Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sears, the place to shop for Zombies!

Sears, in the spirit of Halloween (or zombie apocalypse) has created a zombie department on their website. I took a look at it, it was hard to navigate because I don't know what 'zhabbanh mahn zamblahz' means.

The video commercials are pretty hilarious!
Oooh, You can make your own zombie friend too!!

Sears Website in "Zombian"
Or traditional English Sears Zombie


Monday, October 25, 2010

Southern Bells: Musical Beer Packaging

Hidden within every 6-pack are two mallets attached to the corks (inside the beer). After drinking your beer to the level indicated on the back (or filling it with water) you can place the bottles into the holder and begin playing.

Created by Sam Gensburg, ‘Southern Bells’ features a special packaging stand that creates a xylophone form. The back of each beer bottle also shows how much of the beer to drink in order to hit the notes you’re looking for. Complete with two batons to strike the bottles with, the ‘Southern Bells’ can create a full octave with two cases of brew.
The package can close to become a traditional 6-pack or open, and lay flat, to become a musical instrument.

Inspired by the city of Savannah Georgia, and their lack of music venues.

DIrtyLand - The Art of Brian M. Viveros

Some interesting artwork I just stumbled upon, from artist Brian Viveros.

Celebrated fetish artist Brian M. Viveros is internationally embraced for his erotic paintings of doe-eyed beauties with Marlboros dangling seductively from their lips and has also recently been utilizing the medium of film to capture the dark and evocative debris that radiates from his mind. His paintings are a drunken mix of oil, airbrush, acrylic, and ink. In his work Viveros shines a light on his own inner world and society at large and aims to captivate even the most jaded eyes.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Black Sawn International Teaser Posters

I love these new teaser posters for the movie Black Swan, which stars Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, and Winona Ryder. Very simple and old school.

The film's story sees Natalie Portman play a ballet dancer given the chance of a lifetime when the prima ballerina of her company (Winona Ryder) is up for replacement with the start of a new season. But under pressure to perform from the company's director (Cassel), and unsettled by the arrival of a mysterious new rival (Kunis), Portman's Nina soon starts experiencing strange things. Are people conspiring against her, or is something even weirder going on?

Swan Lake requires a dancer who can play both the White Swan with innocence and grace, and the Black Swan, who represents guile and sensuality. Nina fits the White Swan role perfectly but Lily is the personification of the Black Swan. As the two young dancers expand their rivalry into a twisted friendship, Nina begins to get more in touch with her dark side - a recklessness that threatens to destroy her.

Here is a shot of the official poster.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Star Wars Visions

A new book is coming out Star Wars Art: Visions. 120 Artists were assembled to present their take on the classic mytho.

George Lucas drew inspiration for Star Wars from sci-fi standards like the Flash Gordon comic books drawn by Alex Raymond. But works by less-likely artists — such as landscape painter N.C. Wyeth and all-American illustrator Norman Rockwell — also sparked the filmmaker's imagination as he conjured the expansive world inhabited by Luke Skywalker and company.

"Every artist that I’ve admired has contributed, directly or indirectly, to shaping the vision that I expressed in the Star Wars saga," Lucas writes in his introduction to Star Wars Art: Visions, an upcoming book that presents the work of 120 artists who've put their own spin on the films' mythology.

Lucas and executive editor J.W. Rinzler corralled artists steeped in a wide variety of styles, commissioning them to produce the Star Wars–inspired works showcased in the new book.

Rinzler began working on the project five years ago. "The first thing George said to me was, 'Check out Heavy Metal magazine," Rinzler told Wired.com in a phone interview. "He wanted the top illustrators and people from fine arts, he wanted the guys who do Western art, people who do history paintings, aviation paintings, NASCAR Formula One racing cars. I said, 'Yeah, that could take a little bit of time.'"

Some of the most striking pieces in the book reflect Lucas' personal artistic sensibility. "George likes figurative artists in the tradition of Norman Rockwell, Maxfield Parrish and the Italian Renaissance," Rinzler said.

Here's an exclusive sneak peek at Star Wars Art: Visions, which hits stores in November for $40, with comments taken from the book by the artists who contributed each piece. Subjects range from Tusken raiders and a very formal Anakin Padawan to a nearly nude yobana and multiple iterations of Darth Vader.


Spanish painter Arantzazu Martinez first saw Return of the Jedi when she was 7 years old. "It made a lasting impression on me," she says. "Twenty-five years on, adventure, fantasy and philosophy are some of my core interests in life and work."

Martinez is a fellow at the Hudson River Fellowship.

Portrait of Darth Vader

Oil painter Steven J. Levin says: "Vader ... is the most interesting character to me, the central figure to the story, and a tortured one — the golden boy gone terribly wrong. The setting is Mustafar, the planet where Anakin sealed his own fate — where Vader was born. The thing that intrigued me about the Star Wars saga was the idea of the Jedi as protector knights and conversely of Darth Vader as a kind of dark knight.

"The portrait is of him in that role, as a knight might have been painted, with sword in hand and helmet under his arm, but hopefully capturing some of the conflict in his character. The clouds are dark and foreboding, but the light breaking through above is symbolic of his eventual redemption."

Levin studied at Atelier LeSueur, a classically oriented studio-art school in Minneapolis.

Fem Trooper

"I’ve always thought stormtroopers had the coolest costumes of all in the Star Wars galaxy," says book illustrator Scott M. Fischer. "In fact, I even had the plastic Halloween costume back in the ’70s and went trick-or-treating as one. But if I were a stormtrooper, naturally I would need the perfect partner, thus the Fem Trooper idea was born! All the coolness of the stormtrooper armor, wrapped around the sensuality of the female form ... the perfect subject to paint!"

Fischer is currently working for Disney on the Tron franchise.

Anakin Padawan

Patricia Watwood painted this formal portrait of Anakin Skywalker because, she says, "I find this luminal stage of Anakin’s life very poignant. During his first mission, he tests the mettle of his new training by bringing down a spider droid. He is a boy and a soldier, beautiful and fierce, honorable and angry. He contains at this moment all the potential of innocence, as well as the darkness he will eventually embrace."

Watwood studied painting at The Water Street Atelier and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Princess Leia

American painter Daniel E. Greene says he invested his interpretation of Princess Leia "with elements from the vocabulary of painting in the hope that my renditions could convey some of the inner character of the subjects, as well as their monumental public presence."

Greene belongs to National Academy of Design and to the Pastel Society of America, and wrote The Art of Pastel, a book that has been translated into eight languages.

Incident at Mos Eisley Spaceport

"I wanted to explore the genre of multifigure composition while maintaining a measure of ambiguity," says New York painter Michael Grimaldi of Incident at Mos Eisley Spaceport. "By leaving the roles of protagonist and antagonist deliberately vague, I hope to relay some of the confusion in interpreting the scene."

Grimaldi teaches at the Art Students League of New York and at the Janus Collaborative.


Realist artist Jeremy Lipking produced this portrait. "His canvases pulse with the subtle energy of a living thing," according to Star Wars Art: Visions

A Good Find: Portrait of a Tusken Raider

"The inspiration behind A Good Find: Portrait of a Tusken Raider is in what the sand people of Tatooine must do to survive the harsh and desolate desert climate," says New York painter Tony Curanaj. "Stylistically, I looked toward the 19th-century Orientalist painters for their meticulous and beautifully designed images of life in the desert. I was able to find a great Tusken raider costume and model robot, which enabled me to paint from life as well as from imagination."

Curanaj started out as a graffiti artist and later did design work for Disney. He now teaches at the Grand Central Academy in New York City.

Dawn of Maul

"Due to his powerful and lasting presence, I was drawn to the idea of painting and framing Darth Maul as an icon in the rich tradition of sacred paintings of the Byzantine Empire," says San Francisco artist Will Wilson. "We recognize Maul’s home planet of Iridonia by its rocky canyons, acid pools and temperate waterfalls. The enfant terrible sits among a cadre of supporters who have been charmed by his hypnotic spell.

"In his left hand he confidently wields a writhing two-headed serpent, which represents his eventual mastery of the deadly two-sided lightsaber. Also hidden in his Buddha-like pose is a subtle foretelling of Darth Maul’s death by bifurcation. In the sky, we witness a total eclipse of the sun, and on closer examination we discover that it is the infamous Death Star that shrouds the light; even the clouds in the sky rebel against this eerie phenomenon.

"The iconic imagery is complete as the young Maul, with right hand raised, signs the universal symbol for love; his index finger connects to a sunbeam and his penetrating gaze connects to ours. In this frozen moment, light and darkness, innocence and knowledge, good and evil become one force.

Wilson studied at the New York Academy of Art.

Backyard Jedi

American artist Stephen Heigh sought to create a "universal image" with Backyard Jedi, he says.

"I started thinking about children playing make-believe, and how George Lucas was probably like every kid in the neighborhood, running around and seeking adventure. In those moments, children are the characters they wish to portray. It’s a simple joy of being a kid and using imagination."

Heigh teaches at Moore College of Art & Design in Philadelphia.

Via Wired

Wired is offering a contest as well, in support of the book.
Win a Copy of Star Wars Art: Visions

Wired.com and Abrams Books are giving away one free copy of Star Wars Art: Visions. For a chance at winning the full-color book, comment on their Posting for this story at their website, on the Star Wars character or scene you’d most like to see brought to life as a piece of fine art. Deadline is 12:01 a.m. Pacific time, Nov. 3, 2010. A randomly selected winner will be notified by e-mail.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Video-Mapping Way Cool!

I found these amazing examples of video-mapping, where video is projected onto surfaces. Well worth spending a few minutes watching.

To celebrate the 600-year anniversary of the Old Town Square astrological clock tower in the center of Prague, the city commissioned a video-mapping lightshow.

600 Years on the macula.

This is a recording of a wicked video projection show perfectly mapped to the front of a mansion in England. You've just got to see it to believe it. It's sort of long, but I recommend watching at least the first minute and then skipping around (there's even some Pac-Man action around 4:00).

ENVISION: Step into the sensory box. Under this name hides the immersive experiment offered by ALCATEL-LUCENT to its customers at the time of the last Mobile World Congress. An experiment containing video mapping conceived by agency SUPERBIEN and the department New Media of the Agency \ Audience. The public was invited to enter a cube and to discover an artistic vision of the tagline of the event: Transforming the mobile experiment.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Eric Vasquez - Graphic Artist

I enjoy Eric Vasquez's use of subtle color. Check out his website for more of his pieces.

Jason Edmiston - Illustrator

(You've got to click on the pic to see the enlarged version of this)

I just came across Jason Edmiston's website. The guy definitely has a warped sense of humor.

A commercial illustrator since 1996, Jason has created work for advertising, editorial, packaging and book publishing clients internationally. He is a traditional artist, painting in acrylic on watercolour paper or wood panel. His style ranges from realism to exaggeration, usually emphasizing the figure, and a certain degree of humour or caricature. Jason is often asked to emulate a specific genre of illustration, such as movie posters, pulp covers or retro style advertising. His fondness for pop culture, especially movies and toys often creep into his work.

A Photo a Day

Mental_Floss: Yesterday I came across a slightly mysterious website — a collection of Polaroids, one per day, from March 31, 1979 through October 25, 1997. There’s no author listed, no contact info, and no other indication as to where these came from. So, naturally, I started looking through the photos. I was stunned by what I found.

In 1979 the photos start casually, with pictures of friends, picnics, dinners, and so on. Here’s an example from April 23, 1979 (I believe the photographer of the series is the man in the left foreground in this picture):

By 1980, we start to figure out that the photographer is a filmmaker. He gets a letter from the American Film Festival and takes a photo on January 30, 1980:

Some days he doesn’t photograph anything interesting, so instead takes a photo of the date. Update: this was an incorrect guess; see the bottom of this post for more info on these date-only pictures.

Throughout the 1980s we see more family/fun photos, but also some glimpses of the photographer’s filmmaking and music. Here’s someone recording audio in a film editing studio from February 5, 1983:

The photographer is a big Mets fan. Here’s a shot of him and a friend with Mets tickets on April 29, 1986:

In the late 1980s we start seeing more evidence that the photographer is also a musician. He plays the accordion, and has friends who play various stringed instruments. What kind of music are they playing? Here’s a photo from July 2, 1989 of the photographer with his instrument:

In 1991, we see visual evidence of the photographs so far. The photographer has been collecting them in Polaroid boxes inside suitcases, as seen in this photo from March 30, 1991:

On December 6, 1993, he marks Frank Zappa’s death with this photo:

The 1990s seem to be a good time for the photographer. We see him spending more time with friends, and less time photographing street subjects (of which there are many — I just didn’t include them above). Perhaps one of his films made it to IFC, the Independent Film Channel, as seen in this photo from December 18, 1996:

Throughout early 1997, we start to see the photographer himself more and more often. Sometimes his face is obscured behind objects. Other times he’s passed out on the couch. When he’s shown with people, he isn’t smiling. On May 2 1997, something bad has happened:

By May 4, 1997, it’s clear that he has cancer:

His health rapidly declining, the photographer takes a mirror-self-portrait on June 2, 1997:

By the end of that month, he’s completely bald:

His health continues to decline through July, August, and September 1997, with several trips to the hospital and apparent chemotherapy. On the bright side, on September 11, 1997, the photographer’s hair starts to grow back:

On October 5, 1997, it’s pretty clear what this picture means:

Two days later we see the wedding:

And just a few weeks later he’s back in the hospital. On October 24, 1997, we see a friend playing music in the hospital room:

The next day the photographer dies.

What started for me as an amusing collection of photos — who takes photos every day for eighteen years? — ended with a shock. Who was this man? How did his photos end up on the web? I went on a two-day hunt, examined the source code of the website, and tried various Google tricks.

Finally my investigation turned up the photographer as Jamie Livingston, and he did indeed take a photo every day for eighteen years, until the day he died, using a Polaroid SX-70 camera. He called the project “Photo of the Day” and presumably planned to collect them at some point — had he lived. He died on October 25, 1997 — his 41st birthday.

After Livingston’s death, his friends Hugh Crawford and Betsy Reid put together a public exhibit and website using the photos and called it PHOTO OF THE DAY: 1979-1997, 6,697 Polaroids, dated in sequence. The physical exhibit opened in 2007 at the Bertelsmann Campus Center at Bard College (where Livingston started the series, as a student, way back when). The exhibit included rephotographs of every Polaroid and took up a 7 x 120 foot space.

You can read more about the project at this blog (apparently written by Crawford?). Or just look at the website. It’s a stunning account of a man’s life and death. All photos above are from the website.

Update: I’ve made contact with Hugh Crawford and his wife Louise. Apparently the pictures that are just dates aren’t Polaroids — they’re placeholders for days when there was no photo, or the photo was lost.

Update 2: After hitting the Digg homepage, the original site has been taken down by the host. Hopefully it’ll be back up overnight; in the meantime if anyone has a mirror of the original site, please leave a link in the comments (you have to leave off the http part).

Update 3: The original website is back up! Hugh has managed to restore service, and it looks like the site is now cached across multiple servers. It’s still a little slow due to the huge amount of traffic, but at least it works. Go check it out.

Update 4: Jamie Livingston has been added to Wikipedia.

Update 5: Many people have asked about the Polaroid SX-70 camera. Check out this Eames film explaining the camera.

by Chris Higgins - May 21, 2008 - 3:30 PM