Posts Tagged ‘Artist talk’

Artist Talk – Sam Winston

Sam Winston is an Artist-Typographer similar to my self in that we use words/letters/characters to make our art, but that’s about all we have in similarities excluding our enjoyment of books. I’m unsure how I stumbled across his work, but it was a good thing it happened to me. I did not want to think I was creating my work in a bubble, which can happen at times when you don’t expose yourself to the works of others. I do stand back and keep my attention else where, mostly because I feel I could be overly influenced by what others are doing.

Solace, S. Winston

Solace, S. Winston

Yours Mine, S. Winston

However, that said, Sam Winston is doing something fantastically different and I don’t really like it. Mostly this dislike stems from my want and desire to know what’s happening with his work (which I find he writes about in a vague and incoherent way) and a bit of the detail in the work. Yeah I understand at times it’s the whole that makes a difference, but if you’re going to include text it’s very natural to want to see the parts involved.

Referencing my own work, I use a what amounts to linguistic non-sense to create my images of pigeons, which I have seen people try to read, but the minute people can’t find sense in it they just see it as a picture and move on. Or they just don’t care and hate your work.

It’s not all hate. I do like the what he’s done with his work Dictionary Story Book, as it makes for an interesting display in twisting type. It’s a fine display that shows how easily language can break down physically, verbally and visually. It’s one of his works I would actually like to own just to see it whole and up close.

SIlent Listen, S. Winston

Live Today, S. Winston

If nothing else the work comes off as an interesting experiment in abusing words and type in an effort to make art. Personally I don’t know if I could go down the same route of Sam Winston in his works, but who knows.

Dictionary Story, S. Winston

Made Up True Story, Time | Beast, S. Winston

Made Up True Story, Ency | Jack, S. Winston


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Cover - Animal Farm

When I’m out to buy a new book to keep myself occupied and I have no idea what’s awesome, recommended or will be a good worth while read, I do the faux pas thing and nab a book purchase based on its cover. Ah the old adage ‘You can’t judge a book by its cover’ comes out ringing loud and true. No you can’t exactly make that judgement call, but what I can do is enjoy the cover of a book then read the nice summary on the back and make a choice.

There’s a very good reason why publishing companies go to good lengths to make a book cover visually appealing. Primarily you’re enticed to have your eye caught on the book for purchasing prospects. Secondary is that it needs to help convey what the story is about (most of the time). And finally you’re suppose to have something pretty to look at and less utilitarian and generic sitting on your shelf.

Book cover art is serious business. This is something that gets printed tens of thousands if not a million times. A.J. (Aimie-Jane) Hateley is an artist who is serious about making book cover art. And she’s doing a damn fine job at it.


What really caught my attention to her work was her combination of artistic skill, love of video games and her clear enjoyment of making book cover art. She’s working through a project entitled ’30 Days of Videogames’ which is basically her creating minimalistic book covers for book which have some representation to famous videogames over the years (such as Half-Life, Silent Hill, Metal Gear Solid, Katamari)

Many of them are a bit tongue in cheek when referencing their specific games, while others tend to stand out in the obvious. All of them are good homage to the legendary games they’re supposed to represent. And to sweeten the deal, some covers are available for purchase as cards, prints and shirts.

Final Fantasy 7

Videogame book covers aside, Hateley has done alternate covers for George Orwell’s book Animal Farm. Admittedly they are very abstract and a little bizarre from what you would expect to be the cover for Animal Farm but over all I would call the project a great exploration to expand a classic.

Moving beyond book cover design, like all artists, A.J. Hateley has other artistic pursuits but I find them to be less strong as her latter work has been. Primarily it seems to be highly repetitious and doesn’t exactly give me the impression she’s got the capacity to expand or evolve her work. This is the same for the book covers, yes they all take on a different game, but I feel there’s a lot of cookie cutter work design happening between them beyond the usual need to unify them via similar or common elements.

Flee - AJ Hateley

And on one final note, her tumblr. site was one of the ones responsible for me not entirely getting ripped shit pissed at the fail community known as tumblr. She’s got a good theme and layout going and actually knows how to use it better than a large majority of tumblr. users. However, as a gallery tool, tumblr. does not work well for presentation, which makes me a sad panda. Her older works can be found at her abandoned Deviantart Website.

Also if you’re really interested in owning some of her art, her print shop is open for business and prices are reasonable.

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Well technically a game studio and not really an artist or artist group, thatgamecompany (tgc) does a lot of work with their games that could be considered art or interactive art. Unlike a lot of other game companies, tgc seems to start with the art and aesthetics and then move on to game play which has been evident since their first games.


flOw (PS3 Version)
My first run in with flOw was actually the online flash version and it was really nifty. Things floated around, you could see the layering that happened and it was a really chill game to relax and play out on. When it was coming to the PS3 I was totally stoked to get my hands on it, more so since it was going to use motion controls instead of mouse movements. In addition the artistic graphics and audio were pumped up to 11 and with more creatures to play as the experience was made to be phenomenal. It’s a game that is best tried rather than read about.

So flOw was  a great and fantastic game to play and how do you follow something as magnificent as that? You give the player the experience of being a simple flower pedal on the wind. It’s not exactly the most complicated idea or concept, but it’s an effective one again combined with artistic graphics and music /audio to go with it.

The game is simple and basic, you’re a flower pedal on the wind and you have to collect more pedals or activate specific ones to advance. Motion controls are used again, and no other way would allow for a smooth flow of game play.

And finally, keeping with the tradition of one word game names, thatgamecompany is getting set to release by the end of this year. Currently a closed beta testing of the game is underway and I was hoping to get as I met the criteria, but didn’t. Still regardless, this game is shaping up to having the most interesting multiplayer experience. From what I know, the plot involves you working with another person to solve challenges and get to the top of this mountain.

What’s different about the multiplayer is no names and no real way to communicate. It’s an interesting way of forcing players to work together and cut out the typical bullshit you get from the general online populace.

thatgamecompany is very much worth watching for in terms of their ability to create such artistry via the video game medium. Their attention to artistic styling is outstanding and they’re pushing the boundaries between video games, art and the buzz word ‘interactive media’. I look forward to their next game as well as future games they plan to produce. Perhaps someday they will get past barrier and prove to the masses that video games can be art.

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I’m always the kind of person who will explore the new if it’s presented to me and recently an acquaintance has been non-stop spamming my feed with his new album (even went as far as to PM me, which is nice of him really.)  He’s more or less a local DJ doing his thing every Thursday at a small place called Vola Lounge for a long while now. His remix talents lay more in the realm of dubstepping (of which I’m no great fan of), but there are some things he does that are not bad and pleasant to listen to.

Album cover for Memrx Falls Down

Anyways, he’s recently released himself an album on Mix Cloud which you can listen to or buy here. It’s worth a listen to else, why the hell would I be posting it up. And if you’re looking for more work and music by Mr. Memrx, then take a gander at his blarg site, specifically his  February is Gone post which has download links to that compilation. Also available for stalking (probably) is his Facebook page that acts as a sort of hub all his DJ activities, but I’ll leave you to find that out.

All I can really say at this point is Mr. Memrx, keep mixing that shit up and I’ll be at as many shows as I can.

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Paper is a fine material for art and artists. It’s basically the first thing any kid is given to create art. Paper is used for almost everything in the world as well, however we’re moving to more of a paperless society not all different from people moving from using candles to light rooms to the electric light bulb. A lot of the artwork I do is print based so paper is oh so important for me to create my art and I get so many more choices out of it compared to regular canvas. Thus putting art onto paper is something very easy to do, but what about turning paper itself into art?

Eismeer, 2006

Peter Callesen is such a man who’s been turning the common A4 sheet of paper (8.3×11.7 in vs the letter standard of 8.5×11) in to little marvels of art. Not like the art of paper craft per-say but something a lot more than that. Instead of taking the easy route and having people make the instructions for creating the papercraft project, Peter Callesen often cuts out the shapes he wishes to leave in negative (or maybe positive space) and then will reshape that into the paper structure he needs.

If it’s not something very intensive and complex, then it’s a piece that’s done with some minimalist work and subtly (as seen in Big wave moving towards a small castle of sand, 2005)

His main work is also not entirely limited to the A4 size of paper. He has been known to use billboard sized sheets of paper to construct works both life-sized and larger than life. no doubt immense planning goes into all his works given the delicate nature of both paper and the attention to detail required.

However, Callesen has not limited himself to just paper works. His site also documents some of his other performance pieces and installation works, all worth taking a gander at beside what he’s done with paper.

If there’s any criticism to be had about his main paper works is that they are a bit limited in terms of thematic diversity. A majority of them seem to deal with death or destruction. Castles and skeletons also have a huge roll in the works he’s produced. It would be awesome if there was more diversity rather than an endless progressive of the same few themes. It’s a problem artists can find themselves running into with works that are grandiose on a personal scale (Hence why I’ve limited my Pigeon works to 10).

As a bonus here’s the ending to an Anime show called Eden of the East which uses a similar style to Callesen’s art.

All images seen here rightfully belong to Peter Callesen. http://www.petercallesen.com/

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Artist – Tim Burton

A few weeks back I was invited to go see the Tim Burton art exhibit that’s been happening for some months in my little city. Honestly it was not something I was rushing out to really go see and take in, as fans of Tim Burton tend to be on the cultist side of things rather than typical admirers (which probably mirrors his own cult like admiration for Ed Wood). Anyways if you’re a big fan of Burton, then the exhibit is more or less a catalogue of his work from the early 80s to the present.

The meat of the gallery is concept work from the long line of movies he’s done such as; Batman, Edward Scissor Hands, Planet of the Apes, Sweeny Todd and of course the obligatory props and artwork for The Nightmare Before Christmas. It was kind of cool to see all the props and all the concept work he produced for the movies, which doesn’t look too entirely different from the final movies. More interesting was a few of the production notes he had for some movies and some of his lesser known works such as “The World of StainBoy” which they had both design models and the shorts playing.

The exhibit did a good job of showing off a lot of the works he had a big hand in creating or coming up with concepts with and that was good and all, but the better part of the show was a small room which was basically off to the side and contained all his more personal works that were not related to big time production movies. For me, that stood out as a better representation of Tim Burton the artist over Tim Burton the mega star director. It seemed to be a lot more genuine works for a gallery exhibit given the fact that everything else was related to a movie or a largely funded entertainment investment. The works in the side room told a lot more about the man behind movies such as Alice in Wonderland or Mars Attacks.

Things they had in the room were his early home movies and works he did in his college years. They had a collection of small pictures broken in to categories like Men, Woman, Couples which stylings have had a clear hand in developing his other later movies. That room was worth more to check out than all the monster concepts he came up with for movies (not to say there weren’t any in there that didn’t make it into movies). One other interesting work of Burton’s you get to see is his take on Hansel and Gretel that had an all asian cast to it. If you’re able to check it out, then do it as you will not be disappointed.

It’s very much a worth while to go check out the exhibit if you have more than a passing interest in his works. In addition you should look into one of the men who helps bring a lot of Burton’s works to life Albert Cuellar, who’s actually more mysterious than Tim Burton himself. Below is a video about him and some of the sculptures you will find at the exhibit.

Oh and they have Christopher Walken’s head there too.

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Core 6, 2007

It takes a special kind of man to hate any book in society. Even rare is one who would actively decide to destroy a book simply because it exists. Brian Dettmer is an artist who with his artistic surgical precision slices up book pages and make some of the most bizarre sculptures I’ve come across.

Looking through Brian Dettmer work it’s safe to say he is primarily a spacial artist who very easily has this insane ability to x-ray vision a thick novel and totally have it dissected with surgical precision before he even lifts a knife. And his works only become more insane and deep the long he’s been working on them. His gallery of macabre literary texts goes back over eight years and can include more than a dozen novels to create the final sculpture. In fact from what I gather, the medical field is so fascinated with his work they’ve even got a few pieces in the International Museum of Surgical Science.

But I think his work is something that speaks better than I am realistically able to articulate. So find his sculptural masterpieces below. Book lovers, weep. (All books used are old editions from like over a billion years ago)

All this is just a fraction of the large collection he’s craved out for himself in his quest for a master piece. I urge you to visit his site and wander through all the works he has done. It’s always great to see an artist evolve his work through the years and push the limits on his style and technique.

All images seen here rightfully belong to Brian Dettmer. http://briandettmer.com/

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