was quickly removed. Many found it offensive while some found it to be a way of trying to turn our forefathers into deities which was not what our country was founded on. With all the of the talk of statues and stuff this week, it made me thing of this one. Plus it's kind of cool.

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TOP 10 ALBUM COVERS

So. I had some time to think about my favorite Album covers of all time. I must say that this list is a fluid one. It changes every day or even every hour. But for now, this moment, these are my picks. I judged them by illustration, typography, photography, tone and over design. I am not adding any Iron Maiden albums to this list. As said before, it deserved it’s own category. So here it is..

10: DIO: HOLY DIVER: Sinister, gorgeous, matches over message of the album. 

9. BOSTON: BOSTON: The whole series of albums tell a story. Plus it’s spaceships. Who does not like spaceships?

8. KISS: DESTROYER: Well marketed, fun, selling characters in a fun way.

7. CULTURE CLUB: COLOUR BY NUMBERS: Verys 80’s Strong photography, fantastic colors. Makes me smile every time.

6. PRINCE: PURPLE RAIN: Very razor like, exciting and sexy.

5. GREASE SOUNDTRACK: Good tone and photography but the interior album art was fantastic. Great graphics. In a pre VCR/internet world, this was the only way to relive the movie experience.

4. FLEETWOOD MAC: RUMORS: Elegant. Mysterious, Exquisite typography. 

3. BEATLES” SGT. PEPPERS: Wonderfully fun and kitch! Sells the over all rebrand of the band.

2: LED ZEPPELIN : Great graphic. Strong and bold. Just like the band.

1. ELTON JOHN: CAPTAIN FANTASTIC: Absolutely gorgeous! Very engaging. You just interacted with the piece.

Ok.. Lets hear your!

IRON MAIDEN!

 

http://www.planetrock.com/photos/the-art-of-iron-maiden/

Recently Rock Metal legends Iron Maiden reunited and did a concert in NYC. Many of my childhood friends attended the show. It bought back memories for me. Not so much of their music but of the amazing artwork by the great Derek Riggs. A contemporary British artist best known for creating the Iron Maiden's mascot, "Eddie the Head". Very edgy, very creepy imagery that worked in conjunction with the brand that was Iron Maiden. It also made me think of how much I miss the full scale album art. It really is a lost craft. I was going to do a top 10 album cover art posting, but for this, I feel that Iron Maiden album art deserves it's own posting. Check out the work! 

THE SKETCHBOOK

https://onanimation.com/2017/07/17/the-sketchbook/

This looks like an amazing project. 

"A hundred years ago a sixteen year old boy secretly enlisted in World War 1 to find his war-serving father. Using a unique blend of CG and hand drawn animation, a team of feature film artists will bring his story to life as an animated short film called “The Sketchbook”. The team promises to transport the audience into the pages of a sketchbook, and tell this story of hope and sacrifice in the trenches of the Great War."

I can not wait to see this.