Art Archive

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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).

  12. List

    As artist mediums go, paper cutting has its limits, right? Fine spindly branches supporting layers of luscious foliage for example might be a challenging one to recreate with scalpel and paper, for example, as might the rippling shadows that fall across swimming pools. Not so if you’re Lucy Williams. The London-based artist is redefining the nature of mixed media artwork with her absurdly detailed paper cuts. No line is too fine, no detail too small for her to recreate, and it’s precisely this unstoppable eye for detail that’s basically crowned her the queen of the method. Her penchant for mid-20th Century architecture and landscapes has taken her work across the world in exhibitions, and her awe-inspiring portfolio spanning no small number of years functions as a fantastic heap of evidence to explain why. Rub your eyes and gaze on in wonderment at these beauties.

  13. Main

    You don’t get many portfolios as rich and as varied as Urs Fischer’s – his somewhat prolific sculptural work ranges from enormous rooms full of objects imprisoned in steel cubes, John Stezaker-esque collages and gargoyle-like characters that look straight out of Labyrinth. But you know, we’re It’s Nice That, so obviously we’re really into the paintings he did of people through history with hard boiled eggs masking their faces. Really though, these are incredibly beautiful pieces of work. Depending on how much you like eggs, they may or may not make you feel a bit nauseous. For me though, this is the best thing ever.

  14. List-

    Opening tomorrow, the Cob Gallery’s new exhibition explores Pastiche, Parody and Piracy in British artwork, exploring the age-old practice of appropriation as a means to explore new ideas. The exhibition has been put together by curator Camilla Ellingsen Webster, satirical cartoonist Jeremy Banx and artist Miriam Elia, partly in response to threats of legal action against Miriam following the realease of her most recent work We Go to the Gallery.

  15. Blotlist

    From what I can gather, these abstract paintings were made by placing the nibs of inky marker pens on top of a stack of paper. The result is an amazing blotted fusion of kaleidoscopic patterns and rainbow colours, which kind of looks like the psychedelic shapes butterfly wing’s make when seen through a microscope.

  16. Main4

    Who needs stupid real flags when fictional ones are this beautiful? Mariana Abasolo (cool name) has created these magnificent, bright images that are somewhere in-between celebratory bunting and the backs of playing cards, and make her Flickr account look like some sort of culty party. We don’t know much about Mariana, but we do know that her work hasn’t always been like this – a quick scan through the rest of her portfolio shows that she’s been making some truly curious drawings for a while now – browser windows drawn in coloured pencil and strange, surreal living room scenes to name but a few. Very impressive, Mariana. More please!

  17. List

    Remember learning about Kandinsky in junior school art lessons, when the teachers were as concerned with keeping the students from poking coloured pencils in each other’s eyes are they were with imparting the wisdom of one of the greatest synaesthetes ever known? No, me neither, which goes some way to explaining my patchy knowledge of art history. Still, I remember enough to spot the reference to Kandinsky’s paintings, which he created as an abstract visualisation of the visions he saw while listening to music, in the work of Jenn Dierdorf.

  18. List

    Spanish illustrator and artist David Mendez Alonso makes the kind of exuberant imagery that’s desperate to be displayed across as many different media as possible. His vibrant patters, cheerful paintings and humorous sculptural works all embrace a luminous palette of colours and motley crew of unusual characters, giving them immediate universal appeal. As a result he’s constantly busy working on all manner of exciting projects, including fashion collections for Paraiso, elaborate books of curious character design and giant gouache paintings rich with pop culture references. Very nice indeed!

  19. List

    It’s been more than a year since we last donned a sensible wide-brimmed hat and slathered on the Factor 50 to pay Ben Sanders a visit in sunny Los Angeles. The artist just displayed a host of new work at his enigmatically-named exhibition Graves of Craving, in his home city; works bursting with colour and texture, strange shapes, odd details and no end of character. While the paintings have a charming silliness to them Ben has a serious visual sensibility, and his talents have now also been turned to a new collective Those People.

  20. List

    Biomedical research centres aren’t renowned for creative enterprise – why should they be – but across the pond one New York organisation is bucking the trend with a stunning new digital artwork. The Weill Cornell Medical College commissioned London-based creative agencies Squint/Opera and Hirsch&Mann to produce the Discovery Wall for its new Manhattan premises and the results are super-impressive. The final piece comprises 2,800 LED screens set behind a bank of lenticular discs. For passers-by it can be viewed as a large-scale digital artwork but up close the screens display content that relates to the college’s pioneering scientific research.

  21. List

    The biggest news of the story of the past couple of years has probably been Edward Snowden’s crusade against the US authorities’ snooping tactics. It’s been spearheaded by The Guardian so it’s quite an honour for a creative to be asked by that very newspaper to create visuals for its own magazine’s coverage.

  22. List

    Ed Anthony is a self-taught artist based in London who specialises in the creation of large-scale graphite portraits. His enormous works on paper demonstrate an extraordinary understanding of texture and tone, using a single, simple medium to render the faces of his sitters in strikingly realistic detail. In this particular series Ed has focussed his attention on some of the biggest names in architecture today – he works as an architectural model-maker by day – and immortalised them in graphite, interviewing them while he did so to better understand their relationship with physical media. He’s also got a show opening at the Palazzo Bembo in Venice this week, where you’ll be able to see more of his portraits in person.

  23. List

    I saw Godzilla last night, and this wooden labyrinthine installation makes me think of what the cavernous, skeletal insides of the jurassic creature would look like if the movie had been designed by Guillermo del Toro. Brazilian artist Henrique Oliveira’s interactive sculpture twists and turns like an organic growth that has taken over the Museum de Arte in Sao Paulo’s sleek and white corridors, tumbling around erect columns like a jungle taking over an uninhabited city. Henrique used repurposed wood pieces as the skin of his Transarquitetonica, and we imagine that walking through the cocooned corridors of the wooden maze must be an enthralling experience. An immense and intriguing project that will take you deep into the woods.

  24. Rlist

    Looking through the computer-generated art by Rose Pilkington is a bit like sliding around in a big tub of rainbow coloured mercury whilst synthetic bubbles and digital geometric fragments are hurled towards you. We love her mind-boggling GIFs, which kind of look like what might happen if the shirts worn by Zack on Saved by the Bell were digitized and made into panoramic landscapes on Second Life. Take a look at her bright, kaleidoscopic website and 3D sketches here, you won’t regret it, although you may have all the clashing CMYK colours imprinted on your vision for quite a while afterwards.

  25. List

    Daniel Adel is best known for his satirical illustration, as championed by the likes of The New Yorker and The New York Times; abnormally large-headed politicians sipping beverages next to scantily-clad babes, caricatures of famous faces with overgrown ears and noses. Over on his website, though, these cheeky images are more than matched by incredibly serious and very impressive portraiture which looks like it would be just as at home on the walls of an American president’s mahogany-lined office as it would over your grandmother’s fireplace.

  26. Main

    When someone’s work looks like the legs of David Hockney’s painting trousers, or the vomit of someone who’s just nailed a pack of Skittles, you know it’s gonna be the kind of thing we want on our site. Like the spectacular Minna Gilligan or Jordy van Den Nieuwendijk, artist Adam Sultan’s weapon of choice is COLOUR.

  27. Jmlist

    The only thing I remember from biology classes is gazing with wonder at the pictures of cells and membranes, and marvelling at the idea that such incredible patterns form randomly in nature. Generative artist Jonathan McCabe was clearly mesmerised in the same way: using Alan Turings theories of morphology he has created his own intricate designs, which are far more psychedelic than anything I ever saw in my bio textbook.

  28. List2

    Last week the Irish photographer Richard Mosse won the Deutsche Börse Prize for his amazing pink pictures of the civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Created with special heat-sensitive film, Richard used the shock of the unexpected palette to engage us with a conflict that can feel very far-removed.

  29. List

    When you search for “Ian Stevenson” Google suggests that you might be looking for a Canadian psychiatrist who specialised in reincarnation. I wasn’t – I was after the British artist of the same name – but I can’t help wonder what the former might have made of the latter’s work.

  30. List

    I’m a sucker for a really well-executed spoof, so take a bow New York based artist/copywriter and filmmaker Dan Shapiro. Inspired by “the stereotypical conventions of the faux-introspective, vague creative profiles floating around the internet” Dan decided to lampoon them by creating his own. From the floaty music to the cliched, sun-kissed shots,the subjects’s supremely irritating self-deprecating chuckle to the inane pronouncements (“It’s about being present and aware”) Dan has got it spot on.

  31. List

    It’s been a while since we last checked in on Amy Woodside but the New Zealand-born, New York-based graphic artist has been as busy as ever. She’s a creative whose long been fascinated by the visual properties and potential of text and some of her new word-based work explores these qualities in quite an abstract way. She has also just launched a set of printed sweatshirts with the AYR brand, giving some of her pattern work a new lease of life on the sternums of trendy young things the world over. Nice.

  32. Main

    Apart from being a stark reminder of how horrible sunburn is, there really aren’t any qualms worth noting about Fan Yang-Tsung’s utterly unique paintings. A lot of artists seem to be inspired by swimming pools, the way they distort the lower body and send off messages of leisure, and murder, and sex. In this case, Fan Yang-Tsung has taken his watery muse and represented it in a series of images so bold that you can almost feel the chlorine up your nose. Simple colours, a good knowledge of pool-side plants and some very small paintbrushes can take you far in our books. Swimming caps off to Fan Yang-Tsung!

  33. Littlebox

    Now, we recognise that this isn’t going to be for everyone, but if like us you can’t stop thinking about the epic and beautiful The Wind Rises, then this might be right up your street. These eccentric and a eerie ceramics, which are hand-crafted by Sophie Woodrow in Bristol, are a perfect match for any Studio Ghibli lover: one little guy even looks like he’s tumbled straight out of The Cat Returns. They’re an odd bunch, but they make us smile, and it’s nice to know that you can own your own little No-Face if you like, or at least a creature that could be his distant cousin.

  34. Main

    The words “urban art” don’t often conjure up images of spectacular, ground-breaking installations in my mind, rather dodgy tags on piss-stained walls behind the local supermarket. In this case though, urban artist SpY has made something worth writing home about. MOON is an enormous, lit crescent moon that hangs suspended over a plaza in Lausanne by an enormous crane. In the day it looks ghostly and sad, then when night comes and the lights get switched on (I’m always so envious of the people who get to turn really big lights on) it becomes something pretty magical indeed. Check out more of his genuinely enjoyable “urban art” over here and over on his site.

  35. Main

    Hand-painted book covers give that rare pleasure that comes when two seemingly unrelated genres collide, and this only gets greater when several very different creative minds come together to create them too. Such is the case where Rebekah Miles’ collaboration with fashion house Rodarte is involved.

  36. List

    If like me you spent a large chunk of your teenage Saturdays sticking price tags to near worthless objects armed with nothing but a price-gun and a roll of orange stickers, you’ll feel a warm wave of nostalgia at seeing BL76’s work. The mysteriously named French artist creates large-scale artworks with nothing but the tiny labels.

  37. List

    For the first time ever today, I found myself bemoaning the lack of a “pyrography” category on the site, and for that unusual and actually quite pleasant issue I have Jarmila Mitríková and Dávid Demjanovič to thank. The Slovakian duo are masters of their medium, the very original pyrography, in which a tiny red hot nib is used to mark pieces of plywood with ornate patterns, which are then coloured in with wood dyes. It’s perhaps most commonly applied in a year nine woodwork lesson, but they’ve completely subverted their tools using it instead to create large scale beautiful folkloric images about subjects including marching flagellations, children playing with bears in mountain landscapes and women falconers proudly supporting their birds of prey. For their originality and their mastery of their craft Jarmila and Dávid easily win pats on backs.

  38. Main

    This may not be for everyone, but if you’ve ever lay on your bed listening to Pink Floyd, or slept in the woods overnight with your friends, or smoked weed, or play video games (let’s face it, all those things tend to go together) you might be into this. We came across this work by Hirō Isono on Melt, the blog of famous Australian image-maker and graphic designer Leif Podhajsky. Melt is an absolute treasure trove of retro, psychedelic artwork and artists who have contributed to some of the trippier album covers in history and is added to by Leif and a whole bunch of other fantastic and like-minded artists. Whoever came across this succulent work by the late video game designer Hirō should be praised, this is exactly the kind of thing I want to look at and learn about forever.

  39. Main

    As May begins and we start to edge towards some semblance of summer, galleries across London start to wheel out a host of exciting and engaging exhibitions. Today sees the opening of one such show, with artist Von’s new work on display at KK Outlet. To truly appreciate the skill that goes into Von’s painstaking pencil drawings you really need to get up close and personal with them and Elsewhere shows off his skills at their finest.

  40. List

    It’s been four whole years since we last posted about Paul Wackers, and four years is the same amount of time it takes to be conceived, gestate, be born, and learn to walk and talk, so it makes sense that he’s also created truckloads of new work in that time. I don’t know what the images are of, exactly; often collage, usually mixed media and occasionally reminiscent of a lovely interior complete with houseplants and bunting. The beauty of this work, though, is that you don’t need to know. Each piece makes perfect sense on its own, having achieved a playful kind of balance not entirely dissociated from, art, graphics or illustration. Cheers to you Paul!