farm city!


December 13, 2011
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The city is a nice place you always think about escaping…
By klisterpete and akay.

High in a rocky tree-covered area between two busy highways, a minature Swedish summer cottage painted traditional red with white trim suddenly appeared. Of course, it didn’t actually appear, klisterpete and akay carried it up there. They built the red picket fence to surround the tiny grassy area. They hung the clothes line across the yard. They brought the promise of the swedish countryside everyone wants to escape to, right into the middle of the city. They took an unused, unappreciated space and made it a charming and peaceful place of wonder despite the traffic below, the train passing on its tracks behind, buildings stretching out farther behind those…

What if more people made the places they ARE the places they WANT TO BE? It’s not so hard.


>>>I found out about AKAY from V.


March 9, 2011
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Paul Gustave Doré. Artist. Engraver. Printmaker. Illustrator. French. 1832-1883.

I found out about Doré at a recent trip to the Art Gallery of Ontario. There, currently, an exhibit featuring a lot of work by David Blackwood – one of my favourite Canadian artists/printmakers is on display. Blackwood lists Doré as one of his influences. It’s easy to see why – the maritime motifs, dark, haunted matter, insane details.

Back in the day when most published novels were complete with beautiful woodcut engravings or finely detailed illustrations, Doré was a famous name. He illustrated scores of novels in the mid-1800s for Lord Byron, Cervantes, Poe & Milton. The top three images shown are from Coleridge’s The Rime of The Ancient Mariner, one each from The Divine Comedy and Little Red Riding Hood. His portrait appears last – ain’t he handsome?


March 2, 2011
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Todd Saunders. Architect. Newfoundland / Norway.

I saw Todd speak last night at the University of Toronto’s Architecture School. I have recently been thinking a lot about geography, identity and culture, so this was right up my alley. Saunders uses traditional materials (mostly wood) to build inventive, modernist structures that interact with the location. His ideas stem from a respect for the natural form – the cliff overlooking a fjord in Norway, the violent shoreline of Newfoundland’s North Atlantic – and attempt to build something that is able to highlight the beauty of these spots.

He’s building a lot. The project shown above was his first. It wasn’t even commissioned; after graduating, a buddy and him bought the land and self-financed the build. His portfolio is growing and includes a utopian project in Newfoundland’s Fogo Island. I’ll post more about that some other time.

saturday evening.

December 8, 2010
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Norman Rockwell. Illustrator. Painter. Photographer. 1894-1978.


I never cared much for photorealism. I guess because I like photography a lot. And it seems that photorealism is just a technical-talent-wank on canvas – doesn’t leave much space for the imagined, for creativity. And so I never really cared for Norman Rockwell.
But then, I saw the recent exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, ‘Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera’ and I was intrigued. He’s a talented illustrator and super-meticulous about arranging and photographing all the scenes he painted. And so much of his subject matter is right up my alley – in just these two works, he incorporates books, axes, tattoos, sailors & woodsmen. I guess I was converted by the art…


October 15, 2010
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Lou Dorfsman (with Herb Lubalin and Tom Carnase). CBS Building. 1966. New York.

Gastrotypographicalassemblage is a 35 feet by 8.5 feet tall work of art designed by Lou Dorfsman to decorate the cafeteria in the CBS Building in New York City.

Dorfsman designed the work for the building’s cafeteria, using varied typefaces to list all of the foods offered to patrons in hand-milled wood type. The project was ultimately completed in 1966 with assistance from graphic designer Herb Lubalin, and Tom Carnase, who crafted the typography from Dorfsman’s original design.

CBS removed the wall from the cafeteria in the 1990s, but there is currently a movement to restore the wall to its previous glory by the new owners, the not-for-profit Center for Design Study in Atlanta.


July 29, 2010
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swollen. graphic design duo. dublin, ireland.

This series of ‘taping’ images were produced in collaboration with studioseventyseven photography for the band “the wounded knees.”
Swollen is Rory McCormick and Rossi McAuley.

skate usa.

June 6, 2010
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the sum of its parts.

April 12, 2010
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Napoli Pizza.

Dough, Olive Oil, Tomatoes, Basil, Buffalo Mozzarella, Wood Fire / Brick Oven.
Fucking Gorgeous.

the big why.

March 8, 2010
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Rockwell Kent. Artist / Printmaker. 1882-1971.

I first heard about Rockwell Kent as a fictional character in Michael Winter’s novel The Big Why. The version I read happened to be illustrated by the real-life Kent’s woodcut prints and, naturally, I was impressed.
His politics are left, his aesthetics are right – can’t beat that.


February 9, 2010
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Slovenian Posters. 1950s-1970s.

My favourite poster is at the top – an advertisement for the 1955 International Exhibition of Wood in Ljubljana.
The others, in order of appearance, celebrate the Institute of Cultural Events 1979, an Exhibition of Children’s Drawings 1961 and the 1954 Craft Industry Exhibition.
More Slovenijan event posters care of the ‘ephemera assemblyman’ here.

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