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Art

Mark Lazenby continues to amaze with his latest collages

Rebecca Fulleylove •
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    For the past couple of weeks our Behind The Screens feature has been exploring the world of online publishing, paying tribute to some of the best sites around by talking to the people that make them what they are. From Dezeen to Booooooom, Pitchfork to NOWNESS we’ve been thrilled to hear so many insights about an area we believe doesn’t get the credit it deserves.

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    Joan Cornellà is nothing short of a master of his form. He’s got the gruesome comic strip down to a fine art, creating complex and hilarious narratives and then expressing them in no more than six bright panels, from one man with a poo on his head googling “who loves me?” and being given the answer “nobody,” to another man riding a bicycle made out of a suffering friend.

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    Pitting black and white photography against block colour, Pentagram’s new identity work for Queens Theatre in New York is slick, bright and strong; with as much vibrancy and grace as the performers that tread the venue’s boards. Designed by Paula Scher, the identity is based around a logo created from simple, geometric shapes alluding to the theatre’s architecture; which can be pulled apart and rearranged across various different applications to demonstrate the theatre’s broad and diverse programming, and appeal to an equally diverse audience.

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    Wild Beasts frontman Hayden Thorpe vividly remembers coming across Mattis Dovier’s work. The band had been approached to take part in The Jameson Works, a project which focuses on how creativity happens and the insights and stories picked up along the way that are as much a part of the creative process as the final outcome. Searching for some reference material, Hayden came onto It’s Nice That and saw this post of Mattis’ GIFs. “It was pretty confrontational,” he remembers. “You could see Mattis’ hand behind the work and that reflects the way we now work too.”

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    In the past couple of years we’ve featured hundreds of great creative projects in our Annuals but rarely have we heard from those who’ve made an impact on the art and design world – until now. For 2014, we’ve interspersed the Annual with short Q&A interviews with 50 creatives who have impressed and inspired us over the past 12 months.

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    Some things change, while some beat on ceaselessly, boats against the current and the Studio Audience podcast falls firmly in the latter camp. This week we looked at apparent plans for new-look, hipster-fied KFC restaurants here in the UK, we discussed the final instalment of Monument Valley and we discussed Tate Modern’s extraordinary new war photography show Conflict. Time. Photography, touching on this review from The Telegraph.

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    There’s not a pie in the cultural world that James Franco isn’t ready and willing to stick a finger into, and to prove it the actor, director, poet and musician has just announced a new exhibition of his artworks, entitled Fat Squirrel, which is to be held at London’s Siegfried Contemporary gallery. The show is an undeniably eclectic collection, including a number of self portraits of the artist in the guise of various famous historical figures, a deer orgy entitled Triple Team, and some bright painterly collages, not to mention the eponymous overweight rodents which are undoubtedly our favourites.

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    There’s something delightfully scientific about Erik Söderberg’s GIFs, however firmly I remind yourself that they’re composed of thousands of pixels. The repetitive way they pulsate and fizz quietly on the screen takes me right back to double Biology on a Thursday morning, watching in shellshocked fascination as tiny living cells mutate on a tiny strip of glass under a microscope, and grandly imagining myself to be the second coming of Louis Pasteur.

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    Year six is a tricky time to remember. Clearly we were too busy counting pogs, furtively worrying about training bras and forging detailed plans of how to marry Damon Albarn to forge many other remembrances. What it’s likely we’ve forgotten, then, is the terror of leaving for senior school and all that entailed – going from being a big fish (relatively) to a tiny one who suddenly felt a bit embarrassed about still wearing her hair in two plaits.

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    I’m known for my sweet tooth and ability to consume an obscene amount of cakes, sweets and biscuits in one sitting, so it’ll come as no surprise that I was instantly drawn to Will Cotton’s sugary scenes of candy-laced lands.

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    With its shadowy narrative, a disquieting undertone of suggested violence and sexuality and unflinching portraiture, the stunning new video for Danish band Iceage’s solemn and equally uncomfortable song Against the Moon is a fantastically haunting apportion of film noir tropes.

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    It’s generally accepted that society gets the celebrities it deserves, that fame doesn’t just happen and we have to understand why certain people get put on a pedestal. Nowhere is this more interesting than in the case of Ron Jeremy, the world’s most recognisable porn star. Recently Ron went to Sydney to promote a new rum that bears his name, and filmmakers Ingvar Kenne and Cameron Gray were given full access to him for 48 hours, travelling in his stretched Hummer to various parties whose organisers had applied on Facebook to have him turn up.

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    Harley Weir is an extraordinary talent. Her work is bold and unreserved, whether it be part of a personal project investigating the border between Israel and Palestine, a vibrant fashion editorial for the likes of British Vogue, or a series of ethereal portraits capturing redheads with all of the eerie stillness of Millais’ Ophelia.

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    A constant refrain when putting together the It’s Nice That Annual is to keep the creative work front and centre. This isn’t about us; it’s about the stunning, mesmerising, funny, thought-provoking, charming, painstaking and fascinating projects that we’re proud to showcase in all their glory. This year though we decided to go one better, and from the off we all agreed that it would be great if each cover carried a piece of art and design that could then be found within the book.