Shigeo Fukuda

Shigeo Fukuda / Fukuda San (1932 – 2009)

In the video below, Shigeo Fukuda’s sculpture appears as an assembled mass of welded forks, knives, and spoons. Eventually, the shadowy form of the intended work unveils itself and leaves a glimpse of Fukuda’s concept.

      “…Traditionally, Japanese designers looked to the West for innovative solutions. This is no longer the case. The winds are shifting toward an easterly direction. Shigeo Fukuda, Japan’s Houdini of Design, is a welcome part of the shifting breeze. His visual originality and deep dedication to worthwhile causes help keep the sun shining brightly over our ever changing, complex world.” — excerpt from biography by

The Art Directors Club

    (c. 1987)
    Shigeo Fukuda was a sculptor, designer and optical illusionist. He was also the first Japanese designer inducted into the Art Directors Club Hall of Fame.
©Shigeo Fukuda

©Shigeo Fukuda

©Shigeo Fukuda

©Shigeo Fukuda

Victory 1945  ©Shigeo Fukuda

Victory 1945 ©Shigeo Fukuda

©Shigeo Fukuda

©Shigeo Fukuda

©Shigeo Fukuda

©Shigeo Fukuda

©Shigeo Fukuda

©Shigeo Fukuda

©Shigeo Fukuda

©Shigeo Fukuda

“I sell forms and colors for a living”

That’s what New York City based artist, designer and technologist, Joshua Davis says about himself on twitter. But he’s selling his bio a little short. Davis uses unprecedented techniques and creates work that is 100% original. Davis’ work is inconceivably intricate and unique. So much so, that a highly trained craftsman or programmer couldn’t re-engineer his designs no matter how hard they tried – Davis’ artwork is the digital equivalent of a snowflake.

In order to create work at this caliber, Davis pioneered an art making process known as “Dynamic Abstraction,” which generates artwork from Flash-based computer programs. Davis writes these computer programs based in Chaos Theory, which then execute random patterns of his hand drawn artwork. Davis calls this process, “Computational Design,” and he names his body of work “Tropism,” which is defined as the innate tendency of living organisms to move or grow without cognitive thought.

One of the biggest artistic influences for Davis is Jackson Pollock. Davis said, “I like Jackson Pollock. I don’t necessarily like his work, but I like Pollock as an idea.” The resonating idea is that Pollock’s paintings aren’t derived from a concept nor deliberate control of the paint or brush. Pollock (and Davis) initiate and “own” the finished work that they create, but the artists are only vehicles for the chance and movement that they cannot control.

“Tropism” at it’s best.

Following Pollock’s example, Davis loses control when he makes his art. In return, both artists make original, unrepeatable pieces. Davis’ computational design programs are randomized and unencumbered with very little restrictions, so the programs generate visual products of pure chance. Pollock’s fortuitous paintings are also produced by unplanned movements with limited controls such as the canvas frame, media, pigment color, and time duration.

When making artwork, Davis plays three roles – “the programmer, the designer, and the critic.” The critic, he says is the hard part because he’ll sometimes run a program 300-500 times before arriving at the result he wants. He mentioned running a program for 2 weeks before he saw the perfectly rendered design of his liking – a final result that “suspends chaos in a state of harmony… like waiting for that beautiful accident.”

Apple describes Davis as Infinitely Interesting and “abduzeedo’s blog” names him as a design legend. Follow Joshua Davis on

Twitter @joshuadavis or check him out on Flickr.

Archimedean Point

I.M. Pei-designed contemporary art museum, MUDAM has a new solo exhibit, dubbed “Archimedean Point” featuring Hungarian artist Attila Csörgö. Csörgö work explores the intersection of science and art, where experiments turn the immaterial and unimagined into physical forms. Archimedes would be proud of Attila’s “designs” which are innovative sculptures based in science, physics and mathematics. “Archimedean Point” is curated by Kati Simon (Ludwig Múzeum Budapest). Photos are courtesy of MUDAM and Attila Csörgö.

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Kinetic Typography

This video serves up a tasty dish of semantics by English writer, journalist, comedian and actor,  Stephen Fry. Although this work takes aim at pedants, they too will enjoy Fry’s savory prose. Rogers Creations animates Mr. Fry’s words through dynamic typography which gradually assembles into a single word.

I found Stephen Fry’s video from a blog post by the wildly talented DKNG. If you don’t know what good design is, take a look at DKNG (Dan Khulken / Nathan Goldman) for the paragon of leading design.

Modern Man, The American Dream and “The Crowd”

 

The Crowd

Image via Wikipedia

 

The Crowd,” (USA, 1928, 98 minutes) directed by King Vidor is a timeless silent film that explores the pursuit of the American Dream in the early twentieth century. “The Crowd” begins on July 4th, 1900, which is noted as the 124th birthday of America as well as the birthday of the main character, “John Sims.”  The landscape of America is changing in this era – white-collar work is on the rise, diverse ethnic groups are beginning to co-mingle and more people are moving into urban environments and starting families. “The Crowd” has two central and matrimonially bonded characters. The male lead, “John” is played by actor, James Murray and the other main character, “Mary” is played by the King Vidor’s wife. These characters are a believable representation of a young married couple living in New York City. “John” represents a white-collar family man whose plight in the film still resonates with the patriarchal modern men of today.

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“Unplugged”

Excluding childhood and a recent experiment, I can’t remember the last time I completely “unplugged” from the stimulation of electronic devices for more than 24 hours.  The time I do remember being “unplugged” for a significant duration was when I was eight years old. I was living in a small town in rural West Virginia and I recall vowing that I would free myself of watching television. I believed that I didn’t need the empty programming of TV, which included the Saturday morning cartoons that were popular with so many other kids in my demographic.

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The “Beast” from Down Under

Sydney based artist, Brad Eastman, aka “Beastman” is one of Australia’s most widely recognized emerging artists. His distinct graphic aesthetic uses bold, saturated colors outlined with heavy black strokes. Beastman’s refined technique depict monstrous creatures reminiscent of a child’s imagination. Many of Beastman’s creatures stare back at the viewer with open eyes and razor-toothed mouths ready to devour.

What’s the Point?

Dalton Ghetti has perfected his craft of micro-sculptures and generated a viral email campaign with his work. However, after you view his artwork and then perhaps paid it forward by writing a blog post, tweeted or forwarded it on to a friend, is there an answer to the quintessential question every artist faces… “What’s the point?”

In Dalton Ghetti’s situation, the answer might be hiding in the point of a #2 pencil, but after close inspection, I have yet to find any meaning beyond the tenor of those “artists” who can write your name on a grain of sand.

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The Most Awesomest Thing Ever

Big Spaceship digital creative agency presents the battle to find “The Most Awesomest Thing Ever!” And it is just a click away. Play now or just view daily and weekly lists of all things awesome.

PHOTON – Simple, Elegant Photography Template

For only $17, Photographers and Designers can implement a professional looking web portfolio to showcase their work.  If you haven’t explored the “PHOTON” WordPress template, click here for a live preview.

If you are looking for additional WordPress themes that are highly ranked, check out Mashable’s list of “8 of the Best Premium WordPress Themes.”

Summary of the “5 Hot Design Trends for Aspiring Bloggers”

According to Mashable’s Dev & Design blog, the “5 Hot Design Trends for Aspiring Bloggers” are:

  1. More Complex Layouts “… the magazine layout is the new hotness” Jason Santos examples
  2. Fonts Galore – “… our choices when it comes to lettering have ballooned” Typekit, Google Font API
  3. Lots of White Space – “… the most popular themes on Tumblr… are heavy on the white.” Popular Tumblr Themes
  4. Going Social – “… the more open realm of commenting is still extremely attractive to users,” Matt Mullenweg founding developer of WordPress
  5. Go easy on the Widgets – “… a whole lot of buttons and badges can detract not only from the cosmetic appearance of your blog, they can also confuse your readers.” Success of the Facebook “Like Button

This list is part of a larger series that Mashable is developing called, “Web Design Trends Series – News and Reviews” which has a lot of quality information, tips and analysis.

Women of a Different Age

At the Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena, CA, there are many bronze sculptures depicting women. These sculptures aren’t representative of a specific woman such as Mary Magdalene or Mother Teresa. Instead, the Norton Simon female sculptures offer specific viewpoints about the female form as a concept. When we investigate the concept of the female form, questions arise such as, What is femininity? What defines the female form? What is “woman”?

Graciously, the bronze female statues at the Norton Simon Museum offer various viewpoints to these questions.

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