Today can’t be all about colors to fight the blues (pun entirely intended), because sometimes black and white is just as good. Honestly, badass things are badass regardless of their hues, just look at badass ghosts. And cocaine. And Nicolas Delort’s ink on clayboard works, which are all hatched and re-hatched and so ultimately badass like a ghost on a shitload of cocaine. I mean damn, France, can you just stop producing great artists already? Leave some room for the rest of us. But do keep up the good work with your cheeses. I will definitely take all the cheeses you have, and yes, buy some art from all your great artists. I’m a little short on cash right now, but I do have some coked up ghosts I can trade you. They’re pretty badass.
Long time favorite Lydia Nichols (mentioned previously) dashed across my radar today and, in keeping with art to counteract the weather being a total dickwad, I am now going to blast you in the face with her delightful and charming new works. She’s put a lot of miles and lots of projects behind her since the last time we visited, and she has continued to be completely excellent in all ways. I knew her design mojo was too powerful even for me when I realized that she had made me want to try kombucha and wine, two things I generally associate with people I want to headbutt into the sun. I would shake my fist in rage at you, Lydia, if I wasn’t so busy trying to find ways to shove money into the hands of anyone that uses your designs for their products.
Some days I choose artists that coincide with the weather and my feels, and other days I choose those that are the exact opposite to try and coax myself in another direction. It’s kind of like trying to steer a giant ship by sticking my finger in the water, but something being pointless has never stopped me from trying it. So, in an effort to battle today’s overcast sullenness, I am jamming my whole damn hand in the water and paddling like mad. The ship might not turn, but I do get some pleasant splashing done. The first splash goes to Daniel Krall who’s style is a little rough, a lot playful, and pretty much perfect. Each illustration is so well thought out in terms of composition and color, and it’s fun to see those choices there on the screen. Krall is a talented boxer jabbing away at my eyes, driving his themes into my retinas while I excitedly flail around. Hmm, maybe the boat metaphor was better. Or maybe one about boats that are boxing. Nope, too weird, I’m done.
California is having a Seattle kinda day, with chilly wind and cloudy skies, that tension of impending rain just seconds away that never actually breaks, and my mood reflects that melancholy steel gray sky. With some soft, slow jazz playing, the work of Federico Infante fogging up my mind, I’ve settled into a lack of clarity. Just letting the mist settle in and falling back into it is liberating in a way. Infante’s work pulls you into that same state, letting you be part of a quiet mystery; telling just enough of a story to involve you while leaving room for your mind to reach out on its own into the corners of the tale. I’m gonna continue to drift through this haze — it’s a nice vacation from the normally frenetic avenues of my thoughts. Thanks to the weather and Infante for this break.
I don’t know what you think running this website is like, but in case you’re suffering under the assumption that I am inundated with emails day in and day out from new artists wanting to be seen, let me put those fears to rest. I am not. I get maybe one or two emails a month. Which is just dandy by me, because I’m busy with millions of other things from forging hammers to lying in the grass with my friends. Email doesn’t rank very high on my list.
A couple of weeks ago I got an email from a young artist from Barcelona, Núria Farré, and surprising even myself, I stopped and read it. And she’s good. Not a huge body of work at this point, but she definitely likes to challenge herself. Anyone that chooses to paint water is a masochist in my book, and that’s something I can respect in an artist. I especially enjoy her paintings of dead birds, which are a little softer, and a little more sparse. She’s young but she’s talented, and she’s tying her emotions into her work. I don’t think you can ask much more from anyone. And to top it off, her paintings make me want to go lay in the grass with my friends. For once I’m glad I opened an email.
Letting the bastards tie me down.
A little while back I was internetting as I do when I was reminded that there is a giant warehouse space here that teaches classes for most of the industrial arts — welding, glasswork, neon, woodwork, machining — including blacksmithing. I have my moments where I’d much rather make something than buy it, depending on how lazy I feel that day, so blacksmithing appeals to me. There are also the added benefits of learning a lot of new things, including a useful skill, as well as feeling pretty badass. So smithing has been pretty large in my mind lately, especially tool and knife making. Enter Jarkko Niskanen, viking enthusiast and blacksmithing artisan, who made his own steel, and forged a knife from it. I mean damn. There’s a lot more I could say about his work and the inspiration it provides, but I’m just gonna let it speak for itself. Hear that hammer’s ring, ya’ll.