• Sean_big

    Bookshelf: Sean Pecknold

Graphic Design

Bookshelf: Sean Pecknold

Posted by Bryony Quinn,

There’s something pretty epic (or perhaps just biblical) about sculpting life out of clay and Sean Pecknold has quite a knack for it – make of that what you will. His work includes videos for Fleet Foxes, Grizzly Bear and the BBC under the visual initiative, Grandchildren. We were keen to see what literary reference points a prolific animator would use so here they are in the form of our Bookshelf feature…

The Red Book Carl Jung

For years this was locked away in a Swiss vault, only recently revealed to the world.  It’s a fascinating book, covering Jung’s so called ‘voluntary confrontation with the unconscious’.  He would force himself to hallucinate, what he called “active imaginations,” in order to explore the world of the unconscious.  Basically it’s about Jung trying to regain his soul and overcome spiritual alienation.  Printed with it’s original handwritten calligraphy in Latin and German, and translated in English.  Accompanying the text are beautiful paintings of symmetrical mandalas, snakes, and dragons.  Plan a night alone, cuddle up by the fire, and get lost in your inner you.  
www.amazon.co.uk/red-book
www.wikipedia.org/red-book

Wholphin McSweeney’s

An always entertaining collection of short films, put out by McSweeney’s a couple times a year. Off-beat, obscure narrative and documentary shorts and animations.  I recommend in particular issue No. 6 which includes Please Vote For Me, a fascinating documentary about kids running for class president at a Chinese elementary school, and Big Foot – A Beast On The Run.  Some of the films are fresh off the festival circuit and some are online, but there is still something nice about sitting back on the couch and watching a good curated batch of shorts, without the distractions of the alt-tab attention span.    
www.wholphindvd.com
www.mcsweeneys.net

Whole Earth Catalog Stewart Brand

What a pre-internet resource this was.  Filled with instructional and inspirational ways of exploring and utilizing the world.  Curated by Stewart Brand, who went on to publish the CoEvolution Quarterly, which is also a fascinating read.  The focus being on books and things from broad range of subjects from film-making, to agriculture, cybernetics, astronomy, domes, the FUTURE!, living on planet earth, and on, and on.  Archival print copies are available from random places online, and scans of the issues are available for viewing on the Whole Earth website.  It’s fun to flip through and see the things that seemed so new and interesting 40 years ago.  I would recommend in particular the Fall 1968 catalog which contains insightful reviews and analysis of books like the Human Biocomputer, The Mind of the Dolphin, and a product review of the Hewlett-Packard 9100A Tabletop Calculator for 4,900 dollars!  Gather your friends, flip through one of these and send money away for a solar powered yurt, then sit back and hope the place is still in business.
www.wholeearth.com

Sometimes A Great Notion Ken Kesey

Never Give An Inch! An epic family story, set in the Oregon lumber days, in the midst of a bitter union strike.  It turns and rolls along slowly like the river the Stamper’s house sits on, but it’s worth the ride.  One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest is one of my all-time favorites but I think I prefer this one.  This summer, pack a lunch, take it down to the river with your crush, and read chapters to each other as the sun sets behind the pine trees.   
www.amazon.co.uk/sometimes-a-great-notion

Who Is Sleeping On My Pillow Mamma Andersson & Jockum Nordstrom

Super inspiring book on the work of the Swedish super couple and their ridiculous amount of creative output over the years spent together.  Paintings, collages, photos, and interviews.  Includes a fantastic collection of family photos as well as reference photos for some of the pieces.    
www.amazon.co.uk/who-is-sleeping
www.wikipedia.org/mamma-andersson

Portrait9

Posted by Bryony Quinn

Bryony was It’s Nice That’s first ever intern and worked her way up to assistant online editor before moving on to pursue other interests in the summer of 2012.

Most Recent: Art View Archive

  1. List

    Some artists, immensely talented and original though they may be, simply don’t make work that fits in the grandest art galleries of the world. Fortunately for them there are super-cool concept stores created specifically to house such work, and queen of all of these is Colette. Hiro Sugiyama’s surreal, hilarious and altogether unsettling artwork is a natural fit for Paris store Colette’s carefully curated collection of the avant-grade and the offbeat.

  2. List

    Few forces shape the modern world more than the internet and yet it’s an invisible presence that we just understand is there. But PhD student Luis Hernan has changed that by designing a system which scans for wireless networks and creates images where different signal strengths are represented by different coloured LED lights. The results, in essence, allow us to see the WiFi around us.

  3. Main9

    Anyone in New York had better gallop over to Ed. Varie gallery to catch a new show by the ever-wonderful artist Ana Kraš. We’ve posted about Ana a few times, mainly about her beautiful lamps and designs to make your home/life better, and her fun collaborative photography projects. Her show at Ed. Varie entitled Mothers with Spoons and Relationships is an exploration into her more recent love of drawing, using predominantly back-to-basics art supplies such as wax, crayon and oil pastel.

  4. List

    When we last encountered Essex-based painter Simon Monk he was busy preserving toy superheroes in plastic bags and rendering them with hyper-real precision. Secret Identity explored the strange imbalance of the powers ascribed to superheroes and the powerless inertia of their model representations. Since then he’s focussed his attention on one plastic superhero in particular, treating Batman with torturous sadism and restricting him with any binding he finds to hand. He’s been netted, taped, cling-filmed and roped down, trapped forever in a compromised position thanks to Simon’s dangerously accurate brushwork.

  5. Main

    I came across Graham Little when going through content from the site, he was one of the first people I ever put on the site about three years ago. To revisit his work reminded me just how much I loved him the first time around, particularly as he’s been very busy in the last few years and has created some absolutely stunning new work. There’s something about the poses, and the calm nature of his nymph-like female subjects that makes me slightly uneasy.

  6. Main9

    I’m the third person to take a turn waxing lyrical about the art of Bryan Olson (he was discussed here and here in the past), but I don’t mind, I’m just happy to have the opportunity. The North Carolina-based artist is arguably the master of his medium; a creator of collages so delicately crafted it’s often impossible to tell they’ve been made from hand-cut paper. Though it’s by no means his only concern Bryan focusses a great deal on the cosmos in his work, leaving strange portals into the unknown at the centre of his images or placing earthly objects within inter-planetary scenes. It’s a heady combination that lures viewers in, making them feel like children gazing at a dense night sky or an adult on one hell of a trip.

  7. List

    The phrase “artistic intervention” has a chequered past, but we’re struggling to think of a more impressive example than Frank and Patrik Riklin’s BIGNIK. The ongoing project aims to build a huge picnic cloth by 2040, made up of 252,144 panels – one for every person in the Appenzell region of Switzerland.

  8. Main

    Sure, here at It’s Nice That we love fine art. You may even walk past us on the weekend ambling around in galleries, or poring over art books in libraries. We champion some of the most exquisite architecture, sculpture and filmmaking along with some of the most groundbreaking works of art made in modern times. What you define as “art” is a personal thing, but I can tell you now that when it came to voting on content for the site (we decide on content via a voting process around a table FYI) this Presidents with Boob Faces was a unanimous “YES” from each knowledgeable, art-loving member of the It’s Nice That team. When you can see hard, skilled craftsmanship and evidence of a brave artist taking one small idea and running really, really far with it, how can you resist loving it? These are amazing, and artist Emily Deutchman should be very, very proud of herself.

  9. Main

    When something is well-designed, be it a magazine, building, fashion collection or car – it should be well-celebrated. To honour the spectacular and cutting-edge design of the brand new Lexus NX, a new digital art exhibition entitled NX-Perspectives has been launched. Gathering together some of the world’s leading creative thinkers, makers and doers, Lexus have assigned them to create a special piece of performance art inspired by the Lexus NX to exhibit in the digital show.

  10. List

    London-based artist Aleksandra Mir has been busy over the past month investigating the process of drawing in a collaborative experiment that invites participants to contribute to a giant collage of the London skyline, rendered entirely with Sharpies. The process of creating the work was part of the exhibition itself, with Aleksandra and her team engaged in drawing everything by hand during the first days of the show. But for those that missed it there’s also a beautiful time-lapse film of the process, providing context and insight to this giant piece of collaborative draughtsmanship.

  11. List

    I know what you’re thinking, you’re thinking; “How on earth did that priest train a dolphin to carry him like that?” Or maybe you’re thinking; “Where did the photographer have to stand to capture that image?” Or perhaps, in fact, you’re thinking; “This HAS to be fake.” But all of these lines of inquiry are valid in the world of Joan Fontcuberta, the Spanish artist and photographer who’s latest exhibition has just landed at The Science Museum’s Media Space.

  12. List

    You’re on the internet, so you probably like cats, right? Well, these woodblock prints by Tadashige Nishida capture all of those cat qualities that we love to love: his creepy but cute kittens are unafraid and alert, always listening and sensing, and very delicately, playfully poised. Tadashige renders the subtle lines of a cat’s body against brilliantly bold backgrounds, and it is very difficult to work out just what it is that makes his prints so hypnotically intriguing. Doris Lessing, one of literature’s best cat lovers, describes the curious creatures in the following way: “If a fish is the movement of water embodied, given shape, then cat is a diagram and pattern of subtle air.” Tadashige captures these dexterous and whimsical cat attributes beautifully in his surprising, minimalist prints.

  13. List1

    The only real auction action we get exposed to regularly is top programmes like Bargain Hunt or Flog It! but recently the whole auction concept has started to be used in a way that removes our cliched expectations of a collection of people (eccentric oddballs) bidding on antiques (old stuff).