Saturday, January 31, 2009

Image dump 2

More stuff from all over the place, to get your week started right:

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Art attack

I had some old friends from London in town the other week, so I took them out to lunch at the XVA Gallery in the beautiful Bastakiya precinct:

The courtyard area in the gallery is really nice, and the food is great too. I think it may have won best restaurant back in 2006 according to Time Out Dubai, but I can't be sure.

One thing that caught my eye in the gallery was a piece by an artist called Jennifer Maestre. I had seen her work a few months earlier on Boing Boing, and on a few other blogs, so I was quite surprised to see one of her creations here in Dubai. The piece at XVA was similar to this:

Unfortunately I didn't take a photo of the piece itself, but I'd encourage you all to head down (or up) to XVA and check out some of the work.
In the entrance to the gallery area, they had this amazing chair created by young artist Noel Duigan:

Click here to read a short interview with Noel, and see some more of his designs. It looks like he's leaving Dubai to head home to Sydney, which is a shame, but it seems as though he'll maintain a retail presence in Dubai.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Social butterfly

Just a quick note to let you guys know that I'm now on Twitter, so if you are too, follow my feed here.

Plus if you liked the photos I put up of the Graniph launch the other day, there are some more on my Flickr photostream, which can be found here.

So follow me on Twitter, and we can be best of friends, like these guys:

Wow, two robot-related posts in one day. Strange..

Robot invasion

A friend of mine has been asked to submit something to the My Name Is Robot art show that is running from the 19th until the 22nd of February at Jam Jar Gallery here in Dubai.

The idea behind the show is to get a range of different artists to decorate one of these guys in any way they want:

The robot was designed by UK artist Martin Simpson. It looks like it's going to be a pretty cool exhibition, and MTV Arabia is going to be filming p
art of their Weyakoum programme there as well, so if you come down to check it out you might end up on TV! This is exactly the type of stuff Dubai needs more of, so make sure you drop by at some stage..

Monday, January 26, 2009

Icarus and Ulysses

I was listening to Pitchfork's Top 100 Tracks of 2008 earlier, and there was a track called "Upon Viewing Brueghel's 'Landscape With the Fall of Icarus'" by a band called Titus Andronicus. Apart from striking me as probably the most ridiculous name for a song that I've heard in a long time, it made me want to see this painting for myself. So here it is:

The great thing about this work of art is the fact that Icarus is so small, you can barely see his legs poking out of the water near the stern of the ship. The total indifference of the farmer just makes Icarus' death so pointless. It reminded me of this short story by Borges, called The House of Asterion, which totally flipped the perspective in the old myth of Jason slaying the Minotaur. Borges' short stories are so face-punchingly awesome; if you have the chance to buy one of his collections, you really should.

While we're on the subject of Greek mythology, I just heard a track from the new Franz Ferdinand album, called "Ulysses". I was literally listening to the track over on The Hype Machine, when I was looking at, and they had just posted the video of the same track. In their words, the "video makes this song 10,000 times better." I think the track is pretty great on its own, especially the crunchy synths that kick in at about the 40 second mark. Pitchfork have given the new album a decent review, so hopefully we'll all be hearing a fair bit of this album this year:

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Eyebrows and images

It seemed like everyone on the internet today was talking about this new ad that was made by Cadbury:

If you liked that one ad they did with the gorilla playing drums, chances are you'll like this one too.

On the weekend, I came across this great site called Hey Okay. It's basically an image log like FFFFound or You Look Marvelous (both possibly NSFW), except the site allows comments, and seems to have a nice little community following it. The site's curator collects awesome images like this:

So make sure you check out Hey Okay; it's just recovering from a server loss at the moment, but it's bound to get better by the day..

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Slumdog soundtrack

I've been a bit lazy about posting about Slumdog Millionaire. I saw this film when I was on holiday, and it totally blew me away. Danny Boyle has done an amazing job putting the whole thing together, and he gets amazing performances from his entire cast. One of the best elements of the whole thing is A.R. Rahman's amazing score. Now, I'm sure you've all heard M.I.A.'s track Paper Planes by now. It was probably my favourite track from 2008 (although it's technically from 2007), and it features prominently in the film. There's actually two versions of the track in the film though, and I thought I'd share the second version, which is a DFA remix:

I'm quite confident that Slumdog Millionaire will win the Best Picture prize at this year's Oscars, and it's already #34 on IMDB's top 250 films of all time (whatever that's worth), so yeah, everyone should really check it out..

Image dump

Every so often I'll just post up a bunch of weird and wonderful pictures that I've found from the internet. Most of these images come from sites like FFFFound, It's Nice That and yay!everyday, so there's a chance you might have seen them before if you like these sites. Either way, enjoy, and remember to click on the images to see them in higher resolution:

Garfield is gone

Someone sent me the link to this great web-comic the other day called Garfield Minus Garfield. The comic describes itself as "a site dedicated to removing Garfield from the Garfield comic strips in order to reveal the existential angst of a certain young Mr. Jon Arbuckle. It is a journey deep into the mind of an isolated young everyman as he fights a losing battle against loneliness and depression in a quiet American suburb." Here are just a few of the hundred great examples:

This is just a genius idea for a comic, and if it wasn't so funny, would probably be quite depressing. Jon seems to be totally manic in these strips; I guess that's why he started talking to his cat in the first place. This one seems to make the most sense:

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Opening art

A few sites have been linking to this great new(ish) site called The Art of the Title Sequence. The site collects examples of great opening credits and opening sequences from films through the history of cinema. Naturally, contemporary movies are featured more than the older stuff, but it really doesn't matter. Every post is fascinating, and gives you a real insight into how filmmakers set the tone of their work from the very outset. Some of my favourite examples from the first few pages of the site would be these:

As always, click on the images for higher resolution.

The first image is the opening sequence from the film Stranger Than Fiction. Such a great film, and the graphics in the opening sequence are just so well done. If you haven't seen this movie, rush out and get it.

The second set of titles is from the David Lynch film, Lost Highway. In my mind, David Lynch can do no wrong, and it's interesting to compare the titles he used for Lost Highway, to the ones he used on his film Mulholland Drive. They're quite similar, and work well to set up the sense of foreboding that is so strong in both films.

Finally, the third picture is a grab from the titles of Napoleon Dynamite. Some people love this film, some people hate it, but you can't deny it had its own particular style that made it unmistakable. (I quite liked the film, by the way)

So I'd really recommend checking out The Art of the Title Sequence, it's got some awesome stuff, and most of the entries have links to high-quality quicktime movies of the sequences, so there's heaps to see.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Obama art and inauguration

So at 9pm tonight, Dubai time, President-elect Obama will become President Obama, the 44th President of the USA. Whatever your political views, people will certainly be asking "Where were you when Obama was sworn in?" in a few years.

Shepherd Fairey has once more put his hand to some designs to celebrate the occasion, and is putting on an exhibition titled "Manifest Hope" at a Washington D.C. gallery. Here's a great video that I found over on Hypebeast, where Fairey talks about the creation of his iconic "Hope" poster:

It's amazing how much great art Obama has inspired so far. Fubiz has a small sample of some of the collected works that have been based around Obama's campaign and personality, some pieces being better than others:

So, tonight at 9pm. Should be fascinating stuff..

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Photos from Graniph Dubai

My friend just sent me through some of the photos that she took at the Graniph pop-up store opening at Traffic on Thursday evening, so I thought I'd share them with you guys. Enjoy, and remember to click on the images for higher resolution: