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Archive for the ‘LTRHDS’ Category

LTRHDS After Party – GASLAMP KILLER.

Saturday, January 30th, 2010

Offical announcement of the LTRHDS afterparty.
Check the insane work of Jagi.

Luca Ionescu

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

logoMany of you know Luca Ionescu as the designer and director of Like Minded Studios, whose ornate typographical aesthetic has blessed campaigns and designs for the likes of Nike, RVCA, Stussy, Zoo York and The Commonwealth Bank. Others might be more familiar with Luca, the art director and founder of Refill Magazine and the Refill projects.

Either way you look at it, Luca is amongst Australia’s most contribution citizens for the art and design, so we’re happy to bring you this mini interview as part of the build up to the LTRHD exhibition.

Luca will be doing the letter “L”.
Like Minded Studio.

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Do you think there comes a point at which individual style becomes counterproductive to the objectives of good design?

I think a designer/typographer should be able to see the difference between style and function and be able to combine or separate them as need be.

I think an artist or designer can use their own style within the advertising and design world as long as they can still answer the brief. I think personal style is key for an artist to establish and express themselves visually.

Any great artist that has been remembered throughout time developed an unique style, be it a musician, visual artist or designer. A designer working with clients is a different matter to being an artist.

As well as using their own style a designer must always be aware of the brief a client has given and the message they are trying to communicate and not let style get in the way.

You must master your ideas before you add style, style alone without substance does not function. Style alone can be reserved for pushing boundaries in experimental and personal work.

4292454408_c0a6da52ce_bIs the rise of the ‘rock star designer’ inspiring greater originality and risk-taking within the industry, or is it encouraging a type of repetitive, idiosyncratic self-branding that discourages innovation and discovery?

I think that what you are saying about the rock-star designer is not something new… he has been around for a while.

Sure there will be those who are caught up in the scene, ego and rock-star mentality. And then there are those who are the real rock stars that live their life by their art and design and continue to take risks and be original.

You could argue Paul Rand was a rock-star designer in his day, yet he was still a risk taker and original. Most of all I’m sure he was not on an ego trip about his greatness but did his own thing and others noticed his vision.. and he developed a style he could use within his work… and still be able to communicate ideas.

I think companies are definitely seeing the benefits of aligning themselves with artists to propel their brands and allowing artists to sign their work.

Screen shot 2010-01-26 at 10.00.20 PMHopefully it’s the dawn of a new era or poster and advertising art where artists with unique and original styles are encouraged to sign their work and be able to blend style and visual communication.

This tradition of brands and artists has been happening from the days of Mucha, Piatti and A.M Cassandre.

What is the one campaign you have designed that you are most satisfied with?

The Tooheys 696 campaign was a great project to work on, that has snowballed into more work for Tooheys.

Is there a memorable instance where you think you were able to communicate something in a particularly acute and effective manner?

It happens all the time, especially when clients get our ideas.

Do you believe that ‘less is more’?

I believe there is an answer to every problem and each one is different.

4035699353_906ec24147_oHow do you think that audiences are responding to design in an era where technology has made it so dazzling elaborate?

I think there is a trend amongst designers to bring things back to doing things the old fashioned way, bringing the craft back.. not letting technology dictate but.. putting emphasis on traditional skills that would otherwise be lost.

Such as hand lettering and bespoke type. At the same time technology is offering us access to abundant information that was not accessible before, enriching our work.

3934010360_eaac517fe6_oAre people becoming more numbingly apathetic towards the visual media that saturates them?

There is currently an over-saturation of blogs and social media devices that can become a distraction. Its up to the individual to choose how much they want to expose themselves to.

Do you have a role model that inspires and guides your output?

I would be limiting myself with just one role model, I like to keep learning and growing from everyone around me.

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What does their life’s work represent to you?

Keep on moving and do as much as you can, and give back to others.

4112948907_431de53ca8_bWhat’s one piece of advice you would give to someone with aspirations of becoming a designer?

Learn to communicate well, don’t be afraid to express your ideas or of confrontation. Good design is communication, that will also help you when you draw up sketches… if you can become a good communicator you can flesh out your ideas without being afraid of making a mistake.

Take an interest in art and design and research and study on what has been done before your time, respect those who have done it… and go create your own.

Most of all enjoy what you do and share it with others so they can enjoy it also. Don’t be afraid of complementing others that are doing good work. Don’t get caught up in the scene, envy or hate.

These are things I would tell my own son if he asked me about being a designer.

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Luca is part of LTRHDS exhibition, launching February 26th in Melbourne. Click here for more info.

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SheOne interview up on LTRHDS site

Saturday, January 23rd, 2010

logo1An interview with LondonsSheOne has just gone up on the LTRHDS site.

www.ltrhds.com/blog

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Conquests by Yusk

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

Two recent painting from the studio of  Brazilian artist Yusk Imai.

Yusk is part of the LTRHDS exhibition launching in February.

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“Careful with your Conquests”

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“Wave”

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“Wave” Detail in process.

TwoOne interview on LRTHDS site

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

Keep checking www.LTRHDS.com/blog for more interviews leading up to the LTRHDS show.

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Born 1985 in Yokohama Japan. TwoOne’s interested in art was initiated by the famed but unfortunately recently buffed 2km graffiti wall of his home town. When Two arrived in Melbourne at the age of 18 he became involved in the Melbourne street art scene and has since developed into one of the cities most prominent artists, both on the street and in galleries with The One Thousand Can show in 2008.

Two is joining the LTRHDS show with his reinterpretation of the letter T.

TwoOne’s website. twooneelephant.com. More information about the one thousand can show click here.

2-11-of-28

_mg_0542Last time we talked it was for your 1000 Cans show. Where has your art taken you in the meantime?

I have been involved with a few group shows. I had my second solo show So Far that included painting, sculpture, lino cut prints, and installation works in October 2009. And I have been working on a live performance project called Lo2′s Fleet with Melbourne legend mc ELF TRANZPORTER. I paint, cut wood, construct sculptures, and while doing it all I also make sound with the equipment that I use to make the visuals… So my art has taken me in lots of different directions.

two-one-01There is a dreamy, zen-like quality to your work. Where do you find the inspiration for your impish little world?
I used to get lots of inspiration from my dreams, but now I get more inspiration from everyday life. It’s the world everyone sees, but everyone sees it int heir own way. I like seeing the world as it is. No expectations, no sugar coating. I don’t particularly try to make my work zen or dreamy.

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Your works are an oasis of peace and balance. Do you inhabit that same bubble? Does your art insulate you from the world and its worries, or does it represent a state of being that you are striving to reach?
I’m not creating work to escape from the wold. I guess I can maybe say it is representing a state that I’m striving to reach, because when I create I try to make something that I haven’t seen before. This process is like striving to reach the next state, and normally when I start a new project I don’t know what that next state looks like.

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02.

Goldfish are a motif that keeps popping up in your work. Do you keep fish yourself? How important is your relationship with animals and nature to your work?
I don’t have fish myself, but animals and nature are very important to me, because that’s where all the life comes from. We can’t live with out them. At the same time I think that the relationship between nature and myself isn’t so important when it comes to creating. When I draw or paint them, I bring the canvas’ character out from them.

So it’s more of a relationship between canvas and nature. I think that’s because I have been working on wood a lot, wood seems to bring out more organic images in my head. I don’t know why that is or how it works. but that’s how I feel. And now I’m start to feel a soul in artificial things, stuff that’s human made.

They makes me want to do something with them. I imagine it’s more about where I channel my head… everything around you could become interesting and important.

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LTRHDS Interview – Greg (SP.One) Lamarche – i.

Monday, January 18th, 2010

One of the 26 interviews going up with uncanny regularity on the LTRHDS exhibition blog.

www.LTRHDS.com/blog

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The 4th interview in the LTRHDS mini interview series is with New York typographic artists Greg Lamarche, who began writing graffiti in 81 as SP.One and working as a designer and artist since 2000.

Greg’s style reflects the fonts, lettering and graphical noise of the NYC street. Working with collages, bold colors and applying the aesthetic approach of graffiti and street signage to artwork Greg’s swirling lettering is both familiar and truly unique.

More artwork and info on Greg Lamarches’ site.

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Was your move away from being SP.One partly due to a feeling of dissatisfaction of boredom with what graffiti has become? Is it still the progressive medium it once was? Or had the time just come for you to do something fresh and new?

SP is only one aspect of what I do and branding my tag was never something I really wanted to do. I am a purist when it comes to graffiti. For me graffiti is in the streets, highways, tunnels and yards and has nothing to do with the art world. My artwork is directly informed by my experience and the energy that was once used for bombing is now put into my work to create, in your words, something fresh and new. But for me they are two different things.

That said, I try and paint whenever I have an opportunity.

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word-associationWhen did you develop an interest in collage? What is it about collage that fascinates you?

I have been making collages since about 1980-81 around the time I started to write graffiti. I used to pick up old fireworks wrappers and empty rolling paper packs in the schoolyard near my house. I’d rummage through the desks in the classrooms to find scraps of papers and wrinkled-up love letters to make collages.

There are many things that fascinate me about collage primarily the unique nature of old worn paper and that sense of time that each piece evokes.

Creating a new collage must be a painstaking process… tell us how a piece typically comes together.

My process goes in cycles. I sketch and draw all the time and constantly take photos for ideas and reference. I am always digging for materials and amass boxes of papers, wooden letters, books and all sorts of ephemera I use in my work. Then I spend several months sorting and cutting and cutting and cutting.

gregLamarcheLogoThen I begin the process of laying works out and creating compositions. Usually there are anywhere from fifteen to twenty different works in various states of completion. This process varies, sometimes I make pieces right away and other times I will play with a composition for months till it is finally right.

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oWhat does your current style represent? Your works seem like a viral swarm of letters, all splitting apart and swarming across a neutral space… there’s a slight (albeit orderly) menace to it. Is there a reoccurring theme or mood that you like to explore in your works?

For the most part I take elements of graffiti like movement, booming colors, repetition and spatial relations and utilize them in my work. It’s like how we use only a small percent of our brains – I feel with graffiti it’s the same thing. There is so much to explore and create beyond and into other mediums using graffiti as your base for inspiration.

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greg-lamarche-hustleWhat’s your most fertile source of inspiration? Of all the print you scavenge to create these works, where do you find the most striking typography?

I have bagged materials from all over the States and in other countries but for me my biggest source of inspiration and materials is NY.

Because I am a native and have lived here most of my life I have my spots. As time goes on it becomes harder and harder to find good collage stuff.

Most mom and pop operations are long gone and there are only a few thrifty junk stores left, so it is always a challenge.

It’s not like I can just go to the art store.

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Greg Lamarche is represented by Anonymous Gallery in NYC

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"Outflow blue" Paper collage 10.5" x 8"

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City Code, (Bar Code series), 2007 Paper collage, 6 x 9 inches

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The I's Have It, 2008 Paper collage, 10 x 14 inches

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La Cucaracha, 2008 Paper collage, 12 x 6 inches

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Diamond Jubilee , 2007 Paper collage, 9 x 6 inches

o-flow

O Flow. Collage on paper, 11.5" x 11.5"

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GasLampKiller – Low End Theory Podcast

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

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New Gas Lamp Killer Podcast by Low End Theory. Click here.

Gas Lamp Killer will be playing the LTRHDS after party on the 26th of Feb in Melbourne. For more news keep checking the LTRHDS blog.

LTRHDS Interview – Graeme Base – The Letter A.

Sunday, January 10th, 2010

logo1The first in a series of 26 interviews with the LTRHDS exhibition artists.

Writer Anthony Costa sat down with the legendary children book illustrator Graeme Base in his Melbourne studio/home. Base is the author of such classics as The Eleventh Hour and the alphabet based Animalia. For most of us Animalia was one of our earliest introductions to art, so it’s fitting that Graeme kick starts the LTRHDS interview series.  During the next few weeks we’ll also be featuring artists such as KR, Anthony Lister, SheOne, Mark Bode, Kami and Usugrow. For the full lineup check www.LTRHDS.com

the recording of the interview.

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What was your own childhood like? Do you have any vivid memories or growing up in England?

ImageFORESTATNIGHTI moved to Australia at the age of eight. Up until then, very ordinary British childhood, if there is such a thing. The only thing of note was the very last school report I received – I was all of seven years old – which said, and I can remember it by heart, ‘Graeme is a born leader of the other children. Unfortunately, usually in the wrong direction’. Which I think summed up that I was in need of a change.

And when mum and dad came out from England it was a massive change because I was suddenly in a tough Aussie state school and I was this little English pommy kid with a funny accent… still got it now but it was funnier at the time, I can assure you. I didn’t know the schoolyard games, and I used to get into fights. Had a funny name too: Base, what kind of a surname is that?

So I was always getting into trouble. But the main thing was I realized I needed to find my area of strength. I was no longer a leader in any sense of anybody, not that I ever aspired to be anyway. But I figured out pretty quickly that the thing I could do was draw.

So very early on, I began to concentrate on that, becoming ‘the kid who drew.’ I did very good stuff in art and I would gain some kudos through that. If somebody was working on a project and they needed a flash heading for their geography assignment I’d do it for them…

Did you always know that art was what you wanted to devote your life to?

From the earliest age… certainly by the time I was ten or eleven.

And then you became an artist. But it wasn’t easy… Animalia took you three years. How did you get through that?

animalia-fThere was a stage in-between. All of my young life I said I wanted to be an artist, and then I went to Swinburne Institute of Technology as it was then and did a graphic design course. After that I did what was expected, which was getting a job in advertising. That’s when the wheels fell off. It was awful.

I was being a commercial artist, which is what I thought I wanted to do, but I couldn’t bear it because it was so non-creative. And I very quickly fell foul of the system. I went through three jobs. Didn’t last for more than a few months in any of them, and got fired from the third one… thank God! I just needed to get out.

I was moonlighting, doing book jackets and occasional bits of illustration for some publishers… I’d just been doing that for sanity’s sake, in the evenings and weekends. So I took my folio around to publishers with an idea for a book… it was a book on dragons, which eventually got published much later.

One of them said to me, ‘We like your work, why don’t you do something with an Australian flavor?’, and that resulted in a book called My Grandma Lived in Gooligulch. That was actually the first book that I wrote and illustrated. It didn’t pay the rent but it was so much more enjoyable than doing advertising work. And wow, I was published! That was a huge breakthrough for a very young artist.

The next book was Animalia. Even before Gooligulch was published I’d begun working on it, and I went back to the same publisher… I showed them the H page, The Hairy Hogs, and I said, ‘Look, I think this is the first page in an alphabet book. It’s going to take me a little while to finish!… What do you think? They said, ‘We love it, go for it’, and they managed to drum up an advance through Penguin locally, and they managed to sell it to an American publisher about a year into the project.

That’s how I managed to get through the three years in the end… Bob Sessions – who was this publisher who was eventually taken over by Penguin books – backed me to an extant that was unusual at the time… it was an advance of about $10,000 which was really significant then. So that allowed me to get through… and also my wife Robyn was working as an emergency teacher. She’s an artist in her own right but she was teaching at the time, albeit here and there.

The two of us were in a band together at the time too. She was the lead singer and I was the drummer, and we were spending most of our time playing gigs and trying to make that all work. That was a way of spending money, not making money! Interesting times… they were happy, but poor!

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You’ve described yourself as being a bit of a Peter Pan figure. How do you keep yourself thinking young? How do you stave off the cynicism and know-it-all conceit that comes with adulthood?

Who says I have! I’m fairly cynical now having reached my fifties! Ha. No… I think this is a job that does keep you thinking young. You have to. That’s not such a hard thing to achieve, depending on who you are. I actually have a friend who feels that he has been fully grown up since he was eighteen. Absolutely an adult man.

Poor guy!

BASEButterflyDragonYeah, that’s what I thought too. He had his reasons for that. But I feel the opposite. As a fully grown man I sometimes feel like a child. But I suppose that can be a good thing when it’s kept in balance, where the right parts emerge at the right time. I’d draw a difference between childish and child-like. Childish, usually not good. Child-like, something to be aspired to in a lot of respects, such as having wonder in the world, amusement, humor, stuff like that.

But the books that I do and my artwork comes from two sources, both the adult and child within. Different layers can be attributed to those different sources. There will be a level at which a very young child can enjoy a book like Animalia just by saying, ‘Look, it’s a cat!’ Then a slightly older child will be read to, read the alliterations and enjoy the poetry of it.

And then older ones again will look at some of the more challenging ones like the V page and begin to wonder what the words actually mean. Some adults might too! V page by the way would ever get published now I think. It’s a sign of a growing conservatism.

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That’s an interesting point. Do you sense that kid’s entertainment is becoming increasingly bland and innocuous, and that childhood is being turned into this safe and cuddly thing that it perhaps never was?

Well there’s an economic imperative towards that. It happens in Hollywood too. It happens in perhaps every field of endeavor where the people with the money tend to not want to loose it, so they want more of the same and veer towards conservatism. It certainly is happening in the children’s book industry.

imagezanyzebrasAs I say, the V page, which is, ‘Victor V Vulture the vaudeville ventriloquist, versatile virtuoso of vociferous verbosity..’, etc etc… At the time the publisher said, ‘Are you really sure? It’s a little bit long!’ And I quoted the made up word from Mary Poppins: Super-cali-fragilistic-expi-ali-docius. Sure, it could have been shorter. It wouldn’t be half as funny or as memorable.

For goodness sake, in the end, if you don’t know what ‘vexatious’ or ‘vociferous’ means, go and find out! There’s an educational level to it too. So it got through. But I suspect now that the bean counters and stuff would probably hold sway. Even the whole concept of an alphabet book… they would have done their market research: ‘Does the world really need another English language alphabet book? Hmmmmmmm…. dunno?… How are you going to do x?’… no one even asked me that! I didn’t know, right up until the last six months of the project. It was my mother who suggested I do it as a mirror image, having everything end in X. So I sort of fudged it. It was a simpler age, let me say.

But the layering… an adult could look at Animalia or any of my books and find something that works at their level, but not at the expense of the child. I don’t find that balance hard to maintain. I guess it’s just the sort of person I am.

Animalia, and your later works The Water Hole and Uno’s Garden all feature a strong love of nature. Do you think that we as adults will be capable of cleaning up our own mess or will it require a new generation, the kids of today to restore our environment?

0670041912Well, we’re the kids of yesterday… and the kids of today will be the adults of tomorrow… I’m not going to take that any further or else it will just get confusing! But I suppose, look… my default position in life is one of cautious optimism. That we have the ingenuity as a species to create, to invent, to come up with ideas… it’s happening all the time.

Right now we obviously need to do it in a big way, but you could have said that back when we were kids. And we may have the luxury of being able to say that when our kids have their own children. I don’t know how desperate the situation really is. Nobody quite knows. A lot of people are very well informed, a lot of people are ill informed. The books like Uno’s Garden importantly are to do with hope and optimism, because if you don’t have that you don’t even try. I would not create a book that said, ‘Uuugh, we’re all doomed, look what we’ve done to the planet, oh God what now.’ Uno’s Garden is about regeneration.

The first half of the book shows what can happen when you get it all wrong. Uno, our hero, dies…. you should have seen us trying to get that through past the publisher! ‘WHAT, he dies!!! How could you do that!!’ But I said, ‘No, he has to.’ Because the next part of the book is the crucial part where, yeah, we all die… but now is where the real work begins, when you get to that dark place in any story, real or imaginary, and move back to the light.

So I guess I have in recent books acknowledged and taken up the realisation that as a parent I can have a very big effect on a very small amount of kids – my own. As a teacher, if I were one, I could have a slightly lesser effect on slightly more children. As an illustrator or author I can have a very small effect on a million kids. That’s something you can do something with.

A book like Uno’s Garden is a tiny part of their lives… and the strike rate, may be one in ten, maybe one in a hundred, maybe less, maybe more. But whatever it is, if I can talk about this fragile environment, if they’re aware of the metaphor, if they’re given the sense that they can do something about it, then the book has been more worthwhile then if it were just entertainment. There’s nothing wrong with entertainment… it is enough.

But if you can do more, why wouldn’t you?

Graeme Base will be re-interpreting the Letter A, as part of the 26 artist alphabet LTDHDS exhibition, on display in Melbourne and Sydney is 2010. Click here for more details. www.LTRHDS.com

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Blast Off! From The Worst Band in the Universeimagengiri
Ngiri in the Jungleimage4snowleapoards
Four Snow Leopards Gazing at the Water Holeimageonerhino
One Rhino Drinking at the Water Hole

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The Emus
Images care of www.graemebase.com

Koan

Cognitive Dissident.

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