Monday, 25 June 2012

Nancy Fouts Artifact for Velour Online

In an age where the only items that we share are on Pinterest, Nancy Fouts’ exhibition Artifact proves to be a dedicated endeavour to the art of collection.

Upon entering her show at the Pertwee Anderson & Gold gallery, one is confronted with large canvases decorated with hundreds upon hundreds of trinkets. Bottle openers, miniature pistols, crucifixes, buttons, medals, coins, heart-shaped charms—you name it and Fouts manages to weave these items into multi-layered collages that immediately draw the eye in. “I like to mess up the Catholic artifacts by having a Mercedes Benz logo or a casino chip mixed in there. I think it’s good because you’re surprised when you see it and you want to look around and see what other mistakes I made,” says Fouts.

However, one would have to look hard to find ‘mistakes’ in her work. Aside from the fact that judging artwork is such an extremely subjective act, the artist’s collages, sculptures and prints manage to juxtapose elements to a degree that is thought-provoking rather than faulty, be it the case of syringes filled with ladybugs or a lovebird pulling the pin on a hand grenade. It’s hard not to look at a construction like Jesus Winged, a figure of Christ with magpie wings, and fall into analytical judgement about what Fouts is trying to say through her mélange of the everyday and the divine. Is it a comment on a throwaway consumer culture that neglects the beauty of such seemingly trivial things, or perhaps her own personal opinion on religion?

“It takes a lot of confidence to say ‘Why, why not? Okay I will.”

Although coyly admitting that there are of course deeper underlying meanings to her work, Fouts ultimately says: “I think it’s better not to think, just go by associations.” It is this spontaneity which she specifically enjoys in her most recent body of work. “I usually was so in control but recently I’ve learned that all of a sudden I’d make an arrangement and I’d want to leave it that way because it looked better and so I did. It takes a lot of confidence to say ‘Why, why not, okay I will’ and I like that I’m getting there, that comes from people liking it,” she explains.

On the topic of likes, Fouts notes that one of her favourite pieces from the show is She Often Gave Herself Very Good Advice But Seldom Followed It, a taxidermy chick squeezed into a glass dome. “I enjoy that piece because it just happened. I had a dome and a chick and was wondering how it could fit. It didn’t and I thought that was brilliant, it was purely accidental,” she says. Accidental or not, and regardless of whether it is viewed in a more impulsive or analytical context, the work of Nancy Flouts makes for an intriguing and visually-stimulating experience.

Artifact: A Solo Exhibition By Nancy Fouts is on at Pertwee Anderson and Gold.

By Carla Seipp

Read the full article here.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Zana Bayne Fall/Winter 2012 Presentation For A Shaded View On Fashion

Dear Diane and Shaded Viewers,

This Wednesday, leather accessories designer Zana Bayne will be presenting her Fall/Winter 2012 collection, inspired by skeletal forms, Prague's Kutna Hora bone church and Dia De Los Muertos decorations at the CATM Gallery in New York.

For the presentation, Bayne has collaborated with with multimedia artist Char Alfonzo, art director/tattoo artist Maxime Büchi and photographer Adrian Wilson, resulting in the display of every piece in photo, video and installation form.


London 1.0 For A Shaded View On Fashion

Dear Diane and Shaded Viewers,

To kick off their series exploring new talents in artistic metropolises across the globe, the Galerie Reitz in Cologne will exhibit London 1.0.

Creatively representing the capital will be Sam Burford, Charlotte Hopkins Hall, David Jones, Liron Kroll, Paulina Otylie Surys, Rachel Pedder-Smith and Dolores de Sade. From photography and illustration to animation and painting, the exhibition is sure to offer something for not only art-loving Anglophiles, but anyone interested in an alternative view on London's creative protégés.

LONDON 1.0 - A Group Show
Galerie Reitz e.K.
Sankt-Apern-Strasse 44-46
50667 Cologne, Germany


Velour Issue 5

Think Before You Quink

The world’s biggest selling pen ink since its founding in 1923 and the first of its kind to dry through absorption rather than evaporation, Quink is both an item of revolution and sentimentality.

Richly coloured in shades of blue, turquoise, red, pink, purple, green, and of course the classic black format, the liquid owes its existence to the Parker Pen Company. After a three-year research bout in the corporation’s headquarter laboratory in Janesville, Wisconsin, Quink was born. Created by chemist Francisco Quisumbing, general assumption points to its name as a hybrid of the words quick and ink, when in fact the true origin is its inventor’s patronymic.

In the digital age of emails, Tweets and Facebook statuses, the idea of a handwritten note seems a both outdated and foreign concept to most. With the fountain pen becoming a dying breed, a grab of the Bic ballpoint pen to scribble away random mind musings has replaced the more reflective writing process that a Parker 51 and Quink would suggest.

But before solely wallowing in dreamy evocations of afternoons spent cursively writing away, it is worth pointing out the mathematical side to this precious liquid. The result of over $268,000 worth of research encased in a semi-elliptical shaped container and dodecagon bottle cap, the modernly ink is sure to find admirers even in those less romantically and more modernistically-inclined.

We may all not revert back to juggling a fountain pen, piles of parchment paper and Quink on our commuter train, but surely perching a glass bottle of sapphire ink on our desks is little to demand of a generation engrossed by the manic rush of all day, everyday keyboard typing.

When it comes to defining the art of handwritten notes and overlooked beauty of product packaging, Quink’s the word.

Bet You've Sat In One Of These

A self-sacrificing object to our— in some cases perky and plump, in others doughy and deflated— derrieres, the chair is perhaps the world’s most disregarded piece of furniture. We marvel at marble flooring, covet coffee tables and dwell on drape designs, yet when it comes to this everyday entity, we prefer to simply chuck our cheeks into the seat and get on with it. But there is nothing to overlook
when it comes to the Hille Polyside chair.

Found in its typical, unassuming habitat of your local hospital, canteen, restaurant or school, the Polyside chair has a range of famous distinctions: the winner of the Council of Industrial Design award in 1965, the first use of polypropylene in furniture design, and one of eight designs to be featured in the 2009 British Design Classics stamps series.

In profile, its curvature of thermoplastic material is nestled atop sturdy steel legs which circulate around the base of the seat in an almost predestined congruity. A 534mm x 515mm x 750mm measuring construction, what the Hille chair lacks in pompous size or excessive decoration, it more than makes up for in legacy.

Launched in 1963, the best-selling chair in the world— sold over 50 million times, with 500,00 units being added to that figure per annum—was created by the acclaimed Robin Day. A furniture and interior design graduate from the Royal College of Art, Day is remembered as a pioneer in British post WWII design, garnering praise for his innovative moulded plywood storage system at the 1948 MoMA International Competition for Low Cost Furniture Design prior to creating his iconic masterpiece at Hille.

But before the Polyside could go on to attract the hearts (and bottoms) of millions, it was a case of right time, right place, right strategy. Founded in 1906 by Salamon Hille in the East End of London, the company gave Day carte blanche when he began designing at the firm in 1949. With an investment of £6000 in finalising the design’s moulding and construction, as well as three years of research, the Polyside chair was by no means an overnight success, however when the company sent  out 600 units of the piece to major firms prior to its launch, sales of the model were propelled into the millions almost instantly.

Combining a lightweight, high impact-resistant thermoplastic material with steel frames and durable leatherite paint has resulted in a design which has stood the test of time both literally and figuratively. Reflecting the demands of a post-war society looking for modern, uncomplicated, and ultimately economical designs, it has managed to remain a beloved piece of furniture design today.

Devoid of the pretentious prestige of an exorbitant price tag or exotic materials, the Hille chair proves that simple ideas are often the strongest.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Divine Reinvention for Twin Magazine Blog

Forget the LBD — as Chanel proves with its exhibition opening in New York today, it’s all about the LBJ. The show is the latest endeavour in the brand’s The Little Black Jacket: CHANEL’s classic revisited by Karl Lagerfeld and Carine Roitfeld series, which debuted in Tokyo earlier this year with the release of a 113 image strong hardcover book.

Accompanying the photography exhibit including portraits of Elle Fanning, Linda Evangelista, Tilda Swinton and Freja Beha Erichsen, all captured through Lagerfeld’s lens, is an online incarnation of the project.

The digital platform allows not only a chance to go behind the scenes of the extensive photo shoot, but also to see how the piece in question is handcrafted in Chanel’s ateliers. Just like the fashion house’s trademark piece, it’s the perfect fusion of an iconic classic with striking modernity.