Luis Alberto Rodriguez uses the body as a vehicle for communication. As a professional dancer of 15 years, Luis’s photography is filled with poetic shapes and contorted bodies. “I’ve been observing the human form for as long as I can remember," he explains. “Questioning how gravity affects the bones inside our skin, how nothing is ever static, how no gesture is ever neutral”. The photographer highlights, in an almost animalistic manner, how movement is a signifier of meaning. “The endless possibilities of expression is a lifelong quest of mine”, he explains, and the images reveal their emotion through the various twists of limbs. Sometimes we witness pain, with arms lifted to the sky, other times a leg suggests confusion, fear or intense jubilation.
On Monday the 28 November 1983, Ronald Regan sat twiddling his thumbs in the White House watching the STS-9 shuttle ping itself into the depths of space. While that was going on a few miles above earth, we busied ourselves on this side of the pond with something far more important than conducting experiments into plasma physics, astrobiology, and sending unimaginably heavy and complex machines filled with human beings into space.
So, the World Cup is officially over for another four years… But what a tournament it was! With 32 teams and a total of 65 matches played across 12 venues, Russia proved itself a worthy host for one of the most entertaining World Cups ever. Packed full of sensational goals, the most expensive tournament to date was also one of the friendliest, bringing people together from all over the world, and allowing the underdogs (see Iceland and, of course, Croatia) to rise, with fewer than ten red cards for the first time ever.
Although when he first discovered the world of graphic design, Jordy Ringeling wanted to “make cool Photoshop collages and show off the new brush sets I had downloaded,” his practice has now developed into something much more intricate and perceptive. Having studied the subject at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague, he “quickly became attracted to the cultural responsibility of the designer, the real world implications it can have, and the ideas you can push through visual communication”. Now based in Haarlem in the Netherlands, Jordy’s work reinterprets the obscure, producing meticulously researched projects that span editorial design, identities and digital work.
The barrier between urban and fine art has rarely been broken. However, next month musician Mos Def and advertising executive Free Richardson are coming together to open The Compound, a gallery space dedicated to bridging the gap between hip-hop and art.
With countless record sleeve designs under her belt, we knew graphic designer Caterina Bianchini would provide a brilliant mixtape and she hasn’t disappointed!
At June’s Nicer Tuesdays Felicia Pennant, the founder and editor of independent football and fashion platform Season Zine, took to the stage providing insight on how the publication has added a different tone of voice to the current conversation of football.
The theme of the 2018 London Design Biennale, hosted by Somerset House in September of this year, is an undeniably provocative one. Indeed, Emotional States could mean many different things to many different people, let alone designers, artists and those blessed with naturally imaginative, curious minds. Speaking to It’s Nice That, senior curator at MoMA and member of the Biennale’s jury, Paola Antonelli, proffered that that was what made this year so exciting for her: “that’s the beautiful aspect of the theme – that it is very open. There’s a nice ambiguity to it which makes for a lot of possibility.” The theme has been chosen specifically to provoke a broad interpretation from the contributing countries across the world, and to inspire work that covers a wide spectrum of how design affects every aspect of life, be it day-to-day, individual human emotions – from sadness to anger to joy – to the mood of a community, and on an even larger scale: unrest at country-wide level. It’s the scope for designers to challenge the current political, social and economic climates that have such a huge effect on both individual emotional states and nation-states, that interests us most here at It’s Nice That. “The news stories that we are facing are so blatantly important, urgent, and electrifying – for good and for bad – that I think everybody (unless they don’t have a pulse) is really heated up by them” agrees Paola, “and what artists and designers do well is that they channel that energy into proposals and ideas, or demonstrations.” In a time of closing borders, maniacally villainous presidents and Brexit, there are arguably more factors than ever influencing our emotional states, and even more of a need for designers, artists, curators – anyone and everyone, in fact – to channel those emotions into something positive.
Whilst it might seem like a lot of pressure to put on anyone, let alone someone outside of political office, Paola argues – both in our conversation with her and in her 2007 TED talk – that the capacity to incite change is well within designers’ remit, “designers are the biggest synthesisers in the world; what they do is make a synthesis of human needs, current conditions in economy, in materials, in sustainability issues and then what they do in the end, if they’re good, is much more than the sum of their parts.”
We’ve teamed up with the British Council to create a design brief that explores the themes surrounding Island: The British Pavilion presentation commissioned by the British Council for the 16th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia.
For those of us who daydream about watching the sunset over a negroni from the balcony of La Torre, Jonny Nash’s Melody as Truth record label has become as important as Birkenstocks, blue skies, and DJ Harvey bootlegs.